July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s Planning and Development Services (PDS) staff is finalizing new Form-Based Codes for the communities of Ramona and Alpine. Drafts of the new FBC for Ramona and Alpine are now available for review at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/ordamend.html. The deadline for public comment is August 5.
According to the PDS July newsletter, the new codes introduce new zoning/design criteria that will “encourage and promote the village character within these communities while revitalizing their economic capabilities. Unlike traditional zoning which separates land uses and regulates individual uses on a property, a FBC deemphasizes uses and puts greater emphasis on regulating building appearances within given neighborhoods. FBC also take into account the buildings’ relationships to one another, the public streets and the streetscape.”
July 21, 2013 (Descanso) Efforts of the Mountain Empire Men’s Club culminated in a demonstration of the maxim “It takes a village to raise a child.”
An outpouring of volunteer effort, donations, and pitching-in from the mountain community of Descanso made this year’s scholarship fundraiser on June 28 event another success. Tammy Cooker and her crew from Descanso Junction and Catering served up a fabulous barbecue dinner of Jack Daniels tri-tip and chicken, while the Blue Mountain Band performed live music onstage at the historic Descanso Town Hall.
July 21, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenberg Jr. has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court asking justices to prohibit County Clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The marriages resumed after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling invalidating Proposition 8. But Dronenberg argues the ruling should apply only to the two couples who sued over Prop 8.
Today Greg Cox, Chairman of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, made clear that Dronenberg acted on his own. “No one else from the County was consulted or had any part of ths court action, including the Board of Supervisors,” Cox said in a statement sent to media. “The County’s position is and always has been that we, the County, will follow applicable law with regards to same sex marriage.”
July 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch effective now through Sunday evening in burned areas of San Diego County’s mountains and deserts. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are also forecast.
Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action if the flash flood watch is elevated to a flash flood warning.
July 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – The San Diego Concert Band presents “An Evening of Music in The Garden”, along with The Water Conservation Garden for an inaugural joint fundraiser on July 25 at 5 p.m. at 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon. The evening’s outdoor program depicts our American heritage through music that includes light classics, historical themes and modern compositions for concert band. The concert will be held in The Garden’s outdoor amphitheater.
July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Just when you thought the current sex scandal involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner couldn’t get any weirder, it did. On July 17 KGTV Channel 10 broke the news that Filner had been booked to be the keynote speaker at the National Military Women Veterans’ Association of America’s gala event in San Diego August 30-31. They had originally planned to give him a “Lifetime of Leadership” award honoring his work on behalf of veterans in general and military veterans in particular. But with allegations that Filner routinely harassed women, including his staff members, in the workplace and at community events, the group decided to rescind the award but keep him on as a speaker. “He is now the keynote speaker for these injustices,” said the group’s official statement.
July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – The Little Saigon 5th Annual Lantern Festival begins tonight at 5 p.m. and preparations are underway at Hoover High School, 4474 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, as volunteers are assembling and hanging thousands of lanterns, erecting vendor booths and building the stage and Vietnamese Cultural Village. This year’s festival celebrates the formal designation of the new Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District.
July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Yesterday, during opening day at Comic-Con, Mayor Bob Filner announced support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center.
“I am dedicated to keeping Comic-Con here in San Diego. That dedication includes my support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center. I am pleased to announce that I have been working closely with the Center’s Board of Directors and San Diego business leaders to develop a solid plan for the expansion effort,” he said. “I support what the Board has in mind and will be working with City staff at all levels to ensure we do everything necessary to get the project underway and completed in a timely fashion.”
July 18, 2013 (San Diego)—Supporters of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner held a rally today to urge that the Mayor be provided due process to allow claims of sexual harassment to be investigated before rushing to judgment.
David Vallalodid, a long-time activist, noted that allegations have “not been substantiated” and charges “have not been filed.”
San Diegans are speaking out on the anonymous sexual harassment allegations against Mayor Bob Filner--and their opinions are as diverse as the city's population. While some have called for the mayor's resignation or a recall election, others are urging him to stand his ground pending outcome of any investigaiton--and object to anonyous allegations being leveraged to try and force the mayor from office.
