September 2009 Articles
September 19, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for an Diego County mountains, deserts, valleys and coastal areas as well as other portions of Southern California. Heat 10-20 degrees over normal is predicted over the next week, with record highs predicted in some areas. Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be the hottest days, followed by marginally cooler days on Thursday and Friday. The hot, dry conditions and weak offshore flow will elevate the fire danger next week, a danger raised by the presence of dry fuels.
HOMES BURN, EVACUATION CENTERS OPEN IN TEMECULA AS FIRE SWELLS TO 348 ACRES
Update 9 p.m. Sept. 19 - The fire in southeast Riverside County has expanded to 348 acres, burned 12 structures including at least two homes, and vehicles. Evacuations of 500 homes have been ordered. The Red Cross has opened evacuation centers at the Temecula Community Recreation Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Rd. and at Rancho California RV Resort in Aguanga.
September 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – We’re proud to announce that our server is now powered 100% by wind energy. Since our online publication is already paperless and green, we’re definitely the most eco-friendly news publication in town!
Did you know that nearly 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are produced by the paper industry—the fourth largest industrial source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions? America’s newspaper business consumes 95 million trees each year, many from old-growth forests. Scientists estimate that deforestation is responsible for 25% of human-caused greenhouse gases. http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/about/faq.htm But wait--there's more...
Most Local Hate Crimes Are Committed by Youths Under 21
United for a Hate Free San Diego, a coalition of faith and community leaders, presents the 2nd annual Hate Crimes Summit on Thursday Oct. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave, in El Cajon. A series of violent, hate-motivated incidents in East County and elsewhere in San Diego County have prompted community leaders to take action on in hopes of raising awareness and preventing future violence.
In our region, most hate crimes are committed by minors under the age of 21, according to the coalition's website, highlighting the need for better education and intervention programs to prevent such violence. In some cases, crimes were not reported or prosecuted as hate crimes, instead being labeled gang violence or other offenses by law enforcement although victims were taunted with racial, ethnic or gender-based slurs prior to physical attacks.
September 19, 2009 (San Diego)--Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) announced that a $299,993 Recovery Act grant has been awarded to San Diego State University (SDSU) Research Foundation through the U.S. Department of Energy. Funds will be used for a web-based carbon dioxide (CO2) subsurface modeling project and will create training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to develop skills for implementing and deploying carbon capture and storage technologies.
“If we are serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions, then we need trained scientists to find ways to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired utilities,” said Filner. “This funding for SDSU carbon capture research is the key to making so-called ‘clean coal’ a potential reality.”
September 18, 2009 (La Mesa)-- Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) and Sharp Grossmont Hospital, East County’s largest hospital, have jointly announced that construction is now completed on the top three floors of the Emergency and Critical Care Center – the first infrastructure improvement project that was financed by voter-approved bonds at the publicly owned hospital.
SCHOOL BOARD LEARNS A LESSON, FACES WRATH OF PUBLIC: HUNDREDS CONFRONT LMSV BOARD OVER CENSORSHIP OF LIVE OBAMA SPEECH
3 BOARD MEMBERS APOLOGIZE, BUT TAPED SPEECH STILL NOT SHOWN TO MANY STUDENTS
“If you were students in my class, you would not pass.”—Maureen Paolini, teacher and graduate of the LMSV district
“My father marched with Dr. King…I do not appreciate that you told my child that the President, because he had a black face, was not as important to listen to as all the other presidents that came before.” – Sheryl Mullins, teacher and parent
by Gayle Early
La Mesa (September 17, 2009)—La Mesa-Spring Valley (LMSV) School District Board members endured over two hours of scathing public criticism Tuesday night, including frequent chants from the crowd urging three Board members to resign. After what amounted to public shaming before several hundred riled parents, teachers, students, and community members, three Board members issued a formal apology to students and families for their majority decision to delay airing President Barack Obama’s national back-to-school address on September 8. Yet even a taped version of the speech has still not been shown to many students in the district.
