A DIVERSE FIELD OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG. 25-OCT. 2

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN PARENT: ATTORNEY, ENVIRONMENTALIST AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE RUNS FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT--BE GREEN! DISPOSE OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS FREE ON SEPT. 17 IN POTRERO

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING PARTY AUGUST 27

ALPINE MAN ARRESTED FOR PHOTOGRAPHING GIRL IN WALMART BATHROOM; SHERIFF SEEKS OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS

OPEN SEATS IN SANTEE DRAW 2 MAYORAL AND 3 COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS AVAILABLE

OPEN SEATS IN LEMON GROVE ATTRACT 3 MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND 5 COUNCIL CANDIDATES; BALLOT STATEMENTS NOW UP FOR PUBLIC REVIEW

UNSUNG HEROES OF FIRE RECOVERY BRING PRICELESS RELIEF

43RD ANNUAL LA MESA OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 30 - OCT. 2

ESCAPED PRISONER HAS TIES TO COLLEGE GROVE, CHULA VISTA

News

SEARCH FOR MISSING LAKESIDE CHLDREN EXPANDS TO MEXICO AND CANADA; SUSPECT MAY HAVE EXPLOSIVES

 

 

Facebook page for suspect James DiMaggio has cryptic final messages

By Nadin Abbott

August 8, 2013 (Lakeside) The Amber Alert for Hannah Anderson, 16, and her brother, Ethan, 8, has now extended to Mexico. According to El Diario, a Mexican newspaper, “The FBI is working with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and Mexican authorities since Monday.”http://diario.mx/Estados_Unidos/2013-08-08_1b800648/emiten-alerta-amber-en-san-diego-buscan-al-sospechoso-en-mexico

Other developments have led to the extension of the Amber Alert to Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Canada. 

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR HANNAH ANDERSON AND FAMILY IN LAKESIDE

"We are hoping. We're keeping the faith; our little girl is coming home." -- Sara Britt, grandmother

By Nadin Abbott

August 6, 2013 (Lakeside) A very emotional gathering of friends, classmates and residents of Hannah and Ethan Anderson met at El Capitan High School tonight in Lakeside  to hold a vigil for the missing children. Those present lit candles and at the end of the ceremony let balloons lose to signify hope.

The children were declared missing and a statewide Amber Alert was issued by the authorities for Hannah, 16, and her 8-year-old brother, Ethan, Monday. On Sunday night, the body of their mother, Christina Anderson, and an unidentified child’s body were found in a burned home in Boulevard. 

Authorities have stated that Christina Anderson was murdered. They have not identified the child’s body found. Police believe that one or both children have been abducted by James Lee DiMaggio, a friend of their mother.

MEETING ON PROPOSED FEES FOR IMPERIAL DUNES SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

 

August 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Bureau of Land Management Desert Advisory Committee (DAC) will meet Saturday, Aug. 17 to consider a fee proposal for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. The Council will meet from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Riverside Marriott Hotel, 3400 Market St., Riverside, CA 92501. The meeting is open to the public. However, discussion is limited to BLM staff and committee members.

EL CAJON MAN DIES OF MOTORCYCLE CRASH INJURIES

 

August 5, 2013 (El Cajon) – Tyler J. Farmer, 34, of El Cajon has been identified by theMedical Examiner’s office as the driver killed in a motorcycle accident that occurred July 29.   Farmer was traveling westbound on West Main Street when he struck a curb and lost control.

Responding paramedics transported him to a hospital, where despite medical intervention he died. Cause of death was cardiac arrest during an exploratory laparotomy surgical procedure for treatment of lung and liver lacerations due to blunt force injury of his torso.

STATE DEPT. ISSUES TRAVEL ALERT FOR MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA DUE TO POSSIBLE AL QAIDA ATTACKS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert warning U.S. citizens about the potential for terrorist attacks in the region during August in the Middle East and North Africa.  The alert comes on the heels of prisoner break-outs in several countries believed to be tied to Al Qaida. 

In addition, Interpol has issued a global traveler’s alert due to terrorism concerns.

HOUSE VOTES TO ELIMINATE ALL FOOD STAMP BENEFITS; SENATE SEEKS COMPROMISE AS FARM BILL HANGS IN THE BALANCE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – By a bare majority, the Republican-controlled House of representatives passed the Farm Bill after stripping out all funding for food stamps to feed the poor, but approved lavish subsidies for agribusiness.  After the Senate passed a less extreme version, a conference committee is now seeking a compromise. But thus far, the Republican leadership has shown no concern for the potential to leave millions of Americans facing starvation.

Among San Diego’s five Congressional representatives, only Republican Darrell Issa voted for  the measure.  Republican Duncan Hunter did not vote, but previously  voted for earlier deep cuts in Food Stamps and against restoring benefits. Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas voted against stripping Food Stamps from the Farm Bill.

