JUSTICE SCALIA’S DEATH PROMPTS BATTLE OVER SUPREME COURT VACANCY

HIGH EMF LEVELS FOUND ALONG ALPINE BOULEVARD ALONG POWERLINK ROUTE: LEVELS NEAR SCHOOL SITES RAISE CONCERNS

MEDICAL EXAMINER SEEKS PUBLIC HELP TO ID MAN FOUND DEAD IN OCEAN FEB. 7

VALENTINE’S OPEN RANCH AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO FEB. 13

RESIDENTS VOICE CONCERNS OVER CHECKPOINT DELAYS ON HIGHWAY 94

VINEYARD GRANT JAMES IN RAMONA DRAWS RAVE REVIEWS

SDG&E GRANTS $1,500 FOR EAST COUNTY EMERGENCY ALERTS DURING EL NIÑO

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 12-28

DESSERT & WINE PAIRINGS AT SAN PASQUAL WINERY, LA MESA FEB. 12-14

SANDERS, TRUMP TROUNCE OPPONENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

LA MESA SENDS MERCHANTS’ OKTOBERFEST DEBT TO COLLECTIONS

GIFTS FROM THE EAST: OUR 2013 HOLIDAY GUIDE TO GIFT ITEMS UNIQUE TO EAST COUNTY

December 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for some unique gifts for those on your holiday shopping list?  Here are some gift ideas that are made or located right here in East County, so you can support our local economy while delighting your friends and family.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

December 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) --ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.

SCIENCE AND HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

December 19,  2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

SCIENCE

HEALTH

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

EARTHTALK®: CLEANING WATERWAYS

 

December 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: Is there a way to get local communities involved in cleaning up waterways, like rivers, lakes, streams and creeks?

-- Rebecca, via e-mail

Indeed, many of our local waterways have seen better days, thanks to decades of pollution. And cleaning them up and preventing further damage can be challenging, since much of the contamination has accumulated over time and results from what is known as “non-point source” pollution, which accounts for as much as 60 percent of the water pollution in the U.S.

POLL SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR PROTECTING CA DESERT

 

December 18, 2013 (California) -- Voters who live in California's High Desert have a strong connection to public lands and see the benefits they provide for clean water, recreation and wildlife. That's according to a poll that found three-quarters of local residents have visited public lands in the last year.

Pollster Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies, said voters value these lands for a number of reasons.

THE CAREGIVERS' JOURNEY: WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS, BAKE A LEMON PIE

 

By Marsha Kay Seff

December 18, 2013 (San Diego) – As an adult child of octogenarian parents, I wore a virtual millinery shop full of hats.  It often felt as if I needed more heads.  I know I needed more arms and legs – and much more time.

One of my most-frayed chapeaus was my thinking cap, for I was most certainly the daughter of invention.

A big part of my role as the designated caregiver was inventing gizmos that would make my parents' lives more manageable and comfortable.

MONARCHS SHUT OUT OF CIF CHAMPIONSHIP

 

By David Dickens

December 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Monte Vista (7-6) was expected to cruise through this Division 4 rematch on December 8th against the Sweetwater High Red Devils (9-4) for the SDCIF crown. However, just like the age-old saying, “On any given Sunday,” this time the whims of fate kicked in on Saturday. Playoffs at any level discount regular season play as a whole new atmosphere. The ironic stat in this battle: not a single pass was thrown in the Monarch triumph early in the regular season play; this time it was the pass that stole the game.

The Monarch strength all season long was the elite rushing attack led by running back Jermeil Jackson. This time around Monte Vista was stymied for a mere 186 yards – all rushing – and only amassed 31 yards total the entire second half of play. This hard-fought contest was full of turnovers and miscues on both sides. The slippery weather added to the ball security issues as well.

MISSING TEEN MAY BE IN SAN DIEGO/CHULA VISTA AREA

 

December 17, 2013 (San Diego) – As part of its ongoing search, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is asking for the public’s help to locate Arielle Randall who vanished from Grand Prairie, Texas. Arielle may be in the company an unknown male, and may be in the Chula Vista area. Arielle, 16, was last seen on Nov. 13, 2013 leaving her home. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Arielle is Black and Hispanic, and has brown hair and eyes. She is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. Her ears are pierced. 

