SANDAG REPORT SHOWS CRIME TRENDS ACROSS REGION

NEW STORM TO BRING STRONG WINDS AND RAIN

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON SMOKE-FREE PARKS

ELEVENTH ANNUAL SANTEE STREET FAIR AND SIXTH ANNUAL CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MAY 25

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND JUNE EVENTS

LA MESA FARMERS MARKET MAY END IN AUGUST UNLESS A NEW OPERATOR COMES FORWARD

FPPC SENDS WARNING LETTER TO BILL BABER, LA MESA COUNCILMAN AND SAN DIEGO ETHICS COMMISSION MEMBER

EL CAJON FIRE WAS CAUSED BY HASH LAB EXPLOSION

ATTORNEY CORY BRIGGS REPRESENTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE IN ACTION AGAINST CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

D-DAY VETERAN HONORED AT TRUMP’ S STATE OF UNION ADDRESS ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR FOR CONGRESS IN RACE AGANST HUNTER, A VETERAN

BUSINESSMAN AND PLANNING COMMISSIONER PHIL ORTIZ APPOINTED TO FILL FORMER EL CAJON COUNCILMAN KALASHO’S SEAT

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO BUCKBOARDS BARBECUE AND BREW IN EL CAJON MAY 29

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA STUDENT NOMINATED FOR 2019 BROADWAY SAN DIEGO AWARDS

 

 

Source: Steele Canyon High School

Photo:  Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur, courtesy of Steele Canyon High School

May 21, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur, a senior with the Steele Canyon High School Drama Department, has received a Broadway San Diego Awards nomination as Best Actress for her role as Eponine in the SCHS spring production of Les Misérables. 

SANDAG REPORT SHOWS CRIME TRENDS ACROSS REGION

 

 

East County News Service

May 21, 2019 (San Diego) --  A new report by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) shows crime in all San Diego County Sheriff's Department patrol areas is down, though some other jurisdictions had increases. The Sheriff is responsible for all unincorporated parts of the county as well as several incorporated cities including Santee, Lemon Grove and Poway in our inland region.

FOOD WASTE FUELS LA MESA’S DIESEL FLEET

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 21, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa’s diesel fleet now runs on renewable diesel, an environmentally sustainable, non-petroleum fuel sourced from food waste and agricultural products.  
 
The change to renewable diesel will reduce greenhouse emissions from the City’s diesel fleet by approximately 65%.

NEW STORM TO BRING STRONG WINDS AND RAIN

 

 

Yet another storm to follow next weekend

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Another late-season Pacific storm set to hit our region Tuesday night through Wednesday, bringing rain and strong westerly winds over local mountains, deserts and coastal areas. Gusts up to 81 miles an hour are forecast for Mount Laguna, with gusts over 60 mph forecast in Julian and Borrego Springs.

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON SMOKE-FREE PARKS

 
 
East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons b S.A.
 
May 20, 2019 (Santee) – Santee is the last city in San Diego County to allow smoking in public parks.  In January 2018, the City Council voted to make trails in Santee smoke-free, but didn’t commit to ban smoking in parks or open spaces. But after a workshop on municipal code updates at which residents and public health advocates asked for better protection from secondhand smoke, Council members asked staff in May to include smoke-free parks in a municipal code update. 

CHICK-FIL-A IN LA MESA, SANTEE HONORING MILITARY FAMILIES WITH FREE FOOD AT MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT MAY 22

 

 

East County News Service

May 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County will honor the community’s military personnel and their families with a Military Appreciation Night from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22. Chick-fil-A restaurants in East County are located at 8200 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa and 9418 Mission Gorge Road, Santee.

