By Miriam Raftery
December 7, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A winter storm sweeping across East County has brought snow down to 4700 feet as of Saturday afternoon, with forecasts for two inches of snow down to 3500 tonight and flurries at lower elevations. Sunrise Highway at Old Highway 80 is currently blocked by boulders/large rocks and other crashes are reported on I-8 near Dunbar Lane in Alpine and on Highway 94 near Dulzura.
Icy rain is occurring as of 4:30 p.m. in Alpine and fog is reported from Alpine to Buckman Springs. High winds are also hitting East County, with gusts up to 72 mph reported at Julian's Volcan Mountain. If driving in the mountains, carry chains, extra clothing and food. Icy roads are likely tonight in mountains and even on Interstate 8, so motorists are advised to use caution.
December 7, 2013 (Alpine) – On December 11th at 6 p.m., the curtain will rise at the Viejas Dreamcatchers Lounge to reveal results of this year’s Viejas Holiday Toy Drive. The goal is to bring in donations of 10,000 toys to brighten the holidays for East County families in need.
The Viejas band of the Kumeyaay Indians joins in the 39th annual East County Toy Drive to support Stoney’s Kids and Salvation Army of East County.
By Nadin Abbott
December 5, 2013 (San Diego and Bonita)—Fast food workers in more than 100 cities went out on strike today, calling on employers to pay living wages. Locally, strikes were held in Bonita and in downtown San Diego.
Raquel Neri told ECM that she has been working for Wendy’s for 10 years. After a decade, she is paid $9.55 an hour. “I work 24 hours a week,” she said. She also has to pay all her costs, including rent, food and transportation costs--while she raises seven children.
December 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A wide variety of musical concerts are coming up in the Grossmont Union High School District during December, from madrigals to a jazz band, guitar and orchestral performances, and even a dance concert. For a complete list of shows, scroll down.
HOLIDAY SEASON KICKS OFF WITH TREE LIGHTING AND FREE ICE SKATING PERFORMANCE AT VIEJAS OUTLETS DEC. 7
December 6, 2013 (Alpine) – Viejas Outlets officially kicks off the holiday season this weekend with the lighting of one of Southern California’s largest trees and a free ice skating performance by regional, national and international ice skating competitors.
A massive 60-foot holiday tree will be illuminated at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at the Viejas Outlets ice rink followed by free ice skating performances by some of the world’s best ice skaters. The ice rink will be open to the public immediately before and after the event, with special pricing for kids, seniors and military.
Lakeside’s Maine Avenue comes alive with the sights and sounds of the holiday season on Sunday, December 7 from 4 to 9 p.m. when the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce will host the 15th Annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine (between Woodside and Laurel).
This free, fun-filled family event will include a tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, vendor booths, kids’ activities, food, music and entertainment by local bands & schools.
An Amber Alert has been activated statewide at the request of the Washington state police. On December 4, 2013, at 02:30 pm, Elizabeth Romero was abducted from Kennewick, Washington. She is a 14 year old Hispanic, female, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, brown hair, and brown eyes, last seen wearing a white tank top, dark pants, backpack, and a pink purse.
The suspect is Eduardo Flores-Rosalas, a 19 year old Hispanic, male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, unknown clothing. The suspect was last seen driving a early 2000s green Ford Escape, with Washington temporary registration. The suspect may be en-route to Mexico.
December 5, 2013 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council received 27 applications for the currently vacant councilmember position. The application period closed yesterday
The City Council is scheduled to interview applicants in Council chambers at the 7:00 p.m. Council meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
A list of applicants is below.
By Miriam Raftery
December 5, 2013 (El Cajon ) – The newly formed San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce has elected Ben Kalasho as president during the organization’s gala event at Sycuan Resort on November 22. Kalasho hailed the event, which drew about 100 attendees, as “a great turn out of professional movers and shakers.”