  Issa’s 49th district includes 7,691 households receiving food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). Of those, 44.2% have incomes below the poverty level and 79.5% have children; 20.2% have at least one senior citizen.

CLAIMS FROM THE MAYOR’S LAWYER OVER LACK OF TRAINING ON HARASSMENT RAISE CREDIBILTY DOUBTS

 

An ECM special report finds Bob Filner had good cause to know  the seriousness of sexual harassment claims—long before he was the target of complaints

By Nadin and Tom Abbott

August 2, 2013 (San Diego)— Amid mounting sexual harassment accusations against Mayor Bob Filner, including a civil lawsuit, on Wednesday Filner’s lawyer tried to place all the blame on the City of San Diego. In a letter to the City, attorney Harvey C. Berger wrote, “The City has a legal obligation to provide sexual harassment training to all management level employees within six months of hire.”

He also claimed in the letter that the “trainer for the City unilaterally cancelled and never rescheduled such training for the Mayor.”  http://media.10news.com/image/Harvey_Berger_letter.pdf

But later, Voice of San Diego revealed, “Former city Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Filner’s office canceled several training sessions, which would have covered payroll, benefits and other employee and management roles and responsibilities, because the mayor’s office said it didn’t have time for them.” http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/07/31/sources-mayors-office-canceled-harassment-related-training-sessions/

So we decided to look a little deeper, and what we found was highly problematic.

KNSJ RADIO ANNOUNCES PEOPLE’S MIC AWARD WINNERS

 

 

August 3, 2013 (San Diego) – KNSJ 89.1 FM , the Network for Social Justice, will present its first-ever People’s Microphone Awards at the new public radio station’s launch party on Saturday, August 3 from 6-9 p.m. at Mission Trails Regional Parks. Tickets are available at www.knsj.org.

The awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to social justice causes on behalf of people in their communities or our environment. The winners, a majority of whom will be present to accept their honors, are: Bonnie La Chappa, Elizabeth Lou, Dave Patterson, Estela de los Rios, Lori Saldana, Lisa Kove, Martha Sullivan and Ray Lutz with Decommission San Onofre,Donna Tisdale with Protect Our Communities Foundation, Cleveland National Forest Foundation, San Diego Dream Team, and Save Mission Trails.

LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS MOURNS LOSS OF TIGER RAISED AT RESCUE FACILITY IN ALPINE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2013 (Alpine)--Sitarra, a Bengal tiger raised from a cub at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, has died of a ruptured disk.  The big cat rescue center is a no breeding facility, however Sitarra was one of two cubs born to Natasha, a pregnant tiger rescued over a decade ago.

Bobbi Brink, founder of the facility, called the tragedy “very sad news” and has said that the tiger was like a child to her.

Brink was near the tiger’s enclosure when Sitarra collapsed while running, unable to move her back legs. An MRI showed a ruptured disc and the animal underwent immediate surgery at an emergency animal hospital.  But Brink disclosed, “. It was discovered that her spinal cord had been severed by pieces of the ruptured disc and there was no choice but to let her go.”

WITNESS SOUGHT TO JULY 8 GRANTVILLE ACCIDENT

 

July 31, 2013 (Grantville) – A Grantville resident was struck by a car while crossing the street at the corner of Mission Gorge Road and Twain Avenue on Monday, July 8. Witness testimony is contradictory and eye-witnesses are being sought to help clarify the incident.

The pedestrian, a 42-year old woman and girlfriend of ECM reporter/photographer Ron Logan, was struck shortly before noon.

PREVENTABLE DEATHS SET TRAGIC RECORDS IN 2012

 

July 30, 2013 (San Diego) --For the second year in a row, deaths due to suicide and prescription drug overdoses were at record highs in San Diego County in 2012, and the number of homicides rose for the second year in a row.

The trends are detailed in the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s 2012 Annual Report released last week.

EL CAJON APPOINTS NEW ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

 

July 29, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford announced today that he has appointed Majed Al-Ghafry as the new Assistant City Manager.  Al-Ghafry currently serves as the Director of Public Works for the City of San Antonio, Texas, the nation’s 7th largest city.  Prior to that, Al-Ghafry served as the Director of Public Works for the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada.

EARLY MORNING FIRE DESTROYS TATTOO BUSINESS ON BROADWAY

 

July 29, 2013 (El Cajon) – At 12:43 a.m. on July 25, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in the City of El Cajon responded to reports of a structure fire in the 1-thousand block of Broadway in El Cajon.  Upon arrival firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the Classic Tattoo business located at 1024 Broadway.  Quick action by fire crews had the fire knocked down in less than 25 minutes.  Two adjoining businesses of the one story structure sustained smoke and water damage.  Heartland crews were assisted by fire units from Cal Fire and Santee fire departments.

