CRUZ DROPS OUT OF PRESIDENTIAL RACE, CLEARS WAY FOR TRUMP NOMINATION

PASSAGES: SQUARE FOOT GARDENING CREATOR DIES AT 84: PUBLISHER TO CARRY ON LOCAL AUTHOR’S WORK TO COMBAT WORLD HUNGER

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHERE HAS ALL THE CREAM GONE?

PASSAGES: A FOND FAREWELL TO “MR. EAST COUNTY” B.W. `STONEY’ STONE

CREW SEEKS ETHICS INVESTIGATIONS INTO REP. HUNTER CAMPAIGN EXPENSES INCLUDING TRIP TO ITALY, JEWELRY AND NORDSTROM'S CHARGES

CHARGERS FINISH UP DRAFT STRONG; ADD TWO MORE BUCKEYES, JJ WATT’S BROTHER

THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE OUR "MOUNTAIN MAGIC" EVENT A SUCCESS!

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH GEORGE GASTIL, MAYOR PRO TEM OF LEMON GROVE

MAN MISSING 10 YEARS REUNITED WITH FAMILY AFTER IDENTIFY THE MISSING EVENT

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

News

LA MESA TOWN HALL MEETING FOCUSES ON ‘TRANSITIONAL HOMES’

 

By Leon Thompson

February 29, 2016 (Maryland Avenue Elementary School, La Mesa) – An overflow crowd attended the Town Hall meeting with the La Mesa City Council on February 20th to discuss the City’s future.  Mayor Mark Arapostathis greeted the attendees.

In this part of La Mesa the subject of group-homes was very much on the minds of nearby residents.  The concentration of group-homes in this neighborhood is five times the normal number.  

MARCH IS LAKESIDE HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH



 

Lots of free and discounted health/fitness services for Lakeside residents!

By Steve Lauria

View video with Senator Joel Anderson discussing the Lakeside Health Awareness Month: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaHealthNetwork/videos/1234959753184102/

February 29, 2016 (Lakeside)--Lakeside is a rural area in the Eastern region of San Diego County. Many people find it a great place to call home, but like the rest of San Diego County, it has a growing problem with chronic disease and other health concerns.

Throughout the month of March, California Health Network, a nonprofit organization based in East County, is doing its part in improving  the health of the citizens of Lakeside by sponsoring Lakeside Health Awareness Month. Another 32 local health and fitness businesses are offering free and discounted services to  citizens of Lakeside. You can view the offers here: http://californiahealthnetwork.org/healthawarenessmonth

PARKS, WATER AND ENERGY ISSUES ON BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP'S AGENDA MARCH 3

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2016 (Boulevard) --The Boulevard Planning Group has a packed agenda for its meeting on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room (39923 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard).  The agenda includes three action items and 14 discussion items ranging from major energy projects impacting the region to a water rate hike, parks and land use issues.

The action items include:

  • a county presentation on a proposal to divide the Mountain Empire Parkland Dedication area into 41 separate units,
  • a discussion and vote on whether to submit comments on local concerns over a new multli-agency renewable energy land ues and transmissions plan to meet state renewable energy mandates,and
  • a discussion and vote related to Live Oak Springs Water company's proposed rate hike and authorization for bulk water sales.

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT BOARD VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Priscilla Schreiber (photo, left) will be forced off board

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and switch to electing trustees from each of five districts. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting. (View map at bottom of this article)

CHALDEAN CHAMBER PRESIDENT THREATENS LAWSUIT IF “GERRYMANDERING” SPLITS CHALDEAN VOTERS IN GUHSD

 

 

District board expected to vote on redistricting plan today at 4 p.m.

"...Our Chamber will not accept any gerrymandering or divisive planning for political purposes and would be readily committed to engage either legally or politically to ensure a fair and equitable approach for the betterment of our community.” -- Ben Kalasho, Chaldean American Chamber president

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Ben Kalasho, president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce in East County, has issued a press release calling on the Grossmont Union-High School District board to be “transparent and pragmatic” in its decision on how to transition from at-large to district elections. A vote on which map to approve is expected at today’s GUHSD board meeting at 4 p.m. at the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main St. in El Cajon.

COMMUNITY MEETING IN ALPINE DRAWS HUNDREDS OVER EMF CONCERNS

 

 

"When a child could get cancer, you take action." --  Alpine resident Bree Rowand (photo, left), mother of Kylie Rowand, toddler who died of neuroblastoma.

"We're here because we'd really like to ease your minds...There is no conclusive evidence that EMFs cause health risks....You have EMFs probably everywhere you go. They are coming out of your cell phone." -- Don Parent, SDG&E, which offered to conduct free measurements for any concerned property owners.

"I'm very concerned for the health of my students and health of my staff...but right now we have having safe levels [in classrooms.]" -- Bruce Cochrane, Superintendent, Alpine Union School District, adding that campus-wide results of an independent expert will be posted Friday.

"This is a failure in our system. Regulatory agencies should be the ones monitoring...If every one of you would e-mail the president of the California Public Utilities Commission as I have and ask as I have for someone to come down here and meet with the community, maybe we will get results."

