September 2009 Articles
On September 12, 2009, the San Miguel Fire District will host our 4th Annual “Safe and Sound” Fire Expo. The event will be held at the Rancho San Diego Towne Center/YMCA, 2891 Jamacha Rd. El Cajon 92019, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“Our community has always faced significant fire dangers, but now with recent budget cuts, our dangers are greater than ever. The need to help educate our residents has also become even greater,” a press release issued by San Miguel Fire District stated. The 2009 Fire Expo will share a variety of safety messages to help and encourage residents to better protect themselves, their families, and their homes.
by Christopher Mohr
September 10,2009 (El Cajon) - In the second Game of the Week, we're going to stay at Valhalla to see a couple of East County rivals square off. Grossmont makes a short drive south to face Valhalla Friday night.
Grossmont (1-0) had a dramatic 16-14 win at home last week against Otay Ranch. After missing an extra point earlier in the game, Chance House kicked the game-winning field goal with five seconds left to give the Foothillers the win.
By Miriam Raftery
September 10, 2009 (San Diego) – Sempra Energy today issued a video statement expressing “shock” at news that a lobbyist for the company has been implicated in a sex scandal with Mike Duvall (R-Orange County), vice chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. Duvall resigned yesterday, after his videotaped boasts were widely publicized, as East County Magazine reported, but now claims his taped statements were untrue. The comments were made in a committee room prior to a televised hearing, with Duvall apparently unaware that a microphone was live.
By Tracy Emblem
September 10, 2009 (San Diego)--Fires have a catastrophic effect on the lives of Californians. When the new state budget was recently passed and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, $27 million was cut from the budget with the stroke of a pen along with funding for the DC-10 fire retardant bomber that helped fight fires. If you don't think we need critical emergency fire services in San Diego County, or cannot afford it, think again.
COMPETITORS STILL SOUGHT FOR S.D. SENIOR OLYMPIC BALLROOM COMPETITION SEPT. 13 IN EL CAJON: “WHERE YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO BE A CHAMPION”
September 11, 2009 (El Cajon/Rancho San Diego)—If you're over 50, now you can put on your dancing shoes--and be a good sport! Going for the gold, competitors in the San Diego Senior Olympics this year will waltz into Cottonwood Golf Club in Rancho San Diego on September 13th to dance the night away in the Senior Olympic Game Competition.
Fred Astaire Studios and the Rancho San Diego-Jamul Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting the event. The public is invited to watch--and cheer on contestants vying for medals in performances ranging from Latin dances to the Hustle.
SAN FRANCISCO, September 10, 2009 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today denied, without prejudice, San Diego Gas and Electric Company’s (SDG&E) request to proactively shut off power when certain fire conditions are present. According to a press release issued by the CPUC, the Comission denied the request "because SDG&E has not met its burden to demonstrate that the benefits of shutting off power outweigh the significant costs, burdens, and risks that would be imposed on customers and communities in the areas where power is shut off."
ANDERSON’S IOU BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY; SENATE MUST ACT BY FRIDAY BEFORE LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS
September 8, 2009 (Sacramento) – AB 1506, authored by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has passed the Assembly by a unanimous vote. The measure would require the state of California to accept its own IOUs as payment for taxes or fees.
September 9, 2009 (El Cajon)--One of El Cajon’s original disaster search dogs “Sherman”, has died due to health issues related to his age. Sherman became a part of the El Cajon Fire Department in 1997 through a partnership with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Sherman was partnered with his handler, El Cajon Fire Captain Steve Swaney.
After becoming certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster search work, Sherman, along with his handler, was available to serve anywhere in the United States at a moments notice. The call for service was never more important than on September 11, 2001.
September 9, 2009 (San Diego)--Assembly Member Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego) urged the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to collaborate with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and other stakeholders in developing a long-term distributed generation strategy to reduce the risk of wildfire and provide safe power generation in case of emergencies.
By Miriam Raftery
September 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Thousands of tribal members from across the United States as well as many local participants and spectators are expected to flock to the Barona and Syucan reservations in East County during the first two weekends in September.
Native American dancers, drummers and bird singers compete for prize money at the traditional celebrations, which are free and open to the public. These events provide opportunities for the public to learn more about our tribal neighbors’ rich culture and heritage.
September 9, 2009 (San Diego) – Shock and snickers greeted news reports today revealing that a lobbyist for SDG&E/Sempra Energy is accused of granting sexual favors to Republican legislator Mike Duvall, Vice Chair of the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee. If true, the relationship would be a direct conflict of interest and a clear ethical violation, since the committee has oversight over utility industry issues.
Revelations of the affair prompted a flurry of reactions, including this snarky headline published at the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) website: Sempra lobbyists caught doing anything to influence votes ... including Assemblyman Mike Duvall.
