June 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – The Helix Water District board will present its preliminary 2013-14 budget at a workshop June 4 from 9 a.m. to noon. View budget. here.
On June 5 at 3 p.m., the finance directors will present draft water rates and a proposed Proposition 218 notice set to be mailed to ratepayers June 27. Water rates will be discussed at 6 p.m. on June 5. A workshop to discuss the draft water rates and Proposition 218 notice is also set for June 19 at 6 p.m. at the Helix Water District Boardroom.
By Nadin Abbott
May 31, 2013 (Spring Valley)—What should be done with the former Evergreen Nursery property in Spring Valley? That was the key question before the Spring Valley Planning Group Wednesday night.
David S. Thomson, Chief Executive Officer for Mastercraft Homes Group, the owner of the property, came to offer his proposal, along with his team.
During earlier meetings there was a palpable hope that the site would be developed into a commercial site, or a mixed use residential and commercial site that would include a community meeting place for Spring Valley residents.
But Mastercraft's plan didn’t include that. Thomson stated that “due to the economy and oversupply (of commercial property) nobody recommended that,” then noted that it is still a “bad retail environment.”
By Miriam Raftery
“Through the years that we had known you, you had been a blessing to know. How sweet and kind you are to all our family. We will cherish every moment and memories we had with you. We love and miss you and you will never be forgotten.” – sign beside the road, where Michelle St. Clair was fatally burned
May 30, 2013 (Lakeside) – Beside the scorched earth where Michele St. Clair was found severely burned during a brush fire on May 12, her friends have created a makeshift memorial . Flowers, crosses, ragged stuffed toys and a hand-lettered sign on cardboard reveal how she touched the lives of those who came to know her, before succumbing to her injuries on May 16.
St. Clair, a Navy veteran who by all accounts worked hard, refused to take handouts, and was not an addict or an alcoholic.
May 30, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) announced $1.8 million for San Diego to help homeless veterans as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH).
“This increase in housing vouchers will help veterans get off the streets and into a place of their own,” said Davis. “We know that San Diego has a high concentration of homeless veterans. It’s very difficult, knowing the sacrifices these men and women have made on our behalf, to see them living on the street. Hopefully, through programs such as HUD-VASH we can help turn these lives around.”
By Miriam Raftery
May 29, 2013 (Lakeside) – Clad in pajamas, Karen Goodman broke down in tears as she told me her story today.
We met with her at the request of Walter Choate, an advocate for the homeless who told us that without immediate help, this bedridden woman who relies on a caregiver to survive could be homeless by Friday--and lose all of her belongings as well.
Update: Santee reader Jerrie Dean informs us that her mother saw Larry Negrette return to his mobilehome park today. The Sheriff's office confirms with the following details:
On Monday, May 27, 2013 at around 10:15 p.m., Mr. Larry Negrette was located in the 10200 block of Ashwood Street in Lakeside. Mr. Negrette had contacted a resident on Ashwood Street and asked for food. The resident provided Mr. Negrette with food and water. As the resident and Mr. Negrette spoke, Mr. Negrette appeared disoriented and could not remember his address or phone number. The resident became concerned for Mr. Negrette and decided to notify the Sheriff's Department. Deputies from the Santee Station responded and contacted Mr. Negrette. He was reunited with his family.
May 27, 2013 (Santee) – Larry Negrette, 70, has been missing form his home in the 9400 block of Mission Gorge Road, Santee, since 5 p.m. Saturday May 25. He suffers from dementia and high blood pressure.
His family is extremely concerned for his welfare. His vehicle is inoperable and accounted for. Negrette is Hispanic with grey hair, receding hair line, brown eyes, and a mustache. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds. He was last seeing wearing blue jeans, T-shirt, and white sneakers.
May 27, 2013 (Lakeside) – Helix Water District’s Johnstown Tank, located in Lake Jennings Park Estates off Harritt Road, Lakeside, is currently undergoing complete interior and exterior recoating. Work began on Monday, May 13, 2013. The project will take approximately six months to complete.