EAST COUNTY ALUMNI BASEBALL HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

East County News Service

Photo via Zimbio

May 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - Two former East County alums made waves for the Padres.  Valhalla Norseman alum Greg Garcia went 1 for 3 with a double and one run scored for the Padres as they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 on Sunday.  Former Grossmont Foothiller Joe Musgrove improved his record to 3-4 as he pitched 6.1 innings and gave up four hits, four runs (three earned), one walk and four strikeouts for the Bucs. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL'S SEASON BEGINS ON JUNE 2

 

 

Source:  San Diego County American Legion Baseball

May 20, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County American Legion Baseball is comprised of the greater San Diego County and offers an abundance of High School talent. Historically, San Diego was once a prominent region for Legion Baseball. In the The American Legion World Series, San Diego teams were crowned National Champions in 1938, 1941 and 1954. For whatever reason in the 1980's, San Diego County American Legion Baseball disappeared.

ELEVENTH ANNUAL SANTEE STREET FAIR AND SIXTH ANNUAL CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MAY 25

 

 

Santee Chamber of Commerce celebrates with family-friendly fun, craft beer and the honoring of military members 

East County News Service

May 20, 2019 (Santee) -- Join more than 30,000 visitors at the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 25 at Town Center Parkway and Riverview Parkway in Santee.  The Street Fair is celebrating its 11th year and offers family-friendly games, live music and entertainment, over 300 various food and vendor booths, artists, carnival rides, a kid’s zone and more. The Craft Beer Festival is back for its sixth year and will feature award-winning craft beer samples from local breweries and beyond. The street fair starts at 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Craft Beer Festival starts at 11:30 am to 5:30 p.m.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND JUNE EVENTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – This Memorial Day Weekend, events include the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival, a Living History program on Mount Laguna, the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’  contest, a hike across the Santa Ysabel Preserve, an a-capella concert by Chamber Bravura in La Mesa, and a Warrior Hike Challenge at El Capitan County Preserve in Lakeside.  On the last weekend of May, Kidz Danz Kompany presents Visions of Broadway and the Musica En La Plaza series opens in Escondido.

Plus we’ll have a preview of some joyful June events including La Mesa’s flag day parade, Lavender Days at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, night fishing at Santee Lakes, a Father’s Day pit barbecue in Santa Ysabel,  Fido Fest in Santee, the Anomar Arts Festival in Ramona, and some all summer long event series including outdoor concerts in La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon and Santee, classic cruises and movies in the park.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

LA MESA FARMERS MARKET MAY END IN AUGUST UNLESS A NEW OPERATOR COMES FORWARD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2019 (La Mesa) – Frustrated by a lack of compromise between local businesses for and against the Friday night farmers market in downtown La Mesa, the city council has voted unanimously to end its contract with the La Mesa Village Association to run the market.  Council will put out a request for proposals from other operators to potentially move the market to another location or a different day,or keep the same location and days, but with improvements to resolve the rift.

If no entity comes forward, East County’s longest running farmer’s market could end after July 31, when the LMVA contract runs out.

CALIFORNIA'S CONTROVERSIAL PRO-DEVELOPMENT HOUSING BILL UNEXPECTEDLY SHELVED

 

 

By Matt Levin and Ben Christopher, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

May 19, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - Shock. Depression. Relief.

Those were just some of the reactions as the year’s most controversial state housing bill met its sudden demise. But very few people—supporters, opponents, and even the author himself—can claim to have seen this coming.

VISIONS OF BROADWAY: KIDZ DANZ KOMPANY TAKES TALENTS TO HORTON GRAND THEATRE MAY 31 - JUNE 1

 

 

East County News Service

May 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- The critically-acclaimed and award-winning Kidz Danz Kompany, based in La Mesa with Visionary Dance Theatre, will present “Visions of Broadway” at the Horton Grand Theater (444 Fourth Ave, San Diego)  May 31 - June 1 at 7 p.m.

