Communities

WELCOME, RURAL RESIDENTS!

Our Rural section covers most San Diego County's inland communities south of I-8  to the border including Alpine, Barrett Junction, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Dulzura,  Jamul,  Japatul, Lake Morena, Otay,  Potrero, and Spring Valley. 


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WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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FAMED SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER MIKE NORRIS DISPLAYS WORK IN PARSONAGE MUSEUM LEMON GROVE DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

By Helen Ofield, Treasurer/Historian, Lemon Grove Historical Society

Photo of Mike Norris by Ife Babatunde

January 15, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) will observe Black History Month with a solo show, Mike Norris: A Retrospective, on view Feb. 1 through Apr. 30 on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekdays by appointment for groups of six or more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive Street, Treganza Heritage Park, Lemon Grove.

The exhibition honors the work of a noted African American photographer, whose work is characterized by drama, movement and deep humanity.


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SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY MEETING JANUARY 26 FOR COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN UPDATE

East County News Service

January 15, 2022 (Spring Valley) – County planners invite Spring Valley residents to a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, January 26 at 6 p.m.  The County is preparing a Climate Action Plan Update to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from activities within the unincorporated county areas under State laws.


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COUNTY HEARING JANUARY 26 TO EXEMPT HOMELESS FACILITIES FROM ZONING ORDINANCE

East County News Service

Photo by Henri Migala:  Homeless youths and community members gathered in El Cajon recently to call for help to aid young homeless people.

January 15, 2022 (San Diego) – On January 26 at 9 a.m., County Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a proposal to exempt county-owned, run or leased emergency shelters, transitional and supportive services form zoning ordinance provisions.


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THIRD SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SPRING VALLEY MURDER

 

East County News Service

 

January 14, 2022 (Spring Valley) – Today, the San Diego Sheriff announced arrest of a third suspect in the murder of 25-year-old Jordan Amon Farmer, who was shot and killed December 10, 2021 in his apartment in the 8900 block of Delrose Avenue, Spring Valley

 

Homicide detectives identified three suspects:  Jazmin Holdren, 25, Didesisi Franklin,27, and Andre L. Ford, 29.

 

Ford, who was already in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correction Center in San Diego, was arrested January 11, 2022 and charged with Farmer’s murder.  He has been booked into San Diego Central Jail.


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USGS PLANE TO MAKE LOW-LEVEL FLIGHTS OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERTS NEXT 15 MONTHS

East County News Service

January 14, 2022 (San Diego) – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today announced that residents and visitors may notice a low-flying aircraft over the Imperial Valley, Salton Sea and surrounding areas in southern California starting as early as mid-January 2022 and continuing into Spring 2023.


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LA MESA REPLACES ITS SANDAG REPRESENTATIVE AND REVERTS TO VIRTUAL MEETINGS AFTER LOTHIAN DEFIES MASK MANDATE

By Eugenie Budnik

January 14, 2022 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa City Council held its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday. Mayor Mark Arapostathis opened with his State of the City speech, calling the city “strong.”  Later the Council addressed some contentious issues, including replacing its SANDAG representative and shifting back to virtual meetings  after newly elected Councilmember Laura Lothian openly defied the state’s mask mandate.


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COUNTY PROPOSES HOMELESS SHELTER LOCATIONS IN EAST COUNTY: VIRTUAL MEETINGS ON SPRING VALLEY SITES JAN. 14 AND 18

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors recently directed staff to find potential locations for homeless shelters in East County.  Now staff has proposed several sites in Spring Valley and Lakeside.


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ZEST WINE BISTRO OPENS JANUARY 20 WITH COZY INDOOR-OUTDOOR SEATING, TAPAS AND INTERNATIONAL WINES

Giardino owner Karina Kravalis welcomes second eatery in Lemon Grove

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove resident and restauranter Karina Kravalis is opening the doors to her latest anticipated project, Zest Wine Bistro which features a variety of delightful vintages from around the world as well as artfully arrayed tapas to savor. The wine bar features cozy indoor and outdoor seating, soon to include an outdoor firepit and heaters for year-round comfort.

The intimate and slick bistro has been a dream for Kravalis, who saw an opportunity to provide something she felt her neighborhood was missing but wanting.

 “After all these years of owning Giardino, I’ve learned that Lemon Grove and East County love their wine,” said Kravalis. “There are so many of us who share a passion for good wine, and wanted a place to sip and toast. Zest is just that - a social gathering space to come try and learn about wine, and nosh on good food."


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COUNTY BREAKS GROUND ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEX IN ESCONDIDO

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 12, 2021 (Escondido) - The County today broke ground on a new 50-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors and older people who are homeless and have a serious mental illness.