The viewshed for this tank includes a large area along the I-8 corridor west of the Lake Jennings Park Road exit.
Residents in the area should be aware of increased traffic, elevated noise levels, and a visual change to the tank’s surface.
May 26, 2013 (Allied Gardens) – A 31-year-old man who was doing “wheel stands” while riding a Yamaha motorcycle at high speed southbound Princess View near Mission Gorge Road yesterday at 4:02 p.m. lost control and hit the pavement.
He sustained serious head injuries, though they are not considered life-threatening, according to Officer David Stafford with San Diego Police.
May 24, 2013 (Ramona)--The County Department of Animal Services (DAS) is investigating the death of a horse and is caring for another ten horses seized from an owner in Ramona late yesterday afternoon.
DAS was called to Ramona Monday after a group of horses was found loose on Highway 78 Monday. CHP and CALFIRE returned them to a nearby property, and DAS began monitoring a herd of 30 horses at the location, noting that the animals lacked food and water. CALFIRE supplied some water, but the conditions prompted DAS to post a notice advising the horses’ owner the animals were subject to seizure.
Concerned neighbors also provided some feed to the horses, but based on the conditions officers found during a check yesterday, DAS seized all of the animals on the property.
By Miriam Raftery
May 21, 2013 (Alpine) – The San Diego County Grand Jury has issue a report t blasting the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) for repeatedly axing plans to build a 12th high school in Alpine despite voters twice approving bond measures to construct the new high school. The report is descriptively titled Grossmont Union High School District—Fool Us Once, Fool Us Twice?
The Grand Jury found that “residents of the GUHSD and the greater Alpine area deserve clarity from the School Board regarding the proposed 12th high school."
May 23, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Portions of land in and around Oceanside were added to California’s Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) quarantine this week after inspections turned up four apple moths.
California’s “interior” quarantine has grown to 6,000 acres in 19 counties across the state for the apple moth, a destructive agricultural pest that eats and damages more than 250 types of crops.
The County of San Diego’s Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) has scheduled a meeting to talk to local growers from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 24, at the Fallbrook Community Center Auditorium at 341 Heald Lane in Fallbrook. Officials from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture will be at the meetings and available to answer questions.
May 22, 2013 (Descanso) – The Medical Examiner has determined that Robert Sean Gibbons died of natural causes from a heart attack related to coronary artery disease. The body of Gibbons, 46, was found by firefighters who responded to a fire at his trailer, which was fully engulfed in flames.
May 22, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --As warm weather returns, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding the public to be rattlesnake safe.
All of California is snake country. Much like bats, rattlesnakes are often misunderstood. They play an important role in the ecosystem by keeping rodent populations under control.
May 21, 2013 (Lakeside) – KSON radio will be at the Lakeside Park and Ride at Highway 67 and Mapleview tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. collecting donations to help tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.
Local residents are invited to drive through and drop off cash donations. Everyone who donates will also be entered in a contest to win two tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold-out concert August 15.
Company had flood of violations, including providing unsafe drinking water and illegally selling water to SDG&E and other contractors
By Miriam Raftery
May 20, 2013 (Live Oak Springs) – Chief Administrative Law Judge Karen V. Clopton with the California Public Utilites Commission has issued a decision recommending that owners of Live Oak Springs Water Company be fined $1 million for violations that have put public health at risk. The CPUC proposal would ask the Superior Court to appoint a receiver to take possession of the property , including the bankrupt Live Oak Springs resort, and operate the water system.
“Nazar Najor, the controversial owner, has been selling water to large construction projects without authorization from his small regulated water district that is meant to serve Live Oak Springs ratepayers,” said Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group.
San Diego search dog aids in search for survivors
By Miriam Raftery
May 20, 2013 (San Diego) – One of the worst tornadoes in recorded history has ravaged the Okalahoma City suburb of Moore, killing at least 51 people, injuring 120 including many children, and destroying 500 homes. The two-mile-wide twister destroyed an elementary school and entire neighborhoods nearby.
