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MORE FIRE STATION CLOSURES, UNDER-STAFFING REVEALED: WHISTLEBLOWER INTERVIEW FRIDAY AT 5 PM ON OUR RADIO SHOW

SPRING HARP FEST: WAILIN’ THE BLUES APRIL 19 IN LA MESA

TSIMBOUKAKIS VIES FOR SENATOR ANDERSON’S SEAT: TAKES STAND AGAINST INDUSTRIAL-SCALE ENERGY PROJECTS IN EAST COUNTY

ALL ABOARD: WINE AND RAIL EVENT EMBARKS ON APRIL 26

HOT TOPICS ON OUR SHOW WEDNESDAY! BIG THREATS TO EAST COUNTY & HOW TO SAVE OUR BACKCOUNTRY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP ACTIVITIES APRIL 18-20

ATTENTION CURRENT AND FUTURE COLLEGE STUDENTS! SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE

"INEQUALITY FOR ALL" FILM SHOWING APRIL 17 IN EL CAJON

PROSECUTION RESTS ITS CASE IN MURDER TRIAL OF IRAQI MAN IN EL CAJON

STORM THE HILL: VETERANS CALL FOR ACTION TO STOP SUICIDES

BUTTERFLIES AND BIRDS FALLING PREY TO SOLAR POWER TOWER AT IVANPAH

QUAIL BRUSH APPLICANT ASKS FOR 1 YEAR EXTENSION OF APPLICATION SUSPENSION

News




MISSING MAN WITH ALZHEIMER’S IN EL CAJON, LAST SEEN ON TROLLEY

October 9, 2013 (El Cajon ) – At 7:46 p.m. tonight, Domingues Salvador, 67, boarded a trolley at 352 South Marshall Avenue in El Cajon after becoming separated from his spouse at the trolley station.  Domingues has Alzheimer’s disease, speaks Spanish, and only knows his name.  He has no identification or money.

He is Hispanic with white hair and brown eyes.  He is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.  He was wearing a black jacket and sky blue pants.

11 EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE NAMES ON WINNERS’ LIST AT 2013 PRESS CLUB AWARDS

 

October 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – Once again, East County Magazine writers and photographers are well represented among the winners listed in the 2013 San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. 

WEBCAM ON VOLCAN MOUNTAIN DESTROYED BY LIGHTINING

 

(stock photo)

October 9, 2013 (Julian) – As searchers comb Volcan Mountain for a missing airplane tonight, thunderstorms have knocked the University of California’s hpwren atop the mountain offline—perhaps permanently, ECM has learned.

“This site was badly hit by lightning,” the webcam website states.  “The Volcan cameras may be outfor good, as we checked and they did not power back up after main power was restored. We can check them out further once we get them off the tower, but we have no hardware budget to repair or replace them any more.”

RESCUERS SEARCH FOR MISSING PLANE IN EAST COUNTY MOUNTAINS

 

October 9, 2013 (Julian ) –Amid cold, stormy conditions, a ground search is being conducted by Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in the Julian area for a Piper Mooney plane.   The small plane took off from Palm Springs for El Cajon’s Gillespie Field, but never arrived.

“They’re starting a ground search up in the Julian command area,” Lieutenant Dave Schaller with the Sheriff’s office told ECM tonight.  “We’re unable to get ASTREA up in the air due to the weather.” Lighting has knocked the webcam atop Volcan Mountain offline and snow is forecast to dip down to around 5,500 feet tonight.  Volcan Mountain is 5,350 feet.

ARSON FIRE DAMAGES CHURCH IN SPRING VALLEY

 

October 9, 2013 (Spring Valley ) –Sheriff’s investigators along with federal agents have determined that a fire at Santa Sophia Church last night was intentionally set.  A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to arrest of the arsonist.

The fire was reported around 7:57 p.m. last night in the church at 9800 San Juan Street in the Casa De Oro neighborhood of Spring Valley.   Cal Fire/San Miguel Fire district crews were on the scene in three minutes with  five engines and 20 firefighters, who extinguished the blaze within 10 minutes.  

FBI WARNS OF ATTACK ON U.S. ELECTRIC GRID; SDG&E REACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reveals that attacks on the  power grid have occurred, the Arkansas Times reported on October 7.  The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to arrest of those responsible for these crimes.

The attacks included setting fire to a substation, rigging a cable in an attempt to cause a train to take down power lines, cutting down power poles, and downing a high voltage transmission line.  A warning painted on a control panel read, “You should have expected U.S.”

National security experts have long voiced concerns over a terrorist cyber-attack on the power grid. But the attacks  in August and September in Arkansas were of the low-tech variety, yet capable of major disruption. 

