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CAL FIRE PROVIDES UPDATE ON FIRES BURNING STATEWIDE

SOMETHING FISHY IN COACHELLA VALLEY

DREW FORD SELLS TO FOREIGN COMPANY FOLLOWING DEATH OF FAMILY PATRIARCH

REP. DUNCAN D. HUNTER TO DEBATE CHALLENGER JAMES KIMBER SEPT. 26

MUSIC TO OUR EARS: ADAMS AVENUE STREET FAIR SEPT. 27-28

PASSAGES: FORMER LMSV SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBER PENNY HALGREN DIES

POWERFUL STORM CELL SOCKS REGION

LA MESA PLANNING COMMISSION TO HEAR REVAMPED PARK STATION PLAN OCT. 1

HURRICANE ODILE HITS BAJA, COULD BRING RAIN TO SAN DIEGO

QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

WILDFIRES SCORCH FEDERAL FORESTS ACROSS PARCHED STATE


BLM RESPONDS TO ECM INQUIRY ON NATIVE AMERICAN REMAINS AT WIND SITES

By Miriam Raftery

July 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – After forensic dog teams identified dozens of potential ancient human remain sites at energy projects on Bureau of Land Management property in Ocotillo and McCain Valley, as ECM reported this week, ECM asked the BLM what steps it intends to take to assure that any Native American remains are protected.

Two officials from the BLM have responded to our inquiry.

EDITORIAL: DON’T LET GOVERNMENT GROUPS HIDE THEIR AGENDAS

Take these steps to restore Brown Act protections at state and local levels

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Criticism is mounting over the state’s suspension of Brown Act protections, which have long required local government boards to provide at least 72 hours public notice of meeting agendas.

After some agencies submitted inflated bills to the state for reimbursement of notification costs, the Legislature recklessly suspended public notice requirements to save money--giving public agencies a license to hide their agendas.

ECM has invoked the Brown Act to force local boards to postpone meetings and reverse actions after they failed to provide notice required by the Brown Act. Any individual or media outlet that has requested to be notified of a board’s meetings has a right to do the same.

What’s being done to restore open government protections—and how can you help?

BUSINESS SPARKLES AS NOTED JEWELER EXPANDS IN EAST COUNTY

July 20, 2012 (El Cajon) –Three decades ago, Leo Hamel of Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers opened his first jewelry store on El Cajon Boulevard.  Now the successful businessman has returned to his historic roots, opening his eighth store, Leo Hamel Jewelry Buyers Office, in downtown El Cajon.
"Diamonds were once considered to be a girl's best friend, but now men and women alike are flocking to the precious stone," says Hamel. "The hardest stone in the world is now more rare than ever, which makes it even more of a luxury accessory and a solid investment." 

2ND ANNUAL WATERMELON DAYS AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY JULY 21 & 22

July 15, 2012 (Ramona) -- Here’s a juicy story: the Oasis Camel Dairy will host  its second annual Watermelon Days on July 21 & 22 from 1:00 to  3:30 p.m. at 26757 Old Julian Hwy in Ramona.  Festivities include feeding watermelon to the camels, camel rides, an exotic bird show featuring talking and singing parrots and tours of the camel dairy.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 

 
July 19, 2012 --  (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:  
 
 
 
 
 
 
LOCAL
  • Special report: water supplies pass tipping point (UT San Diego)
  • Ramona’s original horses come home (Ramona Patch)
  • San Diego County’s wildlife killers (Voice of San Diego)
  • Heartland Fire Chief steps down (La Mesa Today)
  • Unclaimed funds being held by county (10 News)
  • 15-year-old Santee driver in fatal SR 52 crash sentenced to one year
  • A costly, cranky day for La Mesa (La Mesa Today)
  • La Mesa’s $1.9 million payment to state could be cut in half, says city manager (La Mesa Patch)
 
STATE
  • California Health Exchange seeks to make buying insurance a breeze (Sacramento Bee)
  • Lawmakers seek state parks investigation (Sacramento Bee) 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

SR 905 TO OPEN TO TRAFFIC

 
New Freeway Will Ease Flow of Commerce from/to Otay Mesa Border Crossing
 
July 19, 2012 (Otay Mesa) -- State Route 905, a newly-built highway designed to accommodate the growing volume of trucks carrying goods between the United States and Mexico, will open to motorists July 30. A grand opening celebration was held today on the freeway that connects the Otay Mesa Port of Entry – the only commercial crossing between San Diego and Tijuana – to the rest of the highway system.

