RAMONA RODEO, PARADE AND WESTERN DANCE

CRUZ, TRAILING TRUMP, NAMES FIORINA AS RUNNING MATE

DINNER AND A CONCERT TAKES STAGE MAY 6-SEPT. 30 IN EL CAJON

LA MESA LEGACY PROJECT AND CLOCK WORK UNDER WAY AT LAST

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

BACK COUNTRY LAND TRUST ACQUIRES LA POSTA PROPERTIES FOR PRESERVATION

PLEASE DON’T EAT THE LAUNDRY PODS: THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN POISONED

FRONTRUNNERS WIDEN LEAD IN 5 STATE PRIMARIES

WANT TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT? YOUR BALLOT MAY BE MISSING THE CANDIDATES’ NAMES

EAST COUNTY LAW DAY MAY 2ND

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 30-MAY 14

GROSSMONT SCHOOL BOARD PICKS LOCAL EDUCATOR AS SUPERINTENDENT

News

ROCKY ROAD FOR HOMELESS: CITY INSTALLS SHARP STONES BENEATH OVERPASS WHERE HOMELESS TOOK SHELTER DURING STORMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2016 (San Diego) — Mayor Kevin Faulconer is being rocked by criticism after a homeless advocacy group posted photos on Facebook of sharp, jagged rocks installed by the city of San Diego beneath an overpass where homeless people had been sleeping and taking shelter during storms. San Diego has no year-round homeless shelter and has also been conducting sweeps to confiscate belongings of homeless individuals.

EAST COUNTY LAW DAY MAY 2ND

 

 

By Liz Alper

April 25, 2016 (El Cajon) - The Foothills Bar Association is organizing Law Day. This is an opportunity for the public to meet with lawyers in the community who service different areas of law.

The free legal service will be held on Monday, May 2nd from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the El Cajon Library (201 East Douglas in El Cajon). The event is held once a year and is a unique experience and opportunity.

Attendees can consult with lawyers in a variety of areas including family law, criminal law, probate/trusts/estates, landlord/tenant, general civil and civil harassment orders and more.

Scroll down to view a flyer with full details or call 619-531-3900,

ERADICATION OF WILD PIGS EFFECTIVE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Feral pig, U.S. Department of Agricultural

April 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Efforts to eradicate wild pigs across San Diego’s backcountry have proven effective.

 

Officials report that monitoring through trail cameras and other means indicate there could be just eight feral pigs left in our region.  Professional hunters hired by federal, state and local governments have trapped and killed about 150 of the pigs over the past five years, the Union-Tribune reports. Drought has also taken a toll on the invasive species.

RIDER DIES AFTER HORSE FALLS AT LAKESIDE PARADE GROUNDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Billy Ortiz

April 24, 2016 (Lakeside) – Yesterday morning’s Western Days Parade in Lakeside was marred by tragedy.   Diana Cavender, an experienced horse trainer and member of the Escondido Mounted Posse, has died of head injuries suffered in a fall that occurred when her horse spooked while she was riding to a staging area after the parade.

NEW SIGNS TO GUIDE COMMUTERS ALONG ALTERNATIVE ROUTES DURING MAJOR FREEWAY INCIDENTS

 

Coordinated system aims to improve travel-time, reliability on I-15

April 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- Officials from SANDAG and Caltrans are activating the final piece of a system designed to guide motorists around major incidents when they occur along the Interstate 15 corridor, providing travel choices and improving travel-time reliability.

BILL TO DROP LAND LINES PHONES PASSES COMMITTTTEE AFTER HEATED DEBATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 20, 2016 (Sacramento) – Despite intense opposition from more than 100 Californians at a grueling 3-hour hearing on April 13th, the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee approved Assembly Bill 2395 by a 10 to 3 vote.  View hearing video on CalChannel.  (Click on AB 2395 to hear testimony).  The measure would allow elimination of land line telephones in many parts of California.

SWEETWATER VISTAS ON AGENDA APRIL 25 AT SPRING VALLEY PLANNING GROUP MEETING

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2016 (Spring Valley) - The Spring Valley Planning Group will hold a special workshop meeting regard the old Pointe Property at Sweetwater Springs and Jamacha Blvd. known as Sweetwater Vistas, where 243 residential units are proposed.  The meeting will be held on Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the Otay Water District meeting room, lower level, 2553 Sweetwater Springs Blvd.

RAMONA WINE INDUSTRY IN JEOPARDY, VINTNERS WARN: SUPERVISORS HOLD HEARING APRIL 27 ON REGULATORY CHANGES

Update April 23, 2016:  County staff has responded to ECM questions on this issue.  View their response here.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elaine Lyttle, Hatfield Creek Winery & Vineyard, says the county's "priorites are wrong" and faults excessive regulations for stifling her award-winning winery in Ramona.