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2016 (Alpine) – Over 230 people came to a community meeting at Alpine Elementary School Tuesday evening to learn more about electromagnetic field measurements in Alpine, ask questions of local officials and SDG&E, voice concerns and at times, shout out frustrations. (View video highlights from 10 News.)

$1.9 MILLION GRANT AWARDED FOR PEDESTRIAN AND BIKE SAFETY IN WEST LA MESA

 

 

East County News Service

 

February 24, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa was recently approved for a $1,919,000 grant through the California Transportation Commission (CTC) Active Transportation Program (ATP) to fund pedestrian and bicyclist safety enhancements in west La Mesa. The grant will provide improved connectivity to parks, local schools and access to the future Boys and Girls Club (Brady Family Clubhouse).

GIRL, 10, DIES SAVING ANOTHER CHILD FROM RUNAWAY VEHICLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2016 (Lakeside) – A 10-year-old girl who pushed another child out of the path of a moving vehicle in Lakeside was struck and seriously injured. She was taken to Grossmont Hospital, where she later died of her injuries, said California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein.

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER 2015 REPORT SHOWS RISE IN HATE GROUPS AND EXTREMISTS

 

Photo by Gage Skidmore

By Tasha Matthews

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- There has been a great increase in the number of hate groups and extremists across the U.S. in 2015, according to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The social justice activist group published its findings in the Intelligence Report for the Spring 2016 issue, with a photo of Donald Trump, whose rhetoric may be fueling a rise in hate speech and extremism.  

IS IT GERRYMANDERING? FINAL VOTE THURS. ON GROSSMONT REDISTRICTING: ALPINE AND CHALDEAN ADVOCATES OBJECT, ASK PUBLIC HELP

 

By  Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—Grosssmont-Union High School District’s board is expected to cast a final vote Thursday at 4 p.m. on controversial redistricting maps. The board will also vote to seek a waiver from the state from a requirement that would ordinarily requiring putting the redistricting measure on the ballot, and waiver from a state requiring that new trustee area plans be in effect at least 120 days before the next election in November.  (View meeting notice. The meeting will be at the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main Street, El Cajon.)

The district contends it has acted appropriately in response to a threat of legal action over alleged voting rights violations. But critics say the plan would oust the board’s most outspoken dissenting member, Priscilla Schreiber, leave Alpine represented by an opponent of the Alpine High School, and divide Iraqi-Chaldean residents into multiple districts, diluting their power as a voting block.  It also carves out a new district in the Lemon Grove/Spring Valley area with no trustee currently residing in that district, which does have a history of representing people of color.

11-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN CRASH AT CAMPO CHECKPOINT

 

East County News Service

February 22, 2016 (Campo) — An 11-year-old girl died in a fiery three-vehicle crash at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 westbound in Campo.  Four other people are hospitalized with moderate to major injuries from the collision last night at 9 p.m.

CPUC HOLDS HEARING ON GAS RATES IN SAN DIEGO—AND FAILS TO NOTIFY MEDIA OUTLET

 

Want a hearing and proper notice to the public and media? Contact public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov.

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2016 (San Diego) – Why did the California Public Utilities Commission hold a hearing on a proposal to increase gas rates for SoCalGas and SDG&E customers, but failed to notify our media outlet? 

SDG&E RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ON ALPINE ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF) LEVELS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink (left) transmits 500 kilovolts of electricity above ground across most its its route, but was installed underground in Alpine, where it flows beneath the main street in  the rural mountain town.

February 20, 2016 (Alpine) – East County Magazine reached out to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  after reviewing results of two studies measuring electromagnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. (The first study, done by an engineer and contractor, found high levels along Alpine Blvd. above the underground Sunrise Powerlink. The second, commissioned by the County Office of Education, measured levels at Alpine Elementary School.  It found relatively low levels at most places on the campus, though two outside areas nearest the boulevard were higher, one substantially so. View details here.) Those reports raised concerns among some community members about potential health risks for chlidren, though medical studies have shown conflicting results on this issue.

We asked SDG&E if it has plans to measure EMF levels at other locations, what EMF levels it would consider safe, what  fixes or mitigation might be possible, and what EMF research the company supports. Below are our questions and the answers provided by Allison Torres, SDG&E media representative:  

ALPINE EDUCATION FOUNDATION AGREES TO FUND INDEPENDENT EMF STUDIES

 

Superintendent issues correction: EPA has not issued recommended EMF safe levels.

Meetings Feb. 23 and 25  will address EMF issues in Alpine.

By Miriam Raftery

February 20, 2016 (Alpine)—The Alpine Education Foundation has agreed to fund hiring a professional independent expert to measure electromagnetic frequency (EMF) readings along the route of the buried Sunrise Powerlink in Alpine, AEF president George Barnett has informed East County Magazine.