A rift has also occurred within the Democratic Party, with some prominent former supporters and multiple members of the City Council now calling for his resignation. But others say the Mayor is entitled to due process and that demands for his resignation are inappropriate absent proof of illegal actions. In addition, the party is divided over who should replace Mayor Filner should he step down or be forced from office.
July 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation into law that overhauls the state’s enterprise zone program of tax credits for employers hiring in designated areas. The old Enterprise Zone system had been criticized as wasteful and ineffective at creating jobs.
The reforms were backed by labor and manufacturing interests, though some business representatives have raised concerns over elimination of the old enterprise zone program.
The new measures, including Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, were signed into law in San Diego on July 11 at Takeda, a local biotech firm.
July 18, 2013 (Rancho San Diego )–Firefighters from Cal Fire/San Miguel Fire District responded to a six vehicle incident at Jamacha Road and Cuyamaca College Drive in the Rancho San Diego Area shortly after 11 a.m. today.
According to witnesses, the driver of a silver van was traveling eastbound on Jamacha Road when her vehicle sped up and hit five other vehicles, plunging over an embankment. The vehicle also knocked over a tree and continued through a Mobile gas station parking lot, then up a slight embankment, crashing into a light pole at Rancho San Diego Town Centre before bursting into flames.
July 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Once again the winemakers of East County Vintners have demonstrated their winemaking skills at the annual San Diego County Fair competition.
New to the competition is David Raum of Potrero, whose 2012 Viognier (a white wine with notes of pear) took home a silver medal. Richard Westfall (Campo) received “the best of class” and gold medal for his 2011 Mourvédre. He also received a silver medal for his 2011 Primitivo, a silver for his 2008 Aglianico and a bronze medal for his 2011 Cabernet Franc. Janet Wright (Potrero) also received a silver medal for her 2011 Primitivo.
July 18, 2013 (Mission Valley) – San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU), San Diego’s largest locally-owned financial institution with three local East County branches in El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee, is inviting the public to its SDCCU Super Shred Event featuring free document shredding services from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, July 20 at the Qualcomm Stadium northwest parking lot located at 9449 Friars Road, San Diego. SDCCU is hoping to shred the Guinness World Record for most shred paper collected in 24 hours. The current world record of 111,920 pounds of paper is held by Comerica Bank, Iron Mountain and KDFW FOX 4 in Dallas.
July 18, 2013 (Santee) – Xtreme Diamond Sports (XDS) returns to San Diego County for the Xtreme Diamond Sports World Series (July 22-27), the premier youth baseball tournament serving ages 8-18 years across five venues. This year, XDS will welcome teams from all over the western United States and the South Pacific — including six teams from Hawaii and one from Guam. The event will be held at Sportsplex USA Santee located at 9951 Riverwalk Drive, Santee CA 92071.
July 18, 2013 (San Diego)--“San Diego Family Magazine” readers voted Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) “Best of Family Fun” for 2013 in four categories: Best Place to Connect with Nature, Best Lake, Best Guided Nature Walk, Best Lake, and Best Horseback Riding Trails (bring your own horse). MTRP was the only entry to win in four categories.
MTRP is 12 miles from downtown San Diego and five miles northeast of Qualcomm Stadium off Mission Gorge Road. The park encompasses about 5,800 acres, and offers 40 miles of trails for hiking, bicycling – including mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and a 14,750-square-foot Visitor Center located at One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego 92119. It is the largest urban open space park west of the Mississippi and everything is free--including many special summertime activities. Scroll down for details.
July 18, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
July 18, 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:
July 18, 2013 (Ramona) – A hiker found dead on a trail at San Dieguito River Park on the San Pasqual Clevenger Trail has been identified as Ellen Turkish Comisso, 65, of La Jolla.
Two hikers found the victim in brush just off the trail on the morning of July 5 and called 911. The San Diego Medical Examiner has found that her death was caused by hyperthermia, a condition most commonly associated with heat stroke. It is unknown how long the victim had been deceased before she was found.
