EAST COUNTY FEST AUGUST 25: THE PARTY OF THE DECADE FOR OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY!

HEALTHCARE DISTRICT HOSTS RECEPTION FOR JAMES NEWLAND, AUTHOR OF NEW BOOK ON GROSSMONT HOSPITAL’S HISTORY

HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO HELP FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

AMAZING AUCTION AND RAFFLE PRIZES AT EAST COUNTY FEST AUGUST 25

KALASHO LEAVES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, LASHES OUT AT MEDIA

LEMON GROVE MAYOR VASQUEZ PAINTS OPTIMISTIC PICTURE IN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

BOOK LOVERS, REJOICE! MEET THESE AUTHORS AT EAST COUNTY FEST AUGUST 25TH AT MISSION TRAILS

LANGUAGE AUTHOR AND HUMORIST RICHARD LEDERER TO SHARE WIT AND WISDOM AT EAST COUNTY FEST AUG. 25

WILDEST JOBS IN EAST COUNTY: RATTLESNAKE WRANGLER

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

FREE PET ADOPTIONS FOR CLEAR THE SHELTERS

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT CALLS FOR SAFETY REVIEW AFTER “NEAR MISS” SAFETY MISHAP AT SAN ONOFRE

News

NEW ENERGY PRICING PLANS ADD MORE CHOICE AND CONTROL FOR CUSTOMERS

 

Five reasons to consider switching to a Time of Use plan

East County News Service

June 7, 2018  (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) new Time of Use (TOU) pricing plans are giving residents more choices and control over their energy bills. These plans offer savings for customers who can shift some of their energy use outside the higher cost on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to an SDG&E press release:

EL CAJON MAN DIES AFTER CRASH IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon resident Clyde Ray Chappell, 58, died at Sharp Memorial. from blunt force injuries suffered in a vehicle accident that occurred on June 2nd

Chappell was the rear passenger of a vehicle traveling north on State Route 67 through Lakeside when the driver lost control approaching Winter Gardens Blvd. The vehicle left the roadway and Chappell was ejected.

Witnesses called 9-1-1 and first responders transported the victim to Sharp Memorial, a trauma center, where despite aggressive resuscitative efforts, he was pronounced dead at 1 a.m. on June 3rd.

HIKER, 20, FROM LEMON GROVE DIES AT THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 6, 2018 (Cleveland National Forest)—Nathalie Reed, a 20-year-old woman from Lemon Grove, died last night on at Three Sisters Falls in Cleveland National Forest.

Reed was hiking with a friend when her friend saw that she had become dehydrated and hypothermic. Reed fell into bushes and a bystander called 911, the Medical Examiner's report states.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call for help from Cal-Fire at 5:49 p.m. . Medical personnel along with deputies and a Sheriff’s helicopter arrived to find the victim was deceased, Sg. Chris Galve reports.

BRUSH FIRE IN CAMPO PROMPTS EVACUATION WARNINGS

 

Update June 8, 2018 11 a.m. -- Cause of the fire has been determined to be a campfire on private land. The fire is now 85% contained.

Update June 7, 2018 10 a.m. -- Cal Fire reports the fire is holding at 265 acres and is now 30% contained. 

Update 4:30 p.m.: The fire is now 265 acres and 5% contaiued with forward spread stop. Evacuations have been lifted but a soft closure remains at La Posta Rd., Cal Fire reports.

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark Siegmund, who called 911 to report the fire.

June 6, 2018 (Campo) – Cal Fire reports a fire called the #RecycleFire has burned 150 acres in Campo, prompting evacuation warnings for residents on North Campo Truck Trail.  The blaze is 0% contained.

The fire has caused closure of La Posta Road at State Route 94. The fire was reported at 10:24 a.m. in the 31000 block of highway 94.

REPUBLICANS SWEEP FOUR SAN DIEGO COUNTYWIDE ELECTIONS

 

Story and photos by Jonathan Goetz

June 6, 2018 (San Diego) – It was a strong night for Republicans running countywide in San Diego yesterday. The GOP swept all four countywide seats on the ballot June 5, 2018.

East County Magazine met up with all four winners at Golden Hall, and received some of their reactions as early results arrived at Golden Hall, Election Central.

JONES DEFEATS FIRE CAPTAIN GRIFFITH IN STATE SENATE RACE

 

Joel Anderson, termed out of State Senate, advances to run-off for Board of Equalization

By Miriam Raftery

File photos: Brian Jones and Jeff Griffith, left; Joel Anderson, right

June 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – In the open 38th state Senate seat being vacated by Joel Anderson due to term limits, former Assemblyman and current Santee Councilman Brian Jones,  a Republican, has secured 58.7%. Cal Fire Captain and paramedic Jeff Griffith, a Democrat running on a platform of fighting to improve public safety, has nearly 40% in this heavily Republican district.  Assuming Jones remains over 50% once all late mail-in and provisional ballots are counted, he will win the election outright and there will not be a run-off race.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND SHERIFF LOOK HEADED TO REELECTION

 

 

 By Miriam Raftery

Jonathan Goetz contributed to this report.

 June 6, 2018 (San Diego) – District Attorney Summer Stephans and Sheriff Bill Gore looks likely to win reelection. 

With 15.3% of votes counted, she has over two-thirds of the votes at 64.53%.  Challenger Genevieve Jones-Wright, a progressive Democrat, has only 35.32% of the vote.

Sheriff Gore has 57.2% of the vote vs. Dave Myers, a Democratic Challenger from within Gore's own department, who has 42.6%. 

ELIA LEADING WILKES IN RACE TO CHALLENGE VOEPEL FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT

 

Update June 6, 2018 -- Across both San Diego and Riverside County, with 100% of precincts tallied but not late mail-in or provisional ballots, according to the Califiornia Secretary of State the results are:  Randy Voepel 44.5%,  James Elia 31.3%, and Larry Wilske 24.2%.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jonathan Goetz, who also contributed to this report

June 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- In the 71st Assembly district held by  Republican Randy Voepel, with 15.3% of precincts counted, Voepel is on top in San Diego County with 44.13% but Democratic challenger James Elia is in second with 32.2% of the vote among the roughly 34,000 ballots tallied so far. 

Republican challenger Larry Wilske, a retired Navy Seal, had attacked Voepel with accusation of stolen valor, claiming Voepel inflated his military record.

In conservative Riverside County, which has a small percentage of voters, Wilske is actually ahead of the incumbent. Among Riverside's roughly 3,000 votes counted thus far, Wilske has 35.26%, followed by  Elia at 33.17%, and Voepel at just 31.57%. Voepel has strongest name recognition in East County, where he formerly served as mayor of Santee.

"We laid it all on the line, we've knocked on as many doors as we can and we look forward to the end of the night and we're confident we're going to November," Elia, an accountant, said tonight.

SENATE BILL WOULD RESTRICT OWNERSHIP OF DANGEROUS BIG CATS

 

Lions, tigers and other exotic felines are kept as pets, photo props and roadside zoo spectacles across the U.S.

East County News Service

June 5, 2018 (Washington D.C) -- The Animal Welfare Institute, Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are celebrating the introduction of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) in the U.S. SenateChampioned by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the bill would ensure that unqualified individuals, including chronic animal abusers, are prohibited from obtaining and keeping dangerous big cats like tigers, lions, leopards and pumas.

LARGE CROWD FLOCKS TO OPENING OF EL CAJON ANIMAL SHELTER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Monica Zech:  This dog found a fur-ever home with a visitor during the opening of the new shelter.

June 5, 2018 (El Cajon) – After years of doggedly determined planning efforts, El Cajon’s new animal shelter had its grand opening on Sunday.  An estimated 1,000 people flocked to the event, which resulted in 18 pet adoptions.

“We had a gloriously exhausting day,” says Jill Jones, manager of the facility at 1373 North Marshall Avenue.  “We found forever homes for eight dogs, four cats, five kittens and one tortoise.” The latter was adopted by Dirk Epperson, the city’s public works director and his family.

SMALL FIRES DOUSED IN LA MESA AND RANCHO SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Two small brush fires in La Mesa and Rancho San Diego caused brief evacuations over the weekend but were doused with no structure damage or injuries.

On Saturday, June 2nd, a fire started in brush near an apartment complex at Jamacha Road and Fury Lane in unincorporated La Mesa shortly after 4 p.m.  About 40 residents were evacuated from two apartment buildings as a precaution. The fire was held to 2.5 acres by San Miguel Fire Departments. The Sheriff’s Bomb Arson detectives are investigating the cause.

CALIFORNIA SENATORS FIGHT TO STOP CHILDREN FROM BEING TAKEN FROM PARENTS AT BORDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Twitter

June 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Outrage is growing over revelations that the Trump administration has dramatically expanded the number of children being forcibly separated from their parents at the international border. On Friday, dozens o f protests were held in cities across the nation, NPR reports. The hashtag #familiesbelongtogether is trending on Twitter, showing thousands gathered at protests from Trump Towers to the nation’s capital.