SAN DIEGO’S PHIL’S BBQ WINS TRAVEL CHANNEL’S BEST WEST COAST SANDWICH

 
Phil’s BBQ El Toro tri-tip sandwich takes one of ten regional titles to advance to the final round
 
July 19, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Phil’s BBQ was named the West Coast Regional Winner of the Travel Channel show “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.” Phil’s El Toro tri-tip sandwich is one of ten regional winners that will move on to the final round of judging, where one sandwich will be named Best Sandwich in America.  There’s good news for East County foodies:  Phil’s BBQ will be coming to Santee this fall. (Here’s a clip of the Phil’s BBQ segment.)

NEW HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATOR JOINS GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

 
17-year veteran of labor and employee relations named vice chancellor
 
 July 19, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Victoria Simmons, a consultant and community college administrator specializing in labor relations and human resources for 17 years, is the new vice chancellor of human resources for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
 
Simmons, who was hired after a nationwide search, began working at the college district July 1. She has experience in labor and employee relations, recruitment, equal employment opportunity compliance, staff development and training, classification, compensation, workers’ compensation and other human resources issues.
 

OVERTURNED TRASH TRUCK SNARLS TRAFFIC ON HIGHWAY 94 IN LEMON GROVE

 

July 19, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – A SIG ALERT has been issued for eastbound Highway 94, where an overturned trash truck is blocking access to northbound SR-125.

“It was an EDCO trash truck laying on its side with its wheels pointed south,” El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, who drove past the incident moments ago.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SNOWFALL AT MCCAIN VALLEY

July 19, 2012 (McCain Valley) – Tom Klimek of Lemon Grove shared these photos that he took of McCain Valley “as few have seen it,” blanketed in snow, isolated in its pristine beauty.

“On March 18, 2012 I drove to Laguna Mountain and then to McCain to enjoy the late winter storm that brought wind, rain, hail, and snow to the East County,” he wrote. “McCain Valley Road begins at about 3200 feet elevation and rises to 4500 feet near the end of the road. There were no tracks in the snow as me and my son drove all the way to Cottonwood camp.”

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 
July 19, 2012 --  (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 reflecting 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.
  • Drug trial offers hope for Alzheimer’s treatment (USA Today)
  • Worst drought in decades grips nation (Los Angeles Times)
  • Why Democrats are willing to walk off the “fiscal cliff” (Washington Post)
  • Can Obama save manufacturing? (Washington Post)
  • Controversial GOP spending bill released (The Hill)
  • Romney attacks on Bain questioned: Obama campaign accuses Romney of lying about Bain tenure (Boston Globe)
  • Could Obama’s negative attacks on Mitt Romney backfire? (USA Today)
  • NAACP crowd boos Romney for voting to repeal health reform (NBC)
  • Condi Rice a possible VP pick for Romney: pros and cons (CNN)
  • Supreme Court rejects ‘Stolen Valor’ law, says lying about military honors isn’t a crime (McClatchy News)
WORLD
  • Google searching for human traffickers, drug cartels  (Fox)
  • Olympics security shambles is a “humiliating shambles”, boss concedes (CNN)
  • Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches (CNN)
  • Central Damascus hit by clashes (Reuters) 
 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERNS RAISED OVER PLANNERS' TIES TO COGENTRIX LOBBYIST AS VOTE NEARS ON QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 19, 2012 (San Diego)  At  9 a.m. today, the San Diego Planning Commission will hold an important vote to determine whether to rezone open space to industrial land in order to allow a proposed natural gas-fired power plant to be built next to Mission Trails Regional Park.