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TEEN SHELTER IN LA MESA IS FOCUS OF JANUARY 14 ZOOM MEETING

East County News Service

January 12, 2022 (La Mesa) – The East County Homeless Task Force has announced a Zoom meeting this Friday, January 14 at 1 p.m. regarding Home Start’s work on The Lodge, a former motel on University Avenue in La Mesa repurposed to provide housing and services for transition-age youths.


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STRONG GAS ODOR ACROSS EL CAJON

 
East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts
 
Update:  The El Cajon odor is the result of a chemical spill of mercaptan, an odor additive used to make natural gas detectable.  There is no gas leaks, but residents are advised to stay indoors for a few hours until it dissipates. More on this chemical:  https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MHMI/mmg139.pdf
 
January 12, 2022 (El Cajon) -- A strong smell of natural gas is evident across El Cajon including the valley floor and the Fletcher Hills area late this morning. The City of El Cajon has tweeted that the odor is orignating from 1001 West Bradley Avenue.
 
"Heartland Fire & Rescue has advised that the strong odor is occurring due to Waste Management charging their ventilation tanks. The odor should dissipate over the next few hours," the city Tweet states. 

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FREE FLU AND COVID-19 VACCINES SATURDAY IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

January 12, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – Free COVID-19 and flu vaccines are available Saturday, January 15 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lemon Grove Academy Middle School, 7866 Lincoln Street in Lemon Grove.


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LEMON GROVE FOOD DISTRIBUTION JANUARY 15

East County News Service

January 12, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove residents can get free food during a drive-through food distribution Saturday, January 15 from 9 a.m. as long as supplies last at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.

Be sure your trunk is clear so food can be loaded; no walk-ups are allowed. 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BIRDS AT LAKE JENNINGS

East County News Service

January 12, 2022 (Lakeside) – Greg Dunne took a stroll around Lake Jennings in Lakeside, where he photographed a a black-crowned night heron and a bald eagle, both fish-loving birds that have been denizens at our local lake.


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LA MESA TO REPLACE 21 TREES AT COLLIER PARK, CITY’S OLDEST PARK

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Collier Park, City of La Mesa

January 11, 2022 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa plans to remove 21 Eucalyptus trees this week at Collier Park, the city’s oldest park, located at Palm and Pasadena. 


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NTSB: LEARJET HIT POWERLINES, OVERSHOT RUNWAY BEFORE CRASH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2022 (El Cajon) – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on the LearJet that crashed on December 27th into El Cajon’s Bostonia neighborhood, killing all four people aboard.

The report does not identify the cause of the crash, but does reveal that the plane struck powerlines before the crash in overcast, misty weather conditions. The report also indicates that the pilot had overflown the runway at Gillespie Field at a low altitude, was granted permission to land on a different runway, switched from automatic to visual controls and asked that the runway lights be turned up moments before the deadly crash.


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LA MESA AWARDS ANIMAL SERVICES CONTRACT TO HUMANE SOCIETY

Source: San Diego Humane Society

January 11, 2022 (La Mesa) — Tonight, members of the La Mesa City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract with San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) to become the City’s animal services provider. San Diego Humane Society has been providing sheltering and medical care for La Mesa’s animals at its El Cajon Campus since October 2020. With this new contract, which goes into effect immediately, SDHS will provide Humane Law Enforcement (animal control) and licensing services as well.

In addition to all the specialized programs San Diego Humane Society offers, such as the Kitten Nursery, Behavior Center, Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine, Bahde Wildlife Center, Community Support Services and community education, residents in La Mesa will see an added benefit with extended animal control and dispatch hours. Residents can call 619-299-7012 (press 1 for Humane Law Enforcement Dispatch) or visit http://www.sdhumane.org  for more information about San Diego Humane Society’s services.


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BODY FOUND AFTER FIRE BURNS RAMONA STRUCTURE

East County News Service

January 11, 2022 (Ramona) – The Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit is investigating a deadly fire in Ramona. 

 

The fire was reported in an accessory dwelling unit shortly before 8:30 this morning in the 2200 block of Montecito Road. 

 

“When deputies from the Ramona Sheriff's Substation arrived on the scene, they met with the reporting party who told them someone may be inside the burning structure.  Within minutes, firefighters from the Ramona CAL FIRE Station arrived and began to put out the flames,” says Sergeant Greg Hampton. 