September 11, 2009 (Ramona)--Tne Ramona Airport hosts its annual open house on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event features tours of the airport, Cal-Fire Air Attack Base, and control tower. Also on display are the Sheriff’s Copter 10 and Mercy Air helicopters, along with other aircraft including World War II-era Classic Warbirds.
Aerial displays will include simulated rescues by the Sheriff’s Copter 10 and formation flying by the Classic Warbirds. Visitors can also view a Cal-Fire demonstration of firefighting techniques including a fly-by water drop. Smokey Bear, representing the U.S. Forest Service, will have gifts for children and fire safety tips. In addition, a Tricked Out Big Rig Truck Show is also included.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Leon Thompson
In an exclusive interview, San Diego's new top law enforcement offer shares his goals with East County Magazine--including priorities and new initiatives for East County.
Appointed to replace retiring Sheriff William Kolender, Bill Gore brings 42 years of law enforcement expertise to the job. As Assistant Director of the FBI in Washington D.C., he earned a Meritorious Executive Service Award from the President. He’s led efforts to bring down organized crime rings including the Triads and Yakuza, helped break up the infamous Arellano-Felix Drug Cartel, and intervened to halt airplane hijackings as a S.W.A.T. team member. (Read his harrowing account here.) In San Diego, he established the Joint Terrorism Task Force and developed the nation’s first regional computer forensic lab—which has since been replicated nationwide. After leaving the FBI, he served as Chief Investigator/Special Assistant to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. As Undersheriff, second in command under Sheriff Kolender, he revised use-of-force policies, implemented a mobile ID system and improved public transparency.
Now as Sheriff, he’s set his sights on his most ambitious goal yet: to make San Diego the safest urban county in America.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Leon Thompson
September 9, 2009 (San Diego)--Sheriff William "Bill" Gore was destined for a career in law enforcement. His father and brother were both San Diego police officers; another brother was a deputy Sheriff. He met his wife while both were serving as FBI agents. The couple raised a son (now 25), surviving some harrowing moments along the way. Gore went on to become Assistant Director of the FBI in Washington, D.C., also serving stints in Hawaii, Washington state, Kansas City and San Diego before joining the Sheriff's Department.
As part of our exclusive interview with Sheriff Gore, we asked about his most memorable experiences tracking down criminals--and gained some insights into San Diego’s top law enforcement officer.
San Diego’s Only Wheelchair Ballroom Dance Group Provides Social Connection
Between Able-bodied Dancers and Wheelchair Users
September 9, 2009 (La Mesa)--The Sharp Grossmont Rehab Center will offer a free, eight-week session of ballroom dance instruction every Thursday beginning on September 10, 2009. Students and their able-bodied dance partners will learn to do the Fox Trot, Swing, Cha-Cha, and Rumba.
Classes are taught by William Valencia, the only certified wheelchair ballroom dance instructor on the west coast, and owner of Absolutely Dance Sport Studios. The effort is supported by WheelchairDancing.TV, a nonprofit organization that aspires to teach Latin dances to 1 mllion wheelchair users by the end of this year.
September 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--William D. Gore, Sheriff, San Diego County, today announced a manhunt initiated by the San Diego Fugitive Task Force to locate Richard Dean Neff. Neff is suspected of a murder which occurred in La Mesa early yesterday morning. Neff, a transient and known drug user, according to the Sheriff's special bulletin, is considered to be armed and extremely dangerous.
By Nancy Clement & Dawn Clement
September 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Any college student will tell you that textbooks are expensive, and the cost is continuing to rise each year. According to the PIRG Higher Education Project (www.pirg.org/highered), college students spend an average of $900 on textbooks each year.
In today's economy, the cost of textbooks is a severe burden on students who are already struggling financially. It is estimated that 23% of students don't purchase required books due to the costs, which hampers the learning process and is not a good solution to the problem. Fortunately, there are other solutions to this problem.
LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY BOARD NIXES AIRING OBAMA’S LIVE NATIONAL ADDRESS TO SCHOOLS; CENSORSHIP SPARKS OUTRAGE, CALL TO REPLACE BOARD MEMBERS
As Controversy Grows, Ex-First Lady Laura Bush Defends Presidential Address to Students
by Gayle Early
A special Board meeting convened on Labor Day to debate airing the President’s live broadcast. In a 3-2 vote, the majority voted to censor today's speech, citing concerns that it was “unconstitutional,” “indoctrination,” and “inappropriate.” The move sparked outrage and a call to oust school board members from some parents and students, who interrupted their holiday weekend to urge that the Board air the President's speech, which they they view as inspirational to students across America. WATCH LIVE HERE at 9 a.m. or READ THE FULL TEXT:
La Mesa (September 8, 2009)—President Obama, in a live broadcast, will address school children across America today at 9:00 a.m. about the importance of working hard, setting goals, and taking responsibility for their learning. In the words of Dr. Cyndi Sutton, Principal of Parkway Middle School in a letter sent to parents Friday, September 4th, “He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents, and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible, so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.”
