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

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

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

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS HOLD NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATES

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: FOLLYWOOD (HAIL, CAESAR!)

FIRST “FLOWERS IN THE MOUNTAINS” GARDEN TOUR BLOOMS MAY 7

RENO DISPATCH: BOB FILNER THANKFULLY RESIGNS, BUT TROUBLING QUESTIONS LINGER

 

 

By Jamie Reno

August 20, 2013 (San Diego) – I'm sure by now you've read the news that embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is probably resigning. Yes, the greasy pol is apparently out - though some of the details of his pending resignation "deal" are still uncertain. It had to happen. At least 18 very credible women have come forward with specific accounts of Filner's creepy behavior. That he is apparently leaving represents a potentially healing moment for this city, which has taken a major PR hit in recent weeks.

HUNDREDS AT CIVIC CENTER DEMAND MAYOR FILNER RESIGN

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Nadin and Tom Abbott

August 19, 2013 (San Diego)—Hundreds of people came to the Civic Center Plaza yesterday for a “Freedom from Filner” rally.  Michael Pallamary, organizer of an effort to recall the Mayor, spoke about the drive to get 102,000 valid signatures on a recall petition over the next 39 days. 

“We started to gather the signatures at midnight at the Gaslamp,” he said. “The recall will not be involved with any candidate or political party” during the next mayoral race, he added.

100 FILNER SUPPORTERS RALLY AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA FOR THE EMBATTLED MAYOR

 

Leaders in Latino, African-American and Native American communities defend Mayor

By Nadin Abbott

August 19, 2013 (San Diego)—They approached the podium singing “We Shall Overcome,” a classic from the Civil Rights marches of the 1960s.

Enrique Morones, a community activist and supporter of Mayor Bob Filner, led them. Morones started the rally by informing the press that the silent majority “will be silent no longer.” He said that many groups, ranging from labor, to neighborhoods, to veterans and women, were standing together “stopping the public mockery of our judicial system.”

DOGFOOD, CATFOOD RECALLS ON IAMS AND EUKANUBA BRANDS ANNOUNCED BY PROCTER AND GAMBLE

 

August 19, 2013 (San Diego's East County)-- Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has voluntarily recalled a limited number of dry dog food and cat food lots that may be contaminated with Salmonella.  Brands impacted include Eukanuba and Iams. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY RELEASES MASTER PLAN

 

By Nadin Abbott; photo by Jeff Holtz

 

August 18, 2013 (San Diego)—The San Diego County Fire Authority has released a Master Strategic Plan for the next five years. The plan became effective on July 1, 2013 and will remain such until June 30, 2018. You can read the plan here: http://bosagenda.sdcounty.ca.gov/agendadocs/doc?id=09010e9680174b28.

"EDISON HATES SOLAR" VIDEO PARODY SPARKS THREAT OF LEGAL ACTION; LATINO GROUP KEEPS AIRING VIDEO, REFUSES TO BE INTIMIDATED



Group vows to continue fight for solar, reveals lobbying of Latino legislators by utilities industry



August 19, 2013 (Los Angeles)  In response to a letter written by Southern California Edison demanding that a parody video posted on the website www.SaveRooftopSolar.com be removed from YouTube, leaders of Presente.org have refused to remove the video. Instead, they vowed to continue their efforts of exposing Southern California Edison and other energy companies that have lobbied against solar panel initiatives throughout California.

These utility companies have targeted Latino legislators throughout the state in an attempt to abolish solar panel initiatives and to stop working class families from gaining access to this a major form of sustainable energy, the group said. The video titled "Edison hates rooftop solar" released by Presente.org and the Other98.com , satirizes Southern California Edison and the other companies who have taken part in these efforts.

DISABILITIES CHAMPION ALEX MONTOYA, PADRES STAFFER, INSPIRES CROWD AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT

 

By Janis Mork

August 17, 2013 (El Cajon)- Born missing three limbs due to a rare birth defect, Alex Montoya has triumphed over adversity. Now manager of Latino affairs for the San Diego Padres, he met representatives from Cuyamaca College after speaking at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park and was invited to deliver the commencement speech.

Montoya moved here from Columbia when he was 4 years old. “It was absolutely a new world. It was at times scary and at times daunting, but really it was refreshing and exhilarating,” he told ECM. “I realized that there were boundless opportunities.”

He learned English by watching baseball. Montoya is most passionate about baseball because “it’s a very fair and very beautiful sport..I quickly saw that it was America’s past time… [It] was something that really stayed with me my entire life.”

KITCHEN FIRE DAMAGES EL CAJON APARTMENT

 

August 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – At 11:51 p.m. Saturday night, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in El Cajon, with assistance from Cal Fire, responded to reports of a fire in the 3-hundred block of Wisconsin Avenue. As fire crews arrived on scene, smoke was seen coming from apartment #3, at 314 Wisconsin Avenue. 

PASSION PIT TO PERFORM AT SDSU ON OCTOBER 22

August 18, 2013 (San Diego) – A year after the release of their critically-acclaimed sophomore album Gossamer, Passion Pit have announced a massive fall headling tour across North America, including an appearance at the Open Air Theater at SDSU, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego.  The tour will feature special guests The Joy Formidable.

THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE SUNDAY IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

August 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) -- Monsoonal moisture will create a slight chance of thunderstorms over San Diego County mountains and deserts Sunday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service reports. Any thunderstorms that occur will be capable of producing dry lightning, gusty winds, and locally heavy downpours.

TOYOTA PROPOSAL FOR ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD IN SANTEE RAISES OBJECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2013 (Santee) – An environmental group has lodged a formal complaint over a proposed electronic billboard in Santee, contending that the sign violates city laws and further, should require an environmental review.

The LEC-powered video billboard proposed by a Toyota dealership would stand 70 feet tall and be 321 square feet in size.  It would tower above the junction of highways 125 and 52.

PEDESTRIANS ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN LA MESA

 

August 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – Two pedestrians were robbed of their purses in the 8100 block of La Mesa Boulevard on August 14 at 10:05 p.m.  Two suspects approached the victims from behind, and one of the suspects displayed a black handgun. The other suspect was armed with a crowbar.

One of the suspects demanded the victims’ purses. After the victims complied, the suspects fled eastbound La Mesa Boulevard on foot. The victims ran to a nearby residence and called La Mesa Police.

BRUSH FIRE IN LAKESIDE NEAR I-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update 12:35 p.m.:   The fire's spread has been stopped at 6 acres, Cal Fire reports.

Photos by Kristin Kjaero, Elizabeth Gallway, Gloria Duncan and Jeff Holtz

August 17, 2013 (Lakeside) - A five-acre brush fire is burning in Lakeside. The blaze, reported at 11:36 a.m., is near Los Coches Road and Interstate 8 and is spreading at a moderate rate, Cal Fire reports. 

WINE TASTING & MORE THIS WEEKEND AT RAMONA RANCH VINEYARD

 

August 17, 2013 (Ramona) -- Rancho Ranch Vineyard and Winery invites you to visit San Diego's backcountry this weekend and experience why Ramona Valley wines are fast becoming the talk of the wine industry.  The winery, located at 23578 Highway 78, will host wine tastings and catered appetizers on its tasting terrace this Saturday and Sunday from noon to sunset.

In addition, guests can enjoy wine barrel art, shop for silver jewelry, enjoy massages, and treats for your dogs.  Service includes three white and four red wines to choose from. 

SHERIFF'S COMMUNITY FORUM IN LAKESIDE AUGUST 27

 

August 17, 2013 (Lakeside) -- The Santee Sheriff's Station will host a community forum in Lakeside on Tuesday, August 27 at 7 p.m.  The event will be held in the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street, Lakeside.  The Sheriff's Department wants to hear your concerns about public safety and your ideas for creting an action plan for safer communities.

Hear from Captain Lisa Miller, Sheriff's deputies, crime prevention specialists, Lakeside Fire Department, County Animal Control, Commuinties Against Substance Abuse (CASA), and the Lakeside Planning Group.

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED BY EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE AND ASSEMBLYMAN BRIAN JONES

 

 

1st place wildlife photo, Bighorn Ram by Daren Sefcik (left) and 1st place landscape photo, Bridge to Opportunity by Gary Avant (right)

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- We received many amazing images from talented photographers across our region for our photography contest jointly sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Jones and East County Magazine.

 Winners and honorable mentions in landscape and wildlife photographer were selected by judges in Sacramento and San Diego based on aesthetics, composition, and lighting.  All photos were taken in the Assemblyman’s district in San Diego’s East County. 

 The list of winners and their photos are published below. Winning entries will also  be displayed in Assemblyman Jones’ office in the state capitol.  Congratulations to the winners – and to the many talented photographers who submitted entries!

FORMER RAMONA RESIDENT CROWNED MISS TEEN USA; REVEALS "SEXTORTION" THREAT

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2013 (Ramona) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating ""sextortion" threats allegedly made against 19 people including Cassidy Wolf, a former Ramona contestant who won the title Miss Teen USA on Saturday. 

According to NBC Today Show’s website, Wolf said she received an anonymous e-mail several months ago from a blackmailer who claimed to have stolen images from the webcam on her home computer.  The hacker reportedly threatened to publish the images unless Wolf would provide nude photos.

