SPECIAL EDITION: BREAKING NEWS APRIL 1, 2015

COUNTY SELLS NAMING RIGHTS TO FIRE TRUCKS

LA MESA UNVEILS NEW LANDSCAPING PLAN

PARK STATION REVAMPS PLANS FOR HIGH RISE IN LA MESA

JAMUL INDIANS SCRAP CASINO PLANS, WILL BUILD CHARGERS STADIUM INSTEAD

SAVOR A TASTE OF JULIAN APRIL 11

TAKE OUR POLL: SHOULD AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES IN EAST COUNTY BE IMPROVED?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ RECEIVES CESAR CHAVEZ FOUNDATION'S LEGACY AWARD

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB TO SPEAK AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST APRIL 14

SANTEE'S MAYOR VOEPEL VIES FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT AGAINST HUNTER AIDE HARRISON

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER DEFENDS DECISION NOT TO FIRE OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT; CITIZENS ASK FOR JUSTICE DEPT. PROBE

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

WINTER WISHES: GROSSMONT HOSPITAL PATIENTS GIFTED WITH PLUSH PENGUINS DURING HOLIDAYS

January 1, 2013 (La Mesa) --The San Diego Blood Bank reports that 250 plush penguins were recently delivered as gifts to patients admitted to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in December during the weeks leading up to the holiday season. The gift delivery was part of the Blood Bank’s annual “Winter Wishes” program sponsored by the Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports health-related community programs and serves as landlord of the hospital on behalf of East County taxpayers.

POWER OUTAGES IN AREA

January 1, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Some area residents started their New Year in the dark due to power outages.  An outage that began at 1 a.m. is due to be restored at noon today in the Blossom Valley and Lakeside areas, where a vehicle caused a short in the electrical system that left 432 customers without power, SDG&E reports.

In Lemon Grove and Spring Valley, a vehicle also caused an outage to 28 customers at 11:18 p.m. last night that is due to be restored at 9 a.m. today, according to SDG&E’s website.

WEBELOS CUB SCOUTS GET READYMAN TRAINING FROM LA MESA FIREMEN

January 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – On Sunday, December 23, The Eagle Patrol Webelos from Cub Scout Pack 391 got hands on training from La Mesa firefighters at the main La Mesa Fire Station 11 at 8034 Allison Avenue.  The Scouts were taught emergency first aid procedures.  In addition they were shown equipment used by firefighters in their jobs.

WIND PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT EXTENSION ADDED TO “FISCAL CLIFF” DEAL: CONGRESS TO VOTE SOON

 

UPDATE:  The President has signed into law a fiscal cliff deal that includes extension of the wind production tax credits, and also makes it easier for wind develpers to get them.  Projects now only need to break ground to qualify, not meet construction milestones.

December 31, 2012 (San Diego's East County) – ECM sources in Washington have informed us that language to extend $12 billion in wind production tax credits through 2013 have been added to a tentative deal reached to avert the “fiscal cliff.”  Senate leaders and  President Barack Obama have agreed on the deal, which the Senate is expected to vote on tonight. The House, however, has adjourned and will likely vote tomorrow or the next day.

Extension of the wind tax credits could have major ramifications for San Diego’s East County, where  Iberdrola’s Tule Wind has been approved but not yet built. Other wind projects are also proposed in our region. The wind industry has indicated that without a tax credit extension, many planned wind projects may not be built.

A national effort has been launched by wind power opponents asking citizens to urge Congressional members to oppose any deal that includes a wind tax credit extension. Local residents are among those contacting their Senators and House representatives to urge that wind production tax credit extensions not be granted.

SHERIFF ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO FIND 3 MEN WHO TRIED TO KIDNAP TEEN

December 31, 2012 (Encinitas) – San Diego Sheriff asks residents countywide for help to identify three males who forcibly tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman today in Encinitas.  The suspects drove an older black pickup truck with orange horizontal stripes near the fenders and gardening gear in the truck bed. 

After she was pulled into the truck, the victim reportedly punched the driver and bit another suspect before fleeing to a nearby home for help.

The driver is described as a heavy-set Hispanic man, age 30-40.  A young Hispanic or white male with a thin build, possibly a juvenile, got out of the passenger side and ordered the victim to get in the truck, then pulled her in when she refused.  Another passenger has a thin build and is believed to be Hispanic, age 25-35.

FISCAL CLIFF DEAL APPROVED BY CONGRESS

Update 11:15 p.m. - The Senate has approved the deal 89-8.  The House vote, up next, will not occur tonight.

