September 22, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Saturday, September 29, hundreds of East County residents will shine their belt buckles and don their best pair of jeans for East County Family YMCA’s annual fundraiser called The Branding. The event, now in its 19th year, will be held in a western setting at McGrath Family YMCA in Rancho San Diego.
Since The Branding’s inception, thanks to the generosity of community members, sponsors, donors, and dedicated volunteers, The Branding has raised more than $1.5 million.
August 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Daren Sefcik photographed our own East County light show—the Perseid Meteor Shower illuminating the night sky above Blair Valley on August 11.
July 23, 2012 (McCain Valley) - ECM reader Tom Lemon sent in these spectacular photos of McCain Valley, site of the proposed Tule Wind facility in San Diego's East County.
"I first visited McCain Valley around 1995 after reading Jerry Shaad's book Afoot and Afield in San Diego County. I began camping and hiking in the Valley and explored the trails and side roads to vista points where you can see the abandoned San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad tracks, the Salton Sea, and Castle Butte in Arizona. Yes, you can see all the way to Arizona," he wrote.
"My friend Brian getting into the spirit of McCain. Yeah, it does make you feel like that."
Phil’s BBQ El Toro tri-tip sandwich takes one of ten regional titles to advance to the final round
July 19, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Phil’s BBQ was named the West Coast Regional Winner of the Travel Channel show “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.” Phil’s El Toro tri-tip sandwich is one of ten regional winners that will move on to the final round of judging, where one sandwich will be named Best Sandwich in America. There’s good news for East County foodies: Phil’s BBQ will be coming to Santee this fall. (Here’s a clip of the Phil’s BBQ segment.)
Modern Day Scavenger Hunt Uses GPS-Enabled Devices to Find City’s Historic Treasures
July 17, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Centennial-themed Amazing Geocache Challenge is officially on, and anyone who appreciates a fun and family-friendly modern-day scavenger hunt is encouraged to participate – and possibly win prizes along the way. Officially started on June 2 to coincide with the city’s Flag Day Parade, the Challenge concludes at 5:00 pm October 7, 2012, coinciding with the end of the La Mesa Oktoberfest. It’s not to late to participate!
By Nadin Abbott
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott
July 15, 2012 (San Diego) -- Comic book authors and artists from East County and across our region were among the throngs seeking to meet fans, sell their works, and attend the esteemed Iesner Awards.
Carrie Christie's "Dear Kamala" Postcard Campaign Brings Attention to Sex Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan
Story by Ron Logan
Update November 1, 2013: Ron Logan e-mailed ECM to inform us that Sara Kruzan has been freed after 19 years in prison and is now living in a halfway house.
July 7, 2012 (San Diego) – This Independence Day promised the usual smell of barbecued burgers and dogs, the taste of chilled drinks, the glisten of suntan lotion, the sound of children playing, and the smoke, the lights and the crackle of pyrotechnics. Across the nation, families celebrated their independence, partied with friends, and enjoyed the freedoms that we far too often take for granted.
But this Independence Day meant much more for Sara Kruzan – a woman who has never known independence, has never enjoyed freedom, and has fallen through the cracks of our society.
By Rebecca J. Williamson
June 15, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Buying a round of golf for dear old dad at Carlton Oaks Golf Course for Father’s Day is not an option for many in the East County. Not even buying a tie, cologne, or brunch at Barona or Viejas casinos.
The stark reality for many, young and old alike, is that their father has already passed away. What remains are memories, photos, belongings, and a graveside.
By Miriam Raftery
June 15, 2012 (San Diego) –Who will be squaring off in the November run-off to represent East County and San Diego in Congress and the State Legislature?
With all but 7,000 votes counted locally, according to the Registrar, here’s a rundown on these important race--including our assessment of the odds for those vying in the November run-off election:
No opposition for Bill Garrett, Mary Kay Rosinski
June 10, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, and Mary Kay Rosinski, board vice president, have been re-elected without opposition for another four-year term. Because they had no challengers, the names of Garrett and Rosinski were not on the June 5 ballot for East County voters. The college district operates Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, serving almost 30,000 students.
April 27, 2012 (La Mesa) -- A volunteer citizens group that is overseeing how the taxpayer-supported Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is spending millions of dollars in voter-approved public financing for infrastructure improvement construction projects at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has issued its 2011 Annual Report to the Community.
April 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s original fine art festival, Mission Federal ArtWalk is back for its 28th year. Featuring artists who live in the East County area as well as San Diego, the event will be held on Saturday and Sunday , April 28 and 29, when 17 blocks of Little Italy will be transformed for this free festival. ArtWalk offers a unique opportunity for members of the public to engage directly with over 350 artists who will be there to display their original works for exhibit and sale. The art on display will include a wide range of paintings, sculpture, mosaics, glasswork and photography.
By Miriam Raftery
April 2, 2012 (Cedar Creek) – When Ed Hale read that the National Forest Service (NFS) was reopening one of two entrances to Cedar Creek Falls starting yesterday, he and a friend headed east to hit the trail--and brought back a firsthand account of their experiences as well as some changes at the popular hiking site.
March 27, 2012 (San Diego) –Looking for a place to savor a feast on Easter Sunday? Several local restaurants are offering a variety of options. From rack of lamb to roasted rabbit, you’ll find a wealth of savory options.
Here’s what’s hopping at a trio of our region’s top restaurants, including Terra Bistro in East County and two popular San Diego eateries.