PARENTS ARRESTED IN DEATH OF BABY LEFT OVERNIGHT IN CAR



 

July 28, 2013 (El Cajon) – Today, El Cajon Police announced the arrest of Israel Soto and Jessica Quezada for the death of their four-month-old baby. The couple’s other three children, ages 3, 2, and 1, have been taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services.

SOME NEWS ABOUT NEWS GATHERING...

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 27, 2013 (San Diego) This has been a busy few weeks of news gathering for East County Magazine. We were at the scene shortly after the Chariot Fire started. We made multiple trips to Mount Laguna reporting on the fire’s path and damage behind fire lines, also visiting the evacuation center. We remained long after other news media left, if they came at all.  We were at the fire scenes in Ranchita, the Old Fire, the Shockey Fire and more – sometimes in the middle of the night. 

We regularly cover local boards and commissions that the San Diego media ignores.  We drove to Julian to cover fire board meetings and report on citizens’ concerns when the fire department was at risk of dissolving and being taken over by the county.  We went downtown to cover hearings on the controversial County wind ordinance, the Quail Brush power plant, and other hot land-use issues impacting East County.

ADDITIONAL 22 HORSES SEIZED IN RAMONA

 

July 26, 2013 (Ramona) – Two months after the County Department of Animal Services (DAS) impounded ten horses in Ramona, another 22 were seized from the same owner Monday.

DAS had been monitoring the herd belonging to Lori Patton since the original seizure May 23 to make sure the animals were getting the proper level of care. 

SANTEE APPROVES EMINENT DOMAIN TO TAKE HOMES FOR STREET WIDENING

 

 

Friday: Listen to the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. to hear our interview with Stephen Bartholow, editor of Santee Patch, who has been tracking this story.

July 25, 2013 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, Santee City Council ignored pleas from residents and authorized the city to seize and force sale of four properties, as well as obtain easements for nearly a hundred more.   The declaration of eminent domain was done to allow the Prospect Avenue street widening project, which impacts properties on nine streets.

“We don’t want to leave,” Gloria Duff testified, Santee Patch reported.  Duff, whose family has lived in their home for 50 years, said the family took out a second mortgage for remodeling recently and fears they won’t get enough money.

VALLE DE ORO PLANNERS HAVEN’T MET IN TWO MONTHS

 

“We aren’t trying to avoid anything,” said Chairman Jack Phillips (photo, left). “We haven’t had anything to put on the agenda.”

By Jake Christie

For possibly the first time ever in its 30- year history, the Valle de Oro Community Planning Group has cancelled two and a half months of meetings, from May 21 to July 16. The planning group members are elected, unpaid volunteers serving on the advisory group overseeing land use issues in a 19 square mile unincorporated area which covers Casa de Oro, Mt. Helix, Rancho San Diego, and Vista Grande Hills.

The group normally meets twice a month in the training room of the Otay Water District Headquarters on Sweetwater Springs Boulevard at 7 p.m.

AUGUST 21 DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON HELIX WATER PROPOSED RATE HIKE

 

By Janis Mork

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District is looking to raise rates for its 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years. For 2013-2014, proposed water rates for the domestic/ single customer - using 25 units bi-monthly - will increase six percent. Commercial/Multi-family customers will see a rate increase of three to eight percent. 

WILD RIDE: VIDEO INSIDE A FLASH FLOOD AT THE OCOTILLO WIND FACILITY

 

July 24, 2013 (Ocotillo) - In a dramatic video, award-winning videographer Jim Pelley takes a wild ride along a flooding roadway in the heart of the Ocotillo Express Wind Project.  The brief storm, which lasted only an hour, closed Highway 98, also washing rocks and debris across access roads. (Note: video contains strong language as Pelley struggles to escape the rising floodwaters.)

Pelley, an engineer and resident of Ocotillo, has long contended that changes to natural drainage patterns made by the wind project developer, Pattern Energy, would worsen flooding in the region.  Ocotillo is in a federally designated flood plain, but area residents have said that in the past, it took hours of heavy rainfall to cause serious flooding.

NATIONAL WOMEN VETS GROUP CANCELS FILNER KEYNOTE SPEECH; TWO MORE WOMEN ALLEGE UNWANTED ADVANCES

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 24, 2013 (San Diego)— Tara Jones, President and founder of the National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) today announced that the group has rescinded its invitation to Mayor Bob Filner as keynote speaker at its August 30 gala in San Diego.  The Mayor, who now faces accusations of sexual harassment, ironically was slated to address issues of military sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence against women.

“The Mayor speaking at our event interferes with the moral compass of my organization,” said Tara Jones, President and founder of  (NWVAA) at a press conference today at the Civic Center downtown where a pair of counter-protesters showed up in support of Filner.  Jones said that NWVAA has heard from thousands of people at the national level about “the public embarrassment that San Diego County is currently receiving.”

