March 25, 2011 (La Mesa)- - The City of La Mesa is now utilizing a communications tool called “La Mesa e-Gov” that allows the city to send important and timely community information directly to residents using the latest technology. There are several tools available to residents including Twitter and a “Notify Me” alert system. To sign up for these services go to www.cityoflamesa.com.
March 21, 2011 (San Diego) - With about four weeks left until the tax filing deadline, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reminding families and individuals that free tax assistance is available to help them claim their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Low-income families and individuals can have their taxes prepared, at no cost, at more than 70 locations throughout the region. The tax assistance will be provided countywide until mid-April. People should call 2-1-1 to make an appointment.
By Miriam Raftery
March 20, 2011 (Santee) – An estimated 20,000 people turned out to run, walk, bike and party atop the last link of Highway 52 at yesterday’s “Sea to Santee” celebration. Now open to traffic, the new freeway segment is the last link connecting Highway 67 in East County to Interstate 5 and La Jolla.
Transportation improvements have historically heralded changes in East County, starting with cattle drives and the coming of stagecoach and railway lines in the 19th century. Invention of the "horseless carriage" brought construction of Highways 94 and 80, connecting East County to San Diego and Arizona. The aviation era led to the airfield at Gillespie Field. More recently, construction of Interstate 8, Highway 67 and now Highway 52 further improved access to East County for visitors from around the county and across the nation.
The new highway will also make it faster for East County residents to reach San Diego destinations including employment and yes, beaches. Surf's up, Santee!
Update January 22, 2012: Here is a link to locations that are providing free tax services this year for seniors, low income individuals and others in need, from the American Association of Retired Persons: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/8479.
March 14, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- Does Grandma need help with her taxes? Now there's help!
Under a State of California program, low-income individuals and people over age 60 are eligible for free help to complete simple federal and state income tax returns. Assistance is available through April 15, and is limited to full-year residents.
To find the nearest assistance center in San Diego County, visit www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/vita/sites.asp or contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (800) 540-3453.
Dog Licenses, Microchips, Rabies Vaccinations and Free Gifts at Sunday Event
Pet owners are encouraged to have their animals microchipped, vaccinated and licensed this Sunday, March 13 from 12-2 p.m. at the County Department of Animal Service’s San Diego shelter, 5480 Gaines Street. Pet owners who take advantage of the services will receive a variety of free pet gifts.
“Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early and give your pets a lucky charm by having them microchipped,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of County Animal Services. “The chance of a lost pet being reunited with an owner is increased if the pet is microchipped.”
Kids and adults are encouraged to enter photos by April 15 deadline
March 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Mission Trails Regional Park, a 6,150-acre jewel in the County’s park system, seeks entries in its 19th annual Annual Photography Contest. All photos must be taken within Mission Trails Regional Park from an authorized trail or have the Park as the subject.
So grab your camera and go take a hike—you just may win a prize of up to $100—and have your masterpiece displayed in the Visitor & Interpretative Center.
Photos by Bryan Koci, Red Tie Photography
March 8, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid and Santee Mayor Randy Voepel on Friday crowned winners of the cities' 2011 pageants, a glamourous tradition since the late 1960s.
Miss La Mesa Katie Martin, Miss La Mesa Teen Monica Popp, Miss Santee Maria Maes and Miss Santee Teen Savannah Keener were formally presented with their crowns.
25% of businesses checked had pricing errors—and customers were over twice as likely to be over-charged than under-charged
March 3, 2011 (San Diego)--The San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) is reminding county residents to double-check all shopping receipts to make sure they’re not being overcharged by faulty cash register price scanners. Recent county inspections show that price-scanning errors are common, and can be costly for consumers.
February 26, 2011 (Jamul) – Wildlife enthusiasts are needed to expand efforts of the San Diego Tracking Team, which collects data used to protect open space. On March 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the team will hold an “Animal Tracking for Habitat Conservation” hike at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve.
The public is invited to join the tracking hike and an information meeting to learn how to become a member of the tracking team, which aims to recruit four or five individuals to serve as team leaders of new tracking teams in the south and southeast areas of San Diego County.
February 16, 2011 (La Mesa) -- As part of the City of La Mesa’s ongoing effort to honor our Veterans, La Mesa residents who are World War II Veterans are invited to attend the La Mesa City Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22 at the City Council Chambers, 8130 Allison Avenue. The City Council will take a moment to honor WWII military personnel for their service during their regularly scheduled meeting. Last month the Council recognized the Pearl Harbor Survivors for their valor.
