News

RAINS ARE COMING: NEED SANDBAGS?

 

February 28, 2015 (San Diego)--There could be some unfamiliar stuff falling out of the sky over the next few days in San Diego County.  That’s right — rain, and potentially, lots of it.

RECORD-BREAKING MARIJUANA SEIZURE AT OTAY: 15 TONS HIDDEN IN MATTRESS SHIPMENT

 

February 27, 2015 (Otay)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry Thursday seized more than 15 tons of marijuana hidden in a cargo shipment of mattresses.  The seizure is the largest narcotics seizure ever at the border crossing, and second largest seizure at any border crossing nationwide.

CULTURAL TREASURES RETURNED TO ITALY, INCLUDING ITEMS SEIZED IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2015 (San Diego)—Ancient treasures seized in seven U.S. cities, including San Diego, have been returned to the Italian government this week, Homeland Security has announced.

LAWSUIT CLAIMS PURINA BENEFUL FOOD IS KILLING DOGS

 

East County News Service

February 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A class action lawsuit claims that dry kilbble dog foods  sold under the Purina Beneful brand have killed and caused serious illness to thousands of dogs.  More than 3,000 online complaints have been filed with the federal government over the products.

WINDS AND WINTER WEATHER FORECAST

 

East County News Service

February 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm is due to hit our region tonight through Monday, bringing strong gusty winds to mountains and deserts.  Possible thunderstorms are possible starting Sunday night, bringing rain and potentially heavy snowfall down to levels that may include Julian, Descanso and Pine Valley.

The Sheriff offered this reminder to motorists traveling in the mountains: Have a full tank of gas, water and food supplies in case you are stranded in traffic for several hours. Have snow chains for areas where they will be required. Public restroom facilities are limited...Be mindful of areas that are private property which are marked by signs and fences. Private property is off limits to the public for recreational snow activities.

Parking violations will be enforced and citations will be issued. Vehicles blocking roadways and private property will be towed. Be aware of increased law enforcement activity to handle the large crowds.

 

MEDIA WATCH: FCC VOTES FOR NET NEUTRALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Advocates of free and open internet access won a major victory Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to adopt net neutrality.

BOY, 7, DIES AFTER BEING STRUCK BY CAR IN EL CAJON

 

February 27, 2015 (El Cajon) – Angel Cruz, a 7-year-old boy struck by a car yesterday afternoon, has died  of his injuries as 12:40 this morning. The boy was struck by a car 3:45 p.m.yesterday  while crossing the 900 block of Peach Avenue in El Cajon.

Mark Isak, the 18-year-old driver of the silver Hyundai that struck the child, stopped immediately after the collision and is cooperating fully with traffic investigators, said Lieutenant Randy Soulard with El Cajon Police. He has not been charged or cited. Neither speed nor alcohol appear to be factors in the collision.

OH BABY! BILL WOULD ELIMINATE TAX ON DIAPERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s rare for a labor leader and a tax fighter to agree on most issues.  But AB 717, a bill to eliminate sales tax on diapers in California, has accomplished just that.

FLETHER HILLS RESIDENTS PLAN LAWSUIT OVER GILLESPIE FLIGHT SCHOOL TRAINING AND LEAD POLLUTION

 

East County News Service

March 4 meeting planned for Fletcher Hills residents with attorneys

February 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – Fletcher Hills residents are planning a lawsuit over loss of property values, quality of life and lead pollution associated with increased air traffic at Gillespie Field Airport.

ALASKA, WASHINGTON D.C. EASE RESTRITIONS ON POT

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (San Diego)--Alaska has become the 3rd state to legalization the recreational use of marijuana, with limits similar to those in place in Colorado and Washington state, the other states where marijuana is now legal for adults to own in small quantities for personal use.

MAJOR TRAIL CHANGES PROPOSED TO THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

 

Public comments due by March 25

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Three Sisters Falls is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in East County – a trio of waterfalls and natural swimming holes in a wilderness area within Cleveland National Forest.  But the falls are also among the most difficult scenic sites to access.

Now Cleveland National Forest’s Palomar Ranger District is planning a major recreation management   project at Three Sisters Falls, located near Boulder Creek Road between Santa Ysabel  and Descanso. The proposed action is to adopt and/or construct a Level 2 System Trail to Three Sisters Falls, to decommission and restore existing user-created trails, and to clear and construct  a primitive dirt or gravel parking area off of Boulder Creek Road, also adding a kiosk with educational materials.

The purpose of this project is to  address concerns related to public health and safety, resource impacts from unmanaged recreation use, and compromised access along Boulder Creek Road for area residents and emergency vehicles during high-use periods at Three Sisters Falls, says district ranger Joan Friedlander.

