Update 3:15 p.m. The fire has jumped to 259 acres, Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz has informed ECM. "It's in a very inaccessible area," said Butz, adding that the forward spread of the fire has been slowed.
June 26, 2010 (Santee) - A vegetation fire that began late this morning north of Santee is now approximately 70 acres in size, according to Heartland Fire dispatch. The fire is burning westward into federal property in the adjacent Miramar area.
The blaze is not yet contained, however the forward spread of the fire is slowing, Heartland informed East County Magazine. Currently there are 100 firefighting personnel, five hand crews and three helicopters battling the blaze. Fixed wing aircraft have been released.
June 25, 2010 (El Cajon) – An undercover operation by the El Cajon Police Department yesterday targeted males soliciting acts of prostitution from women on the streets of El Cajon. With assistance from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, 14 individuals were arrested yesterday during the six-hour operation.
June 25, 2010 (La Mesa, CA) -- The cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold their second annual fashion show fundraiser,“Fashion Rocks the East,” to benefit the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee Pageants Scholarship Fund. The fashion show will be held on Sunday, August 8th at the La Mesa Community Services Arbor Room at 3 p.m.
Former contestants and titleholders in the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee programs will model wardrobe items provided by local businesses. Ramshakle, a popular East County band, will provide live music.
June 25, 2010 (San Diego) – It doesn’t get much closer than this. Yesterday, Mary Salas' lead over Juan Vargas had evaporated to a single vote. Today, in the hotly contested Democratic primary for the 40th State Senate District,Vargas pulled into the lead by a six vote margin with 24,079 votes to Salas' 24,073. But this horse race isn’t over yet, with thousands of votes yet to be tallied in a race spanning three separate counties.
June 25, 2010 (Lakeside) – A vegetation fire on Los Coches Road in Lakeside scorched a car and ignited trees, sending up a large column of dark smoke moments ago, but is now under control. “The fire is confined to a quarter of an acre,” Lakeside Fire Chief Andy Parr told ECM.
Update 5:15 p.m.: Cal-Fire confirms this fire was started by a weed whacker with a metal blade. Residents are reminded not to trim brush after 10 a.m. and avoid metal blades, where possible.
Update 4 p.m.: This fire has been contained at three acres.
June 25, 2010 (Escondido) A brush fire at Harmony Grove and Country Club in Escondido is threatening a mobile home and has potential to reach five acres, Incident Page Network reports. The blaze is currently a half acre burning in light flashy fuel and spreading at a moderate rate.
June 25, 2010 (Santee) – At least 16 vehicles were vandalized or broken into at West Hills High School in Santee sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. yesterday morning. Graduating seniors left their cars parked in the "senior lot" before heading to Knott’s Berry Farm for Grad Night.
Local legislators split on support, opposition to measure
June 25, 2010 (Sacramento) – On Wednesday, the State Senate Health Committee passed AB 2578, the Healthcare Accountability Act. The measure aims to protect California consumers from excessive health insurance rate hikes, such as the 39% rate increase announced by Anthem Blue Cross earlier this year and an up to 75% increase imposed on businesses by Blue Shield.
June 25, 2010 (La Mesa) -- Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s Senior Resource Center offers free or low-cost educational programs and health screenings each month. The Senior Resource Center also provides information and assistance for health information and community resources. For more information, call 619-740-4214. For other programs, call 1-800-827-4277 or visit their website.
Finale at Viejas Fire-Safe Expo proves a bang-up hit with crowd
By Miriam Raftery
June 25, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Lemon Grove Firefighters scored a victory in the Firefighters Demolition Derby, held June 19th at the Del Mar Fair. Viejas, sponsor of the event to benefit the San Diego Burn Institute, took second in the action-packed event.
The Firefighters Demolition Derby has been a long-standing tradition in East County, dating back to the days of the old Cajon Speedway. The event disappeared when the Speedway shut down in 2005—until now, when Viejas resurrected the Derby and brought it to Del Mar. View our videos of the derby’s opening and final round segments.
June 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Police report that a man in a faded and rusted blue van tried to kidnap a 12-year-old boy who was walking home from school at 5:23 p.m. today. The man, described as a white man in his 30s or 40s with a long beard, ordered the boy to get in the van in the 3800 block of Demas Street in the Rolando area of San Diego, just west of La Mesa. When the boy refused, the man got out and grabbed the victim, ripping the boy's shirt.
June 24, 2010 (Valley Center) -- The Indian Health Council, Inc., (IHC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary June 25 with a festive Open House, featuring health screenings, raffle prizes and giveaways, tours of the facility, and a Fun Zone for children that includes a bike rodeo. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the council headquarters, 50100 Golsh Road, Valley Center (on the Rincon Reservation).
Update 6:15 p.m. Spread ofd the fire has been completely stopped, Cal-Fire reports. Firefighters remain on scene to mop up hot spots.