The public is urged to call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) with any information concerning the disappearance or current whereabouts of Arielle. 

'TIS THE SEASON FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY

 

December 18, 2013 (San Diego) – As Californians ready for their holiday travels, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is set to begin its annual Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).  The two-day holiday enforcement effort is designed to help ensure the safety of the motoring public during a time when celebrations are in full swing. 

The MEP begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 25.  The effort coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ongoing Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over anti-driving under the influence (DUI) campaign, which began on December 13, 2013, and continues through January 1, 2014. 

EL CAJON AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIZATION (AYSO): BU10 NORTH POLE SURPRISING SEASON ENDS

 

By David Dickens

December 18, 2013 (Spring Valley) — Adair Barraza, Allan Barraza, Jake Evans, Jacob Hoffman, Sebastian Dickens, Randall Raush, Gabriel Meyer, Sean McDarby, Guillermo Dominguez and Anthony Poliza provided  a magical season that ended Saturday, December 15 based on simple mathematics – not scoring enough points.

 Apparently, according to American Youth Soccer Organization rules, “If a team in the playoffs has not put up enough points, their season is over.”  This came as a shock after the “North Pole” team put on one of its best performances of the year against the “Outlaws” of La Mesa region.

CHRISTIAN HIGH PATRIOTS MARCH ON, 19-7 IN CIF CHAMPIONSHIP

 

 By David Dickens

December 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Christian High School in El Cajon won the CIF Division3 championship against  the San Marcos High Knights  on December 8. But another battle loomed in the courtroom over the prior week.

On December 9, Superior Court Judge William Sato denied Christian High’s request for injunctive relief to gain consideration as a Division 4 school in the state football series hosted by the San Diego CIF.  Athletic Director David Beezer  sought to create a fair advantage that Christian High should be entitled to based to its enrollment size.  According to the SDCIF handbook, Christian High should be a Division 4 school as far as athletics are concerned contended Beezer, who believes Christian High is being discriminated against and that this is in conflict with the CIF’s own written policy.

WIND FIRE: NEW QUESTIONS RAISED OVER WIND TURBINE BLAZE IN CAMPO

 

Part II in our "Wind Fire" series

By Miriam Raftery

December 17, 2013 (Campo) – Yesterday’s explosion and brush fire sparked by a Gamesa wind turbine owned by Infigen at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo, California has ignited new questions about the safety of wind turbines in this fire-prone region, where several of the worst wildfires in California history have previously scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.

In June, Infigen settled a lawsuit with Gamesa stemming from an earlier catastrophe at the same wind facility in 2009, when an explosive blast resulted in replacement of all 75 wind turbines, as ECM reported in an exclusive report.  But now Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale reveals, “The 75 turbine blades from the 2009 catastrophic failure that you covered are still laying on the ground at the wind farm and are highly flammable.”

HELP SENIORS IN NEED WITH M.O.M. THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 

December 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – This holiday season, More on the Menu, or MOM, is asking San Diego County residents to step up to the plate — the salad plate — to help senior citizens in our region.

MOM is a non-profit program that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to local, homebound senior neighbors across San Diego County.  The organization has been dedicated to supporting seniors with home-delivered meals since 1992. But, with many seniors unable to shop for themselves or able to afford the cost of fresh produce, it is the recipients’ everyday nutrition that now seems most pressing.

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT - FOR CROOKS, SHERIFF SAYS

 

December 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Thieves are easily tempted when people leave bags of gifts in plain sight in their vehicles or display presents under a tree in a front window. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is reminding everyone to be aware of criminals looking for easy targets during the holiday season.

BIRD TALK: MIGRATORY BIRDS

 

By Greg Dunne

December 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Our County has many migratory birds.  This week, I’m highlighting two of them: the Northern Shoveler Duck (although a few will stay year round) and a small song bird, the Townsend’s Warbler, a winter visitor.

