Communities

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more!

Bring a dish to share!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

EAST COUNTY REALTORS TRADE GROUP HELPING COMMUNITY NONPROFITS IN NEED

East County News Service 

December 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors with an office in El Cajon, recently awarded $13,500 to four local nonprofits. The monies represented proceeds from two PSAR fundraising events held in 2019.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN LA MESA THIS FRIDAY: POLICE ALSO PLAN EXTRA PATROLS THROUGH HOLIDAY SEASON

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department encourages everyone attending holiday parties and gatherings where alcohol may be involved to use a designated sober driver. From December 13th to New Year’s, the department will have extra officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 

In addition, the LMPD Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on Friday, December 13 at an undisclosed location within the city limits, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2 a.m. 

FOOTHILLS CHURCH IN EL CAJON FEATURES NIGHTLY CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY; 100,000 LIGHTS SYNCHRONIZED TO MUSIC

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon, is presenting its third annual “Christmas Nights at Foothills,” a free, nightly, synched-music Christmas light show featuring more than 100,000 lights, from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Motorists are invited to drive along West Bradley Drive, tune their car radio to 104.1-FM and enjoy the holiday light display that is synchronized to music.

FLEEING SUSPECT HITS VEHICLE, THEN CAUSES DEPUTIES TO COLLIDE IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Ryan

December 11, 2019 (Lakeside) – Sheriff’s deputies in Lakeside received a call reporting a man in a vehicle holding a gun in the 9600 block of Marilla Drive last night around 5:25 p.m.  When deputies arrived, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a short pursuit ensued.

The suspect ran a stop sign and struck a civilian vehicle, but kept going. “The suspect came to an abrupt stop in the middle of Lakeshore Drive, causing the pursuing deputies to collide with one another as well as the suspect vehicle,” says Sergeant Amber Reeves.

PASSAGES: POTRERO RESIDENT JACQUELINE “JACKIE” HICKS, 92

December 11. 2019 (Potrero) -- Jacqueline "Jackie" Eleanor Hicks, age 92, who was born in San Francisco, passed away peacefully at home on November 21, 2019.  Her smile and loving ways will be missed by all who new her, especially her husband of 74 years, Earl Hicks along with her 5 surviving children; Stephanie, Valerie, Jennifer, Paul and Jessica - preceding her in death where her 3 boys; Thomas, James, and Timothy.  She is also survived by; 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and 2 Godchildren.  Jackie, as most people called her, made friends everywhere, especially in San Diego's back country.  When moving to Potrero, with her husband and children over 40 years ago, she immediately became a parishioner of St. Adelaide of the Burgundy Catholic Church in Campo.  Throughout the year's she gave of her time and talents to many activities and events while raising her large family.

Services will be held at St. Adelaide's Catholic Church, located at 1347 Dewey Place, Campo, CA 91906, on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The Rosary will take place at 1:00 p.m. and Mass 1:30 p.m.  A reception will immediately follow.  Cards of condolence my be sent to Earl Hicks, PO Box 107, Potrero, CA 91963. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made, in here name, to St. Adelaide Catholic Church or St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004-1001 or online at http://www.stlabre.org

APARTMENT FIRE DISPLACES 23 PEOPLE IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

By Jonathan Goetz and Miriam Raftery
Photo: Jerald Western
 
December 9, 2019 (Bostonia) – A condominium fire at the Bradley Condos in the Bostonia community has displaced 23 residents and damaged nine units, according to Lakeside Fire Battalion Chief Andy Lawler.  The complex is located just east of Highway 67 and one exit north of Interstate 8. There is a fire station adjacent to the gated community, and it was sprinkling rain around the time.
 
The first firefighters on the scene from San Miguel Fire & Rescue saw light smoke and believe the fire started between walls, quickly spreading to adjacent units and the roof, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Firefighters from Lakeside, Santee and Heartland also provided mutual aid response.