LAVENDER DAY AND ANTIQUE FAIR JUNE 8 AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS

 

 

East County News Service

May 18, 2019 (Flinn Springs) – Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs invites you to come celebrate the fragrance and beauty of lavender at a Lavender Festival and Antique Fair on Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SDSU BASEBALL FALLS TO UNM IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE

 

 

Aztecs score three runs in the ninth inning of 7-4 loss

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

May 18, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego State baseball team capped the 2019 regular season with a 7-4 loss against New Mexico on Saturday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs finish the regular season with a 32-23 record (16-13 Mountain West), while New Mexico finishes 2019 with a 23-28-1 record (11-16-1 MW). 

FPPC SENDS WARNING LETTER TO BILL BABER, LA MESA COUNCILMAN AND SAN DIEGO ETHICS COMMISSION MEMBER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 18, 2019 (La Mesa) — The California Fair Political Practice Commission has sent a warning letter to Bill Baber for failing as treasurer of the Better East County Committee to file a timely 24-hour contribution report during the November 6, 2018 election. Baber, a La Mesa City Councilman and member of the San Diego Ethics Commission, could be fined up to $5,000 per violation, the Feb. 6 letter states.  

EL CAJON FIRE WAS CAUSED BY HASH LAB EXPLOSION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Last night’s major fire at 920 El Cajon Blvd. in El Cajon was caused by an explosion at an illegal hash oil extraction lab which caused burn injuries to one victim. The explosion occurred less than two weeks after a hash oil lab exploded in Mira Mesa, seriously injuring three people.

FORMER TEACHER AT CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN EL CAJON ARRESTED FOR RAPES

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s Department arrested Dustin Sniff, a.k.a. Dustin Stevens, a former teacher at Christian High School in El Cajon, on May 15. He is charged with rape and sexual assault of a minor. Six victims ranged from 16 to 22 years of age, including two of his students.

GROUPS PAN PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NEW IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL AS ELITIST

 

 

By Suzanne Potter, California Public News Service

May 17, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Immigrants' rights groups are speaking out against President Donald Trump's new immigration proposal - unveiled yesterday - saying it betrays American values and ignores the thorniest issues that have thus far held up a comprehensive immigration deal in Congress. 

ATTORNEY CORY BRIGGS REPRESENTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE IN ACTION AGAINST CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

“Based on your agency’s history of deleting audio recordings of board meetings, it has become necessary for reporters to record the meetings because your agency cannot be trusted to carry out this basic governance function.Now that all board members are on notice of the fact that the public must perform this function, any member’s participation in a meeting at which the public has been thwarted in its efforts to make a recording will subject the member to criminal prosecution.” – Attorney Cory Briggs, in a letter to the CVUSD.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  ECM's recording device, a cell-phone sized recorder on a small tripod next to the front left seat, is clearly not obstructive or disruptive at the May 7 board workshop.

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – “Despite lawfully occupying open seats in the front  row, reporters have been threatened with arrest, removal, or both if they did not move to the back of the room,” states a letter sent by Attorney Cory Briggs of Briggs Law Corporation to Cajon Valley Union School District yesterday on behalf of ECM. His letter makes clear that such conduct is “flatly illegal.”

On May 7, Ryan Love, safety and security officer for the district, ordered ECM contributing editor Paul Kruze and editor Miriam Raftery to move to the back, where we explained that audio recordings would not turn out due to noise from an air conditioner and the audience. We refused to comply with this illegal request. 

On May 14, Love again demanded that Kruze move from the front row to the back, and Kruze again refused. Kruze says he was told that an El Cajon Police officer would be called to arrest him.

BUSINESSMAN AND PLANNING COMMISSIONER PHIL ORTIZ APPOINTED TO FILL FORMER EL CAJON COUNCILMAN KALASHO’S SEAT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

May 17, 2919 (El Cajon) --In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday approved planning commissioner and businessman David “Phil” Ortiz to fill the seat formerly held by Ben Kalasho. Ortiz edged out three other finalists for the position: Richard Agundez, Anthony Sottile, and Humbert Cabrera.

