By Miriam Raftery
July 4, 2014 (La Mesa) – On the heels of the American Legion backing out of the Park Station proposal, the City of La Mesa announced today that it has cancelled a Planning Commission Public Hearing on the project’s specific plan and environmental impact report that had been slated for July 16.
The announcement issued by Bill Chopyk, Director of Community Development for La Mesa, specifically states that the hearing is cancelled “due to a change in the application and project description because the American Legion has withdrawn as a co-applicant. A new notice of public hearing will be distributed to interested parties once the specific plan and environmental documents are revised and ready for Planning Commission consideration and further public review.”
July 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--This week, the extremist group ISIS declared an Islamic caliphate stretching from Syria across Iraq following weeks of mounting violence. On June 25, prior to the declaration, we aired a second interview with San Diego Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo following his meetings with the State Department, members of Congress and high-level U.S. officials. We discussed international efforts to bring peace to the region, form a more inclusive government and protect Iraqi Christians.
Hear our interview here: http://kiwi6.com/file/jj6adf49ou
(Note: We apologize for being late posting podcasts from last week, due to our editor's daughter having surgery. She is recovering fine, and thanks to those who sent good wishes.)
East County News Service
July 2, 2014 (San Diego)--MyLife, a social media website, recently did an analysis of data to determine the most patriotic cities in the U.S. The results are in -- just in time for the 4th of July -- and San Diego is ranked number one.
MyLife’s analysis included four sets of data:
July 1, 2014 (La Mesa)--The Mission Times Courier, Mission Valley News and La Mesa Courier are joining the San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) and its group of award-winning community newspapers, strengthening SDCNN’s community news voice in San Diego.
SDCNN’s purchase of the trio of newspapers from Jim Madaffer’s Mission Publishing Group takes effect July 1. The acquisition also includes Mission Publishing Group’s online news site, ScoopSanDiego.com, a press release issued yesterday by Mission Publishing announced.
June 30, 2014 (Ramona)--The search for a missing Ramona man has ended tragically.
The Medical Examiner has determined that a body found in a field in Ramona is Carl Lee Salayer, The 67-year-old man was reported missing from his Ramona home on June 17.
Sheriff to add DUI patrols and checkpoints
June 30, 2014 (San Diego)--The Fourth of July is a time for fun and celebration for the entire family. This holiday weekend, there are several options for getting safe rides home if you plan to party hearty. Tipsy Tow offers free rides home (up to seven miles away). Another service, be my Designated Driver, offers low-cost driver and pickup services. Or consider taking a bus or trolley to your destination.
Also be aware that the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will be holding increased driving-under-the-influence (DUI) patrols by deputies across the county beginning on Thursday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 6th.
June 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego region ends the first six months of this year with just over 5 inches of rain – less than half of normal.
If you’re planning some outdoor activities over the Fourth of July holiday, the weather forecast is warm and sunny, with temperatures about 5 degrees above normal through the end of this week.
By Miriam Raftery
June 27, 2014 (Ramona) – The Medical Examiner has determined that a body found in a field in Ramona is Carl Lee Salayer, a 67-year-old man reported missing from his Ramona home on June 17.
Salayer suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He had a feeding tube and required medications. His disappearance prompted an intensive search involving dozens of Sheriff’s deputies, other law enforcement officers and volunteers.
EL CAJON COUNCIL REJECTS HOMEOWNERS’ PLEAS FOR RELEIF FROM WEED ABATEMENT FEES , BUT GRANTS SALES TAX RELIEF TO CAR DEALER
Residents question high cost of weed cutting by private contractor
By Grey Feathers
June 24, 2014 El Cajon – The City Council of El Cajon considered issues from a retired police dog to hookah lounges as Mayor Bill Wells gaveled in Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilmember Star Bales displayed items purchased at the El Cajon ‘America on Main Street’ event that she will proudly wear at the Fourth of July celebration at Kennedy Park (photo, left). The Council then voted to retire and release ownership of El Cajon Police dog “Turbo” to Officer Thompson, Turbo’s experienced and sole handler. Happy retirement Turbo!
The longest discussion of the meeting concerned filing liens on properties of owners who owe money to the City for weed abatement, mandatory trash service and sidewalk repair. The staff recommendation was to authorize the City Clerk to record the amount owed as a lien on the property and forward the list to the County Tax Assessor for billing on the owner’s next property tax bill.
COUNTY BOARD RENEWS GILLESPIE FIELD DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL FOR 4 MORE YEARS OVER OBJECTIONS OF SOME NEIGHBORS
By Nadin Abbott
June 25, 2014 (San Diego)--The San Diego County Board of Supervisors renewed the Gillespie Field Development Council, despite serious concerns raised by several members of the public.
The council runs the day to day activities at the Gillespie Field airport for both El Cajon, which appoints two members, and the County, which appoints three.
