Update: The device has been found to be harmless. "Itw as either debris or a device made to look like an explosive," said Maurice Luque with San Diego Fire. Also, the device was on Conrad in San Diego, not Conrad on Mount Helix.
January 18, 2012 *(San Diego's East County) – The Metro Arson Strike Team from San Diego Fire Department, along with a representative from the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency, has been deployed to a home at 4549 Conrad, Chris Hoffman with the ATF has confirmed to East County Magazine.
According to Incident Page Network, a suspicious device in front of the home has triggered the investigation and multiple homes on the street are being evacuated.
By Nadin Abbott
“SOPA and PIPA go too far, allowing the government to take down any website for even a single unintentional post with copyrighted material. Even a comment posted by a reader could be enough to get a site shut down.” –ECM Editor Miriam Raftery
January 18, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--On Wednesday Wikipedia and many other major sites will go dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA,). Other sites such as Google will remain on line, but post protest messages opposing the bills on their homepages.
Update: 20% of $60,000 funding goal met so far; pledges sought from public
New! View a video of what may be lost: http://palomarsp.org/friends/save_palomar_video_standard.htm
By Miriam Raftery
January 16, 2012 (Palomar) – Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park has submitted a plan to the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation that could prevent the park from closing permanently on July 1 due to budget cuts. The group seeks pledges from inidividuals in hopes of reaching $60,000. [Editor's note: 16% of the goal was met when we posted this. Now on Jan. 17, 20% of the goal has been met. Thanks to our readers who helped! I made a pledge and hope many more of you will help save this beautiful place!)
To pledge, visit www.friendsofpalomarsp.org. (You won't be asked to pay unless State Parks agrees to the plan.) To learn more and see photos of what’s at stake, see ECM’s story on Palomar State Park at http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/5539
Update February 4, 2012 -- The Department of Defense still has not listed the death of Jay Polk, nor has any notice of his death been published in New Iberia, Louisiana, where he claimed to live. A source informs ECM further that his name has not been provided for addition to a memorial for special forces soldiers. Thus it now appears he was not killed in service to his country and likely fabricated the "report" of his death and possibly his military service as well. Now a blog site claims to have obtained military records showing a Jamond Polk was thrown out of the military at Fort Jackson. We do not know if this is the same Jay Polk referenced below, but include this information for anyone who may be able to confirm or disprove the connection:
http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=28611. If anyone has evidence of his whereabouts or can confirm/disprove his claims of military service, please contact email@example.com.
We are leaving this story posted, with this disclaimer, because the research on special forces operations includes numerous well documented links on that issue even if Polk's tale is a hoax.
By Nadin B. Abbott
January 17, 2012 (San Diego)— On January 2, a soldier in San Diego claiming links to Special Forces posted on his Facebook page that he was deploying to Syria. This tantalizing piece of information startled readers, leading many to ask: does our country have troops in Syria and if so, why?
January 16, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Richard Bradley Smith, 61, was found dead this morning by San Diego Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers. Smith had become separated from friends while fowl hunting in the McCain Valley area of Boulevard, near Cottonwood Campground. He resided in San Diego with his wife.
January 16, 2012 (Rancho San Diego) A fundraiser to benefit the two young sons of Debra Meltzer will be held tonight at Hooley’s Irish Pub and Grill, 2955 Jamacha Road in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon. Meltzer’s estranged husband is accused of killing her on December 23.
Hooley’s will donate 20 percent of all proceeds between 5 and 9 p.m. at tonight’s event, which also includes live entertainment, silent auction and raffle.
Update: All but two Americans have been accounted for and are safe.
By Miriam Raftery
January 14, 2012 (San Diego) –The United States embassy in Rome has announced that 126 Americans were on board the Costa Concordia cruise ship which struck rocks and sunk off the coast of Tuscany, Italy this morning. All were passengers, not crew.
Update: The Sig Alert has been cancelled and the bridge is now reopened.