Once a month between January and June, the City Council will pause to honor a different Veterans Group from each of the major military actions. The celebrations will culminate on June 3rd when La Mesa’s Fletcher Parkway will be designated as “Veterans Memorial Parkway” during a festive ceremony to be held at Parkway Middle School.
County announcement describes new facility as "a town treasure"
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Dave Patterson
February 12, 2011 (Ramona) –State and County officials will join Friends of the Ramona Library to celebrate the grand opening of a new, state-of-the-art library on Tuesday, February 15 at 11 a.m. After the ceremony, the library will welcome the public with a day of programs including live music, face painting and read-alouds for children, plus tours of the new building.
Located at 1275 Main Street in Ramona, the 21,000-square-foot Tuscan and Southwestern-style library is four times the size of the old building and boasts rooftop solar panels that will produce about 20 percent of the energy needed to run the library.
Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, will present "Dr. Amorita Treganza: A Renaissance Woman" on Mar. 5 at 9:25 a.m. in the Balboa Park Club, Balboa Park, as part of the annual, two-day conference of the Congress of History San Diego & Imperial Counties.
February 11, 2011 (La Mesa)--The La Mesa Police Department, in a continuing effort to partner with communities, wiill host a neighborhood forum on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Lemon Avenue Elementary School, 8787 Lemon Avenue, La Mesa. This forum is part of a series of community forums to encourage public discussion and questions about issues specific to the individual neighborhoods within the City of La Mesa.
ECM pauses to ask for your reflections
By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero
February 3, 2011 (La Mesa) -- On February 16, 2012, La Mesa will turn 100, and city leaders hope to celebrate throughout the year, from special commemorative events to putting a centennial spin on annual events such as Oktoberfest. The city has extended an invitation for civic organizations to collaborate with events of their own. All, it hopes, will be underwritten -as the Flag Day Parade is- by sponsorships and volunteer efforts.
February 1, 2011 (San Diego) -- Newly-elected Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. announced that the County Clerk's Office will extend office hours for romantic couples seeking to marry or renew their vows on Valentine's Day. The downtown office at 1600 Pacific Highway will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for licenses and ceremonies.
In addition, a special "sweetheart deal” is available for newlyweds on their wedding day.
Public Workshops to be Held in Pine Valley and Ramona, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
January 30, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- The County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of a Cost Recovery, Resource Allocation, and Revenue Enhancement Study to ensure the sustainability of parks and recreation in the future. Residents of Pine Valley and Ramona are invited to participate in this process to help the County determine how to allocate future Parks resources.
BOULEVARD, Calif. (January 24, 2011) – Sacred Rocks Reserve now offers Saturday art classes in a beautiful high desert setting one hour east of San Diego. Classes include jewelry making, photography, writing and silk scarf painting.
“The desert vegetation, amazing rocks and sweeping views make this a great place to hone scenic photography skills,” said photographer David Muenker, instructor of the photographic arts class.
January 23, 2011 (San Diego)--The world is an ever-changing place and being a parent hasn’t gotten any easier. Between your child’s peers, the internet, television and other adults, there are all kinds of influences and potential dangers for your children, County officials warn. Parents are invited to “Positive Parenting in a Changing World,” a parenting conference hosted by The San Diego County Commission on Children, Youth and Families (CCYF) at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, Feb. 5.
January 21, 2011 (La Mesa) – How can tragedies such as the massacre in Arizona, the workplace shooting at Barona, or the mass school shootings at Santana and Granite Hills be prevented?
James N. Madero, Ph.D., specializes in workplace and school violence prevention. He is the Director of Violence Prevention International, a national organizational consulting firm based in San Diego. Madero will speak on Wednesday, February 2nd at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. The event, sponsored by the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club, is free and open to the general public. Socializing starts at 6:30, with the program at 7 p.m.
On Friday, March 4, the cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee Pageants. Pageant organizers are currently seeking outgoing women ages 13-26 to participate in a program that has been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960’s and is an outstanding mentoring program for young women. The pageants are sponsored by the local Chambers of Commerce and focus on community service. There is no swimsuit competition--and is no entry fee to participate.
Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee 2011 will each receive at $1,000.00 scholarship while Miss La Mesa Teen and Miss Santee Teen 2011 will each receive a $500.00 scholarship.