DEL CERRO FIRE WAS STARTED BY JUVENILES, INVESTIGATORS FIND

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Last updated June 4, 2018 at 9 a.m.

June 3, 2018 (Del Cerro) – San Diego Fire investigators have concluded that a fire that scorched 38 acres in Del Cerro yesterday was started by 12-year-old children playing with a lighter. It has not yet been announced whther the juveniles will face charges, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

The fire reported at 4:09 p.m. in the Adobe Falls area of Del Cerro on Del Cerro Blvd. near Waring Road forced evacuation of 60 to 80 homes on Adobe Falls Road this afternoon and evening.

The fire started in a brushy canyon and swiftly threatened homes, burning east and to within several feet of Interstate 8, forcing closure of the freeway and harrowing moments for motorists.

ECM reporter Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson was driving toward the fire on I-8 and got cell phone photos (top left and lower left) of flames beside the freeway and a wall of smoke confronting motorists.  "The other driver and I didn't know what we were driving into, but we were not stopped from advancing," she reports, adding that orange and black embers and ashes were hitting her car. One ember came through her open window and burned her finger, she added.

PLANE DOWN AT RAMONA AIRPORT, PILOT SAFE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2018 (Ramona) – Cal Fire’s incident commander in Ramona reports an aircraft down at the Ramona airport.

An initial report indicated one patient had minor injuries, but the patient was released after evaluation at the scene.

No information on cause of the crash has yet been released.

A photo provided by Cal Fire, credited to Kevin Pack, shows the letters and numbers N9410M on the tail.  The 1970 fixed-wing Cessna is listed at FlightAware as registered to Steven F. Davenport of Peralta, New Mexico.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MATT BROWER, CANDIDATE FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 31, 2018 (San Diego) – Matt Brower, candidate for Superior Court Judge in seat 37, sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ radio. He’s a deputy district attorney and a judge advocate in the Marne Corps Reserve running for San DIego Superior Court seat 37.

He says if elected, he will “be focused on a daily basis with treating all people with professionalism, dignity and respect.”

He’s running against incumbent Judge Gary Kreep, who was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts on judicial misconduct and running his courtroom in a biased manner, making derogatory comments about minorities, women attorneys, and people with cases before him.

Listen to his full interview at the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Matt Brower, canddiate for San Diego Superior Court

BIRTH CONTROL PILLS RECALLED; MAY CAUSE “UNINTENDED PREGNANCY”

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 31, 2018 (San Diego) — Taytulla birth control pills made by Allergan have been recalled by the manufacturer nationwide.  The sample packages distributed by doctors are supposed to include pills with hormones for 24 days, as well as four placebo pills without hormones.

JULIAN FIRE CAPTAIN PUT ON LEAVE SAYS THERE’S NO ONE TO DRIVE THE FIRE TRUCK

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 31, 2018 (Julian) – The only on-duty firefighter authorized to drive a firetruck in Julian was placed on leave yesterday after a heated argument with the chief, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

Rick Marinelli, the departing Chief of the Julian-Cuyamaca Volunteer Fire District in process of being taken over by the County Fire Department run by Cal Fire, reportedly ordered Captain Dave Southcott escorted off the property by law enforcement. Firefighters told 10 News that Marinelli placed Southcutt and Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber on administration leave this week.

But no one else authorized to drive a fire truck was slated to work yesterday or today, leaving the public vulnerable should an emergency occur, firefighters told 10 News.

WHAT CAUSED THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES? AND DO DANGEROUS CONDITIONS EXIST THAT SHOULD BE FIXED?

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2018 (San Diego) – A report released May 25th by Cal Fire concludes that four of the devastating wildfires in Butte and Nevada Counties last October (La Porte, McCourtney, Lobo and Honey fires) were caused by trees coming into contact with power lines. In three of those fires, state laws requiring clearance around power lines were violated by the utilities, Cal Fire also found, though no violations were found in the La Porte blaze.

FBI: RUSSIAN HACKERS HAVE INFECTED HOME ROUTERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2018 (San Diego) – The FBI has issued a warning of Russian hackers infecting computer routers. The hack is linked to an espionage group loading malware that has already caused major attacks in the Ukraine and has now been found on home and office computer routers in the U.S.

JULIAN FIREFIGHT: NEW CHIEF FACES LAWSUITS, PROTESTS OVER COUNTY 'HOSTILE TAKEOVER'

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo: Jeremi Roesler, incoming Julian fire chief, spoke recently in Poway. Image via City of Poway

May 30, 2018 (Julian) - Update at 9 a.m. May 30, 2018: Unpaid Julian fire Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber says he was placed on administrative leave Tuesday morning by outgoing Fire Chief Rick Marinelli, and fire Capt. Dave Southcott was escorted off fire station property by a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday morning, leaving a volunteer crew without supervision. “This is their trying to decimate us from the top down,” said Van Bibber said. More details to come.