NEW STATE LAW BANS CALIFORNIA FROM COOPERATING WITH FEDS ON INDEFINITE DETENTION

 

 

Sweeping measure also applies to other laws that violate Constitution or state law

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2013 (Sacramento) – In a rare show of bipartisanship, Governor Brown has signed into a law a bill that passed the Legislature almost unanimously.  The measure makes California the third state to nullify provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing indefinite detention of citizens.

However California’s law goes farther, banning state cooperation with federal authorities on enforcement of any federal law that violates the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution or California law.  The bill also prohibits use of state funds for such purposes.

MiSSING EL CAJON MAN FOUND

 

Update October 8, 2013 - Johnny Singleton has been found in the 600 block of Main Street and is now home with family, according to a Sheriff's tweet thanking community members for tips.

October 6, 2013 (El Cajon) – A search is underway  to find  64-year-old Johnny Singleton. He walked away from his home in the 200 block of Hart Drive in the unincorporated area of El Cajon around 2:00 p.m. today.  He has medical issues which put him at risk. He might be trying to find his way back to his old neighborhood in the City of San Diego at 30th Street and Imperial Avenue.

Johnny was last seen wearing a light grey polo shirt with horizontal stripes, blue jeans, white and blue Nike shoes and a ball cap. He has a goatee and short grey hair. He does not drive a car. He likes football, Pepsi and tacos.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR EAST COUNTY PANELS AND ADVSORY BOARDS

October 5, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Supervisor Jacob is looking for civic-minded District 2 residents to serve on a wide variety of citizen boards and advisory panels across East County. To apply and for additional information see the links at the bottom.

HERE’S THE BUZZ: SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER EASING RESTRICTION ON BEEKEEPING IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

 

October 5, 2013 (San Diego) – A proposal by Supervisor Dianne Jacob to encourage beekeeping will be heard by the County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, October 9.  Find meeting details here.

European honey bees have an important role in the $5.1 billion agriculture industry in San Diego County. Currently, crops pollinated by bees account for approximately one-third of food eaten. There has been a sharp decline in the bee populations throughout California, prompting municipalities and beekeeping organizations to step-up efforts to promote safe beekeeping in both urban and rural areas.

SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER IN RURAL AND MOUNTAIN AREAS DUE TO HIGH WINDS, FIRE DANGER

 

Update 4:20 p.m. - Winds have subsided and SDG&E has restored power to all but two customers in the Descanso/Green Valley area.

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has shut down power to 87 customers.  The company’s website states, “An outage has been initiated to protect public safety.”  A red flag alert and high wind warning are in effect.

"I remain extremely concerned that shutting off power jeopardizes the safety of communities and the availability of water for residents and firefighters. SDG&E has the statutory authority to cut off power only if there is an imminent threat to public safety," Supervisor Dianne Jacob posted on her Facebook page.

HIGHWAY 52 CLOSURES ANNOUNCED SATURDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

October 5, 2013 (San Diego) -- Construction crews working on State Route 52  will close lanes and ramps starting tonight, announced Caltrans.   The work is part of an ongoing project to repair dips in pavement and is expected to be completed by late winter. Closures are as follows:

  • Saturday-Sunday: all lanes on eastbound SR-52 will be closed for pavement work from Convoy Street to Kearny Villa Road from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday. 
  • Tuesday and Wednesday nights: eastbound and westbound Convoy Street on-/off-ramps will be closed for pavement work from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning.
  • Thursday: all lanes on westbound SR-52 will be closed for striping from Kearny Villa Road to Convoy Street from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday.

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO PROVIDE CHANCE FOR PAROLE TO JUVENILE INMATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2013 (Sacramento)—Many juveniles who were tried as adults and imprisoned before their 18th birthdays will be able to ask for parole after serving 15 to 25 years, depending on the severity of their crime.  The measure, Senate Bill 260, was signed into law in September by Governor Jerry Brown.

In San Diego, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has sought to try even very young juveniles for murder, notably a 10-year-old Lakeside boy accused of fatally stabbing a 12-year-old playmate. (A judge later found that child unfit to stand trial and sentenced him to a treatment facility.)

MIRAMAR AIR SHOW CANCELLED DUE TO SHUTDOWN

 

By Nadin Abbott

October 3, 2013 (San Diego) Early this morning MCAS Miramar announced that this year’s show, slated to start tomorrow, has been cancelled due to the federal government shut-down. Colonel John P. Farnam told reporters that "The timing couldn't be worse, but it is what it is."

Those who bought special access passes will be reimbursed, as well as exhibitors.

So if you were planning to attend what was an already scaled down show due to the sequester, now with the shutdown the show will not go on. Proceeds from this show usually go into supporting military families, but that money will not be there this year.

