Rural communities

SCHOOL BOND MEASURES: MT. EMPIRE FAILING, SANTEE AND BORREGO PASSING

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two East County school districts appear to have reached the 55% majority needed for passage, but a third failed to meet the mark, with 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be tallied.

WOMEN WINNING IN LA MESA SPRING-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left to right:  Rebecca McRae, Charda Fontenot, and Megan Epperson

November 7, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – Three seats are open in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District due to three conservative Republicans stepping down.  Two slates have been vying for those seats and with 63% of precincts tallied, voters appear to have split among the conservative and reform slates. The common factor among the three currently in the lead is gender: all three are women in an election season that’s seen women winning races across the nation.

Teacher Rebecca McRae and lactation consultant/parent Charda Fontenot, both endorsed by the district’s teacher’s union and by the Democratic party in the official nonpartisan race, are currently in first and second place with 21.25% and 15.34%.  Megan Epperson, a parent backed by the Republican Party, has 15.19%.

FLETCHER AND DESMOND WIN SUPERVISOR RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: left:  Nathan Fltecher toasts victory with champagne and a dance with his wife, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher; right, Jim Desmond, new Supervisor whose district includes Borrego Springs and some inland mountain towns

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Due to term  limits, Supervisors Bill Horn and Ron Roberts are leaving office.

In the race to fill Roberts’ seat, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has defeated former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis by a  65% to 35% margin with 69% of precincts counted, becoming only the second Democrat in three decades to serve on the County Board of Supervisors. Fletcher, formerly a Republican and independent; he is married to powerhouse Democratic Assemblywoman and former labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher.

Bill Horn’s seat will be filled by San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, a Republican and part-time pilot for United Airlines. Desmond defeated Michelle Gomez, a Democrat and legislative analyst, by a 60/40 margin as of this morning’s tally. Horn’s district includes portions of northeast San Diego County include Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, Ranchita, Pauma Valley and Valley Center as well as north coastal communities. Desmond also serves on the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG) the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and the County Economic Development Corporation.

INCUMBENTS WIN REELECTION IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (Spring Valley) --- A trio of incumbents backed by the firefighters' union won reelection easily in the San Miguel Fire Protection District.

With 39% of districts counted, Theresa McKenna has 33.2%, Jim Ek 27.4%, and Michael Vaio 26.6%, defeating William A. Kiel II, son of board member William Kiel. The younger Kiel, a  trading card company owner with no fire experience, drew just 12.8% of the vote.

The stakes were high in the race, since the three incumbents who won reelection voted to return the district to independent operation, cancelling a contract with Cal Fire. The action passed by a slim one-vote margin, with Kiel, senior, voting against separating from Cal Fire.

ALPINE FIRE NAMES NEW CAPTAIN AND DIVISION CHIEF

 

 

Source: Alpine Fire Department 

Photo:  Division Chief Brian Boggeln and Captain Greg O’Gorman take the oath and are sworn in to their positions.

November 1, 2018 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) recently announced the promotions of Brian Boggeln and Greg O’Gorman.  The promotions were effective on October 1st.  Both firefighters participated in a badge pinning ceremony where they were ‘pinned’ by their wives and recognized for their accomplishments by the AFPD Board of Directors at the October 16th Board meeting.  

VOTERS TO DECIDE BOND TO RENOVATE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE SCHOOLS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

November 1, 2018 (Alpine) - Residents in the Mountain Empire Unified School District are being asked to find out more about Measure JJ, a $15-million bond to renovate aging facilities at eight schools in sprawling rural East San Diego County.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVE NEW IMPROVED BIKE PLAN

 

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Bicyclists trekking along Old Highway 80 in bike lanes.

October 31, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a new plan Wednesday that could eventually add several hundred miles of safer, more convenient bicycle lanes to roads in and around unincorporated communities.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO VOTE ON WIND TURBINE HEALTH STUDY AND SEXUAL PREDATOR PLACEMENT NOV. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

View full agenda

View minutes from last meeting

View letter from Mark Wardlaw on wind health impacts study

October 30, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group will meet Thursday, November 1st at 7 p.m. in the Backcountry Resource Center (39919 Ribbon Rd., Boulevard  behind the old fire station).  Action items include Chair Donna Tisdale’s request to respond to a letter from County Planning Department Director Mark Wardlaw in which Wardlaw advised that the County Health and Human Services Agency is preparing a report on human health effects of wind turbines.  The group will also vote on opposing placement of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, in Jacumba.

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: MCCLENDON'S FIVE TDS GIVE MONARCHS FIRST GROSSMONT VALLEY TITLE SINCE 2004

 

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!  Type in “Sports” as your donation!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live in-game coverage and updates!

Does your son or daughter play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Comment on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 26, 2018 (Spring Valley) - West Hills is 8-1.  Monte Vista is 8-1.  Finally, on the last game of the season, they were meeting on Monarch turf in Week 11 of ECM Friday Night Lights - the Grossmont League Championship edition.

