JOURNALISM FORUM FEATURES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES OCT. 5 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

SANTEE MAYOR AND COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM OCT. 13

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 24-OCT. 21

CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 21: HELIX WATER AND LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES

LIGHTNING STRIKES ACROSS REGION—BUT NOWHERE NEAR RECORD 199–MILE BOLT

FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SEPT. 26 WON’T INCLUDE GREEN OR LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATES

POVERTY ON RISE IN SAN DIEGO

INTERNAL INVESTIGATION INTO DEPUTIES' ACTIONS AFTER BORDER FIRE FIND “NO VIOLATIONS”; CITIZENS VOICE ANGER

SANTEE AND LAKESIDE STORES ABIDE BY LAW, SHERIFF’S “MINOR DECOY” PROGRAM FINDS

FIRE IN CUYAMACA

POLITICS IN PARADISE, PART 2: CANDIDATES FROM ACROSS OUR REGION SEPT. 29 AT BNS BREWING & DISTILLING IN SANTEE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SEPT. 16 - OCT. 21

News

PASSAGES: EVANGELICAL MINSTER, “LEFT BEHIND” AUTHOR TIM LAHAYE DIES AFTER STROKE

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Evangelist Tim LaHaye,  co-author of the best-selling “Left Behind” Christian book series and founder of local Christian schools, died today at age 80 in a local hospital of complications from a stroke.  Time Magazine once named LaHaye among the 25 most influential evangelicals in the U.S.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO CONSIDER CANCELLING PEPPER DRIVE FIRE STATION, PURSUING ANNEXATION OF CSA 115 BY LAKESIDE FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board meets Wednesday, July 27th at the district board room at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley.  The board will discuss possible action to reestablish discussions with Lakeside Fire District over a possible joint annexation of County Service Area (CSA) 115, a 441-acre parcel that includes the planned Pepper Drive fire station.  The board will also consider halting development of Station 19 at Pepper Drive pending results of discussions with Lakeside Fire District over annexation.

In addition, board members will discuss and may take action to approve recommendations from the Transitional Ad Hoc Committee regarding a contract for a Transitional Consultant and may approve appointment of a Transitional Consultant.  Purchase of a fire prevention vehicle will also be considered.

SHOOTING ON BLM LANDS BANNED FOR FIRE SEASON—BUT SOME RESIDENTS SAY MORE ENFORCEMENT IS NEEDED TO PREVENT FIRES IN BACKCOUNTRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Effective July 1st, the Bureau of Land Management has banned all recreational shooting on its federal lands in San Diego County due to high fire hazard declared by the California Department of Forestry.

PASSAGES: PHILANTHROPIST CONRAD PREBYS PASSES AWAY AT 82

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

July 25, 2016 (San Diego) — Conrad Prebys, a generous philanthropist who supported numerous San Diego nonprofit organizations, health and education centers, died Sunday, July 24th of cancer at Scripps Mercy Hospital with his family at his side.

GROSSMONT COLLEGE WINS CHET DEVORE AWARD AS MOST SUCCESSFUL PCAC ATHLETIC PROGRAM IN 2015-16







Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District news release

July 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -  For the second time in three years, Grossmont College has won the Chet DeVore Award for having the most successful men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic program in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

FIRE DAMAGES KAELIN’S MARKET IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Heartland Fire & Rescue units were dispatched to a reported fire at Kaelin’s market in the 1400 block of East Main Street on Friday afternoon.  Fire crews arrived within four minutes to find a single story commercial building under construction with smoke inside the building. A second alarm was quickly called due to the extreme heat conditions firefighters were facing and the potential of fire spread.