Jeremi Roesler takes over as Julian fire chief Friday, succeeding five-year Chief Rick Marinelli and inheriting a firestorm.

A battalion chief with Cal Fire’s Hemet-area Battalion 5, Roesler will be dealing with lawsuits, complaints of Brown Act violations, expected protests at the Julian fire station on state Route 79 and an angry citizenry that has petitioned twice to keep its last-in-the-county volunteer force.

HIT PIECE MAILER BY BUTNER CAMPAIGN SLURS CAMPA-NAJJAR WITH FALSE CLAIMS IN CONGRESSIONAL RACE

 

Hear our interviews with 4 candidates in the race on their immigration views

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A campaign mailer sent by 50th Congressional candidate Josh Butner, a Republican-turned-Democrat, to voters contained false smears against his opponent, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.  KPBS reports that Butner’s mailer distorted Campa-Najjar’s stances on immigration, falsely claiming he’s defended Trump’s Muslim ban.

It also has a photo taken before Donald Trump’s presidency, when Campa-Najjar says was working with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to falsely position Campa-Najjar as a Trump supporter when in fact, he has been a vocal opponent of a wide range of Trump’s policies.

VOLCAN MOUNTAIN PLANE CRASH VICTIMS STILL NOT IDENTIFIED

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

May 29, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A plane that crashed on May 11th on Volcan Mountain near Julian has been positively identified as a twin-engine Beechcraft Duchess reported missing by Gillespie Field, according to the FAA.

ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY PASSES GONZALEZ-FLETCHER BILL TO COMBAT BARK BEETLE SCOURGE RAVAGING LOCAL FORESTS

 

East County News Service

Photo:  Creative commons photo by Youli on Wikipedia

May 29, 2018 (Sacramento) -- The California State Assembly today unanimously passed a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego)  to help prevent future deadly wildfires caused when trees dry up into kindling after being killed by beetles that have become a scourge of the Southern California countryside.

STATE SENATE’S DEMOCRATS PASS BILL TO HELP CALIF. WILDFIRE SURVIVORS REBUILD

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – By a 24-11 vote, the California State Senate today passed Senate Bill 894, a bill to help wildfire survivors who were underinsured rebuild their lives after devastating disasters.  Republicans opposed the bill, while all Democrats (except one) voted in support.

PUBLIC HEARING JUNE 12 ON UNDERGROUND UTILITY DISTRICT IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

Photo: Underground utility line installation in Alpine during construction of Sunrise Powerlink.

May 29, 2018 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 12th at 3 p.m. in Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon to consider an underground utility district on N. Magnolia Avenue from Fletcher Parkway to Vernon Way. This would allow overhead utility lines to be placed underground at a cost of $1.9 million, paid for out of San Diego Gas & Electric Funds allocated to the city for this purpose.

Councilman Gary Kendrick advised ECM that the action is sought to enable a hotel to be build on the site of the former El Cajon Police station, where overhead powerlines would currently prevent construction.

BRUSH FIRE IN LEMON GROVE

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Update 8:45 p.m.:   Heartland Fire and Rescue indicates the fire started in palm trees at the Lemon Grove Trolley station and spread along trolley tracks, briefly threatening about 20 homes.  The fire damaged power lines and railroad ties for the trolley, so the trolley remains shut down. There was also minor damage to eaves of some homes and a fence. Cause of the fire is under investigation by the Sheriff's Bomb and Arson squad.

Heartland Fire & Rescue units from Lemon Grove and La Mesa responded, with assistance from San Diego Fire, San Miguel Fire, and Cal Fire/SDSO to swiftly stop the blaze.

May 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- A brush fire in Lemon Grove has charred about two acres, but Heartland firefighters have halted the forward spread.

The fire was reported in palm trees shortly after 5 p.m. in the 1500 block of San Altos Place. It jumped Imperial Avenue and according to CBS 8, briefly threatened structures on Angelus Avenue.

VETERANS SEND MEMORIAL DAY CALL TO PROTECT MONUMENTS

 

By Eric Galatas, Public News Service

Photo:  The program that helped create Gettysburg and other historic military sites is set to expire Sept. 30. (Wikimedia Commons)

May 27, 2018 (Sacramento) - As Americans observe Memorial Day, more than eight thousand veterans from across the nation have signed a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that helps protect some of the nation's most historic battlefields, monuments and public lands.

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