FIRST MOBILE HOME PARK UTILITIES UPGRADE CONVERSION COMPLETED IN EL CAJON

 

SDG&E slated to upgrade 30 mobile home parks, improve safety for residents

By Mike Allen

February 19, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Elected officials, state and local utility people and residents of the Heart ‘O the Hills Mobile Lodge in El Cajon gathered Feb. 18 to celebrate the completion of a natural gas and electric line upgrading, the first park in San Diego County to obtain such a conversion.

FULL CLOSURE OF STATE ROUTE 67 NORTHBOUND IN LAKESIDE FEB. 26-27

 

East County News Service

 

 

February 19, 2016 (Lakeside) -- Construction crews will close northbound State Route 67 (SR-67) from Winter Gardens Boulevard to Mapleview Street Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9 at night until 11 the following morning, Caltrans reports.

LA MESA TOWN HALL REVEALS COMMUNITY UNREST BREWING OVER BEER AND OUTDOOR MUSIC VENUE

 

By Leon Thompson

February 18, 20016 (La Mesa) -- The first La Mesa Town Hall event of 2016 exposed tensions brewing in the relationship between citizens of La Mesa and the City Council.  These open forum sessions aim to give citizens a forum to share “ideas, comments and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City,” according to the City’s website.

ALPINE POWERLINK CONCERNS SPARK RESPONSES

 

New EMF readings at Alpine Elementary have lower levels; district offers reassurance to parents

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2016 (Alpine) –  Alpine planners, school officials, and SDG&E have weighed in with responses to publication of meter readings that revealed high electric-magnetic frequency (EMF) levels along Alpine Boulevard, where Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines are buried. The readings were first published in the Alpine Sun and later highlights, analysis and community reactions were published in East County Magazine and the Alpine Community Network.

JACOB CALLS FOR CPUC INVESTIGATION OF HIGH EMF LEVELS IN ALPINE ALONG POWERLINK ROUTE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Supervisor Dianne Jacob, speaking against Powerlink at a 2010 rally

Update:  SDG&E, the Alpine Union High School District, and the Alpine Community Planning Group have responded to community concerns.  The County Board of Education has measured levels at the Alpine Elementary School and found them within EPA recommended levels. SDG&E has offered to meet with any concerned residents or business owners and take measurements. We have also provided additional a broader range of studies on possible health issue.  See our new article here with the latest details: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/alpine-powerlink-concerns-spark-responses 

February 17, 2016 (Alpine) – Today, Supervisor Dianne Jacob sent a letter to California Public Utilities Commission chairman Michael Picker requesting an immediate investigation and independent review of high electric magnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. Copies of Jacob’s letter were sent to Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and all CPUC commissioners.

COULD MICROCEPHALY IN BRAZIL BE CAUSED BY A CHEMICAL IN DRINKING WATER, NOT ZIKA VIRUS?

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 17, 2016 (San Diego) —  Zika virus has been the main culprit suspected in thousands of cases of babies in Brazil born with microcephaly, a condition that causes small skulls and under-developed brains.  But now a group of doctors and researchers in Argentina have published a report suggesting another possible cause: the chemical Pyriproxyfen, a larvicide made by a Monsanto subsidiary that has been applied to drinking water supplies in Brazil to control mosquitoes.

DROUGHT RELIEF MAY BE IN SIGHT FOR HELIX WATER USERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2016 (La Mesa) — On February 11th, the state adopted new regulations to reduce conservation mandates for water agencies that have taken steps to boost local water supplies .  Helix Water District is expected to get a credit for water bought from the new Carlsbad Desalinization plant, as well as due to high inland temperatures.  The district must apply for the break, but if approved, Helix could see its conservation mandate reduced to reducing water use by 12% instead of 20% through October 2016.

Helix customers have reduced water use 23% compared to 2013, far exceeding the Governor’s 20% required reduction for the district. If the restrictions on water use are eased, next up the board could consider easing or eliminating penalties on water users who exceed the limit—welcome relief for homeowners on larger lots struggling to keep large trees alive as hot weather arrives early.

HUNTER PUFFS TO SUPPORT VAPING ON PLANES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed an amendment that would impose a federal ban on vaping or e-cigarettes on all airlines in the U.S..  Congressman Duncan Hunter, who took over $10,000 in tobacco industry campaign contributions this election cycle, opposed the amendment–even lighting up during the hearing and puffing a cloud of vapor to make his point.

LEMON GROVE WEIGHS CHANGES IN GENERAL PLAN

 

 

By Helen Ofield

 

February 15, 2016 (Lemon Grove) - Lemon Grove’s General Plan (GP) is in full throttle, with folks all over town on the march toward a new, clearer vision for Lemon Grove.  OnTuesday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m., the City Council will hear a report on where things stand with the draft plan. Zip over to the Community Center on School Lane and get the news firsthand.

HELP YOUR COMMUNITY! SPONSOR OUR HEALTH AND FITNESS SECTION

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Magazine, in conjunction with California Health Network, a local nonprofit, is expanding our health and fitness section to promote health awareness to East County residents. This is a great opportunity for you to promote your business to our 150,000 readers and help educate the public on important and potentially life-saving health issues.       

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