BLIZZARD BREAKS RECORDS ACROSS NORTHEAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 25,2015 (San Diego’s East County)--While San Diegans are enjoying the sunshine lately, the Northeastern U.S. has been gripped by record cold temperatures and snow – a LOT of snow.  Just how deep is it?

SPRING HEADED TO COLLIER PARK

By Kristin Kjaero

February 24, 2015 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents can look forward someday to new life for the city’s oldest park, as the La Mesa City Council voted 4-0 to adopt the Collier Park Project Master Plan and Environmental Impact Report for its proposed renovation.

Much of the site is undeveloped, and the new plan makes use of this space, lowering the top of the hill by 20 feet to create a larger usable area. When funding can be found, development will be undertaken in phases corresponding to four project areas: Panhandle, Spring House, History Hill and Collier Club House.

Planned amenities include renovated tennis courts and restrooms, picnic area, ADA accessible walking paths and interpretive signage throughout, three separate playground areas aimed for growing age groups, two gazebos, a giant outdoor chess set, a bocce court, a hillside amphitheater, drainage for the soggy lower portion, and a club building with outdoor event area and ceremonial stage.

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SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MISSING HIKER WHO LEFT ANZA TWO WEEKS AGO

 

Hikers find belongings 13 miles off Highway 79, north of Warner Springs

East County News Service

February 24, 2015 (San Diego) updated February 26, 2015—San Diego Search and Rescue Crews are hunting for a 28-year-old hiker, Chris Sylvia, who left Anza, California on Thursday, February 12th to hike south on the Pacific Crest Trail for a week or more. He called a friend February 16th to meet him near Warner Springs to pickup supplies on February 17th, but never arrived.   

His friend told authorities he assumed Sylvia had continued his hike without stopping. But when he failed to reach his final destination, Campo, Sylvia’s friend became concerned and contacted the Sheriff on February 24.

Also on the 24th, other hikers found gear including a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and backpack that appear to belong to Sylvia. His identification was also found at this site approximately 13 miles off Highgway 79, north of Warner Springs.

HERE'S A STORY THAT'S TRULY OUT OF THIS WORLD

 

February 21, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - "Mars One" , a Dutch nonprofit, has announced plans to build the first permanent settlement Mars.  More than 200,000 people applied to join the first expedition of settlers on a143 million mile, one-way trip to the fourth planet from the sun.

COMMUNITY MEETING ON AIRPORT NOISE NEAR GILLESPIE MARCH 4

 

February 20, 2015 (El Cajon) – Advocates of Safe Airport Policies (ASAP), a nonprofit citizens group, invites the public  to a community meeting on Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 p.m. to learn what you can do if you’re concerned about noise from planes disturbing your neighborhood.

ISIL ATROCITIES MOUNT AS JIHADISTS SET SITES ON CONQUERING ROME

 

East County News Service

February 20, 2015 (San Diego)—Threats of Islamic State (or ISIL) forces spreading across northern Africa and into Europe are growing.  After establishing a caliphate in portions of Iraq and Syria, ISIL jihadists have reportedly burned 40 people alive  in Iraq’s Anbar province as well as a Jordanian pilot and beheaded 20 Egyptian Christians in Libya. This weeks, Turkish intelligence reportedly warns that ISIL may be plotting terror attacks in Turkey.

FAA PROPOSES RULES FOR DRONES

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released draft rules for regulation of drones on February 15th, though it will likely take two or three years before they can take effect.  The next step is approval by the Obama administration, followed by a public comments period.

RISE IN VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS WORLDWIDE RAISES ALARM

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Last week,  a young Jewish man was shot and killed outside a Copenhagen synagogue. In Paris, as many as 250 Jewish graves were desecrated.  At the University of California in Davis, California earlier this month, swastikas were sprayed on a Jewish fraternity houseafter a demonstration by pro-Palestinian students, one of whom  proclaimed on Facebook that Hamas and Sharia law had come to the campus, prompting 23 organizations to demand an investigation to protect Jewish students’ safety. These are the latest in a string of hate crimes targeting Jewish people around the world.

It's a violent start to the New Year that continues a chilling trend.  Last year, 2014, was a year of unprecedented anti-Semitic violence worldwide, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reports. That report found that due to violent anti-Semitism, Jewish people worldwide now face the greatest challenges since the end of World War II, when 6 million Jewish people were exterminated in concentration camps by the Nazis.

HELIX WATER TO HOLD WORKSHOP ON WATER RATE STRUCTURE FEB. 18

East County News Service

February 17, 2015 (La Mesa) – The Helix Water District Board meets Wednseday, February 18 at 2 p.m. (7811 University Ave., La Mesa).

