January 20, 2010 (San Diego County) –New storms today and tomorrow will bring thunderstorms with the potential to produce tornadoes , the National Weather Service advises. A flash flood watch is also in effect for San Diego County mountains, valleys and coastal areas.
January 20, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday’s severe storm prompted the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning mid-afternoon. Countywide, the strongest wind gusts were reported on Mt. Woodson, where wind speeds reached 75 mph. In Julian, wind gusts of 61 mph were reported. Gale-force winds around the county uprooted numerous trees and caused power outages in multiple areas, also claiming at least one life.
Update Jan. 21: Tonight's outdoor rally has been cancelled due to rain, however those who wish to protest closure of the theater will instead gather inside the Ronald Reagan Community Center at 6:30.
January 20, 2010 (El Cajon) The City of El Cajon hosts its second of two community meetings on the future of the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) on Thursday, January 21st. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas St. in El Cajon (1/2 block east of Magnolia).
The City has announced plans to close the theater for up to two years for renovations. Citizen’s Oversight Project, a watchdog group, plans a rally at 5:30 to protest the two-year closure. The rally will be held on Main Street in front of the theater.(This rally has been moved indoors at 6:30 at the Ronald Reagan Community Center due to rain.)
January 20, 2010 (San Diego's East County) SDG&E has just announced cancellation of this week's community council meetings in Campo and Lakeside due to stormy weather. Those meetings were set for tonight and tomorrow night, respectively.
SDG&E plans to reschedule and will announce new dates soon, Jennifer Briscoe, spokesperson for the utility company, informed East County Magazine today. A meeting in Alpine remains scheduled for Feb. 15.
January 19, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Miguel Fire Protection District voted Thursday to charge drivers who cause accidents for the costs of emergency services. Proposed fees range from $390 to $2,100. The plan has sparked heated debate among community members.
Chief August Ghio says similar measures have been imposed in other communities around the U.S., including North County Fire District locally. Fire districts in Lakeside and Chula Vista are considering similar moves, he added.
A.G. Office Has Searchable Database of Registered Charities
January 14, 2010 (Oakland) - Attorney General Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. today is encouraging Californians to make charitable donations for victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, but warns citizens to avoid "scam artists" who may prey on the goodwill of California donors.
“Who is going to move to Alpine and put their kids in a school 40 or 50 feet from a high-voltage line?” – Michelle Steinbuck, mother and Alpine resident
"We have done everything we can to make sure everyone here, and everyone else who is not here, gets to know exactly what is being ramrodded down our throats." -- Milt Cyphert, co-founder, East County Community Action Coalition
January 17, 2010 (Alpine) San Diego Gas and Electric’s current proposal for Sunrise Powerlink, including undergrounding high-voltage power lines along Alpine Boulevard, was not well received by 400-plus people at a meeting on January 14th. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob convened the meeting to show the community information left out of the latest report submitted by SDG&E to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Sacramento.
January 17, 2009 (San Diego) – Two San Diego organizations, International Relief Teams (IRT) and Rescue Task Force (RTF) are dispatching teams to aid victims of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that rocked Haiti last Tuesday.
The situation is criticial with infrastructure destroyed including most hospitals, the major port, roadways and the palace. Hundreds of thousands are feared dead and many remain trapped in rubble, yet survivors continued to be pulled out of debris as late as today.
January 17, 2010 - CAL FIRE and the San Diego County Fire Authority have filled thousands of sandbags and are gearing up for the expected stormy weather with heavy equipment and manpower on hand to help in the event of emergencies.
January 17, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather watch for southwestern California due to a series of storms slated to strike our region starting Monday.
January 17, 2010 (Spring Valley) -- A two story house fire in Spring Valley triggered a two-alarm response Saturday afternoon, resulting in $100,000 of damage, according to a preliminary estimate. No injuries were reported.
January 16, 2010 (Alpine) – Virgil Frank Garrett of El Cajon has been identified by the County Coroner’s office as the victim who died in a January 9th accident in Alpine. Today would have been his 50th birthday.
January 16, 2010 (La Mesa) - Roy Springer, MD, a doctor with Center for Family Health in La Mesa, has presented an $11,000 check to the challenge Center, a nonprofit fitness club in La Mesa dedicated to helping people with disabilities achieve independence.
“This give will provide a lot of health and life skills for those most often overlooked in these areas,” said Challenge Center president and founder Bill Bodry.