Robert Germann told the Board that he opposes the agreement since it does not include the City of Santee. He told Supervisors,“Santee should have a seat on the board. I am surprised they are not here demanding one.” The airport has one gate exiting into Santee, built at Santee’s expense.
Increased Income Guidelines Expand Eligibility
June 23, 2014 (San Diego)– More San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers are now eligible to save every month on their bill and receive energy efficient home improvements due to new income guidelines that went into effect June 1, 2014. Households of two with a yearly income of $31,460 or less can now enroll in the money-saving, state sponsored customer assistance programs California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and the Energy Savings Assistance Program.
By Miriam Raftery
June 22, 2014 (San Diego) – Caltrans will hold a public workshop July 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Caltrans office complex in San Diego (Garcia Room), 4050 Taylor Street. The transportation agency seeks public comments on a draft California Freight Mobility Plan that aims to improve freight movement and reduce environmental impacts on the state’s highways, seaports and railways.
June 22, 2014 (Lakeside) – A Lakeside man, 45, died at the scene of an accident that occurred on June 13 at 12:49 a.m. on State Route 52 east, just west of Cuyamaca Street.
By Jaden Jimenez
June 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Waggin' Train LLC reached an agreement with pet owners in several states to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate dog owners who believe their animals were harmed by eating chicken and other jerky treats sold by the companies.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: HOT LAND USES ISSUES IMPACTING EAST COUNTY ARE AMONG AGENDA ITEMS THIS WEEK
By Miriam Raftery
June 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Here are highlights of important issues on the agenda this week impacting San Diego's unincorporated areas as well as residents in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee.
The San Diego Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with many important items slated to be heard. On Tuesday, Supervisors will deliberate the county budget and a joint powers agreement with Caltrans for the Next Generation regional communications system and more.
On Wednesday, supervisors will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan amendment. This is a controversial issue that will determine what sort of development will be allowed on properties in the vicinity of Cleveland National Forest in East County.
Lori Abbott, California News Service
June 18, 2014 (Sacramento)--The first day of summer may be on Saturday, but parts of California already have seen triple-digit heat this year - and more is on the way. With that in mind, health officials across the West are urging people to be careful in the potentially deadly heat.
By Janis Russell; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
June 18, 2014 (La Mesa)- An overflow crowd filled Council Chambers and spilled outside at last night’s La Mesa Planning Commission meeting on the controversial Park Station project, a multi-use development proposed at Baltimore and Nebo Drive. Kitzman, the developer, has scaled down original plans from 18 stories to 11, still well over double the height limit for the area. The new plan also eliminates a park and makes other changes.
Testimony ran on for over to four hours, with 23 speakers opposed and 26 in favor (most from outside La Mesa). The evening ended with a shocker, when Lenny Guccione, business manager for the American Legion – the project’s co-applicant-- criticized the project as “too big” for the neighborhood, then abruptly announced withdrawal of the American Legion’s support and walked out.
The announcement stunned planners and project backers. A recess was swiftly called, after which Sherman Harmer with Urban Housing Partners admitted the American Legion’s withdrawal came as a “total shock” to the applicant.
The Planning Commission voted 7-0 to close the public hearing and end public input on the project. Following internal discussion and staff input, a new meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 16 at 7 p.m.
By Miriam Raftery
“If they keep taking out city after city, the whole world’s safety is threatened. I hope the world acts soon." -- Mark Arabo, Iraqi-American community leader
Update: Our interview with Mark Arabo, which aired on KNSJ 89.1 can now be heard online in a podcast here.
June 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The violence engulfing Iraq as terrorists capture citiy after city is a “living nightmare that won’t go away” for Chaldean Christians across America, Mark Arabo, a first-generation Iraq-American and president/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association, told East County Magazine. “No question about it, this is a slow genocide."
Now, Chaldeans across American are asking the public to help by signing a petition urging President Barack Obama and Congress to join with other world leaders and provide safe passage out of Iraq for Christians trapped with no safe place to go, now that Syria is in civil war and the terrorists in Iraq aim to impose Sharia law. You can click this link to sign the petition to Save Iraqi Christians.
By Miriam Raftery
June 17, 2014 (Ramona) – A search is underway in Ramona to locate Carl Salayer, 66, who was last seen when he went to bed last night. He left his home in the 17000 block of Handlebar Road in Ramona between 2:30 and 6:30 this morning.
He suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and has other medical conditions and needs to take his medications. He had a feeding tube and may only be wearing his undergarments. He is white, 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, with blue eyes , balding grey hair and a moustache He could run when approached, so if you see him please call the Sheriff’s department at 858-565-5200. Refer to Sheriff’s missing persons case 14130623.
June 16, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Wednesday, June 18 the La Mesa Planning Commission will hear a request for a proposed “Park Station Specific Plan” and “Final Environmental Impact Report,” a conceptual plan for a 5.23 acre project in the Village which could include commercial and retail space, as well as 416 residential units with an option for a 500 room hotel in lieu of the residential units.