April 20,2016 (Ramona) –  Leaders in Ramona’s burgeoning wine industry warn in correspondence to Supervisors that Ramona’s wine industry could die on the vine as a result of changes proposed to the County’s Boutique and Small Wineries Regulations.

 The changes are set for hearing by Supervisors on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center (Room310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego).  View agenda and hearing announcement. 

Two versions of the ordinance will be up for consideration, one approved by the Planning Commission, the other a recommendation by staff of Planning & Development Services. One important note: legal challenges may be limited only to issues raised at a public hearing or in written correspondence delivered to the hearing body at or before the hearing, according to the hearing notice.

ZIPSPROUT PROFILES EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Zipsprout.com, a national company that puts the "roots" in grassroots marketing, has published a profile on East County Magazine.

Author Megan Hannay writes: “The demise of traditional journalism is a topic of unending fascination for me. Personally, I love a good story, and it’s sad to see so many tales go untold for the sake of another “which cat breed are you?” quiz. Professionally, as a strategy manager for an agency with PR clients, I feel a responsibility to remain on top of industry best practices, and with a decrease in journalists, the chances of local coverage for a brand’s community-oriented story also go down. For these reasons, I’m equally excited to see new forms of local storytelling grow, they be via podcasts, websites or startups. And I’m especially intrigued by nonprofit outlets, such as East County Magazine.”

THE GOATS ARE BACK—CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

 

April 20, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, will be taking steps to clear brush from eight and a-half acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas in Lemon Grove. Goats will be used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area.

ELM began delivering 150 adult and 50 juvenile goats (kids) on Monday, April 18, 2016. The brush clearing event will last approximately 2 weeks. The goats may be visible to those traveling along the 125 freeway in the area of Lemon Grove during this weed abatement process.

HARRIET TUBMAN TO REPLACE ANDREW JACKSON ON $20 BILL, TREASURY DEPT. ANNOUNCES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 20, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – A woman’s place is on the money. That was the slogan of “Women on 20s,” a group that launched a national effort to put a woman’s face on our twenty dollar bills.  The group held a national vote, with abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman named their number one choice.

HOW PREPARED IS SAN DIEGO FOR THE JUNE PRIMARY ELECTION? Q & A WITH REGISTRAR OF VOTERS MICHAEL VU

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2016 (San Diego) --In light of issues in some other states about long lines to vote, cuts in polling places or numbers of voting machines,  lack of enough voting machines on college campuses and Indian reservations, and an inquiry from a reader, we sent questions to San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu.  We also asked about deadlines to register to vote , change parties or get a mail ballot for the June 7 primary, and procedures to verify your registration. In addition, we got information on how you can vote early, as well as the need for poll workers, particularly bilingual poll workers for the election.

Below are our questions, along with Vu’s responses.

JOIN EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE FOR “MOUNTAIN MAGIC” APRIL 16 IN RAMONA--WINE, CHEESE & CHOCOLATE TASTING, MMMM!!

 

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2016  (Ramona) – East County Magazine subscribers are invited to join us to savor “Mountain Magic” at the beautiful Vineyard Grant James (25260  Old Julian Highway) in the heart of Ramona's wine region on Saturday April 16 from 1-4 p.m.  (Not yet a subscriber? Join free.)

This very special afternoon will include wonderful wine-tasting, savoring Cheeses from the Cave gourmet cheeses, fresh fruits, chocolates crafted by master chocolate-maker GB Treats  and other delectable delights, plus live music by the award-winning Baja Blues Brothers and a wealth of prizes!

Drawing and silent auction prizes include mountain getaway vacation, wine lovers’ baskets,  gardener’s gifts,  hand-crafted pottery, yoga, personal training, Santee Lakes family fun pack, Mountain Hempire gift basket, bookstore gift certificate, music CDs, coffee lovers basket, and more!

COUNTY APPROVES GUHSD SHIFT TO TRUSTEE DISTRICTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: GUHSD trustee Priscilla Schreiber, losing her seat due to redistricting

April 14, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Board of Education’s Committee on School District Reorganization last night approved the Grossmont Union High School District’s plan to implement trustee elections and approve the map previously approved by the GUHSD board. 

Next up, the state Department of Education will consider Grossmont’s request for a waiver of a public vote.  If the waiver is approved, the transition to trustee districts will be in place for the 2016 election.  If denied, a public vote would take place and if approved by the public, the changes would be delayed until 2018.

IBERDROLA RENEWABLES AND SHELL ENERGY CHEATED CALIFORNIA OUT OF MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLARS, FEDERAL JUDGE RULES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: McCain Valley in San Diego’s East County, site of Iberdrola’s planned Tule Wind energy project

April 14, 2016 (Sacramento) – California’s Public Utilities Commission announced yesterday that an administrative law judge for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that Iberdrola Renewables LLC and Shell Energy North America defrauded California state officials out of $1.1 billion on the heels of the Enron energy scandal. 