The Northern Shoveler is primarily a winter visitor to the County, abundant this time of year at Santee Lakes, Lindo Lake and I’ve even spotted a few this year at Lake Murray. The Northern Shoveler is a medium sized duck with a very long bill that is wider at the tip than the base. It has a glossy dark green head similar to the Mallard Duck but the bill of the shoveler stands out from any other duck.  Shovelers use this bill to filter out food from the water.

BURGLARY RING BUSTED BY RAMONA DETECTIVES

 

December 17, 2013 (Ramona) – Sheriff’s detectives from the Ramona substation yesterday announced arrests of suspects in a burglary ring that used rental vehicles to burglarize equipment rental and maintenance yards, including One Stop Equipment in Ramona last month.  The ring is believed to be responsible for about 20 burglaries in the past year, mostly in San Diego, said Sergeant B. Hout.

MONARCHS SHUT OUT OF CIF CHAMPIONSHIP

 

By David Dickens

December 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- -Monte Vista (7-6) was expected to cruise through this Division 4 rematch on December 8th against the Sweetwater High Red Devils(9-4)for the SDCIF crown. However, just like the age old saying, “ On any given Sunday,” this time the whims of fate kicked in on Saturday. Playoffs at any level discounts regular season play as a whole new atmosphere.

The ironic stat in this battle:  not a single pass was thrown in the Monarch triumph early in the regular season play; this time it was the pass that stole the game.

WIND FIRE: TURBINE EXPLODES, SPARKS BRUSH FIRE IN CAMPO

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott

Photos by Jim Pelley, Michael Kurtz, Jim Colby, J. Rummler

 

December 16, 2013 (Campo) – A wind turbine on a ridge overlooking the Golden Acorn Casino exploded today, sparking several spot fires in surrounding brush that collectively charred about a half an acre.

David Elliott, a Manzanita tribal member, lives about  quarter of a mile from the wind facility on the neighboring Campo reservation. At first, he mistook the fire sounds for gusty wind. Then he walked outside and saw the turbine burning.  “The turbine did start several spot fires,” he said.  “If the wind had been coming from the northwest or west then my home, one of the closets homes to the turbines, would have definitely been in danger because we have brush on this side of the turbines and we would have had a major fire.”  Hear audio of his interview with ECM: http://kiwi6.com/file/bk3qywd787

LOCAL STUDENT LEARNS ABOUT PROGRAMMING AT ONLINE SCHOOL

 

By Janis Mork

December 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident and high school junior Alana Bianco has been attending Capistrano Connections Academy, an online public charter school, instead of a traditional high school. She is interested in learning more about programming and has also enjoyed acting on the side. ECM recently interviewed Bianco to find out more.

She is originally from Florida and had moved to Newport Beach, CA as she was going to start her freshman year of high school. She and her mother found out about Capistrano Connections by looking online. Capistrano Connections “got good reviews,” Bianco added. She tried out public high school in her sophomore year in Burbank, but she didn’t like it as much as she liked online school. So, she then went back to Capistrano. She’s also been homeschooled while living in East County.

REP. SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PRE-K EDUCATION

 

December 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to expand access to Pre-K education.  The EARLY Act (Expanded Access to Real Learning for our Young Act) would establish a competitive grant program where states could receive federal funding to make Pre-K education available to families with a combined income of up to 400% of the federal poverty line.

“The argument for universal Pre-K is not just a lofty moral imperative – it’s also good science and economics,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Kids who receive high-quality early education are more likely to achieve success in both school and life. The research shows they’re more likely to graduate high school, earn higher pay, and live more productive lives.”

SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGER ROBBED

 

December 14, 2013 (Lakeside) -- This story falls into the “how low can you go” category.  On Wednesday evening, two crooks stole donations out of a red Salvation Army kettle in front of a Walmart store off Los Coches Road in Lakeside.  One thief distracted the bell ringer while his partner in crime stole about $150 to $200 in cash.