The agenda includes a workshop on water rate structure cost of service. Oddly, as of Tuesday afternoon, the agenda packet did not include any details on a proposed water rate structure for the public to review prior to the meeting, raising questions over adequacy of public notice under the Ralph M. Brown Act.

JUDGE BLOCKS OBAMA'S IMMIGRATION REFORMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A federal judge in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration from being implemented, while a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states works its way through the courts.

FOX 5 NEWS AIRS APOLOGY FOR DEPICTING OBAMA AS RAPE SUSPECT

By  Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego

February 16, 2015 (San Diego)--Two nights after briefly portraying President Obama as a sex-assault suspect on its 10 o’clock news, Fox 5 San Diego apologized to viewers.

BRUSH FIRE QUCKLY DOUSED IN EL CAJON

 

Source: Heartland Fire & Rescue

February 14, 2015 (El Cajon)-Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in El Cajon responded to reports of a brush fire in the 1500 block of Orange Avenue in El Cajon Saturday afternoon at 4:41 p.m.   Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from a hillside behind a home at 1522 S. Orange Avenue.

FIRE DAMAGES CONDO UNIT IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Heartland Fire & Rescue

February 14, 2015 (El Cajon ) –, Heartland Fire Dispatch received reports shortly after 8:30 this morning of a structure fire.   Heartland Fire & Rescue crews, returning from an earlier call, saw the smoke and were on scene of the fire in two minutes of the call.  They found the smoke coming from an upstairs bedroom area of a two-story condominium unit at 288 Roanoke Road in El Cajon.

COUNTY PLANNERS MASSAGE RULE AGAINST SPRAWL; SEEK INPUT AT PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY, 2/21

 

By Patsy Fritz

February 16, 2015 (San Diego)--The County General Plan, adopted August 3, 2011, took 12 years and cost $18,600,000. It’s based on smart growth/smart location. But if you think it will effectively control sprawl in the backcountry, you may have to think again.

On Saturday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m. the County will hold its second public workshop on a controversial clause in the General Plan that limits “leapfrog development.” The County Planning & Development staff is seeking to abandon the current limitation and are seeking an “equivalent” standard. Location of the workshop will be 5500 Overland Avenue, Room 120 at the County Operations Center (on Kearney Mesa in San Diego). 

Lasting two hours, the agenda is identical to one held Wednesday, February 11, where opposition was raised to any change, by many of the rural Community and Sponsor Group members who attended.

U.S. LABOR SECRETARY TO NEGOTIATE IN EFFORT TO END PORTS SLOWDOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2015 (San Diego)--A labor dispute is causing slow-downs in ports along the West Coast.

Now President Barack Obama has announced he is sending his labor Secretary Tom Perez to California to meet with both sides and try to negotiate a settlement.

KYLIE ROWAND REMEMBERED IN VALENTINE'S DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--A toddler who captured the hearts of a community has died after a long battle with neuroblastoma cancer.  A memorial service was held on Valentine’s Day for Kylie Rowand of Alpine, with hundreds of mourners dressed in pink at Shadow Mountain Church in El Cajon.

REPUBLICANS THREATEN SHUT DOWN OF HOMELAND SECURITY OVER IMMIGRATION FIGHT

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Conservatives in Congress are threatening to let the Department of Homeland Security shut down on February 27th, refusing to fund a measure authorizing funding of Homeland Security unless they can secure approval of language to repeal President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. The agency was formed to protect national security after the 9/11 terrorism attacks in 2001.

BORDER PATROL REMINDS TRAVELERS ABOUT PROHIBITED FLOWERS FROM MEXICO: CHRYSANTHEMUMS, GLADIOLAS, MURRAYA NOT PERMITTED

 

February 13, 2015 (San Diego) — With Valentine’s Day approaching, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials want to remind travelers of prohibited flowers from Mexico, so there are no surprises at the border.

CRIME DOWN, LA MESA POLICE CHIEF REPORTS

 

Council also heard city’s quarterly financial report and filled Parking Commission vacancy

By Janis Russell

February 13, 2015 (La Mesa)- At the La Mesa city council meeting Tuesday,  former Police Chief Ed Aceves presented the quarterly crime report-and some good news:  crime last year declined from 2013. Chief Aceves said the crime rate overall is down, “the lowest it’s been since 2011.”

He also presented  charts.  One showed that in 2014, there were no homicides.  However there were  16 rapes, 68 robberies, and 124 aggravated assaults (assault with some type of injury). The aggravated assault  had the biggest increase from 2013. 28 robbery cases were cleared, or solved, in 2014.

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