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

DANGEROUS TOY CAN BE LIFE-THREATENING: DUNECRAFT RECALLS WATER BALZ, SKULLS, ORBS AND FLOWER TOYS DUE TO SERIOUS INGESTION HAZARD

Toys expand 400 times in size, causing blockage in intestine if swallowed



December 18, 2012 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada today announced a voluntary recall of Water Balz, Growing Skulls, H20 Orbs "Despicable Me" and Fabulous Flowers toys imported by Dunecraft, Inc.

About 94,700 of the toys have been sold in the U.S. at major retail stores, internet sites and other locations, as well as 600 sold in Canada.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SYMPATHY SHOULD GO TO VICTIMS, NOT TO JILLIAN HANSON-COX

By Councilman Gary Kendrick

I have been very saddened by the discovery that my fellow El Cajon City Council Member, Jillian Hanson-Cox, was not the person I thought she was. I had always seen Jillian as a very warm-hearted, caring and honest individual.  The documents now on file in the federal district court convincingly show that she is just the opposite.

SHOULD SDG&E BE ALLOWED TO DOUBLE SMART METER OPT OUT FEES? CPUC TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING TUESDAY, DEC. 18 IN SAN CLEMENTE

December 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Flooded with complaints from ratepayers, the California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public meeting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in San Clemente on whether to allow SDG&E to impose a hefty fee hike for customers who want to opt out of having smart meters on their homes.

Susan Brinchman of La Mesa, director and founder of the Center for Electrosmog Prevention, has led efforts to stop the fee hikes.  “Come join us to protest and speak out about smart meter opt-out fees in front of the CPUC judge making decisions on fees and whether to DOUBLE the opt-out fees,” she wrote in an e-mail to ECM. “We need speakers.”

FROST ADVISORY ISSUED

December 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory in effect from 10 p.m. tonight, with frost likely again Thursday night.  The warning includes San Diego County valleys, desert areas and wind-sheltered locations west of the mountains.

Damage to sensitive plants is likely when frost occurs, so sensitive plants should be covered to protect them.

AZTECS TO TACKLE COUGARS IN POINSETTIA GAME THURSDAY AT QUALCOMM

December 19, 2012 (San Diego) – Tomorrow night’s Poinsettia Bowl game between the San Diego State University Aztecs and the Brigham Young University Cougars will be the 36th meeting between the two teams—and the first since BYU’s final season in the Mountain West in 2010.

Kick-off sis at 5 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium for this year’s Poinsettia Bowl, sponsored by the San Diego County Credit Union.

ALPINE FIRE DEPARTMENT COLLECTING TOYS & GIFT CARDS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

December 17, 2012 (Alpine)--The Alpine Fire District will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for our local families who have fallen on hard times. Throughout the years, your generous donations have brought great joy to many children. The toy barrel is inside the foyer at the fire station located at 1364 Tavern Road. Please stop by and fill the barrel so we can brighten the holidays for the children of our community.

MEDIA WATCHDOG: HOW MEDIA CONSOLIDATION AND CORPORATE CONTROL OF MEDIA—ESPECIALLY RADIO—HURTS DEMOCRACY

By guest columnist Jennifer Douglas, Save KLSD film writer/co-producer

December 17, 2012 (San Diego)--As we celebrate the holidays and ring out 2012, it’s also time to pay attention what is happening right now with ownership of the mass media. Sad to say, the mood is more Scrooge-like than reflecting the spirit of Santa or Jesus. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to deregulate the media--and San Diego’s very own media mogul, U-T owner/developer Doug Manchester, may buy-up even more media outlets.

READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO STOP THE 7-ELEVEN LIQUOR LICENSE

By Tom Myers

December 17, 2012 (Alpine)--Are you opposed to 7-Eleven selling beer, wine and spirits in the heart of Alpine? Do you think three liquor stores within walking distance of each other are too many? You can do something about it!

