Communities

HELIX WATER CANCELS PENALTY ON HIGH WATER USERS, BUT STILL AIMS TO RAISE WATER RATES

 

Two meetings set on rate hikes Sept. 30 and Oct. 7

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (La Mesa) — Helix Water District’s Board has voted unanimously to rescind a 10 percent penalty assessed on its highest tier water users. The change comes after customers cut water use 28 percent, enabling the district to meet the 20 percent cuts mandated by the state. Board member Kathleen Hedberg asked for those penalized to receive rebates, but instead the funds will be used for water conservation outreach, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

But the district is moving forward on hefty water rate hikes for water users. The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) opposes what it describes as a 70% rate hike over five years. The GMIA invites the public to a community forum on the rate hike on Wednesday, September 30th at 7 p.m. at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad Drive in La Mesa).

The GMIA has crafted a sample letter for those opposed to submit public comment: http://www.gmia.net/docs/SampleLetterToTheHelixWaterDistrict.pdf

LA MESA RESTAURANTS NOT HAPPY WITH DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK PROJECT

 

By Mike Allen

Photo, left: Concrete pour for new sidewalk, courtesy City of La Mesa. See more photos on the City's Twitter feed for the project.

September 29, 2015 (La Mesa)--Several downtown La Mesa restaurants say the city’s Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project has taken a much bigger hit on their businesses than anticipated—and the owners aren’t happy about having to shell out more money to get their patio seating back.

While the project that began construction in July of last year is nearly finished, there’s still work to be done, and most restaurants haven’t had their outside patios re-installed in time for this weekend’s big Oktoberfest celebration.

-- SENATOR ANDERSON SETS 'COMMUNITY COFFEE" IN LA MESA SEPT. 30

 

East County News Service

California Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) will listen to constituents and invite ideas on how to improve state government at a “Community Coffee” starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Chapel at Grossmont, 5651 Water St., La Mesa. The free event, open to the public, will be hosted by La Mesa City Council members Guy McWhirter and Bill Baber.

BARONS BACKROOM BEER PAIRING SEPT. 30 IN ALPINE

 

September 29, 2015 (San Diego) – Barons Market will host “Backroom Beer Pairing,” featuring locally made brews from Pizza Port Brewing Co. and yummy delights from Gourmet Bites. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. Join Barons Market at  1347 Tavern Road in Alpine to raise money for local breast cancer support.

HAUNTFEST ON MAIN - DOWNTOWN EL CAJON OCT. 23

 

 

By Robert Gehr © 2015

September 28, 2015 (El Cajon)--You’re invited to reserve Friday night, Oct. 23 from 5 to 10 p.m. to attend the 4th annual HauntFest on Main event that has become very popular with folks in East County celebrating Halloween.

This is a fun-filled family affair with plenty to do including a pumpkin patch for ‘picking’ that perfect orange decoration, two candy trails this year, an expanded carnival ride area, an LED rock climbing wall, face painting, food and drink, the famous TNT dancers, a KIDZ zone, outdoor movies on a 26- foot screen, arts and crafts booths, game booths, costume contests, live music on 2 stages, inflatables and more.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH: SUPER BLOOD MOON ECLIPSE

 

September 28, 2015 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr shot this image of a rare “Super Moon” combined with a blood moon and lunar eclipse last night over El Cajon. A Super Moon occurs when the moon is at its perigee, the closest point in orbit to earth, making it appear larger.   The eclipse is caused by the earth between the sun and moon, casting a shadow on the moon. The red  hue is due to sunbeams that slip around the sides of the shadow, creating sunset colors in rust and red.

LA MESA AND SANTEE SEEK PAGEANT CONTESTANTS

September 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold one of their most grand traditions, the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee scholarship pageants.  The pageant is currently seeking outgoing residents ages 12-26 to participate in a program that has been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960’s and is an outstanding mentoring program for young women.  The pageants are sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce and focus on community service, networking, improving public speaking and interview skills and overall personal growth.

WALLET LEFT AT CRIME SCENE LEADS TO CAR BREAK-IN SUSPECT

East County News Service

September 27, 2015 (El Cajon) – A man suspected of breaking into a car in the Chase/Avocado area of El Cajon has been arrested, according to a  post left by the vehicle owner on the Mt. Helix Next Door neighborhood forum. 

According to the car owner, it didn’t take too much sleuthing to track down the alleged perpetrator.  “Good thing he had the bad luck of leaving his wallet in our vehicle,” she wrote, adding that the suspect had prior arrests and had just been released from jail two days before his arrest on September 14.

BAKE SALE OCT. 3 AT FALL FESTIVAL TO BENEFIT JACUMBA MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

 

September 27, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—A bake sale and ice cream social will be held at the Jacumba Library on Saturday, October 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  as part of the fall festival.  Proceeds will be used to send Jacumba Middle School students to sixth grade camp.