CANDIDATES CAN NOW FILE TO RUN FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE ELECTIONS; FILING DEADLINE IS AUGUST 12

No filing fees, ballot statement costs  $315 to $360 in smaller trustee districts

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – For the first time, the Grossmont Union High School District will hold elections in November for individual trustee districts.   There are no filing fees, though modest fees are charged for candidates to publish ballot statements. With smaller districts, the cost for ballot statements is far less than in the past --just $315 in Trustee Area 1 (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley/La Prensa),which is an open seat, and $360 in Trustee Area 2 (La Mesa/Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix and part of Rancho San Diego) currently represented by Jim Stieringer.

The candidate filing period opened July 18 and closes August 12th.  August 12 is also the deadline for candidates to submit ballot statements, which for the first time will be accepted electronically.

DOGS WHO LOST OWNERS IN BORDER FIRE NOW AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s animal shelter in Bonita is still seeking good homes for five of the dogs owned by Jim and Kyrie Keefe, the Potrero couple who perished in the Border Fire.  You can view the dogs in this video. Ideally, Animal Control hopes the dogs can be adopted by someone with a large yard and other dogs.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS FIRST AMENDMENT PRIZE, 5 AWARDS TOTAL FROM SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – East County Magazine received five awards in the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego Pro Chapter’s 2016 Journalism Awards Contest.  Journalists honored include ECM editor Miriam Raftery, reporters Mike Allen and Janis Russell, and sound editors Ed Barrena and Leon Thompson.

Honors include the special First Amendment Award and a $100 prize for our series on county efforts to suppress free speech and first place in the multicultural category for our story on local Chaldeans’ efforts to obtain release of Iraqi Christians in an Otay immigration detention facility, including both written reporting for our website and audio coverage that ran on our radio show on KNSJ.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE LAND TRANSFER TO CAMPO NONPROFITS

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (Campo) – Last week, County Supervisors voted to convey 247 acres in Campo to several nonprofit organizations, including Mountain Health and the Pacific Southwest Museum, to expand historical, civic and educational opportunities for rural residents and visitors.

SDG&E AWARDS SAFETY GRANTS TO MORE THAN A DOZEN COMMUNITIES IN SAN DIEGO'S EAST COUNTY

 

Contribution provides critical support for community fire preparedness and prevention programs

By Stephanie Donovan

Photo: getting prepared; on July 14, SDG&E hosted a breakfast at the utility’s Kearny Mesa headquarters to distribute dozens of grants to support community partners focused on fire and emergency preparedness. John Sowers, SDG&E’s vice president of electric distribution operations, applauded the efforts of these grassroots groups to help improve regional safety.

July 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - More than a dozen East County community-based organizations dedicated to fire and emergency-preparedness programs recently received a financial boost, thanks to a $900,000 grant from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). SDG&E distributed the grants July 14 to more than 80 representatives of San Diego County Fire Safe Councils, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and other regional safety partners.

TRUMP FORMALLY NOMINATED AT DAY TWO OF REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

 

By Liz Alper

Photo courtesy Anythingyouwant on Wikipedia

July 19, 2016 (Cleveland) - Republican delegates formally nominated their frontrunner, millionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump as their candidate for president at day two of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena.

SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL’S MONTHLY ELECTRICITY BILL FROM $180,000 TO ZERO

 

East County News Service

 

July 19, 2016 (La Mesa) – The lights are staying on for patients and medical staff at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa thanks to a new Central Energy Plant (CEP), the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) reports. And, the hospital’s normal electric bill to San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) of about $180,000 per month is now zero.

HELP CLEAR THE SHELTERS – COUNTY WAIVES ADOPTION FEES JULY 23

 

Source: County News Service

SAN DIEGO POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION REACTS TO THE SHOOTINGS IN BATON ROUGE

 

Source: San Diego Police Officers Association

July 18, 2016 (San Diego) - Brian R. Marvel, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association, has released the following statement on behalf of the association in response to the shooting deaths of three Baton Rouge police officers:

PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK SAN DIEGO TO MEET WITH CONGRESSMAN SUSAN DAVIS TODAY AT 3:30

 

Source:  National Action Network San Diego

July 18, 2016 (San Diego) - Reverend Shane Harris, president of the National Action Network San Diego branch, will meet with Congresswoman Susan Davis today at 3:30 p.m. to find common ground in policy and reform in regards to the recent police shootings.

VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN BATON ROUGE; THREE OFFICERS DEAD, SUSPECTS STILL AT LARGE

 

East County News Service

Slideshow photo courtesy @CNN on Twitter

July 17, 2016 (Baton Rouge, La.) - Three police officers and one shooter are dead and three officers are wounded in a shooting in the latest incident of police violence, this time in the capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, this morning, CNN reports.

RUNAWAY DOGS FROM JULY FOURTH STILL UNCLAIMED

INSURANCE RATES IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE SHOULD NOT BE IMPACTED BY SHIFT TO STAND-ALONE DISTRICT, DIRECTOR SAYS

By Miriam Raftery

July 13,2016 (Spring Valley) – A reader of ours posed two questions regarding the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District board’s decision to drop its contract with Cal Fire and begin the process of returning to being a stand-alone district.

Our reader asked whether the change would affect ISO ratings, which determine property owners’ insurance rates. He also inquired whether the district had considered a partnership with Heartland Fire, as the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove have done.

COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION TO HEAR SWEETWATER PLACE PROPOSAL ON FRIDAY, JULY 15

 

East County News Service

July 13, 2016 (Spring Valley) – The proposed Sweetwater Place  residential project in Spring Valley will be considered  Friday by the County Planning Commission. This project has twice been rejected by the Spring Valley Community Planning Group.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the County’s conference center hearing room at 5520 Overland Ave. in San Diego. Public testimony and participation are encouraged.

The applicant seeks a General Plan Amendment , rezoning and a tentative map and site plan to build 122 condominiums and a two-acre public park on an 18-acre property. The project includes a trail along Jamacha Boulevard that connects to new park and a new bus stop on Jamacha Boulevard.

CITY OFFERS SHALLOW RESPONSE TO SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER LAKE MORENA WATER LEVELS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 12, 2016 (Lake Morena) – The City of San Diego has no plans to restore water levels in Lake Morena or take any actions whatsoever to remedy the harm done to the community by draining the lake—despite residents who have stated there was not enough water in the Lake for firefighting helicopters during the Border Fire, which killed two people and burned five homes, as ECM reported.

IN CAMPO, RESIDENTS AIR COMPLAINTS OVER BORDER FIRE ISSUES

 

Update: The Sheriff's office has responded to concerns raised at the Campo-Lake Morena meeting. View the response from Captain Hank Turner here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/rural-fire-sheriff%E2%80%99s-office-re...

By Miriam Raftery

July 10,2016 (Campo) –At a packed meeting of the Campo-Lake Morena Community Planning Group this week, attendees spoke out to voice anger over officials’ treatment of residents during the  Border Fire, particularly issues involving law enforcement officers and County Animal Control. Chair Billie Jo Jannen stated, “We need to channel this outrage”  and circulated a draft letter to be sent to Supervisor Dianne Jacob following any changes after the public’s statements.

The first portion of the meeting focused on issues of not enough water in Lake Morena to fight the fires. (See our article on the Lake Morena issues here.)  The next agenda item focused on other Border Fire issues.

At a table in the back sat several  women who found the bodies of Jim and Kyrie Keefe during a search conducted by volunteers 10 days after the fire at the site where they lived in Dogpatch, just  east of Potrero. They voiced outrage over the fact that despite complaints to officials who did too little, too late, it fell to women volunteers to find the bodies.  The couple died of smoke inhalation in between boulders behind their home, where they apparently tried to take shelter during the wildfire.