Preview by David Dickens
December 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County teams will be vying in the San Diego California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) football championships this weekend. Monte Vista Monarchs will take the field Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Sweetwater High’s Red Devils, followed by a 7 p.m. matchup between Christian High Patriots and the San Marcos Knights. Below are previews of the games.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED, COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION, AND SOLAR CONTRACTOR TEAM UP TO TRAIN "SOLAR CHAMPIONS"
December 4, 2013 (San Diego) – -Nearly 30 San Diego Unified School District teachers are becoming "Solar Champions." Earlier this week, the school district hosted a workshop for those teachers to help them incorporate the solar energy/technology they now have at their schools into their curriculum.
Main Street Power is a solar contractor that recently completed the installation of roof-top solar systems at 29 of the district's schools. As part of its contract with the district, Main Street Power is providing the teachers with training and classroom solar car kits, as well as materials on solar energy/technology that are aligned with the districts' science curriculum. The company is also giving each school a computer that will serve as an "energy portal."
December 4, 2013 (San Diego) — By a 5-0 vote, San Diego Supervisors Tuesday approved efforts to add the PulsePoint smartphone app to regional 9-1-1 emergency systems. The system enables notification of trained citizen volunteers to respond quickly to cases of sudden cardiac arrest and initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while awaiting medical responders. The measure was introduced by Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn.
Nearly 1,000 lives are lost daily in the U.S. due to sudden cardiac arrest, which can occur even in active, seemingly healthy people with no history of heart disease. Cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death among adults over age 40 in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association, of 383,000 people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest, 90% die.
December 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – If home-grown music is your thing, then the place to be this Friday night is the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater, the venue for the always eclectic and entertaining Winter Wonder Jam, produced by students in the college’s Music Industry program.
Set for 7-10 p.m. Dec. 7, concert-goers will be treated to music ranging from rock, pop, jazz, acoustic and hip- hop.
December 4, 2013 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: Can you discuss pollutants in car interior materials, and also pollution inside cars originating from gasoline and diesel exhausts outside the car?
-- Mervyn Kline, Philadelphia, PA
December 4, 2013 (El Cajon)--The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of two suspects who robbed a mail carrier in El Cajon on Wedneday, November 27 at 5:05 p.m. The theft occurred in the 2400 block of Fletcher Parkway.
Both suspects were described as 25 to 30 years old, white with medium build, about 5 feet 11 inches tall. One suspect had a tear drop tattoo under his left eye and wore al ong-sleeved dark shirt, dark shorts, black knee-high socks and black shoes. The other suspect had full sleeve-like tattoos on both arms; he wore a white So-Cal Tshirt, shorts and black shoes.
La Mesa is transformed into a Victorian wonderland on December 13-14 during its old-fashioned Christmas in the Village. The family friendly event features horse-drawn carriages, strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers along La Mesa Boulevard.
Carnival rides, ponies, puppet shows, live music stages, bonfires and an outdoor market round out the traditional holiday fun.
Alpine celebrates the season with the 17th Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Festival on December 6 at 6:30.
This family-friendly event, sponsored by the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, also features a visit from Santa and his helpers, Christmas caroling and a snow mountain for sledding at the Alpine Community Center on Alpine Boulevard.