POLICE SEEK HELP TO SOLVE STREET ROBBERIES IN EAST EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is warning the public about a rise in street robberies, some targeting elderly men. The robberies have occurred in the vicinity of the 1000 block of East Main Street and the 800 block of Buena Terrace in recent weeks.

SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.

POWAY BOIL-WATER ORDER LIFTED: PUBLIC URGED TO DINE AT POWAY RESTAURANTS TO HELP WORKERS HURT BY SHUTDOWN

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (Poway) – A boil-water order has been lifted in Poway, where residents can now drink tap water after first flushing out plumbing lines, replacing filters and throwing away ice. State testing found the water safe to drink, nearly a week after stormwater runoff contaminated a clearwell reservoir.

Hardest hit are restaurants forced to shut down, and their employees. The North San Diego Business Chamber is asking the community to dine in Poway Dec. 9-15, adding, “As the holidays approach, we ask that you dine at these businesses and support their employees, so they too can have a holiday season without any added stress.” Find a list of Poway restaurants at the bottom of this article.

MERCY AMBULANCE SKIDS OFF ROAD, LEAVING JULIAN WITHOUT MEDICAL RESPONSE FOR HOURS AS TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS EXPERIENCE “SNOWMAGEDDON”



Accident occurs soon after County Fire Authority/Cal Fire hauled away four-wheel-drive ambulances and fire engines formerly run by Julian’s volunteer fire department

County, Cal Fire and Mercy Medical Transportation fail to answer questions or provide solutions to prevent future fiascos

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

December 6, 2019 (Julian) -- As San Diegans rushed up to the mountain community of Julian last Saturday to play in the snow, a Mercy Medical Transportation, Inc. two-wheel drive ambulance under contract to the San Diego County Fire Authority and Cal Fire missed a curve on State Highway 78, landed off the side of the road and got stuck in snow for hours.

The incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. near Jess Martin Park. According to sources familiar with the situation, the two-man crew had been dispatched all the way from Valley Center, since Julian no longer has a locally stationed ambulance. The crew was reportedly unhurt and had been on the way to Julian Fire Station No. 56. It wasn’t until around 1 p.m. that a tow truck arrived to extricate the ambulance. It is unclear why neither Mercy or Cal Fire could provide a winch to free the vehicle sooner.

PRESCRIBED FIRE BURNS PLANNED AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Source:  CA Department of Parks and Recreation

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) - The California Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection (CAL FIRE) and other agencies are planning to conduct prescribed burns and pile burns in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park between Dec. 16, 2019 and April 30, 2020.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS FIND AND RESCUE DESERTED MIGRANT WITH HELP FROM VOLUNTEERS

Source: Border Patrol 

December 5, 2019 (Dulzura) -- On Thanksgiving Day, a 34-year-old Mexican national with life threatening injuries was left behind by a criminal organization that tried smuggling him into the country.  

MASKED SUSPECTS WANTED AFTER ATTACKING RESIDENT DURING HOT PROWL BURGLARY IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – Three masked men forced their way into a home in the 1400 block of 5 D Drive in unincorporated El Cajon shortly before 9 p.m. last night.  The homeowner told police that her adult son heard a knock at the front door and opened it to find the three intruders, all armed. One of the intruders struck the son in the head, injuring him.

RAMONA HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS INCLUDES HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MUSIC, AND WINE TASTING

East County News Service

December 4, 2019 (Ramona) -- This year’s Ramona Holiday Wine Trail runs four weekends to make sure you have time to cover all 18 participating wine-tasting venues and take advantage of all that the Holiday Wine Trail has to offer. The event includes holiday shopping at wineries as well as live music, special events and promotions plus of course, wine tasting.  This year, the wine trail runs each Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

GOLDEN SPIKE CEREMONY CROWNS RAILWAY’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION IN CAMPO

Video of golden spike driven in by actor Jake Schaible portraying John D. Spreckels at centennial  https://youtu.be/n2MQr565uq4 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2019 (Campo) – Four days after Armistice Day in 1919 ended World War I, John D. Spreckels drove in a golden spike to complete the San Diego & Arizona Railway in Carrizo Gorge.  That historic event was recreated on November 16, 2019 at the centennial of the historic occasion celebrated at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum.

