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By Sholeh Sisson
May 17 2013 (San Diego)-- On May 15, the San Diego Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance waiving building permit and plan review fees for disabled veterans who need home modifications to accommodate their disabilities.
"We are always looking for ways to improve the lives of those who risk their lives to protect our country," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who introduced the measure along with Supervisor Bill Horn.
By Sierra Robinson and Miriam Raftery
May 16, 2013 (San Diego) – “This is the worse crime that’s ever been committed against the East County wilderness. Period,” Craig Maxwell, former La Mesa mayoral candidate and outdoor enthusiast told ECM after San Diego Supervisors voted 4-1 yestesday to approve a wind ordinance that industrial-scale wind turbine projects in rural and scenic backcountry regions.
Only Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County, made an impassioned plea to protect the health and safety of rural residents, who have repeatedly voiced concerns over risks from infrasound, stray voltage, noise , fire danger, turbine collapse and blades thrown off.
Emphasizing their point, less than 24 hours after the vote, a turbine in nearby Ocotillo threw off an 11-ton blade. (photo)
May 13, 2013 (San Diego) – The San Diego City Council will vote on proposed changes to the city’s regulation and permitting process for sidewalk cafés at its meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 202 C St. in San Diego.
Leaders of the California Restaurant Association (CRA) San Diego County chapter have worked closely with city officials and the community to find ways to reconsider the existing burdensome and costly regulations that make it difficult for restaurant operators to expand their dining areas outdoors.
Mother misled investigators about location of drownings, authorities say
May 13, 2013 (Mt. Helix) --A one-year-old girl is dead and her two-year-old brother have died after their mother awoke this morning and found both children unconscious in a swimming pool. The family had been staying at the residence on Mt. Helix at 10011 Sunset Avenue in unincorporated La Mesa.
The mother pulled the children from the pool with help from her friend and drove to La Mesa Fire Station #13 for assistance. “After arrival at the fire station, the friend ran away and has not been located,” Lt Gle,n Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail reported.
Match-up set the stage for infamous Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs "Battle of the sexes"
By Richard Muscio
I just returned from the Ramona suburb of San Vicente on Mother’s Day 2013, where I spent the weekend to see what festivities or activities might be going on to commemorate the 40th anniversary of one of the most historic tennis matches in our country’s history. Sadly, I found nothing there, beyond the beautiful scenery.
On Mother’s Day 1973 (May 13, 1973 to be exact), the first “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match took place there, as a sales gimmick put on by the legendary real estate developer Ray Watt. Aimed at drawing the Hollywood crowd 120 miles south to the still-remote San Diego Country Estates, developer Watt hoped to bring attention to the 3,000 vacant lots he had for sale there, in hopes that actors and actresses and other luminaries would buy his vacant lots and construct glorious vacation homes thereupon.
HOMELESS WOMAN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER FIRE BURNS HOMELESS CAMP, MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES IN LAKESIDE
Ordeal shines spotlight on East County’s failure to offer shelter for the homeless
“We are too late. We the community of East County have let our homeless vets down again.” --post on Fox News story about the fire
By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery; photos by Billy Ortiz and Nadin Abbott
May 12, 2013 (Lakeside) – It was a grim Mother’s Day for families displaced by a fire that ravaged mobile homes in Lakeside today, and for a homeless woman veteran who is hospitalized with serious burns.
May 11, 2013 (Potrero) – A motorcyclist was airlifted to Sharp Memorial Hospital with a broken leg after sideswiping a fire truck near Potrero this morning. According to California Highway Patrol spokesman Brian Pennings, the motorcyclist was speeding when the 49-year-old driver lost control and sideswiped a Cal-Fire truck on state route 94.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego confirms findings May 9; world’s top scientists call for action
By Miriam Raftery
May 10, 2013 (San Diego) -- Measurements around the world confirm that the rise in carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million –the highest in our planet’s history.
Before the industrial revolution in the 1900s, when coal and oil began to be burned on a large scale, C02 levels were never higher than 280 ppm.
But in recent years, the levels have risen 100 times faster than after the last ice age—providing clear evidence that the rise is far beyond any cyclical changes ever seen before. In fact, leading scientists around the world warn, climate change may soon be irreversible unless drastic changes are made to reduce this level to 350 ppm or lower.
On Thursday, May 9, at 12:29 p.m. Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a drowning in the 400 block of Nila Lane in El Cajon.
"An 18 month boy, in the care of his grandmother, was found by his grandmother in the Jacuzzi area of an unfenced pool in the backyard. Heartland fire crews arrived within five minutes of the call," said Monica Zech, spokeperson for the city of El Cajon. "They immediately started CPR and regained a pulse. The child was transported to Grossmont Hospital and then transferred to Rady's Children's Hospital."
The child was listed in critical condition according to Carlos Delgado, spokesperson for Rady's.
The weather is warming up and children gravitate toward water, so take precautions. Remember--a baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.
See below for water safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control.
May 10, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Temperatures up to 100 degrees and thundershowers are forecast for our region, the National Weather Service reports. The heat wave should peak on Monday, with a cooling trend to follow. View a video from the NWS with the forecast from now through May 14:
“The Boulevard Marathon is like the Boston Marathon...[Residents opposed to the wind ordinance] are “like people with a pressure cooker and ball bearings with a bomb, trying to stop the projects…This is economic terrorism.” – John Gibson, Hamann Companies
“You should choose to save our communities, not destroy them—and I was not paid to come and talk today.” – Wendy Shannon, Boulevard resident and neighbor of Hamann’s proposed project
By Sierra Robinson; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
May 10, 2013 (San Diego)—After more than three hours of heated testimony on Tuesday, San Diego Supervisors opted to delay a decision on a controversial wind ordinance and changes to plans for two backcountry communities until May 15. The postponement came after a lawyer representing rural residents sent a last-minute letter claiming that approval of the project would be illegal.
By Miriam Raftery
May 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- For the first time, the United States government will offer legal counsel to immigrant detainees with mental disabilities facing deportation hearings. This is the first expansion of the right to counsel in 30 years – the result of an ACLU lawsuit. Before to last week's federal court ruling, these individuals were not guaranteed legal representation even though they clearly demonstrated tremendous difficulty in representing themselves in the complicated legal proceedings against them.
José Gonzalezis a 33-year-old man who doesn't know his own age and, in many aspects of his life, has the cognitive ability of a two-year-old. Both his parents are lawful permanent residents of the United States, and José had a pending petition for residency. Until last week's historic ruling, the government expected José to represent himself in a deportation hearing – after holding him for five years in a detention facility.
May 9. 2013 (Lemon Grove) – Detectives from the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Station and Crime Stoppers want your help in finding and identifying a driver responsible for a hit-and-run that injured a woman.
It happened on April 17 at around 12:30 a.m. as an 18-year-old woman was crossing the street in the 2000 block of Lemon Grove Avenue. The car hit the victim and just kept going. A friend of the victim saw the incident. She describes the car as a small, red in color with dark tinted windows. Parts of the car were left at the scene and determined to be from a red 2005 or 2006 Toyota Corolla. A photo of a similar car is included in this NIXLE message.
May 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --San Diego County residents know the importance of being prepared for disasters after the firestorms of 2003 and 2007, but are your pets included in those all important plans?
“It’s not a question of if another disaster will strike, but rather when a disaster will strike San Diego County,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “As part of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, we strongly encourage people to have a plan in place that includes your pets.”
As the lead agency in any disaster, the Department of Animal Services suggests you include all of the following in your pet disaster plan:
May 8, 2013 (Otay) – The County Medical Examiner has ruled the death of Reyna Carolina Genel, 16, a suicide.
She had been reported missing after going jogging around the reservoir, her sister told authorities. On May 6, passerbys found her unconscious in the Otay Reservoir at the upper dam.
May 8, 2013 (El Cajon) – Erik. E. Gilbert, 48, from El Cajon died at Sharp Memorial Hospital on May 2 shortly after he was admitted due to head and torso injuries sustained in an accident.
Gilbert was riding his bicycle in Santee when he was struck by a pickup truck at the intersection of Vomac Road and Mast Boulevard at 5:21 a.m.
By Rebecca Williamson
May 6, 2013 (Santee) -- The Santee Fire Department responded to a call at approximately 11:00 a.m. and scaled the roof of the Santee Staples store on Mission Gorge Road. Staff and customers were evacuated while firefighters checked the store for fires or potential hazardous situations.
Photo by Paul Kruze
A small plane made an emergency landing on the median of Highway 52 at the junction of State Route 125 in Santee shortly after 6 p.m. today.
ECM photojournalist Paul Kruze was driving on the freeway when he witnessed the startling event.
“I was on my way to a concert when all of a sudden I saw this thing landing right in front of me. It was surreal. I had the same exact feeling as watching the plane fly into the World Trade Center—like watching a movie,” he said, then praised the pilot’s skill. “It was very controlled and the pilot obviously knew what he was doing.”
EDITORIAL: AN ILL WIND BLOWING-- TELL COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO JUST SAY “NO” TO INDUSTRIAL WIND AT WEDNESDAY’S WIND ORDINANCE VOTE
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
May 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated May 7, 2013 – On Wednesday, May 8, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on legislation that could have devastating impacts across East County and the entire San Diego region.
At stake is a proposed wind ordinance that could open wide vast tracts of East County for industrial wind development, putting residents across our County at risk of a catastrophic wildfire or deadly Valley Fever spores that can blow 70 miles or more. There are many more reasons to oppose this ordinance, as well as the proposed gutting of Boulevard’s community plan, but these are two of the most compelling. These and other disturbing facts are detailed below.
If you share these concerns, it's important to contact all five Supervisors. It's especially important for San Diego residents to tell their Supervisors that you care about what happens to East County, since some have shown an arrogant disregard for public health and safety outside of their own districts. Of course, a wildfire that burns into San Diego or deadly Valley Fever spores that blow into urban areas should clearly be of concern to all County residents and their representatives. You can contact Supervisors here and scroll down to learn more. It's also important to show up and speak out at Wednesday morning's meeting at 9 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Coast Highway, Room 402.
May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Charles G. “Mike Bemis,” co-founder and first president of the San Diego Association of Geologists, died April 27 following a long battle with leukemia. His wife, Shannon O’Dunn, was at his side.
Bemis was recently bestowed the 2013 Baylor Brooks Honored SDSU Alumni Award. He had a 50-year career of contributions to the engineering geology profession.
By Miriam Raftery
May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The First Amendment Coalition has issued advice to public officials in light of a court ruling that found private e-mails used by San Jose city officials to discuss public business must be disclosed if a Public Records Act request is received. The ruling is on appeal and is expected to be upheld, according to legal experts, which would set a statewide precedent.
“Public officials beware: The appeal courts’ affirmance is likely to apply to all government emails, not just to emails written after the courts’ decision," the First Amendment Coalition warns. "That means the emails you write today, using a private account to discuss government business, will have to be disclosed in the future.”
The ruling poses as quandary for some local governing boards, such as the Alpine Community Planning Group, which relies entirely on private e-mail addresses for communications.
April 30, 2013 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley mother of two small children has been missing for over three weeks, the San Diego Sheriff announced today. Selina Salgado, 21, was last seen April 5 when she left her home in the early morning.
A tattoo artist, she has multiple tattoos including roses with a hummingbird and bumblebees on a forearm. She has long brown hair and brown eyes, but sometimes wears green contact lenses. She is Hispanic, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds.
By Janis Mork
April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- This past Tuesday, Michael Griffiths from the El Cajon Public Works Department gave a PowerPoint presentation to El Cajon City Council about the pavement maintenance program underway since 2006 and set for completion in 2014. City Manager Doug Williford stated that this program affects businesses and residents.
Before Griffiths began, he acknowledged junior engineer Katie Odiorne, who put the PowerPoint slides together. First, he presented a scale of old to new street pavings from 1-100.
MWD must show whether its rates are tied to the cost of its services
May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Wednesday, April 24 ordered the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to produce information no later than May 10 that shows how it allocates its costs to rates or admit it does not have any evidence to support its current allocation of its costs to its rates. The order followed a Tuesday hearing on the Water Authority’s motion to compel MWD to answer discovery and granted the Water Authority’s motion in its entirety. Before the Court’s ruling, MWD had refused to respond to requests by the San Diego County Water Authority asking MWD to show what evidence it has to support its claims that its rates reflect its cost of providing its services.
April 29, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two lost hikers are safe following an all-night search and rescue effort.
The hikers called the Sheriff’s Department on Saturday night to report that they were lost on the west side of Cuyamaca Peak, trapped in thick brush without any food or water . Due to low clouds and fog, helicopters could not fly in the rugged terrain.
Deputies from the Julian Sheriff's Station requested assistance from the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team. Search teams responded to the Paso Picacho Campground in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park area Saturday at around midnight to search for the lost hikers.
By Miriam Raftery; photo by Paul Kruze
April 28, 2013 (El Cajon ) – A brown Ford car has crashed into a power pole on Jamacha Road at Kendrick in the Granite Hills area. Power lines are down. An outage is affecting 1217 homes in the Granite Hills, Bostonia, Singing Hills and East El Cajon areas, according to the SDG&E website.
“The driver was not injured,” said Paul Kruze, an ECM photojournalist at the scene. “Heartland Fire is on scene due to the risk of fire.”
April 27, 2013 (Poway) – A Sheriff’s K-9 dog search team located a body on Thursday, April 25 in the Blue Sky Ecological Preserve on Espola Road. Searchers had been looking for Richard Carter, who was reported missing Monday by his wife. Carter’s car was found parked at Blue Sky.
An identification of the body has not yet been made, pending an examination by the Medical Examiner. Cause of death has also not yet been determined.
Carter, 55, was despondent due to family problems, City News Service reported.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos courtesy ECM news partner 10 News and Heartland Fire
April 26, 2013 (La Mesa)—Jackson Pavlicek of La Mesa is under arrest for reckless burning of property. According to La Mesa Police, Pavlicek extinguished a cigarette in the backyard of a home in the 9600 block Dillon Drive on the Grossmont Knoll, igniting dry brush. The fire quickly spread to the house and also damaged the roof of a neighboring home, as well as trees and fences.
Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from La Mesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon, as well as units from Santee, San Diego and Cal Fire, had the fire fully contained in about one hour. The blaze sent smoke billowing forth that was visible from State Route 125.
EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO PURSUE PARTNERSHIP WITH GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RESTORE ECPAC AND ADD MULTI-USE FACILITY
By Janis Mork
April 25, 2013 (El Cajon)-El Cajon’s City Council took a major step at Tuesday’s meeting toward revitalizing and reopening the East County Performing Arts Center.
Council voted unanimously in favor of sending Pro-Tem Mayor Bill Wells and Councilmember Gary Kendrick to meet with two representatives from the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) to discuss feasibility of refurbishing ECPAC and also constructing a multi-use facility in front of the theater. Together, the two facilities would serve as a magnet for arts and culture in East County under the vision put forth by supporters.
Councilman Gary Kendrick spoke in favor of the plan. “I’m open to re-opening this. We need to fix the roof and take care of ADA issues. I spoke with Priscilla Schreiber (current GUHSD board member),” he explained. “The topic of ECPAC came up. Her idea is for the district to build a multi-use facility in front of the performing arts center rather than 10 multi-use facilities on each campus.”