Communities

DOGS HAVE GOOD LIFE WITH KIND PHILANTHROPIST DEVOTED TO HELPING ANIMALS

 

 

By Mimi Pollack

January 9, 2016 (La Mesa) — Recently, I interviewed five ebullient German Shorthaired Pointers. Their owner, George Juchum, was there, too, clearly relishing giving his dogs the run of his large home and garden  near Mt. Helix in La Mesa.

EAST COUNTY HISTORY: READER RECALLS BLIZZARD 65 YEARS AGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Nancy Manning: Snow in Descanso in 2012

January 9, 2016 (Descanso) – This week’s snowstorms evoked strong memories for Robert Stille, who wrote to share his recollections from the winter of 1949-50, which he recalls as one of the worst winters on record, at least in modern times.

“ I was a kid of 13 that winter in Descanso,” he writes.  “We had three feet of snow at Descanso and on up to Cuyamaca and Laguna they had six feet of it.  We went up with my dad when the storm first hit, to Harrison Park and evacuated a 9-month pregnant woman and her daughter out of there.  It was snowing so hard we barely made it back down to Descanso.”

COURT RULES AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP OVER SOITEC SOLAR PROJECT IN BOULEVARD

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2016 (Boulevard) – Efforts to block the massive Rugged Solar project in Boulevard appear to have hit a dead end.  On December 11th, Judge Wohlfeil confirmed  his tentative ruling to dismiss a writ of mandate filed by Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD).  The challenge claimed the project violated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements on groundwater and fire issues, among others.

“BAD has chosen not to appeal based on a variety of issues and realities,”  BAD founder Donna Tisdale told East County Magazine.  Our attorney may never see the fee award ordered by Judge Wohlfeil, or a final decision could be strung out for years.”

18 INCHES OF SNOW ON MT. LAGUNA

 

East County News SErvice

January 9, 2016 (Mt. Laguna) - The totals from this week's storm are now complete--and Mt. Laguna received a full foot and a half of snow. 

If you're looking for a snow play day, today's a good option. However a new storm is due in this evening and early in the morning, though it will be lighter, dropping less than an inch of precipitation in most areas.

Click here to view snow and rainfall totals for areas across our region from the National Weather Service:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=sgx&sid=SGX&pil=RRM.  To view more images from local HP Wren web cameras run by the University of California San Diego, such as the image at left, visit http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/.

“AROUND MT. HELIX” LA MESA HISTORICAL SOCIETY ROUNDTABLE JAN. 16

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – Author and La Mesa Historical Society President James Newland will make a presentation on his new book, Around Mt. Helix, on Saturday, January 16th at 10 a.m.  The event will be held in the Grossmont Healthcare District auditorium at 9001 Wakarusa Street in La Mesa.

EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY POSITIONS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 8, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for Commissions as listed below. The filing period ends January 14, 2016, at 5:30 p.m.  Applicants will be interviewed and appointed on January 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon, CA 92020.

CAMP ONWARD HELPS TEENS WITH ASPERGER’S SYNDROME GAIN SOCIAL SKILLS

By Janis Russell

Hear a podcast of our interview aired on KNSJ  radio: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

January 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - Camp Onward is designed for teens with Asperger’s Syndrome to help with social skills. East County Magazine recently sat down with founder Nancy Hagan, director Kathy Gerstenberg, and parent of a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome, Laura Preble. We asked them questions about how the camp got started, its impact on the kids and parents, and what the camp is like among other topics.

Audio: 

OVER A FOOT OF SNOW ON MT.LAGUNA, RAINS DRENCH REGION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Above, Jim Pelley sent us photo of snow-covered Laguna Mountains, viewed from desert in Ocotillo

Below, Fox 5 TV tweeted image of news van on Mt. Laguna for a "San Diego snow day"

January 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – After four years of drought, when it rains, it pours!  During the past 72 hours, the National Weather Service reports heavy snowfall in our local mountains including 12 to 15 inches on Mt. Laguna.  In addition, many communities soaked up  several inches of rain, topped by Mt. Woodson with nearly seven and a half inches.

Here are highlights on the snow and rainfall totals over the past three days.

