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WHY ARE SO MANY FIRE STATIONS CLOSED—AND WHAT’S BEING DONE BY COUNTY TO BOOST STAFFING?

COUNTY SETS SIGHTS ON WILD PIG POPULATION IN EAST COUNTY

ONLY LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY TO OPEN IN EAST COUNTY: GRAND OPENING AUGUST 2

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

A HERO WITH A HEART: BILL WALTON CHAMPIONS DRIVE TO BUILD GYM FOR BOYS & GIRLS CLUB IN LA MESA

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS OFFER HOPE AMID DESPAIR TO PERSECUTED IRAQI CHRISTIANS AT PRAYER VIGIL IN EL CAJON

THOUSANDS EXPECTED AT PRAYER VIGIL FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS TONIGHT

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

DESPITE MONITORING, SEX OFFENDER BREAKS INTO HOME, MOLESTS 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

CHRISTIAN HOMES MARKED, FAMILIES KILLED: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS RALLY FOR HELP TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

VINES AND WINES: INTRODUCING A NEW COLUMN FOR WINE LOVERS

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER TREATS HOMELESS VETERANS AT STAND DOWN

News




COUNTY SETS SIGHTS ON WILD PIG POPULATION IN EAST COUNTY

 

Update July 30, 2014: By a 5-0 vote,  Supervisors adopted the feral pig eradication plan to trap and shoot wild pigs across our region.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

July 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--They wallow in waterways and root up sensitive habitat.  They breed prolifically—and they eat almost anything—from acorns to small animals—even goats with horns!  Those portly porkers – feral pigs in East County’s backcountry—can weigh up to 250 pounds. The largest wild pig caught anywhere--a gargantuan specimen dubbed "Hogzilla," tipped the scales at over 800 pounds.

Feral pigs are descendants of domestic pigs run wild and European boars brought over by Spaniards in the 1700s. Locally, San Diego's pig population has been around since only around 2006.  We don't know how they got here. One rumor is that  hunters released a few pigs as game animals. Another theory is that the pigs migrated in from elsewhere in California or Mexico. However they came, they've found fertile ground locally, where the number of wild pigs is now estimated at over a thousand. 

Hunting wild pigs is legal in California on private property and tribal lands – though not in our region's parks, preserves, or wilderness areas.  But bringing home the bacon isn’t as easy as it sounds.

GRAND JURY INDICTS PG&E FOR OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION, VIOLATIONS OF SAFETY LAWS IN SAN BRUNO GAS PIPELINE EXPLOSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Mister Oh

July 30, 2014 (San Francisco) – A federal grand jury has indicted Pacific Gas & Electric for allegedly obstructing an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion. In addition, the public utility is charged with 27 counts of willfully violating the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act.

COUNTY APPROVES MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS

 

 

July 30, 2014 (San Diego County) – The County Water Authority voted Thursday to make water use restrictions mandatory in our region.

ONLY LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY TO OPEN IN EAST COUNTY: GRAND OPENING AUGUST 2

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/2014/flyers/Outco-Flyer.jpg

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 30, 2014 (El Cajon) – Outliers Collective (www.outco.com), the only legal,  licensed medical marijuana dispensary  in East County’s unincorporated areas, will open this Saturday, August 2 near Gillespie Field.  A grand opening party is set from 1 to 4 p.m. at the collective dispensary, located at 8157 Wing Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon.

The grand opening will feature raffles, prize giveaways, meet and greet with model “Queen Esther”, poster signings, a food truck, 619 clothing and more.

FULL AGENDA FOR BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP ON AUG. 7

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2014 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday, August 7 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training room, 39919 Ribbonwood Road in Boulevard.  Action items on the agenda include a faux water tower wireless communications facility near Golden Acorn, a presented by the County’s groundwater geologist, concerns over closure of the White Star fire station, and updates to a Park Lands Dedication Ordinance project priority list.

There will also be updates on numerous major projects proposed in the Boulevard area including Tule Wind, Soitec Solar, Rough Acres Ranch campground/conference center, a complaint against the Eco Substation, court actions challenging the county wind ordinance and Tule Wind, and Sempra’s cross-border high voltage transmission line.