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS WAIVES FEES FOR WEST FIRE VICTIMS

 

 

Source:  Alpine Fire Protection District

October 26, 2018 (Alpine) - The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) Board of Directors approved waiving plan check fees and permits for all victims of the West Fire.  At the October 16, 2018 meeting of the AFPD Board of Directors a resolution was passed with all Directors voting for approval.  The resolution allows all victims rebuilding destroyed or damaged structures to do so without having to pay plan check fees and permits.   

SCHREIBER, BARNETT RESPOND TO ALPINE GAG ORDER REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2018 (Alpine) — Recently, East County Magazine published an article revealing that a gag order in a legal settlement with the Grossmont Union-High School district prevents Alpine education leaders from speaking out in political discussions on the Alpine High School. The nondisclosure clause may also have had a chilling effect that prevented Alpine candidates from challenging GUHSD trustee Jim Kelly, an opponent of the Alpine High School who is running unopposed.

PROBATION CLOSES CAMP BARRETT, LAUNCHES NEW URBAN CAMP

 

 

After years of steadily decreasing populations across the County’s in-custody juvenile facilities, the County of San Diego’s Probation Department has closed the last remote camp program and moved the youth to a more centrally located Urban Camp facility in Kearny Mesa.

LA MESA/SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SHARE VIEWS IN COMMUNITY FORUM

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, from left to right:  Steve Babbit, Rebecca McRae, Jerry Lecko, Charda Fontenot

 

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) - Political civility ruled when four candidates for three open positions on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board appeared at a community forum put on by the La Mesa First United Methodist Church in downtown La Mesa. Appearing at the event were Steve Babbit, Jerry LeckoChardá Fontenot, and Rebecca McRae. Declared candidates Megan Epperson, Brianna Garza, and Matthew Austin Sablove, although invited, were not present at the forum.

 

BOYS' WATER POLO: MATADORS COME UP SHORT TO CASTLE PARK 14-7

 

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!  Type in “Sports” as your donation!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live in-game coverage and updates!

Does your son or daughter play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Comment on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

Check out our sports section for more sports stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 15, 2018 (Spring Valley) - In our first water polo match of the new school year, ECM Sports caught a glimpse of the Mount Miguel boys as they hosted the Castle Park Trojans in a non-conference matchup.  The Matadors, to put it nicely, are struggling at 1-10 overall and 0-7 in league play.

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: JAMACHA TROPHY STAYS WITH COUGARS IN RAIN-DELAYED GAME

 

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!  Type in “Sports” as your donation!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live in-game coverage and updates!

Does your son or daughter play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Comment on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

Check out our sports section for more sports stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 13, 2018 (El Cajon) - It happens every year; the Cougars make their way up the hill from Campo Road to Hillsdale Road for a battle to claim the street that unites them both.  Week eight of ECM Friday Night Lights brings you the midseason East County classic, the Battle for the Jamacha Trophy.  It’s been a year since Thomas Fishburne led the Cougars to victory on Norse turf to keep Steele Canyon the owners of Jamacha Road.  He’s at Southwestern College now.  Can the Cougars still defend their stretch of pavement without him?

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO BAN TARGET SHOOTING NEAR DONOHOE MOUNTAIN IN DULZURA

 

 

East County News Service 

Photo: Gate Fire started by target shooters in 2017 near Dulzura

October 11, 2018 (Dulzura) — By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors approved an ordinance introduced by Dianne Jacob to ban recreational target shooting year-round on two portions of Bureau of Land Management property near Dulzura. The action aims to reduce wildfire risk following multiple blazes sparked by target shooting.  The ban does not apply to hunting of legal game.

PADRE DAM BOARD FREEZES WATER RATES FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019

 

 

A previously approved water rate increase will not be implemented

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District 

October 10, 2018 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to freeze water rates for Fiscal Year 2019. The decision to freeze rates was based on an increase in water sales the previous year compared to the District’s Budget and the strong financial position of the water operation funds. 

LIGHTS ARE ON: JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE FINISHES LIGHTED INTERSECTION ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMUL

 

 

Source: Jamul Indian Village

 

October 10, 2018 (Jamul) -- The Jamul Indian Village announcecompletion of road safety improvements at the intersection of Lyons Valley Road and Campo Road in Jamul.  Breaking ground in July, the project funded by the Jamul Indian Village was completed on time and on budget, the tribe reports.    

GAG ORDER STIFLES EDUCATION LEADERS FROM POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL, CANDIDATES OR BOND MEASURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2018 (Alpine) –A legal settlement between the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and the Alpine Union High School District (AUSD) contained a non-disparagement clause that has effectively muzzled Alpine education leaders and concerned parents from criticizing the GUHSD board.

