Communities

BLUES BASH AT MENGHINI WINERY JUNE 20TH

 

The 17th annual Blues Bash will be held at Menghini Winery in Julian on Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The music fest will include Jonathon Boogie Long and the Blues Revolution from Louisiana, crowned “King of the Blues” by Guitar Center. The event also features wine-tasting and dancing. 

HEAT ADVISORY ISSUED FOR EAST COUNTY

 

County News Service; photo via PhotoSpin

June 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--With prolonged high temperatures expected to reach up to 115 in San Diego County deserts over the next few days, County health officials are reminding the public to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.

The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a heat advisory in effect now through Sunday at 7 p.m. for the lower desert areas of eastern San Diego County. Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees above average with high temperatures forecast of 112 to 115 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will only drop into the 80s. Mountain and foothill areas in the county are expected to be warm as well with highs in the 90s. Coastal areas will be near-normal temperatures.

The County operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 115 air-conditioned buildings as cooling centers. Locations and hours of operation can be found on a new interactive map on CoolZones.org or by calling 2-1-1 San Diego. The sites are identified by a light blue Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.

PAINTING DEMONSTRATION BY ARTIST MICHAEL STEIRNAGLE JUNE 23

 

June 16, 2015 (Julian) --Artist Michael Steirnagle will be giving a demonstration of his techniques on June 23 at 6 pm in the Julian library. Sponsored by the Julian Arts Guild, this demonstration is free to the public and all who are interested are welcome.  It should be a wonderful program.  His work is outstanding.

SANTEE KICKS OFF SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

 

East County News Service

June 18, 2015 (Santee)—The City of Santee opens its 32nd annual summer concert season this Thursday, June 18th with the classic rock band, the Cat*illacs. It’s the first of 10 concerts in the Town Center Community Park East.  The concerts will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. each Thursday night from now through August 27th, (except for the July 4th holiday weekend).

AUTOPSY REVEALS CHILLING DETAILS IN BARONA TOT’S DEATH

 

 

Abused child’s death is symptom of national high rate of violence suffered by Native American children

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 15, 2015 (Lakeside) – An autopsy report released this week reveals disturbing details in the death of 3-year-old Roland Eagle Eyes Meza Sandoval, whose body was found in a home freezer on the Barona Indian Reservation in January. The child's death is symbolic of the high rate of violence suffered by Native American children on reservations, often at the hands of non-Indian men.

According to the Medical Examiner, the child died of asphyxiation after beatings and abuse that also resulted in blunt force injuries of his head, neck, and torso as wella s bruising on his limbs, a fracture of his upper jaw, hemorrhaging and organ damage.

INMATE WALKS AWAY FROM LA CIMA CONSERVATION CAMP NEAR JULIAN

 

June 15, 2015 (Julian)--California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for a minimum-security inmate who walked away from the La Cima Conservation Camp #42, located near the community of Julian, in San Diego County.

NEIGHBORS OF GILLESPIE FIELD SET JUNE 23 MEETING WITH ATTORNEY: MORE PLAINTIFFS NEEDED AS DEADLINE NEARS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2015 (El Cajon)—Dozens of families are close to filing a lawsuit over the increased air traffic at Gillespie Field airport, where more expansion is planned. But with a June 30th deadline to finalize paperwork with a class action lawyer, another two dozen residents are needed to join the suit by the deadline.

A meeting is set for Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:30 p.m. with the lead attorney and interested residents. The meeting will be held at a private residence in Fletcher Hills. To RSVP and get the address and directions, contact info@asapgillespiefield.com.

“This is our last chance to get something done,” says Sue Strom with Advocates for Safe Airport Policies ASAP.

CLOSE LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND DESPITE FINANCIAL PROGRESS? HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES WEDNESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District’s Board of Directors will vote on whether or not to close the campground at Lake Jennings in Lakeside. The vote is set for Wednesday, June 17th at 2 p.m. at the board meeting at the district’s headquarters, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.

The vote is slated despite huge gains made in stemming financial losses, from $200,000 in 2013  to just $24,000 this year, plus increased profitability of other attractions and activities with potential for more, including state approval to add kayaks just  last month.

Director Kathleen Coates-Hedberg urges the public: “If  you want to see Lake Jennings Campground stay OPEN for the future and would like to voice your opinion, please come to the Board meeting or send an email to our Board Secretary and she will forward to Board Members. Board Secretary, Sandy Janzen, Sandy.Janzen@HELIXWATER.org.”

KABOOM! HELP BUILD A PLAYGROUND AT BILL BECK PARK JUNE 18 AND 20

 

Photo: KaBoom! Playground previously built at Wells Park in El Cajon

June 13, 2015 (El Cajon)--Once again, the City of El Cajon plans to build a playground in a day.  Volunteers are needed to help with the assembly of a one-of-a-kind, customized playground at Bill Beck Park on June 18 and June 20.  The existing playground at Bill Beck Park was over 50 years-old.  So, a new playground is planned to provide youths with a better area to play and have fun.  Some of the volunteers who have registered so far include off-duty Heartland Fire & Rescue Firefighters and El Cajon Police officers, along with other City personnel and members of local civic groups.

