“I urge the Commission to treat SDG&E’s proposal the same way SDG&E has treated East County in recent years: Ignore it. Reject it. Trash it.” – Supervisor Dianne Jacob
By Miriam Raftery
October 13, 2011 (El Cajon)—East County residents didn’t mince words in voicing nearly unanimous opposition to a 17% rate hike proposed by SDG&E over the next three years. At a hearing held by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at El Cajon’s City Council Chamber last night, dozens of residents urged administrative law judge John Wong to recommend that the CPUC deny SDG&E’s proposed $1.5 billion hike--or take advice of two watchdog groups that recommendeda rate decrease after their audits found SG&E inflated its costs.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob, speaking first, got a rousing ovation from the crowd. She voiced outrage over the rate hike and accused SDG&E of poor fiscal policy, a pattern of deception, and exorbitant bonuses paid to executives after the company was found responsible for wildfires that scorched our region. View Supervisor Jacob's letter to the CPUC.
October 13, 2011 (El Cajon)—A woman was struck by a pickup truck and killed in the 600 block of East Washington this evening at 7:50 p.m. According to El Cajon Police, she was wearing dark clothes while crossing the street with a companion. The victim is believed to be a Middle Eastern woman in her 40’s, according to Lt. Frank La Haye.
October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) – University Avenue in La Mesa has been reopened after authorities found no explosives in an abandoned U-Haul truck. Damian Payne, a 35-year-old transient, has been arrested and charged with auto theft and possession of stolen property.
The U-Haul had been stolen on October 8 in Santee, according to a press release issued by La Mesa Police.
October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) – An investigation is underway into an abandoned U-Haul truck with a broken window in a no-parking zone near the new La Mesa Police Station at 8085 University Avenue.
“We blocked off the 8000 block of University Avenue at Spring Street and Baltimore Drive,” Lt. Dan Willis at La Mesa Police told ECM. He added that witnesses reported seeing the driver jump from the vehicle carrying black duffel bags and run away. The man was dressed in a black shirt and black pants.
READER’S EDITORIAL: COUNCIL CHOOSES NOT TO ENDORSE PREFERENTIAL SALE OF SOME COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS OVER OTHERS
By Kristin Kjaero
October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Re: "Reader’s Editorial: The Shame of La Mesa -- Council Votes Against Fair Trade, Bows to Corporate Interests Over Helping People," in which Meg Jensen expressed her disappointment at their decision to decline a proposal by the Fair Trade Towns USA ("FTT").
October 13, 2011 (Spring Valley) –A 16-month-old child apparently drowned in a backyard pool in the 1200 block of El Kelton Boulevard in Spring Valley.
The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for Wynola Farms Water District located at 4470 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036 effective immediately.
The drinking water system has tested present for E.Coli and total coliform bacteria. The presence of E.Coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes.
By Miriam Raftery
October 12, 2011 (Santee)—Without a squawk of opposition from the audience, the Santee City Council voted 3-2 to let city residents keep chickens. Roosters, however, are still banned, since only hens for egg production are allowed.
October 12, 2011 (El Cajon) -- You can be a part of the party – and history. Excitement is growing as plans continue for the City of El Cajon's Centennial Celebration in 2012, organizers report. The exact date of the City's 100th Birthday is Monday, November 12, 2012, but events are in the planning stages for the months leading up to that date.
The Centennial Celebration Committee, led by Councilmember Jillian Hanson-Cox, is now accepting volunteers.
Update October 23: ECM News partner 10 News reports that the victim was Kyle Wyborn Pearson, 42, according to a spokesman with the Imperial County District Attorney's Office. Pearson had missed a pretrial hearing on charges that he killed a Caltrans employee in a hit-and-run car accident.
Jim Pearson told ECM that his brother was "a great man." Kyle Pearson "served our nation in the Navy and was kind in all things," he added. The victim was "very bright" and was also a musician who loved living in San Diego, according to his brother. "He is now gone, and we miss him greatly."
