TEJEDA TAKES LEAD IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT; ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD RACE TIGHTENS

EL CAJON’S HOUSING ELEMENT REZONING PROGRAM: DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AVAILABLE FOR COMMENTS; COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE DEC. 5

A REVOLUTION OF STRUGGLE CONTINUES FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES IN EAST COUNTY

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: ANTHONY MOSTARDO, DIRECTOR OF THE SAN DIEGO FESTIVAL CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA

EL CAJON SETS DEC. 13 PUBLIC HEARING ON MARIJUANA GROWING BAN

NEW TRUMP APPOINTMENTS RAISE ETHICS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERNS

SANTA ANA WINDS FORECAST THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

EVICTION ORDER GIVEN AT STANDING ROCK

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 1-23

STAR RANCH UP FOR SALE

PASSAGES: VICTIM IN RAMONA CRASH WAS SKATEBOARD LEGEND VICTOR EARHART, 70

LOCAL REACTIONS TO OBAMA ORDERING 1500 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Last week, President Barack Obama announced that he is sending an additional 1,500 U.S. troops to Iraq to train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the region, doubling the current number of troops deployed there. The President will also ask Congress for an addition $5.6 billion to help fight the terrorist group ISIL (also known as ISIS), or the Islamic State.

HELIX WATER RESPONDS TO CORRUPTION CLAIMS

 

East County News Service

November 18, 2014 (La Mesa) – Following a 10 News investigation that cited anonymous whistleblowers claiming corruption by a Helix Water District inspector and a construction company, the Helix Water District has responded to East County Magazine’s request for comments.  Read highlights of the 10 News story with links to the full report here.

Ted Salois, senior public affairs representative for the district, offered this response. 

“We strive to be excellent stewards of our customers’ funds and work diligently every day to continue earning the public’s trust.  When some concerns about our contracting practices were raised, we immediately initiated our own internal audit and commissioned a thorough review by an outside firm," he said.

KEYSTONE PIPELINE FAILS IN SENATE BY JUST ONE VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Satellite: Photo: Strip mining of Athabasca oil sands, courtesy NASA

November 18, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – By a single vote, the Senate blocked passage of a measure to authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.  The measure previously passed the House of Representatives 252-161.

But with Republicans taking control of the Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell vowed to bring the matter up again soon after the new Congress convenes. Even if passed, however, the measure could face a veto by President Barack Obama.

California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer opposed the XL Pipeline, calling it the “Extra Lethal Pipeline.” She cited health risks from chemicals that can cause lung damage as well as serious environmental concerns.  "The facts are the facts are the facts," she said. "If you're not a scientist then be humble and listen to the peer-reviewed scientists.”

SAN DIEGO COUNCIL APPROVES RECYCLED WATER FOR DRINKING

 

East County News Service

November 18, 2014 (San Diego) – By a unanimous vote, San Diego’s City Council voted Tuesday to approve $3.5 billion to recycle water for drinking. The Pure Water project will include upgrading an aging water treatment plant in Point Loma to provide a dependable source of drinking water for the city during despite drought conditions.

SLAUGHTER AT SYNAGOGUE IN JERUSALEM: REACTIONS POUR IN

 

Photo, courtesy U.S. State Department: British Foreign Secretary Hammond Condemns Attack on Jerusalem synagogue before meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in London

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2014 (Jerusalem) – Two Palestinians armed with guns and butcher knives opened an attack inside the Kehilat Bnei Torah Synagogue  synagogue in Jerusalem early this morning, killing four rabbis and a police officer.  Three of the rabbis were American-Israeli citizens.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego issued a press release stating, “We are shocked and appalled by the horrific attack on innocent worshipers that took place in Jerusalem earlier today. As a community, we send our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. …The recent wave of terror attacks and acts of violence in Israel is outrageous and completely unacceptable, but today’s attack on innocent people praying in a synagogue is incomprehensible. We call on the entire global community to join us in condemning this attack in the strongest possible terms, immediately and unconditionally.”

LAKESIDE HOLIDAY HOME TOUR DEC. 6

 

December 1, 2014 (Lakeside)--The Lakeside Historical Society will be hosting their annual HOLIDAY HOME TOUR on Saturday, December 6 from 10 a,m to 2 p.m.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from the History Center, 9906 Maine Avenue (corner of Parkside) from 10am until 2pm Tuesday through Saturday. They can also be purchased at the homes on the self guided tour.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM NOVEMBER 18, 2014

 

For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org

Readers

November 18 (Tuesday, 9:00 am) — Adventures by the Book is pleased to present a Journalists Telling the Tough Stories Edventure featuring San Diego author Caitlin Rother at at SDSU (5500 Campanile, San Diego) and continuing on at ABC Channel 10 (4600 Air Way, San Diego). The event is ticketed and is open to all SDSU Osher members.