FAIR TRADE EVENT OCT. 11 IN LA MESA OFFERS SHOPPING “WITH JOY AND PURPOSE”

September 25, 2015 (La Mesa)—A Fair Trade gift faire in La Mesa on October 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. will offer hand-crafted baskets, jewelry clothing accessories, chocolate, coffee, tea and more.  Fair Trade certification means artisans and farmers in the poorest areas of the world receive fair, livable wages for their product or ingredients, offer the public “socially responsible” shopping.

HOWL-O-WEEN SPOOKY SPECTACULAR EVENT OCT. 31 IN SPRING VALLEY

September 25, 2015 (Spring Valley)—A San Diego Laurel and Hardy Group, Saps at Sea, will present a Howl-o-Ween Spooky Spectacular event on October 31 starting at 7 p.m. at Williams Hall at Trinity Church, 3902 Kenwood Drive in Spring Valley. 

The event features Laurel and Hardy comedy films, a creepy cartoon, and guest comedians. The evening will also include a 3-D treat as well as a tribute to the late John Locke of Lyric Pines Theatre and more.

LA MESA NEIGHBORHOOD SEEKS LIGHTING TO THWART DRUG DEALING

 

By Mike Allen

September 25, 2015 (La Mesa)--Responding to a request to install lights at a known drug dealing hangout, the La Mesa City Council directed its staff Sept. 22 to devise some solution at the site.

Larry LaHaye, the owner of several apartment buildings in La Mesa at Schoolridge Lane, told the council that the street’s 56 families residing in the apartments have a safe neighborhood but a small park at the end of the cul de sac remains a problem.

WALKING EL CAMINO REAL

By Mimi Pollack

 

Photo: Maggie Espinosa in the Oxnard Strawberry Fields

September 25, 2015 (La Mesa)--In Spain, there is a famous pilgrimage/walk, called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a 450 mile walk. Many people have that walk on their bucket list. La Mesa resident Maggie Espinosa has completed her own version of that peregrination by walking the 800 mile El Camino Real, up the California coast.

LAKESIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTING 3RD ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF OCT. 17

 

 

Beans ‘n’ Beers Seeking Chili Cooks, Vendors, Sponsors For October 17 Community Event

September 24, 2015 (Lakeside)--The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 3rd annual Beans ‘n’ Beers event on Saturday, October 17 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. The FREE event features an amateur chili cook-off, children’s activities and petting zoo, live musical and dance performances, beer tasting, local food vendors, and much more!

FREE OIL FILTERS SEPT. 26 THROUGH COUNTY AND O'REILLY AUTO PARTS

 

September 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Do-it-yourselfers in Fallbrook, Lakeside, Ramona and Spring Valley can score a free new oil filter for their car Saturday, Sept. 26 just by turning in a used one, thanks to the County of San Diego’s Department of Public Works and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

HEALTH FAIR SATURDAY IS EAST COUNTY'S LARGEST FREE HEALTH FAIR

 

 

September 23, 2015 (La Mesa)--The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present “Health Fair Saturday,” the East County region’s largest annual free community-wide health fair, from noon to 4 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 26, at Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa, near the movie theaters at the mall.

TROLLEY HITS PICK-UP TRUCK IN EL CAJON

 

Driver, Don Godfrey of Lakeside, seriously injured

East County News Service

September 24, 2015 (El Cajon) – A red Ford F-250 pickup truck was struck by a trolley at 12:40 p.m. today in El Cajon and has sustained life-threatening injuries, Lt. Randy Soulard with the El Cajon Police Department reports.

Police officers and  Heartland Fire Department paramedics responded to the collision at Marshall Avenye and Billy Mitchell.  The pickup was traveling east on Billy Mitchell and the trolley was traveling north, paralleling Marshall. Preliminary evidence and witness statements at the scene indicate the driver of the pick-up truck may have traversed the railroad crossing arms and entered the path of the trolley. 10 News reports the truck was dragged about 50 feet.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

September 23, 2015 (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/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LA MESA CHURCH HOSTS COMMUNITY BLESSING OF ANIMALS OCT. 10

September 23, 2015 (La Mesa) -- Balls to fetch, toys to chase, oils to bless and anoint for healing, ribbon bows to tie to collars, and photos to cherish. Celebrating the importance of animals in our lives, The Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa and Animal Blessings, which provides support services for caretakers and animals, invite you to participate in a Community Blessing of Animals on Saturday, October 10, 2015, between 10:00 am and noon.

SANTEE MAN SENTENCED FOR MOTHER’S KILLING

 

By Mike Allen

September 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--Michael Wayne Morse was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter and elder abuse in connection with the killing of his mother in 2013.

Morse, 51, was charged in 2014 with murdering his mother, Louise.  She was an invalid and living with her son at her home on Arly Court in Santee at the time of her death.

COSMOS COFFEE CLOSES, BUT REOPENING MAY BE BREWING

 

East County News Service

September 22, 2015 (La Mesa)—Cosmos Coffee, a popular gathering spot in La Mesa’s downtown village, has closed its doors—for now. But the owner is hopeful that employees may want to takeover ownership and reopen.