SANTEE VOTES TO HELP HOMELESS. OVER MAYOR'S OBJECTION

 

July 25, 2014 (Santee)--Santee’s City Council has voted to approve $2,000 as its fair share to assist the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

The vote was 3-1, over the objection of Santee Mayor Randy Voepel. Councilman John Ryan was not present.

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS OFFER HOPE AMID DESPAIR TO PERSECUTED IRAQI CHRISTIANS AT PRAYER VIGIL IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Listen to our show on KNSJ 89.1 FM on Monday at 5 p.m. to hear our special report including audio highlights from this event.

July 26, 2014 (El Cajon)--Local political and religious leaders offered messages of hope for Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution and genocide in Iraq, many of them seeking to find refuge in America.   They offered a safe haven here in East County, as well as political actions now underway in Washington D.C. and Sacramento to aid Christians in their homeland.

“When they come here, I want you to tell them they will be safe here,” Mayor Bill Wells told the crowd during a prayer vigil in El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza last night  that was attended by an estimated 2,000 people.

The Mayor denounced the “unconscionable” slaughter of Iraqi Christians by ISIS terrorists who have declared a caliphate, or Muslim state, in the Mosul area, where churches dating back to Biblical times are being destroyed and Christians ordered to convert to Islam or die by the sword.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES FOR NEW ORDINANCE REGULATING HOOKAHS AND E-CIGARETTES

 

By Janis Russell

July 23, 2014 (El Cajon)- At yesterday’s El Cajon Council meeting, Council had a public hearing on electronic cigarettes and hookahs, then voted unanimously to outlaw hookah lounges in the city.  One existing hookah vaping lounge in the city will be grandfathered in as a legal but non-conforming use, however no new facilities will be permitted.

HEAT WAVE, THUNDERSHOWERS HIT REGION

 

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)- A hazardous weather warning remains in effect through tonight across our region, with high temperatures expected to continue through this weekend, cooling slightly.

Thunderstorms are also moving across the region.

THOUSANDS EXPECTED AT PRAYER VIGIL FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS TONIGHT

East County News Service

July 25, 2014 (El Cajon) -- The recent persecution of Iraqi Christians has outraged people all over the world. Over 40,000 Chaldeans and other Iraqi Christians live in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, which has one of the world’s largest concentrations of Chaldeans.  Tonight, elected officials, community leaders and Christian leaders of all denominations are coming together I El Cajon for a vigil in support of persecuted Iraqi Christians. 

The event is organized by City Transformation, San Diego Leadership Forum and the Chaldean Council for Public Affairs.  Leaders in attendance will include El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Bishop Sarhad Jammo from St. Peter Chaldean Diocese, Dr. Jim Garlow, pastor at Skyline Church, Pastor Mark Hoffman from Foothills Church, and other local political representatives, community and church leaders.

EL CAJON DENIES 7-ELEVEN’S REQUEST FOR BEER AND WINE SALES

 

By Janis Russell

Photo: Applicant Bill Adams states his case for 7-Eleven

July 23, 2014 (El Cajon)- At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, Council had two public hearings on the appeal of planning commission’s decision denying request for beer and wine sales at 1021 West Washington Avenue and 500 North Second Street.  The stores sought permission to sell alcohol for off-site consumption. 

Council confirmed the planning commission’s decision and voted unanimously to deny the requests as well.

SAN DIEGANS RALLY TO SUPPORT ISRAEL

 

July 22, 2014 (San Diego)--The impacts of violence in Gaza are being felt here in San Diego.  Over 700 people turned out on Sunday at a rally in a San Diego park to raise donations for humanitarian relief in Israel. The rally was organized by the Jewish Federation of San Diego County.

