PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 11: SHIBUTANIS, SIGOURNEY WIN BRONZE; DONATO SCORES TWO GOALS TO LEAD MEN'S HOCKEY TO QUARTERFINALS

STUDENTS LEAD CALL FOR GUN REFORMS, ANNOUNCE NATIONAL “MARCH FOR OUR LIVES” MARCH 24

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 10: WOMEN'S HOCKEY ADVANCES TO GOLD MEDAL GAME; SEVERAL OTHER AMERICAN EVENTS ADVANCE TO FINALS AND SEMIFINALS

PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY NINE: GEOPPER GETS TO SILVER, BOWE FINISHES IN THE TOP FIVE

PADRES SIGN FREE AGENT ERIC HOSMER

PYEONCHANG RECAP: LILLIS WINS AERIALS QUALIFIER; JHK STEALS SILVER; WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SKIING PLACES BEST-EVER FIFTH

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR MARDI GRAS DINNER PARTY FEB. 28!

PYEONCHANG RECAP: NATHAN CHEN CATAPULTS TO FIFTH; HOCKEY BOUNCES BACK

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

RETIRED FIREFIGHTER BECOMES HIGHWAY “HERO” IN EAST COUNTY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 17-APRIL 24

News

NEW SDG&E RATES WILL MAKE SOLAR COST MORE--UNLESS YOU HAVE A BATTERY BACKUP

 

 

Hear our interview with Daniel Sullivan, founder of Sullivan Solar, by clicking the audio link

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Battery storage unit on garage wall

December 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Many solar customers are unaware of new time-of-use rates that took effect December 1st. In an interview with ECM on KNSJ Radio, Sullivan Solar founder and president Daniel Sullivan explains that if you bought solar between June 30, 2016 and Dec. 1, 2017, your rates will be going up sharply after a five-year grace period. Rates for use during evening hours are doubling; a typical family will pay 143% more than in the past. If you buy solar in the future, your rates will also be higher, starting immediately.

But there is a solution:  buy a back-up battery, which will not only lower your rates, but also provide backup power to keep your electricity on during future power outages. Back-up batteries, with subsidies, can be financed out for only about $20 a month – and you’ll likely save $100 a month on your electricity bill, says Sullivan. Rebates end in June 2018, so there's a strong incentive to get a battery soon before the rebates run out.

Audio: 

POST-NET NEUTRALITY, CAN MUNICIPAL ISPS FREE THE INTERNET?

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  The Institute for Local Self-Reliance predicts that, for the 129 million Americans who have access to just one internet provider, monopolies will have greater power with the repeal of net neutrality. (Fabienne/Morguefile)

December 18, 2017 (Sacramento) - After the Federal Communications Commission voted to kill net neutrality on Thursday, some California cities are looking to create or expand municipal internet service to preserve open, fair and affordable online access. Manhattan Beach is exploring the possibility, and Santa Monica, Burbank, Beverly Hills and Long Beach already have small, publicly-owned broadband networks.

PLANE CRASH IN EL CAJON

 

 

 

Update December 19, 2017:  The plane had taken off from Gillespie Field when the pilot reported engine trouble. He was trying to return to the airport when the crash occurred. Two of the three men aboard were officers with the Huntington Beach Police Department. The two officers have been released from the hospital, according to the Orange County Register, but the third man remains hospitalized.

East County WIldfire & Emergency Service

Photos by John Sulser

December 17, 2017 (El Cajon) -- A single engine plane has crashed near Gillespie Way and Weld in El Cajon, close to Gillespie Field, El Cajon Police report.

Witnesses report a pilot, copilot and passenger escaped before the plane caught fire and have been transported to a hospital.

CAUSE OF DEATH, MEMORIAL DETAILS RELEASED ON CORY IVERSON

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2017 (Dulzura) – Smoke inhalation and burns were the causes of death for Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s report. The Dulzura-based firefighter and resident of Escondido died in the Fillmore, California area while battling the Thomas Fire. 

WANT POWER DURING OUTAGES? LEARN HOW TO BUY A GENERATOR DEC. 20 AT THE ALPINE LIBRARY

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2017 (Alpine)—With SDG&E turning off power repeatedly during high winds, having an automatic standby generator can keep your lights on and keep critical systems such as well pumps, refrigerators, and computers operating during outages.  On Wednesday, December 20 at 5 p.m. , a presentation on generators will be held at the Alpine Library, 1752 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

Learn about the different types of generators such as propane vs. gas operated and features to consider such as a commercial-grade engine, non-corrosive enclosure and extended warranty. 

EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS PAINTS POSITIVE PICTURE IN STATE OF CITY ADDRESS

 

 

 

by Paul Kruze

Hear audio of Mayor Wells’ State of the City address

 

December 15, 2017 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells painted a positive picture of his city in his annual “State of the City” address at the City Council Chambers on Tuesday.

Wells began his address saying that for the past several years, the City of El Cajon has attempted to create a new atmosphere for its businsses, residents, and visitors. He said that in 2017 the city had made significant progress towards this goal. “New and exciting things are continuing to happen for El Cajon, and more is yet to come,” he stated. “The City of El Cajon is taking enormous strides to improve the quality of life liveability of the city for residents and businesses. The city is engaged in major economic development making our city more effiicient, increasing the safety of the community, and rebranding El Cajon as a family friendly place.”

CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTER STATIONED AT DULZURA DIES IN THOMAS FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2017 (Dulzura) – Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, who was stationed in Dulzura, has died of injuries sustained fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County this morning.  A resident of Escondido, he leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, Evie and his wife, Ashley, who is expecting the couple’s second daughter in the spring.

"Today has been a tragic and devastating day," Cal Fire San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham told media at a press conference. "This incident has shaken our organization to the core." He praised Iverson as “a great young man, somebody who really loved his job."

JULIAN FIRE RECALL AND NO CONFIDENCE VOTE RAISE FIERY ISSUES IN MOUNTAIN TOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2017 (Julian) — The Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is the only volunteer fire department in our region that has chosen to remain independent.  The department’s board voted recently 4 to 1 vote against dissolving the district and joining the San Diego County Fire Authority (SDCFA), sparking heated debate.

SDG&E RESTORES POWER AFTER PROLONGED OUTAGES; RESIDENTS WHO SUFFERED STRESS AND LOSS WANT CHANGES FOR FUTURE

 

 

Residents angered at loss of water pumps, alarm systems, refrigeration, comunication and heat during outages up to a week in some areas that have suffered repeated outages

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E announced last night that it has fully restored power to all customers who were de-energized due to “public safety concerns” following a week-long red flag warning with strong gusty winds, low humidity and dangerous fire conditions.  An SDG&E media release states, “After crews inspected power lines all day in coordination with contract firefighters who were on hand to ensure a safe restoration process, power was turned on for all remaining customers. Field crews patrolled on the ground and in the air. Aerial inspections were completed by five helicopters in rural, mountainous areas."

Power remains out to 56 customers in the Lilac Fire zone in North County, where full restoration is expected early Tuesday evening. All 43 poles damaged in the fire will be replaced with fire-resistant steel poles and thicker, stronger wires, SDG&E indicates, adding, ““We understand that being without power, for any reason, is an inconvenience and we appreciate the patience we have received from our customers.”  For current information on outages and restoration times, visit sdge.com/outage.

Across East County,  many residents in rural, mountain and high desert towns have taken to social media to voice concerns over the prolonged outages.  Although SDG&E says it did provide advance notice to 170,000 customers of possible planned outages due to high winds and fire danger, before shutting off power to many thousands of homes, many rural residents say that’s not enough – and they want changes made. Below are highlights of residents' concerns and proposals.

SANTEE PARKS COULD SOON BE SMOKE-FREE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Santee middle school age youth and high school students learn about the health risks associated to secondhand smoke and how tobacco waste like cigarette butts hurt their environment.

December 13, 2017 (Santee) – Santee is the last city in San Diego County to still allow smoking in public parks. But that could soon change.  On Thursday, December 14th at 6:30 p.m., the Santee Parks and Recreation Committee will consider a smoke-free ordinance and recommendation to the City Council to make parks and open spaces smoke-free.  The meeting will be held at Santee City Hall’s Community Services building #7, 10601 North Magnolia Avenue in Santee.

FIRE WEATHER RETURNS

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

December 13, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - A red flag warning for high fire danger is in effect today through Thursday. In addition, the National Weather Service is forecasting strong Santa Ana winds this weekend over the mountains, foothills and passes in San Diego County. Wind gusts could reach 50 to 60 miles and hour with sustained easterly or northeasterly winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour.

NEW PINE VALLEY FIRE STATION CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN

 

County officials take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pine Valley Station 44.

