Communities

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: A WILD NIGHT SIGHT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2015 (Borrego Springs) -- You just never know what you might see on a warm desert night out in Borrego Springs! 

This shot by our editor, Miriam Raftery, was taken on the summer solstice eve.  The figure at left, a photography student on Dennis Mammana's night sky photography tour, is facing off with a sculpture of a giant sloth (a creature that once roamed the Anza-Borrego Desert). The gigantic metal sculpture is one of many created by artist Richard Breceda that appear tto rise from the desert floor, captivating the imaginations of young and old alike.

The moon, Venus, and Jupiter are faintly visible in the sky above.


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PROWLER SUSPECTED OF FLASHING RESIDENT ARRESTED IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Glendale Police

June 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – A rap music artist suspected of breaking into a home and exposing himself to a 30-year-old woman, as well as stalking a 17-year-old girl is now in custody. El Cajon Police arrested 32-year-old Von Ryan Manago, said Lt. Frank La Haye.

Manago has been charged with indecent exposure and burglary. He had previously been arrested for burglarizing a woman's home in Glendale while she was sleeping in 2012.  According to a Glendale News-Press article, Manago is a rap musician who goes by the rapper name Nem-Iz. Born in New Jersey, he has also lived in Raleigh, North Carolina and is the CEO of Writer's Blokk Media, an Indie music label.

For crime buffs out there, here are the bare facts of how police tracked down the prowler flasher suspect.


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LEMON GROVE PROTESTERS SEEK STOP TO SHERIFF TROLLEY SWEEPS

 

June 25, 2015 (Lemon Grove) – At a “Black Lives Matter” rally held last Monday in Lemon Grove, approximately 30 activists including representatives of religious, civil liberties, and immigrant rights groups called for a halt to the Sheriff’s “Operation Lemon Drop” and other similar law enforcement sweeps.


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WHY ARE 137 RAPE KITS UNTESTED IN EL CAJON?

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – Nationwide, over 400,000 rape kits have never been tested, including many right here in our region.  Yet testing every rape kit can produce undeniably dramatic results.


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ONE WORLD SOCCER FEST: JULY 11 AT SANTEE SPORTSPLEX USA

 

June 25, 2015 (Santee) -- With the slogan "changing lives one goal at a time" the One World Soccer Fest will kick off at the Sportsplex USA Santee (9851 Riverwalk Drive, Santee) on Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the Chisomo Idea and the Homeless World Cup.  Soccer carnival games and a mini soccer clinic are all part of the day's fun, as well as viewing a round-robin soccer tournament.


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CONTAMINATED WATER AT LOUIS STELZER COUNTY PARK WATER SYSTEM

 

June 24, 2015 (Lakeside)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for Louis Stelzer County Park located at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, effective immediately.  The water system serves a ranger station, volunteer pad, park drinking fountains and public restrooms.

The drinking water system has tested present for total coliform bacteria. 


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PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD OPEN ON PROPOSED CLOSURE OF HAZARDOUS LEAK MITIGATION IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2015 (Spring Valley ) – San Miguel Fire Protection Agency has sent a letter notifying the Spring Valley Planning Group that the County intends to close its case on contamination from underground leaking storage tanks at 905 Gillespie Drive in Spring Valley.  The proposal would leave petroleum hydrocarbon elements in the soil to degrade by natural processes under the state’s “Low-Threat Closure Policy.”

Public comments will be accepted from June 27 through  August 31st.

The fire district removed underground fuel storage tanks at its fire station on the site, Kevin Healy with the County's Enviornmental Health department advised East County Magazine. Under the state's policy, the contaminants can be left in place to degrade naturally if they are found to not pose a human health risk or adversely impact beneficial uses of surface water or groundwater.


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BACKCOUNTRY COUNTY FIRE FLEET: NEW ENGINES & WATER TENDERS

 

June 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--A welcome sight will soon be rolling out to some outlying areas of the County.


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200 VOLUNTEERS JOIN TO BUILD PLAYGROUND AT BILL BECK PARK IN EL CAJON

 


 

June 22, 2015 (El Cajon) -- The new KaBOOM playground at Bill Beck Park in El Cajon is complete—thanks to about 200 volunteers who completed the customized playground in just five and a half hours.  As an added bonus, the City also installed a new adult outdoor fitness located next to the playground.