PUBLIC URGES CPUC TO MAKE UTILITIES, NOT RATEPAYERS, PAY FOR MISTAKES AT SAN ONOFRE

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos Tom Abbott

October 2, 2012 (San Diego) — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held two meetings on October 2 at the Bahr Shrine Auditorium in Kearny Mesa. The first session had about 50 members of the public attending, ratepayers who came from all over Southern California, including San Diego’s East County.

The common theme from residents, expressed well by Carol Jahnkow from Encinitas, was, “Why should rate payers pay for Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) mistakes?”

YOUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOW OFFICIALLY SHUT DOWN: WHAT’S IMPACTED AND WHAT’S NOT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Since Congress failed to pass a spending bill by the September 30th deadline, funding stops for many government services.  This occurred because House Republicans are refusing to approve any spending bill to keep the government operating unless it includes taking all funding away from federal healthcare reforms.  Democrats control the Senate, which has refused to approve such a measure and President Obama has said he would veto it even if the Senate passed it.

So how might this impact you or your family?

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST ANNOUNCES CLOSURES DUE TO GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN

 

October 1, 2013  (San Diego’s East County)Due to the lapse in federal government funding, the U.S. Forest Service, as with other federal agencies, is closed with the exception of certain essential services.  The Cleveland National Forest offices as well as some recreational areas will be closed until further notice.  The entire U.S. Forest Service website and other federal websites are offline due to the spending bill impasse in Congress.  Shutdown of U.S. Forest Service activities does not impact firefighting on forest lands, however.

The following will be closed, including popular sites in East County:

NEW LAW LEGALIZES HEMP GROWING IN CALIFORNIA

 

But feds still outlaw cultivation of hemp, leaving farmers in legal limbo

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act,Senate Bill 566.  The measure authorizes growing of hemp for industrial purposes—but only varieties that don’t contain substantial levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical in hemp’s close relative, marijuana.  

WATCH OUT FOR WATER AGENCY IMPOSTERS

 

September 30, 2013 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Water Authority is warning residents to watch out or scam artists posing as fake water agency employees. Recently, imposters have been calling local residents and offering to test their water for pollution or contamination – but they’re likely seeking opportunities for theft or fraud. 

The Water Authority and its member agencies are not responsible for fixing problems or testing inside private residences and rarely have reason to ask for entry. If a water agency were to need in-home contact, someone would call first to make an appointment. If anyone claiming to be a water utility employee comes to your home without an appointment, refuse them entry and contact your local water agency.

FARMER BILL TALL FROM CITY HEIGHTS FARMERS NURSERY TEACHES THE PUBLIC ABOUT RAISING CHICKENS

 

By Janis Mork



September 30, 2013 (City Heights) - On the weekend of the 21st, some 30 would-be urban farmers flocked to hear Farmer Bill Tall from City Heights Farmers Nursery offer advice on how to raise chickens.  San Diego, along with several other jurisdictions locally, recently legalized backyard ownership of hens – though not roosters.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Tall led off with tips on keeping eggs.

“You don’t have to refrigerate them as long as you don’t wash them,” he said.  He advised storing washed eggs in a separate container from foods.

When a woman wanted to know why stores refrigerate the eggs, Tall answered, “Because they wash them,” then added that eggs do last longer in the refrigerator.

RATEPAYERS TO RALLY WITH MESSAGE TO UTILITY COMPANIES: “YOU BREAK IT, YOU BUY IT” AT CPUC HEARING OCT. 1 ON SAN ONOFRE DECOMMISSIONING COSTS

 

September 29, 2013 (San Diego) – On Tuesday, October 1st, the California Public Utilities Commission will hold hearings in San Diego on who should pay for costs of the now-closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generation Stations – ratepayers or utility companies. The hearings will be held from 2-5 p.m. and again from 6:30-9;30 p.m. at the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kearny Mesa, San Diego. 

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre plans to hold a press conference outside the site at 1 p.m. In the evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., members of the Overpass Light Brigade will be outside the hearing to draw attention to ratepayers’ concerns.

GOOD NEWS FOR EAST COUNTY VETERANS: SUPERVISOR JACOB AIMS TO BRING SERVICES TO COUNTY LIBRARIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--Following our recent  special report, we’ve received some good news for East County veterans.   Our  investigation into County Veterans’ Services found that rural veterans were not getting their fair share of services. 

After our story aired on KNSJ radio last week, Supervisor Jacob’s office contacted us.   A staffer informed us that Supervisor Jacob held a meeting last week with County Veterans Service and asked for more equitable staffing.  The staffer informed East County Magazine that Supervisor Jacob plans to introduce a measure before the Supervisors that would bring  County Veterans Service representatives to County libraries throughout our region – including the most rural areas.

