Communities

MAKE THE HOLIDAY BRIGHTER FOR HOMEBOUND LA MESA SENIORS

East County News Service

 

November 21, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is seeking donated items to brighten the holidays for 24 homebound seniors in La Mesa. All items must be received by Friday, November 27, 2020, to be included in the senior gift bags and baskets.

 

All of the gifts are wrapped and placed in decorative baskets, so that our seniors receive these gifts with a festive flair. 


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MARSHA GABLE APPOINTED INTERIM GROSSMONT COLLEGE PRESIDENT

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 20, 2020 (El Cajon) -Marsha Gable, Grossmont College’s vice president of Student Services, has been selected to serve as the college’s interim president beginning Jan. 1 following the retirement of Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh.


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EL CAJON TECHNOLOGY SURVEY

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing; CC by SA-NC
 
November 19, 2020 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon is currently developing a strategic plan to invest in advanced technologies over the next 10 years. These investments will enhance the relationship between the City and its residents, businesses, and visitors.
 
The city invites residents, business owners and visitors to El Cajon to be a part of this process by taking a brief 5-minute survey. Your feedback will help staff explore ideas and concepts that will help transform the future of El Cajon.
 
To begin the survey, click HERE.

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STATE ORDERS CURFEW NOV. 21-DEC. 21 AS COVID SURGES; COUNTY SHERIFF CRACKS DOWN ON VIOLATIONS INCLUDING IN EL CAJON, DESPITE MAYOR'S HANDS-OFF STANCE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Chart via San Diego County: Surging COVID cases increase stress on healthcare system

November 19, 2020 (San Diego) – California’s Department of Public Health today issued a curfew Nov. 21-Dec. 21 aimed at reducing spread of COVID-19 as cases surge statewide. The County also announced beefed up enforcement efforts, with many cease and desist orders issued in East County, including El Cajon despite the Mayor's pledge not to enforce health rules.

What the curfew impacts

The limited stay home order applies in Purple Tier counties including San Diego. Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., the order prohibits gatherings with people not in your household either on your property or elsewhere. 

Non-essential businesses must cease operations during the curfew; only activities defined as “critical infrastructure” (COVID19.ca.gov Essential Workforce) may continue.

The curfew does not prohibit individuals or people in the same household from leaving their residence, as long as they don’t interact with people from other households. You can walk your dog, exercise alone or with those in your household, ride your horse, and travel for essential purposes such as medical visits, picking up food or going to the pharmacy. The curfew also does not apply to people who are homeless.


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DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS

East County News Service
 
November 19, 2020 (Lemon Grove)—Lemon Grove residents can brighten their holiday season with free drive-through food distributions every other Saturday  from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, or while supplies last.  The next distribution will be this Saturday, Nov. 21.  The pickup site is at the recreation center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.
 
You must provide proof of residency in the city of Lemon Grove.  Food will be available to the first 240 vehicles; one family per vehicle.
 
Drivers and passengers should stay in your vehicle and be sure your trunk is clear so food can be loaded.

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‘TIS THE SEASON FOR HOLIDAY FAVORITES AT CASA DE PICO: TURKEY MOLE TAMALES, PUMPKIN FLAN AND MORE

East County News Service

Photo: Turkey Mole Tamales, courtesy of Bazaar del Mundo Restaurants.

November 19, 2020 (La Mesa) – This holiday season, Diane Powers’ award-winning Bazaar del Mundo Restaurants – Casa de Pico in La Mesa, Casa Guadalajara in Old Town, and Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad, are welcoming guests to enjoy special holiday dishes infused with authentic Mexican flavors. Each restaurant will offer an annual favorite for both dine-in and take-out orders: Turkey Mole Tamales, two handmade tamales filled with turkey, raisins, chopped pecans and apples, all topped with a mole sauce and sesame seeds.

With vibrant and spacious courtyards, the restaurant patios overflow with festive and colorful decor providing a visual feast for all, as well as ample outdoor heating and increased seating. In compliance with State guidelines, San Diego County has moved into the purple tier, limiting services to outdoor dining only and Powers is following a strict plan that will provide a safe environment for her customers.