ARMED ROBBERY FOILED AT 7-11 IN LA MESA

 

November 18, 2014 (La Mesa)--A suspect armed with a handgun tried to rob the 7-11 Store located at 8747 La Mesa Boulevard shortly before 11 p.m. last night.  An employee was working behind the checkout counter when the suspect walked in and browsed for a few minutes, departing without making a purchase.  He returned one minute later and walked up to the checkout counter, lifting his shirt to reveal a handgun tucked into his waistband.  The suspect demanded that the employee open the cash register.

SANTEE KIWANIS TEAMS UP WITH WEST HILLS HIGH KIDS IN ROADSIDE PRIDE EVENT

 

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

November 17, 2014 (Santee)--The Santee Kiwanis hosted a "Road Side Pride" event in conjunction with the West Hills High School Key Club.  The high school kids were out at 9:00 a.m. on Woodside Avenue on the Santee/Lakeside borderline cleaning up trash on Saturday, November 15th.

SANTEE TREE LIGHTING NOV. 21

 

November 18, 2014 (Santee) - Ho ho ho! A free snow zone and sledding are coming to Santee on November 21st from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. during the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony at Santee Trolley Square, located at 9884 Mission Gorge Road.

EXPLOSIVES STILL LURK AT EX-MILITARY SITES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – UT San Diego has published a list of nine danger zones for explosives still lurking beneath the ground at former military sites.  It may surprise you to learn that seven of those are in East County and all nine are in inland areas.

PRESIDENT SET TO ANNOUNCE IMMIGRATION REFORMS

 

By Leon Thompson

November 18, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--President Obama is expected to announce Executive Action to ease Immigration restrictions. The President could unveil as soon as Friday his planned, unilateral overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Details of the proposed measures remain under wraps, but senior administration officials have said Obama is prepared to “go big,” multiple news agencies report.

WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE AT SDSU AIMS TO INSPIRE COUNSELORS TO HELP STUDENTS ATTAIN COLLEGE DEGREES

 

East County News Service

November 18, 2014 (San Diego)--First Lady Michelle Obama gave a video welcoming message at a White House-sponsored conference designed to help high school counselors motivate more students to get college degrees.  A similar event was recently held at Harvard University.

The First Lady told those present, “I know that if we truly want to help our young people reach their college dreams, we need to support our school counselors. Our young people have so much potential, and they need someone in their lives who (believe) in them, and who can show them the steps they need to take to get to college.”

HELIX WATER CORRUPTION ALLEGED

 

UPDATE November 18, 2014 5 p.m. -- Helix Water District has responded to ECM's request for comments on the 10 News investigation.  Helix contends that an independent inquiry as well as an in-house audit found no irregularities.  You can read the Helix responses here.

 

View part 1 of the 10 News investigation here with links to documents and watch for part 2 airing tonight.

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2014 (La Mesa)—Whistleblowers are alleging that a Helix Water District inspector and a contractor conspired to overcharge ratepayers for work that was never done.

The district refused to be interviewed on camera about the allegations.  However an investigation by JW August at 10 News, an East County Magazine news partner, found documents that appear to substantiate some of the claims made by the whistleblowers, employees who spoke under condition that their names not be publicized due to fears of retribution.

East County Magazine has contacted Carlos Lugos, general manager at Helix, for comments on the 10 News investigation. We also inquired whether steps are being taken by the District to assure that overcharges are not made in the future. plus we asked whether competitive bids were obtained for the projects in question.  We will publish any responses once received.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: TANKS FOR THE MEMORY (FURY)

 

"The first casualty of war is innocence."

- Tagline, Platoon (Oliver Stone, 1986)

By Brian Lafferty

November 18, 2014 (San Diego) – In the 28 years since Platoon's release, its tagline quoted above has become more and more relevant in light of the world events that followed it. This includes, but is not limited to, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. With the way things are going, it looks at this point like those are just for starters.

EX-SDG&E WORKER AVOIDS JAIL TIME IN FATAL HIT AND RUN

 

November 17, 2014 (El Cajon) – An SDG&E employee who struck a homeless man with an SDG&E pickup truck in early January, then fled the scene, has been sentenced to 180 days of house arrest and 20 days of public service by Judge Laura Halgren. Hector Hoyt also received three years probation after pleading guilty to felony hit and run.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN FOUND DEAD NEAR RAILROAD TRACKS IN LEMON GROVE

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2014 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s Homicide detail is investigating the death of an unidentified man found lying near the railroad tracks at 7:23 a.m. at the intersection of Lemon Grove Avenue and Palm Street.

49TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO LOCAL AUTHOR EXHIBIT

 

By Dennis Moore

November 16, 2014 (San Diego) – It’s that time of year again when San Diego’s best and brightest minds converge on the San Diego County Library in downtown San Diego. For the 49th consecutive year the city will honor and celebrate authors and their books. I was fortunate to have been one of those authors at the 46th Annual San Diego Local Author Exhibit at the old San Diego County Library. The Local Author Exhibit highlights the intellectual and creative accomplishments of writers in the San Diego region. The San Diego Public Library is calling on San Diego County authors who have published books in 2014 to submit them to the 49th Annual Local Author Exhibit. See attached.

ANIMAL TALES: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SIAMESE RESCUE ORGANIZATION IS THE CAT'S MEOW

 

By Mimi  Pollack

Photo: Riley

November 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Looking at her blue eyes and gorgeous coat, nobody would ever suspect that Riley was once a very sick seal point Siamese that was going to be euthanized.

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SUES CPUC OFFICIALS ON BEHALF OF RATEPAYERS; ALLEGES BILLING FOR POWER NEVER PRODUCED AT SAN ONOFRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Citizen's Oversight and the law firm of Aguirre & Severson have filed a Federal lawsuit against two top public utility officials and Southern California Edison (SCE) for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of SDG&E ratepayers and SCE ratepayers by taking over  $3 billion without just compensation. 

View lawsuit here: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1518

HEADING ABROAD FOR THE HOLIDAYS? APPLY FOR YOUR PASSPORT NOW

 

Source: County of San Diego’s News Service

November 16, 2014 (San Diego)--If you’re planning to travel out of the country over the holidays, now is the time to apply for your passport book or card, the County advises.

FUKUSHIMA RADIATION REACHES WATERS OFF WEST COAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2014 (San Diego) – An oceanographer who has studied plutonium levels in the Black Sea after Chernobyl reports that small levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns in Japan have now reached waters off America’s west coast.

CONGRESS MEMBERS SPLIT ALONG PARTY LINES ON KEYSTONE PIPELINE VOTE

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA)

November 15, 2014 (San Diego)--The San Diego Congressional delegation followed party lines in the vote Friday to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: HOT HEARINGS THIS WEEK

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Here are some of the top agenda items coming up on this week’s boards and commissions across East County, from a solar field in Lakeside's El Monte Valley to renovations at El Cajon’s City Hall to a marijuana dispensaries measure in Lemon Grove.  This week, the El Cajon and Lemon Grove City Council meet, as well as the Helix Water Board district.  Know of a hot item we missed on a board or council in your community? E-mail editor@eastCountymagazine.org.

SALVATION ARMY THANKSGIVING DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD DRIVE NOV. 25

 

November 15, 2014 (El Cajon)--You can help a family in need during the holidays.  On Tuesday, November 25, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Salvation Army in El Cajon will hold a special “drive-thru food drive” at their offices located at 1011 East Main, El Cajon.  The Salvation Army Drive Through Thanksgiving Food Drive rallies the San Diego East County community to contribute Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. To participate, drive to The Salvation Army El Cajon Corps to donate a frozen turkey, and/or any of the fixings, or make a cash donation.

A MODERN TAKE ON A CLASSIC - "SCAPIN" AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE NOV. 15-22

 

November 15, 2014 (El Cajon )--When two young men of substantial wealth fall in love with two beautiful but penniless ladies, they employ the assistance of the clever, crafty, and possibly clairvoyant servant, Scapin. Complications abound in Bill Irwin and Mark O’Donnell’s modern adaptation of Moliere’s classic French farce, Les Fourberies de Scapin.

FROST WARNING: FREEZING CONDITIONS

 

November 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a frost warning for the high desert areas.  As cold air filters into the deserts and winds drop off, clear skies and very dry air will allow temperatures to plummet by Monday morning.

RED FLAG WARNING

 

November 15, 2014 (San Diego)--The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from 8 p.m. Sunday to 8  p.m.Monday for the San Diego County inland valleys and mountains. Periods of strong and gusty northeast winds will develop for Sunday into Monday. Very dry conditions will develop with humidity values falling into the single digits on both days. Weaker but gusty northeast winds will continue into Tuesday along with low humidity.  

More forecast information and updates are available from the National Weather Service.

SDSU AZTEC ATHLETICS RECEIVES $1.25 MILLION DONATION TO LAUNCH CORYELL LEGACY

 

East County News Service

November 15, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego State University’s Aztec Club recently launched a drive to raise scholarship funds for student athletes.  This week, Athletics Director Jim Sterk announced that a $1.25 million donation has been bequeathed by Bill and Robin Sinclair to launch the Coryell Legacy.

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