OFFICER FLYING HIGH DESPITE LIMB AMPUTATED AFTER ALPINE ACCIDENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2013 (Alpine) --A San Diego Police officer who lost his leg after his motorcycle was struck by a sedan Alpine back in June is now flying high. Today, James “Chappie” Hunter donned a jet pack to soar over Mission Bay, raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and his own medical bills.

"I'm doing amazingly great," Chappie, 41, told ECM news partner 10News. This week, he is also being fitted for a prosthetic leg.  "I've already stood once for the first time last week and I'll be walking later this week for the first time," he added.

A CALL FOR PHOTOS OF VIETNAM VETERANS LOST IN THE WAR

 

September 27, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has coordinated with local organizations and volunteers nationwide in a call for photographs and back stories of Vietnam War veterans listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. for display at The Educational Center at The Wall.

In 2003, legislation passed that authorized the construction of the Educational Center at The Wall by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Plans for the exhibitions at the center include the display of pictures and stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam, some of the 400,000 items left at The Wall and a celebration of service member values in all wars.

WHY IS COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES IGNORNING RURAL EAST COUNTY VETS?

 

Update September 27, 2013:  Supervisor Jacob's office has contacted us to advise that she met with County Veterans Services this week to request more equitable staffing. Her staffer advised that Jacob plans to introduce a measure asking Supervisors to approve sending veterans' service representatives to county libraries throughout our region.

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – When Claudia Millerbragg, whose brother was killed in Viet Nam, decided to volunteer to help local veterans, she was shocked to discover that County Veterans Services sends representatives to a dozen different communities – but none to rural East County. 

At a Homes for Our Troops event in March honoring combat vets who each lost both legs and now live in a rural area in El Cajon, Supervisor Dianne Jacob said that San Diego has the largest military installation in the world.  “In East County we have the highest concentration of military and veterans in San Diego County,” she added.

If East County has the most veterans, why does our region have the fewest services for them -- and no services at all in the poorest rural areas with no public transportation?

NEW LAW REQUIRES MOTORISTS TO ALLOW MORE ROOM WHEN PASSING BICYCLES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1371, which requires drivers of motor vehicles to allow at least three feet when passing a bicycle on a highway traveling in the same direction, under most circumstances.

An exception is made if a driver is unable to allow three feet due to traffic or roadway conditions, such as a very narrow road, bad weather, poor visibility, or road surface conditions.   In such cases, the driver must slow down to a speed that is “reasonable and prudent” and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the bicyclist.

FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE LA MESA MAN TRAPPED IN HOLE

 

Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a person trapped in a hole in the 8000 block of Morocco Dr. in La Mesa Friday morning.  The resident, a 71 year old man, was digging a drainage line about four feet deep when a small boulder came loose and fell on top of him into his lap, pinning him inside the hole. 

FAMILY OF 6 DISPLACED BY FIRE

 

September 19, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Four children and two adults are staying with family members temporarily after an attic fire damaged their two-story home at 930 Prescott Avenue in El Cajon this afternoon. 

Quick action by fire crews from Heartland Fire & Rescue in El Cajon and La Mesa, along with firefighters from Cal Fire, kept the fire from reaching neighboring homes.  Heartland Fire reports the fire was knocked down in less than 20 minutes.   The damage was mostly to the attic and roof area.

LEMON GROVE ANNOUNCES VACANCY ON PLANNING COMMISSION

 

The City of Lemon Grove seeks to fill a vacancy on its planning commission.  Interested residents are encouraged to apply before the October 3rd deadline.  Applications are available at Lemon Grove’s City Hall or on the City’s website.

ENVRIONMENTALISTS WEIGH CHALLENGE AFTER SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL APROVES CASTLEROCK PROJECT AND TRANSFER OF LAND TO SANTEE

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 17, 2013 (San Diego)—The San Diego City Council voted 7-0 to approve the controversial Castlerock housing project on the border of Santee and San Diego. The resolution proposed by Council Member Scott Sherman (District 7) and Council Member David Alvarez (District 8) reads in part, “approve the Staff’s recommendation (Annexation being the preferred scenario).”

It is clear that San Diego would prefer the project to go to Santee.  One key reason is fire response, which San Diego Fire Department cannot do in a timely manner, due to the location of the nearest fire stations and how busy Santee roads can be at rush hour.  With annexation, Santee will have jurisdiction to dispatch fire engines and other emergency services.

Recent News Articles

Free Gas!Free Gas

GRANT FUNDS FILL TANKS FOR
NEEDY AMERICANS

By Miriam Raftery

Can’t afford to fill up the car?  

Here’s some news to be “tankful” for:  a new grant
fund has been established to give away free gasoline away to needy consumers.   Read More.

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