San Diego Events
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery
August 5, 2012 (Ramona) – What loves eating watermelon, has feet like snowshoes, and can guzzle up to 40 gallons of water at a time?
These are among the surprising facts about camels that I learned during the Watermelon Days Festivals at the Oasis Camel Dairy on a sweltering midsummer day in Ramona. The climate here is ideally suited for these “ships of the desert”, which delighted audiences at this unique East County attraction.
August 1, 2012 (El Cajon)--As El Cajon celebrates 100 years as a City, some may wonder how the City came to be, who were the early settlers, and what life was like 100 years ago?
As part of the Centennial Celebration, the City, the downtown El Cajon Library and the El Cajon Historical Society will present an exciting series of historical speakers. “Journey to our Historical Past,” will feature a variety of historians sharing their stories on the first and third Thursday of the month beginning August 2 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at El Cajon library, 201 East Douglas Avenue. The schedule is as follows:
July 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Lions, Tigers and Bears, the nonprofit big-cat rescue facility located just east of Alpine, invites you and your family to come pitch a tent and spend a “Wild Night in the Country” camping out next to big cats.
The overnight camps are offered JAugust 3, September 21, and October 26. The “Ruffin’ It Package” asks you to bring your own camping gear, dinner and breakfast; LTB provides s’mores.
EAST COUNTY FIGHTS PROPOSED POWER PLANT; LOCAL SOLAR COMPANY OFFERS SUNNY SOLUTIONS AT FREE PROGRAM AUG. 4 IN SANTEE
Solar Shines Bright To Help San Diego Fight Construction Of Gas Power Plant
July 25, 2012 (Santee) – San Diego’s Planning Commission voted last week against rezoning open space near Mission Trails Regional Park to install a gas-fired power plant. But the decision can be appealed at City Council. Residents in Santee and San Diego have voiced strong opposition to the Quail Brush power plant on the site bordering both communities.
“We have created the San Diego Solar Program to offer a reliable clean energy solution that benefits our local communities,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power. “Not only are program participants saving money and helping our region meet our energy demands, they are getting paid to do so.”
To help with declaring energy independence, a free San Diego Solar Program informational solar luncheon is being hosted for East County residents on Saturday, August 4, at 11 a.m. at Santee City Hall, Civic Building #7 (10601 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071).
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR WATERSHED, AWARD-WINNING REDFORD FILM PREMIERE JULY 28 AT WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN
July 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A premiere screening of Watershed, will debut at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College on July 28 at 8:15 p.m. Tickets go on sale today.
The film tells the story of threats to the once-mighty Colorado River—and offers solutions for the future of the American west. It is produced by the Redford Center, established by actor Robert Redford.
July 15, 2012 (San Diego) – The 40th annual Festival of the Bells continues today, with the annual Blessing of the Animals at 3 p.m.
The Festival celebrates the anniversary on which Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of San Diego’s 21 missions, was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1769.
July 13, 2012 (Poway)--Woody Guthrie lived through the most significant events of the twentieth century, forging his talents as a prolific writer who, through his songs, prose and poetry, told the story of everyman.
San Diego County Library joins people around the world in celebrating Guthrie's life and influence. Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday Celebration will be held at the Poway Library, 13137 Poway Road on Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. San Diego musicians will band together in a free concert to honor the famed singer, who still has a profound impact even 45 years after his death.
July 12, 2012 (Mission Trails) -- The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation and the California Art Club will present Treasures of the Mission Trails Regional Park Art Exhibit and Benefit on July 14 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Renowned Native American Flute Player Tim Romero will be performing and George Cowles, East County resident circa 1873-1883, will return in character. The event will also include fine art, fine wine, cheese and chocolate.
July 12, 2012 (Alpine)—Old blue eyes is back—at least in spirit. Frank Sinatra impersonator Monty Aidem will perform a free tribute concert on Friday, July 13 from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight in the V Lounge at Viejas Casino. Aidem has performed at top casinos in Las Vegas and other major venues.
July 6, 2012 (Santee) – Enjoy an evening of romantic jazz performed by the Chris Klich Jazz Quintet, a well-known local ensemble has played at venues all over San Diego County. The group’s album "Blue Skies" was nominated for best jazz album at the San Diego Music Awards.
Chris Klich is inspired by the Dave Brubeck quartet and other great jazz artists. His instruments of choice are sax, clarinet, and flute. Vocalist Laura Preble is a full-throated singer-songwriter whose voice has been characterized as "whiskey velvet."
July 6, 2012 – It’s been many years since rock star Bruce Springstein performed in San Diego. Now fans of “the Boss” can enjoy his music performed by Thunder Road, twice nominated as best tribute band in the San Diego Music Awards.
