Communities

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP LANDS GRANT TO CONTINUE CLEANUP OF ALPINE WATERSHED

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of Backcountry Land Trust

January 18, 2016 (Alpine) – Clearing local watersheds of the arrundo donax, a hardy bamboo-like, non-native plant that is a major fire fuels hazard, and other invasive species is tough work.  To clear a four-mile stretch of Alpine Creek required contacting owners of about 700 private and public parcels, mapping the terrain and securing liability insurance and contracts.  So far, the initial work has been done on about 50 parcels, funded mainly by private donations.  But a lot more work is needed, including maintain those parcels already cleared.

FIRST SONS OF THE DESERT MEETING OF THE NEW YEAR SURE TO BRING LAUGHS

 
By Liz Alper
 
January 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) - If you're like me and never have anything to do on Saturday night and you LOVE classic comedy (also like me), here is something for you.  

NEW LIBRARIES COMING TO CASA DE ORO AND LAKESIDE

 

 

Source: County News Service

January 17, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors have approved spending $50,000 in Neighborhood Reinvestment funds to acquire land for new libraries in Lakeside and the Casa de Oro community in Spring Valley.  The plan was proposed by East County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: THE STORY OF MIGRATION & IMMIGRATION TO THE GOLDEN STATE JAN. 29-30

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - The non-profit Anza-Borrego Desert History Association (ABDNHA) in Borrego Springs announces a special two day program entitled “California Dreamin’: The Immigration and Migration History of California” to be held in Borrego Springs on January 29 and 30. This two day event will bring together a best-selling author, an anthropologist, a historian, and a genetic anthropologist to tell the full story of movement over time into what is now known as the Golden State.

FORMER SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT VAN ZANT FACING FELONY CONFLICT OF INTEREST CHARGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Steve Van Zant, former superintendent of Mountain Empire Unified School District, was arraigned today in San Diego Superior Court on a felony conflict of interest charge, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

While serving as Superintendent of Mountain Empire, Van Zant pushed through charter schools to operate in other school districts---while profiting by having some of those same charters hire his consulting firm, EdHive Inc.

WOMAN AND DOG KILLED BY EL CAJON POLICE AFTER CHASE

 

Update: The Medical Examiner's office has identified the deceased woman as Kelsey Rose Hauser, 25.

East County News Service

January 16, 2016 (El Cajon) – Following a three mile pursuit of an allegedly stolen red Toyota with several people inside, the driver reportedly rammed two law enforcement vehicles.  El Cajon Police opened fire, killing a woman passenger and a dog, 10 News reports.

STATE MAY GIVE HELIX WATER USERS A BREAK ON CONSERVATION MANDATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Ratepayers in the Helix Water district have been under a state mandate to reduce water use by 20% under the Governor’s orders imposed last year during the drought.  But a new draft regulatory framework just released by the Staste Water Board would cut that to 12%, if approved.

STORM FREEZES, BREAKS TRANSMITTER FOR KNSJ: DONATIONS NEEDED FOR REPAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (Descanso) -- KNSJ Radio (89.1 FM Descanso) is off the air affter the station's transmitter on Mount Laguna froze and broke during  last week's winter storm.  The repair estimate is $1,500, said Martin Eder, founder of KNSJ, a public nonprofit radio station that serves East County and San Diego.

Donations are urgently needed to cover this unexpected major repair cost and may be made via PayPal, credit card or check at http://knsj.org/donate/.  

The East County Magazine  Show airs on KNSJ on Mondays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  During the outage, which began last week, our radio show and others on the station can still be heard online by downloading the TuneIn App for your cell phone or by listening to the streaming audio online at http://knsj.org/knsjpopup.html.