The shop posted on its Facebook page on August 31, “It has been a pleasure to serve and be part of the community of LA Mesa for the last six years. Cosmos is closed temporarily. We will be updating the website and Facebook as soon as we know what is happening. We want to thank all of our loyal customers and we hope we will be back to make you all feel special and caffeinated as soon as possible. The Cosmos Crew.”

AFTER PLANE CRASH, GILLESPIE NEIGHBORS PLAN SEPT. 30 MEETING

“What if the next touch and go crash takes out a school in session?" – a resident’s letter to Supervisor Dianne Jacob

East County News Service

September 21, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --After a plane crashed into a Santee home on September 3rd, killing the pilot and a flight student near Gillespie Field, Advocates for Safe Airport Policies or “ASAP” is calling for action to protect community members. ASAP has made many complaints to officials before this crash, which is the latest in a string of crashes and serious mishaps involving planes at Gillespie. But recently residents have warned of frequent and low flights over homes due to an increase in flight school training of students at Gillespie Field.  

Now ASAP is holding a meeting for concerned airport neighbors. The event will be held September 30th at a private home in Fletcher Hills.  To RSVP and get the addresss contact suestrom1@cox.net.

EAST COUNTY REALTOR PRODUCES TALENT SHOW SEPT. 24 TO BENEFIT MILITARY FOUNDATION

 

President of East County realtor trade group is directing realtor talent show

East County  News Service; photo  by Carey Guthrie

View video from the 2014 Un-fashion and Variety Show: http://youtu.be/XtBkvN8ETOw

September 21, 2015 (Alpine)--Who said real estate agents can only sell houses?

Alpine resident Carey Guthrie is directing and producing a talent show that will feature dancing and singing abilities of realtors from throughout San Diego County. Guthrie manages two real estate sales offices in La Mesa Village for Windermere Real Estate SoCal. She also serves as the 2015 president of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR).

On Thursday, Sept. 24, PSAR will present a fun-filled evening of fashion, food and entertainment at its fourth annual Un-Fashion and Variety Show at the Scottish Rite Event Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley. Proceeds will benefit the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING SEPT. 24 IN ALPINE ON PROPOSAL TO ALLOW THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES ON LANDS ADJACENT TO CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2015 (Alpine)—A proposed Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment was heard by Supervisors last year, when Supervisors directed staff to work with the Alpine Community Planning Group, U.S. Forest Service and property owners to develop boundaries and scope of work for a special study area. That information will be used to determine land use densities for thousands of acres of private property near or within Cleveland National Forest in the Alpine area, opening the door for major development of lands east and south of Alpine.

On Thursday, September 24, County staff will provide an overview of the draft scope of work for the Special Study at the Alpine Community Planning Group meeting in the Community Center at 1830 Alpine Boulevard.  An agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/gpupdate/comm/alpine.html

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: REFLECTION

 

September 20, 2015 (El Cajon ) – Robert Gehr took this image at the El Cajon waterscape in downtown, near city hall.  “The "reflection" is of the huge flag draped down the wall of the El Cajon city hall building honoring those who died at the New York twin towers event of 9/11 - see second image.

FEEL THE FLEECE! NATIONAL ALPACA FARM DAY SEPT. 26 INCLUDES DESCANSO RANCH

 

 

East County News Service

September 20, 2015 (Descanso)—Three local  alpaca farmers are teaming up to offer an open house Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Descanso as part of National Alpaca Farm Days.

Visitors are invited to “feel the fleece” as well as tour the Atlas Alpacas Farm (9718 River Drive in Descanso), experience live demonstrations, learn about raising and breeding alpacas, and shop for alpaca products.

GIRL, 7, KILLED BE VEHICLE WHILE PLAYING IN PARKING LOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

September 20, 2015 (El Cajon) – A 7-year-old girl has died after being struck by a Ford Ranger pickup truck in the parking lot of an apartment complex where she lived at 589 North Johnson Street in El Cajon.  A makeshift memorial for the victim, identified as Riley Jackson by neighbors, has been set up, 10 News reports.

El Cajon Police officers and Heartland Fire paramedics responded to the scene at 7:11 p.m. last night. According to the Medical Examiner’s office, the girl and another child were playing in the parking lot when the victim ran out from behind a dumpster into the path of the Ford Ranger.

The driver, Bradley Brown, a 20-year-old from National City, called 911 and remained at the scene. He has been fully cooperative with the investigation, said  Lieutenant Soulard with the El Cajon Police, adding that neither alcohol nor speed were factors.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Flooded road in Pine Valley, by Alex Tardy, National Weather Service

September 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch, cautioning that heavy rainfall and flash flooding is possible from Monday afternoon through Tuesday in San Diego’s eastern mountains and deserts.

Rainfall could exceed two inches in mountains and could top an inch in the deserts.  Recent wildfire burned areas will be particularly susceptible to flash flooding and debris flows.

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