By Susan Brinchman
March 25, 2012, (San Diego's East County) -- On April 1, 2012, an event called East County Earth Day will be held at Mt. Helix Park, billed as a "free, family-friendly event [that] invites residents of East County to experience a local perspective on Earth-friendly practices". The event underwriter is San Diego Gas & Electric, according to the Mt. Helix Park Foundation website. While I commend those who planned the event, I suggest that an event underwriter should have been found that has a record of being Earth-friendly.
By Miriam Raftery
March 19, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- As a late winter storm sweeps across our region, readers in San Diego's East County have shared some of their favorite photos of the season.
Morgan La Salle shared these first two pastoral images of Pine Valley, where a blanket of white coats corrals and farmlands--serving up a "cool" setting for local barnyard animals.
March 14, 2012 (Alpine) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce is kicking off spring with a March Madness Mixer and New Member Orientation on March 21. The event is being held at Viejas Casino, Dreamcatcher Lounge, 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Appetizers and cocktails will be served.
March 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Despite recent cold weather, rattlesnakes are active—and a bite proved deadly this week on a local trail, the Blossom Valley network reports.
March 6, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Sprites of East County, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization, will host its annual benefit on March 24 at Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Road in Spring Valley. The theme of this year's event is "Sprites Revolution." The annual benefit includes a silent auction, fashion show featuring apparel from Fashion Valley stores, dance performances, and a delicious catered lunch. All proceeds benefit their charities.
March 4, 2012 (East County) --Henri Migala sent in this close up image of sunshine-hued blooms here in East County--sure signs that Spring is in the air.
March 2, 2012 -- (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:
- Mayor: City’s structural deficit over (10 News)
- San Diego has most expensive gas in nation (UT San Diego)
- Low rainfall may mean more local conservation (10 News)
- Get to know new District 9 candidates: Speak City Heights (Voice of San Diego)
- Teen struck by trolley was becoming ‘man of integrity’ mentor says ; has shown improvement from brain injury (La Mesa Patch)
- Case shows flaws at special police force (UT San Diego)
- Boy accused of killing friend receiving ‘extraordinary care’ (10 News)
- Heroin use jumps 229 percent amongst county’s young adults (Santee Patch)
- Refugee moms and their American daughters bond through cooking (KPBS)
- Consumer advocates, unions back healthcare ballot measures (Sacramento Bee)
- California Republican party endorses auto rates initiative (Sacramento Bee)
- Fewer than 1 in 3 California registered Republican (Sacramento Bee)
- Democrats want to extend guaranteed retirement savings to private sector (Sacramento Bee)
- Investigation alleges abuse cover-up at California centers for the disabled (KPBS)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Emma Cajthaml
February 4, 2012 (Lakeside)--This past weekend, a local East County volleyball club, Lakeside Starlings, competed in Anaheim at the second of three qualifying tournaments. The day started off slow with three losses but ended well with a win against the Christian club, Pursuit.
Elite Gymnastics Academy partners with the American Red Cross
February 4, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Elite Gymnastics Academy, along with the American Red Cross, is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, February 16th, from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Elite Gymnastics Academy, 1817 John Towers Avenue in El Cajon.
January 31, 2012 (Alpine) -- On Saturday, March 25, 2012 the communities of Alpine and Mt. Empire will host one of their traditions, the Miss Alpine, Miss Mt. Empire, and Miss East County Scholarship Pageants.
The organizers are seeking young women ages 6-24 to participate in the pageants that have been a mentoring program for them. The pageants are produced by the Associated Pageants of Alpine/Mt. Empire and focus on community service. There is no swimsuit competition, and no entry fee to participate, only a sponsorship fee.
January 26, 2011 (La Mesa)--Officials of many East County organizations recognized the contributions made by Bill and Norma Verbeck at a special luncheon eeting of the Kiwanis Club of La Mesa today at the La Mesa Community Center.
Bill Verbeck was awarded the Kiwanis International 50-Year Legion of Honor at the meeting. Tony Zambelli, president of the La Mesa Kiwanis Club, mad the presentation.
A sharing of artifacts recovered from the Titanic wreck site
January 22, 2012 (Santee) -- Fourth grade students at an East County elementary school were treated to an extra special show-and-tell in January. A sampling of artifacts recovered from Titanic, 2.5 miles below the ocean’s surface, were shared with more than 130 enthusiastic Rio Seco Elementary students in Santee. The show-and-tell was a preview of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, opening Feb. 10, 2012 at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
December 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)—At year’s end, we reflect on the loss of several prominent residents of San Diego’s inland regions, as well as some less prominent individuals whose tragic deaths tugged at our heartstrings or sparked controversies.
November 24, 2011 (El Cajon) The public is invited to join the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Business after hours Holiday Mixer at Crunch Fitness. The event will be Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The location is Crunch Fitness, 565 Fletcher Parkway, Suite 202, El Cajon CA, above Dick’s Sporting Goods, in the Parkway Plaza. The admission fee is Members $10; Non-members $15.
By Millicent Arko
October 19, 2011 (La Mesa) O’Dunn Fine Art will unveil the Ireland Paintings Exhibition by Paul Strahm, a signature treatment that examines the Irish countryside, street scenes, coast and waterways. The collection of 14 paintings will be on display from October 22 – November 27, 2011 and are available for pre-sale.
By Cate Sacks
August 16, 2011 (Alpine) -- Picardy is a beautiful, well trained neutered male Picardy Collie Mix. He is great with all dogs and people of all ages.
Sweet young Maltipoo "Cuddles", tender and sensitive, loves to be cuddled, bonds very closely.