Iberdrola, a Spanish energy corporation, recently won approval from the federal government to build the controversial Tule Wind project in McCain Valley in a federal recreation area.

CHP SEEKS HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO KILLED MAN ON I-8 NEAR CAMPO

 

East County News Service

April 13, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Highway Patrol seeks public help to find a driver who struck a man walking in dense fog last night along the shoulder of I-8 near Crestwood Road.  The vehicle likely has damage to the right front.

SUV DRIVER KILLED AFTER HITTING TRUCK IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

April 13, 2016 (Santee) - An SUV driver who reportedly ran a red light after exiting State Route 52 near Mission Trails Regional Park in Santee struck a big rick truck at high speed early Wednesday morning, Patch.com reports.  The dark blue SUV became wedged under the big rick, trapping the driver inside.

MINIATURE SPACECRAFT TO SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE: BACKED BY FACEBOOK CEO AND FAMOUS PHYSICIST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Breakthrough Prize Foundation, via Livestream

April 13, 2016 (San Diego) – Is there life in a galaxy far, far away?  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and famous physicist Stephen Hawking believe it’s possible. 

AT&T SEEKS TO ELIMINATE LAND LINE PHONES IN CALIFORNIA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2016 (Sacramento) – Tomorrow, April 13th at 1 p.m.,  the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce will hear AB 2395, a measure that aims to eliminate hard-wired land line phones in California communities where cabled fiber optic connections are not available or are too expensive to install, such as rural, mountain and desert regions.  Customers would have no choice but to switch to wireless cell phone service, if the measure being pushed by AT&T is enacted.

In emergencies, 911 callers’ locations cannot easily be verified, unlike calls from land line which can be pinpointed instantly. In case of fire, medical emergency, or a serious crime in progress, prompt 911 responses are critical.  Moreover, during power outages, cell phones run out once batteries are dead and there is no way to recharge batteries in an outage, whereas old-fashioned land lines (though not cable phones) continue to work even when the electricity is off.

"In addition, some of us living near the U.S./Mexico border do not have cell service due to rugged terrain and agreements with Mexico not to have cell towers too close to the border,” says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  So eliminating land lines would leave border residents in the most remote areas of  San Diego County with no phone service at all.

SUPERVISOR JACOB CITES "PUBLIC DISTRUST", CALLS FOR PUBLIC VOTE ON GUHSD REDISTRICTING

 

Public encouraged to send letters to state and county decision makers

East County News Service

April 10, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob has sent a letter to the County Board of Education President Gregg Robinson PhD urging support for a public vote to determine the outcome of the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposal for “by trustee” area elections. The GUHSD board majority is seeking a waiver from a state requirement that would ordinarily require a public vote on any redistricting proposal. 

But Jacob writes, “The importance of representing the people through elections is paramount to the political process. Normally, election `by trustee’ is a fair way to ensure that constituents are being properly and proportionally represented. GUHSD’s proposal to move to a `by-trustee’ area election method is not something that is generally considered unusual, however, recent actions and decisions by GUHSD’s Board of Directors has created a sense of public distrust.”

HELIX WATER DISTRICT APPROVES THREE WATERING DAYS PER WEEK

 

East County News Service

April 8, 2016 (La Mesa) - At their April 6, 2016 meeting, Helix Water District’s Board of Directors approved a three day per  week limit on landscape irrigation, rescinding the two-day limit in effect since June 2015, when the State Water Resources Control Board mandated a 25 percent reduction in statewide water use.

STEER CLEAR OF SOUTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 67 APRIL 15-18

 

East County News Service

April 7, 2016 (Lakeside) -- Drivers are being advised by Caltrans and the County to steer clear of southbound State Route 67 in Lakeside from 10 p.m., Friday April 15, to 5 a.m. Monday, April 18, when a construction project will close a roughly 1 ½ mile stretch of the highway.

NEW FOUR-STAR HOTEL COMING SOON TO EL CAJON

 

Story and photos by Robert Gehr

April 7, 2016 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon has something new on the horizon. It’s a Courtyard by Marriott luxury style hotel, which is scheduled to be opening soon and will accommodate visitors choosing East County for  our region’s many attractions. The location is 141 N. Magnolia Ave. on the corner of Rea Ave. near the El Cajon Police station.

POWER BLACKOUTS POSSIBLE THIS SUMMER

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2016 (San Diego) – Southern California, including San Diego County, could experience up to 14 days of unscheduled blackouts this summer and up to 18 days of additional outages later in the year, state officials warn.  The outages could occur due to the massive gas leak at Aliso Canyon, which depleted gas reserves before the four-month leak was finally plugged.

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