FATHER NOEL ORDERED TO LEAVE ST. PETER CHALDEAN DIOCESE ON JULY 15, 2016

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

July 10, 2016 (El Cajon)—In January 2015, Pope Francis issued a ruling to protect Father Noel Gorgis, a popular, zealous priest at St. Peter’s Chaldean Cathedral in El Cajon, as ECM reported. The Pope invalidated a decree issued by Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako, which would have required Father Noel and several other U.S. priests to return to Iraq, where the Islamic State has been slaughtering Christian religious leaders. The Pope’s action was applauded by local Chaldean leaders. Father Noel has been a leading voice locally and nationally, on behalf of Chaldean-Americans and Chaldean immigrants.

But now the new interim Bishop for the St. Peter Chaldean Catholic diocese of San Diego, Shlemun Warduni, has issued an order for Father Noel to leave St. Peter’s effective Friday, July 15, 2016, multiple church sources have confirmed.  Bishop Warduni is a temporary replacement for Bishop Sarhad Jammo, who recently retired and had been a defender of Father Noel, as ECM reported.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD VOTES TO RETURN TO STAND- ALONE DISTRICT, TERMINATE CONTRACT WITH CAL FIRE

 

By Mike Allen

July 7, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- Some four years after contracting out its fire protection to Cal Fire, the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s board voted July 6 to begin the process of terminating that relationship.

CHARGERS' STADIUM INITIATIVE HEADING TO BALLOT

 

City clerk says team collected enough signatures from citizens

By Liz Alper

Photo: Voice of San Diego, originally from JMI Realty

July 9, 2016 (San Diego) - Despite low approval ratings from some Republicans, the initiative for a proposed "convadium" downtown for the Chargers and for the San Diego Convention Center is headed to the November ballot, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.

NOT ENOUGH WATER IN LAKE MORENA TO FIGHT BORDER FIRE, RESIDENTS SAY

 

“Precious moments were lost and that caused the fire to get out of control…Lives have been lost that may have been saved if they had been able to get water out of Lake Morena and not burned 6,000 acres in less than 12 hours.”—Karen McIntyre, Campo

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Karen McIntyre displays photos of Lake Morena before and after the City of San Diego drained away over 97% of the water.

July 8, 2016 (Campo)—At a heated meeting of the Campo-Lake Morena Community Planning Group,  residents vented anger over the loss of homes and lives during the Border Fire.  Some fault the City of San Diego for draining Lake Morena, claiming lack of water delayed firefighting aircraft responses.

The residents are demanding changes—and some are talking about legal remedies to take back control of their local water supply.

MOUNTAIN LIONS SPOTTED ON MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – Two mountain lions have been reported Monday by a homeowner on Mt. Helix.  La Mesa Today sent an alert warning the lions were seen  off Lemon Avenue in the Lake Helix area.  A CBS 8 news story ran two photos taken by the homeowner in unincorporated  La Mesa and footage of the location outside the home. 

The homeowner, who asked to stay anonymous, said the lions were on a hillside above a pool where her children were playing and two large dogs were present.

A long-time La Mesa resident  posted on a residents’ online forum that through the years he has previously seen mountain lions in the Boulder Hills area of La Mesa near Chevy Chase, above the La Mesa Village. 

POTRERO RESIDENTS SEEK HELP TO SHELTER IN PLACE, ORGANIZE TO AID NEIGHBORS IN FUTURE FIRES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2016 (Potrero) –“How do we move forward now?”  Robert Buerer(photo,left), leader of the Potrero  Community Emergency Response (CERT) Team asked at  a Potrero Foundation disaster preparedness meeting on Saturday, July 3 in the aftermath of the Border Fire.

He wants to expand a Neighbor to Neighbor program that’s arisen out of Neighborhood Watch.   Each neighborhood would have a team leader and phone tree to spread word about alerts and evacuation notices to  neighbors.  To prevent a recurrence of the tragic loss of a couple trapped during the Border Fire with a broken-down vehicle, the program would enable neighbors to learn if someone needs help to evacuate or find a haven for those who choose to shelter in place.

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