On December 3 the applicant, 7-Eleven, Inc., posted the required ABC notice on the fence at the corner of West Victoria and Alpine Blvd. This started the 30-day public comment period for transferring the liquor license from the Ranch Market to the proposed 7-Eleven at this new location. We believe moving this license will cause an undue concentration of licenses in the center of Alpine by clustering three off-sale license establishments within 600 feet of each other.

A BRIGHT DAY FOR BRITTANY

By Nick Pellegrino, East County Sports

December 17, 2012 (El Cajon) —Just like all of her classmates, Brittany Wnek grew up going to school, participating in a variety of school activities and sports -- just being an everyday kid.

Then one day she found her life consumed with hospital appointments, CT scans and MRI's, chemo, radiation and many surgeries.

NEIGHBORHOOD NATIONAL BANK REACHES 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Neighborhood National Bank committed to serving low-moderate income census tracts for more than a decade 

December 17, 2012 (San Diego)—Neighborhood National Bank has reached its 15th anniversary as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The bank will celebrate its 15 year anniversary all-day open houses at each of its branch locations throughout the day on December 19, 2012. Guests are welcome to stop by any of the branches during business hours (9:00a.m.-5:00p.m.) for light refreshments and treats. 

BOOK REVIEW: OBAMA TALKS BACK

Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – a Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders, by Gregory J. Reed, Esq., (Amber Books, Phoenix, Arizona, 2012, 294 pages).

Update: Obama Talks Back has received an NAACP Image Award nomination for literature. The winner will be announced live on TV from Hollywood February 1, 2013.

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 17, 2012 (San Diego)--Gregory J. Reed, Esq., CEO and Founder of Keeper of the Word Foundation, has written a poignant and heartfelt book that resonates with me for a number of reasons: Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders.

FBI LAUNCHES NEW WANTED BANK ROBBERS WEBSITE

Nationwide bank robber website - bankrobbers.fbi.gov

December 19, 2012 (San Diego)--Bank robbers last year walked away from federally insured banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, and armored trucks with more than $38 million in cash, according to the last full year of FBI bank crime statistics. In one in five cases, the money was recovered. In the unsolved  cases,  surveillance  images  of  suspects  were  often  posted  online—on  FBI  wanted posters and elsewhere—to enlist the public’s help.

To further that effort, the FBI has launched a new Wanted Bank Robbers website at bankrobbers.fbi.gov, the first national system of its kind.

ORIGINS OF MAN REVEALED THROUGH DREAMS IN SCI-FI FANTASY NOVEL: QUANTUM LOVE GENE

The Quantum Love Gene, by Raymond J. Pilon (Choice MaKer Productions, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2009, 136 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 15, 2012 (San Diego)--The Quantum Love Gene by Raymond J. Pilon has been described as possibly a hotter product than Avatar, and after reading this spellbinding fantasy science fiction novel, I am inclined to agree. The book is based on dreams, which the author’s wife describes as “automatic handwriting.” It incorporates many of the aspects of Avatar, as well as some of those in Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

The premise of Pilon’s book is that we are all “Spirit Beings” and that we evolved from an ancient alien civilization called the Pleiadians that actually traveled to earth and inhabited our planet some 26,000 years ago. Pilon is a master story-teller in how he weaves together the mysteries of Stonehenge, the pyramids, the most intriguing crop circles, and many other unexplainable structures.

THIS IS NOT THE MAYAN CALENDAR

By Mayan Avitable

December 15, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--With all of the news surrounding the Mayan Apocalypse supposedly taking place on December 21, 2012, one aspect of the coverage has been glaringly incorrect. The graphic above has been used as an example of the Mayan Calendar. It is not. It is the Aztec Calendar. In fact, the Mayan Calendar is much more complicated.

The Mayans used a combination of three calendars: Haab, Tzolkin, and the Calendar Round. The Mayan calendar of 365 days is called Haab.  It is divided into 18 months of 20 days, each with a period of 5 days left over at the end of the year. This short 5 day month Uayeb was often seen as a dark time.  