Update January 2, 2013:  The House approved the Senate version Jan. 1 with no changes.  The President later signed the measure into law.

December 31, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- It's now past midnight in Washington D.C., where Senate leaders in both parties and President Obama have reached a tentative agreement on a deal to avert the worst of the "fiscal cliff" impacts.  Though no vote was taken prior to the midnight year-end deadline, because tomorrow is a federal holiday, the worst of the impacts can yet be avoided if Congress takes action soon.  However the measure is expected to face opposition in the House, which Republicans control.

 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WHAT DOES AN ACTUAL GAS "PEAKER" PLANT LOOK LIKE?

January 2, 2013 (Otay)--“Look out, Santee, here’s your future,” Tom Lemon writes, referring to the Quail Brush gas-fired peaker power plant proposed just outside of Mission Trails Regional Park. Curious to see what a peaker plant actually looks like – not just in drawings prepared by the developer—Lemon ventured to Otay Mesa, where a gas-fired peaker plant recently opened.  Note: Peaker plants run intermittently to fill demand at peak power usage times. These photos were taken when the plant was not fired up. When in operation, the facility would include emissions visible from the smokestacks.

RENO DISPATCH: WEST SIDE STORY: THE GREATEST HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME EVER PLAYED?

January 2, 2013 (San Diego) – Talk about your Friday Night Lights. It was 35 years ago that arguably the greatest high school football game in America was played, and the greatest high school rivalry was born. And the game wasn't played in Texas. Or California. It was played in Central Iowa.

The game in 1977 between the Valley Tigers and the Dowling Maroons, both of West Des Moines, Iowa, was epic. It created a high school rivalry that USA TODAY recently called one of the greatest in the nation. Well, I say it is the best in the nation.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/12/west-side-story-greatest-hig...

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND

 

December 31, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- A blanket of snow envelops our local mountains and rural areas this New Year's Eve. Melody Ponchot arose early to snap sunrise photos as the morning's first rays illuminate snow dusting trees across her ranch in Boulevard (left, right, and below, right)

Julie Salmons also sent in an image of the Laguna mountains (below, left), viewed from Descanso, wearing a crown of winter white.

PASSAGES: JOHN MARTES, CO-PRESIDENT, EAST COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CLUB

Update: A memorial service is scheduled for January 5 in El Cajon. Details below.

December 27, 2012 (El Cajon) -- East County Democratic Club co-president John Martes passed after a year-long battle with lung cancer last night at his home in El Cajon. His wife of 40 years, Gloria Martes, and two daughters, Natalie and Leslie, were at his side.

 An accountant/controller at John A. Martes and Associates educated at the University of San Diego, Martes twice ran for the Cajon Valley School District Board and was also a candidate for the El Cajon City Council. 

FISCAL CLIFF LOOMS AS YEAR END DEADLINE DRAWS NEAR

How will failure of Congress to halt fiscal cliff impact you?

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – If Congress fails to agree by the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, automatic spending cuts of 8-9% across the board will take place as required through sequestration in both domestic programs and Defense.  That could cut the deficit by half, but theCongressional Budget office warns this could trigger recession as steep  tax hikes take effect along with spending cuts. It’s not just the rich who will feel the pinch—in fact middle class and low income earners would face severe economic impacts.

San Diego's biotech industry, military and Border Patrol offices are all bracing for potential painful cuts.

The deficit currently stands at $1.1 trillion, the lowest since 2008 but still a daunting figure that both sides seek to reduce, but with vastly different approaches.

LEARN CPR GUIDELINES AT THE ALPINE WOMAN’S CLUB LUNCHEON JANUARY 15

December 30, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Woman’s Club is holding its next monthly luncheon on January 15 at 12 p.m. at 2156 Alpine Blvd., Alpine.  The program will feature Carlette Anderson, the Club’s President and co-owner of Save-A-Heart, the CPR Pros, sharing the new guidelines for CPR and demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver.

PRINCESS STORY TIME: THE “FAIREST IN THE LAND” VISIT ALPINE LIBRARY DEC 26

December 30, 2012 (Alpine)--Twas the Day after Christmas, and all through the Alpine Library, beautiful Pageant princesses appeared wearing formal gowns and tiaras. Each took a turn reading a Princess story to the preschoolers, who were mesmerized by the glitter and glam.

 

 

Photo Caption: L-R: Kamryn Hill, Pre-Teen Miss San Diego County; Alyssa Rosales, Junior Miss San Diego County; Dahna Bennet, Miss Teen San Diego County, and Jessica Jennings,Miss  Jr. Teen San Diego County &Miss  Jr. Teen California.