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OWNER CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY AFTER DOG DIES IN HOT CAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2015 (El Cajon ) – A woman who left her dog in a hot car for five hours at the El Cajon courthouse on June 19th  has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.


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BLACK LIVES MATTER: RALLY IN LEMON GROVE MONDAY, JUNE 22

East County News Service

June 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be holding a Standing on the Side of Love event to support the national "Black Lives Matter" movement in Lemon Grove, California on June 22nd from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.. 

The movement is a rallying cry against police actions and a criminal justice system which results in extremely disproportionate acts of violence, incrimination and incarceration of Blacks in America. This event will also advocate that local law enforcement agencies such as the San Diego Sheriffs' Department stop conducting actions like Operation Lemon Drop which appear to target low income populations of color.

The rally will start at the northwest corner of Lemon Grove Avenue and Broadway.  At 5:30, local speakers will make short presentations regarding this movement in our region.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY DIDN’T EL CAJON HOLD A BUDGET WORKSHOP BEFORE ITS JUNE 23 BUDGET PRESENTATION, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST?

 

By Robert Clark  

 The El Cajon City Council meeting of June 9 was notable for what  happened--and for what did not happen.

As reported in "East County Magazine" on  June 12  ("Smoking Hot Debate"), the Council voted 3-1 to support Senate Bill 151, which would increase the legal age to buy tobacco in California from 18 to 21.

 What did not happen was a "budget workshop." The City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For the last four years (2011 through 2014), I have attended the workshops on the first meeting in June, at which time information would be provided to the public regarding the estimated financial results for the current fiscal year, and numbers were available for the proposed budget for the fiscal year commencing the following July 1. The Council would then vote to adopt the budget at the second June meeting.


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MERCADO FIRE UNDER CONTROL

By Paul Kruze

Video with permission of Mike Anderson.

June 19, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--A full contingent of CAL-FIRE and San Diego County firefighters were called to fight a smoky 15-acre fire near State Highway 94 and Jamacha Blvd. that broke out Friday afternoon. The highway was closed to traffic in both directions until the fire reached 85 percent containment at 6:30 p.m.

A Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit is investigating. Although an SDG&E substation was lightly damaged in the fire, power to about 20,000 homes was not affected. A man and a woman observed leaving an area known as a homeless encampment in the burn area have been detained for questioning, though no charges have be filed at this time.


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BANDING TOGETHER

 

By Jaime Mirman

June 18, 2015 (La Mesa)--Our own San Diego Concert Band offered a concert on June 14 at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa. The stage was surrounded by at least 250 enthusiastic listeners.


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PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD OPENS ON RAMONA SOLAR PROJECT: JULY 6 DEADLINE

 

East County News Service

June 18, 2015 (Ramona) – A proposed 18.3 acre solar energy facility is proposed in Ramona at the northwest corner of Creelman Lane and Ashley Road.  The developer is asking the County to adopt a mitigated negative declaration that would exempt it from California Environmental Quality Act review, declaring the impacts to be insignificant.


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LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND SPARED: HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES DELAY ACTION FOR A YEAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2015 (La Mesa) – After hearing testimony from a Boy Scout leader and other users of the Lake Jennings Campground who pleaded to keep it open, the Helix Water Board voted to delay action on possible closure for one year.  But the long-term future of the campground is not yet secure, despite recent financial gains.

Since Helix took back ownership of the lake in 2008, the campground had been losing money at $200,000 a year – but that’s dropped to only $24,000 a year today, nearly a break-even point.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: LAKE JENNINGS PHOTO CONTEST WINNER

 

June 18, 2015 (Lakeside) -- Mike Shane took first place in Helix Water District's photo competition, with this beauty shot of Lake Jennings, capturing the serenity of the water's surface reflecting a starbust sun and clouds above.


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FIRE CREWS BATTLE FIRE IN LAKESIDE'S WILDCAT CANYON

 

Update June 19, 2015 5 p.m. -- The fire is 170 acres and is now 68% contained, Cal Fire advises.

