News

COUNTY OFFERS PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR STORM VICTIMS

 

East County News Service

July 27, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - If you suffered property damage from the storms July 17 or 18 generated by Hurricane Dolores, you can request a reassessment of your property and a reduction in your taxes until the property is repaired or rebuilt, City News Service reports.

DRIVER SOUGHT WHO HIT FIRE HYDRANT, CAUSED DAMAGE

 

July 27, 2015 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon Police are looking for the driver of a black Mercedes sedan who fled the scene after striking a fire hydrant near the intersection of Ballantyne Street and Madison Avenue in El Cajon on Monday.  The collision caused a 40-foot-high water geyser that damaged several trees nearby, but did not damage homes.

PARK STATION DEVELOPER PUTS LA MESA HIGHRISE PROJECT ON HOLD

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2015 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa announced July 15th that the applicant for the Park Station Specific Plan has requested that the proposal not go forward to the City Council at this time. “The project is currently on hold,” the City’s public notice stated. 

HEARTLAND FIRE & RESCUE RESERVE FIREFIGHTER ACADEMY NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

 

July 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Heartland Fire & Rescue, serving the Cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove, is currently accepting applications for the reserve portion of the Heartland Fire Academy through August 7, 2015. Applications will be accepted between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 100 E. Lexington Avenue in El Cajon.

VISIONARY THEATRE GROUP SEEKS HELP TO MOVE – AND GIVE STUDIO SPACE TO EAST COUNT MAGAZINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2015 (La Mesa) –Visionary Dance Theatre and Visionary School for the Performing Arts is asking for help to move to a safer, more family-friendly location.  Visionary specializes in helping to keep the arts accessible and affordable to students regardless of income and also make the arts accessible to the community.

Newflash! Visionary also hopes to find space large enough to include East County Magazine’s office and recording studio at its new location – at a minimal cost or ultimately, free for our nonprofit! (Our rent where w are has gone up, and we need to move, too.)  We're looking at space in or near La Mesa - with your help.

We think this is a perfect partnership, enabling us to support local arts and theatre while also providing the affordable space we need to grow!  Donations can be made at http://GoFundMe.com/MovinOnOut. Please help - every dollar counts!

PETITION LAUNCHED TO SAVE LAND PHONE LINES IN CA AND ACROSS THE U.S.

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – AT&T wants to phase out landline phone service by 2020.  But as many San Diego County residents have learned during firestorms that burned cell phone towers and a multi-state blackout that crippled cell service, land lines are critical during such emergencies. Land lines also make it easier for people with disabilities such as the visually impaired or anyone who has suffered injury to easily access a land line to call for help.

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR SAN DIEGO AND FOUR OTHER COUNTIES DUE TO STORM DAMAGE

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Today, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency for five southern California counties including San Diego due to damage from severe storms starting July 18 that caused “flash flooding, mudslides, and fires ignited by lightning strikes, resulting in damage to roads, highways, and other infrastructure and the evacuation of residents.” (Read the proclamation: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19049 )

The emergency declaration applies to Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino and San Diego Counties. 

REPORT FINDS CA 38TH IN CHILD WELL-BEING NATIONWIDE

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

July 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - California is ranked 38th in the nation in overall child well-being, according to the Kids Count Data Book, released today by the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation.

SENATOR ANDERSON DEFENDS ALEC AS THOUSANDS PROTEST OUTSIDE

 

 

 

 

 

  East County News Service

 

 

July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)

As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.

The protesters included a  prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.

CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED AGAINST OTAY AND OTHER WATER AGENCIES OVER TIERED WATER RATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2015 (San Diego)—A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Otay Water District, San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District. Mark Coziahr filed the suit July 14 in Superior Court seeking an injunction to stop enforcement of tiered water rates. A similar suit has also been filed by ratepayers in Marin County.

GET OUR FREE WARNINGS OF FIRES, FLOODS & OTHER EMERGENCIES

 

July 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- Stay safe and informed!  East County Magazine's free wildfire and emergency alert service has been busy lately warning people here about flash floods, wildfires, roadway hazards and severe weather.

Our regional emergency alerts come via email, so you can get them even if phone lines burn down. You can also get alerts on your cell phone. Plus you can receive our free weekly newsletter with top news stories in our region.

Sign up today! It's FREE.  Click here.

BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED FOR INDIAN HILLS CAMP WATER SYSTEM IN JAMUL

Test Result Shows Total Coliform Bacteria Present in Drinking Water Supply

July 22, 2015 (Jamul)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Indian Hills Camp located at 15763 Lyons Valley Road, Jamul, CA 91935, effective immediately.  The water system serves 9 mobile homes, 15 recreational vehicle spaces, 2 dorms, 15 camp sites, 4 public restrooms with showers, 2 swimming pools, a kitchen and office building.