FIRST DAY HIKE AT PALOMAR MOUNTAIN STATE PARK JAN. 1 CANCELLED

January 1, 2013 - First Day Hike was cancelled due to weather.

December 30, 2012 (San Diego) – Palomar Mountain State Park’s First Day Hike to welcome the New Year is January 1 at 9 a.m.  The hike will begin at the Doane Pond parking lot and start out on the heavily canopied Doane Valley Trail heading towards the meadows of French Valley.

SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF IPSSA PRESENTS A $7,000 DONATION TO OPERATION HOMEFRONT- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN SUPPORT OF OUR TROOPS

December 30, 2012 (San Diego)-Michael Anderson, President o f Independent Pool and Spa Service Association ( IPSSA San Diego), recently presented Karla Winter-Schulz, President of Support the Enlisted Project ( S.T.E.P.) with a $7,000.00 charitable contribution. S.T.E.P. is the local branch of Operation Homefront, dedicated to assist servicemen and women and their families in many areas of need.

BELLUS ACADEMY PARTNERS WITH CW FOR “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL”: CASTING JAN. 5 FOR REALITY TV SHOW

December 30, 2012 (San Diego)--Bellus Academy is adding “national television show partner” to its long list of accomplishments, innovations and top-tier resources. On Saturday, Jan. 5, the beauty and wellness school will partner with The CW Television Network to host an open casting call for supermodel Tyra Banks’ reality competition, “America’s Next Top Model (ANTM).”

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL FOUNDATION APPOINTS NEW MEMBERS TO 2013 BOARD OF GOVERNORS

December 30, 2012 (La Mesa)--The Grossmont Hospital Foundation recently appointed three new members – Harry Ellison, M.D., Lew Silverberg and Philip Szold, M.D. – to its 2013 Board of Governors. Each appointee serves a three-year term, which began October 1, 2012.

The Grossmont Hospital Foundation Board of Governors mission is to establish policy for the Foundation, determine its fundraising priorities, and support Sharp Grossmont Hospital in developing high-quality, accessible and affordable inpatient and outpatient services to the residents of San Diego’s East County community.

POLICE OFFICER SERIOUSLY INJURED IN SANTEE CRASH WITH ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2012 (Santee) – A San Diego Police officer sustained serious injuries when a pickup truck traveling at a high speed collided with a patrol car. The crash occurred at 2:28 a.m. at the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and State Route 125.  The driver of the truck, who was also injured has been charged with suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The pickup truck was driving northbound on State Route 25 when it collided with the patrol car, knocking both vehicles off the road and onto the shoulder on northbound Mission Gorge Road. 

“Fire Department personnel used rescue equipment to cut and pry the car open to extricate the officer,” said Sgt. D. Hale with the San Diego Sheriff.

DROPPING THE BALL: VIEJAS BEGINS 4-DAY NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION, NEW YORK-STYLE

 

View video of countdown and ball drop:  click here or scroll down.

December 30, 2012 (Alpine)--Thousands of people looking to get a jump on their New Year's Eve celebrations gathered at Viejas Casino Friday night.

Friday marked the start of a four-day New Year's Celebration at Viejas Casino. Each night, including New Year's Eve, New York City's Times Square is re-created at Viejas Casino, including a massive, 700-pound New Year's Ball that drops at midnight, with a countdown and fireworks to ring in the new year.

Each night, the party is free and features New York-style food, drink specials, free music and dancing to the local band Rising Star and DJs all night. And each night from now until December 31, at 9pm, a Porsche Boxster will be given away on the Viejas Casino floor.

SAN DIEGAN FILES SUIT OVER SMART METER HEALTH ISSUES

December 29, 2012 (San Diego)—A federal lawsuit has been filed by Celeste Deborah Cooney, who alleges that radiation from a bank of smart meters left her unable to reside in her home. Defendants in the suit include the SDG&E,  the State of California, Attorney General Kamala Harris, California Public Utilities chairman Mi chael Peevey, and Itron Inc., manufacturer of smart meters used in San Diego.

Cooney, a former bank vice president in Massachusetts, moved to San Diego to pursue a new career as a musician.  She performed at prominent locations including the Queen Mary and the Ritz Carlton.  But in April 2011, she developed a ringing in her ears, a “shock to her heart”, numbness, chest pain, heart palpitations and sleep problems that she attributes to a bank of smart meters at an apartment complex near her home in La Jolla.