Ruling today on smart meter opt-out for SDG&E customers sparks added interest among local ratepayers
By Miriam Raftery
October 11, 2011 (El Cajon) – SDG&E wants to hike utility rates by over 17% in the next four years. Tomorrow, East County residents will have a chance to voice their views on the proposal at two hearings held by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The public meetings will be held at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the El Cajon City Council Chambers, 200 East Main Street in El Cajon.
An East County Magazine poll of readers has found that thus far, 93% of the 275 who voted think the CPUC should deny SDG&E's rate hike request. TAKE OUR POLL: Should the CPUC approve SDG&E's rate hike?
The rate hike is opposed by the CPUC’s own Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), which conducted an audit that found SDG&E inflated its costs. The DRA recommended that SDG&E lower—not raise—its rates.
Update October 12: A second cougar sighting occurred today within a mile of the school.
October 11, 2011 (Poway) – Chaparral Elementary School in Poway has sent a warning letter to parents advising that the Sheriff’s Department reported that a mountain lion, also known as a cougar, had been seen in the neighborhood this morning.
October 11, 2011 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Manager Dave Witt has announced the selection of 25-year La Mesa Police Department veteran Edward (Ed) Aceves as the City’s new Chief of Police.
Witt said that Aceves competed against candidates from outside the organization and proved that he has exceptional qualities that will help him succeed in his new position. Aceves has served as Police Captain, overseeing each of the Police Department’s three divisions during his tenure. Last month he was appointed acting Chief of Police upon the retirement of Chief Alan Lanning.
"There are an estimated 1.4 billion people living in poverty and existing on less than $1.25 a day...Good news is that you can do something about this!" --La Mesa Fair Trade
October 10, 2011 (La Mesa)—On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider a resolution to declare the community a “Fair Trade"city.
About two dozen cities nationwide have already been designated "Fair Trade Towns USA" including Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and other major cities as well as smaller communities such as Taos, New Mexico and Burlington, Vermont. Supporters have established a website at http://lamesafairtrade.blogspot.com.
CABLES STRUNG ACROSS ROADS IN OCOTILLO BY POWERLINK HELICOPTERS ENDANGER OFF-ROAD VEHICLES, MOTORCYCLIST CONTENDS
By Miriam Raftery
October 9, 2011 (Ocotillo) – ECM has received photos and an e-mail from Jim Pelley, a motorcyclist who reports finding metal cables strung two feet off the ground across roadways in Ocotillo frequented by off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
The cables were attached to an SDG&E helicopter “pulling cables from tower to tower,” Pelley reports.”This is a serious situation and I am worried that someone will not see this cable and a serious accident will result with either the off road vehicle or the helicopter.”
October 9, 2011 (La Mesa) – La Mesa resident Susan Brinchman, director and founder of the Center for Electrosmog Prevention, has announced that she will join the Occupy San Diego effort downtown with rallies to draw attention to health issues involving smart meters.
“Smart meters are an excessive form of corporate abuse of our bodies and our rights,” Brinchman wrote in an email to supporters and media. “Let us join our anti-smart meter efforts to the Wall Street protests in our local cities and towns.”
October 9, 2011 (San Diego) -– As part of its national drive to end veteran homelessness by 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and its community partners will host a Homeless Veterans Outreach Campaign event on Oct.12, 2011. The event will inform the public about the many programs available for veterans who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in San Diego County.
CEDAR FIRE SURVIVOR NEEDS INFO ON ALL-STEEL HOUSES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO SATISFY LENDER REQUIREMENTS
October 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine has received the following request from a reader who is having trouble obtaining refinancing on a construction loan to rebuild her home destroyed in the Cedar Fire.
According to Carlynne Albee, her lender needs additional information on similar houses built entirely of steel. Below is her letter, if any readers know how to obtain the information that she needs.
East County Magazine News Service
October 9 2011 (Julian) – Rogelio Malihan, 53, died at the scene of a three-motorcycle accident shortly after noon today while riding with his son and a close friend on southbound Highway 79.