Other applicants were Gladys “Jo” Alegria, Juan Barajas, Richard Campbell, Margaret Carlson, Estela De Los Rio, James Elia, Mark Jamil, former El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, Amanda McGimpsey, Juan Carlos, Mercado, Michelle Metschel, Abraham Muheize, Nancy Wilson, and Steven Woods. Community activist Stephanie Harper dropped out of the race at Tuesday’s meeting. See our prior coverage for highlights on all 22 candidates.

Owner and CEO of New Earth Energy Specialists Inc. and a pastor of Foothills Church, Ortiz is also an active community volunteer. He serves on the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is founding member of the El Cajon Community Clean Up Group.  He has a B.A. degree in criminal justice administration from SDSU and a master’s in organizational management with emphasis in public administration.

According to his application with the city, his top priorities are public safety, including making retention of officers a priority, homelessness, including partnering with local organizations and having metrics to determine programs effectiveness, and having a balanced budget plus revitalization and incentivization to build on vacant lots.

Watch a streaming video of Tuesday’s evening's council session here and scroll down for details.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NAMES RICK WILSON AS NEW PRESIDENT & CEO

 

 

East County News Service

May 17, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of San Diego native Rick Wilson as its new president and CEO.

Wilson succeeds Joe Mackey, the most recent El Cajon Citizen of the Year recipient who served as the Chamber’s interim CEO following the departure this past January of Eric Lund, who had served as the Chamber’s top executive since 2014. Lund relocated to Colorado for a job as CEO of Visit Estes Park, a local tourism bureau.

D-DAY VETERAN HONORED AT TRUMP’ S STATE OF UNION ADDRESS ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR FOR CONGRESS IN RACE AGANST HUNTER, A VETERAN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Retired Pvt. First Class Joseph Reilly, courtesy of the White House website

May 17, 2019 (San Diego) – Joseph Reilly, a D-Day veteran who parachuted behind enemy lines in Britain and fought other battles to help liberate Eastern Europe during World War II, has made his first political endorsement at age 97.  Reilly, whose courageous actions were honored by Donald Trump at the President’s State of the Union Address, has endorsed Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrat running against indicted Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional district.

Hunter has been a strong supporter of Trump on the  campaign and during Trump’s presidency. But Reilly, a former Army private, said in a statement that he is “proud” to support Campa-Najjar because Hunter “has now crossed the line twice. First when he betrayed the public in order to enrich himself, and now again when he  makes such shameful and false attacks in order to hold onto his power.”

Hunter, a combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan, is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges. He and his wife are accusing of taking over $250,000 from his campaign and spending it on lavish personal expenditures including family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, jewelry, oral surgery bills, tuition at his children’s private school, and airfare for his son’s pet rabbit.

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO BUCKBOARDS BARBECUE AND BREW IN EL CAJON MAY 29

 

You're invited to the East County Dining Club's next dining adventure at Buckboard’s Barbecue & Brew in El Cajon (975 Greenfield Drive) on Wednesday, May 29 at 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome!

Buckboard’s is brand new to El Cajon, but they’ve been serving up amazing BBQ for 30 years in San Diego before moving to East County. The chef formerly worked as a top chef at Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, a Michelin-caliber restaurant. If you love barbecue, you’ll want to try out Buckboard’s! 

Buckboard’s is famous for their Santa Maria-style slow-cooked barbecue, with meat that is brined and marinated for five days before being cooked over the open flames. 

They also have a full range of craft beers as well as some good wines and a full bar for cocktails and more. 

RSVPs are required for this event no later than May 24 so the restaurant can be prepared with a feast for our hungry members and guests!

 Earlybird RSVP’s by May 16  will be entered in a special prize drawing.  

RSVP: editor@eastcountymagazine.org or call 619 698 7617.

 

AUTO DEALERSHIP FIRE DOUSED IN EL CAJON; BURN VICTIM TRANSPORTED TO UCSD MEDICAL CENTER



Updated at 11:02 with information on burn victim and estimated damge.