December 13, 2017 (Pine Valley) -- County and fire officials broke ground Wednesday on a new $8.2 million fire station that will serve the Pine Valley community for the next 50 years.

“This new station helps deliver on our promise to boost wildfire protection in our most fire-prone communities,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. “Since the deadly Cedar Fire in 2003, the county has spent $460 million on fire and emergency service improvements in the backcountry — and this new station builds on that.”

"THE GIFT OF LOVE" ADOPTION PROMOTION AT SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

 

Adoption fees are being waived for all animals, courtesy of generous donors’ gift

December 13, 2017 (San Diego) - Hundreds of homeless animals are at San Diego Humane Society in need of homes, so pet adoption fees are being waived for all animals from Dec. 15 through 24 at all campuses and satellite adoption centers. For the 10 days before Christmas, all animal adoptions are sponsored by Sharon Blanchet of ABC Family Law and Phil and Pam Reed, Reed Team at Willis Allen Real Estate in La Jolla.

DEMOCRAT DOUG JONES WINS ALABAMA SENATE SEAT OVER ROY MOORE, NARROWING REPUBLICANS CONTROL OF U.S. SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – By a slim 1.5% margin, Democrat  Doug Jones, a prosecutor, won Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat over Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court Justice.  Moore’s race was marred by allegations from numerous women who claimed sexual improprieties by Moore, including alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations.

The victory means Republicans will have only a 51 to 49 majority in the U.S. Senate after Jones is sworn in. If even a single Republican votes with Democrats or is absent, Republicans could only secure passage by having Vice President Mike Pence cast a deciding vote. If two members defect or are absent, key measures such as legislation or judicial appointments could be blocked.

ILLEGAL AUTO POLICY MORATORIUMS IN SOUTHLAND WILDFIRE AREAS LEADS REGULATOR TO TAKE ACTION

 

Commissioner also asks insurers to expedite claims handling to aid wildfire victims

Source: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (left)

December 12, 2017 (Sacramento) - In response to insurers imposing moratoriums on writing new private passenger auto policies or prohibiting additions to existing auto policies in the Southern California wildfire areas, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a formal notice to insurers directing them to cease any and all moratoriums on auto insurance and reminding them that California law prohibits this practice. 

JOIN US AT EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE'S "FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING" HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 17

 

 

 

December 11, 2017 -- It's time for East County Magazine's annual festive and fabulous "Feasting and Merrymaking Holiday Party!"

This year's event will be held on Sunday, December 17th from 3 to 7 p.m. at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, 91941. The event is open to our newsletter and wildfire alert subscribers, dining club members and invited guests. Subscriptions are free! Sign up here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/wild-fire-alerts.

This year's party includes a potluck international feast, so bring your best holiday dish or international dish to share.  We will also have live music with Paul Nichols playing folk, pop and holiday carols (yes, you can sing along!). Plus we'll have a treasure trove of prizes and surprises.

TEEN KILLED IN ALPINE COLLISION

 

East County News Service

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

December 12, 2017 (Alpine) – Alpine resident William Burton, 17, died at the scene of an accident that occurred last night at 8:25 p.m. on South Grade Road east of Via Viejas Oeste in Alpine. 

A senior at Granite Hills High School and tight end on the school's football team, he was on his way home from a team banquet when the tragedy occurred, KNSD reports.

FIRES IN RAMONA AND LEMON GROVE

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

December 11, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Cal Fire crews are working a fully-involved structure fire in Ramona in the 21000 block of San Vicente Road in Ramona, Cal Fire reports. According to Brush Fire Partyline on Facebook, scanner traffic indicates this is a residential structure fire at 1166 San Vicente View, just off of San Vicente Road.

Brush rigs have been called in; the location is adjacent to the Barnett Ranch Preserve, a County Preserve.

LA MESA JOINS REGIONAL HOMELESS TASK FORCE, CHANGES COUNCIL MEETING TIMES

 

 

 

SDG&E defends its record on safety and clean energy

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos Courtesy City of La Mesa

December 11, 2017 (La Mesa) - City Council voted at its last meeting to officially become a due-paying member of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. La Mesa has been participating by sending staff to the meetings, and this action makes the relationship official. Additionally, meetings will now be held at a standard 6 p.m. instead of the rotating 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., and SDG&E’s Public Affairs Manager Cameron Durckel and La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation President John Fonseca shared PowerPoints.

