East County

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: HOTTEST HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS DEC. 5-14

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County is packed with holiday festivities, from Christmas on Maine Street in Lakeside to Santa at Santee Lakes and the "Light up the Grove" bonfire in Lemon Grove! Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including La Mesa’s Christmas in the Village, a Winter Wonder Jam concert, and our very own East County Magazine holiday party.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine.

GIFTS FROM THE EAST: OUR 2014 GUIDE TO CREATIVE HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN SAN DIEGO’S INLAND REGION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for some original gift ideas this holiday season – as well as a way to support local merchants and infuse our own economy? Never fear. East County Magazine’s annual “Gifts from the East” features an array of unique specialty items from East County and San Diego’s inland region, with something to suit every budget.

Whether you’re looking for gourmet goodies from local farms, hand-crafted musical instruments, glitzy jewelry, hand-woven clothing and toys, soaps, cowboy boots or a surprise for the wine lover on your list, you’ll find it all right here in our region.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

October 8, 2014 (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:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

OUR JULY RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN HERE

 

Our East County Magazine Show's July radio broadcasts are now online, covering hot issues from the Banner Fire to immigrant children to local rallies to save Iraqi Christians. We also interviewed local authors, musicians, a new winery owner, and a representative of the Lions Clubs’ Camp Jack in Descanso for disadvantaged children. Plus we had coverage and analysis of local and national issues, from the minimum wage to  some controversial Supreme Court rulings.

We also rebroadcast of our interview with Sycuan Chairman Daniel Tucker on the tribe’s Emmy Award winning documentary on Kumeyaay history, plus on the 4th of July weekend, we re-aired our “Spirits of 1776” dramatic presentation featuring `interviews’ with our nation’s founding fathers and mothers. Plus we brought you on-the-scene coverage of Descanso Days.

For a full list of interviews and issues on each of our July shows, click here, or click “read more” and scroll down. To listen to future shows, tune in to KNSJ 89.1 FM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. or listen online live during our broadcasts at www.KNSJ.org.

DEADLINE FRIDAY TO FILE AND RUN FOR MOST LOCAL OFFICES: GUHSD LACKS FULL SLATE OF CHALLENGERS FOR SCHOOL BOARD POSITIONS

 

Hear our interview with GUHSD member Priscilla Schreiber and Nick Marinovich, who says he was pressured to resign off the district's Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, on why they want to see new candidates step forward to run for the board: http://kiwi6.com/file/1fth2nlrky

By Miriam Raftery

August 7, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Tomorrow, August 8 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to file for running for most local offices in East County--though if an incumbent opts not to file for reelection, that deadline can be extended for several more days. 

Some local districts don't have enough people running to fill the seats--including the Grossmont Union High School District, where at last check only two challengers have filed for three seats, despite controversy including a Grand Jury admonishment.  One of those challengers, Dr. Gary Woods, opposes a high school for Alpine and was previously voted out; his election would solidify the anti-Alpine high school majority on the board.  (Note: incumbent Dick Hoy has said he won't seek reelection, thus this filing deadline will likely be extended.)

Alpine's Community Planning Group has just 5 candidates so for to fill 7 seats.

These are just two examples of a race where the balance of power could shift--or not--depending on which candidates if any step forward to run.

Local seats on the November ballot include school boards, planning groups, water boards, fire boards, mayor and city councils across East County.  Currently a numberof these positions have no candidates filed to run, or only one candidate, leaving voters without a choice.  

HOUSE PASSES VARGAS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – It's rare for Congress to agree on anything given the partisan divide in Washington.  But House Resolution 683, authored by Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) , passed the House of Representatives unanimously yesterday. The measure expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities in Iraq from persecution at the hands of the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Levand (ISIL). The measure was coauthored by three other San Diego representatives (Republican Duncan Hunter as well as Democrats Susan Davis and Scott Peters)

“I am pleased the House of Representatives is shedding light on this important topic and supporting our nation’s need to be vocal in the face of the horrific crimes taking place against Iraqi civilians,” said Rep. Vargas. “This resolution expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities who are fleeing persecution in Iraq’s ISIL-held territories.  Religious freedom is the cornerstone of any free society and we must do everything in our power to provide immediate protection and humanitarian assistance to individuals facing horrific crimes because of their religious beliefs.” 

Mark Arabo, a national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and president of the Neighborhood Market Association locally, heralded passage of the resolution as “a historic day that will go into the annals of Iraqi Christian history.”

DESPITE MONITORING, SEX OFFENDER BREAKS INTO HOME, MOLESTS 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2014 (Jacumba) – Several registered sex offenders have been released recently in East County, with promises from authorities that electronic monitoring would protect people in the community.  But on Monday, a sex offender being monitored by authorities broke into a 70-year-old woman’s home in Jacumba and molested her, the Sheriff’s office has announced.

URGENT POLL: ASK KNSJ TO AIR LIVE WILDFIRE ALERTS & WILDFIRE REPORTING: HONOR PROMISES MADE TO DONORS & HELP SAVE LIVES

 

Dear  Readers:

A year ago when KNSJ radio launched, the station promised to air our live wildfire and emergency alerts. Saturday is their anniversary party - please send a message TODAY asking them to honor this promise!