LA MESA POLICE SEARCHING FOR ROBBERY SUSPECT: ADVISE STAYING INDOORS

 

July 18, 2012 (La Mesa)--La Mesa Police searching the area of La Mesa Blvd. & Grossmont Blvd. near Grossmont Center for a robbery suspect; air support and K9 responding as of 10:20 p.m.  Police advise that you avoid this area. Remain indoors if possible due to K-9 unit searching area. 

The suspect is described as a 24 to 25 year old Hispanic male, 506/thin, wearing blue baseball cap, blue short sleeved shirt with blue long sleeved shirt underneath it, and blue work type pants.

La Mesa Today reports the suspect robbed a Circle K store and used a knife to demand cash from the clerk.

Please contact La Mesa Police with any additional information or a suspect sighting.

LAKESIDE’S RIVER PARK CONSERVANCY RECOGNIZES VOLUNTEERS

July 18, 2012 (Lakeside) – Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy held a Volunteer Appreciation Party on July 14 to thank all the volunteers who have given many hours of support over the years.  The 2011 Volunteer Appreciation Awards were distributed at the party.  The winners are:

FRIDAY NIGHT IS MOVIE NIGHT AT SANTEE LAKES: JULY 20, AUGUST 3 & 17

July 18, 2012 (Santee) – Santee Lakes hosts Friday movie nights this summer.  Bring a blanket or chairs and your picnic and enjoy movies under the stars.  The Friday night lineup includes:

Kung Fu Panda – July 20
Muppets – August 3
Dolphin Tale – August 17

FLETCHER HILLS LIBRARY’S ANNUAL ICE CREAM SOCIAL IS JULY 25

July 18, 2012 (El Cajon) – The Fletcher Hills Library is holding its annual Ice Cream Social on July 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 576 Garfield Avenue, El Cajon.  The Friends of Fletcher Hills Library will be serving up the ice cream.  Firefighters with Heartland Fire and Rescue in El Cajon will be stopping by as well.

For more information call 619-466-1132.

BRUSH FIRE DOUSED IN LA MESA

A brush fire that began near High Street at Buena Vista Avenue in La Mesa tonight briefly threatened homes and sent smoke billowing up that was visible on SR-94.  The fire was quickly doused by Heartland Fire, however High Street is closed for mop-up. 

SUPERVISORS APPROVE GILLESPIE FIEILD REDEVELOPMENT DESPITE NEIGHBORS CONCERNS

                                         

By Ariele Johannson

July 16, 2012 (El Cajon)—San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted on June 20 to approve the  Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) allowing redevelopment of 70 acres at Gillespie Field Airport from light industrial to aviation-only usage. 

WE NEED TO KEEP OPEN MEETING RULES

 

July 17, 2012 (San Diego)--The Brown Act is the state’s open meeting law that requires local governments to prepare and post agendas for public meetings and disclose decisions made in closed meetings. The state will reimburse the entities required to comply with the Brown Act for the costs associated with these requirements because they are considered to be a state mandate.

When the state budget was adopted, the money to reimburse those costs was cut from the budget. Since the requirement to post meeting agendas is considered a mandate, and the mandate was suspended, so was the requirement to continue posting public meeting agendas.

Open meetings would mean little without public notice of where and when they are scheduled and what business is to be addressed, or if actions taken after deliberation in closed session were never to be revealed.

DOG TEAMS SEARCH FOR NATIVE AMERICAN REMAINS IN MCCAIN VALLEY , OCOTILLO AND JACUMBA

 

Canines identify dozens of sites in path of wind and power line projects

 

Wind developers “cooperate” with tribes on searches-- but SDG&E refuses to allow dogs on its ECO-Substation site

 

 

Story by Miriam Raftery

Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott, Miriam Raftery, and Jim Pelley

July 18, 2012 (McCain Valley) – Weaving across cactus-studded terrain in McCain Valley, Piper, a border collie trained to find ancient human remains, pauses to sniff the ground.  Ears erect, he sits, alerting handler Lynne Engelbert, who records the GPS coordinates. (Click video to view.) Minutes later, Piper’s find is independently confirmed by a second search dog.