YOU'RE INVITED! WITCHES WINE & DINE FOR WILDFIRE ALERTS OCT. 27

CANCELLED:

Due to most invitees having conflicts on this date, this event is cancelled. The good news is we're changing the date and location- but we will still be having our annual Halloween party. The new event will be Sunday evening, October 28 at a private residence on Mt. Helix with great music and prizes--just $10 and bring a dish to share! Watch for details soon.

October 5, 2018 (Jamul) -- You're invited to our "Witches Wine  & Dine" haunting Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 4-8 p.m. at Granite Lion Cellars Winery in Jamul!

The fun begins in the wine tasting room at 4 p.m., followed by a catered dinner in the haunted oak grove with music by DJ Doug on Sax, catering by Freshly Prepped, a costume contest and a treasure-trove of prizes!  

RSVP and pre-pay before Oct. 20 ($45 per person)

Checks: Mail to East County Magazine, 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Credit cards or Paypal:  Tickets at www.EastCountyMedia.org/events

Special thanks to California Coast Credit Union for sponsoring entertainment for this very special event.

Scroll down for the devilishly delicious details!

ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP CANDIDATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2018 (Alpine) – Nine candidates are running for seven seats on the Alpine Community Planning Group, including incumbents Glenda Archer, Louis Russo, James Easterling, Richard Saldano Jr. and George Barnett, as well as challengers Justin Johnston, a general contractor/entrepreneur, writer Mary Harris, retired school Superintendent Albert Haven and real estate attorney Jennifer Swanson.

It costs hundreds of dollars to submit a ballot statement to the Registrar of Voters, which can be prohibitive for some candidates, especially those running for all-volunteer positions on planning groups. Only four candidates submitted ballot statements to the Registrar (Barnett, Haven, Johnston,and Russo). A sixth, Mary Harris, sent her statement to East County Magazine and asked us to publish it. We’ve reached out to other candidates who left contact info with the Registrar and invited them to send theirs in, too. Jim Easterling replied by our deadline and his has been added below. Statements of those available are published below, in alphabetical order:

STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

PASSAGES: PAUL JACOB, SUPERVISOR JACOB'S HUSBAND, A COMMUNITY LEADER WHO IMPROVED FIRE SAFETY IN JAMUL (1937-2018)

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Paul Jacob at YMCA Branding held at his ranch

September 30, 2018 (Jamul) – Paul Ernest Jacob, 80, a Jamul community leader, retired Naval aviator and husband of Supervisor Dianne Jacob, died September 23rd of Parkinson’s disease. Dedicated to improving fire safety for his community, he provided his ranch for use as an emergency shelter and fire operations hub during wildfires.

He was also a founding member of the Jamul Dulzura Community Planning Group and was devoted to the East County YMCA. He helped organize “The Branding,” a fundraising gala held at the Jacob ranch for 14 years, raising over $1.5 million for local Y programs.

Deerhorn Valley Antler editor  Kim Hamilton says Paul Jacob was “beloved” by their neighbors, adding, “He and his wife, Dianne, were the backbone of the community we know and call home today.”

TRICK OR TREAT OFF THE STREETS: HALLOWEEN NIGHT AT VIEJAS OUTLETS

 

East County News Service

October 2, 2018 (Alpine) – If you’re looking for a safer trick-or-treating option for children, Viejas Outlets in Alpine invites you to visit from 5-8 p.m. on Halloween night, Wednesday October 31st, for a treat.  The movie “Hocus Pocus” will also be playing on the big screen at the ice rink at 6 p.m. (The ice rink will be opening for the season on Nov. 2.)

Viejas Outlets is located at 5005 Willows Road ∙ Alpine, CA 91901 ∙ (800) 847-6537 https://viejas.com/san-diegos-premier-outlets-mall/

CAL FIRE DETERMINES CAUSES OF TWO LOCAL FIRES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The Cinnamon Fire, which burned 13 acres in Ramona on July 20th  and destroyed a home that was a former stage coach stop dating back to 1870, was caused by use of equipment, says Cal Fire public information officer Isaac Sanchez.

BLESSING OF THE LIONS TIGERS & BEARS CELEBRATED ON WORLD ANIMAL DAY OCT. 4

 

San Diego’s big cat and exotic animal sanctuary celebrates global animal welfare event with educational visits and blessing of animals

East County News Service 

October 3, 2018 (Alpine) -- San Diego’s world renowned, non-profit big cat and exotic animal sanctuary, Lions Tigers & Bears is celebrating World Animal Day with a unique Blessing of the Animals and special promotion for visitors as part of an international effort to raise awareness and education about animal welfare. 

Father Jason Samuels of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Alpine will deliver a blessing to all the rescued animals at the sanctuary including lions, tigers, bears, bobcats, leopards, a mountain lion and more on Thursday, October 4 at 10:30 a.m.

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