In the July 2013 Chariot Fire the station did go live and I reported on the fire on Mt. Laguna.  For a few weeks, KNSJ aired our alerts with a delay of an hour or so, promising to improve technology to get real live alerts. Later KNSJ stopped airing wildfire alerts at all. I’ve pleaded with KNSJ to air Viejas Wildfire Alerts as promised, which we offer them free, to save lives and keep you safe. In the backcountry when power lines burn and some have no cell service,  battery-powered radio is often the only way to get news during fires.

KNSJ’s CEO says having the federal emergency broadcast system  in place is enough, but it’s not. It wasn’t activated during recent fires in East County.  KNSJ's CEO and Board  refuse to even guarantee a start date for alerts or an exact dollar figure that would guarantee these would air. They ask for more money, without delivering on promises made to donors who already gave to support getting alerts on the air.  KNSJ also has zero live broadcasting, even for breaking news during fires.

TAKE OUR POLL AND SEND A MESSAGE TO KNSJ:  Should the FCC ask KNSJ to keep its promise and air live Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts & have live news broadcasts during wildfires?

PLEASE VOTE HERE:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poll/should-fcc-ask-knsj-keep-its-promise-air-live-viejas-wildfire-emergency-alerts-and-have-live-ne

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: HOT LAND USES ISSUES IMPACTING EAST COUNTY ARE AMONG AGENDA ITEMS THIS WEEK

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Here are highlights of important issues on the agenda this week impacting San Diego's unincorporated areas as well as residents in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee.

The San Diego Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with many important items slated to be heard. On Tuesday, Supervisors will deliberate the county budget and a joint powers agreement with Caltrans for the Next Generation regional communications system and more.

On Wednesday, supervisors will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan amendment.  This is a controversial  issue that will determine what sort of development will be allowed on properties in the vicinity of Cleveland National Forest in East County.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S APRIL RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN NOW

 

In April, we interviewed top newsmakers on hot local issues ranging from closure of rural fire stations to a State Senate race.  We also covered some national and international topics including an interview with a local pastor whose family is impacted by Uganda’s new law criminalizing homosexuality.  Plus we’ll take you on the road to discover Lakeside’s colorful history, cover the 50th anniversary of the Lakeside rodeo, interview local authors and much more.

For a complete list of interviews and topics covered in April, and to listen to our shows online now, click here.

You can hear our show Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS, EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS JUNE 13-15, 2014

 

Hear the Destination East County segment on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM each Wed. and Fri. at 5:00 p.m. or listen online at www.EastCountyMagazine.org!

 

By Ariele Johannson

 

June 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--East County has plenty of activities to enjoy this weekend, including some designated for Father’s Day. However, many of the events this weekend might be interesting for Dad and the family to enjoy. Plus, we have a major festival in El Cajon that is number one on our list.

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

LEBANESE CULTURAL FESTIVAL MAY 23 IN EL CAJON

 

May 23, 2014 (El Cajon)--A Lebanese cultural festival takes place this weekend from Friday, May 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and then on Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at St Ephrem Catholic Church in El Cajon.

Authentic Lebanese foods will be served, such as hummus, falafel, shawarma, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, chicken kabob, and a wide assortment of gourmet sweets. Visitors can expect live music and dancing, folkloric performances, and a variety of booths with Lebanese specialties, a beer & wine garden, hookah bar, carnival rides, and raffle prizes.

A REVIEW OF JUAN VARGAS’ FIRST YEAR IN CONGRESS

 

By Jordan Schaffner

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

January 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – What has Congressman Juan Vargas accomplished during his first year in office and how effectively is he representing his constituents?

The answer varies, with the Congressman showing strong interest in representing the interests of Latinos, seniors, and labor interests -- while largely ignoring the interests of rural constitutents and enviornmentalists concerned over the industralization of East County with large-scale energy projects.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S NOVEMBER RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN NOW!

 

Our November shows are now online—including special reports on East County issues, interviews with top newsmakers, local musicians, authors, colorful characters and people making a positive difference in our community. Click here for a list of our November shows and guests with links to listen online.

You can also hear our show live when it airs on KNSJ 89.1 FM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and reruns Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.  Or listen live online during those hours at www.KNSJ.org.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS—IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through East County, not a creature was stirring, not even a coyote…

Click here to listen to  “'A Visit From St. Nicholas in East County”, our special audio presentation--including what residents  in our mountains, deserts, rural and urban areas may be asking Santa for this season:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/00k2bvgikc/NightBeforeChristmas.mp3

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT GIVES OVER 12,000 TOYS TO LOCAL SALVATION ARMY

 Link to video from Toy Drive “Big Reveal”: http://youtu.be/Wt6i9YqPrHM

December 12, 2013 (Alpine) – When the curtain went up on stage at the DreamCatcher Lounge last night at Viejas Casino and Resort, it revealed 12,017 toys to benefit local children this holiday season. 

