Communities

JUDGE SETS TRIAL DATE FOR DEC. 4 ON ALPINE SUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT OVER HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2015 (Alpine) – Alpine residents seeking to force the Grossmont Union High School District to turn over $70 million in bond funds and land acquired for construction of an Alpine High School will finally have their day in court.  Judge Joel Pressman ruled against Grossmont on Friday, refusing to dismiss the case and requiring that the money be set aside pending outcome of the trial.

The proceeding will be an administrative trial before Judge Pressman set for December 4th with the Alpine Union School District and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability squaring off against the GUHSD. A 3-judge appellate court panel previously denied Grossmont’s request for a stay to stop the proceedings, a move affirmed Friday by Pressman. The County Grand Jury also found that the district did not live up to its obligation to Alpine taxpayers and recommended that the district build the high school or turn over the money to the Alpine Union High School District to build the school.  The district's board majority defied the Grand Jury and did neither.

The plaintiffs contend that Grossmont misallocated millions of dollars from Propositions U and H,  spending much of the $700 million measures approved by voters for projects not listed in the bond while refusing to build the Alpine High School that was a priority project in the bond measures.

OLYMPICS DAY IN EL CAJON: JOIN THE FUN JUNE 13

 

June 4, 2015 (El Cajon)--The spirit of the Olympic Movement will roll into El Cajon as LionHeart Academy hosts a celebration of Olympic Day for the community. This event is one of over 1,100 in the country being held in June. LionHeart Academy’s celebration will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 13, 2015. The location is 1331 N. Cuyamaca Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.

AIR SHOW SAN DIEGO JUNE 20-21

 

June 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Air Show San Diego will take to the skies over Gillespie Field in San Diego June 20 and 21. This year’s “AirShow San Diego” (formerly known as “Wings Over Gillespie”) will feature a representative collection of aircraft and acts to support the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY’S `WELLNESS WEDNESDAY’ MEETING WILL DISCUSS HOSPICE ON JUNE 24

June 10, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free program on  “Dispelling the Myths of Hospice,” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. The program is part of the library’s “Wellness Wednesday” series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

SAN DIEGO REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION PROVIDES $276,000 GRANT TO COUNTY FOR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FOR RURAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS

 

June 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today accepted a donation of $276,000 from the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation for the purchase of  80 AVL (automatic vehicle locator) equipment for rural San Diego fire departments.

FIRE INSURANCE RATES FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUSINESS TO DROP IN HEARTLAND FIRE DISTRICT—THANKS TO DISTRICT ATTAINING “RARE” TOP NATIONAL RATING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Rick Sitta delivers good news at El Cajon Council meeting

June 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – If you live in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa or Lemon Grove, your fire insurance rates will soon be going down. That’s because Heartland Fire & Rescue, which provides firefighting services for all three cities, has received a class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO).   

The  ISO rates 47,000 fire departments across the United States and of those, only 98 have attained a class 1 rating, including only 8 fire districts in the entire state of California.  “Class 1 communities are very rare, and some of these scores are the highest we’ve ever seen,” says Stephanie Ruscansky from the ISO, who notes that only a small fraction of 1% of all agencies rated attain a Class 1 rating.

GLEANERS URGENTLY NEED SPARE FRUIT TO FEED HUNGRY RESIDENTS

 

June 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Volunteers who pick fruit to feed the hungry have an urgent need for sites to glean spare fruit from backyard gardens and farms in order to continue to supply churches and food pantries that distribute the produce.

PETITION TO SAVE SCENIC EL MONTE FROM SAND MINING

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2015 (Lakeside) – Lakeside residents have launched an online petition asking Bill Horn, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, to save El Monte from a proposed sand-mining project.  View or sign petition here.

This ill-conceived, destructive and dangerous project poses a clear public safety threat. It would also destroy a place so beautiful that it’s been designated a county scenic view corridor and a focal point in long-range San Diego River Park preservation plans.  Mining here could also contaminate a major drinking water supply and potentially spread deadly Valley Fever across our region.

LA MESANS CALL FOR EFFECTIVE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, PLANNERS VOTE TO RECONSIDER CITY'S CAP

 

By Joan Raphael

Climate Action Campaign's Executive Directore Nicole Capretz addresses legal problems of  La Mesa's CAP; Senior Planner Chris Jacobs takes notes.

 

June 8, 2015 (La Mesa)--On Wednesday, June 3, concerned citizens came together at a hearing of the La Mesa Planning Commission to press for a stronger Climate Action Plan (CAP). The hearing proved a reminder of what ordinary citizens working together can achieve.

TEAMING UP TO CLEAN RIVER PARK IN SANTEE: PADRES AND TOYOTA PITCH IN

 

June 8, 2015 (Santee)--Toyota of El Cajon joined forces with the Padres Volunteer Team to help the San Diego River Park Foundation remove trash and debris from the San Diego River Watershed in the Forester Creek area of Santee on Saturday, June 6. The cleanup event targeted 20 sites along the river’s watershed, with the goal of collecting over 3,600 lbs. of trash in three hours.