ARSON REPORTED AT FLETCHER HILLS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 10, 2017 (El Cajon) – A witness reported seeing a thin, white male wearing a red hoody light a fire intentionally on a hillside near Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church on Thursday night, then take off running. The suspect remains at large.

LILAC FIRE HAS DESTROYED MANY STRUCTURES, 45 RACE HORSES KILLED

 

Update December 12, 2017  Now 95% contained, the Lilac Fire has destroyed 157 structures and damaged 64 more.  All roads are now open.

Update December 11, 2017:  The Lilac Fire is now 90% contained and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Twitter

December 9, 2017 (San Diego) –The Lilac fire has destroyed 105 structures, injured at least five people and killed at least 46 thoroughbred race horses at the famed San Luis Rey Downs facility. 

Another 1,500 structures remained threatened today, Cal Fire reports. Firefighters are holding the fire at 4,100 acres, but full containment may take until December 21st.

The good news is that overnight, firefighters made good progress in increasing containment to 20 percent. Winds were calm this morning but picking up later in the day, with a red flag warning remaining in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday.

IF YOU HAD FOOD SPOIL, BUSINESS INTERRUPTED OR OTHER DAMAGE FROM POWER OUTAGE, YOU CAN SUBMIT A CLAIM

 

Save receipts, take photos, and document your losses

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) – If you suffered damages due to planned power outages, you can submit a claim to SDG&E asking for reimbursement, says Helen Gao. SDG&E has posted information on its website:  https://www.sdge.com/business/services/making-claim or scroll down to view the information provided by the utility:

BOIL WATER ORDERS ISSUED IN BOULEVARD, JULIAN AND CAMPO DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

Update December 9, 2017: A boil water has been aded for Vallecito County Park, 37349 Great Southern Overland in Julian, as well as the sites below.

December 8, 2017 (San Diego's East County)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Advisory and Public Notification effective immediately for the following:  

  • Boulevard Pines Mobile Home & RV Park at 39375 Old Highway 80, Boulevard, CA 91905
  • Butterfield Ranch at 14925 Great Southern Overland, Julian, CA, 92036
  • Cameron Corners at 31484 Hwy 94, Campo, CA 91906
  • Campo Group at 31471 Hwy 94, Campo, CA 91906 

Due to the recent power outage, these public water systems have lost pressure in their water distribution systems.  As a precaution, Boil Water Advisories are being issued until laboratory results demonstrate the water is free from bacterial contamination. 

Click here for instructions on boiling water and alternative methods of disinfection

LOW-INCOME FIRE SURVIVORS TO GET REBUILDING HELP FROM UNITED WAY

 

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) – Wildfires are currently devastating regions of Southern California, with hundreds of thousands of acres destroyed and people displaced from Ventura to San Diego Counties, including the growing Lilac Fire. United Way of San Diego County is working with United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which has set up the Southern California Wildfire Fund to help victims of these fires rebuild their lives. For this fund, 100 percent of the donations collected through this designated fund will support long-term recovery and re-building efforts for low-income families affected by the fires.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE VICTIMS COULD TAP INSURANCE FOR EVACUATION COST REIMBURSEMENT

 

Insurance may help evacuated residents even if homes not damaged

Source: California Insurance Commissioner

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) – Thousands of residents in San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties ordered to evacuate due to wildfires may have homeowner or renter insurance coverage to help with evacuation and relocation costs, even if their homes are not damaged or destroyed, and in many cases no deductible is required.

HAZARDOUS FIRE WEATHER CONTINUES THIS WEEKEND: RED FLAG AND HIGH WIND WARNINGS EXTENDED THROUGH SUNDAY

 

East County News Service

 

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- Santa Ana winds will continue this weekend, the National Weather Service advises.  This will combine with very low humidity (5-10% minimums during the days away from the coast and poor nighttime recovery) to bring hazardous fire weather conditions. A red flag warning has been extended until 8 p.m. Sunday from the mountains west to the coast.

SWEETWATER FIRE CONTAINED IN JAPATUL AREA

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

Photo: Brush Fire Partyline on Facebook

 

December 8, 2017 (Japatul) -- Firefighters have contained an 8-10 acre brush fire that started south of I-8 near the Japatul exit in Cleveland National Forest.

Multiple units responded from The U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire, Viejas Fire, Alpine and Lakeside Fire departments to the Sweetwater Fire.

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