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LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS OVER WIND ORDINANCE SET FOR COURT HEARING APRIL 25

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS APRIL 25-27

KURDISH-AMERICANS CELEBRATE FREEDOM IN EAST COUNTY

JUDICIAL CANDIDATE FACES ETHICS CONTROVERSIES

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SAN DIEGO POLICE SEEK MASKED MAN IN BLACK VEHICLE WHO KIDNAPPED & SEXUALLY ASSAULTED GIRL, 12

MAYOR MADRID LAUNCHES REELECTION CAMPAIGN, RUNS ON RECORD OF SUCCESS

A TRUE CHAMPION: SAN DIEGO ATHLETE, FORMER REFUGEE WINS BOSTON MARATHON

SWAT STANDOFF ENDS IN SUSPECT'S SUICIDE

MORNING GLORY BRUNCH PROVES A HOPPING SUCCESS AT ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER

JURY FINDS ALHIMIDI GUILTY OF MURDERING HIS WIFE

LISTEN NOW: WHISTLEBLOWER INTERVIEW ON FIRE STATION CLOSURES, DANGEROUS UNDER-STAFFING

News




PLANE CRASHES AT RAMONA AIRPORT



 

February 25, 2014 (Ramona) -- A single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft ran off the runway during landing at the Ramona Airport today at 10:30 a.m. Sheriff's deputies from Ramona responded. No injuries were reported.

NEW SAN DIEGO POLICE CHIEF NAMED

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 27, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego Police Department will soon be headed up by its first female Chief.  Assistant Chief Shelley Zimmerman will replace retiring Chief William Lansdowne, who steps down March 3.  Lansdowne leaves office following a series of scandals including allegations of sexual misconduct by officers, so the choice of a woman to head up the department can be viewed as sending a strong signal that the city is serious about cleaning up the department's tarnished image.

Zimmerman has the support of Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer as well as the San Diego Police Officers Association.

GAS TAX REDUCED BY STATE

 

February 25, 2014 (Sacramento)--The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) today voted unanimously to adjust the Fiscal Year 2014-15 excise tax rate on gasoline downward by $0.035 during its monthly Board Meeting in Culver City.

HEAVY RAINS, FLASH FLOODS AND POSSIBLE TORNADOS FORECAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated February 27, 2014 (San Diego) – A powerful storm is set to sweep into the region Thursday through Sunday, bringing some of the most severe weather seen in decades, weather experts predict.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning and a flash flood watch from late Thursday through Saturday night.  Thunderstorms may bring waterspouts or even tornadoes, most likely in coastal areas.

 Sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of 60 miles per hour or higher are forecast for mountain and desert areas in East County.   Blowing sand and dust may reduce visibility.

ALPINE TEACHERS HEAD BACK TO THE CLASSROOM AFTER APPROVING CONTRACT

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 25, 2014 (Alpine)—Alpine teachers approved the new contract this morning after marathon negotiations with the Alpine Union School District, ending a strike that began last  Thursday. There are no details of the agreement to be found on the school district website. The contract is not all that teachers wanted, but according to a post at the Alpine Teacher Association website, the Union received the following:

RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF CONTINUED PROBLEMS WITH AT&T IN DEERHORN VALLEY

 

By Nadin Abbott

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

February 22, 2014 (Deerhorn Valley) -- Deerhorn Valley residents  are reporting serious problems with new cell phone service in their area. These issues range from the very serious, including getting disconnected during a 911 call to recurring reception problems.

MISSING PERSON SOUGHT: HENRY CAMARENA

 

 

February 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--  Sheriff’s Deputies at the Rancho San Diego station ask public help to locate Henry Camarena, 38.  He has not been seen of heard from by family or friends since Sunday, February 16. 

Camarena has health issues and requires daily medication, said Detective Moore.  He may be driving a white 2013 Nissan Versa with California license late 6ZAF275.

FOR THE BIRDS: LA MESA COUNCIL TO VOTE MARCH 25 ON LEGALIZATION OF CHICKEN OWNERSHIP

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2014 (La Mesa) –La Mesa residents may soon be able to raise chickens (though not roosters) in their backyards.  On Wednesday, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow one chicken for each 2,000 square feet, or three chickens for the average 6,000 square foot residential lot.  The proposed new ordinance must next be approved by the City Council, which is expected to hear the measure on March 25.