Captain Terry Masango with the Salvation Army in El Cajon said it broke his heart that someone would steal money meant to help the poor.  “If they had just come to us and said, ‘We’re hungry,’ we would have helped them,” he said, the UT San Diego reported.

FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING AT OUR HOLIDAY PARTY SUNDAY DEC. 15

December 14, 2013 (La Mesa)-- It's time for East County Magazine's annual "Feasting & Merrymaking" party on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3-7 p.m. in La Mesa!  To comply with county event requirements, this year's party is a private event open only to our subscribers. Fortunately, subscriptions are free!  Sign up at the top right side of the homepage to subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, then email editor@eastcountymagazine.org for details and directions.

This year's event features great food including prime rib and chicken from Pinnacle Peak, salads and sliders from bridges, wines from San Pasqual Winery and Maness Vineyards,  lots of great prizes and surprises!  We also have VIP guests including Cogresswoman Susan Davis and representatives from the cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee and El Cajon.  We hope to see you all there!

WINTER NIGHTS AT WESTFIELD UTC – PHOTO OP DEC 14 & 21

 

December 14, 2013 (San Diego) - Visit Westfield UTC every Saturday night in December leading to Christmas as Palm Plaza is transformed into a magical winter wonderland.  Each night from 5-8 p.m. enjoy live entertainment, snow cascading from the rooftops, complimentary s’mores and hot cocoa stations, photo fun for the whole family and lite bites from your favorite eateries.

GUHSD ISSUES VAGUE STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GRAND JURY REPORT ON ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

"There is no good faith, no no intentions..." -- Priscilla Schreiber, Board Member, who asserts that the GUHSD response "in no way satisifies what, I believe, the Grand Jury recommended."

"...The statement to the Grand Jury is a complete fabrication. The facts demonstrate there is no “intent” to build the Alpine high school ..." -- Sal Casamassimo, Chair, Alpine High School Citizens Committee

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in May, the San Diego Grand Jury issued a report urging the Grossmont Union High School District to "declare unconditionally, by December 31, 2013, if they are or are not going to build the 12th high school using funds from Propositions H and U.”    The report, titled “Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice,” criticized the district Board for failing to build the school despite voters twice approving bond measures to fund the new school in Alpine, as ECM previously reported. The Grand Jury concluded, “Residents of the GUHSD and the greater Alpine area deserve clarity from the School Board regarding the proposed 12th high school."

Yesterday the Board issued the following brief media statement, which falls far short of the unconditional statement or clarity to district residents that the Grand Jury sought:

EL CAJON ADOPTS NEW CITY MOTTO, NAMES KENDRICK MAYOR PRO TEM

 

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Mork

December 13, 2013 (El Cajon) –El Cajon’s City Council voted on Tuesday to adopt “Valley of Opportunity" as the new city motto.  In addition, Council voted unanimously to name Councilmember Gary Kendrick as Mayor Pro Tem, second in command after newly appointed Mayor Bill Wells.

As for the new motto and logo reflecting that motto, Deputy City Manager/Finance Nancy Palm explained the idea began before the centennial. “We had a lot of community involvement. It has proven to be the valley of opportunity for many years.”

IRAQI CHALDEANS FORM NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2013 (El Cajon ) – The newly formed San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce has elected Ben Kalasho as president during the organization’s gala event at Sycuan Resort on November 22.   Kalasho hailed the event, which drew about 100 attendees, as “a great turn out of professional movers and shakers.”

CANDIDATES FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL REFLECT DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND VIEWS

Photo:  Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council.  This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting.  The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.

LA MESA HOLIDAY PARADE AND CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE DEC. 13-14

 

December 10, 2013 (La Mesa)--La Mesa is transformed into a Victorian wonderland on December 13-14 during its old-fashioned Christmas in the Village. The family friendly event features horse-drawn carriages, strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers along La Mesa Boulevard.

Carnival rides, ponies, puppet shows, live music stages, bonfires and an outdoor market round out the traditional holiday fun.

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