May 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A major fire has caused an estimated $100,000 of damage to a  structure at the New 2 You Autos used vehicle dealership at 930 El Cajon Blvd. near Washington in El Cajon tonight.  The fire is now extinguished.

The fire was reported at 9:13 p.m. by a caller from a nearby Walmart who was involved in the fire. He has been transported to the UCSD Medical Center burn unit.

Division Chief Mike Chasin told the press that this is the second fire at a car dealership recently, following a fire at a Mercedes Benz dealership last week.

Chemicals were found at the scene tonight and an arson investigation will be done, Chief Chasen confirms.. ECM reporter Paul Kruze reports at least eight fire engines were present to battle the blaze. A Hazmat unit arrived at 10:45 p.m. 

ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES SNEAK OUT GAME ONE WIN AGAINST BUCS

 

 

By Liz Alper

 

Photo: Francisco Liriano took over after San Diego native Trevor Williams (Rancho Bernardo HS alum like our sportswriter) gave up a home run to Franmil Reyes in the third. Via @Pirates on Twitter

 

May 16, 2019 (San Diego) - After a lackluster series in Los Angeles, the Padres headed back down south to home to welcome the Pirates for the weekend.  Trevor Williams started for Pittsburgh against Eric Lauer.

AZTECS MEN'S AND WOMEN'S TENNIS TO HOST TWO CAMPS THIS SUMMER

 

 

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

May 16, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego State men’s and women’s tennis programs will offer youth tennis camps this summer, which will be led by men’s assistant coach Jeff Thomsen and women’s assistant coach Nico Vinel. Two camp weeks will be offered, first from July 22-26 and again from July 29 through August 2, both at the Aztec Tennis Center.

CELEBRATION OF FLAVORS AT “TASTE OF SAN DIEGO EAST” JUNE 3RD

 

 

East County News Service

May 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to savor the flavors of restaurants across East County at “Taste of San Diego East” on Monday, June 3 from 5-8 p.m. at the Town and Country Hotel’s Golden Ballroom (500 Hotel Circe North) in Mission Valley.

CAJON VALLEY BOARD ATTACKS MEDIA, DECLINES TO RECONSIDER OTERO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT DESPITE CONFLICT OF INTEREST QUESTIONS

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

May 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Cajon Valley Union School District stepped up its war on the media during its May 7th board workshop.  A guard demanded that East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery and contributing editor Paul Kruze move from the front row to the back, in a clear effort to prevent the investigative journalists from recording an audible copy of the meeting. Both refused, citing First Amendment freedom of the press and the district’s continued non-compliance with California public records act requests to receive audios of past meetings.

 At a subsequent meeting May 14, the guard repeated this demand for Kruze to move out of a front row seat, even threatening to the El Cajon Police for “disruption” if he would not comply. Kruze’s recording device is inobtrusive, about the size of a cell phone. There is nothing inherently disruptive about a journalist quietly recording a meeting, which is a right guaranteed to any citizen by the California Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s public records act.

These intimidation tactics come after the board admitted destroying recordings of public meetings despite our requests for the recordings.  After receiving a cease and desist letter from an attorney at CalAware, the board on March 29 responded with a letter agreeing to comply with the law, as we reported, but has not done so. The board also voted to retain recordings for a year and make copies available on request. But the  district’s lawyer claims our more records request, along with other emails sent to multiple  people at the district, all went to a spam folder.

Audio: 

Board Workshop Public Comments
Board Workshop complete

CAL FIRE INVESTIGATORS DETERMINE CAMP FIRE CAUSED BY PG&E POWER LINES

 

 

East County News Service

May 16, 2019 (Sacramento) -- The Camp Fire in Butte County, started the morning of November 8, 2018, and burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroying 18,804 structures and resulting in 85 civilian fatalities and several firefighter injuries. The Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. 

Pages