The holiday menus are available through the New Year and vary by restaurant; with dishes including:


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EL CAJON MOTORCYCLIST ARRAIGNED ON INSURANCE FRAUD; ACCOMPLICE ALSO CHARGED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

November 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Omar Yousif, 22, of El Cajon, was arraigned on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud Monday after allegedly misrepresenting the timing of a motorcycle collision in order to receive an undeserved insurance payout. 
 
Shanice Davis, 21, was also charged as a co-conspirator for her involvement in the alleged fraud. 
 
An investigation by the San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force comprised of the Department of Insurance, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol, working with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, revealed that on October 2, 2019, Yousif purchased a new insurance policy for his 2019 Harley Davidson FXFB Motorcycle. Two days later, Yousif and Davis reported that they were in an accident where Yousif’s motorcycle collided into Davis’ vehicle. 

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JOIN LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ASSIST CHILDREN OF MILITARY FAMILIES IN LA MESA MILITARY HOUSING

Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce
Photo: CC by NC-ND
 
November 18, 2020 (La Mesa) - Want to make a difference this holiday season for the children of military personnel who live in La Mesa military housing? Then join the members of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and purchase toys, diapers, gift cards and other items that will make their holiday season special. 
 
The Chamber is again coordinating this holiday project with Lincoln Military Housing and are collecting toys, diapers and other items for children of military families living in La Mesa military housing between the ages of 2 -13 years old. Lincoln Military Housing facilitates holiday events for over 2,000 military children within our region. This project allows the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce to continue their commitment to making a difference in La Mesa and the lives of those within our community.

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SUPERVISORS APPROVE DARK SKIES PROTECTIONS FOR JULIAN AREA AND BORREGO SPRINGS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Night sky in  Borrego Springs, by Dennis Mammana

November 18, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today voted to approve amendments to the county’s Light Pollution ordinance which will provide “Dark Sky Community” designation to both the Julian and Borrego Springs community planning areas.  The action aims to prevent light pollution, enhancing astronomy viewing and related tourism.

The action comes after the Julian Dark Sky Network asked Supervisors in 2018 to create a way for Julian to meet International Dark Sky Association recognition. Borrego Springs was the first California community to receive that designation in 2009.

"Our community is part of the 1% of the U.S. that can still see the Milky Way. Our distance from the urban glow of San Diego's skies and the surrounding mountains help with our sky quality, but preservation must be intentional," the Julian Dark Sky Network's website states.


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LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS EXOTIC ANIMAL SANCTUARY KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON WITH FESTIVE, SOCIALLY-DISTANCED OUTDOOR EVENTS

Source: Lions, Tigers and Bears
 
November 18, 2020 (Alpine) – Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary, is welcoming guests to spend the holidays with its resident exotic animals. The animal rescue and education facility has released its holiday schedule, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with enriching animal activities during their limited-capacity, special visits.
 
Lions Tigers & Bears guests will encounter retired circus animals, exotic animals formerly used for inhumane photo and petting opportunities and abandoned, illegally owned big cats, all who’ve been rescued and given forever homes in wide open habitats.
 
Visitors will observe in awe as these majestic creatures celebrate with feasts and activities of their own during each holiday-themed visit.

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CAL TRANS WORKER KILLED, THREE MOTORISTS INJURED ON STATE ROUTE 94 IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

November 18, 2020 (El Cajon) –California Highway Patrol, San Diego Sheriff and San Miguel Fire Department personnel responding to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle around 12:31 a.m. found a Caltrans worker who was unresponsive on State Route 94 east near the Avocado exit.

Other Caltrans workers told authorities that a driver traveling on the wrong site of construction cones struck the worker and dragged him approximately 40 feet, ECM news partner 10 News reports.


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SOME CHURCHES AND RESTAURANTS FLOUT RULES, OTHERS COMPLY AS PURPLE TIER SHUTDOWNS COMMENCE

 

Story and photos by Jake Rose

Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

 

Photos, left: Parishioners at Skyline Church flock to indoor services, many without masks

November 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Skyline Church in the unincorporated area of La Mesa and Shadow Mountain in El Cajon had full parking lots for Sunday morning services, despite new Purple Tier restrictions now in effect throughout the county.