The developer is requesting the properties be removed from the city’s Village Specific Plan and given its own proposed plan, to be called the Park Station Specific Plan.
While scaled down from the original proposal, the current iteration still proposes double the density, up to a little more than double the height limit, and to cut the residential parking by half compared to current requirements as part of the Village Specific Plan.
By Trevor Hill
June 16, 2014 (San Diego)--On Tuesday, June 10th, experts in the field of drone manufacturing convened at a summit at the Liberty Station Conference Center to discuss the implications and details of the industry, which is currently booming in San Diego.
June 14, 2014 (San Diego) — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a community information meeting June 16, 2014 in Costa Mesa, Calif., on the proposed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) settlement agreement currently before the Commission. The proposed agreement was announced to the CPUC March 27 by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and leading state consumer representatives and other parties. If approved, the settlement would resolve all issues regarding the CPUC’s investigation of the San Onofre Units 2 and 3.
Source: Helix Water District
June 14, 2014 (La Mesa)--Helix Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday approved a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2014-15 that calls for a rate increase of 4.5 percent for the average domestic-class customer. The increase amounts to $5.93 on the average bimonthly bill—well below the anticipated 6.2 percent or $8.23 increase that was approved last year as part of a two-year rate notice in accordance with requirements of Proposition 218.
“Dad, we’re taking away your car keys because you’re not safe to drive!”
June 13, 2014 (San Diego's East County) – It’s the great debate – who’s the better driver? Mom or Dad? This Father’s Day, dads will love to hear in a recent national survey 63% of adult children say Dad’s a better driver than Mom. However, if adult children had to take away Dad’s car keys because he’s unsafe to drive, many fear Dad would get so angry he’d cut them out of the will.
June 11, 2014 (San Diego) – The public is invited to a free Aging Summit hosted by the County of San Diego. This year, the primary focus will be on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The event will take place on June 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Town and Country Hotel Convention Center. For more information, visit
Age-progressed photo released of teen who vanished in Anza-Borrego Desert in November 2009
By Miriam Raftery
June 11, 2014 (Ocotillo Wells) -- Nearly five years ago, 16-year-old Mickey Guidry disappeared in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The Jeep he’d taken from his family was found broken down and abandoned, its tire worn down to the rim near Fish Creek wash, 22 miles from the nearest highway over Thanksgiving weekend. He has not been seen since November 26, 2009.
By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2014 (Borrego Springs)—For decades, Borrego Springs has been draining down its aquifer at an increasingly rapid pace. If action is not taken soon, a new report warns, the community could face dire consequences.
The Borrego Water Coalition invites the public to a public outreach meeting on Thursday, June 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m at the Borrego High School Library, 2281 Diegueno Road in Borrego Springs.
By Stevon Marshall
June 6, 2014 (San Diego County) - The voter turnout in the San Diego County for the June third primary elections surpassed expectations of a low turnout, the results were 20% equalling to 1 in 5 registered voters casting a ballot.
By Jessica Richmond
June 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- June 15th is Father’s Day--a once-a-year special day reserved to honor all of the hard work and love that our fathers have given to us. We at ECM have compiled a list of special activities sure to bring a smile to your father’s face. These fun family outings this weekend in San Diego and East County range from free to a hundred dollars or so, so you’ll find an ideal outing for minimal or a deluxe day with all the lavish trimmings.
You can take Dad (and the family) to East County’s new “America on Main Street” celebration for free. A family of four could enjoy a day of fishing for under $36 dollars, or savor wine tasting for two with just you and dad for about $15 dollars. Our list also includes free outdoor activities, movies in the park, a Father’s Day “Man it Up Brunch,” a tour of an architectural treasure, night fishing and more at modest rates--all in East County. Or, if you’re feeling flush in the wallet and willing to venture farther afield to the shores of San Diego, you can treat your father to a once-in-a-life-time adventure of falconry flights, breakfast with Shamu, or a guided kayaking tour.
We hope these options give you some good ideas to delight dear ole’ Dad--and East County Magazine wishes you a safe and happy Father’s Day!
Community tailgate at SDG&E offices June 6 in El Cajon and July 7 in Chula Vista
East County News Service
June 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--SDG&E is going to have Community Tailgates at its branch offices, providing information on programs, services and solutions to your energy needs. Their partners, TechniArt, will be on hand offering 3 light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs for $10 (which is a $60 value) along with additional LED sizes.
LEDs use far less electricity, and because they don’t have a filament to burn out, they last up to five times longer than compact florescent bulbs. And LEDs offer a “cleaner” light than compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. The LEDs use so much less electricity and last so much longer that the cost savings over a traditional incandescent bulb is about $540 over the life of the bulb. That’s a solid return on the investment of $3.33 per bulb in this special offer.