December 1, 2014 (Ramona) – William John Holzhauer, winemaker and co-owner of Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery, died yesterday at his home in Ramona surrounded by his family and friends, after a long battle with cancer. Holzhauer was known to many as the proprietor of the winery’s tasting room in Old Town and later, Ramona.
Teri Kerns, executive editor of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine, remembered William Holzhauer as a “wonderful man and winery pioneer.”
His wife and co-owner of the winery, Tammy Rimes Holzhauer, said the winery was William’s dream that began 15 years ago when the couple, living in La Mesa at the time, bought property in Ramona. William’s dream was to create a winery based on a Spanish mission, also including Tammy’s passion, Peruvian horses. “Drink fine wine, ride fine horses” became their motto.
November 29, 2014 (San Diego)--The holiday shopping is here, and the County wants to remind consumers to double-check receipts and make sure you’re not getting overcharged by faulty cash register price scanners.
Update: Jerry Hooten has been found safely. After becoming separated on the trail from his friend, he tried to walk to a trolley stop but was unfamiliar with the area and became lost. He called another friend yesterday morning, who heard of the search and notified the Sheriff. Deputies located him a short time later, walking home in the Lake Murray area.
East County News Service
November 29, 2014 (Lakeside) – The Sheriff’s Department is asking help from the public to find Jerry Lee Hooten, who was last seen by a friend hiking toward the peak of El Capitan (El Cajon mountain) in Lakeside on Friday, November 28th around 3 p.m. He did not return to the vehicle he arrive at the mountain in and has not returned home.
Lakeside deputies responded to the call for help at 12777 Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside. Hooten is 5 feet 9 inches tall with brown/gray hair. He was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans, gray shoes, and carrying a yellow backpack.
November 27, 2014 (Alpine) - Phevos will soon be the newest tiger to call Lions, Tigers and Bears home. The Alpine rescue facility has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit to import the tiger, who was suffering in abusive conditions in a foreign zoo.
November 27, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning due to the continued threat of protests and violent incidents in Mexico. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid road travel within all areas of Guerrero including along the main toll road 95D to and from Mexico City and Acapulco.
U.S. citizens are also warned not to participate in protests in Mexico, since the Mexican constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners. Americans are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, which could result in detention, deportation, or worse.
The region has been rocked by protests over the disappearance of 43 student protesters in Iguala. Burned bodies found in a mass grave may be those of the missing students. There are allegations that they were abducted by police on orders of a mayor and turned over to a gang that murdered them. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has called for constitutional reforms to allow the federal government to takeover local police departments, CNN reports. The Mayor of Iguala and dozens more have been arrested by federal police.
November 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A strong Pacific storm may bring significant precipitation to the entire state early next week, Mark Moede, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in San Diego, predicts. A strong probability of rain is forecast here between November 30th and December 4th.
Photo: Black lung disease, a condition caused by coal mining, was the topic of a radio ad by Public Citizen that promoted Murray Energy to sue, claiming rights until now reserved for people
November 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – An energy corporation is suing Public Citizen, a nonprofit citizens’ watchdog group, claiming that radio ads run by the group caused the company to suffer “mental anguish and emotional distress.”
U.S. Bee Buffer Project is Providing Bee Forage Kits to California Land Owners
November 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, a Pollinator Partnership (P2) initiative, is immediately seeking 300 farmers, ranchers and foresters in California to set aside small plots of land as bee buffer zones. The soon-to-be-established honey bee forage supports pollination-reliant crops, which represents one-third of the food we eat.
November 27, 2014 (Julian)—A body has been found about a half mile from Pinezanita Campground, where Sally Estabrook vanished on October 4th. Estabrook, who suffered from Alzheimer, triggered a massive search involving search and rescue teams from across Southern California. The Medical Examiner has confirmed that the deceased is Estabrook.
Yesterday afternoon, deputies responded to a radio call of a deceased person found in heavy shrubbery just off the roadway in the 200 block of Coulter Ridge Road in Julian.