CHRISTIAN HOMES MARKED, FAMILIES KILLED: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS RALLY FOR HELP TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear our  radio special report on the Save Iraq Christians rally, plus our interview with East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce president Ben Kalasho on the worsening crisis in Iraq:  http://kiwi6.com/file/iw4izsdhq7

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2014 (El Cajon) –They carried an American flag, proud to be in a country where they are free. But their hearts ache for loved one endangered in their homeland: Iraq.  They are Iraqi-American Christians who rallied Friday in El Cajon's Promenade Park, pleading for political leaders to save Iraqi Christians from massacre by terrorists invaders who have declared an Islamic state, or caliph.

Farouk Georges shared the latest chilling news. Just one day earlier, he revealed, sources inside Iraq told him that the terrorist group ISIS “issued a decree against the Christians of Nineva…They are asking them to leave, or to convert to Islam, or be killed.”   

A million and a half Christians in Iraq have been displaced, said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the rally. “We’ve counted 120 churches that have been bombarded and destroyed.” Thousands of Iraqi Christians have been killed, hundreds have been kidnapped and as of a few days ago, he revealed, “ISIS has spray-painted the letter N on Christian homes, letting everyone know where the Christians live.”  The N is for Nasrani, an Arabic word meaning Christian.

(caution: graphic photos)

THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH HEAT ON THE HORIZON THIS WEEK

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Thunderclouds over Lakeside, by Billy Ortiz

July 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –  An upper level trough over the Gulf of California tonight will move northward across Northern Baja,  then sweep into Southern California tonight and Saturday.  Thunderstorms with dry lightning are possible on Saturday morning, mainly over the mountains. Heavy rain producing thunderstorms are more likely to occur during the afternoon and early evening hours.

 Lightning may ignite fires and heavy rain could produce localized flooding.  Downdraft wind gusts of 35 mph or more are possible during the storms.

Forecasters also warn of high heat next week, when a large area of high pressure will build over the West, bringing warming each day Tuesday through Thursday. By Wednesday and Thursday, maximum temps will be 5-10 degrees above average, soaring into triple digits in desert areas.

CATS GALORE: CATS ALL OVER THE PLACE

 

July 18, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - It’s raining cats – and more cats – over at the County animal shelters.

To help ease this overabundance, the shelters are offering up a special to help these felines find their forever homes.

APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR OPENINGS ON THE CITY OF LA MESA'S YOUTH ADVISORY COMMISSION

 

July 17, 2014 (La Mesa)-- Applications are being accepted for several openings on the City’s Youth Advisory Commission. Applicants must live within the city limits of La Mesa and be at least 13 years old, but not more than 20 years old, at the time of appointment.

RALLY TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS: FRIDAY, JULY 18

 

 

July 18, 2014 (El Cajon) – East County is home to an estimated 40,000 Iraqi Chaldean Christians as well as many Assyrians and Syriacs. 

Local Iraqis including the Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce, churches and other groups, ask the community to join them in a rally today, July 18 at El Cajon City Hall , 200 Civic Center Way, to urge protection and humanitarian help for those now fleeing Iraq, where a terrorist group has declared an Islamic caliph and is slaughtering Christians and other minorities.

A petition has also been launched calling on U.S. representatives to consider creating a safe haven for Assyrians and other minorities in the Nineveh Plains.

PLANNING TO GO TO COMICON? TAKE THE TROLLEY

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 17, 2012 (San Diego)-- if you are planning to attend Comicon International and you’re coming from East County, the Trolley is the least expensive to avoid steep parking costs downtown—if you can find a parking space at all.  Commemorative day passes are already on sale at the Transit Store downtown at $20.00 for all five days.

STATE IMPOSES WATER RATIONING

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2014 (Sacramento)--The California State Water Resources Control Board has announced they will impose unprecedented restrictions statewide on outdoor watering—including steep fines of up to $500 a day for those who ignore the rules.  This marks the first time ever that water rationing has been imposed statewide, though locally San Diegans have seen rationing in prior droughts.

BMW RECALLS HALF MILLION U.S. CARS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--BMW has announced a recall of 1.6 million vehicles to repair air bags. 

The recall includes 3-Series cars from model years 2000 to 2006.  That includes over a half million vehicles in the U.S.