TEACHER’S AIDE ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES IN LA MESA

 
July 17, 2012 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Police yesterday arrested Chrystina Delrosario, a teacher's aide at Reflections Central School, for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old male student. 
 
Officials at the school notified the police department after receiving information that the student may have had sex with the teacher’s aide. The patrol officer was assisted by detectives, who conducted the preliminary investigation. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: SOHO SUES TO SAVE BALBOA PARK – PUBLIC HELP IS NEEDED

 
By Helen Ofield, President Lemon Grove Historical Society
 
On July 9, in shocking disregard for 100 years of citizens' efforts to preserve Balboa Park and for their constituents' pleas to reject the Jacobs Plan -- pleas made over more than six hours of testimony -- the San Diego City Council voted 6 - 1 in favor of the costly, destructive Jacobs Plan.  The lone holdout and sole voice for the people was Sherri Lightner (sherrilightner@sandiego.gov), who showed leadership in her elected duty to protect and serve the public.  By contrast, her colleagues on the council caved to Jacobs/Sanders machine in an embarrassing display of forelock-tugging toadyism. 

FRONT AND CENTER: ANOTHER ASSAULT LOOMING FOR COMBAT VETS

 
By Rick Rogers
DefenseTracker.com
 
July 18, 2012 (San Diego) -- One war is over while another winds down.
 
A more important fight looms at home.
 
I’m not talking about troops wrestling with Post-Traumatic Stress, but battling unscrupulous predators mining GI Bill gold while delivering nothing but penniless pockets and sour futures.

SDG&E AND FOREST SERVICE PRESERVE SENSITIVE WATERSHED HABITAT

 
July 18, 2012 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the U.S. Forest Service have collaborated to preserve and protect 266 acres of sensitive habitat immediately adjacent to Cedar Creek Falls in the San Diego River watershed.  The land is now National Forest System land donated by SDG&E.
 
This critical watershed habitat is home to 26 sensitive or endangered wildlife species and twice as many sensitive to endangered plant species. Species include the endangered arroyo toad which relies on sandy streambeds and chaparral as well as the Least Bell’s vireo, a migratory songbird that nests in the poison oak and other brush that grows in the San Diego River watershed.

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: FLASH FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

 

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine “In-House” Fire Chief
July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--We are in our summer “monsoon season” which can quickly and unexpectedly bring flash floods.More people lose their LIVES in floods than in any other weather-related event. 80% of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake - trying to navigate through flood waters.

VALUE, COST, & PRICE: THE THREE KEYS TO BUYING YOUR NEW HOME

 
By Megan Gates
 
July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--When purchasing a home, it's important to "become an educated buyer," as Dottie Herman frequently advises. Aside from having a finalized budget in place and knowing how much home you can afford, one of the first steps any potential homebuyer should take is to hire a real estate broker who understands your needs and is knowledgeable of the area and homes in which you're interested. The broker will guide you through the real estate transaction and help you make informed decisions.

ALLIED GARDENS’ SUMMER POPS CONCERT IS JULY 22

July 17, 2012 (San Diego) – The Summer Pops Concert featuring Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra and presented by Springfest is July 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Allied Gardens Recreation Center, 5155 Greenbrier Ave., San Diego. 

KADERABEK WITHDRAWS NOMINATION; ALPINE PLANNING GROUP SEEKS NEW APPLICANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2012 (Alpine)—The Alpine Community Planning Group is seeking new applicants to fill a vacancy for seat 14.  All interested applicants are encouraged to come to the ACPG meeting on July 26 at 6 p.m. on the Alpine Community Center.

The Planning Group previously nominated Charles Kaderabek  for the position. But APCG Chair Greg Fox  told ECM tonight, “Mr. Kaderabek had contacted me and withdrew his name for consideration.”

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