Update June 18, 2015 12 p.m. -- A firefighter has been injured, NBC news reports, as firefighters continue holding the blaze in rugged terrain. 

Update June 18, 2015  8 a.m. -- Cal-Fire now estimates the fire is at 178 acres and 38% contained.  Firefighters worked through the night with headlamps in steep terrain.  Wildcat Canyon Road is open in both directions and homes are no longer threatened at this time.

Update 9 p.m. -- The fire has burned 150 acres and is 10% contained.  Temperature is 75 degrees and humidity is 54%; the rate of spread is now slow.  Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze including Cal-Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, Heartland and Barona. Wildcat Canyon Rd. remains closed from Founder's Way to San Vicente Road, Cal-Fire advises.  The County Office of Emergency Services and the American Red Cross are also now involved.

Update 6:45 p.m. - Cal Fire spokesman Kendal Bortisser has advised  that the fire has potential for 500 acres, though Cal Fire hopes to contain it at 50 acres.  Fire is 10% contained, incident commander estimates. Residents report heavy smoke and poor air quality. The Sheriff has evacuated 7 homes but no others are currently threatened. Those evacuated are sheltering at the Barona Casino. View live-streaming video on Fox 5 at http://fox5sandiego.com/on-air/live-streaming/.

Update 6:02 p.m. The road closure has been moved to south of the Barona Casino to give people access to the casino, CHP reports.  U.S. Forest Service Crews, Cal Fire and Barona firefighters are battling the blaze

Photo  by Shannon Cervantes: fire with Barona Casino in foreground

June 17, 2015 (Lakeside) - A brush fire is burning in Lakeside early this evening on the Barona reservation near Wildcat Canyon Road. The fire, reported about 4:50 p.m. near Acuunya Way., is northeast of the casino and moving northeast toward a glider port. Cal Fire estimateed the blaze at 20 acres but a retired fire official in the area has estimated that the fire has swelled to 40 or 50 acres.

Structures are immediately threatened and the blaze is spreading rapidly, according to Cal-Fire. Wildcat Canyon Road is closed due to the fire from San Vicente Road to just south of the casino. Fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are battling the fire, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

Multiple news outlets report the Sheriff has evacuated several residences in the Acuuunya Way area.


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OLAF WIEGHORST MUSEUM CLOSURE AND REOPENING

 

By Robert Gehr (C) 2015


June 17, 2015 (El Cajon)--The Olaf Wieghorst Museum in El Cajon, will be closed for painting from June 17th through July 6th - 2015.


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CEDAR CREEK HIKER DIES

 

East County News Service

June 16, 2015 (Julian)—A 24-year-old hiker has died after suffering apparent heat-related physical distress on the Cedar Creek trail near Julian on June 16th in the early evening.  His friends called 911 and paramedics were notified, along with Sheriff’s deputies.


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JULIAN GOLD RUSH DAYS BRINGS HISTORY ALIVE JUNE 27-28

 

 

June 17, 2015 (Julian)--Experience the history of the Old West with costumed hosts who interpret what life was like in a California mining camp in the 1880s at the Julian Gold Rush Days on June 27th and 28th.  

There are activities throughout the  historic gold-mining town, from gold panning to gunfighting, a chance to meet historical reenactors and much more. This year's host is the Julian Mining Company.


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BLUES BASH AT MENGHINI WINERY JUNE 20TH

 

The 17th annual Blues Bash will be held at Menghini Winery in Julian on Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The music fest will include Jonathon Boogie Long and the Blues Revolution from Louisiana, crowned “King of the Blues” by Guitar Center. The event also features wine-tasting and dancing. 


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HEAT ADVISORY ISSUED FOR EAST COUNTY

 

County News Service; photo via PhotoSpin

June 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--With prolonged high temperatures expected to reach up to 115 in San Diego County deserts over the next few days, County health officials are reminding the public to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.

The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a heat advisory in effect now through Sunday at 7 p.m. for the lower desert areas of eastern San Diego County. Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees above average with high temperatures forecast of 112 to 115 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will only drop into the 80s. Mountain and foothill areas in the county are expected to be warm as well with highs in the 90s. Coastal areas will be near-normal temperatures.

