Communities

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE VOLUNTEERS CHALLENGE CAL FIRE/COUNTY FIRE CHIEF TONY MECHAM'S MEDICAL ASSISTANCE CLAIM

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

October 18, 2019 (Julian) -- San Diego County Fire Authority/CAL FIRE Chief Tony Mecham raised alarms about a medical situation at the Julian Fire Station No. 56, which led San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp to issue a court order in late May that forced Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District volunteers out of the embattled fire station. But volunteers with the JCFPD vigorously dispute Mecham’s assertions and contend he misconstrued the matter.

WESTMONT RETIREMENT COMMUNITY HOSTS GRAND OPENING: PUBLC TOURS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 18, 2019 (La Mesa) – Westmont of La Mesa invites the public to a tour, buffet lunch, entertainment and prizes this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The upscale facility features independent living and assisted living, including memory care, at its location at 9000 Murray Drive at Wakarusa.

This 130,00-square foot, three story retirement community includes 50,000 square feet of common area space will include a common meeting room that can be used by community groups for meetings and workshops, along with a pool that can be used for aqua aerobics for residents, as well as the community.

DESERTED AMUSEMENT PARK IS HOME TO SCARE TRAIL FOR HALLOWEEN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Scare Trail at The Haunted Amusement Park, located in the long-deserted Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park in El Cajon, is the perfect setting for chilling thrills during this Halloween season. You have until Oct. 31 to scare yourself silly before they close.

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THE SALVATION ARMY'S EL CAJON RED SHIELD CENTER OPENS TO SERVE EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

(October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Salvation Army of San Diego announces the opening of the newly completed Red Shield Center at 1025 E. Main Street in El Cajon.

Located on the property adjacent to the current El Cajon Corps, the 29,540-square foot facility will offer more opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in need in the East County. The facility will open Saturday November 2nd. There will be a ribbon cutting with dignitaries at 10am. The public is invited to enjoy the space starting at 11:00am with free tours, games and food.

SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO START LOCAL FIRE SAFE COUNCILS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF WILDFIRE

East County News Service

October 16, 2019 (San Diego) -- Because fire season is now a year-round threat in San Diego, enlisting the support of community volunteers is critical to ensure the safety of the County. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is encouraging communities to create local fire safe councils to increase their neighborhood’s chances of surviving a wildfire. San Diego County currently has 41 community fire safe councils – the most of any county in the state – and they want to see that number grow.  

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING DEPUTIES AND STABBING K-9 DOG IN JAMUL

East County News Service
 
October 15, 2019 (Jamul) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego station have arrested Richard Lechuga, 29, of San Diego following a violent altercation this morning in Jamul.
 
The deputies received a radio call requesting a welfare check on a man seen walking around a vehicle and talking to himself in the 15000 block of Skyline Truck Trail I Jamul around 10:10 a.m.  They found Lechuga sitting in a vehicle. But when deputies approached, he sprayed three of them with bear spray through an open window, then brandished a knife and what appeared to be a handgun.

KUMEYAAY ANCIENT ROCK ART BOOKS DONATED TO SCHOOLS

East County News Service

October 15, 2019 (San Diego, CA) -- For the past two years the Mountain Empire Unified School District’s Teachers and Native students received a gift of 500 full-color books including the photography and research of historical Kumeyaay rock art. Much of the rock art located along the U.S./Mexico border is within the school district’s boundaries. 

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LA MESA POLICE AWARDED GRANT FOR BICYCLE, PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

Source: La Mesa Police Dept.

In an alarming trend, there have been 86 injury collisions in La Mesa between January 2013 and December 2015 involving pedestrians, resulting in 61 injuries and 4 fatalities. “This is a significant increase in serious pedestrian related collisions.” -- LMPD

October 15, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department received a $25,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to fund a year-long program aimed at improving the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.


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YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY OCT. 26!

 

Join East County Magazine at our Haunted Mt. Helix Manor for our annual Halloween party!

(RSVP for address)

Open to all subscribers (subscribe free at the top right side of our homepage):

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26  

4 p.m.- 8 p.m.

 

  • Bring a devilishly delicious dish to share
  • Live music by Shay Skylar
  • Costume contest and parade
  • Prizes and surprises! (Prize donations welcome)

Cost $16 in advance, $20 at the door.  GET TICKETS: 

LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES TRAFFIC EDUCATION AND ENFORCEMENT GRANT

Source: La Mesa Police
 
October 15, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department has been awarded a $95,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The program will include a variety of outreach to educate the public, as well as enforcement actions ranging from DUI patrols to seat belt and child safety seat compliance.

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

SUPERVISOR JACOB ASKS BOARD TO APPROVE EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTE FOR CREST

Update: This item was approved by Supervisors on the consent calendar.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
File photo: Crest Fire Safe Council, 2011
 
October 14, 2019 (Crest) – During the 2003 Cedar Fire that destroyed many homes in Crest, community residents found themselves trapped in gridlock on La Cresta Road, the primary evacuation route. On Tuesday, October 15, Supervisor Dianne Jacob will ask the County Board of Supervisors to approve acquiring easements from landowners over Suncrest Truck Trial as an emergency evacuation route.