PICTURE THIS: LOCAL ARTIST WINS AWARDS AT DEL MAR FAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Artist Chuck McPherson has picked up six awards at the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar, after having a record nine entries accepted.  The talented artist grew up in Spring Valley, lives in La Mesa and regularly dazzles crowds with his innovative performance art and colorful style at local charity events (he’s been known to add lipstick, coffee grounds and other audience-provided items to his works).

BODY NEAR OCEAN BEACH PIER IDENTIFIED AS EAST COUNTY WOMAN

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 6, 2015 (El Cajon)--An El Cajon mother is mourning the loss of her 20-year-old daughter, Victoria Zubkis, whose body was found in the ocean near the Ocean Beach Pier on May 28th.   Zubkis’ mother had reported her daughter missing two days earlier, when she went to visit a friend in Ocean Beach.

NEW FIRE STATION OPENS IN BOULEVARD

 

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2015 (Boulevard) – Last week, a brand new fire station opened in Boulevard.  The $3.5 million, 8,000 square foot facility replaces an older station across the street. Capable of housing up to six vehicles, the new fire station is the first to house County Fire Authority reserves along with Cal Fire firefighters and a paramedic unit under one roof.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who led efforts to secure funding, was on site for a ribbon cutting along with Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale, Cal-Fire Chief Tony Mecham and other local dignitaries.

SHERIFF'S COFFEE WITH THE COMMUNITY: JULY 16 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

June 5, 2015 (Spring Valley) – The Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station will hold a coffee with the community at Cali Comfort Restaurant, 8910 Troy Street in Spring Valley.  The event will be on Thursday, July 16 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

EL CAPITAN'S "ALL SHOOK UP" ROCKED

 

By Kathy Carpenter

Associate and Youth reviewer sdtheatrereviews

June 5, 2015 (Lakeside) - El Cap students rocked the energy and made us feel  a part of this small, square town, for a couple of hours. They brought the spirit of Rock and Roll, as inspired by Elvis Presley, in the early sixties. Good. clean, fun for everyone. If you are in the area and like theatre, come by and support these future entertainers.

LAKESIDE RESIDENTS AND PLANNERS VOICE OUTRAGE OVER SAND MINING PROPOSAL AT HEATED MEETING

 

Story by Miriam Raftery

 

Photo, left: "Would you want these kids breathing that, every day for 15 years?" -- Jessica Webb

 

June 5, 2015 (Lakeside) –  Imagine up to 250 trucks a day – one every minute and a half—hauling sand along a rural  road right in front of your house--five days a week for the next 15 years or more in El Monte Valley, if a sand mining developer has his way.  It gets worse:  noise and dust from sand mining operations clogging the area, kicking up potentially deadly Valley Fever spores lurking in soil here, where several El Monte Valley residents have already contracted the disease. 

The sand loads would be transported for use on highways, roadways and other aggregate projects across San Diego County—potentially bringing sand  laden with Valley Fever spores to construction projects near you.  All thanks to a deal cut by Helix Water District to settle litigation over a golf course and water reclamation deal gone sour on land that Helix owned in El Monte Valley, a county-designated scenic view corridor.

This project has the Orwellian-like name “El Monte Nature Preserve” though all parties including the developer concede it is first and foremost a mining operation that will strip bare the valley for decades, lowering the valley floor 30 feet with dredging  far deeper in places, in a project three times wider than Lake Jennings.

LIVING LEGENDS, HONORED IN LEMON GROVE, SHARE WORDS OF WISDOM

 

 

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2015 (Lemon Grove)—Five local living legends were honored on May 29th at the Lemon Grove Library, where their portraits by prominent artist Mona Mills were unveiled.  Those honored reflect a diverse cross section of our community, each with stories to tell.

EL CAJON HOSTS 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION & FIREWORKS AT KENNEDY PARK

 

Source: City of El Cajon

June 4, 2015 (El Cajon )—You’re invited to celebrate Independence Day with numerous games, musical entertainment and fireworks at the City of El Cajon’s Fourth of July Celebration.

29 RESTAURANTS JOIN IN TASTE OF LA MESA JUNE 8

 

May 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to “eat your heart out” at the 7th annual Taste of La Mesa, featuring tastings from 29 local restaurants.  This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Community Drive).

THAT GREAT DAD: NO SOCKS, PLEASE, WE'RE ORIGINAL

 

By Lemon Grove Historical Society president Helen Ofield

June 4, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- On Father's Day, nix the socks, ties, shirts and BBQ tools. Avoid T-shirts reading "Kiss Me, I'm Slovenian."  Like, really, how much of this stuff does any dad need?  Father's Day is just 35 days away.  Don't panic.  Remain upright.  Here's your list:

SUMMIT UU FELLOWSHIP SUPPORTS "BLACK LIVES MATTER" IN SANTEE

 

June 3, 2015 (Santee) --Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship sponsored a march May 31st to support the national “Black Lives Matter” movement.  With Standing on the Side of Love shirts and signs as well as a “Black Lives Matter” banners, members of the church stood on corners and walked in a busy neighborhood in Santee.