Julian (September 18, 2009 ) -- A decades old Julian tradition returns when the gates open on September 19th and 20th to the 39th annual Julian Bluegrass Festival. Sponsored and presented by the Julian Lions Club at Frank Lane Park, the annual event is the oldest bluegrass festival in California and this year’s edition boasts one of its strongest line-ups.
SHERIFF REVISES ACCOUNT OF KARDIAN MURDER: MANHUNT NABS SUSPECT RICHARD DEAN NEFF; EYEWITNESS TELLS HER STORY
UPDATE: NEFF ARRESTED: The suspect was apprehended this afternoon(Sept. 17) by the San Diego Fugitive Task Force, the Sheriff’s Department reports. He was arrested at 425 W. Beech Street in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego and will be booked into Central Jail. San Diego News Network reports that Neff surrendered peacefully.Below is our story including interviews with an eyewitness and family member of the victim shortly before Neff's arrest.
By Mick Roberts
September 17, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—A wanted bulletin issued by the San Diego Sheriff’s office on September 8 has been revised to remove language suggesting that a fist-fight occurred prior to the death of Ronald Kardian, who was beaten on Labor Day at a home in the 4100 block of Avoyer in La Mesa. An eye witness has informed East County Magazine that the victim was beaten without provocation while awakening from sleep; two sources reveal that the victim was weakened from medical treatments. The suspected killer, Richard Dean Neff, is a former boxer with a criminal record, ECM has learned.
“There was no evidence of a fight,” Lt. Dennis Brugos, homicide detective for the Sheriff’s office, told East County Magazine. “We are convinced based on witness statements that this was not a mutual combat. We interepret this as murder.”
September 17, 2009 (San Diego) -- Tomorrow, Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) will be joined by key federal, state, and local officials, as well as government agency and business leaders, for a roundtable discussion on overcoming obstacles to access Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.
Roundtable event will provide a brief overview on finding solutions to benefit local small businesses.
WHEN: Friday, September 18th, 2009, 1:00 p.m.
Political protesters and counter-protesters raise voices at Sept. 12 rallies
September 17, 2009 (El Cajon and Ramona)—Last Saturday, conservative supporters turned out at T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) rallies nationwide, including East County. About 150 to 200 attended a T.E.A. party rally in El Cajon, where Republican Senate candidate Chuck DeVore addressed the crowd and a debate among Sheriff’s candidates was held afterwards. Attendees held signs protesting a range of issues from cap and trade to healthcare reform. Some criticized President Obama, labeling his policies “socialism”.
In Ramona, liberals from the Ramona Forum (www.ramonaforum.com) staged a “Mad Hatter Tea Party” counter-protest across the street from a T.E.A. party event to “demonstrate the hypocrisy of the Tea Party gang,” said Dave Patterson.
Share creative ideas to assist people of all ages with tips to save money and improve their lifestyle!
September 17, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--According to the EPA, the U.S. generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006--and 67% of that trash ended up in landfills. But much of the trash in landfills is not really trash at all. It is so easy to throw items away when they are no longer needed – even if they are still usable – that it happens every day. However, there is a growing population of people who think that there must be a better solution.
Have you ever walked in your neighborhood early in the morning of trash pick-up day? You would be amazed what your neighbors are throwing away. Things that appear perfectly usable but no longer wanted. There is a better way to dispose of unwanted items--and get items you actually want free--all through Freecycle!
September 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – A pair of motorcycle accidents this week have claimed two lives in East County. The County Coroner’s office has released the names of the victims, who died from crashes in Ramona and Descanso.
Bills address education, water, crime-fighting, and veterans needs
Sesptember 15, 2009 (San Diego)--Assemblymember Mary Salas (D-San Diego) last week sent seven bills to the Governor’s desk as the Legislature completed its work of the first year of the 2009-10 biennial legislative session. Assemblymember Salas and fellow lawmakers worked all night Friday and into the early morning Saturday to tackle critical issues and complete their work.
“I am very pleased with the results of this year’s legislative session, and I am confident that Governor Schwarzenegger will look favorably at the results of our collective work and my set of bills,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I’ve worked hard to send to the Governor a package of bills that improves the lives of all Californians. Because of our budget crisis, these bills either have no cost or save the state money.”