PUMPKIN PATCH AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS HAS CORN MAZE AND MORE

East County News Service

 

October 14, 2019 (Flinn Springs) — “Fall is our favorite time at Summers Past Farms!” states an invitation to the Flinn Springs farm’s fun and festive pumpkin patch. You’ll also find a corn maze for kids and an inflatable jump, along with a field of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes to choose from.

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2019 (Valley Center) – Readers of East County Magazine have seen our stories through the years on the beautiful and fragrant fields of lavender blooms and events such as high teas held at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in northeast San Diego County. But now, the farm is up for sale – and owner Alicia Wolff is seeking “the perfect buyer – one who may continue my dream…while living their own dream.”

BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Site of the planned Lilac hills housing development in Valley Center

October 13, 2019 (San Diego) – A battle is brewing over the future of San Diego’s backcountry. A countywide initiative called “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” or “SOS” will appear on ballots in the March 3rd  election.  If approved by voters, it would require the county to give the people a vote on large housing developments that require general plan amendments to increase density in rural and semi-rural areas.

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

By Mike Allen

October 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which encompasses about 72 square miles, will see their rates for both water and sewage increase starting Nov. 1--and then go up again, starting on Jan. 1.

WHOA! THIEVES STEAL IRON HORSE STATUE FROM FEED AND TACK STORE IN RURAL EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: The stolen statue was similar to the one pictured.

 

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Be on the lookout for a stolen horse – no, not the galloping variety.  A 12-foot-high, 400+ pound iron horse statue was taken by thieves using a long, flatbed truck from the Double S Tack and Feed Store at 14335 Olde Highway 80 in unincorporated El Cajon.

EAST COUNTY MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 2 AIMS TO DOUBLE ITS NUMBERS IN THIRD YEAR

East County News Service

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Welcome Newcomer Network will host its third Multicultural Festival on November 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at EJE Academies, 851 Johnson Ave. in El Cajon.

The event will include multicultural food, cultural dance, a show of traditional costumes, story-telling, games and raffle drawings. Organizers say that they anticipate close to 1,500 attendees this year. 

CORTNEY BAYUK CHOOSES AN ADVENTUROUS LIFE

BBrian E. Clark

 

Cover photo:  Cortney guiding a raft through the Warm Springs Rapid on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado/Utah border.  By Mike McCoy

 

October 12, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Cortney Bayuk says she’s “living the dream.”

 

The 24-year-old Rancho San Diego native works as a whitewater river guide - mostly on the Colorado/Utah border - during summers and as ski instructor during the winters in Idaho. 

SAN DIEGO GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNUAL GREEN HOMES TOUR ON OCT. 19-20

Public tour expands to two days to showcase San Diego County’s most innovative eco-friendly residences

East County News Service

Photo: Straw bale home in Jamul

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC), a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable building and community practices in San Diego, will host its 10th annual Green Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20. In response to growing public interest in the green movement and an abundance of groundbreaking projects in the region, the Tour has been expanded this year to two full days, showcasing a diverse collection of the most innovative eco-friendly homes in the San Diego region including several in East County.

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

 

Update: A second resource center has been opened at the Golden Acorn Casino in Campo.

395 customers of SDG&E are currently without power; outages could impact up to 17,771, the utility warns

October 11, 2019 (Descanso) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open a Community Resource Center today, Friday, October 11 at 8:00 a.m. in Descanso, CA due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available and residents can charge devices, as well as get up-to-date information about power outages at the Center.

Community Resource Center location: Descanso Public Library (9545 River Drive, Descanso, CA 91916) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Additional resouce centers may open if the outage area is extended.

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

EL CAJON SEWER TESTS USING HARMLESS ARTIFICIAL SMOKE

Source: City of El Cajon

 

October 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – If you see smoking sewer lines in El Cajon over the next month, don’t worry!  The City of El Cajon plans to test portions of the sewer system using a non-toxic, non-staining artificial smoke substance. The test will help locate possible leaks, defects, improper connections and the source of storm water infiltration into the sewer system.

EAST COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHER IS A WINNER

By Judy Edelblute, Coordinator of St. Mark's Art Shows
 
October 10, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon photographer Jim Lemen won second place in the 16th annual Digital Art and Photography Show at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, San Diego with a photograph entitled "Mud Run Friends." The other winners were Beverly Brock, first place, Clairemont; third place, T. Antoinette Fassel, University City and Honorable Mention Awards for Nelda Harris, Clairemont and Bill Rehm, Coronado. The show, which has the theme "Surprised by Joy," has 27 works by 13 artists. It will run October 6 - November 3. The show is open for FREE public viewing Saturdays October 12, 19, 26, and November 2, 12-4pm. To see the show outside these hours, call the church office at 858-273-1480 and make an appointment.

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