Obama’s “back-to-school” pep talk encourages kids to persist and succeed in school, but students at Parkway Middle and many other local schools will not get the message, at least today.
September 7, 2009 (Fallbrook) A brush fire in Fallbrook burning in heavy brush has been extinguished at less than an acre, Cal Fire spokesman Darrell Pena has informed East County Magazine at 4:50 p.m. today. The fire, initially reported shortly before 4 p.m., put up heavy smoke and was visible throughout the Fallbrook area, said Pena.
by Christopher Mohr
(EL CAJON) - Friday night's football game at Valhalla High School between the host Norsemen and the visiting Falcons from Our Lady of Good Counsel of Olney, MD drew a lot of interest from local fans. Good Counsel was ranked sixth in the state of Maryland while Valhalla has a good shot at a return visit to the sectional championship at Qualcomm Stadium in December. This game was the season opener for both teams.
PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY AFTER A FIRE: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION
September 7, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Fire destroys hundreds of homes each year in California and often burns thousands of acres of land. If your property was damaged by fire, the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is pleased to offer some recommendations to help your landscape recover and to help protect your property.
By Doug Mosebar
California Farm Bureau President
September 2, 2009 --Our nation may be focused on the health care debate, but here in California the focus is centered on how farmers can survive economically without water and with depressed prices. Our challenges are clearly visible to the world as acreage is fallowed, rural farm communities are devastated and dairies have lost $2 billion to $3 billion in farm equity due to unstable milk prices in the past year alone.
Nothing but the Truth!
September 4, 2009-- Big surprise! Another fire in LA County will cost millions to extinguish. Firefighters come from Shasta County to get in on the juicy overtime. Private contractors lease out bulldozers and aircraft at ridiculous rates to save the homes of the foolish rich who build in canyons and on ridge-tops.
By Assemblyman Joel Anderson
September 6, 2009 (San Diego's East County)-- Richard Allen Clements kept his foot firmly on the gas pedal as he watched two 9-year-old girls glance back at him and start running. Moments later, the short lives of Christie Turner and Adina Gonzalez ended.
September 6, 2009 (El Cajon) – Organizers of the Mother Goose Parade have voted to save East County's most cherished holiday tradition, after an outpouring of community do nations raised enough to cover a significant portion of the costs, East County Magazine has learned.
“The parade will be scaled down to reduce costs,” Monica Zech, spokesperson for the City of El Cajon, confirmed in an e-mail. Donations are still needed, she said, adding, “Thank you to those who have already donated—especially the children who have sent in their own donations to help save the parade!”
25 Years and $500,000 Given to the Arts…
September 6, 2009 (El Cajon, CA)--Friends of East County Arts, Inc. will celebrate 25 years of giving to the performing and visual arts in the Greater East County with a spectacular Gala on September 18, 2009 at the Admiral Baker Clubhouse, located just off Friar's Road at 2400 Admiral Baker Road, San Diego, CA. 92120.
By Billie Jo Jannen
September 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Which is more important to the health of a region or a nation: a government that responds to the voice of the people or one that responds to the drive for partisan dominance?
September 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Two fire engines collided at Boulder Creek Road and Sherilton Valley near Alpine, with one engine plunging over the embankment at 11:24 p.m. Police radio reports minutes later indicate a car plunged 150 feet over the side in the same location. Significant blood was found in the car with no victim visible. An ASTREA Sheriff’s helicopter has been requested.
EDITORIAL: WHY EAST COUNTY CITIES NEED MODIFIED PERMIT APPROVED FOR POINT LOMA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
By Ernest Ewin
Chair, Metro Wastewater JPA and Metro Commission
Over the past several years, the Metro Wastewater JPA and Metro Commission (comprised of the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, and Poway, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Otay Water District and the County of San Diego), all agencies whose wastewater is treated by the City of San Diego, have followed, evaluated and supported the City in its efforts to obtain a modified permit for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.
We have a vested interest in the outcome, because as partners in the City of San Diego’s metro wastewater system, we are responsible for approximately 35% of the costs associated with the system.
EL CAJON CUTS TOBACCO SALES TO MINORS 88%; RESULTS HAILED AS PROOF THAT TOBACCO RETAILER LICENSING ORDINANCE IS EFFECTIVE
September 5, 2009 (El Cajon) – In 2004, the City of El Cajon adopted a tough ordinance to make retailers who sell tobacco to minors risk the same penalty as those who sell alcohol to under-age customers: suspension or revocation of their licenses. The program has proven effective: sales of tobacco to minors has dropped from 40% before the ordinance to just 5% in 2008, according to a report presented to the El Cajon City Council in late August.