Purple tier restrictions started at midnight Saturday, due to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. Purple tier, or Tier 1, is the most restrictive level for California and comes into play when positive tests exceed 8%. Many non-essential business operations must close, places of worship, restaurants and gyms must move all activity outdoors, and retail must cut capacity to 25%.

With businesses already struggling after the initial lockdown followed by an overall slowdown due to the public’s worry about the coronavirus, this second lockdown has some businesses and places of worship around East County flouting the new restrictions.


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SDSU WOMEN'S SOCCER ANNOUNCES RECRUITING CLASS INCLUDING POWAY AND GROSSMONT HIGH SENIORS

The Aztecs add eight newcomers for the 2021 season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo:  Sarah Funk via everipedia.org

November 14, 2020 (San Diego) - Mike Friesen, San Diego State head women’s soccer coach, announced the signing of National Letters of Intent from eight high school seniors--including one from Grossmont High and Poway High--who will begin competing for Aztecs in the 2021-22 school year. The announcement was made Friday.


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SANTEE’S STARLIGHT CIRCLE HOLIDAY LIGHTS WILL STILL TWINKLE DURING THE PANDEMIC

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

(Photo, left, courtesy of the Starlight Circle Facebook page)

Nov. 13, 2020 (Santee) Santee’s Starlight Circle, a yearly holiday tradition of Christmas lights and decorations, will continue spreading holiday cheer during the pandemic.  Many might find comfort in being able to enjoy this holiday tradition in a social distanced manner – driving Glendon Circle in their cars.

“It’s been a trying year for everyone and hopefully our neighborhood will help brighten things up a bit,” said a 30-year resident of Starlight Circle Jerry Mills. “It seems that viewing from one’s car, rather than on foot, would be the way to go this year.”  

“As far as dealing with COVID-19, we would ask people to follow whatever guidelines are being given by local, state, and national authorities and be respectful of each other,” he said.

Mills noted that it is not an organized event but a “”neighborhood that for decades has decorated and drawn large crowds. So, there are no rules and no one in charge of anything.  It just happens, which is pretty special in itself.” 


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SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SERIES OF EL CAJON HOT PROWL BURGLARIES AND CAR THEFTS

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2020 (El Cajon) -- A man suspected of a series of residential hot prowl burglaries and auto thefts in El Cajon has been arrested. Davon Lee, 20, of El Cajon was taken into custody yesterday by San Diego police while in a vehicle stolen from the site of the most recent burglary.  


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SOME BUSINESSES AND CHURCHES SET TO DEFY SHUTDOWN ORDERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left: Major's Diner in Pine Valley, a long-time roadside stop for travelers also popular with local residents, could not survive another shut down in winter weather, the owner says.

November 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Several East County business owners and at least one megachurch have announced intentions to defy a new state mandate to shut down indoor services starting Saturday.  In addition, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells says police in his city won’t prioritize enforcement of businesses that remain open despite public health orders.

Places of worship, gyms, restaurants and movie theaters are ordered to stop indoor operations under state mandates due to high rates of COVID-19 that have moved San Diego County into the purple tier.  Retailers are supposed to cut service to 25% capacity and any schools not yet reopened are prohibited from doing so.

Restaurants and bars have been tied to 9.2% of all COVID cases in San Diego County from June 6 through November 7, or 3,666 cases, according to newly released county health data. Even with many modifications, the most recent two weeks of data from October 25 to November 7 show 389 cases tied to restaurants and bars, or 10.01% of total new cases—more than any other specific business category.

Yet some restaurant owners say they’re done with shutdowns and would be unable to survive another shutdown as winter approaches.


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LA MESA HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE RETURNS WITH SOCIALLY DISTANCED HOLIDAY CRAFT MARKET DEC. 5

Source: La Mesa Village Association

November 12, 2020 (La Mesa) -- With the uncertainty of tradition for the 2020 Holiday Season, the La Mesa Village Association is proud to announce the return of the beloved 5th Annual Holiday in the Village! In a modified Craft Market format that has been approved by County and City officials, we will once again be ringing in holiday cheer for everyone far and near!