304-ACRE SOLAR PROJECT PROPOSED IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS SPARKS CONTROVERSY

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 “This is a recipe for disaster, potentially putting us in harm’s way AND increasing our already high fire insurance policies…This is a project that could generate dangerous chemical fires that when spread, could cause property damage as well as loss of life.”—Danielle Cook , member, Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Committee

June 13, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—A proposed industrial-scale solar facility near Jacumba is sparking heated controversy, with some residents raising concerns over fire danger and impacts on  local water supplies, wildlife, traffic and public safety.

NextEra Energy, a division of Florida Power and Light, wants to cover 108 acres of a 304 acre site in the Jacumba area with 81,109 solar photovoltaic modules on 2,253 tilting rack panels—along with a collector substation, transmission lines, and lithium battery energy story systems in containers the size of cargo cars.  Ultimately, the project would produce up to 20 megawatts of power, according to a draft environmental impact report prepared by the consulting firm DUDEK.

BURGLARS USED OBITS TO TARGET HOMES ACROSS EAST COUNTY AND SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

June 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon Police has arrested three people charged with a dozen residential burglaries between January and May in El Cajon, Spring Valley and San Diego.  According to Lieutenant Frank La Haye with the El Cajon Police, the thieves targeted people attending funerals of their loved ones.

SMOKING HOT DEBATE: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT RAISING AGE FOR TOBACCO USE

 

"I will support this in honor of my sister, and my mother and my father-in-law," -- Councilman Bob McClellan (photo, left), who lost all three family members to smoking-related illnesess.

"The American Revolution was about individual liberty...doesn't freedom to make a decision include freedom to make a poor one?" --Eric Anderson (photo, right), Rock Church and Caucus Chair for the San Diego Republican Party Executive Committee

By Juwan Armstrong and Miriam Raftery

June 12, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted 3-1 on Wednesday to send a letter asking Assemblyman Brian Jones and Governor Jerry Brown to support Senate Bill 151, which would raise the minimum legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Jones has taken over $25,000 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry.  East County’s State Senator, Joel Anderson, took nearly $40,000 and voted against the bill when it passed the Senate.

GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA GRADUATES RECEIVE OVER 4,200 DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES

 

 

Photo: Stephen Harvey/Grossmont College photographer : Grossmont College graduates embrace at their commencement ceremony June 3.

June 11, 2015 (El Cajon)-- man incarcerated in his youth now heading to UC Berkeley. A doctor of education who once thought a high school diploma was the pinnacle of her schooling. An Iraqi immigrant who now sits on the council of East County’s largest city. A retired businessman who is donating his wealth to better his community.

SUMMER NIGHT SKY TOURS IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2015 (Borrego Springs)--Dazzling sights can be viewed each night in the clear dark skies over Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert―including colorful stars, stellar clusters, planets, star-forming nebulae, Earth-orbiting satellites, distant galaxies and more. 

Famed astronomer and night sky photographer Dennis Mammana invites you to treat yourself or your family to an inspiring and personalized tour of the cosmos above Borrego Springs—California’s first and only International Dark Sky community – with the power of a large telescope and one of America’s favorite celestial tour guides. The summer 2015 night sky tour schedule is now available at http://www.borregonightskytours.com/.

BOARD VOTES TO ADD LAND TO SANTA YSABEL PRESERVE

 

County News Service

June 10, 2015 (San Diego) -San Diego County supervisors voted Wednesday to buy 175 acres of environmentally valuable land that will link the east and west portions of the Santa Ysabel Preserve and could potentially allow expansion of the “Coast to Crest” trail that is envisioned to stretch from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain near Julian.

JUDGE SETS TRIAL DATE FOR DEC. 4 ON ALPINE SUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT OVER HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2015 (Alpine) – Alpine residents seeking to force the Grossmont Union High School District to turn over $70 million in bond funds and land acquired for construction of an Alpine High School will finally have their day in court.  Judge Joel Pressman ruled against Grossmont on Friday, refusing to dismiss the case and requiring that the money be set aside pending outcome of the trial.

The proceeding will be an administrative trial before Judge Pressman set for December 4th with the Alpine Union School District and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability squaring off against the GUHSD. A 3-judge appellate court panel previously denied Grossmont’s request for a stay to stop the proceedings, a move affirmed Friday by Pressman. The County Grand Jury also found that the district did not live up to its obligation to Alpine taxpayers and recommended that the district build the high school or turn over the money to the Alpine Union High School District to build the school.  The district's board majority defied the Grand Jury and did neither.

The plaintiffs contend that Grossmont misallocated millions of dollars from Propositions U and H,  spending much of the $700 million measures approved by voters for projects not listed in the bond while refusing to build the Alpine High School that was a priority project in the bond measures.

OLYMPICS DAY IN EL CAJON: JOIN THE FUN JUNE 13

 

June 4, 2015 (El Cajon)--The spirit of the Olympic Movement will roll into El Cajon as LionHeart Academy hosts a celebration of Olympic Day for the community. This event is one of over 1,100 in the country being held in June. LionHeart Academy’s celebration will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 13, 2015. The location is 1331 N. Cuyamaca Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.