ANTIQUES AND MORE AT KRISARAHS, NEW BOUTIQUE IN LAKESIDE

 

By Jessica Richmond

February 23, 2014 (Lakeside)- Nestled along Maine Street in Lakeside, Krisarahs shop opened its doors on November 29th to share heartwarming antique, vintage and collectible items, natural body care products and more.

Krisarahs, once a dream held by owner Nanci Lynn Hallahan, has turned into a reality this past year with operational help from her daughter, Sarah Espiritu. Nanci dedicated the store’s name, Krisarahs, to an amalgamation of her two daughters, Sarah and Kristasl Roque.

THE DEMISE OF LOCAL MEDIA: WHAT IF WE SOON HAVE NO NEWSPAPERS LEFT?

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--As a journalist, I find it disturbing to see the high number of East County media outlets that have closed their doors, slashed content, or sold out to a corporate conglomerate in recent months.  Those remaining are struggling amid a culture of readers that increasing are failing to support the important job of news gathering that is so critical for our democracy—not to mention keeping you informed of breaking news, emergencies and events in your community.

A "FOWL" CRASH BLOCKS HIGHWAY 94 IN DU LZURA

 

February 17, 2014 (Dulzura)– A semi-truck carrying an estimated 1,000 chickens rolled over, then burst into flames that have spread to a tree. The semi is blocking the roadway at 16895 State Route 94 near Campbell Ranch Road, close to the Dulzura Post Office. Chickens are reportedly running loose, the California Highway Patrol website indicates. 

A Sig Alert has been issued and the semi driver is injured. Avoid this area.

PASSAGES: WOMAN, 80, IN WHEELCHAIR KILLED CROSSING HIGHWAY 80 IN JACUMBA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 17, 2014 (Jacumba) – An 80-year-old woman in a motorized wheelchair crossing Old Highway 80 in Jacumba was struck and killed by a white van turning onto the highway at 6:38 p.m. last night. The victim, Jimmie Dyampert Genet of Jacumba, died at the scene.

“Jimmie was a larger than life character who was liked by everyone,” said Danielle Cook, a Jacumba resident.  “I used to see her in the pools at the spa or rolling down the road towards the store and Post Office. She will be missed.”

FATAL FOUR- -CAR CRASH ON 125

 

 

February 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—A Valentine’s Day crash at 1:44 p.m. today claimed the life of a 37-year-old San Diego man. According to the CHP, he was driving a Jaguar at high speed on State Route 125 northbound near San Miguel Ranch Road when he missed a curve and collided with the center median guardrail, tearing open the left side of his vehicle.

PASSAGES: BAKERY CO-OWNER ROSEMARY JUNE OWENS, 1926-2014

 

February 14, 2014 (El Cajon)-Rosemary June Owens, who co-owned Howard’s Bakery in El Cajon, was a popular figure in El Cajon for many years, serving sweets and specialties for occasions from weddings to graduations.  She passed away peacefully in her home with her loving husband of 53 years, Howard, by her side.

Rosemary fought a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, after beating breast cancer twice over a 30-year span.

PATRICK HENRY HIGH STUDENT DIES OF MENINGITIS

 

 

February 14, 2014 (San Carlos)--A student who attended Patrick Henry High School in the San Diego Unified School District died last night of a suspected meningococcal infection, according to officials with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).

FREE TAX HELP, BENEFITS SCREENING AVAILABLE FOR EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

 

February 13, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Tax time is rarely a time that people look forward to. Even if you’re getting a refund, there’s still a bunch of paperwork, numbers and calculations to go through. But, what if you could get free help with your taxes? Better yet, what if at the same time, you could also find out what benefits you qualify for, like CalFresh or discounts on your SDG&E bill?

RAIN BRINGS MINIMAL RELIEF FROM DROUGHT

 

February 11, 2014 (Sacramento) – A storm over the weekend brought some rainfall to northern California, though any precipitation is welcome in the state’s extreme drought conditions .  The National Weather Service in Sacramento tweeted a photo to put things in perspective . It showed a five gallon bucket to represented the amount of water needed, with a 10-ounce coffee cup to represent how much rain has fallen.

WATER AUTHORITY DECLARES DROUGHT WATCH CONDITION

Water Authority Declares Drought Watch Condition

What's the latest?

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously called upon the region’s residents, businesses and institutions to increase water conservation efforts in response to severe drought conditions across California.