January 13, 2011 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Community Services and Center for Community Solutions is offering a personal safety class on Monday January 31st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Personal safety is a set of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontational skills, safety strategies, and physical techniques that can enable a person to successfully avoid, resist, escape, and survive violent assaults.
January 1 2011 (El Cajon)--The Miss El Cajon Scholarship Association is looking for contestants for the 2011 Miss El Cajon and Miss Teen Rancho San Diego Scholarship Pageant scheduled for Saturday, March 19. Judges will also be selecting the Miss El Cajon Teen and Miss Rancho San Diego Teen.
California Welcome Center at Viejas Outlets to accept donated electronics to help families in need
January 5, 2011 (Alpine) – Viejas Outlet Center announces the opening of a computer and electronics drop-off center for Computers 2 SD Kids – a growing local not-for-profit that has refurbished more than 12,000 computers and provided them to needy families all across San Diego County.
Area residents can drop off e-waste at the California Welcome Center at Viejas Outlets on Saturday, January 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will be on hand to accept all working and non-working electronic items including computers, TVs, radios, phones, cords, printers, hardware, used ink/toner cartridges and software. In exchange for your eWaste, you’ll receive a certificate for a free buffet at Viejas Casino.
Technology Web Site for Older Adults Has Suggested Trainings
January 4, 2010 (San Diego)--Don’t let those technology gifts you received from well-meaning younger relatives stay in boxes this year: pull them out, plug them in and tune in to a computer class or other technology training programs available for older adults. Once you become familiar with some of these products, you’ll see how they can make your life easier and more enjoyable.
The new Technology & Aging Coalition of San Diego County can help you learn where to go for classes. The web site – www.AgeTechSD.org -- provides a listing of many technology education options that are available, as well as computer clubs for older adults.
January 1, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces it will launch a publicly available consumer database for reporting product safety problems—and looking up products’ safety records. The database will be available at the website www.saferproducts.gov starting in March. Already, the website has info online on current recalls (such as currently posted warnings on children’s toys, chain saws, snow blowers and more).
December 30, 2010 (San Diego)--HOME (Home Owners Mobile Education) will offer FREE counseling services to San Diego homeowners experiencing difficulties making monthly mortgage payments. The HOME clinic will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Malcolm X Branch Library & Performing Arts Center. This event is in co-sponsorship with Congresswoman Susan Davis, and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego Pro Bono Program.
December 27, 2010 (San Diego) -- Professional motorcycle thieves are using secondary ignitions and altered motorcycle ignitions known as “pigtails” as bypass devices to steal sport motorcycles throughout San Diego County. A pigtail acts like a picklock, enabling a thief to steal a bike in less than 20 seconds.
On January 1st, a new law takes effect which makes it a misdemeanor to possess any device or specialized tools designed to bypass the factory installed ignition of a motorcycle.
Landscaped 2.5-mile Trail Welcomes Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians
December 23, 2010 (Valley Center)--The 2.5-mile Heritage Trail alongside Valley Center Road officially opened earlier this month with a celebratory ceremony that included a trailhead plaque dedication to the late Brendan McNabb, a County Public Works project manager who played a key role in the trail’s development.
Grand opening at Café Europe is third location for Brew Ha Ha comedy shows
By Tanya Huang
December 14, 2010 (San Diego) — In the midst of cramming sessions for finals, San Diego State students eagerly sought the comedic relief of Brew Ha Ha’s talented acts at Café Europe on El Cajon Boulevard. The wide array of caffeinated beverages and comfort food served at Café Europe provided the ideal escape from textbooks and lectures. Students and community members were relieved to remedy their stress with effortless laughter and a slight caffeine buzz.
December 14, 2010-- East County Magazine's editor is cleaning house!
For sale: girl’s 7-piece bedroom furniture set --antique white. French provincial style with hand-painted accents including parrots on hutch by a local artist. Set includes headboard and footboard, desk, hutch, 6-drawer dresser, jewelry armoire, and mirror. Hutch fits either desk OR dresser. $350 or best offer. See more photos below.
More items: farmhouse-style dinette set (light wood tabletop and chairs with white legs, ( $120, no photo), white bookshelf ($35, see photo above on left), and a TV stand with two-shelves for storage, walnut-finish top, black cabinet with clear glass doors ($35, no photo).