Best of all, this concert is free! Thunder Road takes stage at the Viejas Casino V-Lounge in Alpine this Friday, July 6 from 8 p.m to midnight.
June 21, 2012 (City Heights – Somali Family Service of San Diego, in partnership with the East African Collaborative, will host its fourth annual Health Fair in Honor of World Refugee Day on June 23 from 1- 6 p.m. at the City Heights Community Park, south of the City Heights Weingart Branch Library at 3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego.
The event brings together East African communities in San Diego in a setting where residents can get health checkups and learn about health topics including mental health, how to access care, nutrition, exercise, preventive screening and care. Community groups will also provide educational information booths in the park.
June 13, 2012 (Julian)—Music lovers will want to head east to Julian this weekend for a pair of popular events, both at the Menghini Winery.
On Saturday, Robb Bower presents the annual Julian Blues Bash, ‘Key to the Highway.’ Then on Sunday, bring Dad and the whole family to the Julian Father’s Day Jam for “All American Country Music" for a day jam-packed with fun.
East County Magazine to form carpools from San Diego to desert vigil June 23-24
By Miriam Raftery
June 13, 2012 (Ocotillo) – As bulldozers raze their ancestors’ graves, Native American tribes across the southwest are asking for the public’s help to stop the desecration.
If you believe this heartbreak funded by taxpayer dollars is wrong, please join with tribes of all nations to take a spiritual stand together against despoilment of these once protected desert lands for private corporate gain.
Determined to halt the Pattern Energy's Ocotillo Express wind energy project, tribes of all nations will gather for a traditional dusk-to-dawn ceremony to mourn disruption of their ancestors' burial sites. From 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 to dawn on Sunday, June 24, members of the public are encouraged to join with Native American neighbors in the Ocotillo desert for these spiritual ceremonies.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Leon Thompson and Miriam Raftery
Mayan Avitable, Nadin Abbott, and Serena Scaglione also contributed to this report
June 10, 2012 (San Diego County) – It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. So we took a team of our reporters and photographers to a media night preview of the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar, which opened yesterday. We watched bungee jumpers, an acrobatic dog, and 4-H kids with pigs and goats. We savored our fill of fair food. Plus we met up with some East County participants--including Chief Don Butz and the Viejas firefighters, who showed off the shark-toothed, souped-up car they will be driving in the demolition derby on June 16.
Here are our helpful hints and highlights for your fair-going enjoyment this season:
June 9, 2012 (Lakeside)-- The Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society will hold a Wild West Casino Night fundraiser on June 9 at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. Proceeds will benefit Saving Horses Inc., an East San Diego County horse rescue organization.
May 24, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--The Olaf Wieghorst Western Heritage Center will present the 2nd Annual Wieghorst Western Music Jubilee! The event will take place on Saturday, June 2, at the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater in Rancho San Diego.
Belinda Gail, Sourdough Slim, The Tumbling Tumbleweeds and Tom Hiatt & The Sundown Riders, are just a few of the artists who will be entertaining. The show begins at 7:00 p.m.
May 24, 2012 (El Cajon) -- The 17th Annual Wings Over Gillespie air show will be taking place the weekend of June 2-3, 2012.
This year’s show will feature WWII bombers, F4F Wildcat, the TBF Avenger, the A6M Zero, the SBD Dauntless, and many more "Flying Museums" including the only remaining of their type, the Northrop N9M Flying Wing and the F3F Flying Barrel. Also on hand will be USN/USMC helicopters and other static displays, Navy SEALs, special military and law enforcement vehicles and equipment, daring aerobats performances, and much more.
May 25, 2012 (Alpine)--Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor is planning a big Memorial Day celebration honoring our veterans Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pilots Mike Meloche and John Hickman are heading up a group of pilots who will lead a flyover of refurbished WWII "trainer" planes during the ceremonies at noon. Festivities also include the Rhythm Jacks playing live rhythm and blues music for dancing. Kids can enjoy an inflatable jumping bounce house--plus savor an All American Meal Deal, along with cotton candy, snow cones and ice cream.
May 26, 2012 (Ramona) – At Dos Picos County Park, 17953, Dos Picos Park Rd. in Ramona this Saturday, two family fun activities are planned: A scavenger hunt and a “Snakes N’ Skins” ranger presentation complete with live animals. Scroll down for details and for directions see
May 14, 2012 (El Cajon) –How can you help “take back the media” and help get messages on campaigns or other issues out to the public? Two experienced media insiders, who are also political activists, will share their techniques at the East County Democratic Club on Wednesday, May 17.