CAMPO GUNFIGHT REENACTMENT AT GOLDEN ACORN AUGUST 24

August 16, 2013 (Campo) – The “Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters” will be putting on a reenactment of the Campo Gunfight at Golden Acorn Casino as part of the casino’s BBQ Cook-off.  The cook-off is a free event and runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The skit’s director and producer, Bryon Harrington will narrate the show. He has authored the novel “Campo the Forgotten Gunfight” and will be signing copies of his book after the show.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: SERVE AND REFLECT (LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Like Forrest Gump, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) views American history from a distance, a bystander swept up in a relentless flurry of major historical events that came to dominate and define the latter 20th century.  Like Forrest Gump, Danny Strong's screenplay - based on the Washington Post article by Wil Haywood - mystifies the civil rights movement, the Kennedy assassination, and the Vietnam War.  As major political figures appear, and landmark events transpire or are referenced, the joy of discovery and realization kicks in at full stop.  And like Forrest Gump, it's full of "easter eggs" masterfully hidden that become uncovered with repeat viewings. 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: TECHNOBABBLE (JOBS)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 16, 2013 (San Diego) – After Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011, Steve Breen - whose political cartoons are always as funny as they are spot-on - paid a more respectful and touching tribute to him.  It showed him, presumably having arrived in Heaven, being welcomed by Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: THE LEAGUE OF ORDINARY SUPERMEN (KICK-ASS 2)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 16, 2013 (San Diego) – Scattered throughout Kick-Ass 2 are the same high-caliber flashes of genius of its predecessor.  Only thing is Kick-Ass had a rich, fully developed screenplay by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn from which to hang them.  Jeff Wadlow's screenplay is otherwise a messy concoction of underdeveloped subplots and gratuitous nasty violence. 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT (THE SPECTACULAR NOW)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Sutter (Miles Teller) is like that friend who has certain annoying tendencies, but you nonetheless love hanging out with.  He's a boisterous young man with an extreme fondness for beer...even though he hasn't yet graduated high school.  He knows how to have a good time, too.  A really good time.  One night he'll be at a party, and then the next morning he'll find himself passed out on a random neighbor's lawn.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: START YOUR ENGINES!

 

By Allison Henderson, apluscollegeconsultants.com

August 15, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The 2013-2014 school year hasn't started yet so why not get a jump on the college application process? CA4, the new Common Application, now accepted by over 500 colleges and universities, opened up on August 1st. Yes, it crashed within a few hours of opening up. And, yes, there is criticism about the “improved” application because they eliminated the popular "topic of your choice" and increased the permissible word count. CA4 offers five prompts rather than six, but now allows for 650 words instead of 500 on the essay. In fact, it automatically counts the essay, and won't allow essays that are too short (less than 250 words) or too long (more than 650 words). According to the Common App Facebook page, the system is still slightly buggy but the new essay prompts were released in advance of the official launch of CA4, so there are no excuses, seniors!  140,000 students have already created their applicant accounts. Dust off those keyboards and start clicking away. 

CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA TO RECEIVE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER AWARD

 

August 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Members of the national, California, and San Diego Leagues of Conservation Voters will deliver a climate change denier award to Rep. Darrell Issa in recognition of his extreme anti-science views, which put him at odds with 97 percent of scientists and a majority of the American people. The event is part of a “Day of Action” held nationally in coordination with Organizing for Action to hold climate change deniers accountable.

HUSQVARNA RECALLS CLOSED-COURSE/COMPETITION OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES DUE TO CRASH HAZARD

 

August 15, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Husqvarna this week announced a recall of its closed-course/competition off-road motorcycles due to crash hazard. The motorcycle's throttle cable can malfunction so the rider loses speed control, posing a crash hazard, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

“WITNESS TO GETTYSBURG” IN ALPINE AUGUST 18

 

August 15, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Historical Society is holding a special presentation, “Witness to Gettysburg” on August 18, from 2:00 – 3:45 p.m. at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd.  Miss Hattie Elizabeth Turner, played by Annette Hubbell, tells how a town of 2,400 citizens coped with 30,000 casualties following the epic battle of Gettysburg.

EAST COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY TOWN HALL AUGUST 22

 

August 15, 2013 (Santee) – State Senator Joel Anderson and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will hold an East county Public Safety Town Hall on August 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the West Hills High School Theatre at 8756 Mast Blvd. in Santee.  The top priority for parents is protecting their kids from danger.  With new dangers arising daily, it can be difficult to get the information needed to keep children safe.

EAGLE EXPERT BITTNER SENTENCED TO PROBATION, ORDERED TO TURN OVER MISSING DATA

Prosecutor contends Bittner more concerned with economic gain than well-being of raptors;

Bittner data used to justify wind and other energy projects in San Diego/Imperial Counties, Mexico & elsewhere

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2013 (San Diego)—U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick sentenced John David Bittner of Julian, president of the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona,  to three years probation and a $7500 fine.  Bittner pled guilty  to unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded.   The government could have imposed up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence, but instead hope to induce Bittner to turn over years of missing data as a condition of probation.

"We support the Justice Dept’s vigilance in prosecuting Bittner for his serious transgressions and unlawful behavior,” said Donna Tisdale with the Protect Our Communities organization. ““When unethical and basically corrupt experts like Bittner side with industry over avian protection—our beautiful birds literally get clobbered with the blunt end of the turbine blade.”

But she suggested that the fine amounted to a slap on the wrist in light of the more than $600,000 that Bittner’s Wildlife Research Institute raked in through consulting fees for corporations. Iberdrola and Pattern Energy hired him to write reports justifying their wind projects, Tule Wind in McCain Valley and the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility. Sempra Energy also hired Bittner as its eagle consultant for its massive Energia Sierra Juarez Wind in Baja California.

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