January 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A Sig Alert has been issued for the Eastbound 8 transition to State Route 67 northbound due to a traffic accident involving two cars on the bridge. One lane remains open but others are blocked, so caution is advised.
by Charlotte Reed
"Real estate is my business…my only business."
January 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In today’s column, we cover the latest hot topics in real estate locally and nationwide. This week’s topics are:
- MLS consumer website now available
- Three realtor associations in merger talks
- Agents search for the perfect office
- Fair-lending charges against Bank of America settlement
January 13, 2012 (Santee) – The Sheriff’s Homicide detail has been called to the scene of a shooting in the 10000 block of Prospect Avenue in Santee. At 5:09 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a shooting and found the victim inside the home.
“The victim was transported to an area hospital by helicopter where he is on life support,” Lieutenant Larry Nesbitt with the Sheriff's Homicide Detail said.
FalconRidge Equine Rescue and the San Diego Horse Coalition to Rehabilitate Two Horses
Animal Control Officers with San Diego County Department of Animal Services (DAS) rescued two severely neglected horses from the community of Boulevard, and now those horses need a new home.
Chula Vista Police becomes first local law enforcement agency to use high-tech system—and offers tracking devices free
January 13, 2012 (Chula Vista) -- This week, the Chula Vista Police Department announced a new partnership with a national emergency location system known as EmFinders, a program created to enhance police response capability by greatly expediting the safe return of adults who become lost.
January 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for this morning, remaining in effect until 2 p.m. for mountain areas in San Diego’s East County.
Winds of 20-30 mph and gusts up to 50 mph are forecast through and below passes and canyons. Cal-Fire has issued a no-burn proclamation banning campfires and other open fires effective immediately.
January 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Due to guardrail repairs, the connector ramp from northbound State Route 67 to westbound Interstate 8 will be closed Saturday morning. The closure will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m., according to the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans).
By Miriam Raftery
January 12, 2012 (Jamul) – In the Honey Springs Ranch/Deerhorn Valley area of Jamul, some residents are crying “fowl” over a proposal by private sporting clubs to create “dog ponds” on public lands. The ponds, one the size of a football field and a smaller“puppy pond” would be used to train hunting dogs to retrieve live birds in Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area, a state-owned preserve.
Why are neighbors howling? At least 53 residents on Honey Springs Road say they were never notified when the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) held a comments period. Now, long-time residents and hydrology experts say that pumping water to fill and maintain the ponds could deplete groundwater supplies, leaving neighbors with dry wells.
Update February 3, 2012: Sgt. Polk's death has still not been reported by the Dept. of Defense, nor has any notice of his death appeared in his family's hometown newspaper. A source has further informed ECM that his name has not been provided for addition to a memorial that honors fallen special services soldiers. Thus at this point, it appears likely that Polk did not die in service overseas. Perhaps he faked his death, or possibly someone else posted misleading information on his Facebook account. Where is he now? If anyone has conclusive evidence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nadin Abbott
January 12, 2012 (San Diego)—U.S. Army Master Sergeant Jay Polk has reportedly been killed overseas while on active duty with U.S. special forces, according to friends and family in San Diego, where he had been living recently.
During a candlelight memorial service held this evening at the Civic Center Plaza, one mourner observed, “Jay was a Cavalryman, he was a Master Sergeant, and he knew how to take care of people.” The service was attended by local veterans, occupy members, and friends of the fallen soldier.
By Miriam Raftery
January 11, 2012 (El Cajon ) – Gloria Maria Moler, 81, who was reported missing last night has been located.
“Police received a call about a wrong-way driver at 5:00 a.m.,” said Melissa Aquino with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. “An officer detained Miss Moler and later discovered a missing person’s report about her.”
La Mesa woman who wrote tell-all book about film industry was third-oldest Californian
January 8, 2012 (La Mesa) – Silent movie screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas gained fame and notoriety in an era when few women attained such acclaim. But on Thursday, December 29, 2011, Maas made her final exit, passing away at Country Villas, a La Mesa nursing home.