The Board formally activated the agency’s Water Shortage and Drought Response Plan to preserve stored water reserves in Southern California and help keep more water available for other areas of the state more significantly affected by the drought. The Water Shortage and Drought Response Plan outlines orderly, progressive actions the Water Authority can take to avoid or minimize impacts caused by escalating water supply challenges. It was last activated in May 2007 and deactivated in April 2011.

At the same time, the Board also approved notifying the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that the region is at Level 1 Drought Watch of the region’s Model Drought Response Ordinance. In coming weeks, member agencies will consider what specific actions are necessary for their communities. Typical voluntary conservation steps at Level 1 include:

  • Repairing leaks quickly
  • Washing paved surfaces only when necessary for health and safety
  • Eliminating inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff and overspray
  • Irrigating only before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Using hoses with automatic shut-off valves for car washing and irrigating areas that aren’t on automated irrigation systems
  • Serving and refilling water at restaurants only on request
  • Offering hotel guests the option of not laundering their linens and towels daily
  • Using recycled or non-potable water for construction activities when possible


Northern California’s Lake Oroville is a critical part of the State Water Project, one of San Diego County’s main sources of supply. Photo courtesy of the Department of Water Resources

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought on Jan. 17, 2014, because areas of California have been hit hard by low water supply availability after two consecutive dry years and the start of a third. The governor’s declaration directs state agencies to expedite the processing of voluntary water transfers, enact a statewide water conservation campaign, implement water-use reduction plans at all state facilities and take other actions to provide assistance to farmers and communities that are damaged economically by dry conditions.

The Water Authority does not anticipate water shortages for San Diego County in 2014 because of local investments in water supply reliability projects and programs, a long-term decrease in regional water demand and adequate water storage in Southern California. Those investments include independent water transfers that will provide the county with approximately 180,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water this year. (An acre-foot is about 325,900 gallons, enough to meet the needs of two average single-family households of four people for a year.) Starting in early 2016, the Water Authority expects to begin purchasing local, drought-proof water supplies from the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant under construction in Carlsbad. The project is expected to deliver up to 56,000 acre-feet of water each year, enough for 112,000 households.

In addition, the Water Authority is executing a $3.1 billion Capital Improvement Program to further improve regional water delivery and storage capacity. Major projects include raising San Vicente Dam in East County by 117 feet to provide 152,100 acre-feet of additional storage, and connecting Lake Hodges to the region’s imported water distribution system.

However, the current drought conditions reinforce the importance for all San Diego County residents and businesses to live a WaterSmart lifestyle by avoiding water waste and following water-efficient practices. Go to www.WaterSmartSD.org to take advantage of these programs or check out several handy tips to learn what you can do. 

Roughly 85 percent of the San Diego region’s water supplies come from the Colorado River Basin and Northern California, while about 15 percent are generated locally. The Water Authority is closely monitoring conditions in key watersheds and preparing for the possibility of another dry year.

In recent California history, significant droughts spanned 1976-77, 1987-92 and 2007-11. Following the early 1990s drought, the Water Authority adopted a plan to enhance the reliability of the region’s water supply by diversifying its water sources. That strategy helped offset a significant portion of mandatory water supply cutbacks imposed on the region between 2009 and 2011.

Efforts by residents, businesses and farmers across the region to improve water-use efficiency also are helping to stretch available supplies. Total regional use of potable water in fiscal year 2013 was 24 percent lower than in fiscal year 2007, or roughly 174,000 acre-feet per year – enough to serve about 350,000 households annually.

California and the rest of the Southwest have been very dry since 2012. Most of the major reservoirs on the State Water Project – including Lake Oroville and San Luis Reservoir – are well below their historical averages for this time of year. The state Department of Water Resources’ snow survey in late January showed water content levels at 12 percent of normal. The longer the dry conditions continue, the more likelihood California will experience another below-average year of statewide runoff.

In the Colorado River Basin, this winter has produced near-average snowfall, generating much needed water. However, 11 of the past 14 years have been dry in the Colorado River Basin, and the river’s two main reservoirs collectively are less than half full.

Local conditions in San Diego County also are dry. Precipitation at Lindbergh Field was 43 percent of normal between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, 2014.

Resources

Presentations to the Board of Directors

- See more at: http://www.sdcwa.org/drought-response#sthash.n1XuhfI3.dpuf

County Water Authority

February 13, 2014 (San Diegio)--The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously called upon the region’s residents, businesses and institutions to increase water conservation efforts in response to severe drought conditions across California.