On Saturday, December 5th in the La Mesa Village from 10 a.m.to 9 p.m., friends and family will have the chance to take part in the FREE festive fun with holiday music, craft vendors, a food court, and a unique holiday photo station for classic joy and cheer!


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EAST COUNTY TRANSITIONAL LIVING CENTER RECEIVES LARGE BLANKET DONATION FROM SUBARU OF EL CAJON

Source: East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC)

November 12, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., East County Transitional Living Center will be accepting a generous donation of 80 blankets from the local El Cajon, Subaru dealer. “The Center is thrilled to receive great contributions like this from a wonderful local business so they can continue to help homeless and struggling individuals in the community,” says Helen Zamora, director of development at the ECTLC.

Subaru of El Cajon is teaming up with Beantown Blankets, an organization that helps businesses and people donate blankets, beanies, bags, and more to good causes to provide the contribution of blankets. Beartown Blankets also matches whatever amount the individual or business buys to donate.

Click Read more to hear about ECTLC's mission, vision, and virtual Gala fundraiser Saturday.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL EXTENDS COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS

Source:  City of El Cajon

November 12, 2020 (El Cajon) - On Tuesday, November 10, the El Cajon City Council unanimously approved extending the City’s COVID-19 relief measures through June 30, 2021. The relaxed rules and fees were set to expire on December 31, 2020. These measures include:


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CALIFORNIA PROTECTS HOMEOWNERS FROM HAVING FIRE INSURANCE DROPPED - AGAIN

The areas given protection include these zip codes near the destructive Valley Fire in San Diego’s East County:  91901,  91905, 91906, 91914, 91915, 91916, 91917, 91935, 91962, 91963, 91978, 91980,  92021, 92019, 92021, 92040, and  92154.

By James Bikales, CALmatters

CalMatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  A firefighter hoses down a burning home to help stop the spread of the fire to nearby homes in the Skyhawk community as the Shady Fire burns in Santa Rosa, on Sept. 28, 2020. Photo by Dai Sugano, Bay Area News Group

November 12, 2020 (Sacramento) - As this year’s historic wildfire season winds down, Californians living in fire-prone territory got temporary relief from another threat: they can’t lose their homeowners’ insurance policies for another year.


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SDSU BASEBALL ADDS NINE DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD, INCLUDING SANTANA HIGH SENIOR

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo:  Santana High senior pitcher Tyler Glowacki

November 11, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State baseball head coach Mark Martinez proudly announced the addition of eight high school seniors--including one from Santana High--and one junior college transfer during the early signing period, which commenced on Wednesday. Seven of the nine signees hail from California, while two originate from Nevada. In addition, all eight prep recruits were listed among the nation’s top 500 players by Perfect Game.

Below is a look at the nine newest Aztecs, who will arrive on campus in the fall of 2021.


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HOW ARE TIES OR CLOSE LOCAL RACES RESOLVED?

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2020 (San Diego) – With Santee’s City Council candidates separated by just two votes and Supervisor candidates Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus just seven votes apart, readers have been asking questions.  What happens if there is a tie in a local election?  (One on social media suggested determining the winner via a duel.)

Does a close race trigger a recount?  Have any local races changed when a recount was done? When will the counting be done?

ECM reached out to San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu to get answers to these and other questions.


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HOLIDAY LIGHTS EXTRAVAGANZA AT LANTERN CREST IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

November 11, 2020 (Santee) – Lantern Crest Senior Living in Santee will transform into a drive-through holiday extavaganza open to the public each Thursday through Sunday night in December  from 6 to 8 p. m.(except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

Guests will see holiday displays and light shows, all from the comfort and safety of their cars. Admission is free. There will also be a drive-up Santa's Workshop to purchase some hot cocoa, apple cider, cheesecakes bites and more, as well as a photo booth. All the proceeds will go to the Lantern Crest Foundation, which benefits low-income seniors in the San Diego area.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND AT LAKE CUYAMACA

 

 
 

East County News Service

 

November 11, 2020 (Lake Cuyamaca) -- Pandora Horn sent in this images after snow transformed her home on the North Hill of Cuyamaca Lake in Julian into a winter wonderland. 