Mike Thaller is a former television and film director specializing in commercials and educational Films. He is currently director of media relations for the San Diego Democratic Party
John Mattes is an attorney and investigative reporter. Known as “The Investigative Guy”, he has worked as an investigator for Fox TV news as well as an investigative counsel for U.S. Senator John Kerry, as well as holidng public office as a Supervisor in Wisconsin.
DOCUMENTARY "WINDFALL" SHOWS TONIGHT AT 7 PM: EXLORATION OF INDUSTRIAL WIND IMPACTS ON A RURAL COMMUNITY
"I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. - Film critic Rogert Ebert
May 10, 2012 (San Diego) A special free showing of the award-winning documentary ‘Windfall,’ an exploration of industrial wind impacts on a rural community, will lbe held tonight at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Theater in Hillcrest. The showing is cosponsored by Backcountry Against Dumps and The Protect Our Communities Foundation.
Hundreds of industrial wind turbines are currently proposed for public, private and tribal lands in East County with 400-800 thousand acres of Wind Resource Area proposed for designation in the County's Wind Energy Ordinance & Plan Amendment DEIR.
By Miriam Raftery
May 9, 2012 (Alpine) -- Looking for a wild time this weekend?
Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego's only exotic animal rescue facility, will be holding its annual fundraiser May 12 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a VIP reception from 1:00 to 2 p.m.
Festivities include silent and live auctions, ranch animal encounters, , food, live entertainment and visits with the big cats.
By Miriam Raftery
“Our rural East County communities are facing industrial transformation with the potential for hundreds of towering and churning industrial wind turbines surrounding, and looming over, virtually all of our residential neighborhoods and along most of our ruggedly beautiful ridgelines.” – Donna Tisdale, Protect Our Communities Foundation
May 9, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The County's Wind Energy Ordinance & Plan Amendment Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) will be reviewed at a special San Diego County Planning Commission Workshop at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 11 at 5201 Ruffin Rd., Suite B. The workshop is a response to Commissioners' request for more information after evidence presented at an April 13 hearing indicated that wind turbines can result in negative health impacts from audible and sub audible noise, vibrations, and dirty electricity/stray voltage.
By Miriam Raftery
May 6, 2012 (Julian) – If you missed the many riveting films at yesterday’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Julian, you can still catch repeat showings today . I caught the afternoon movies yesterday—a delightful combination of powerful and emotional films along with breath-taking cinematography, inspirational stories and even some humor in the mix.
Kadoma weaves a spell-binding and tragic tale of adventurers kayaking in the Congo. Another film, Cold, ends in triumph atop a Pakistani mountain in winter. It’s not hard to see how both have won awards at other prominent film festivals.
May 4, 2012 (Julian) – Through the beauty of films celebrating the environment, the Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival promises to inspire activism and appreciation for the natural word.
This weekend's May 5-6 festival in Julian, a historic gold rush mountain town, brings touring films from the famed Nevada City Wild and Scenic Film Festival. The fun debuts with a party tonight and another Saturday featuring lively tunes of Grand Canyon Sundown. Hikes on Volcan Mountain and in Santa Ysabel Preserve are also planned, as well as award-winning films, a non-fiction filmmakers workshop, and guest speakers.
Film highlights include Connecting the Gems, which tracks two National Geographic Adventures of the Year on a 520 mile trek through the Rockies’ premier wildlife corridors. Chasing Water, winner of Best Environmental Film and Best Documentary at other film fests, traces a Colorado watershed from river to the sea.
April 19, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Downtown El Cajon and Arts Alley Gallery Walk 2012 kicks off this Friday, with live music, food and beverages, and giveaways for the public. Gallery Walk events are set to be held from 5-8 p.m. on April 20, June 15, October 26, Novembr 16, and December 7.
(La Mesa)—Join us for a spirited evening at San Pasqual Winery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd. in historic downtown La Mesa on Sunday, April 29 from 4-7 p.m. to benefit East County Magazine!
April 16, 2012 (La Mesa)--This year, to celebrate La Mesa's 100th anniversary, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is expanding its 4th Annual Taste of La Mesa to be the Taste of the Century.
The event, set for June 11, will feature an expanded venue & more restaurants than ever before, as well as VIP opportunities.
April 14, 2012 (El Cajon)--The secret is out!
Grossmont College, as part of its free 50th Anniversary Community Open House, has announced the Guinness world’s record that will be attempted on Saturday, April 14. Previously, the college has kept undisclosed the nature of the record.
The attempted record to be broken will be the most individual contributions to a birthday card. Grossmont College hopes to break the current record of 1,468 people to sign a birthday card with their name and a greeting from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is the event timeframe for Grossmont College’s 50th Anniversary Open House on Saturday, April 14.