Scripts written by Maas starred some of Hollywood’s leading talents on the silver screen, including Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer and Clare Bow. The Hollywood Reporter called her a “pioneering” female screenwriter, while the Los Angeles Times memorialized her as “one of the last links to the silent film industry.”
January 7, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--The National Weather Service has issued a "fire weather planning forecast" for southwestern California. In San Diego County, moderate to strong northeast winds and very dry weather with low humidity are forecast for inland areas, combining to create "near critical fire weather conditions" on Sunday.
January 7, 2012 (Alpine) – A multi-vehicle pile-up shut down I-8 east near Dunbar Road this evening, but the roadway is now open, CHP reports. The accident results in injuries to seven people, who were transported to Grossmont Hospital.
January 7, 2012 (Spring Valley) – A runaway truck has rolled down a hill, struck a home and landed on a gas meter at a home at 1313 Portola Avenue in Spring Valley. A gas line has been ruptured and SDG&E has been called, Incident Page Networks reports at 5:13 p.m. A victim has been transported to a local hospital in moderate trauma status.
The vehicle was unoccupied, according to IPN.
January 7, 2012 (La Mesa) -- In the past three months the La Mesa Police Department management team has gone through many new changes. With Chief Lanning’s retirement in September of 2011 and Captain Medero’s retirement in December 2011, seven promotions of existing LMPD staff were made in 2011 to consist of a new Chief of Police, two new captains, two new lieutenants and two new sergeants.
January 7, 2012 (El Cajon) – A transformer fire behind the Walmart store at Westfield Parkway Plaza caused a power outage last night at 9 p.m. The Regal movie theater escorted theatergoers outside using flashlights, while stores and restaurants at the mall also closed. View a video by Dennis Richardson: http://youtu.be/Y6IrzcdBW9g.
“Wind farms are the main cause. The issuing of license to kill will accelerate the decline toward extinction.”—Save the Eagles International
An East County Magazine Special Report
By Miriam Raftery
January 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County’s 48 pairs of nesting golden eagles and even rarer bald eagles could be in peril if proposed industrial-scale wind farms are built. In a press release issued today, Save the Eagles International (STEI) issued a dire warning, providing detailed documentation proving that golden eagles and their nests are disappearing rapidly near wind farms across the U.S.
The group also blasted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for changing its mission from protecting wildlife to “catering to the interests of an industry” that is a “ruinous one to boot.”
By Miriam Raftery
January 6, 2012 (North County San Diego) -- On Monday, January 16, at 10-11a.m., North County area families are invited to join Westfield North County and the Westfield Family Program for Family Fun Days featuring "Cultural Traditions". They will explore how other cultures celebrate the New Year and hear classic folktales from around the world.
January 6, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Twenty-four recruits will begin a 16-week Firefighter 1 Academy starting this coming Saturday, January 7, at the Heartland Fire Training academy located at 1301 N. Marshall Avenue in El Cajon. The Academy Coordinator will be retired El Cajon Fire Chief Rich Henry.
By Nadin Abbott
Photos by Tom Abbott
Few San Diegans today are aware of numerous free speech fights across America a century ago—or that “dwarfing them all was the San Diego episode,” according to the San Diego Journal of History’s fascinating account at http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/73winter/speech.htm. Fearing mob violence from the Industrial Workers of the World amid a growing U.S. labor movement and actions by anarchists, City leaders in 1912 outlawed public speaking in a five-square block area of then-downtown centered at Fifth and E streets. Thousands of defiant people turned out in protest of the ban and numerous arrests ensued, clogging jails and courts. Fire hoses, horsewhips and clubs were used by police; vigilantes joined police, even kidnapping a newspaper publisher as riots and deaths ensued in a conflict that lasted six months.
To this day, however, San Diego has never restored the people’s free speech rights.