September 16, 2009 (San Diego)—A fire that began early this evening has been contained at a half acre near Doane Pond on Palomar Mountain. Nine engines, four crews, three helicopters, two air tankers and tha Martin Mars were dispatched initially.
By Miriam Raftery
September 16, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego County Sheriff’s Department notified media today that it would hold a demonstration of its highly controversial “sonic weapon.” What was demonstrated, however, was only the loudspeaker capability of the device—a feature which has effectively been used in search-and-rescue operations and to broadcast messages during a sandcastle contest. The sonic weapons switch, capable of emitting tones loud enough to damage ear drums or worse, has now been “disabled,” Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ed Musgrove informed the media at the end of the event. (View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulkl5Lw5gm8) But concerns remain.
“If you accidentally flip that switch and someone is within a 30-foot range, they can have their eardrums burst, bleeding in the inner ear, and it can result in an aneurysm or death,” reporter Kim Dvorac from Examiner.com said in an interview on KCBQ radio’s Rick Amato show last night , citing a source in the Department of Defense http://www.amatotalk.com/podcasts/AMATO-09-15-09-HR1.mp3 .
"Leadership is about going where others won't." –Francine Busby
By E.A. Barrera
September 9, 2009 (San Diego)--Democrat Francine Busby says the 50th Congressional District is ripe for change and she is the candidate best suited to unseat Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray next year.
"There is an accelerating shift from the Republican Party to Independents and Democrats. This district voted for Barack Obama in the last election and only gave Brian Bilbray 52 percent of the vote - the smallest margin of victory for any incumbent congressman in San Diego," said Busby.
by Christopher Mohr
September 15, 2009 (El Cajon)--Sisyphean. That one word describes how the Grossmont Foothillers must have felt in Friday night's 34-7 loss to the host Valhalla Norsemen.
The term refers to Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology, who was sentenced to an eternity of rolling a large rock up a steep hill. Although Sisyphus was always able to move the rock part of the way up the hill, the rock always found a way to roll back to the bottom.
PUBLIC'S HELP SOUGHT TO IDENTIFY OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS
September 14, 2009 (Fallbrook)--Detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Fallbrook Substation, have arrested Enrique Lopez Torres for 24 counts of possession of obscene material (depicting children under 18), three counts of annoying/molesting a Child, three counts of Lewd Acts with a child and one count of false imprisonment with violence.
After discovering photos showing Torres having sexual relations with children as young as ten years old, authorities are seeking public help to identify other possible victims. Torres is believed to have previously resided in San Marcos, Escondido and Downey (Los Angeles area). (photos of suspect in 2009, left, and 2000, right).
By Francine Phillips
September 16, 2009 (San Diego)--The largest provider of water in Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), based in Los Angeles, has completed its final round of labor negotiations of a five-year contract that includes a hike in retirement benefits that has stakeholders in San Diego crying “foul.” Last week pension particulars were spelled out in preparation for a Sept. 15 vote by the District Board, including four San Diego region delegates. But at yesterday's meeting, MWD issued a statement that the vote has been postponed "to make sure that all facts regarding this proposal are fully understood by the Board of Directors and the public prior to any vote." A public workshop is set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at MWD's Board Room in Los Angeles.
A Joint Investigative Report by East County Magazine and Liberty One Radio
By Miriam Raftery
September 11, 2009 (San Diego) – “Long-range acoustic devices [LRADs] for crowd control can be extremely dangerous. These are used in Iraq to control insurgents. They can cause serious and lasting harm to humans…We want to know WHY our Sheriff Dept has this weapon,” Sal Magallanez of San Diego-based Liberty One Radio said in an e-mail sent to East County Magazine, prompting a joint investigation.
The device was stationed by San Diego County Sheriff deputies at a recent town hall forum hosted by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) in Spring Valley and at a subsequent town hall with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego). The Davis Rally drew an estimated 1,300-1,500 people, including vocal conservative and liberal protest groups. (photo credit: Mike Russell)
By Miriam Raftery
September 13, 2009 (Sacramento) –Last week, Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Orange County) resigned after bragging on videotape about sexual romps with lobbyists— including a lobbyist representing SDG&E and its parent company, Sempra Energy, according to an Orange County newspaper. Now Common Cause and the Courage Campaign have launched an online petition drive calling for lobbying reform legislation. In an e-mail sent to Californians, Courage Campaign asks provocatively, “Are you tired of getting screwed by hypocritical lawmakers?"