Representatives of Viejas Tribal Council also presented a $15,000 check to  East County Salvation Army Captain Terry Masango on behalf of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, along with the largest donation of toys ever received by the local Salvation Army chapter.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO SAN DIEGO INTERIM MAYOR TODD GLORIA: “HAVE A HEART”

 

By Claudia Millerbragg



I am asking you to put human life before money. If you continue with your plans to drain Lake Morena it puts the residents of rural East County at a higher fire risk.

If a fire sweeps through here and property and lives are lost because of the low water levels at Lake Morena are you prepared to live with the fact that your decision to drain the lake contributed towards the destruction?

NEED HELP FOR YOUR FAMILY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? EAST COUNTY TOY AND FOOD DRIVE WILL ACCEPT APPLICATIONS NOV. 23 AND DEC. 7

 

To help brighten the holidays for families in need, the Salvation Army in El Cajon will be holding the 38th Annual East County Toy & Food Drive. 

To apply for help, applications will be taken on Saturday, November 23rd and on Saturday, December 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army offices, located at 1011 E. Main Street in El Cajon.  Toys are for children ages 12 and under.

WHY IS COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES DEPARTMENT IGNORING RURAL EAST COUNTY VETS?

 

 

Update September 27, 2013:  Supervisor Jacob's office has contacted us to advise that she met with County Veterans Services this week to request more equitable staffing. Her staffer advised that Jacob plans to introduce a measure asking Supervisors to approve sending veterans' service representatives to county libraries throughout our region. This is a direct result of our investigative report.

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – When Claudia Millerbragg, whose brother was killed in Viet Nam, decided to volunteer to help local veterans, she was shocked to discover that County Veterans Services sends representatives to a dozen different communities – but none to rural East County. 

At a Homes for Our Troops event in March honoring combat vets who each lost both legs and now live in a rural area in El Cajon, Supervisor Dianne Jacob said that San Diego has the largest military installation in the world. 

“In East County we have the highest concentration of military and veterans in San Diego County,” she added.

If East County has the most veterans, why does our region have the fewest services for them -- and no services at all in the poorest rural areas with no public transportation?

JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL & NEW LOGO

 

September 1, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Next year marks the century milestone of the founding of Jacumba Hot Springs. Although the community of Jacumba was settled in the mid- 1800s, the first time the community appeared in an official document as Jacumba Hot Springs was in a State of California Railroad Commission document dated1914.

Four major festivals are planned for the Centennial: a third annual Blues Festival May 3, a Healing Waters and Arts Festival the weekend of May 24, a Centennial Fall Festival October 4 and a Christmas Festival December 6.  More details on the festivals will be announced at a later date.

CALIFORNIA CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET NOW OPEN IN ALPINE

June 21, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Certified Farmers’ Market opened earlier this month at the Alpine Creek Town Center, 1347 Tavern Rd.  The market is held every Tuesday from 3 – 7 p.m.  The Market is also a pick up location for Sage Mountain Farms’ CSA program for all of East County.

CSA is Community Supported Agriculture and it allows anyone to “partner” with a local farmer and reap the benefits of their efforts while supporting the farmer by assuring they will have a place to sell the crop.

ASSEMBLYMAN JONES AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE TO HOST EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

 

June 20, 2013 (Santee) -- Assemblyman Jones (R-Santee) and East County Magazine announced today that they will host a photography contest that features photographs taken in San Diego’s East County. The winning photographs will be displayed in Assemblyman Brian Jones’ Capitol Office and featured in East County Magazine. 

“It’s an honor to be able to highlight the photographers and the beautiful landscapes Eastern San Diego County has to offer,” Jones said.  

Miriam Raftery, Editor of East County Magazine said, “East County Magazine appreciates this opportunity to showcase the works of talented local photographers.  East County Magazine looks forward to publishing works displaying our region’s beautiful scenery and our historic communities.”

All entries must be received by July 15, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. to be eligible. For details, scroll down.

EAST COUNTY MOVERS AND SHAKERS TURN OUT FOR PEOPLE’S BALL TO SUPPORT KNSJ RADIO

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Melody Ponchot and Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2013 (San Diego) – Community members , activists and political leaders from across East County were among hundreds in attendance at the People’s Ball Saturday night at the World Beat Center.  The event raised over $4,000 that will be matched by an anonymous donor, leaving just $5,000 left to raise for a transmitter to put KNSJ radio on the air in East County.

Prominent East County residents in attendance included Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil, Boulevard Planning Group member Melody Ponchot, who rocked out on the dance floor, and Ben Kalasho, who narrowly missed winning his race for El Cajon Council.  Musicians, artists, and groups ranging from human rights advocates to Green Party members also turned out to support KNSJ, which will reach portions of San Diego in addition to a vast area in East County.

STONEY'S KIDS AND COTTONWOOD GOLF CLUB HOLD TOURNAMENT BENEFITING THE EAST COUNTY FOOD DRIVE DECEMBER 12

 

 

 

 

 

December 9, 2012 (El Cajon)--Where else can you have fun, and do great things for kids at the same time? Sign up for the December 12 golf tournament at Cottonwood Golf Club, and bring an unwrapped toy for East County Toy and Food Drive. For a fee of $49.00, the tournament includes:

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