EAST COUNTY RESIDENT APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR EDMUND G. BROWN TO THE CA BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS

December 29, 2012 (Sacramento)--On December 21, 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the appointment of Frank Ruffino to the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Ruffino, 49, of El Cajon, is the Community Partnership Manager at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. Also, Ruffino serves as the Vice President for Governmental Affairs for the Association of California State Supervisors, and is a member of the California State Employees Association Board of Directors.

WRONG-WAY DRUNK DRIVER KILLS MOTORIST IN SANTEE

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

December 29, 2012 (Santee)—Jayme Midland, 25, was killed when the Volkswagen Beetle he was driving on State Route 52 was struck head-on by a Chevy pickup truck driving on the wrong side of the highway. 

The woman driving the truck suffered moderate injuries.  After treatment at Sharp Memorial hospital, she was arrested for gross vehiclular manslaughter while intoxicated. She has been booked into the Las Colinas Detention Facility, according to the California Highway Patrol.

 Midland,  a resident of Clairemont, was declared dead at the scene. The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. on eastbound 52, just east of Mast Boulevard in Santee.

PLANE CRASH KILLS 3 IN POWAY

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10  News

Update 12/30/12:  The Medical Examiner has released the names of the victims, all from Phoenix. They are William Arthur Stern Jr.,, 65, his wife, Jennifer Jane Stern, 53, and their daughter, Katelyn Jane Stern, 19,

December 29, 2012 (Lakeside) –All three occupants are dead following  a l plane that crashed this morning west of State Route 67 off Slaughterhouse Canyon Road in Poway, IPN reports.

According to ECM news partner 10 News, the home-built plane was a Lancair IV-P model that is no longer in production.  The plane had taken off from Montgomery Field in San Diego en route to Phoenix, Arizona, when it went down in the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: DOE, A DEER

 

 

December 29, 2012 (Cuyamaca) -- While driving through Rancho Cuyamaca State Park last week, ECM editor Miriam Raftery spotted several groups of deer grazing in the sun-dappled woods, including this doe, which paused to pose for a picture-perfect moment.

The best time to see deer is in the last hour before sundown; this photo was taken shortly before 4 p.m. just two days after the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: MOON HALO

December 29, 2012 (Mount Helix) -- "Ring around the moon, rain is coming soon," according to an old saying. There is truth to the statement, since a halo around the moon is caused by high cirrus clouds and a reflection off millions of ice crystals high up in the atmosphere that creates this irridescent rainbow-like effect.  Moon halos were seen by many people across the eastern U.S. before Hurricane Sandy, for example.

ECM editor Miriam Raftery took this photo last night from Mount Helix--and sure enough, rain is forecast for today and tomorrow.

LET IT SNOW! STORM TO BLANKET MOUNTAINS DOWN TO 4,000 FEET

December 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County ) -  A storm moving through our region today and tomorrow is expected to bring rain and in mountain areas, snow.  By tomorrow, snow is forecast to drop down to 4,000 feet—low enough to include Julian and  Lake Cuyamaca—popular destinations for families seeking to frolic in the snow.

Gusty winds are also forecast in mountains and on desert slopes late Sunday. The storm system is expected to move east and out of our county on Monday,  so if you’re planning a trip to the mountains it’s best to wait until after the weekend.

WHAT YOU’RE READING: EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S MOST READ STORIES IN 2012

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Thanks to technology, we can track exactly how many people click open each story on our site. This year’s results are surprising and bemusing, revealing a lot about our readers.

Some results were predictable; you showed strong interest in big energy projects and local politics. But we’re baffled as to how an article on a drum therapy class in El Cajon attracted 36,000 reads worldwide, or why a political sex scandal drew far more readers than coverage of the presidential election. We learned that our readers care about wildlife, hiking, and our environment. Many of you want to preserve social safety nets and civil liberties. Plus a whole lot of you wanted to find the best holiday party in East County!

Here are this year’s most read stories—and some lessons that we've learned:

BAYLOR BEATS UCLA 49-26 AT BRIDGEPOINT HOLIDAY BOWL

 

Story by David Lissek

Photos provided by www.JM2-Group.com

December 28, 2012 (San Diego) – Thursday’s 35th anniversary of the Holiday Bowl was sponsored by Bridgepoint Education and celebrated with Baylor University’s Bears winning in a runaway game over the 17th ranked UCLA Bruins.

The Holiday Bowl was played at Qualcomm Stadium and highlighted contending NCAA teams from the Pacific-12 against the Big 12 Conference. UCLA entered the contest slightly favored but heavily represented by its supportive Southern California fan & alumni base. Unfortunately for the Bruins, neither proved helpful.

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