NEW FEDERAL RULE TAKES AIM AT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, TARGETS LOCAL ZONING

 

East County News Service

July 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Last week, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced  finalization of a new rule, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, that requires communities to remove zoning laws and other barriers to integration in neighborhoods at all income levels, or lose federal HUD funds.

ASSEMBLYMAN BRIAN JONES TO HOST DROUGHT TOWN HALL AUG. 13

 

Participants include Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, the San Diego County Water Authority, Building Industry Association of San Diego, and the Water Reliability Coalition

July 21, 2015 (El Cajon) -- On Thursday, August 13th, 2015 Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) will be hosting a Drought Town Hall to educate constituents about the ongoing California drought, legislative solutions, and efforts to provide relief to the community.

BRIDGE COLLAPSE ON I-10 HIGHLIGHTS STATE’S CRUMBLING INRASTRUCTURE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Cal Fire photo: Cal Fire workers rescue motorist who plunged into rushing waters when bridge collapsed

July 20, 2015 (Riverside) – A bridge collapse Sunday that shut down Interstate 10 between Palm Springs and the Arizona border occurred during heavy rains.  The cause of the failure, however, may well be outright neglect. 

Built in 1967, the bridge was listed as “functionally obsolete” in the 2014 National Bridge Inventory—one of hundreds of bridges across California in need of replacement or major repair.

State Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside) has issued a press release stating that the incident “further illustrates the rapidly deteriorating state of California’s roads and highways and the urgent need to rebuild our state’s crumbling infrastructure.”

COUNTY TO CHALLENGE FOREST SERVICE’S REFUSAL TO LAND NEWEST AIR TANKERS IN RAMONA DURING A WILDFIRE

County News Service

Photo: Cal Fire taxis identical tanker at Ramona Air Base that Forest Service claims can't land here

Update July 21: Supervisors voted unanimously to ask the Obama administration to take action and allow USFS air tankers to land in Ramona.

July 20, 2015 (Ramona)—The U.S. Forest Service is refusing to fly its newest air tankers in and out of Ramona Air Attack Base – and the Board of Supervisors may turn to the White House for help.  

On Tuesday, July 21 at 9 a.m. Supervisors will consider a proposal from Chairman Bill Horn and Supervisor Dianne Jacob to appeal the decision to the Obama Administration. With the high-risk fall fire season approaching, they say flying the next-gen tankers in and out of Ramona could help save lives and protect property.

PROPERTY OWNERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR RAIN RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

County News Service

Photo: County crews work to clean up mud flow on Rutherford Road in Ramona, where over 3 inches of rain fell on Sunday.

July 20, 2015 (San Diego) -- The remnants of Hurricane Dolores created record rainfall in San Diego County, taking residents by surprise over the weekend. If your property or small business sustained damage from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.

The County Office of Emergency Services is asking storm-affected residents to complete a short damage survey form that will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding.

The information gathered from the surveys will be used to estimate total damages countywide and will determine if enough damages occurred to qualify the region for federal disaster assistance, such as low interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for those who are uninsured or underinsured.

SCRIPPS RANCH GOLF TOURNAMENT OCT. 10 BENEFITS FIRE SAFE COUNCIL

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2015 (Scripps Ranch) – You’re invited to play golf to protect the community.  On Saturday, October 10, the 7th annual charity golf tournament will be held, benefitting the Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council.  The event will take place at the Vineyard Golf Course in Escondido at 8 a.m. Participants and sponsors are sought.

I-10 BRIDGE COLLAPSES IN DESERT: MAIN ROUTE FROM CALIFORNIA TO ARIZONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos and video courtesy of Cal Fire

July 19, 2015 (Palm Springs)—Heavy rains washed out a bridge east of Palm Springs at Adair (four miles west of Desert Center) late today and caused it to collapse. The dramatic failure forced closure of I-10 in both directions and injured a motorist who plunged into the abyss.  CHP reports that 30 feet of the I-10 freeway washed away—the major route from Riverside and Los Angeles counties into Arizona.

Motorists have been stuck in traffic for hours and motels quickly filled up, local TV stations report.  There is no quick alternative; drivers have been diverted several hours out of their way to I-8 in the southern part of the state, or to another major highway farther north.

ROADWAY HAZARDS REPORTED FROM STORM

Update: 10 News reports cars underwater in Ramona.