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STOP COTTONWOOD SAND MINE ORGANIZERS SAY DRAFT EIR IS “FLAWED,” FAILS TO ADDRESS MAJOR IMPACTS ON COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Update: The Jan. 12 meeting referenced in the video has been cancelled due to COVID-19.  The Jan. 19 virtual meeting will still be held.

January 11, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – The Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Cottonwood Sand Mining project fails to address serious impacts to the community, say organizers of the Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine effort-- and they are urging the public to speak out.

“We believe the Project DEIR is a flawed document that does not adequately analyze the significant impacts of the Project to the people, wildlife, water, air, and roads of the community,” Elizabeth Urquhart stated in an email to ECM.  “The DEIR does not propose adequate mitigation or alternatives to address those impacts.”

Barry Jantz contends the project is also incompatible with the county’s general plan as well as the Valle de Oro Community Plan, thus also violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

In an exclusive interview with ECM aired on KNSJ, Urquhart and Jantz, organizers of efforts to oppose the massive project, shared their concerns and urged the public to speak out at virtual public meetings or via email before the February 14 deadline for public comment.


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FIRE DESTROYS REFUGEE’S RESTAURANT, 3 OTHER BUSINESSES IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Kabul Star Restaurant, one of four businesses destroyed by the blaze

January 11, 2022 (El Cajon) – A fire destroyed four businesses in the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center in El Cajon  on January 5.  Two beauty shops, a smoke shop and an Afghan restaurant were destroyed.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to assist Karim Wafa, owner of the Kabul  Star restaurant, and his family including four young children after the fire turned their dreams into ashes.


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EAST COUNTY EATER: BUSY B THAI CAFÉ-- A TASTE OF THE FAR EAST IN EAST COUNTY

Story and photos by Henri Migala

January 10, 2022 (El Cajon) -- It seems that everywhere you look in East County, there is another culinary delight to discover. If you favor the flavors of the Far East, you must visit Busy B Thai Café, 330 Magnolia Ave, in El Cajon.

I spent my childhood growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, when my family was stationed there in the ‘60s, so I have a long-standing appreciation for Thai food and culture.

Visiting Busy B Thai Café is like slipping into a small piece of Bangkok, right in the middle of El Cajon. This charming and cozy restaurant is decorated with images and artifacts reflecting both the rich culture and religion of Thailand.


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EL CAJON TO HOST FOURTH REDISTRICTING HEARING JANUARY 22 TO CONSIDER DRAFT MAPS; DEADLINE TO SUBMIT MAPS IS JANUARY 14

Source: City of El Cajon

Photo: El Cajon, CC by SA

January 10, 2022 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council is hosting its fourth Redistricting Hearing on Saturday,  January 22 at 10:30 a.m. at El Cajon Valley High School, located at 1035 East Madison Avenue, in El Cajon. Redistricting is the process of adjusting City Council voting districts, following the US Census, to ensure that each district has roughly the same number of residents.


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DROP A LINE: TROUT REOPENER JANUARY 15-16 AT SANTEE LAKES

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons image of rainbow trout via Bing

January 10, 2022 (Santee) – Santee Lakes invites you to Trout Reopening Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 15 and 16 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lakes 2, 3 and 4 will be stocked with a whopping 2,500 pounds of rainbow trout including large fish up to eight pounds.

Find details and directions at https://www.santeelakes.com/.


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HEAD-ON COLLISION BLOCKS DEHESA ROAD

 

Update January 11, 2021:  CHP indicates a Honda Civic crossed the double yellow lines, colliding with a Chrysler Pacific minivan.  A 74-year old San Diego woman, a passenger in the minivan, died at the scene.  The minivan’s driver, a 46-year old woman, suffered moderate injuries.  The Honda driver, a 30-year-old woman, suffered major injuries; she is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol but has not yet been charged, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Update 4 p.m.  Dehesa Road will likely be obstructed for two hours, ECM has learned. 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2021 (El Cajon) -- A head -on collision is blocking Dehesa Road in unincorporated El Cajon in both directions, about 500 feet west of Sloan Canyon Road. 

Two patients has been transported to Sharp Memorial hospital. 

Edwin Mathery, an eyewitness who lives nearby, told ECM that one of the vehicles is a white minivan.  


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HAWK WATCH AT RAMONA GRASSLANDS: SATURDAY IN JAN. AND FEB.

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2021 (Ramona) – Rain or shine, Hawk Watch in the Ramona Grasslands will be held each Saturday in January and February starting at 10 a.m. Hawk Watch is an informative educational Biologists Talk and Q&A with falconry or ambassador raptors for you to see up close and personal.

This year, the events organized by the Wildlife Research Institute will take place at Begent Ranch, 18528 Highland Valley Road in Ramona.


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