Update 3:50 p.m. -- Firefighters now have a hose lay completely around the fire, which is expected to hold at 10 acres or less. An air tanker has been dismissed but helicopters remain on site.
June 24, 2010 3:15 p.m. (Jacumba) -- I-8 westbound is closed due to a vegetation fire at Carrizo Gorge near the community of Jacumba. CHP has issued a Sig Alert. The fire, now 7-10 acres, resulted from a motor vehicle accident that occurred at 2:13 p.m. A car overturned and one victim is reportedly in acute status with burns, Incident Page Network reports.
Viejas calls on District to negotiate in good faith to protect newly discovered Native American burial ground
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Friday in San Diego Superior Court has been postponed to July 23, under an agreement reached between Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
June 24, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Knight and Day was a movie that gave me fits. That’s something I did not expect from a movie starring either Tom Cruise or Cameron Diaz. These two stars are reunited for the first time since Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky in 2001. That movie, while not their best, was at least interesting, thought-provoking, well-acted, and most of all, not the least bit boring. The same cannot be said for Knight and Day, which tries to be like James Cameron’s 1994 action flick True Lies but winds up only paling in comparison.
June 25, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- In a body blow to prosecutors trying to stop bankers and broker from fleecing their customers, the conservative US Supreme Court today invalidated the "Honest Services" clause.
The case sent Enron's Jeffrey Skilling's case back to the trial court. It did not, however, overturn his conviction. It did make it very much more diffcult to prosecute financial crooks.
Update 6:05 p.m. The Pala Fire has been contained at 106 acres. The cause is still under investigation. Ten homes were evacuated, none damaged. The Incident Commander has release all airtankers. Firefighters will remain on scene for several hours mopping up any remaining hot spots.
Nearly 5,000 students on waiting lists due to 50% cutback in classes;
veterans on G.I. bill and students on financial aid risk losing funds
East County News Service
June 21, 2010 (El Cajon) – Higher education funding cuts due to the California state budget crisis have forced Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to severely reduce summer course sections, despite growing demands for classes from students seeking to retrain for new careers and complete general education requirements to transfer to four-year universities and colleges.
Despite efforts to keep budget cuts from harming students, the colleges have been forced to slash summer offerings by 50%.
Community leaders testify on Viejas’ behalf, ask Padre’s water board to find alternative solution;
Viejas to ask judge on Friday to extend injunction
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2010 (Santee) – Improper. Disrespectful. Inappropriate. Embarassing. Those were some of the terms community leaders used at yesterday’s Padre Dam Municipal Water Board hearing to describe the Board’s refusal to halt construction at a planned reservoir and pipeline site near Lake Jennings.
“I’ve just come from the site,” Leon Thompson testified, drawing an audible gasp from the crow when he added that he shot video showing “desecration continuing” of areas near a circle of rocks marking grave sites. View video here.
June 23, 2010 (La Mesa) -- The 10th annual Summer Healthcare Saturday, East County’s largest free health fair, held June 19th at Grossmont Center, was by far the most successful ever, according to Mike Cully, president/CEO of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The event was organized by the Chamber and co-sponsored by Grossmont Healthcare District, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Alvarado Hospital and Grossmont Center.
June 21, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – In the early morning hours on Saturday, June 26, sky watchers in our region can see a partial eclipse of the moon, which is visible across much of North America, South America and Asia.
Economy, bank bailout, war, and oil spill among concerns discussed
By Miriam Raftery
June 22, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) had a breakfast meeting with members of the Rancho San Diego-Jamul Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors yesterday morning at the Press Box Sports Bar & Restaurant to discuss the business climate and provide an update from Washington D.C. for Chamber leaders.
Videos showcase talents of Dykes and Kruger Brothers
June 22, 2010 (El Cajon) – A full house packed a benefit concert held at Cuyamaca College to support shop programs at local high schools—including a guitar-making course and a class in which students rebuilt a classic roadster car. World-famous musicians Doyle Dykes and his daughter, Haley performed, along with the famed Kruger Brothers.
Highlights included a performance by Dykes on a Taylor Guitar made from the last liberty tree in America, which was toppled by a storm. The trees served as gathering spots for patriots in the Revolutionary War era. Bob Taylor, owner of Taylor Guitar, salvaged seeds and has planted them across America. Dykes has since played sweet strains of patriotic tunes on a liberty guitar in USO shows for American troops overseas.
Local tragedy on Father's Day serves as grim reminder of need for pool safety
East County News Service
June 22, 2010 (San Diego's East County) - As the Father's Day drowning of an East County child tragically illustrates, pool safety is an important matter for all pool owners and parents to follow. In California, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in toddlers ages one to four.
George e. Lucia Sr., Valley Center Fire Prevention District Captain/Fire Marshal, offersthis advice to prevent child drownings, including pool safety and rescue tips: