August 2013 Articles

THE BRANDING – YMCA 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IS SEPTEMBER 28

August 18, 2013 (Spring Valley) – The Branding, celebrating the YMCA’s promise to strengthen the foundation of the East County Community will be held at the McGrath Family YMCA, 12006 Campo Road, Spring Valley on September 28 from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. The event will bring country glam to East County, with dining and dancing under the stars to the live music of the Carolyn Sills Combo and Crosswinds Band.

BIG LEE HOUSE HAWAIIAN LUAU SEPTEMBER 14

 

August 28, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Historical Society hosts its Big Lee House Hawaiian Luau on September 14 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. under the stars and twinkling lights of the Gazebo Courtyard at the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.  The festivities will include island music, feasting, hula dancing and the dramatic spectacle of the Polynesian Fire Dance.  The no host Grass Shack Bar and a 50-50 drawing will round out the evening.

“SUSTAIN LA MESA” ENVIRONMENTAL FESTIVAL SEPT. 7

September 6, 2013 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa is holding its sixth annual “Sustain La Mesa” Environmental Festival September 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa.  The free event is presented by the La Mesa Environmental Sustainability Commission and will feature hydroponics, solar cooking, composting, electric vehicles, kid’s crafts and more.

WHAT’S POLLUTING WATERWAYS IN OCOTILLO?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2013 (Ocotillo) -- Thursday’s storm brought an unwanted surprise to residents of Ocotillo, where floodwaters swept through the desert town carrying a white,  foamy sludge. You can see a video of the sludge flood on our website at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqtr8mKDbEo&feature=youtu.be

East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley lives in Ocotillo.  He and other residents say that they have never seen the white foamy sludge before the Ocotillo Wind Energy facility was built.

“What is it?” he asked.  “What effect will it have on our sole source aquifer?” The underground aquifer provides the town’s only source of drinking water.  Pelley also wants to know if the contaminated water will be harmful to animals.  “It has been so dry out here, I’m sure all of the wildlife is very thirsty and will be drinking this water.”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: ARE YOU PREPARED? SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH!

 

By Sam DiGiovanna

September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Are You Prepared? Jeeepers, What Next?

It seems there are so many things we need to be prepared for, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. How do you keep up and prepare with all these life and worldly events?

September is the 10th Annual National Preparedness Month, which means that public safety agencies are busy working on a number of events to ensure that their communities are educated, informed, and ready to face any type of crisis situation. “This year’s national theme is ‘Be Your Own Hero,’” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

12TH ANNUAL KIDS CARE FEST SEPTEMBER 21

 

August  26, 2013 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District and City of La Mesa will host the 2013 Kids Care Fest at Briercrest Park, 9001 Wakarusa St., La Mesa from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The free, family-oriented event is open to the public and features free health care screenings.

24TH ANNUAL SYCUAN POW-WOW IS SEPT. 13 – 15

 

September 6, 2013 (El Cajon) – The 24th Annual Sycuan Pow-Wow will be held September 13 – 15 at the Sycuan Reservation, 5459 Sycuan Road, El Cajon. The Pow-Wow will begin on Friday evening with Gourd Dancing at 7 p.m., followed by the Grand Entry at 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday the Gourd Dancing will begin at 1 p.m with a Grand Entry at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

SHERIFF BEGINS CHARGING SEARCH AND RESCUE FEES FOR THOSE WHO BREAK THE LAW

 

Safety tips also offered for hikers this Labor Day weekend

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Starting  today, August 30th,  you could be billed for emergency costs if you become lost or injured as a result of violating federal, state or local laws.

An  amended County ordinance allows for a civil process to collect up to $12,000 in recovery expenses. Law breakers can also be arrested or cited for criminal offenses. The fees only apply to those who break the law, such as a rescue operation due to illegal drinking , diving or hiking where prohibited.

GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT POSTS SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN 2013 API TEST SCORES

 

District Records an Overall Gain of 14 Points

On August 29, 2013, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the 2013 Growth API for schools and districts in California. For high schools, the API measures how well students are performing on both the California Standards Tests (CSTs) as well as the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

The Grossmont District’s API increased by 14 points to 769, marking the tenth consecutive year of growth.

In addition to significant growth at the District level, two of GUHSD’s high schools demonstrated dramatic improvements. El Cajon Valley High School increased its API by 73 points and Monte Vista posted a gain of 29 points.  Below are additional highlights.

FREE HEALTHCARE REFORM SEMINAR ON SEPTEMBER 11

 

August 31, 2013 (El Cajon) – A free seminar on healthcare reform will be held at the East County Chamber of Commerce Office, 201 South Magnolia Ave., El Cajon on September 11 from 11:30 am. Until 1:00 p.m.  The seminar, presented by Erick Lundy, of Lundy Insurance Services, Inc., will address 2 critical issues affecting employers right now.

CONSUMER AFFAIRS JOURNALIST LAUNCHES PETITION DRIVE TO PROTECT RATEPAYERS AS SDG&E RATE HIKE TAKES EFFECT SEPT. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 31, 2013 (San Diego) – On September 1st, SDG&E customers will see rate hikes on their bills of up to 12% for higher energy users.  Now John Mattes, a consumer watchdog journalist and attorney, has launched a petition drive calling on public officials to make SDG&E’s  shareholders, not ratepayers, pay for the corporation’s mistakes at San  Onofre.  You can view and sign the petition here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/dont-make-us-pay-for/

OPEN HOUSE AT JULIAN FIRE STATION SEPT. 28

 

August 17, 2013 (Julian) -- Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District invites the public to an open house at the Julian Fire Station on Saturday, September 28 from 10-4 p.m.  The station is located on Farmers Road (which becomes Main Street) just east of Julian's historic downtown district.

Guests can enjoy games, firefighters' competitions, food, music in the park, demonstrations, as well as tours of the station, trucks, ambulance and helicopter.  The event also offers home fire prevention supplies, injury simulation ocmplete with makeup and "treatment" by paramedics, and chance to win four raffle packages. 

MORE RIDERS MAY BE SADDLING UP IN EAST COUNTY: EQUINE ORDINANCE ON SUPERVISORS’ AGENDA SEPT. 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – A proposed tiered equine ordinance aimed at making it easier for backcountry property owners to stable horses will be on the agenda for Supervisors to consider on Wednesday, September 11.

“When it comes to allowing stables, we need to take a more sensible, tiered approach so more people can take part in equine activities,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County, has said.  “As a former horse owner and long-time rider, I think these changes will also strengthen the economic vitality of our rural areas.”

SHOTS FIRED IN LA MESA : MANHUNT ON FOR SUSPECT

 

Update August 31:  A gun has been found but the suspect remains at large.

August 30, 2013 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police and the San Diego Sheriff’s helicopter are searching for a suspect after shots were fired at 7520 El Cajon Boulevard in La Mesa shortly after 7:30 p.m.  The incident began with a fight inside a hookah lounge that spilled outside intot he street. The suspect began firing shots at the business, according to police.

The suspect ran north on Comanche and was last seen in the area of 4900 Comanche.  He is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, 250 lbs, wearing a blue shirt and dark pants. Call 911 if seen.

SDG&E ACTIVATES ‘REDUCE YOUR USE’ REWARD PROGRAM TOMORROW

 

Customers encouraged to save energy to earn credit on bills                                                            

August 30, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has called a ‘Reduce Your Use’ event day tomorrow (Aug. 31) due to hotter-than-average temperatures.

While SDG&E has adequate electricity resources to meet the demand, residential customers can help reduce strain on the electric grid by reducing their electricity use tomorrow between 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.  By doing so, they will be eligible to earn a bill credit of $0.75 per kilowatt hour saved.

Here are some quick tips to help  save energy at home:

TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE AND SAVE MONEY AS TEMPERATURES RISE

 

 

SDG&E offers programs to assist low-income ratepayers, those with medical needs, and FLEX alerts for energy savings

By Walt Meyer          

August 31, 2013 (San Diego)--Although temperatures have finally climbed to the normal range for the end of August, so far it’s been a mild summer, with temperatures below average, and for much of San Diego County, having things a few degrees cooler means not having to turn on the air conditioning. Hot summer days pose the biggest challenge to keeping the juice flowing without brownouts.

While renewable promise a long-term solution, in the short term, with San Onofre offline, likely permanently, the generating power of Southern California will be severely tested in a heat wave. As the region moves deeper into what is likely to a bad fire season, blazes near power lines also pose another imminent threats to the fragile power grid.

There is another good reason to try to keep the A/C off and switch to renewable: starting September 1, SDG&E is imposing a major rate increase. The rate hike will affect Tiers 3 and 4, but not Tiers 1 and 2 at all, which means many ratepayers in more temperate areas may not see any increase, but those who are usually have rates in the higher tiers will see their rates go up.

ECONOMIC PRESENTATION AT LA MESA-FOOTHILLS DEMOCRATIC CLUB SEPT. 4

 

August 31, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club has invited Professor Isaac Martin to present “Why do the Rich get Richer and Stay Richer?” on September 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa.  Martin is a professor of sociology at UC San Diego and the author of the books Rich People’s Movements: Grassroots Campaings to Untax the One Percent and The Permanent Tax Revolt: How the Property Tax Transformed American Politics.

LA MESA POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS WHO ROBBED, INJURED VICTIM IN VONS PARKING LOT

 

 

August 31, 2013 (La Mesa) – Last night at 11:26 p.m., La Mesa Police were called to the parking lot of the Von’s grocery store, 8011 University Avenue, to investigate an assault.  During the investigation, Officers discovered that the victim had actually been robbed of his property by two unknown assailants.

The victim reported to police that he was walking to his vehicle when he was attacked from behind by two men.  The victim was struck in the face and knocked to the ground. During the attack, the suspects stole the victim’s cell phone and wallet.  The suspects were last seen running eastbound from the scene through an alley behind a neighboring store, possibly towards Orange Avenue.

BEST EAST COUNTY VIDEOS: A RAILROAD RIDE THROUGH CARRIZO GORGE

A reader sent links to an amazing video shot during a ride on a freight railway line through the rugged Carrizo Gorge, across Goat trestle , through tunnels and the Seven Sisters bridges.  This line is not open to the public, so enjoy this rare footage!   

The Carrizo Gorge portion starts about 32 minutes into this video, westbound from Plaster City in Imperial County, then through the rugged Carrizo Gorge in San Diego's East County:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYt91UpxH6U

BATTLE OF THE BANDS – ELVIS V. THE BEATLES SEPT. 7

August 12, 2013 (Alpine) – San Diegans will be able to revisit the sixties this fall at “60’s Rockin’ Mania – the ultimate battle of the bands” being held at Lions Tigers & Bears, September 7 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The concert showdown will feature Elvis impersonator James Kruk v. The Beatles “The Concert Experience.”

Guest will also be able to visit with the big cats and bears from 2 – 3 p.m., bid on door prizes and participate in opportunity drawings.  Food and drink will be available for purchase.  Guests are invited to bring blankets or low chairs.

MISSING SPRING VALLEY MAN FOUND SAFE

September 1, 2013 (Spring Valley) --  La Mesa Police have located Ramon Leggs, 76, who was an at risk missing person. Below is the original missing person report.

Mr. Leggs suffers from hypertension, diabetes, dementia and he has difficulty walking. He is a resident at New Brighton Place, which is located at 9009 Campo Road in Spring Valley. He was last seen on 08/31/2013 at approximately 5:30 PM in the area of Bancroft Drive and State Route 94. Mr. Leggs left on foot. He has no money or cell phone.

Mr. Leggs is described as a Hispanic male adult, 5' 7" tall, 170 pounds, gray hair with a beard and mustache. He was last seen wearing a dark green t-shirt, blue shorts, long white socks and black shoes.

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR CIVIL RIGHTS REFLECTS ON PROGRESS FROM THE PAST AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2013 (Washington D.C.) -- Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now-famous “I have a dream” speech to a crowd of marchers in Washington D.C.  from across the nation  in support of civil rights. That  movement in 1963 led ultimately to signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Yesterday, a massive crowd of  people filled Capitol malll for a commemoration of that historic event. President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, site of Dr. King’s famed  oration.

“The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history; that we are masters of our fate,” the President said. “But it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together.  We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.” View video of the President’s speech.

Attorney General Eric Holder also spoke, alluding to the Supreme Court’s recent decision weakening the Voting Rights Act.

SMOOTH JAZZ LIVE HAS ROOTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Dennis Moore

August 29, 2013 (Del Cerro)--The father and son team of Jack Cohen and Mikey Adam Cohen, lifelong residents of Del Cerro in San Diego’s East County, are firmly entrenched in smooth jazz. As a matter of fact,  it can be said that Smooth Jazz is their love and lifeblood, as well as profession. Mikey is a music/smooth jazz professional and has worked with his father to become one of the leading names in the smooth jazz music industry, by co-founding Smooth Jazz Live, an online contemporary jazz magazine. (Website: http://smoothjazzlive.wordpress.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/smoothjazzlivei and www.facebook.com/accessmediaceo.

In an interview with ECM, MIkey said that growing up, he didn’t have a strong relationship with his father, who wanted Mikey to be a sports prodigy – until they founded Smooth Jazz Live.  Soon they were supporting, producing and documenting live music acts together as they traveled across the world and became among the biggest names in the music business.

SPECIAL ELECTION SET FOR NOV. 19 TO CHOOSE NEW SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council has voted unanimously to set November 19 as the special election date for voters to choose a new Mayor.  Councilmember Todd Gloria will serve as Acting Mayor after August 30, when Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation takes effect, until the election.

The special election is expected to cost taxpayers approximately $6 million—an amount that could increase sharply.  If no candidates wins a majority of votes, a run-off election would be held. So far at least 13 candidates have filed papers with the Registrar of Voters indicating an intent to run. Only one, former  Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, is well known.  Fletcher resigned from the Republican party to become an independent and more recently, a Democrat. 

Who else may throw their hats in the ring? 

SECOND DUST STORM STRIKES OCOTILLO; COULD DESERT ENERGY PROJECTS BE THE CAUSE?

 

 

An ECM special investigation continues, finding links between rise in dust storms across outhwest, Valley Fever epidemic, and installation of large-scale desert solar and wind projects

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 26, 2013 (Ocotillo)--A second dust storm has struck Ocotillo on Auugust 25, just two days after an earlier dust storm swept through the desert community.  Dust billowed thousands of feet into the air, dwarfing  a 500 foot tall wind turbines scarcely visible in the above photo.  East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley was in the midst of the storm and shot videos: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Jz2KQmVZs&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ViBPc25iIE&feature=youtu.be

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

August 29, 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.

Click “read more” and scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES OFFERING "STUDY BUDDY" CATS FOR $5 THROUGH SEPTEMBER

 

 

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) –- Hit the books and relax with a quiet "study buddy" kitty by your side. 

County Animal Services' three animal shelters are overstocked on cats so for a limited time only, adoption fees for cats 6 months and older are only $5 through the month of September.

SELL-OUT CROWD SAVORED OUR BBQ AND WILD WEST FEST IN DESCANSO

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Miriam Raftery, Tom and Nadin Abbott

August 29, 2013 (Descanso) – More than 150 people turned out for East County Magazine’s BBQ and Wild West Fest at the Descanso Town Hall earlier this month.   

In addition to delicious barbecue-grilled tri-tip and chicken served up by Descanso Junction, guests enjoyed lively entertainment by the Pine Creek Posse Band, Western reenactors Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters and the Hole in the Wall Gang, as well as music by Wind Wind Spirit Drum, winners of the national Native American Music Awards.

“We’re delighted at the success and hope to hold a similar event at this historic setting in the future,” said ECM editor and founder Miriam Raftery.  The benefit raised funds to support wildfire reporting to supplement the Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided by East County Magazine via e-mail, Twitter, and on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio.

WILDLIFE OFFICIALS DISPUTE AP STORY ON EUTHANIZING DESERT TORTOISES, BUT SHELTER’S FUTURE STILL IN QUESTION

 

San Diego Zoo, which manages the shelter, disputes AP report

By Miriam Raftery; photo courtesy of the San Diego Zoo

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – Earlier this week, Associated Press ran a story which stated, “Federal funds  are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they’ve been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.”

But the San Diego Zoo, which managers that center, told East County Magazine that while the center’s funding is in question, no healthy tortoises will be euthanized.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has also issued a press release finding fault with AP’s reporting.

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