LOCAL RANCHERS HIT BY DROUGHT

 

 

 

East County News Service

July 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The drought is hitting local ranchers hard.

Severe drought has killed off grasses in pasturelands across inland San Diego County, forcing cattle ranchers to sell off calves early and even their breeding stock.

SUICIDES AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG OVERDOSES REMAIN LEADING CAUSES OF DEATHS COUNTYWIDE

 

County News Service

July 15, 2014 (San Diego) – For the third year in a row, suicides and prescription drug overdoses continue to be the leading causes of death in cases investigated by the San Diego County Medical Examiner. Meanwhile, homicide numbers fell for the first time in two years.

FCC APPROVES SDG&E DRONE TESTING OVER EAST COUNTY SKIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is the first utility company in the nation to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test the use of small, unmanned drone aircraft for monitoring electric and gas lines. 

The company announced that this will improve safety and response times, but the announcement is also drawing criticism for the lack of public input and potential environmental issues.

EL CAJON VOTES TO LOWER SALES TAX

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2014 (El Cajon) – Starting March 31, 2015, the sales tax in El Cajon will drop by a half cent on every dollar, from 9 cents to 8.5 percent.

BYSTANDERS HELP CHILDREN LEFT ALONE IN HOT CAR

 

July 12, 2014 (La Mesa)—A 9-month-old baby and a 4-year old child were left unattended inside a locked car at Grossmont Center on Friday afternoon amid sweltering heat.  Bystanders called 911 and were able to get the 4-year-old to unlock the door by the time Heartland Fire & Rescue crew arrived. The mother said she had been gone only five minutes; paramedics evaluated the children and released them  to their father.

WIND TURBINE INFRASOUND BLAMED FOR AFFECTING WOMEN'S OVALUTION IN DENMARK

... and kill another small business

"All my female employees are complaining of irregular menstruations, and several have permanent headaches." (Boye Jensen, Nursery Owner, Denmark)

By Mark Duchamp, World Council for Nature

July 11, 2014 (Denmark)--The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre (nursery) going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstruation cycles. They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow. Five have recently resigned. The owner is now closing his business for fear of being held liable should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland.

ECM WINS 10 SPJ AWARDS FOR ONLINE NEWS AND RADIO SHOW

 

East County News Service

July 9, 2014 (San Diego) –East County Magazine picked up 10 journalism awards tonight in the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego contest, including four first place awards and for the third year in a row, the James Julian Memorial Award for community reporting.  

ECM picked up two awards for reports aired on KNSJ radio, as well as honors for online reporting. This brings ECM’s total awards to 69 since our launch in 2008.

“This is public service journalism at its finest—identify the problem for readers and track the changes. It worked in this case. Bravo,” commented a judge for the James Julian award, which includes a $100 cash prize for our story titled Why is County Veterans Service Department ignoring rural East County vets?  By Miriam Raftery.  After the report aired, Supervisor Dianne Jacob introduced a measure later adopted to bring veterans’ services to county libraries in rural locations.

SPRINKLERS HELP STOP FIRE AT STORAGE FACILITY IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

July 8, 2014 (El Cajon)-Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in El Cajon responded to reports of a structure fire in the 1500 block of East Main Street in El Cajon this morning. As firefighters arrived on scene, they found smoke coming from one of the storage units at “Extra Space Storage,” located at 1539 East Main Street.

STATE CONSIDERS MANDATORY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

July 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The state of California is considering making water conservation mandatory – with penalties for those who fail to comply.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: THIS WEEK'S HOT HEARING ITEMS ACROSS EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Below are some of the newsworthy items on this week's agendas for boards, commissions and councils in East County. Taxes, electronic cigarettes and land use issues are among the hot topics to be discussed in these public meetings.  You can find full agendas and meeting details at the websites for each local governing body.

Recent News Articles

Free Gas!Free Gas

GRANT FUNDS FILL TANKS FOR
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By Miriam Raftery

Can’t afford to fill up the car?  

Here’s some news to be “tankful” for:  a new grant
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