Communities

WELCOME, RURAL RESIDENTS!

Our Rural section covers most San Diego County's inland communities south of I-8  to the border including Alpine, Barrett Junction, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Dulzura,  Jamul,  Japatul, Lake Morena, Otay,  Potrero, and Spring Valley. 


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WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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HOT HAPPENINGS IN JACUMBA

East County News Service

February 5, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs)  - From bathhouse bazaars to a candlelight concert and organized hikes, Jacumba Hot Springs has something for everyone coming up.


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LAKESIDE ARTIST WINS BEST OF THEME AWARD

Source:  San Diego Watercolor Society

Photo:  Neptune’s Fountain” by Susan Hewitt.  Watercolor18 x 30.  Image courtesy of San Diego Watercolor Society

 

February 4, 2023 (Lakeside) - Lakeside artist Susan Hewitt has won the Best of Theme awardin the February Members Show Rendezvous With Paint” on display in the San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS) gallery at 2825 Dewey Road in Liberty Station, San Diego. Susan’spainting entitled Neptune’s Fountain was selected by nationally known local juror Nancy Oleksa for this honor, out of 214 entriesOleksa said of  the painting, “This painting is a celebration of the medium of watercolor. The components of the painting, its space division, use of texture, and choice of palette, have come together to evoke a sense of majesty.


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GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY HELD FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEX IN DOWNTOWN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo and artwork credits: City of La Mesa and La Mesa Chamber of Comemrce.

February 3, 2023 (La Mesa) – The site of La Mesa’s former police station will soon be home to 147 affordable apartment homes. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site at 8181 Allison Avenue on January 24.


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PINE VALLEY MOTORCYCLIST DIES IN BORREGO CRASH

East County News Service

February 2, 2023 (Borrego Springs) – A Pine Valley man, 68, died January 25 in a crash that occurred around 3 p.m. in Borrego Springs.

He was driving a 2015 Indian Roadmaster motorcycle south on Great Overland Stage Route north of Agua Caliente Springs Road when he missed a curve and crossed over the double yellow lines, then onto a field on the opposite side of the roadway.


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PINE VALLEY FATALITY ROLLOVER CRASH

East County News Service

February 2, 2023 (Pine Valley) – A 27-year-old man from Anaheim died at the scene of a solo vehicle crash in Pine Valley on January 26.

According to Officer Jared Grieshaber with the California Highway Patrol, around 220 p.m. the victim was driving a 2019 white Ford F-350 Super Duty westbound on Old Highway 80 west of Buckman Springs when “for reasons still under investigation, the driver made an unsafe turning movement to the right as the roadway curved to the left.”  As a result, the vehicle went off the roadway, struck a tree and overturned.


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JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNING GROUP PUSHES BACK ON COUNTY DECARBONIZATION FRAMEWORK AND SANDAG REPRESENTATION

By Miriam Raftery and Jonathan Goetz

Watch the meeting

Photo, left: Chairman Preston Brown

February 2, 2023 (Jamul) – Multiple agenda items on the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group meeting on January 24 shared a common theme: lack of empowerment of backcountry communities over decisions ranging from big energy projects to transportation and major land use projects. One planner commented, “We’re getting used to being treated like a forgotten stepchild” by the County.


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SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: LAKE JENNINGS OFFERS FREE BOAT LAUNCHES

East County News Service

January 31, 2023 (Lakeside) – If you’re not a fan of football, Lake Jennings is offering you a quiet alternative to cheer about: on Super Bowl Sunday, February 12, the lake is offering free boat launches. If you do want to watch the big game, you can take in some early morning fishing before kick-off


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NEW MOON FISHING AT LAKE JENNINGS FEBRURY 18

East County News Service

 

January 31, 2023 (Lakeside) – A new moon fishing night will be held at Lake Jennings on Saturday, February 18th. The lake will stay open until 10 p.m.; entry gate closes at 9 p.m. The lake was recently stocked with 2,100 pounds of rainbow trout. 


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GO WILD: SENIORS ADMITTED FREE IN FEB. TO SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2023 (Escondido) – Throughout February, admission is free to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido for seniors age 65 and up.

Enjoy the sights on an Africa Tram, see the platypuses and other Aussie species at Walkabout Australia, wander through Tiger Trail, take a stroll around Mombasa Lagoon, ride on the African tram, and relax with refreshments on the patio at Kijamii Overlook. There's a world of sights to see at the Safari Park.


