Rural communities

READER’S EDITORIAL: KEEP ALPINE’S SMALL TOWN CHARM

 

An open letter to County Planning and Development Services by Mary Harris

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- I don't want future development projects in Alpine to include designs that are not consistent with keeping the small town charm of Alpine. We have already seen many developments in Alpine that make our town resemble our nearest city, El Cajon. I do not want to see conformity in designs that lack character. Examples of this that we have already been forced to accept are the Albertson's shopping center.Albertson's design shows no attempt to fit in to our towns historic rural feel, but instead looks like a typical store one would see in El Cajon. No effort was made to include creative facades, water features, or shade bearing trees.

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.

GIRLS WATER POLO: MONARCHS HELD TO ONE GOAL FOR THREE QUARTERS AS VAQUEROS EARN FIRST WIN IN GROSSMONT LEAGUE PLAY

 

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

January 17, 2018 (Spring Valley) - For the first high school coverage of the new year, ECM traveled to Spring Valley, where the Vaqueros of El Capitan saw the Monte Vista Monarchs in the pool.  The lady Monarchs have a rough start to the season, going 2-4 overall and winless in league (0-2).  The Vaqueros are doing a little better; 6-5 overall but also winless (0-2) in league.

THEFT FROM UTILITIES ALLEGED IN SPRING VALLEY POT SHOP RAIDED MONDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2018 (San Diego) – They seem to spring up faster than weeds after the winter rains.  Marijuana dispensaries, still illegal on unincorporated lands in San Diego County despite the state’s recent legalization of recreational use, continue to pop up and routinely be shut down by the Sheriff’s department.

ANOTHER ILLEGAL POT SHOP RAIDED IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A raid at The Bakery, an illegal marijuana dispensary at 9215 Birth Street in Spring Valley, yesterday morning resulted in seizure of large amounts of marijuana, marijuana edibles, cash, marijuana paraphernalia and other items.

DEPUTY INJURED IN STRUGGLE WITH SUSPECT MISTAKEN FOR BURGLAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (Alpine) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a burglary alarm at the Alpine School District yesterday around 4 p.m.  After security the perimeter of the building, they contacted a person they believed to be a possible suspect.   The individual, Kelly Carpenter, 59, “became uncooperative and assaultive toward deputies,” according to Sergeant James Blanton.  A deputy was injured in the struggle and received treatment for minor injuries.

REVITALIZATION OF CASA DE ORO: VALLE DE ORO PLANNING GROUP APPROVES PROPOSAL

 

The advisory group recommends a plan to Supervisors for extensive redevelopment of Campo Road, plus a park on Conrad Drive

by Paul Kruze

Hear audio files of Valle de Oro planning group meeting:

Casa De Oro Revitalization

Estrella County Park

View the Casa de Oro options comparison table

January 9, 2018 (Casa de Oro) -- Before the main freeway arteries of State Highway 94 and Interstate Highway 8 were built, Campo Road in the East County community of Casa de Oro was a center of community and commerce. Even earlier, Campo Road served as a wagon road providing access to eastern San Diego County as well as Imperial County; it was added to the state highway system in 1933. But lack of vision and planning in the last 20 years has caused Campo Road to now be home to empty storefronts, liquor stores, smoke shops, medical marijuana dispensaries, dive bars, massage parlors, hookah lounges, and tattoo parlors interspersed with other businesses. Some of these shops turn a blind eye to local and state laws and regulations.

HEARINGS ON ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIFICATION

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (Alpine) – Two key hearings that could determine the future of students in Alpine are coming up: a court appeal and a State Board of Education hearing  January 19 at which the Board will consider a recommendation by the Department of Education to deny a unification petition, and a January 11 appeal of a lawsuit over funds to build the long promised Alpine High School.

RESTAURANT WEEK INCLUDES FIVE EAST COUNTY EATERIES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Restaurant Week will be held January 21st through 28th, offering up three-course dinners from $20-$50 and two-courses lunches for $10-$20.

This year, five East County restaurants are participating, including the Final Cut Steakhouse in Jamul and four La Mesa eateries:  Farmer’s Table, Bo-Beau’s Kitchen and Garden, Antica Trattoria and Terra Bistro.

FIREFIGHTERS SET UP FUND TO HELP FAMILY OF 20 WITH MANY ADOPTED, DISABLED CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2018 (El Cajon) – Firefighters from the San Miguel Fire Department have set up a Go Fund Me page to help a family of 20, including many adopted children with disabilities.  A fire outside the Hauer family’s home yesterday damaged two vehicles, including a specialized van used to transport youngsters with medical needs.

