Communities

COUNTY LETTER ON COTTONWOOD SAND MINE RECOGNIZES SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY CONCERNS

East County News Service

Photos: Map of proposed project; wildlife photos by Debbie Ekhaml, including raccoons in adjacent Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge and mule deer in Jamul ecological preserve are among wildlife species that could be negatively impacted

July 13, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Significant concerns raised by the community over the proposal for a 10-year sand mining operation at Cottonwood Golf Course have been confirmed with the release of the County of San Diego’s Scoping Letter on the project.

LA MESA ROCKS: 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION JULY 20 BENEFITS LA MESA PARKS & RECREATION FOUNDATION

East County News Service

July 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to join honorary guest Bill Walton, basketball Hall of Fame champion, to celebrate 20 years of successful parks projects and programs in La Mesa as the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation kicks off fundraising to renovate McArthur Park.

FUTURE OF COLLIER PARK: LA MESA HOSTS PUBLIC MEETINGS

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa has an opportunity to apply for a Calif. Dept. of Parks and Recreation (Prop 68) grant. The grant will help the next phase of improvements at Collier Park.

The city is hosting a series of public meetings to get the community’s ideas and input.

MINE TRAIN RIDE COMING SOON TO CAMPO RAILROAD PARK AND MUSEUM

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Dawn Lundquist

July 12, 2019 (Campo) – A train that Roy Athey ran for 20 years in Alpine, offering rides to delight children, will soon be part of a mine train ride at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum  Athey donated his train to the facility. Now, three new cars for the train are being constructed at Greg Heyser’s shop in Alpine. 

ALPACA OWNERS BATTLE ESCONDIDO OVER ZONING CODE, LAUNCH FUNDRAISER FOR FIGHT TO KEEP BUBBA AND EINSTEIN

By Miriam Raftery 

July 12, 2019 (Escondido) – The city of Escondido wants to evict Bubba and Einstein, a pair of alpacas owned by Kelly Thor and Ryan Jimenez. The couple fulfilled their dream of buying a home where they could raise animals in 2017 and were surprised to learn that the city regulates alpacas as cattle for purposes of zoning.

BRUSH FIRE IN MEXICO JUMPS BORDER SOUTH OF DULZURA

UPDATE AS OF 7:22 PM:  Fire is now 100 acres on the U.S. side, 650 acres total with 10% containment. The combination of ground and air resources has allowed for significant progress, and containment is likely to increase overnight.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

July 12, 2019 (Dulzura) – A brush fire that has charred over 100 acres in Mexico has crossed the international border and near Cottonwood Creek and Barrett Truck Trail south of Dulzura.  The blaze has charred around 10 acres on the U.S. side of thee border in rural San Diego County, according to Cal Fire.

Patch.com reports 60 firefighters on scene including two air tankers, two helicopters, six engines, two dozers, two hand crews and a water tender.

ALPINE MISSING PERSON FOUND IN EL CAJON

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff's Department

July 11, 2019 (El Cajon) - A missing person at risk in the East County has been found safe.

79-year-old Eufemia Danaher was found around 10:00 a.m. in the 600 block of El Cajon Boulevard in El Cajon. Sheriff's ASTREA (helicopter) Deputy Gary Kneeshaw spotted a woman who matched Danaher's description and made contact with her. She has been reunited with her family.

PASSAGES: HOWARD COOK, FORMER JACUMBA COMMUNITY LEADER (1930-2019)

East County News Service

July 11, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - The East County backcountry lost one of its biggest cheerleaders on June 29, when Howard W. Cook passed away peacefully after a short illness. He gave selflessly to the community, serving as Chair and later Secretary for the Jacumba Sponsor Group and as Board Member of the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Committee. 

RAILWAY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery

July 11, 2019 (Campo) – The San Diego & Arizona Railway, known as the “Impossible Railway” for the many challenges faced during its construction, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with two major centennial events on September 7 and November 16.

 

On Saturday, September 7, a Groundbreaking Festival will commemorate the 1907 groundbreaking of the railway, which took a dozen years to complete. 

Then on Saturday, November 16, a Centennial Celebration Day will include a reenactment of the 1919 golden spike ceremony, when John D. Spreckels drove in the final spike to complete the rail line in Carriso Gorge.

Both events will be held at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, a nonprofit organization. 

At the events, the public is invited to come and enjoy train rides, view vintage railway cars and unique railroad equipment including a 1902 steam pump engine, an operating scale steam train exhibit, plus food, drinks, souvenirs, commemorative program and fun for the whole family.