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by Ron Logan
October 8, 2011 (San Diego) – “I went down there because I feel like America has changed in a bad way…It’s fallen apart and it seems like our Congress doesn’t care,” Dennis Richardson, a Lakeside businessman who participated in the Occupy San Diego march downtown last night, told ECM. He joined tens of thousands across the nation holding similar vigils to protest corporate bail-outs and benefits for the wealthy while ordinary Americans are hurting.
October 8, 2011 (El Cajon) -- The next monthly antique show in El Cajon will be held on Wednesday, October 12th! See all the great collectibles, including jewelry, photos, artwork, dolls, textiles, dishes, pottery, and glassware.
This event is held the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the Ronald Reagan Community Center located at 195 East Douglas Avenue, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Parking and admission are free and you can receive one free appraisal. Additional appraisals are $5.00 each. There is also a military collectible expert on hand. For more information, or if you would like to be a vendor, please call (619) 887-8762.
October 8, 2011 (Julian) - A SIG alert has been issued and a portion of Highway 79 has been closed due to a fatality accident. The crash, which involves multiple motorcycles, occurred at 2949 Julian Road shortly before noon today.
Update 6 p.m.: The line has been repaired and residents have been allowed to return home.
View a map of the area at La Mesa Today.
October 7, 2011 (La Mesa)-- La Mesa Police have been called to assist with evacuations in the vicinity of 8351 Alpine Way in La Mesa, due to a gas line that is "hissing and blowing", Incident Page Network reports. Watch for updates as details become available.
East County residents join protest movement
By Miriam Raftery
October 3, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Inspired by protests organized through social networking sites that led to toppling of Egypt’s government, thousands of protesters have been staging an occupation in New York City since September 17. They seek an end to Wall Street “greed and corruption” according to Www.OccupyWallStreet.org.
Their message has struck a chord with people across the nation who have lost jobs or homes, students, seniors and others who believe their troubles are not been addressed. Posts have spread over Twitter and Facebook, giving rise to occupations in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Denver. Labor unions including United Steelworkers have joined the cause. Now, a group called Occupy San Diego has announced it will peacefully occupy Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego starting Friday, October 7.
During the day, many activities will be available for family fun as well as teaching the public how to be safe and prepared for a fire or other emergency.
October 6, 2011 (El Cajon ) – A motorist involved in an accident at Bradley and Magnolia in El Cajon this morning was combative towards California Highway Patrol officers and medics, according to the CHP website.
October 6, 2011 (Crest) – La Cresta Road is closed in both directions after a van struck a power pole and knocked down electrical lines into the roadway. A SIG Alert has been issued. SDG&E has been called and power is out to a small number of residences (under 99) according to the SDG&E website.
By Miriam Raftery
October 4, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Arocles Aguilar, Assistant General Counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today sent a letter to Patrick T. Lee, vice president in charge of the Sunrise Powerlink project for SDG&E. The letter authorizes SDG&E to resume helicopter operations on the Powerlink project immediately.
The CPUC found that SDG&E fulfilled requirements for remedial actions including a safety stand down, rigging training, necessity of helicopter operations vs. ground transportation, and incident reporting procedures.
POVERTY RATE SKYROCKETS TO NEARLY 30% IN EL CAJON, RISES ACROSS COUNTY AND NATION: 22% OF U.S. CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN POVERTY
By Miriam Raftery
October 4, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – When we launched East County Magazine in 2008, we published a story on the high rate of poverty in El Cajon, which was then 20.6%. Today, it’s soared 50%, to 29.7%--by far the highest of any city in our county. But a growing number of individuals and families throughout the San Diego region are falling into poverty, with children being especially hard-hit, according to new Census data recently released.
Countywide, the poverty rate grew to 14.8% in 2010, up from 12.6% in 2009. More than one in ten children (11.6%) are living in poverty locally.