SUPERVISOR JACOB CALLS FOR CPUC INVESTIGATION INTO SDG&E POWER SHUT-OFFS; CPUC CONFIRMS IT WILL INVESTIGATE INTENTIONAL OUTAGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated September 6, 2018 with response from SDG&E

September 4, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob has sent a letter to California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Picker requesting a formal investigation and independent review by the agency into  San Diego Gas & Electric’s decision to shut off power to thousands of San Diego County residents during recent Santa Ana winds, ostensibly to prevent power lines from sparking fires. 

In an email to ECM, a CPUC spokesman has confirmed that the regulatory agency will conduct an investigation into the intentional outages.

MAN SHOT, KILLED OUTSIDE ALBERTSON’S IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 January 5, 2017 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s detectives are seeking witnesses to a fatal shooting that occurred last night shortly before 9 p.m.

 Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a fight near Albertson’s at 9831 Campo Road in the Casa de Oro neighborhood of Spring Valley. The caller reported hearing a possible gunshot and said multiple males were involved in the fight.

PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENT MADE TO FILL VACANCY ON DEHESA SCHOOL BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2018 (Dehesa) – Karen Kirkpatrick has been named a provisional appointee by the Dehesa School Board to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Vincent Blanco.  Kirkpatrick will fill the vacancy until the election on November 3rd, unless a petition calling for a special election is filed with the County Superintendent of Schools within 30 days of the December 18th appointment.

SAPS AT SEA PRESENTS: FLIRT WITH FEMME FATALES...AND REGRET IT! JANUARY 27

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2017 (Spring Valley) - Happy New Year! And what a better way to kick off (or on) 2018 than with San Diego's official Laurel & Hardy fan organization! The Saps at Sea present their 40th Anniversary SAPS Funtastical gathering of film and food.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spring Valley with the show starting at 7 on January 27.

MEMORY EXPERT TO OFFER STRATEGIES FOR SENIORS JAN. 23 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Keeping the brain sharp is vital to enjoying a full and rewarding lifestyle at any age. Dr. Linda Sasser will present simple strategies to maintain and even improve brain function during “Keep Your Brain Fit and Your Memory Sharp,” a free program scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., at Mount Miguel Covenant Village, 325 Kempton St., Spring Valley.

COUNTY APPROVES DICTIONARY HILL PRESERVE IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 1, 2018 (Spring Valley) – After 15 years of efforts by Spring Valley residents to protect Dictionary Hill from development and blasting the top off the 1,059 feet tall peak, County Supervisors in November voted to acquire and preserve 175 acres of coastal sage scrub and habitat including Dictionary Hill (also known as Lookout Mountain) as well as adjacent canyons and ridgelines. 

Local residents and activists celebrated with a New Year's Day hike up the peak, savoring panormaic views from the mountains to the sea.

NEW YEAR’S DAY AT LA DOLCE VITA ALPACAS IN RAMONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2017 (Ramona) – La Dolce Vita Alpacas invites you to spend New Year’s Day at their 10-acre ranch in Ramona, which will host an open house on Monday, January 1st from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Learn about alpacas and their history, pet or feed cuddly alpacas, watch a wool spinning demonstration, and have an opportunity to purchase alpaca yarn and products made from alpaca wool. 

SECOND ARREST MADE IN SHOOTING OF 21-YEAR-OLD FATHER IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A second arrest has been made in the fatal Spring Valley shooting of Candido M. Arragon Jr., 21.  Arragon, father of a toddler son, was shot Wednesday in the back of his head in a vehicle at Conception Avenue and San Francisco Street in Spring Valley. 

Alejandro Pearce, 19, of Spring Valley was arrested by the Fugitive Task Force and Sheriff’s Homicide Detail last night shortly before 9:30 p.m. on US Elevator Road after a search of his residence. He is charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held without bail. 

On Thursday, a juvenile suspect was also arrested and charged with murder.

CASA DE ORO REVITALIZATION PLANS: PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT

 

Source: County of San Diego

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- On September 27, the County Board of Supervisors directed Planning & Development Services staff to develop options for a plan that could revitalize the Casa de Oro area. The project is focused along Campo Road and the surrounding areas.

Staff will be presenting the proposed options at the following three meetings.  You’re invited to come hear the options and provide your input and ideas.

SPRNG VALLEY SHOOTING VICTIM DIES, TEEN ARRESTED FOR MURDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A gunshot victim found in a vehicle at the intersection of Concepcion Avenue and San Francisco Street in Spring Valley Wednesday night has died of his injuries, says Lieuteuant Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit. 

A 17-year-old juvenile suspect has been arrested and charged with murder.  His name has not been released because he is a minor.

SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY RESULTS IN LIFE-THREATENING INJURY

 

 

East County News Service

December 28, 2017 (Spring Valley)—Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a shooting last night shortly before 7 p.m. last night at the intersection of Concepcion Avenue and San Francisco Street in Spring Valley.  When deputies arrived, they located an adult male victim with traumatic injuries, inside a vehicle.

“The victim was treated and rushed to a local hospital by San Miguel Fire Department. His injuries are life-threatening,” says Lieutenant Rich Williams. “Multiple subjects were seen running from the vehicle at the time of the shooting. Detectives would like to speak to those subjects.”

WHITE TIGER CUB COMING TO ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2017 (Alpine) – Bobbi Brink and her rescue team from Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine have spent much of December traveling to several southern states, rescuing five black bears and a white tiger cub. The white tiger cub will soon have a permanent new home at LTB in Alpine.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR FALLEN FIREFIGHTER CORY IVERSON TO BE LIVE-STREAMED TODAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2017 (San Diego) — Governor Jerry Brown is expected to attend a memorial service Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Rock Church in  Point Loma to honor Cory D. Iverson, a Cal Fire engineer station in Dulzura who lost his life battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County.  The service is private, but will be live-streamed for the public to view at www.SDRock.com/Iverson.  

"His bravery and years of committed service to the people of California will never be forgotten," said Governor Brown, who ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half mast.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER SOLSTICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Sunrise seen from the ancient Kumeyaay observatory on Cowles Mountain. The larger mountain to the left of the sun is Lyons Peak.

 

December 22, 2017 (Deerhorn Valley) – Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton sent in these beautiful shots taken by Don Endicott on a winter solstice several years ago.  In her email today, she writes: December 21—Today is Winter Solstice.  Did you know Deerhorn Valley is the site of ancient Kumeyaay "Solstice Rocks?

SWAT TEAM RAIDS ILLEGAL POT DISPENSARY IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

East County News Service

December 21, 2017 (Spring Valley) – The Sheriff's SWAT/Special Enforcement Detail (SED) assisted the Rancho San Diego Crime Suppression Team (CST) and Area Detectives with serving a search warrant at the Club 64 marijuana dispensary located at 8650½ Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley, this morning at 8:30 a.m.

“The search warrant was the direct result of numerous complaints from concerned citizens regarding the illegal marijuana dispensary,” says Sergeant Matt Cook. “As a result of the search warrant, deputies located a large amount of marijuana, marijuana edibles, cash, marijuana paraphernalia as well as items used in the sales of marijuana.”

SDG&E SCHEDULES NEW OUTAGES, THIS TIME FOR REPAIRS, ACROSS DOZENS OF COMMUNITIES

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2017 (San Diego) – After restoring power to residents impacted by planned outages due to high winds, some lasting a week or more, SDG&E has announced a new round of planned outages—this time, for equipment repairs.

The utility’s site indicates notices were sent to impacted customers. View full, current map of outages here; click on “planned outages” to view those scheduled:  https://www.sdge.com/safety/outages/outage-map

Some are slated to be extensive; for instance, the Descanso and Viejas areas are projected to have a 10 hour outage starting tomorrow morning.  Parts of El Cajon are slated to be without power for eight hours on Thursday. Many other communities are also affected in the coming days.

But some residents are asking why the repairs can’t wait. Shutting off power over the holiday season raises several concerns, including:

SDG&E RESPONDS TO OUTAGE CONCERNS, BUT LEGISLATORS HUESO AND VOEPEL IGNORE INQUIRIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Dennis Richardson

December 19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has responded to our inquiry seeking answers to questions raised by concerned readers during planned outages to 17,000 SDG&E customers due to last week’s high winds, which ECM reported on here and here.

Helen Gao,  communications manager for Sempra Energy,  parent company of SDG&E,  sent the following reply to our questions on topics including loss claims, factors that determine when to shut off power, people with medical needs, support for residents during outages in need of water and communications, adjusting bills to eliminate charges during outages, and what might be done in communities with repeated outages to reduce or eliminate that need in the future.

Below is her response in full, followed by comments from rural residents with contrasting opinions on the outages:

SPRING VALLEY MAN SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR CHLD PORNOGRAPHY POSSESSION

 

East County News Service

December 18, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A federal judge has sentenced Spring Valley resident Robert Lee Talnadge, 55, to six years in prison after he pled guilty to receiving child pornography.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego announced that Talnadge had over a million images and 25,000 videos of children in sexually explicit acts.

CAUSE OF DEATH, MEMORIAL DETAILS RELEASED ON CORY IVERSON

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2017 (Dulzura) – Smoke inhalation and burns were the causes of death for Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s report. The Dulzura-based firefighter and resident of Escondido died in the Fillmore, California area while battling the Thomas Fire. 

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