AIR SHOW SAN DIEGO JUNE 20-21

 

June 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Air Show San Diego will take to the skies over Gillespie Field in San Diego June 20 and 21. This year’s “AirShow San Diego” (formerly known as “Wings Over Gillespie”) will feature a representative collection of aircraft and acts to support the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY’S `WELLNESS WEDNESDAY’ MEETING WILL DISCUSS HOSPICE ON JUNE 24

June 10, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free program on  “Dispelling the Myths of Hospice,” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. The program is part of the library’s “Wellness Wednesday” series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

SAN DIEGO REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION PROVIDES $276,000 GRANT TO COUNTY FOR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FOR RURAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS

 

June 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today accepted a donation of $276,000 from the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation for the purchase of  80 AVL (automatic vehicle locator) equipment for rural San Diego fire departments.

FIRE INSURANCE RATES FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUSINESS TO DROP IN HEARTLAND FIRE DISTRICT—THANKS TO DISTRICT ATTAINING “RARE” TOP NATIONAL RATING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Rick Sitta delivers good news at El Cajon Council meeting

June 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – If you live in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa or Lemon Grove, your fire insurance rates will soon be going down. That’s because Heartland Fire & Rescue, which provides firefighting services for all three cities, has received a class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO).   

The  ISO rates 47,000 fire departments across the United States and of those, only 98 have attained a class 1 rating, including only 8 fire districts in the entire state of California.  “Class 1 communities are very rare, and some of these scores are the highest we’ve ever seen,” says Stephanie Ruscansky from the ISO, who notes that only a small fraction of 1% of all agencies rated attain a Class 1 rating.

GLEANERS URGENTLY NEED SPARE FRUIT TO FEED HUNGRY RESIDENTS

 

June 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Volunteers who pick fruit to feed the hungry have an urgent need for sites to glean spare fruit from backyard gardens and farms in order to continue to supply churches and food pantries that distribute the produce.

PETITION TO SAVE SCENIC EL MONTE FROM SAND MINING

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2015 (Lakeside) – Lakeside residents have launched an online petition asking Bill Horn, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, to save El Monte from a proposed sand-mining project.  View or sign petition here.

This ill-conceived, destructive and dangerous project poses a clear public safety threat. It would also destroy a place so beautiful that it’s been designated a county scenic view corridor and a focal point in long-range San Diego River Park preservation plans.  Mining here could also contaminate a major drinking water supply and potentially spread deadly Valley Fever across our region.

LA MESANS CALL FOR EFFECTIVE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, PLANNERS VOTE TO RECONSIDER CITY'S CAP

 

By Joan Raphael

Climate Action Campaign's Executive Directore Nicole Capretz addresses legal problems of  La Mesa's CAP; Senior Planner Chris Jacobs takes notes.

 

June 8, 2015 (La Mesa)--On Wednesday, June 3, concerned citizens came together at a hearing of the La Mesa Planning Commission to press for a stronger Climate Action Plan (CAP). The hearing proved a reminder of what ordinary citizens working together can achieve.

TEAMING UP TO CLEAN RIVER PARK IN SANTEE: PADRES AND TOYOTA PITCH IN

 

June 8, 2015 (Santee)--Toyota of El Cajon joined forces with the Padres Volunteer Team to help the San Diego River Park Foundation remove trash and debris from the San Diego River Watershed in the Forester Creek area of Santee on Saturday, June 6. The cleanup event targeted 20 sites along the river’s watershed, with the goal of collecting over 3,600 lbs. of trash in three hours.

PICTURE THIS: LOCAL ARTIST WINS AWARDS AT DEL MAR FAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Artist Chuck McPherson has picked up six awards at the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar, after having a record nine entries accepted.  The talented artist grew up in Spring Valley, lives in La Mesa and regularly dazzles crowds with his innovative performance art and colorful style at local charity events (he’s been known to add lipstick, coffee grounds and other audience-provided items to his works).

BODY NEAR OCEAN BEACH PIER IDENTIFIED AS EAST COUNTY WOMAN

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 6, 2015 (El Cajon)--An El Cajon mother is mourning the loss of her 20-year-old daughter, Victoria Zubkis, whose body was found in the ocean near the Ocean Beach Pier on May 28th.   Zubkis’ mother had reported her daughter missing two days earlier, when she went to visit a friend in Ocean Beach.

NEW FIRE STATION OPENS IN BOULEVARD

 

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2015 (Boulevard) – Last week, a brand new fire station opened in Boulevard.  The $3.5 million, 8,000 square foot facility replaces an older station across the street. Capable of housing up to six vehicles, the new fire station is the first to house County Fire Authority reserves along with Cal Fire firefighters and a paramedic unit under one roof.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who led efforts to secure funding, was on site for a ribbon cutting along with Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale, Cal-Fire Chief Tony Mecham and other local dignitaries.

SHERIFF'S COFFEE WITH THE COMMUNITY: JULY 16 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

June 5, 2015 (Spring Valley) – The Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station will hold a coffee with the community at Cali Comfort Restaurant, 8910 Troy Street in Spring Valley.  The event will be on Thursday, July 16 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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