December 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) --ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Health law business site delayed one year (UT San Diego)
- Boeing: 15 airlines warned over high-altitude ice (BBC)
- Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option, eliminate filibusters on most nominees (Washington Post)
- Reason Foundation Study Details Depths of Green Energy Crony Capitalism (Reason)
- Obama: Iran nuclear deal limits Iran ability to create nuclear weapons (CNN)
- Ford recalls 2013 Escape SUVs for seventh time (Reuters)
- Pot smokers arrested for DUI: A record high in Washington (CS Monitor)
- U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks (NPR)
- Judge Suspends Sentencing Of Would-Be Bomber After NSA Revelations(NPR)
- Intelligence committee heads: Terror threat rising (AP)
- Pope Francis attacks ‘tyranny’ of unfettered capitalism,’idolatry of money’ (ABC news)
- Pope ramps up charity to be near poor, sick (USA Today)
- Israel says kills three Qaeda-linked militants in West Bank (Reuters)
- Egypt expels Turkish ambassador, Turkey retaliates (Reuters)
- Tiananmen Square attack was 'jihadi operation,' claims Islamist group (CS Monitor)
- Islamist rebels capture Syria's largest oilfield: activists (Reuters)
- Adulterers may be stoned under new Afghan law, official says (Reuters)
- Iran says to continue building at Arak nuclear site despite deal
- Syrian refugee children are becoming the family breadwinners (CS Monitor)
- Dutch privacy watchdog says Google breaks data law (Reuters)
- North Korea says U.S. citizen Merrill E. Newman is a criminal, arrested for hostile acts (Reuters)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.
By Miriam Raftery
December 4, 2013 (Campo) – Despite protests from Campo residents, the state has proposed a new location in this rural community to house a sexually violent predator, Douglas Badger, 70. The home is located at 1138 Custer Rd. It is about 200 yards from the nearest neighbor and 2.2 miles from the nearest elementary school.
Public comment regarding the proposed location can be submitted until Dec. 20. Email submissions should be sent to email@example.com. Comments can be submitted by phone by calling (858) 495-3619. State officials have scheduled a Jan. 3 hearing on the matter.
December 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.
- Emergency Contraceptive Pill Might Be Ineffective For Obese (NPR)
- FDA Shuts Down 23andMe: Outrageously Banning Consumer Access to Personal Genome Information (Reason)
- UCSD scientists invent MRSA 'nanosponge' vaccine (UT San Diego)
- More Children Are Being Medicated For ADHD Than Before (NPR)
- Men and women 'wired differently'
- Helping Haiti, In 3-D (NPR)
- Moon Turnips? NASA Takes Gardening to New Heights
- 700,000 year old horse found in Yukon permafrost yields oldest DNA ever recorded (Western Digs)
- Twitter Takes Steps To Frustrate NSA, Other Government Snoops (Reason)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click read more and scroll down.
December 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- License plate readers creating countywide database (CBS)
- Rural fire fee to increase (UT San Diego)
- Mexican truck with radioactive load stolen (UT San Diego)
- A reader’s guide to San Diego hospital districts (Voice of San Diego)
- City helps sell sewer warranty without facts (UT San Diego)
- East African refguees find empathy, education in San Diego (Sacramento Bee)
- Arson under-reported in U.S. cities including San Diego (10 News)
- Borrego’s ‘dinosaur sculptor’ moving his base to Borrego (UT San Diego)
- Why the County Will Lose Half Its Health Funds (And Why It Might Not Matter) (Voice of San Diego)
- Taking names for term limits (La Mesa Courier)
- Former Filner aide seeks $1.5 million (UT San Diego)
- Neighbors sue city over huge ‘luxury’ housing project (La Mesa Courier)
- San Diego Council Approves 15 Percent Water Rate Hike (KPBS)
- Long-Term Water Facilities and Climate Action Plans released for public review (SDCWA)\
- San Diego Transfers Low-Level Prisoners To Help Fight Wildfires (KPBS)
- Jail violence rises with shift from prison (UT San Diego)
- How an Egg-Centric Amendment Could Hurt San Diego Farmers (Voice of San Diego)
- Judge stops bullet train in its tracks (UT San Diego)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
Local San Diego organizations unite to call for aid for survivors of catastrophic tragedy
December 4, 2013 (San Diego)--The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has displaced approximately 4.4 million people—one million of whom are children. More than 26,000 have been injured, over 5,600 have lost their lives, and 1,759 are still missing. The numbers are staggering and continue to rise.
On Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m., United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3930 (AFSCME Local 3930) and the San Diego Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) with 13 other local and national organizations will hold a candlelight vigil at the headquarters of UDW on 4855 Seminole Drive, San Diego, CA 92115. There will be a prayer service and lighting of candles in remembrance of those affected. Monetary donations will also be accepted to benefit relief efforts.
December 4, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Cuyamaca College’s Annual “Winter Wonder Jam” takes stage this Friday, December 6 at 7 p.m. This event is to promote students' efforts in showcasing new local talent; the public is invited to come out and enjoy the music. These home-grown singer-songwriters will present a variety of acoustic, rock, jazz and hip hop genres
This concert takes place at the Performing Arts Theatre at Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. The festival features four local artists performing their all-original music compositions. This event is FREE with a donation to the San Diego Food Bank and there is plenty of free parking.
By Miriam Raftery
December 4, 2013 (Boulevard) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its examination of a raptor euthanized after it was struck by a semi- truck in Boulevard on November 27.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the species of bird as a red-tailed hawk, said Jane Hendron, Public Affairs Division Chief with the USFWS in Carlsbad.
"It's outrageous that our elected officials in California are using taxpayer dollars to intentionally mislead their constituents and divert them from CoveredCA.com ... Republicans in California should be ashamed… the GOP’s newest tactics is to lie to voters and prevent sick people from getting the care they need.”—Dr. Paul Song, oncologist and Courage Campaign executive director
By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery
December 3, 2013 (San Diego)—The California Assembly Republican Caucus, chaired by East County representative Brian Jones (R-Santee), is taking heat for creating a phony website (http://www.coveringhealthcareca.com/) designed to divert consumers from the state’s official Covered California site (https://www.coveredca.com/).
Covered California is the website for consumers to get information on new healthcare exchanges and sign up for healthcare coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Republican members including Jones are promoting the sham healthcare site, labeled a “California Resource Guide” directly to constituents on their official Assembly websites paid for by taxpayers.
December 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for mountains and deserts. Gusts over 60 miles per hour are forecast.
A cold front moving through the recent will drop temperatures below freezing for high desert areas by Wednesday morning. Rain and snowfall are forecast at higher elevations.
December 3, 2013 (San Diego) – For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org
FOR ALL SAN DIEGO COUNTY LIBRARY EVENTS, go to: http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/news-events/index.shtml
December 3 (Tuesday, 7:30 pm) — Warwick's will host Fannie Flagg, the bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, as she discusses and signs her new novel The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion. This event is free and open to the public, however Reserved Seating is available. Please call Warwick's for details. Only books purchased from Warwick's will be signed.
November 26, 2013 (SanteE)--Santa and snow are in the forecast on Sunday, December 8th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the annual Santa at the Lakes EVENT at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. You'll find plenty of snow for sledding, Santa visits, and s’mores around the fire as highlights of this year’s event.
Story and photos by Sharon A. Penny
December 1, 2013 (El Cajon)--Thomas Weller of El Cajon has had stories printed throughout the nation about his acts of kindness (by CBS News, The LA Times, People Magazine and NPR, among others), as well as international publications. Yet this East County man remains humble and steadfast in his pursuit of paying it forward.
Weller, known as the San Diego Highwayman (www.sandiegohighwayman.com) has been helping distressed motorists for almost 50 years. He never accepts payment for his kind gestures – which include providing gas for empty tanks to replacing batteries to fixing flats. Instead, he hands each motorist a card with the following inscription:
“Assisting you has been my pleasure. I ask for no payment other than for you to pass on the favor by helping someone in distress that you may encounter.”
Update: SDGE now reports that 936 customers may be without power until 4 p.m. today.
December 3, 2013 (La Mesa)--An estimated 1,568 homes remain without power in west La Mesa, where an outage at 3:27 a.m. initially left nearly 3,800 customers without electricity.
San Diego Gas & Electric anticipates full power restoration at 9 a.m. The utility has not released the cause at this time.