July 18, 2013 (Pine Valley) – A 38-year-old Pine Valley resident died at the scene of a rollover accident that occurred July 17 at 10:18 p.m. The driver, whose name has not yet been released by the Medical Examiner, was driving a 2001 Volkswagen GTI westbound on I-8 east of East Willows Road in Alpine at a high rate of speed, a witness told the California Highway Patrol.
"It was avery sad night indeed. It was a very dangerous scene to roll upon in the darkness."
said Don Lumb, who sent the photo in this story. "He was still alive, but took almost 30 minutes before the first emergency vehicle even arrived. He passed away while at the scene just prior to advanced help."
July 18, 2013 (El Cajon)--The arraignment of a man arrested by San Diego Sheriffs deputies on suspicion of arson and other associated crimes Sunday night has been continued until July 24 in Department 2 of El Cajon Superior Court. Dane Coburn is accused of intentionally setting a fire that charred five acres of brush on State Route 79 near the Los Vaqueros Horse Camp in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park last week.
Coburn, represented by legal counsel, is also accused of threatening to kill one of the firefighters who first responded to the blaze. He then allegedly provoked a fight with several deputies before being subdued. His attorney requested the continuance on the grounds that Coburn needed access to a mental health professional for an evaluation prior his arraignment. Coburn is being held in San Diego County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
The defendant has been charged with arson of forest lands, assault on an officer, making terrorist threats, resisting arrest, and of being under the influence of drugs.
July 17, 2013 (El Cajon)- At the July 9 meeting, El Cajon City Council unanimously voted to authorize the city manager to issue a formal request for qualifications to hire an architect to prepare and provide construction documents ready for bid on renovations to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC).
According to Ray Lutz from Citizens Oversight, who also organized a Save ECPAC group last year when the theater was threatened with possible demolition, “This is the best news we have had on this issue for over a year."
July 17, 2013 (Borrego) – The 43rd annual sheep count in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was completed July 5-7.
“This year we tallied 332 bighorn, which replaces the 2011 count as the second largest tally in sheep count history at Anza-Borrego,” states a letter to volunteers from coordinators Steve Bier and Mark C. Jorgensen.
The numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. The count did not include some portions of the park where populations may be under the most stress—and at least two dead sheep were found during the count due to apparent dehydration.
July 16, 2013 (San Diego) – On the continued fight over forcing the Mayor to resign - It is not too smart to call a press conference, like the one Briggs, Frye and Gonzales called yesterday in an attempt to use the media to force San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign, then attack the media for asking legitimate questions.
I believe Bob Filner should resign for the good of San Diego, but if he survives this thing, it will be due to his opposition playing such heavy handed politics - from the left and the right - that the public decides this is all just another power grab and there is no difference between Bob and his adversaries.
July 16, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner yesterday announced appointments intended to significantly strengthen City management. Filner prefaced the announcement with a statement addressing recent calls for his resignation:
“I’m not going to resign, and here’s why,” said Filner. “As your elected mayor, I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions. But as a citizen of this country, I also expect – and am entitled to – due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations. I do not believe I am guilty of sexual harassment, and I believe a full presentation of the facts will vindicate me,” said Filner.
July 15, 2013 (San Diego) --Equivalent to our Independence Day, Bastille Day is the great national holiday of France. In the true Gallic tradition, Bastille Day is also celebrated in America.
Why have we Americans so fervently embraced a foreign holiday of which we know so little about? It is due, perhaps, to the unmistakable joie de vivre we have imported from the French culture. Our thoughts about Bastille Day are not so much an exercise in history, but rather a reflection of the things we view as endemic to the nation of France.
July 15, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Are you a military member or veteran? If so, the County wants to hear from you.
The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is sponsoring a forum at the El Cajon Library on July 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. to gather information that will help service members make a successful transition to civilian life.
Drills aim to prepare law enforcement officers in the event of a school shooting
July 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – If you live or work in El Cajon be advised the Sheriff's Department will hold an active shooter training at Grossmont College on Tuesday, July 16th and Thursday, July 18th from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. THIS IS ONLY A DRILL.
July 15, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – This summer the music is floating over Berry Street Park, 7071 Mt. Vernon, Lemon Grove on Thursday evenings. The free concerts are sponsored by the City of Lemon Grove and are from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.