The County operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 115 air-conditioned buildings as cooling centers. Locations and hours of operation can be found on a new interactive map on CoolZones.org or by calling 2-1-1 San Diego. The sites are identified by a light blue Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.


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PAINTING DEMONSTRATION BY ARTIST MICHAEL STEIRNAGLE JUNE 23

 

June 16, 2015 (Julian) --Artist Michael Steirnagle will be giving a demonstration of his techniques on June 23 at 6 pm in the Julian library. Sponsored by the Julian Arts Guild, this demonstration is free to the public and all who are interested are welcome.  It should be a wonderful program.  His work is outstanding.


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SANTEE KICKS OFF SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

 

East County News Service

June 18, 2015 (Santee)—The City of Santee opens its 32nd annual summer concert season this Thursday, June 18th with the classic rock band, the Cat*illacs. It’s the first of 10 concerts in the Town Center Community Park East.  The concerts will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. each Thursday night from now through August 27th, (except for the July 4th holiday weekend).


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AUTOPSY REVEALS CHILLING DETAILS IN BARONA TOT’S DEATH

 

 

Abused child’s death is symptom of national high rate of violence suffered by Native American children

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 15, 2015 (Lakeside) – An autopsy report released this week reveals disturbing details in the death of 3-year-old Roland Eagle Eyes Meza Sandoval, whose body was found in a home freezer on the Barona Indian Reservation in January. The child's death is symbolic of the high rate of violence suffered by Native American children on reservations, often at the hands of non-Indian men.

According to the Medical Examiner, the child died of asphyxiation after beatings and abuse that also resulted in blunt force injuries of his head, neck, and torso as wella s bruising on his limbs, a fracture of his upper jaw, hemorrhaging and organ damage.


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INMATE WALKS AWAY FROM LA CIMA CONSERVATION CAMP NEAR JULIAN

 

June 15, 2015 (Julian)--California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for a minimum-security inmate who walked away from the La Cima Conservation Camp #42, located near the community of Julian, in San Diego County.


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NEIGHBORS OF GILLESPIE FIELD SET JUNE 23 MEETING WITH ATTORNEY: MORE PLAINTIFFS NEEDED AS DEADLINE NEARS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2015 (El Cajon)—Dozens of families are close to filing a lawsuit over the increased air traffic at Gillespie Field airport, where more expansion is planned. But with a June 30th deadline to finalize paperwork with a class action lawyer, another two dozen residents are needed to join the suit by the deadline.

A meeting is set for Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:30 p.m. with the lead attorney and interested residents. The meeting will be held at a private residence in Fletcher Hills. To RSVP and get the address and directions, contact info@asapgillespiefield.com.

“This is our last chance to get something done,” says Sue Strom with Advocates for Safe Airport Policies ASAP.


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CLOSE LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND DESPITE FINANCIAL PROGRESS? HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES WEDNESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District’s Board of Directors will vote on whether or not to close the campground at Lake Jennings in Lakeside. The vote is set for Wednesday, June 17th at 2 p.m. at the board meeting at the district’s headquarters, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.

The vote is slated despite huge gains made in stemming financial losses, from $200,000 in 2013  to just $24,000 this year, plus increased profitability of other attractions and activities with potential for more, including state approval to add kayaks just  last month.

Director Kathleen Coates-Hedberg urges the public: “If  you want to see Lake Jennings Campground stay OPEN for the future and would like to voice your opinion, please come to the Board meeting or send an email to our Board Secretary and she will forward to Board Members. Board Secretary, Sandy Janzen, Sandy.Janzen@HELIXWATER.org.”


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KABOOM! HELP BUILD A PLAYGROUND AT BILL BECK PARK JUNE 18 AND 20

 

Photo: KaBoom! Playground previously built at Wells Park in El Cajon

June 13, 2015 (El Cajon)--Once again, the City of El Cajon plans to build a playground in a day.  Volunteers are needed to help with the assembly of a one-of-a-kind, customized playground at Bill Beck Park on June 18 and June 20.  The existing playground at Bill Beck Park was over 50 years-old.  So, a new playground is planned to provide youths with a better area to play and have fun.  Some of the volunteers who have registered so far include off-duty Heartland Fire & Rescue Firefighters and El Cajon Police officers, along with other City personnel and members of local civic groups.


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