WOMAN ACCUSED IN ROAD-RAGE MURDER OF SANTEE NAVY OFFICER HAD HISTORY OF VIOLENT THREATS

 

Photo: Instagram #JusticeforZachBuob

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2015 (Santee) – Santee resident Zacharia Buob,39, a Navy Chief Petty Officer in special operations, was killed May 28th in a bizarre road rage incident.  Darla Jackson, 26, has been charged with murder for allegedly striking Buob intentionally with her vehicle and running over him on his motorcycle.

SAND MINING PROJECT IN EL MONTE VALLEY ON AGENDA FOR LAKESIDE PLANNERS JUNE 3

UPDATE: Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with Lisa Wood, Lakeside resident and chair of Supervisor Dianne Jacob's youth activites on the river committee.  Wood discusses impacts of the sand mining project, which she believes would be severe, irreversible, and worse than Sunrise Powerlink. 

Listen online now:

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Facebook site dedicated to stopping project

May 29, 2015 (Lakeside) – A controversial proposal for sand mining in scenic El Monte Valley along the San Diego River bed is on the agenda for the Lakeside Planning Group on Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Community Center (, 9841 Vine St, Lakeside). The applicant is the “El Monte Nature Preserve LLC,” though residents voice concerns the project will be destructive to nature, not preserve it.  View application.

Lakeside resident Billy Ortiz, a videographer who chronicles Lakeside’s beauty for media outlets and the Lakeside Historical Society, opposes the project. He voiced outrage over the plan.

. “If we don’t stop them, our beautiful valley will be destroyed,” Ortiz told ECM.  “We will be there to protest and discourage the project.”

Audio: 

CAJON VALLEY DISTRICT SHUTS DOWN SCHOOL OVER TOXIC CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2015 (El Cajon)—Last week, we reported that parents in El Cajon have filed a lawsuit Ametek Aerospace & Defense, alleging that the company’s underground toxic waste dumping  is causing illness among children at Magnolia Elementary School next door. 

Now the Cajon Valley School District Board has voted unanimously to close down the school for the current school year.  All students and staff will be relocated to Bostonia Elementary School.

SAN DIEGO CONCERT BAND PERFORMS JUNE 14 AT LA MESA'S SUNDAYS AT SIX

 

June 2, 2015 (La Mesa)--The San Diego Concert Band is proud to be a part of the 14th season of the City of La Mesa’s “Sundays at Six” free outdoor concerts.  The Band has played every year and this year is slated to perform on June 14th from 6 to 7 p.m.

CHEERS! CRAFT BEER AND WINE SUMMER FESTIVAL JUNE 6 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (La Mesa) –A Craft Beer and Wine Summer Festival to benefit the La Mesa Historical Society will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 1 to 6 p.m. at 4888 Date Avenue at the La Mesa Farmer’s Market parking lot.  The festivities include unlimited tastes from 20 breweries plus a VIP lounge, live music, food trucks, and over 30 vendors.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST 2015

Debt from 2014 leaves future wide open

 

Photo: Councilmember Ruth Sterling states, "I feel for the Merchants, I feel for the situation, believe me I do, but when you have the money and you know you owe the money, you’ve got to get your priorities straight. I would say the same thing to my children, if they got the rent to pay and they’ve got other things to pay. You get your priorities straight and pay the rent, or you’re going to be out on the street."

 

By Kristin Kjaero

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – The operation of this year’s Oktoberfest is up in the air, with the door open for a new organizer to potentially take over. Last week, the city of La Mesa received an application from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association for the 2015 Oktoberfest, but the Merchants’ group still owes the city $37,229 for past events including last year’s Oktoberfest.  Without ruling on the application directly, the city added a phrase to its special event application policy that empowers the City Manager with discretion to pre-qualify and negotiate with applicants.

 The Merchants Association proposed to pay both its past debts and future costs by taking over the entire event without the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s participation, combined with a request asking the Council  to roll back cost recovery to 50%. The Merchants group also promised to place future proceeds from 2015 into an escrow account so the City would be the first paid from future event revenues. 2015 Car Show series, funded annually by Oktoberfest profits, was also cancelled last week by the Merchants.

This isn’t the first time that the Merchants Association’s finances have led to a change in the way the City processes applications for special events.

SCHOOL CONTAMINATION IN EL CAJON PROMPTS LAWSUIT

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 27, 2015 (El Cajon) – Parents have filed a class action lawsuit against Ametek Aerospace & Defense in El Cajon, alleging that the company dumped toxic waste into the ground for 20 years, from 1963 to the 1980s.  The site is located next door to Magnolia Elementary School, where children have been suffering mysterious health problems.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. HOSTS COFFEE FOR COMMUNITY JUNE 24 IN LAKESIDE

 

May 30, 2015 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Sheriff’s Substation is holding a Coffee With the Community event on Wednesday, June 24 from 6 to 7 :30 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street in Lakeside.

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