RESIDENTS INVITED TO “ROLL-IN” ENGINES ON TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SAN MIGUEL UNDER LOCAL CONTROL

By Criss Brainard, Fire Chief

July 10, 2019 (Spring Valley) - The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District invites residents to attend a ceremonial “roll-in” to start the service life of two new fire engines. The ceremony will take place at San Miguel Station 16 on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 9:00 am.

LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

Source: Helix Water District

July 10, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Helix Water District has announced the winners of its 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest. 

Now in its eighth year, the contest drew 60 entries from throughout the county. This year’s theme was Life at the Lake, and each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings in Lakeside. 

WASTE MANAGEMENT TO HOST HIRING EVENT FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS THURSDAY

East County News Service

 

July 10, 2019 (El Cajon) - Waste Management in El Cajon will be hosting a hiring event on Thursday, July 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to welcome interested and qualified commercial driver candidates to join the Waste Management family. Candidates will be considered for current and future driver positions. The event will be held at Waste Management’s office at 1001 W. Bradley Ave., El Cajon.

EXTREME HEAT AND THUNDERSTORMS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The weather is heating up, with extreme heat forecast Friday and Saturday.  Lower desert highs of 112-117 degrees are forecast, with upper deserts reaching 100 to 107 degrees.  Mountains and valleys could reach 95 degrees.
 
Thunderstorms have been added to the forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday.

EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL HOSTS REGIONAL ISSUES FORUM ON JULY 27

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2019 (El Cajon) – The East County Leadership Council will host its second annual regional issues forum on July 27 from 1-3 p.m. at the El Cajon Library (201 E. Douglas Ave. in El Cajon).

GOAT DEATHS RAISE CONCERNS IN LAKESIDE: WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST SAYS COYOTES, NOT MOUNTAIN LION ARE MOST LIKELY TO BLAME

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2019 (Lakeside) – CBS 8 reports that numerous goats have been killed in the past month in Lakeside's Morena Valley and Eucalyptus Hills communities. The CBS story quoted Billy Ortiz, a wildlife photographer, who said he identified tracks of a female mountain lion and a cub near the most recent kill.

But wildlife biologist Renee Owens says, "By the nature of the kills they were most if not all coyotes and possibly dogs.  Yes, there is a mountain lion in the area, as has always been the case–as in all areas of our backcountry, but the track Billy has posted is not definitive of a lion."  Her nonprofit organization, Wildlife Zone, is working on a mountain lion study.  She has been featured on National Geographic, the BBC, Discovery Channel and Dateline for her wildlife expertise.

 

FREE FOOD AT CHICK-FIL-A THIS WEEK TO APP USERS

East County News Service

July 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County are offering a free entrée to guests who create or log-in to their Chick-fil-A One app on either Monday, July 8, or Tuesday, July 9.  After connecting to the app, guests will receive a free entrée from Wednesday, July 10 through Wednesday, July 31, not including Sundays when Chick-fil-A is closed.

STAY ISSUED TO DELAY CLOSURE OF THREE CHARTER SCHOOLS IN GROSSMONT DISTRICT

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Three nonprofit charter schools operating within the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) have been ordered shut down by a judge, but now a stay issued has been ordered for one year until an appeal can be heard. 

The schools at risk of closure are Diego Valley East charter in El Cajon and San Diego Workforce Innovation High charter schools in Lakeside and Lemon Grove. 

CAR SHOW REVS INTO LA MESA

Story and photos by Emily Alessio

July 6, 2019 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa’s classic car show is back! Whether you’re a hot-rodder or a lowrider, there’s something for everyone at this show.

 

The show and music event complete with bandsis now being held every Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m. through August 29th. Classic cars line La Mesa Boulevard in the downtown village for the summer show season, sponsored by Johnny B’s Burgers, Brew, and Spirits. 

 

LEARN HOME FARMING SKILLS FROM CHICKENS TO CHEESEMAKING, BEEKEEPING TO BACKYARD FISH FARMING AT THE ALPINE LIBRARY

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2019 (Alpine) – The San Diego County Library in Alpine is offering a fresh crop of free “modern homesteading” classes where you can learn how to raise and grow your own foods. The offerings include cheesemaking, beekeeping, vermicomposting, tilapia farming, backyard chickens, home farming and edible landscaping.

Below are full details:

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JACK SHU AND JANET CASTAÑOS, ADVOCATES FOR A POLICE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IN LA MESA

 

July 5, 2019 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa form a citizens’ police oversight or advisory commission? Jack Shu, a former Superintendent of California State Parks and Janet Castaños, a former dean in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district and past president of Helix Charter High School’s board, have a proposal that will soon be considered by the La Mesa City Council. 

