Communities

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.


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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.


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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.


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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).


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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:


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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.


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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.


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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: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

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: 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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WRITERS - LEARN HOW TO PUBLISH FREE: CREST LIBRARY JUNE 2

 

May 31, 2015 (El Cajon) - Meet Linda Meckler, author of 30 books, public speaker, journalist & book publisher  will speak on June 2nd at 6 p.m. in the Crest Library (105 Juanita Lane, El Cajon.)


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4.1 QUAKE RATTLES BORREGO

 

East County News Service

May 31, 2015 (Borrego Springs)--If you felt the earth move under your feet Sunday morning at 6:02 a.m., that’s because a 4.1 earthquake centered 7 miles northeast of Borrego Springs rattled our region.  Our news partner, 10 News, reports the quake was felt as far away as Escondido, but the Sheriff’s Department did not receive any reports of damage.


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EL CAJON SUMMER DAY CAMP: FROM ALIEN INVASION TO ZANY ZOO

 

East County News Service

May 30, 2015 (El Cajon) – Looking for some fun activities to keep the kids fit and entertained this summer?  The City of El Cajon is announcing some creative week-long camps for kids including Hawaiian Adventure Indoor Soccer Camp, Super Hero Camp, Alien Invasion Dodgeball Camp, Zany Zoo Camp, and Little Kickers Indoor Soccer Camp. For costs and details, click “read more” and scroll down.


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$10,000 LIBRARY CHALLENGE GRANT ANNOUNCED

 

May 30, 2015 (Alpine)--The Alpine Library Friends Association (ALFA) announces an anonymous challenge grant pledge of $10,000. The Donor will match any contribution of $250 or more from an individual or group, up to a total of $10,000. The Challenge period runs from June 1st to July 15th   The money raised by this challenge will be used to outfit the Library.  San Diego County provided $10.7 million for the construction of the Library; but the Alpine Community must raise the money needed for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E ) the cost of which is estimated at $675,000. ALFA has, so far, raised about $350,000.


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MAN ARRESTED IN LA MESA FOR MURDER IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Mark Michael Everitt, 52 was arrested today in the 5000 block of Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. He is charged with the murder of Julie Ann Marie Ulm, 55, a Santee resident, says Lt. John Maryon with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit.


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LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST TASTE OF LA MESA

 

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 7th annual Taste of La Mesa from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 8, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa. Presenting sponsor is Sycuan Casino. The event will feature networking and food sampling from local restaurants and food providers. In addition, local businesses will be on hand with exhibit tables. Parking is free and shuttle service will be available.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO OUTSOURCE CUSTODIAL SERVICES

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted this week to outsource custodial services at all 22 city facilities to NMS Management, Inc.  The move is expected to save the city $350,000 to $400,000 a year.


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GROUND BROKEN ON NEW FIELD FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY

 

May 29, 2015 (Alpine) – Ground was broken this morning for a new turf field at Alpine Elementary School.  Funding was received from the County thanks to efforts by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Colin Campbell, former president of the Alpine Education Association, told East County Magazine. “Finally, some positive news coming out of Alpine!”


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GOATS ARE BAAAAA-CK: CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

Source: Heartland Fire and Rescue

May 29, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, is taking steps to clear brush from 8 and a half acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas. Goats are being used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area.

“This type of brush abatement is a tremendous help to firefighters in protecting land and nearby homes from fast moving brush fires during our summer months and the long fire season we live with in San Diego County” says Heartland Fire Chief Rick Sitta.

The company being used for this project in Lemon Grove is Environmental Land Management (ELM), the same company that was used in El Cajon to create the defensible space in 2011 that assisted in the protection of several homes from a brush fire.


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OCOTILLO WIND FAILS TO PRODUCE POWER PROMISED FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

Fraud issue heightened by 2nd year of weak wind energy output. So why isn't the federal government taking action?

By Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2015 (Ocotillo) – Last year, our award-winning investigative story, Was It Fraud?  raised serious questions over why Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility produced only 15% capacity factor in 2013—far less than the 34 percent capacity factor that Pattern promised the federal government in order to obtain lucrative federal subsidies. Even after accounting for time when a fallen blade shut down the project, capacity factor for the remaining months still averaged less than 19 percent.

Now, the figures are in for 2014—and the Ocotillo wind project again under-performed, this time reaching 24 percent capacity factor:


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DEPUTY KILLS MAN AFTER CONFRONTATION IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (Alpine) – A Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man in rural Alpine who allegedly threatened the deputy with a screwdriver Wednesday.


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EMPLOYERS FIND JOB FAIR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE REALLY WORKS

 

May 29, 2015 (EL CAJON) –The recent East County Career Expo at Cuyamaca College has resulted in at least 113 anticipated hires and lined up more than 80 interviews for jobseekers, according to a survey of employers who attended the May 20 event.


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FOUR YOUNG SCHOLARS FOR THE AGES ANNOUNCED IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

 

May 26, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--The Lemon Grove Historical Society announces the winners in its 2015 Bobby Carroll 8th Grade History Essay Competition.  The Annual Bobby Carroll 8th Grade History Essay Competition is made possible by the Mary England Endowment for Education and is named for Ms. England's late son. This year’s winners are:


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JAMUL ACTION COMMITTEE APPEALS CASINO RULING

East County News Service

Photo: Construction site at Jamul Indian Village

May 27, 2015 (Jamul) – The Jamul Action Committee and Jamulians Against the Casino (JAC/JCC) today announced that they have appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal judge denied their request for a prelimininary injunction to halt construction of a casino at the Jamul Indian Village.

The plaintiff’s request for a permanent injunction remains pending while the tribe moves forward on construction.


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NIGHT FISHING AT SANTEE LAKES OPENS FOR SUMMER

East County News Service

May 28, 2015 (Santee) -- Santee Lakes invites you to drop your line for night fishing.   Lakes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be open for night fishing on June 4 and 18, July 16 and 30, August 13 and 27 from 5 p.m. to 11 :30 p.m.

Bring a lantern--but no radios please, to keep the lake quiet for best fishing.


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PENN NATIONAL GAMING NAMES RICHARD ST. JEAN GENERAL MANAGER OF HOLLYWOOD CASINO JAMUL-SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

May 26, 2015 (Jamul) – Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) announced today that Richard St. Jean has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. Mr. St. Jean, who currently serves as General Manager of Hollywood Casino Toledo, will also assume an oversight role at Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Mr. St. Jean will have full responsibility for the opening and management of the planned $360 million Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, which will be owned by the Jamul Indian Village of California and managed by Penn National Gaming.


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