DOES BOULEVARD HAVE ENOUGH WATER FOR SOITEC’S SOLAR PROJECTS?

 

SDSU water expert concludes Soitec’s 4 projects will use more water than rainfall can replace, placing entire ecological system at risk; other experts confirm serious water concerns

A special joint investigation by East County Magazine and The Eco Report

By Roy L. Hales; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

(photo:  Dead trees from well pumping that lowered water table elsewhere illustrates what experts and residents fear could occur in Boulevard.)

February 9, 2014 (Boulevard)—Hydrology experts are casting serious doubts about the credibility of water use claims made by Soitec Solar for four massive solar projects proposed in San Diego’s rural East County.

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY FOR RANCHO SAN DIEGO POLICE STATION DRAWS COMMUNITY MEMBERS

 By Janis Mork

 

"It means a faster response time and ...a higher level of public safety in all of these neighborhoods." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob

February 11, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)- At the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Rancho San Diego police station, many community members showed their support.

MOTORCYCLE ENFORCEMENT OPERATION IN EL CAJON FEB. 21

 

February 11, 2014 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon Police Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on February 21 in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.  Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur.  

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.  They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violation.

NEW SHERIFF STATION OPENS IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

 

February 10, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)--A new Sheriff’s Station opened Monday on Campo Road in Rancho San Diego, near the intersection of Highways 54 and 94.

FOOD PRICES MAY RISE DUE TO DROUGHT

 

February 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The worst drought in California history is hitting farmers hard—and soon, consumers may be paying higher prices as a result.

VETERANS JOIN FIGHT TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

 

February 10, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - A battle is brewing in Congress over unemployment benefits for veterans.

BORDER PATROL AGENT INJURED IN CRASH NEAR CAMPO

 

February 7, 2014 (Campo)—A Border Patrol agent was injured shortly after 1 a.m. this morning when the vehicle he was driving veered off the road and struck a tree.  IPN reports the accident occurred at Lake Morena Drive and Buckman Springs Road, where they found the driver trapped with injuries.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BACKGROUND CHECKS ON FOREIGN STUDENT PILOTS

 

February 7, 2014 (San Diego)-- County supervisors have unanimously approved a new law designed to help make sure that foreign students learning to fly at County airports are undergoing federal background checks.

HELLO KITTY: MORE BLACK WILDCAT REPORTS SURFACE

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –After our January 22 report, “Are black wildcats prowling East County?”  on numerous reported sightings of large black wildcats in East County, we have spoken with numerous other people whose accounts suggest that sightings of black cats close in size to mountain lions have been occurring in our region for decades.

FLEX ALERT ISSUED: CALIFORNIANS ASKED TO CONSERVE NATURAL GAS

 

February 6, 2014 (San Diego) –The California Independent System Operators (CAISO) has issued a “Flex Alert” asking all Californians to reduce power use until 10 p.m.  The alert is due to a natural gas shortage resulting from high demand in areas of the country hit by extreme cold weather, since natural gas is used there for heating homes as well as for electric power plants and more.

CAISO operates the power grid in California. SDG&E has joined CAISO in asking local residents to conserve fuel.

OVERFLOW CROWD IN JAMUL OPPOSES CASINO

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

February 6, 2014 (Jamul) Last night, the auditorium at the Jamul Middle School was filled beyond capacity. Residents came to learn the status of a controversy that started over 20 years ago over Jamul Indian Village’s plans to build a casino in this rural community.

Jamulians Against the Casino, a citizens’ group, led yesterday’s meeting and gave a presentation revealing that that three lawsuits have been filed seeking to halt the project.

PARK STATION SCALES BACK PROPOSAL FOR LA MESA HIGHRISE: DRAFT EIR NOW ONLINE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 2, 2014 (La Mesa) – A Draft Environmental Impact Report for the controversial Park Station at the Crossroads project in La Mesa is now available for public comments and review.

Originally, the developerm Kitzman, had proposed an 18 story highrise. That proposal has been scaled down to lower heights in the EIR, with a low-profile facade but talller buildings stepped up behind.  A tower in one section would soar to 110 feet—or about 11 stories, twice the height of the current 46 foot limit, thus it would require a variance to win approval by the Planning Commission and ultimately, the City Council. 

Despite the changes, the City’s analysis concludes that “no feasible mitigation measures exist to reduce potential impacts to scenic vistas.” 

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Can’t afford to fill up the car?  

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