December 16, 2010 (El Cajon) -- San Miguel Firefighters laid enough hose to cover the length of seven football fields during the fight to save a home in the Granite Hills neighborhood of El Cajon. The fire was reported at 12:51 Saturday morning on the 800 block of Van Horn Road. As crews responded, witnesses reported seeing flames shoot up about 40 feet into the air. Narrow streets and a very long driveway required Firefighters to lay out about 2000 feet of hose to reach the multi-story, single family structure. Four trucks were needed to pump water to the all wood structure.
January 15, 2010 (San Diego) – In a powerful speech, Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, last surviving witness to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., brought tears to the eyes of many with his recollections of King’s final hours and an impassioned plea for audience members to “hold fast to your dreams.”
January 15, 2010 (San Diego) – Vera Valdivia, a former San Diego resident and alumni of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, is in Haiti and seeks help from San Diego County residents for children in a Haitian orphanage that she co-founded and helped build. The 7.0 earthquake which struck Haiti earlier this week has destroyed the orphanage, East County Magazine has learned.
“As of right now, Valdivia and the orphanage children are living outside in the harsh, earthquake-ravaged conditions,” Denice Menard, communications coordinator for Thomas Jefferson School of Law informed ECM today. “The latest thing I heard is that they are not close enough to Port Au Prince, so they are not getting anything.” The orphanage cares for approximately 60 children who are in need of food, milk, and other supplies.
January 14, 2010 (Alpine) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob is hosting a community meeting to inform the public about new details on potentially devastating impacts of the Sunrise Powerlink. County representatives will be on hand to present these new findings at 6 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard.
January 7, 2010 (Crest)-- A difficult but successful rescue was made Thursday afternoon by members of the San Miguel Fire District. Crews were called to La Cresta Road near Coyote Ridge moments after a vehicle veered off the road and plummeted down a 300 foot embankment. A large SUV with two occupants rolled several times down the steep embankment and landed on its roof.
January 8, 2009 (San Diego) -- More than $4.3 million is going to local programs that help homeless individuals find shelter and deal with challenges such as mental illness, disabilities and domestic violence. East County Magazine has e-mailed the County to inquire whether any of these funds will address the growing homelessness needs in East County.
January 7, 2010 (San Diego's East County)-- The Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest will be conducting 300-500 acres of prescribed burning in the south eastern part of San Diego County. The projects are located near the communities of Alpine, Pine Valley, and Mt Laguna. Prescribed burning will be conducted from January to June 2010, as weather and fuel conditions permit. The purpose of these burns is to assist in providing community protection by slowing the spread of wildfires under normal summer conditions.
January 4, 2009 (El Cajon) – Interstate 8 will be closed in both directions between Second and East Main streets in El Cajon, Monday through Thursday early mornings from 12:30 until 4, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The closures will allow crews to demolish the pedestrian overcrossing at Grape Street.
January 5, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--Congressman Filner (D-Chula Vista) Urges Toyota to Improve Push-To-Start Feature on Lexus Vehicles!
Recently, Congressman Filner contacted Christopher Tinto, Vice President for Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Safety for Toyota Motor Company regarding concerns stemming from Push-to-Start buttons on Lexus vehicles.
In an emergency, these Push-to-Start buttons may also be used as Push-to-Stop buttons; however, many consumers are not aware of this feature. This has resulted in accidents and fatalities when drivers are unable to turn off their vehicle.
January 4, 2009 (El Cajon) – Just before 9:00 a.m. this morning, Heartland Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sitta was first on scene of a collision between a Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus and a small car at the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Van Houten Avenue in El Cajon.
As Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon responded, Chief Sitta broke open a side rear window to gain access to the driver, who was found not breathing, and initiated emergency aid.
January 3, 2010 (El Cajon) -- At about 8:45 this morning, a vehicle driven by a 74-year-old El Cajon resident struck a Carl’s Jr. Restaurant located at 520 N. Second St. The vehicle went through the building, striking and killing a patron who was seated in a restaurant booth. The victim was a 66-year-old male who was pronounced dead at the scene.
January 3, 2010 (San Diego's East County)--What were the stories that captivated our interest and attention in the past year? Stories that were newsworthy, tugged at our heartstrings, impacted our lives, or fired up indignation in San Diego's eastern regions? Which images most indelibly reflect the changing times in East County--or captured key moments in time?
We've compiled our most compelling stories and images from 2009, starting with the first quarter (January through March):