Update: Heartland Fire also reports flooding in La Mesa on Avocado between 70th St. and Guava.

The City of La Mesa has cancelled its Sundays at Six concert tonight due to flooding around Harry Griffen Park.

July 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The CHP incidents page reports numerous roadway hazards related to the stormy weather, including some rockin' and rollin' mud, rocks and flooding. Here are the latest details:

  • State Route 79 at Chihuahua Valley: Sig Alert issued, roadway shut down
  • I-8 east, old Sunrise Highway: large rocks down in lanes
  • Highway 79 at Horizon View Drive: Rock slides blocking lanes
  • State Route 78 at Wynola:  Mud and rockslide blocking one side of highway
  • Old Julian Highway just west of Camel Dairy: road blocked both ways by rocks
  • I-15 south connection to Highway 52: rider down in lane
  • Ramona View Dr. in El Cajon: roadway completely washed out

FLASH FLOOD WARNING AND WATCH NOW IN EFFECT

 

 

East County Alert

July 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning due to imminent threat of flooding in certain mountain areas, where residents are urged to move to high ground.

There is also a flash flood watch in effect for all San Diego County valleys, deserts and mountain areas, including places where debris flows are possible.  Below are full texts of both alerts:

FUNDS STILL NEEDED FOR ZELDIN AND FAMILY

 

Donate a van or repairs and East County Magazine will give your business a free ad on our site

East County News Service

July 19, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)—Last week we told you about a foster care family in need here in East County.  (See our story). Debra Zeldin’s van was stolen and crashed by the thieves, and her insurance won’t cover the repairs.  She’s helped over 60 foster kids including Russell, a 6-year-old who had a kidney transplant recently but “is still wheelchair bound with a tracheotomy. He is blind and developmentally delayed.  See this Voices of Children video about his inspiring story:  https://vimeo.com/76706300 .

Despite fundraising efforts the Zeldin family is still far short of what’s needed to repair or replace their damaged van. 

RECORD RAINFALL DRENCHES COUNTY, BREAKS CENTURY-OLD RECORD

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Robert Gehr (c) 2015

July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – Saturday’s deluge, remnants of a hurricane off the Baja coast, set a new record rainfall for the month of July in San Diego and many other local cities, Alex Tardy, Meteorologist Manager at the National Weather Service, San Diego reports.  At Lindbergh Field airport, 1.03 inches of rain has fallen so far this month, topping the old record of 0.92 inches set back in July 1902.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park got 1.16 inches and Ramona’s airport got a full inch. Campo received .99, while Alpine and El Cajon measured .95 inches on Saturday, putting all of these communities above normal for the whole month of July.

The downpour forced cancellation of some events, such as Concert at the Lakes in Santee.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the mountains and deserts through Sunday evening. Heavy rain is now falling across much of East County, with thunder and lightning reporting in La Mesa, El Cajon, mountain areas and other locations.

Moisture from Hurricane Dolores will continue to spread northward into Southern California today and Sunday, bringing thunderstorms and locally  heavy rainfall.

WATER WELL DATA NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

 

East County New Service

July 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Want to know data on water well locations, levels, pumping rates and more?  Until now, this info was not available to the public. But now thanks to passage of Senate Bill 83, the reports are available by request through a Well Completion Report Request Form at the California Department of Water Resources at this site: http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/wells/well_completion_reports.cfm.

SHAREHOLDERS REVOLT IN PINE VALLEY’S WATER DISTRICT

 

Update: Hear a podcast of our radio story on this (originally aired on KNSJ) with audio clips from the Pine Valley Mutual Water Co. Shareholders meeting here:

http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/snd5v902dn/PineValleyShareholdersStory.mp3

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Ames Smith: Pine Valley Creek, several years ago and now, after 4 years of drought

 

July 15, 2015 (Pine Valley) –With water running short across the state, tensions are building where local water districts are being asked to share precious water supplies with neighboring districts and developers.

Directors of the Pine Valley Mutual Water Company found themselves in hot water with shareholders, who staged a revolt over their board’s decision to sell up to 5 million gallons of water to the newly formed Rough Acres Water Company in Boulevard.  Rough Acres Ranch wants to build an industrial scale solar facility on its property that needs massive amounts of water—and Boulevard doesn’t have enough.  

But when Pine Valley shareholders—the residents who rely on water from Pine Valley wells – found out about the secret sale, tempers at the latest shareholder meeting reached the boiling point, as a tape provided to East County Magazine by Charlene Ayers, leader of the Ranter’s Roost online discussion group on land use issues locally, makes clear.

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