Spreckels originally “missed the spike, they reset it, he bent it, and then nailed it,” said Allen Semelsberger, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s archivist in a previously published report. True to historical detail, actor Jake Schaible portrayed Spreckels at the centennial, swinging and missing a replica of the spike before ultimately driving it in before a large crowd, including members of the Spreckels family in the front row. 

TOUR SANTA’S TREEHOUSE DEC. 7-8 FEATURED ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “TREEHOUSE MASTERS” & MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 4, 2019 (Jamul) Want your picture with a Santa that is registered with FORBS (fraternal order of the real bearded santas)? And, not only that, but have your picture in a Christmas-themed treehouse built by Treehouse Masters of Animal Planet fame?

Your chance to do that is here.  Kathie Wellington, of Jamul, is offering that opportunity and more this weekend, Dec. 7 -8th, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m.  The cost is $50 per family but is a fundraiser for families in need. Originally, Santa’s Treehouse opened Christmas 2013.

COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT WILL HAVE A SECOND DEBRIEFING TONIGHT WITH VALLE DE ORO COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Valle de Oro Community Planning Group will have a second public meeting tonight to receive community input about the proposal to turn Cottonwood Golf Course into a sand mine for the next decade. The golf course is located on Willow Glen Drive in a residential area in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon and on federally protected land that’s part of the South County Multiple Species Conservation program. 

The public meeting tonight is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Otay Water District Headquarters, 2554 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SNOW

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: Mount Laguna (Miriam Raftery)
 
December 3, 2019 (San Diego) - The following are tips and considerations for you if you plan to drive up to the snow:
  • Be prepared for significant traffic delays in both directions due to both road conditions and the sheer volume of motorists. Prior snowfalls have left drivers in up to five-hour waits on the roads.
  • You should have a full tank of gas. Don’t count on filling up along the way.

LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.

COUNTY SETS DEFINITIVE DATE TO BREAK GROUND FOR LONG AWAITED LAKESIDE EQUESTRIAN PARK

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (Lakeside) -- County representatives met with the East County Equestrian Foundation last month to announce that construction for the park will finally start in March of 2020. The initial plan prognosticated a groundbreaking ceremony for late 2018 or early 2019, but as the locals said, better late than never. 

The next stage is organizing a bid for construction that is estimated to take 18 months. The county predicts the equestrian park would attract as many as 300 attendees for large events that “are anticipated to take place a few times each year,” per the County’s website for this project. 

EL CAPITAN HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES OPENING OF EVENTS CENTER

East County News Service

Photo courtesy GUHSD

December 2, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Grossmont Union High School District celebrated the grand opening of the El Capitan High School’s new Event Center (@ECHSVaqueros) in November. The new 15,886 SF multi-purpose facility at the Lakeside campus will support the instrumental, choral and dramatic arts programs.

POWAY ISOLATES WATER PROBLEM, AWAITS STATE APPROVAL TO LIFT BOIL WATER ADVISORY

 

Mayor Vaus responds to Anderson smear effort over water quality question

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via City of Poway on Twitter: City provides bottled water for residents

December 2, 2019 (Poway) – One day after the city of Poway issued a boil-water advisory for tap water due to stormwater runoff contamination, the city issued a statement late yesterday indicating city tests have found chlorine residulals meet standards, “but that “The city is not able to rescind the precautionary boil-water advisory until the state is satisfied with testing results.”

In an interview this morning with East County Magazine, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus revealed, “We have isolated the source of the rain water. We have repaired it.” Though still awaiting test results from the state expected soon, Mayor Vaus says the water has been safe throughout the incident. 

“I’m drinking it now. I’m giving it to my pets,” he told ECM.

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