November 27, 2014 (San Diego) – Demonstrators in City Heights Tuesday night placed a sign over a memorial to slain San Diego Police officer Jeremy Henwood, making it read “Michael Brown Memorial Park.” The action was part of a protest over a jury verdict not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot an African-American teen in Ferguson, Missouri.
Henwood was shot and killed in his police car after pulling over to assist a vehicle that had flashed its lights on August 7, 2011. A white beat officer in City Heights, one of his final actions caught on camera was giving a cookie to a young African-American boy at a nearby McDonalds. By numerous accounts, he was an officer who was respected in the community he patrolled.
The San Diego Police Officers Association has issued a statement after the incident:
November 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Grab the galoshes and fill up your sandbags—a deluge is set to soak our region early next week. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast—along with possible flash flooding and snow.
National Weather Service forecaster Alex Tardy predicts up to five inches of precipitation in some mountain locations, with heavy snowfall possible above 6,000 feet.
November 25, 2014 (San Diego) – For years, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has ranked highest in the nation—or nearly so--for the most expensive utility rates in America. The annual survey is conducted by Jacksonville Electric Authority.
But now SDG&E has stopped providing its data to Jacksonville in 2013, after the company received bad publicity for its high rates. So San Diegans no longer know where our city ranks in utility rates.
East County Magazine asked SDG&E why it stopped participating in the survey. Stephanie Donovan, senior communications manager for SDG&E, sent this response:
November 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--The La Mesa Police Department has been awarded a $38,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The La Mesa Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
Update November 26, 2014: Two protests were held last night in San Diego. A downtown rally was peaceful, but protesters in City Heights engaged in civil disobedience blocking a bridge; some bottles were hurled at police officers, UT San Diego report. In Washington, President Obama called for calm after the jury verdict, but voiced concerns over the racial divide and mistrust of police, adding that despite strides made in civil rights, America still has a long way to go.
By Miriam Raftery
November 25, 2014 (San Diego)—A Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri announced Monday night that there will be no indictments against police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager. Jurors heard conflicting testimony from witnesses including some who said Wilson shot Brown when his hands were up as if to surrender, but others described Brown as confrontational and one witness claimed Brown charged at Officer Wilson, head down.
The verdict has prompted protests in cities across the nation. California Campaign to End Police Terror has announced demonstrations statewide including a protest planned Monday night, November 25th at 6 p.m. at the City Heights library, located at 3795 Fairmount Avenue in San Diego.
November 22, 2014 (Mt. Laguna)—At first, astronomer Robert Quimby almost deleted an e-mail which began, “Congratulations, you have won $33,000.” Then the director of San Diego State University’s Mount Laguna Observatory read further and learned that the money is real—his share of a $3 million prize for his research that helped prove expansion of the universe is accelerating.
November 23, 2014 (San Diego County)--Thanksgiving weekend is among the busiest travel times of the year and Sheriff’s deputies will be working around the clock to keep you safe on San Diego's roadways.
November 22, 2014 (Washington D.C.)—A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has resulted in publication of a report on November 21st. That report concludes that accusations made by Republican leaders over terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya are untrue. The committee found no wrongdoing by any administration officials, and it concluded that the CIA and U.S. military acted appropriately before, during and after the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.
The following bullet points are direct quotes from the committee’s conclusions:
Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with Art Neill, New Media Rights Executive Director and FCC Consumer Advisory Committee member: http://kiwi6.com/file/q9qbpwj28i (Sound file may take a minute to load.)
November 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –President Barack Obama issued a statement on video on November 10 urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify the internet under Title II.
“In plain language, the President came out in support of real net neutrality, the principle that says Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally,” says Art Neill, executive director of New Media Rights in San Diego and a member of the FCC’s consumer advisory committee, co-chair of the broadband working group.
President Barack Obama last night announced immigration reforms, just as Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before him took unilateral actions to expand protections for immigrants after Congress failed to act.
President Obama 's plan will offer temporary relief from deportation to the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for more than five years, work and pay taxes. He will also extend a program that already allows undocumented migrants brought here as children to stay in the country. The reforms are temporary, however, and could be undone by a future President and Congress.