Eight Search Dog Foundation rescue teams have been dispatched to search the rubble for survivors. One of the search dogs, George, was recruited from Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue Group in San Diego.
By Miriam Raftery
May 20, 2013 (Ocotillo) – Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel has granted a motion filed by citizens’ groups to remand a lawsuit over the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility from federal court back to state court.
Plaintiffs Donna Tisdale, Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps hailed the decision.
“Since Ocotillo Express operation started in late 2012, residents complain of adverse impacts from noise, vibrations, electrical interference, shadow flicker and light pollution. People, pets and wildlife are suffering while the project’s wind production is far less than advertised,” a press release issued by plaintiffs states.
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May 24, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- We've added more to our "sneak preview" audio of our show. This is just a small portion of the great content we've got lined up on our East County Magazine radio show. Check it out! http://kiwi6.com/file/zswcw905u4
Underwrite our show to support community radio and be heard across our region. Initial test signals for the new KNSJ station broadcasting in Descanso have been heard as far away as downtown San Diego, by up to a million listeners! Our show will air in prime-time drive time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-698-7617.
Update May 19: Smith has been found safe in San Ysidro.
May 18, 2013 (Lemon Grove) -- The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is searching for a missing person at risk. James Edward Smith of Lemon Grove is on medication for dementia and is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Smith, 66, was last seen driving his 2006 Silver Chrysler 300 four-door sedan with CA license plate 5XLV296.
Smith is described by authorioties as black, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 207 pounds, bald, with brown eyes and a mustache. He was last seen wearing a tan and brown jacket, baggy blue jeans, and a tan baseball cap.
He was last seen leaving Willy's Electronics on Mercury Street in San Diego on May 16 at 02:55 p.m., alone in his vehicle. He may have been heading to Harbor Freight supply in Chula Vista. He never arrived at the supply store, and never arrived home in the 1800 block of El Prado Ave, Lemon Grove.
May 18, 2013 (Spring Valley) – A 69-year-old Spring Valley man has been arrested in connection with the vicious beating of a dog. An officer with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (DAS) has arrested 69-year-old Charles Dudley on May 14. A neighbor called DAS saying he witnessed the beating in Dudley’s backyard on the 3500 block of Bentley Drive a day earlier.
The Animal Control Officer who responded to the scene found a two-year-old female Miniature Pinscher barely breathing in the backyard and rushed the eight-pound animal to an emergency veterinary hospital. Despite emergency care, the dog succumbed to its injuries overnight. A necropsy will be performed on the body to determine the exact cause of death.
May 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – March Against Monsanto has announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will “March Against Monsanto.” Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific in 47 states. The San Diego March will be starting at 11am on May 25th at the Balboa Park fountain in front of the Science center.
By Sholeh Sisson
May 17 2013 (San Diego)-- On May 15, the San Diego Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance waiving building permit and plan review fees for disabled veterans who need home modifications to accommodate their disabilities.
"We are always looking for ways to improve the lives of those who risk their lives to protect our country," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who introduced the measure along with Supervisor Bill Horn.
By Sierra Robinson and Miriam Raftery
May 16, 2013 (San Diego) – “This is the worse crime that’s ever been committed against the East County wilderness. Period,” Craig Maxwell, former La Mesa mayoral candidate and outdoor enthusiast told ECM after San Diego Supervisors voted 4-1 yestesday to approve a wind ordinance that industrial-scale wind turbine projects in rural and scenic backcountry regions.
Only Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County, made an impassioned plea to protect the health and safety of rural residents, who have repeatedly voiced concerns over risks from infrasound, stray voltage, noise , fire danger, turbine collapse and blades thrown off.