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TOUCH-A-TRUCK ROLLS INTO LAKESIDE FEB. 26

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2023 (Lakeside) – Lakeside Chamber of Commerce invites you to Touch-a-Truck, an experience “geared towards the kid in all of us,” according to the event website.  Guests can touch and see a wide variety of vehicles, trucks and equipment during the event on Sunday, Februry 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 11600 Riverside Drive in Lakside.


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FIND PUPPY LOVE AND A DOGGONE GOOD TIME AT FIDO FEST: FEB. 25 IN SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2023 (Santee) – Fido Fest, the largest dog festival in East County, will be presented by the city of Santee on Saturday, February 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dog adoptions, giveaways, a dog agility course, costume contest and much more will be available at the free event held at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive).


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SNOW AT LOW LEVELS IN MOUNTAINS; RAIN, WINDS AND COLD WEATHER FORECAST ACROSS COUNTY

East County News Service

File photo: Snow at Pine Valley bridge, by Julie Salmons

January 29, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy snow is forecast in East County’s mountain areas today through Tuesday morning, dropping as low as 3,500 feet in elevation by Monday morning.  Strong winds, particularly in mountain and desert areas, are also predicted through Monday, along with widespread rain at lower elevations over the next two days.

The National Weather Service predicts the following snow levels in San Diego County mountains:


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STOLEN DOCUMENTARY REVEALS SAN DIEGO CHILD TRAFFICKING EPIDEMIC

Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland and Miriam Raftery 

View video by Douglas Quaid including event highlights and ECM interviews with Monica Dean (photo, left) and Dr. Rhonda Taylor

 

January 28, 2023 (Lakeside) Sex trafficking of children inSan Diego is happening in every single school district inSan Diego County, NBC San Diego investigative reporter Monica Dean (photo, left) told parents and teachers during a showing othe documentary film Stolen at El Capitan High School in Lakeside on January 19.

 

That shocking evidence was found during NBC San Diegoaward-winning investigative reporting series on which the film is based. Dean, a mother of three young children, hopes to raise awareness to protect vulnerable children and teens in the community from exploitation by traffickers. We all have to stand up against them, she says of traffickers. We all have a role to play.

 

San Diego is one of the country’s hotspots for trafficking of adults and children – the FBI has ranked San Diego as one of the 13 worst regions in the United States with up to 8,000 victims per year.


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NAKED DISPLAY OF TRANSGENDER ANIMUS AT SANTEE COUNCIL AS YMCA ALLIES DECRY LIES

 

Story and photos by Ken Stone,Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 28, 2023 (Santee) - Former Miss California Carrie Prejean Boller took the lectern at Wednesday’s Santee City Council meeting and declared that she “identified” as Christynne Wood — and thus deserved the same three minutes of public comment time.

Boller, in her mid-30s, followed the real Wood — the 66-year-old transgender woman whose Santee YMCA presence “terrified” a 17-year-old girl in the women’s locker room.
 
So despite all other speakers being limited to two minutes, Boller ignored her time cutoff and rebuffed efforts by two other women to move her away.
 
On a night when dozens of friends and allies supported Wood — many with hand-painted signs reading “We (HEART) Chrissy” — the extremes of the issue were on naked display.

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SAPS AT SEA PRESENT 'MARVELOUS MAE BUSCH' FEB. 18

East County News Service

January 28, 2023 (Spring Valley) - The Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the Laurel & Hardy appreciation society, kicks off their 45th year with their February program on Saturday, February 18 dedicated to the actress Mae Busch.


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MAN ARRESTED FOR SETTING FIRE TO HOME IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2023 (El Cajon) – A house fire this morning in unincorporated El Cajon has been determined to be arson.Shaun Maize, 44, has been arrested and charged with arson. He will be booked at San Diego Central Jail. 


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SPRING VALLEY VEGETATION FIRE DOUSED

Story and Photos by Josh Stotler

 

January 27, 2023 (Spring Valley) -- A single vehicle collision into a power pole ignited a small vegetation fire off of Elevator Road in Spring valley today. The reports of smoke came in to Heartland Fire Dispatch just before noon and units from Heartland, Cal Fire and air support from the San Diego Sheriffs dept. we’re quickly on the scene.