Besides offering protections for a limited number of immigrants already in the U.S., the President also announced plans to strengthen enforcement at the border and prioritize enforcement resources to focus on deporting criminals who have convicted felonies, not families or working parents of U.S. citizens.
November 18, 2014 (El Cajon)- A driver who lost control while backing out of a parking space hit an unoccupied Ford SUV, then struck and injured three people who were waiting in line for food outside the Seventh Day Adventist church at 1630 East Madison Avenue Two of the victims, a 74-year-old woman and a 33-year-old woman, were pinned between the vehicle and a cement block wall, suffering serious injuries and were taken to a hospital, said Lt. Greg Robertson. A third woman, age 60, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
The driver, 42, and her passenger, 62, also sustained minor injuries and were transported to a hospital.
November 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Last week, President Barack Obama announced that he is sending an additional 1,500 U.S. troops to Iraq to train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the region, doubling the current number of troops deployed there. The President will also ask Congress for an addition $5.6 billion to help fight the terrorist group ISIL (also known as ISIS), or the Islamic State.
November 18, 2014 (La Mesa) – Following a 10 News investigation that cited anonymous whistleblowers claiming corruption by a Helix Water District inspector and a construction company, the Helix Water District has responded to East County Magazine’s request for comments. Read highlights of the 10 News story with links to the full report here.
Ted Salois, senior public affairs representative for the district, offered this response.
“We strive to be excellent stewards of our customers’ funds and work diligently every day to continue earning the public’s trust. When some concerns about our contracting practices were raised, we immediately initiated our own internal audit and commissioned a thorough review by an outside firm," he said.
Satellite: Photo: Strip mining of Athabasca oil sands, courtesy NASA
November 18, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – By a single vote, the Senate blocked passage of a measure to authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The measure previously passed the House of Representatives 252-161.
But with Republicans taking control of the Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell vowed to bring the matter up again soon after the new Congress convenes. Even if passed, however, the measure could face a veto by President Barack Obama.
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer opposed the XL Pipeline, calling it the “Extra Lethal Pipeline.” She cited health risks from chemicals that can cause lung damage as well as serious environmental concerns. "The facts are the facts are the facts," she said. "If you're not a scientist then be humble and listen to the peer-reviewed scientists.”
November 18, 2014 (San Diego) – By a unanimous vote, San Diego’s City Council voted Tuesday to approve $3.5 billion to recycle water for drinking. The Pure Water project will include upgrading an aging water treatment plant in Point Loma to provide a dependable source of drinking water for the city during despite drought conditions.
November 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – UT San Diego has published a list of nine danger zones for explosives still lurking beneath the ground at former military sites. It may surprise you to learn that seven of those are in East County and all nine are in inland areas.
UPDATE November 18, 2014 5 p.m. -- Helix Water District has responded to ECM's request for comments on the 10 News investigation. Helix contends that an independent inquiry as well as an in-house audit found no irregularities. You can read the Helix responses here.
View part 1 of the 10 News investigation here with links to documents and watch for part 2 airing tonight.
By Miriam Raftery
November 18, 2014 (La Mesa)—Whistleblowers are alleging that a Helix Water District inspector and a contractor conspired to overcharge ratepayers for work that was never done.
The district refused to be interviewed on camera about the allegations. However an investigation by JW August at 10 News, an East County Magazine news partner, found documents that appear to substantiate some of the claims made by the whistleblowers, employees who spoke under condition that their names not be publicized due to fears of retribution.
East County Magazine has contacted Carlos Lugos, general manager at Helix, for comments on the 10 News investigation. We also inquired whether steps are being taken by the District to assure that overcharges are not made in the future. plus we asked whether competitive bids were obtained for the projects in question. We will publish any responses once received.
November 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Citizen's Oversight and the law firm of Aguirre & Severson have filed a Federal lawsuit against two top public utility officials and Southern California Edison (SCE) for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of SDG&E ratepayers and SCE ratepayers by taking over $3 billion without just compensation.
November 16, 2014 (San Diego) – An oceanographer who has studied plutonium levels in the Black Sea after Chernobyl reports that small levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns in Japan have now reached waters off America’s west coast.