COMIC-CON FAR MORE THAN COSTUMES AND BIG HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTIONS

 

 

 

By Nadin Abbott 

Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott   

July 23, 2013 (San Diego) – There is more to Comic-Con than Game of Thrones or cool costumes. Yes, there are plenty of incredible costumes. We promise to show you that aspect of the Convention later in the article with the Steam Punk reunion that happened on Saturday. That said, Comic-Con also has a strong educational aspect to it.

I-15 CLOSED THIS WEEKEND NEAR STATE ROUTE 56

 

July 24, 2013 (Rancho Penasquitos) – Attention, motorists: Interstate 15 southbound will be closed this weekend between State Route 56 (the Ted Williams Parkway exit) to Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard/Poway Road.

The closure Saturday to Monday is due to drainage improvements. Southbound express lanes will be open as a detour and will be available to all drivers free of charge.

SUIT FILED AGAINST MAYOR FILNER OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

July 23, 2013 (San Diego)—Two press conferences were held yesterday regarding the scandal in San Diego City Hall involving Mayor Bob Filner.

Prominent attorney Gloria Allred announced that she has filed a civil lawsuit against Mayor Filner on behalf of Irene McCormack-Jackson in Superior Court. McCormack-Jackson read a statement and her lawyer answered some questions from the media.

MISSING SPRING VALLEY MAN WITH DEMENTIA

 

July 23, 2013 (Spring Valley) -- The San Diego Sheriff seeks public help to locate Kenneth Lamb, 79, who has dementia and takes blood-thinning medication. According to friends and neighbors, he became increasingly confused in the past week.  He was last seen at 2 a.m. on July 20 standing in a neighbor's yard in Spring Valley, where he has lived for 30 years. His routine includes church and working in yards in the La Mesa area.

His vehicle, a gold 1999 Ford Franger pickup truck with extra cab, is also missing.  The California license is 6N22819.  It had a piece of plywood in the truck bed.

SAN DIEGO PLANNING COMMISION MOVES FORWARD WITH CASTLEROCK PROJECT, DIRECTS TO SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL

 

 By Janis Mork

July 22, 2013 (Santee)- At the July 11 meeting, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of the annexation scenario to place the proposed Castlerock master-planned community in Santee. The controversial housing project could include up to 430 residential units on 204 acres near the Santee-San Diego border.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH THROUGH MONDAY; DEBRIS BLOCKS LOCAL ROADWAYS

 

Photo: Debris in roadway at Ocotillo; photo by Jim Pelley

July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- A flash flood watch has been issued for San Diego County’s mountains and deserts through Monday evening. Thunderstorms and heavy showers are forecast over  mountain and desert areas.  Flash flooding threat will remain high through early Monday night, especially in  areas recently burned by fires. 

This evening, flash flooding caused a rocky ride for motorists on roadways in East County’s mountains and deserts.  Mudslides caused major delays along Highway 78 at Yaqui Pass in the Anza-Borrego area.  Boulders in the roadway are blocking Montezuma Valley Road, forcing closure. Portions of S-2 and Borrego Valley Road are also shut down due to flooding and debris.

COUNTY TO INTRODUCE NEW ZONING/DESIGN CODES FOR RAMONA AND ALPINE

 

July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s Planning and Development Services (PDS) staff is finalizing new Form-Based Codes for the communities of Ramona and Alpine.  Drafts of the new FBC for Ramona and Alpine are now available for review at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/ordamend.html. The deadline for public comment is August 5.

According to the PDS July newsletter,  the new codes introduce new zoning/design criteria that will “encourage and promote the village character within these communities while revitalizing their economic capabilities.  Unlike traditional zoning which separates land uses and regulates individual uses on a property, a FBC deemphasizes uses and puts greater emphasis on regulating building appearances within given neighborhoods.  FBC also take into account the buildings’ relationships to one another, the public streets and the streetscape.”

COUNTY CLERK PETITIONS COURT TO STOP ISSUANCE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES

July 21, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenberg Jr. has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court asking justices to prohibit County Clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  The marriages resumed after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling invalidating Proposition 8.  But Dronenberg argues the ruling should apply only to the two couples who sued over Prop 8.

Today Greg Cox, Chairman of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, made clear that Dronenberg acted on his own.  “No one else from the County was consulted or had any part of ths court action, including the Board of Supervisors,” Cox said in a statement sent to media.  “The County’s position is and always has been that we, the County, will follow applicable law with regards to same sex marriage.”

FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR BURNED AREAS IN EAST COUNTY

 

July 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch effective now through Sunday evening in burned areas of San Diego County’s mountains and deserts. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are also forecast.

Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action if the flash flood watch is elevated to a flash flood warning.

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