EL CAJON SCHOOL RECEIVES NATIONAL HONOR

 

East County News Service

 

January 7, 2016 (El Cajon) –  Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon is among six California schools chosen as Exemplars of 21st Century Learning, a prestigious designation given out by the national coalition Partnership for 21st Century Learning (p21.org/exemplar-program).  Montgomery Middle School is an International Baccalaureate school that provides an environment of collaboration, innovative technology use, and inquiry based problem solving, all set in real world situations for a diverse population of students.

 

FLOODING AND MUDSLIDES WREAK HAVOC IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo of Dehesa Elementary School courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

January 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Today’s storm has caused significant damage across East County including closure of Dehesa Elementary School and a mudslide that oozed into homes in Rancho San Diego.

Muddy floodwaters drenched the interior of classrooms at Dehesa Elementary, soaking electrical and computer equipment on floors.  The school will remain closed until Monday for cleanup, 10 News reports.

JAMUL AREA FLOODING AND ROAD CLOSURE

 

 

East County News Service

Jaunary 7, 2016 (Jamul) --Honey Springs Road will be shut down all night due to power lines downed by vehicle that struck a power pole this evening, while awaiting SDG&E repairs, the CHP website indicates. A SIG Alert has been issued.

Highway 94 had substantial flooding this afternoon, reaching 30 feet wide in places and up to two feet deep, by some estimates..

Ronnie Durfee sent in video including this still shot of the dip between Rancho Jamul and Melody Lane.

JULIAN GETS NEW PARAMEDIC SERVICE FROM COUNTY AND CAL FIRE

 

Source: County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Julian) -- Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

 

RENOVATION OF MAIN PATIENT TOWER COMPLETED AT SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

 

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

 

January 6, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Patients are now being treated in state-of-the-art, upgraded rooms on all five floors of the East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) reports.

 

MAN’S DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND IN STORM CHANNEL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The naked, partially decomposed body of a man was swept downstream in a storm drainage channel from El Cajon to Santee. 

“His death was definitely not related to today’s rains,” Lee Swanson, public information officer at San Diego Fire and Rescue told East County Magazine.  Swanson said it was evident that the man had died days or more before to the current storm. His identity is unknown.

COMMUNITY DONATES OVER $44,000 TO HELP CHILDREN OF SLAIN EL CAJON MOM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

January 4, 2016 (El Cajon) - A Go Fund Me site has been established to help the children of Mary Newbold Fa’anunu, a 34-year-old mother of six who was killed by a gunshot wound to her head on New Year’s Day at the family’s home in the unincorporated area of El Cajon.

 

JOURNEY COMMUNITY CHURCH IN LA MESA COMPLETES SOLAR CONVERSION: WILL CUT NEARLY 80,000 POUNDS OF CARBON A YEAR

 

 

By Francine Phillips

 

January 4, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Journey Community Church in La Mesa is bringing new light this year to the community. This month Journey has completed one of the largest solar conversions in East County, San Diego. The church on Center Drive owns a seven-acre campus of buildings, including offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, a thrift store, and a food bank as well as commercial businesses that rent space. Overall, the 207 kilowatt system carbon reduction is the equivalent to 4,302 cars being removed from the road, 3,658,582 gallons of gas not being used, 26,484 trees being planted and could power 5,951 homes or 453,489 light bulbs.

 

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS ANNOUNCE JANUARY-FEBRUARY OUTINGS

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2016 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have announced their schedule of hikes for January and February in the high desert region surrounding Jacumba Hot Springs. 

The hikes range from easy to extreme, covering terrain from wilderness to a desert oasis, mountains and canyons.  You’ll also see sites rich in history reflecting the region’s Native Americans, Spanish, and pioneer settlers. Other excursions including a trip to the Chinese Castle, a Garnet Mine, Goat Canyon’s railroad trestle, and a waterfall, plus dips in mineral hot springs at the Jacumba Spa and Resort.

For a full schedule, scroll down, and also be sure to read these hikng safety tips.