HEALTHCARE LIBRARY’S WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: MENTAL HEALTH DISCUSSION JAN. 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 14, 2016 (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 “Let’s Talk About Mental Health” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The program is part of the library’s Wellness Wednesday series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST COUNTY AND COVERT CANYON OVER SHOOTING RANGE IN HEART OF CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

East County Magazine

January 14, 2016 (Alpine)--The Cleveland National Forest Foundation (CNFF), Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF), and Save Our Forest and Ranchlands (SOFAR) announced  that they have filed a lawsuit challenging the County of San Diego’s approval of a firearms training facility for military and law enforcement at Covert Canyon within the boundary of the Cleveland National Forest outside of Alpine.  

The suit seeks an injunction and restraining order to shut down commercial firearms training at the facility, among other remedies.

The lawsuit cites alleged violations of the California Environmental Quality Act, abuse of discretion in changing the use classification of the commercial firearms shooting facility, and violation of the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (commonly referred to as the “Williamson Act”).

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS SALUTE TO LOCAL HEROES AND INSTALLATION DINNER FEB. 24

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 8th annual Salute to Local Heroes & Installation Dinner on February 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Town and Country Resort Hotel (500 Hotel Circle, San Diego).

3 ALPINE SCHOOLS CLOSE FOR REPAIRS AFTER STORM DAMAGE

 

East County News Service

January 14, 2016 (Alpine) – Last week’s storm damage has necessitated closure of three Alpine schools today, with two remaining closed through tomorrow.

Joan MacQueen Middle School will be shut today and tomorrow due to propane leaks.  Shadow Hills and Mountain View  Learning Academy will be closed today for repairs on gas valves following leaks.

SANTEE BURGARLY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

January 13, 2016 (Santee) – A suspect reportedly caught in the act of burglarizing a home on Pasita de Kristy in Lakeside yesterday afternoon was apprehended a short time later during a routine traffic stop after fleeing the scene in a 2010 black Ford Ranger.  His truck contained stolen items from several recent burglaries, said deputies.

CIRCLE OF ART CELEBRATES 27TH YEAR IN BORREGO SPRINGS MARCH 12-13

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 12, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - The 27th annual Circle of Art Show & Sale will take place March 12th & 13th in beautiful Borrego Springs.  This free outdoor art show is staged at Christmas Circle, in the heart of the village.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL POISED TO SNUFF OUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES AND DELIVERIES

 

By Leon Thompson

January 12, 2016 (Lemon Grove) - There will be zero medical cannabis dispensaries in Lemon Grove if Ordinance #437 passes on the “second reading” of the bill at the next City council meeting on January 19th.

SHERIFF SEEKS BLACK FORD TRUCK LINKED TO SANTEE BURGLARIES

 

East County News Service

January 12, 2016 (Santee) — Crime Stoppers and Sheriff deputies in Santee seek public help to solve a crime spree involving burglaries of nine homes in Santee neighborhoods from December 14 to December 31, 2015. The suspect(s) targeted single story detached homes and forced their way in through a rear window or rear patio door. The stolen items were mainly prescription medications. Cash, electronics and tools have also been taken.

SANTEE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ASKS FOR HELP TO FIND MISSING ELDERLY COUPLE

 
 
 
Update 2 a.m. - The couple has been found safely in Kern County and will be reunited with their family, the Sheriff Department reports.
 
By Liz Alper
 
January 11, 2016 (Santee) - Sheriff's deputies in Santee are urging the public to be on the lookout for a missing elderly couple, KUSI reports.

JONES’ BILL EXPANDING SKATE PARK ACCESS TAKES EFFECT

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2016 (Lakeside) – Assemblyman Brian Jones visited the Lakeside Skatepark on Friday to commemorate his measure, Assembly Bill 1146, which became law on January 1st.  The new law allows non-motorized scooters, bicycles, in-line skates, roller skates and non-motorized wheelchairs in skate parks.

DRIVER KILLED IN HIGH SPEED CRASH IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2016 (Spring Valley) — A 30-year-old El Cajon woman lost control of the Honda Civic that she was driving westbound on State Route 94 at 2:35 p.m. today and crashed down an embankment at the State Route 125 junction, striking a tree.  The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.

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/.

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