COLORADO RIVER BASIN REPORT UNDERSCORES NEED FOR LONG-TERM WATER SOLUTIONS

Water Authority already is diversifying supplies, encouraging conservation

December 15, 2012 (San Diego County)--A new study of the Colorado River Basin’s water future released Wednesday offers the most thorough assessment ever done on the topic and serves as an important framework for meeting water demands in coming decades, officials with the San Diego County Water Authority said.

The study was issued by the seven Colorado River Basin states and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It outlines several strategies to reduce the potential for water shortages on the river system through 2060.

CHP TO ACCEPT NEW OFFICER APPLICATIONS

The law enforcement agency will accept applications for three days only in January

December 15, 2012 (Sacramento)--The California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced today that it will accept applications in January from individuals interested in a career as a CHP officer.

“This is an opportunity to serve alongside some of California’s finest who provide the highest level of safety, service and security throughout the state,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “A career with a law enforcement agency like the CHP offers unlimited opportunities for someone who is looking for a challenge.”

ENGINEERING WITH LEGOS® WINTER CAMP FOR AGES 7 – 12 YEARS

December 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Become a Play-Well Engineer! Students explore concepts in physics, architecture, mechanical and structural engineering, from Gear Cars to Battletracks. The engineer-designed curriculum challenges new and returning students to reach higher level of engineering comprehension while having fun.

Camp meets four days, Monday, December 31 through Friday, January 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Camp will not meet on Tuesday, January 1. Over 1000,000 pieces of LEGOS® are used. Campers should bring a snack and water bottle each day, everything else is provided at camp. This camp is not affiliated with the LEGO® Group.

FATALITY TRUCK CRASH KILLS PASSENGER IN LA MESA

December 15, 2012 (La Mesa) – A passenger has died after being ejected from a truck that collided with a raised concrete wall on the elevated ramp from westbound I-8 to southbound State Route 125 in La Mesa. According to CHP Officer Brian Pennings, the driver “failed to maintain control due to his unsafe speed for current conditions” on a rain-slicked roadway.

The 2000 GMC box-style truck driven by Jaime Espinoza, 32, of San Diego was propelled across both lanes after striking a concrete wall, then smashed again into another concrete wall on the shoulder. The force of the second collision propelled the right front passenger through the windshield and onto southbound SR-125 below.

TWO HIKERS RESCUED ON EL CAJON MOUNTAIN

December 15, 2012 (Lakeside) – The San Diego Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team performed a hoist rescue last night to save two hikers off El Cajon (El Capitan) Mountain in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley area.

“The hikers reported that they were lost, cold, wet and unprepared for the cold weather,” Sgt. Mike Forbes with the Santee Sheriff Patrol Station reports.

STORM TO HIT REGION ON TUESDAY

December 17, 2012 (San Diego) – A cold front is predicted to sweep through the county on Tuesday, with moderate to heavy rain and snow accumulating above 4500 feet. Dense fog will make travel difficult in mountain areas at night, the National Weather Service warns. In addition, a wind advisory is in effect for inland valley areas.

The weather is expected to improve Thursday through Saturday, though another storm is possible next Sunday or Monday—and with it, the prospect of a white Christmas for East County’s mountain communities.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: BLOTTO PILOT (FLIGHT)

Doing some catch-up on films I’ve missed.

By Brian Lafferty

December 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Every now and then someone writes to Dear Abby, saying his friend or relative is addicted to alcohol and drugs.  The friend thinks nothing is wrong with him, but doesn’t realize the damage his addiction is causing to his relationship with his friends, family, and significant other.  Invariably, all Abby can advise the writer is that – as much as he’d like to believe otherwise – he can't change or rescue his friend or loved one from their problem.  Only the friend can change and, unless he admits he has a problem, there’s nothing that anyone can do.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CLERK SERVED 116 COUPLES ON A “ONCE IN A LIFETIME WEDDING DATE”

December 16, 2012 (San Diego)--This year many couples tied the knot on 12.12.12, a once in a century wedding date. The date is popular across the globe. 12.12.12 is the last of the repeating dates until January 1, 2101 and is also popular because it is an easy date to remember.