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER JOINT JURISDICTION OF BORREGO GROUNDWATER

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Borrego) -On Wednesday January 6th,  San Diego Supervisors’ agenda  includes a public hearing on authorizing the County to become a groundwater sustainability agency, giving it jurisdiction over the Borrego Valley groundwater basin—the sole source of water for the Borrego region, jointly with the Borrego Water District.

The Borrego Valley area uses four times more groundwater than is replenished annually, on average.  As a result, groundwater levels have declined over 100 feet in some parts of the Borrego Valley, due to heavy water use for irrigated agriculture, residential, and commercial users including golf courses and resorts that draw tourists to the region, as well as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, according to a  U.S. Geological Survey study on the Borrego Valley groundwater basin from 1945-2010, done in cooperation with the Borrego Water District. View study  here.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL TO WEIGH MARIJUANA BAN AND SHIFTING PLANNING AUTHORITY TO COUNCIL

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -Lemon Grove’s City Council meets on Tuesday, January 5th at 6 p.m. The agenda includes a proposed ordinance to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, deliveries and commercial cultivation. Council will also consider an ordinance to shift planning authority from the Planning Commission and  the City Council hear planning matters instead.

Changes to the Water Efficient Landscape ordinance will also be considered, along with a continuing hearing on housing element obligations and awarding a contract for stormwater services.

LA MESA AND SANTEE SEEK PAGEANT CONTESTANTS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 1, 2016 (La Mesa and Santee) -- On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold one of their most grand traditions, the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee scholarship pageants.  The pageants are currently seeking outgoing residents ages 12-26 to participate in a program that has been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960s and is an outstanding mentoring program for young women.  The pageants are sponsored by the local Chambers of Commerce and focus on community service, networking, improving public speaking and interview skills and overall personal growth.

 

START THE NEW YEAR WITH A “JAZZY” WALK UP MT. HELIX JAN. 2

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association invites area residents to celebrate the New Year with a walk up Mt. Helix on Saturday, January 2 at 10 a.m. 

Meet at the fire station at 10105 Vivera and stroll as a group to the summit.  At the ampitheater, enjoy live music by Jan McBride Jazz, along with refreshments while savoring scenic views.

HEARING JANUARY 22 ON SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PLACEMENT IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--The hearing date for the proposed placement of Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Ural Davis will be held on January 22, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court,Dept. 28 (220 West Broadway).  

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) has proposed placement of Davis at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs.  Testimony from the public will be accepted at the hearing. In 1993, Davis was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison for sexually assaulting women in three separate cases between 1984 and 1992.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING WIFE

 

Update January 2, 2016: The Medical Examiner has confirmed that the victim was Mary Faanunu, 34, wife of the suspect. She died of a gunshot wound to her head. 

East County News Service

January 1, 2016 (El Cajon )—Six children apparently lost their mother early this morning and their father is behind bars. Hauati Faanunu, called police at 12:34 to report that he had shot his wife at their home at 82020 Melrose Lane in unincoporated El Cajon.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Lakeside substation responded and found a woman dead inside the residence with trauma to her upper body.  Soon after, Faanunu turned himself in at the El Cajon Police Department. KNSD 7 News reports that he dropped the couple’s six children, ages 2 to 13, off at a relative’s house; no one was home when police arrived at the family's residence.

CHIRP, ORGANIZER OF ALPINE’S SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOURS, CLOSES DOORS

 

East County News Service

December 30, 2015 (Alpine) –After 19 years of working to create gardens friendly to birds, butterflies and other creatures, the nonprofit Center to Instill Respect and Preservation for Garden Wildlife, or CHIRP, is coming to an end.

The board of directors voted in November to dissolve the nonprofit after financial challenges, as many nonprofits have faced in recent tough times.  “I feel it is time for me, the founder and executive director, to move on,” Maureen Austin wrote in a letter published on the Alpine Community Network.

CHIRP, a garden club known for organizing the popular Sage & Songbirds garden tour each year, gained national fame for Alpine after helping the community become first in the nation to receive a Community Wildlife Habitat designation from the National Wildlife Federation.  Austin voiced hope that Alpine will continue to nurture habitats for wildlife to retain the designation, adding that she will happily help transfer NWF’s annual status report to another organization or individual.

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