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OTAY WATER DISTRICT BOARD ELECTS MARK ROBAK AS 2023 BOARD PRESIDENT

Jose Lopez elected as Vice President and Ryan Keyes as Treasurer

East County News Service

Photo:  Mark Robak

January 26, 2023 (Spring Valley) - At its January meeting, the Otay Water District board of directors elected new officers to lead the District's board for 2023.


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PALA CASINO SPA RESORT PRESENTS SPYRO GYRA & PETER WHITE ON FEBRUARY 17

 

January 26, 2023 (Pala) -- Pala Casino Spa Resort is excited to present legendary group Spyro Gyra and world-renowned prolific acoustic guitarist Peter White on Friday, February 17, performing live indoor at the Events Center. The show will start at 8:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $45.

This show is just one of the impressive lineup of headliner and tribute concerts that will be held at the Events Center and Starlight Theater.


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EL CAJON PBID SETTLES SUIT OVER PUBLIC ACCESS: CITY COUNCIL HEARS PLANS FOR EXPANDED FESTIVALS, HELP FOR HOMELESS AND MORE

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Rich Riel announced settlement in lawsuit over violations of open government laws by Downtown El Cajon Business Partners

January 25, 2023 (El Cajon) – Downtown El Cajon Business Partner is settling a lawsuit over Brown Act violations, according to testimony presented at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting. But complaints remain over no-bid contracts for downtown events.  The City Council also heard plans to bring back Foodie Fest during the America on Main festival, expand a tiny homes program for the homeless, and build a veterans’ memorial.


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STORM DESTROYS FISHING FLOAT AT LOVELAND RESERVOIR – AFTER SWEETWATER AUTHORITY DRAINED WATER TO HISTORIC LOW

Updated January 25, 2023 at 6 p.m.: Sweetwater Water Authority has advised ECM late today that it has reopened its meetings for the public to attend in-person, will update its website to provide more information on its January 11 meeting,  has enhanced audio of the January 11 meeting, and provided insurance valuation on the damaged dock.

By Miriam Raftery

January 25, 2023 (Alpine) – When Sweetwater Water Authority authorized draining Loveland Reservoir down to dead pool status over public objections, it left an L-shaped floating fishing dock paid for by taxpayers through a federal HUD grant perched on dry land.

 

Then came the deluge of rainfall in mid-January, which ripped apart the fishing dock.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA PLANNING COMMISSION APPOINTMENT MUST AVOID CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

An open letter to La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis 

By Aaron Amerling

Photo, left: Kathleen Brand

January 24, 2023 (La Mesa) -- I want to wholeheartedly recommend Kathleen Brand for the planning commissioner spot. She has over 20 years of history serving the people in La Mesa in both volunteer positions and on boards and committees, her work experience is in city planning and she has shown an even-keeled approach to sustaining growth while not losing what makes La Mesa, La Mesa.


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VALENTINE TEAS AT JULIAN TEA AND COTTAGE ARTS

East County News Service

January 24, 2023 (Julian) – Julian Tea & Cottage Arts invites you to romantically-inspired Valentine’s Teas from Feb.9 through Feb. 14.  The four-course menu features soup, finger sandwiches and savories, a scone with curd, jam and whipped cream, plus a grand finale served on a three-piece dessert tray.


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FIRE DESTROYS MANZANITA DINER

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Deborah Jean Peck via Backcountry Community Bulletin Board on Facebook

January 24, 2023 (Boulevard) – An early morning fire on January 17 has destroyed the Manzanita Diner in Boulevard. Long a popular stop for motorists traveling along historic Old Highway 80, the building has housed a pizzeria and Italian restaurant as well as an earlier Basque restaurant. The diner had also been a gathering place for community events through the years.


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FALSE ALARM REPORTING SCHOOL SCHOOTER TRIGGERS HEAVY POLICE RESPONSE AT LEMON GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2023 (La Mesa) – Neighbors near Lemon Avenue Elementary School reporting seeing 15-20 police cars and a SWAT team late this afternoon.  The La Mesa Police Department sent a Nixle warning of police activity near Lemon Ave. and Glen, but at 4:19 posted this message on Facebook:  “La Mesa PD received a call of an active shooter at Lemon Avenue Elementary. It was a FALSE ALARM. Officers are still on scene but there are no injuries and no active threat to the community.


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