Assessor/Recorder/Commissioner of Civil Marriages, Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr., announced that all couples that who wished to obtain a wedding license or get married were served on that special day.

SANTEE DEDICATES NEWLY ACQUIRED SAN DIEGO RIVER PROPERTY AS FUTURE PUBLIC TRAIL AND PARKWAY SITE

December 14, 2012 (Santee) -- The city of Santee dedicated on Tuesday, December 11 a 107-acre open space parcel along the San Diego River as a future public trail and parkway at a ceremony located at the 9600 block of Magnolia Avenue.

The event marked the transfer of the property from private to public ownership, a project spearheaded by the San Diego River Conservancy that was four years in the making.

“The San Diego River Conservancy is proud to have been the catalyst for the conservation of the Walker Property,” said Mike Nelson, executive officer for the San Diego River Conservancy. “It is a remarkable addition to a river park that will someday extend from the Cuyamaca Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

6.3 QUAKE OFF MEXICO COAST RATTLES SAN DIEGO COUNTY

December 14, 2012 (San Diego)—Residents across San Diego County were awakened at 2:36 a.m. by a 6.3 earthquake centered 172 miles to the southwest, off the coast of Mexico.

The quake struck at a depth of seven miles.  Aftershocks have occurred, the strongest measuring 4.7.  No tsunami warnings have been issued.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor occurred due to “shallow normal faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Pacific plate.” 

TROLLEY PASSENGER ROBBED OF CELL PHONE

December 14, 2012 (La Mesa) – Last night at approximately 10:54  p.m., the La Mesa Police Department received a report that a female was robbed of her cell phone at the 70th Street Trolley Station, located at 7255 Alvarado Road in La Mesa. The victim reported to officers that just minutes before, she was traveling on the MTS Trolley Green Line from Fashion Valley to the Grossmont Center Station. 

SDSU STUDENT MARCO FAGOADA DIES OF MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE

Anyone exposed should seek medical treatment; vaccine is available to prevent potentially deadly  infectious disease

December 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Marco Fagoada, a 30-year-old Chula Vista resident enrolled as a graduate student in San Diego State University’s Latin American Studies program, died Monday night from meningococcal disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides, County Health and Human Services reports.

According to the Medical Examiner, Fagoada became ill on Sunday, December 9 and went to a clinc on December 10 with shortness of breath and a high fever. He was transported to Scripps Mercy Chula Vista emergency room, where is suffered cardiorespiratory arrest.  Despite aggressive medical intervention, he was pronounced dead soon after.

JULIAN’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” BRINGS SCROOGE TO LIFE THIS WEEKEND

December 13, 2012 (Julian)--A Julian holiday tradition, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," will be performed this weekend at the Julian Town Hall at 2129 Main Street. Adapted by best-selling novelist Don Winslow and directed by Sandi Bennett, the show will take stage on Thursday Dec. 13, Friday Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15. There will also be a matinee on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Come and enjoy the charm of Christmas in Julian, with spiced cider, apple pie, horse drawn carriages and strolling carolers. And maybe even a visit from St. Nick himself.

WILD WEATHER HITS COUNTY: SNOW IN MOUNTAINS, FLOODING AND ROCKSLIDES ACROSS REGION

By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Following today’s heavy rains, snowfall is forecast to blanket local mountains as low as the 4,000 foot level tonight with several inches of snow at higher elevations. 

Flooding caused several serious accidents, including a semi-truck collision in the Bonita area and a fatal school bus –car collision on I-805.  Normally dry culverts and flood channels in the Mount Helix, Spring Valley and Bonita areas overflowed.

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