Her dog, Prada Van Horn, bundled up in a festive sweater for a romp in the new fallen snow.


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DEPUTIES SEARCH FOR TRANSIENT SUSPECTED OF STABBING MAN IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

File photo by Nadin Brezinski

November 10, 2020 (Lakeside) – A man walking with a woman in the riverbed in Lakeside Monday night behind the 76 gas station on Willow Road was stabbed in the back by a stranger, City Times reports.

The victim called 911 to report the stabbing around 9 p.m.


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NOAH HOMES' ENCHANTED VILLAGE TRANSFORMS INTO A DRIVE-THRU HOLIDAY CELEBRATION DEC. 18-23

East County News Service

November 10, 2020 (Spring Valley) - The Enchanted Village is back in San Diego for its third year with modifications made to accommodate social distancing guidelines. The holiday extravaganza, typically a walk-through of the eight-acre grounds of Noah Homes in Spring Valley, is now a COVID compliant drive-thru experience.  


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LA MESA HISTORICAL HOME TOUR GOES VIRTUAL WITH HOMES THROUGH THE AGES OVER THE PAST CENTURY

By Miriam Raftery

November 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – On November 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., La Mesa Historical Society invites you to join President Jim Newland for a look back at the first 14 years of the La Mesa Home Tour.  This free event celebrates the city’s architectural gems from the Gilded Age to the Space Age.  It will be streamed live on the Society's Facebook page. RSVP to receive a reminder notice.


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FIRST SNOWFALL OF SEASON BLANKETS MOUNTAIN AREAS, FREEZE FORECAST FOR HIGH DESERTS TONIGHT

East County News Service

Photo: Snow on Mount Laguna, by Dave Hogan

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Snow fell overnight on mountaintops in San Diego's inland region including Mount Laguna in East County, with more snow showers possible at higher elevations tonight.  On Mount Palomar, a new record low temperature of 25 degrees was recorded early this morning.

In the high desert areas such as Campo, below freezing temperatures as low as 29 degrees are forecast tonight.

Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops and sensitive vegetation, also potentially damaging unprotected plumbing, the National Weather Service warns.


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BOBCAT BURNED IN EL DORADO FIRE TURNS CORNER AT RAMONA WILDLIFE CENTER

By Nina Thompson, San Diego Humane Society
 
November 9, 2020 (Ramona) — A bobcat who arrived at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center with severe burns from the El Dorado Fire in Yucaipa, California, has a good chance of making a full recovery. After nearly a month of intensive treatment by Project Wildlife’s medical team, the bobcat is healing well.
 
The 6- to 8-month-old bobcat arrived at the Ramona Wildlife Center on Oct. 13, 2020, after a call by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CADFW). The warden explained that a citizen from Yucaipa had been out with her dogs when the dogs spotted the bobcat. The dog owner was able to get between the animals to prevent any injuries. The cat was then taken to a veterinary clinic in Grand Terrace. The cat was so growly that veterinary staff hesitated to open the carrier and instead contacted CADFW. Staff at San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife confirmed it was a bobcat by looking at photos and identifying the markings on the animal.

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VETERANS DAY 2020 EVENTS: VIRTUAL, DRIVE-INS, AND SOCIALLY DISTANCED ACTIVITIES

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Nov. 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) Veteran’s Day, this Wednesday, Nov. 11, can be celebrated in East County and all over San Diego County in a myriad of ways. Some events are strictly for active duty military, veterans and/or spouses and families, while others offer a way for all of us to honor and celebrate our military members.

The pandemic has changed many local event calendars with a number of entities planning on picking up their events again in 2021. However, there are still many to enjoy virtually or in a socially distanced manner.

El Cajon’s Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan will be holding a golf tournament.  Local military teams, competing on 36 teams from local military commands, will compete on the links.

Fleet Week San Diego has numerous activities such as the Innovation Zone, art exhibits, student stem day, scattered and scheduled around the region with the nucleus of the activities set up at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego. The activities span the dates of Nov. 9-15. 

Additionally, if any East County residents wish to participate in the boat parade, they should register by Nov. 11.  


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