We interviewed them on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ.   You can hear the entire interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Jack Shu & Janet Castanos on police oversight in La Mesa

MULTI-LINGUAL CONCERT JULY 21 AT UNITARIAN CHURCH IN SANTEE

East County News Service

July 5, 2019 (Santee) – San Jose musician Joe Ferrara will perform a concert on Sunday, July 21 from 2-4 p.m. at the Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (8778 Cottonwood Ave.) in Santee.

Ferrara has been entertaining Northern California audiences for the last 51 years. Joe's rich baritone voice and comfort with his audience have attracted fans of all ages. His repertoire of over 1,300 songs includes a variety of standards, folk songs, country, show tunes, Disney, classic rock, contemporary and original compositions. He even sings some favorites in Spanish, French and Italian.  

STARGAZING, WAGS AND WINE, RAINWATER HARVESTING AND MORE AT THE GARDEN THIS SUMMER

East County News Service

 

July 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Water Conservation Garden has a variety of fun and educational events coming up in July and August, including:

 

  • Garden yoga July 8
  • Wags & Wine July 10
  • Stargazing July 10
  • Landscapes, irrigation and soils July 16
  • Rainwater harvesting July 20
  • Gregory Page Trio concert July 27
  • Creepy crawly critters August 23

Learn more and register for these events at www.thegarden.org.

JULIAN BURGLARY SUSPECT FROM EL CAJON BUSTED AFTER CRASHING STOLEN BAJA BUG

By Miriam Raftery 

July 5, 2019 (Julian) – A Sheriff’s deputy investigating a burglary that occurred overnight in the 3300 block of Pine Hills Road spotted a Baja Bug (a Volkswagon beetle car altered for off-road use) drive onto the victim’s property this morning.  Realizing this could be the burglar returning to steal more items, the deputy tried to contact the driver, who sped away.

HOW SHOULD COUNTY SPEND FEDERAL FUNDS IN YOUR COMMUNITY? SHARE YOUR VIEWS IN THESE PUBLIC FORMS

 

East County News Service 

July 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- “San Diego County needs your input on how best to invest federal funds in our low- to moderate-income communities,” says Supervisor Dianne Jacob. 

The County is holding a series of public forums at county libraries, each one hour, including these East County locations, to hear your ideas:

  • Alpine, July 8 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Ramona, July 10 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Julian, July 12 at 11:30 a.m.
  • El Cajon, July 22, 3:30 p.m.
  • Borrego Springs, July 24 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Spring Valley on July 29 at 11:30 a.m.

You can also share your thoughts and suggestions in an online survey: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/sdhcd/ 

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE MOVIE THEATRE IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 3, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Last night around midnight, three boys ran into the Regal Edwards Cinema in Rancho San Diego to report a shooter outside, NBC 7 reports.
 
Several people in the theater called 911 and Sheriff’s deputies responded.  The boys told Sheriff’s officials that a man had pulled out a handgun and fired shots in the air after an argument with the boys.  The shooter was reportedly a passenger in a four-door, silver or gray car. 

LA MESA CONSIDERS LEASING FORMER POLICE STATION SITE TO HOUSING DEVELOPER

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 9 to discuss whether to consider leasing the former police station site at the southeast corner of Allison and Date avenues to USA Properties Fund.  

ANDREW OTERO IN HIS OWN WORDS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
July 3, 2019 (El Cajon) - Andrew Otero on Tuesday released a long written statement on his involvement in a construction contracting scheme. Otero was sentenced Friday in federal court after being found guilty of defrauding the federal government to obtain funds allocated for businesses owned by disabled veterans. Otero states, “I make no excuse, and take full responsibility for what I was convicted of. When you bend rules sometimes you have not even the slightest idea of what the consequences can turn out to be.”

JUDGMENT DAY FOR LOCAL CONTRACTOR ANDREW OTERO

A U.S. District Court judge fines and sentences Otero to federal prison for fraud

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

July 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Friday was judgment day for Andrew R. Otero, owner of A&D General Contracting and husband of Cajon Valley Union School District president Tamara Otero.  

 

Otero, a San Diego building contractor, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge John Houston after a federal jury convicted Otero last November of fraudulently obtaining over $11 million dollars in government contracts through his company which had been set aside for small businesses owned by disabled veterans.

GUESTS GET CREATIVE AT ANOMAR ARTS FESTIVAL

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2019 (Ramona) -- Visitors at the Begent Ranch got hands-on artistic experiences at Ramona’s eclectic new event, the Anomar Arts Festival, last weekend. The festival is the creation of the 2CreateGallery and The Art Center of Ramona, with a goal to help everyone explore the world of art.

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