Emphasizing those points, less than 24 hours after the vote, a turbine in nearby Ocotillo threw off an 11-ton blade. (photo)
May 13, 2013 (San Diego) – The San Diego City Council will vote on proposed changes to the city’s regulation and permitting process for sidewalk cafés at its meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 202 C St. in San Diego.
Leaders of the California Restaurant Association (CRA) San Diego County chapter have worked closely with city officials and the community to find ways to reconsider the existing burdensome and costly regulations that make it difficult for restaurant operators to expand their dining areas outdoors.
Mother misled investigators about location of drownings, authorities say
May 13, 2013 (Mt. Helix) --A one-year-old girl is dead and her two-year-old brother have died after their mother awoke this morning and found both children unconscious in a swimming pool. The family had been staying at the residence on Mt. Helix at 10011 Sunset Avenue in unincorporated La Mesa.
The mother pulled the children from the pool with help from her friend and drove to La Mesa Fire Station #13 for assistance. “After arrival at the fire station, the friend ran away and has not been located,” Lt Gle,n Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail reported.
Match-up set the stage for infamous Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs "Battle of the sexes"
By Richard Muscio
I just returned from the Ramona suburb of San Vicente on Mother’s Day 2013, where I spent the weekend to see what festivities or activities might be going on to commemorate the 40th anniversary of one of the most historic tennis matches in our country’s history. Sadly, I found nothing there, beyond the beautiful scenery.
On Mother’s Day 1973 (May 13, 1973 to be exact), the first “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match took place there, as a sales gimmick put on by the legendary real estate developer Ray Watt. Aimed at drawing the Hollywood crowd 120 miles south to the still-remote San Diego Country Estates, developer Watt hoped to bring attention to the 3,000 vacant lots he had for sale there, in hopes that actors and actresses and other luminaries would buy his vacant lots and construct glorious vacation homes thereupon.
HOMELESS WOMAN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER FIRE BURNS HOMELESS CAMP, MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES IN LAKESIDE
Ordeal shines spotlight on East County’s failure to offer shelter for the homeless
“We are too late. We the community of East County have let our homeless vets down again.” --post on Fox News story about the fire
By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery; photos by Billy Ortiz and Nadin Abbott
May 12, 2013 (Lakeside) – It was a grim Mother’s Day for families displaced by a fire that ravaged mobile homes in Lakeside today, and for a homeless woman veteran who is hospitalized with serious burns.
May 11, 2013 (Potrero) – A motorcyclist was airlifted to Sharp Memorial Hospital with a broken leg after sideswiping a fire truck near Potrero this morning. According to California Highway Patrol spokesman Brian Pennings, the motorcyclist was speeding when the 49-year-old driver lost control and sideswiped a Cal-Fire truck on state route 94.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego confirms findings May 9; world’s top scientists call for action
By Miriam Raftery
May 10, 2013 (San Diego) -- Measurements around the world confirm that the rise in carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million –the highest in our planet’s history.
Before the industrial revolution in the 1900s, when coal and oil began to be burned on a large scale, C02 levels were never higher than 280 ppm.
But in recent years, the levels have risen 100 times faster than after the last ice age—providing clear evidence that the rise is far beyond any cyclical changes ever seen before. In fact, leading scientists around the world warn, climate change may soon be irreversible unless drastic changes are made to reduce this level to 350 ppm or lower.
On Thursday, May 9, at 12:29 p.m. Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a drowning in the 400 block of Nila Lane in El Cajon.
"An 18 month boy, in the care of his grandmother, was found by his grandmother in the Jacuzzi area of an unfenced pool in the backyard. Heartland fire crews arrived within five minutes of the call," said Monica Zech, spokeperson for the city of El Cajon. "They immediately started CPR and regained a pulse. The child was transported to Grossmont Hospital and then transferred to Rady's Children's Hospital."
The child was listed in critical condition according to Carlos Delgado, spokesperson for Rady's.
The weather is warming up and children gravitate toward water, so take precautions. Remember--a baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.
See below for water safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control.