Applications Due By Sept. 28
September 11, 2009 (El Cajon)--To engage, educate and empower--these are goals for the City’s Teen Coalition, which is kicking off another year of leadership and community service. This special coalition, offered through the City’s Recreation Department, is an opportunity for teens to develop skills in leadership, discuss important teen issues, and become involved in community service. Applications for membership are due by September 28.
September 13, 2009 (El Cajon) If you’re a musician seeking an audience, Valley Music wants you. The El Cajon music store hopes to begin hosting an East County Open Microphone series beginning Saturday, September 26th.
“We are interested in starting up an East County Open Microphone series and are looking for people who would like to participate,” Andrea Long said. “Open microphone forums for bluegrass, acoustic solo or duets and possibly a Songwriter’s networking workshop are all open for discussion.”
September 12, 2009 (El Cajon)--The Grossmont College Hyde Art Gallery presents paintings by Gillian Theobald and Ollie Zinn through September 17. Both artists probing dialogues. Zinn speaks through a language of figurative story-lines whereas Theobald explores a more atmospheric and abstract imagery.
RETURN OF THE BODY SNATCHERS: FIRM WITH HISTORY OF GRAVE DESECRATIONS OWNS 10 CEMETERIES & FUNERAL HOMES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY
By Miriam Raftery, Editor
East County Magazine
September 11, 2009 (San Diego) –Tonight, CNN reports that hundreds of graves were allegedly desecrated to make room for more remains in a Los Angeles cemetery, where employees are accused of ripping up concrete vaults with backhoes, shattering caskets and discarding body parts including a human skull. The story had a sickening sense of déjà vu for me—since I’ve previously reported on the cemetery owner, Service Corporation International (SCI). This now-infamous company has been involved in body-dumping scandals in multiple states and also handled bodies during Hurricane Katrina. SCI owns 2,000 cemeteries and funeral homes across the nation, including 10 right here in San Diego County. (see list at the end of this story).
September 11, 2009 (San Diego) – Emergency response training today at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station sent billowing into the air, visible from nearby freeways. A training exercise also triggered false reports of a plane crash and brush fire.
Additional smoke will be visible tomorrow, when a controlled burn will be held at the base in conjunction with training for Air Force firefighters, a Marine Corps official has confirmed.
EAST COUNTY ACTIVIST FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST; ATTORNEY COULD FACE DISBARMENT
September 11, 2009 (Boulevard) – Donna Tisdale, Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group (photo), has filed a formal ethics complaint with the California Bar Association against Sempra/SDG&E lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia. Barsuglia has been implicated in a sex scandal involving Assemblyman Mike Duvall, as we have previously reported.
In an e-mail to East County Magazine, Tisdale noted that the Secretary of State’s Office website indicates Barsuglia completed an ethics course. “Guess the training did not stick,” Tisdale observed wryly.
East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery to Co-Moderate
September 11, 2009 (El Cajon) – East County’s top law enforcement issues will be on the front burner at the hottest political debate in town Saturday, when four candidates for San Diego County Sheriff will face off on issues ranging from border protection to a jail expansion in Santee.
East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery and KCBQ Radio Host Rick Amato will co-host the debate, which will take place in the ampitheater outside the East County Performing Arts Center at 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon, 2 blocks east of the Main and Magnolia intersection.
September 11, 2009 (Rancho San Diego)--James Thomas, author of Corp of Discovery: Lewis & Clark will be at the Heritage of the Americas Museum for a presentation and book signing on Saturday, September 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. Garbed in period costume, the author will make a presentation about his book and the historic Lewis & Clark Expedition.
"Jim is an expert on Lewis and Clark, so the facts are all there. But he novelized the story, so his book is filled with conversation and you really feel like you get to know each person on the expedition," says Kathleen Oatsvall, the museum curator. "We also sell his book in the Museum Store."