Communities

JULIAN MAN ARRESTED FOR STRIKING, KILLING CYCLIST ON DEHESA ROAD: CHP SEEKS WITNESS WHO FOLLOWED HIT AND RUN DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A bicyclist, 56, has died of injuries suffered yesterday when a Mitsubishi Mirage struck him from behind on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive. The Mitsubishi’s driver, Craig Wendell Nelson, 56, of Julian fled the scene and was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after a helicopter spotted him hiding in brush along Sloane Canyon Rd. south of Dehesa Rd. in unincorporated El Cajon.

The California Highway Patrol wants to locate the driver of a vehicle that turned around at the scene of the collision and followed the Mitsubishi, or anyone else with information on the fatal accident. If you have any information, please call Officer Wilson or Officer Harris at the CHP at 619-401-2000.

According to Officer Travis Garrow, Nelson was traveling eastbound on Dehesa Rd. east of Willow Glen Drive when for reasons still under investigation, his vehicle veered into the marked bike lane and struck the rider, who was ejected onto the roadway. The bicyclist was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego where he later died of his injuries.  Nelson has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.

MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”

CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
January 19, 2020 (Borrego Springs) - The Under The Sun Foundation is organizing a photography exhibition for the 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival and invites you to submit your works for consideration.
 
They are looking for photographic works that visualize your Borrego Springs - images that capture the essence of this unique community and the special sense of place cultivated in this corner of the Sonoran Desert.
 
The works selected for the exhibition will be put on display in the old library space in The Mall during the upcoming Candlewood Arts Festival, from February 29 - March 29, 2020.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER

January 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Robert Gehr shot this photo of the illusive California Gnatcatcher (Polioptilla Californica) at the waterscape in downtown El Cajon as this tiny male bird flitted about, snatching small insects from the air as its food source.
 
“Listed as a threatened species, these uncommon feathered friends are interesting to watch as they forage for a meal,” says Gehr.

GROSSMONT SUPERINTENDENT SLAMS CAJON VALLEY BOARD OVER PROPOSED CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

"I've heard that it's been communicated that Grossmont High School District was fully aware of this charter petition. I need to say this is simply not true. That communication never took place until yesterday.  In fact, quite the opposite.” --GUHSD Superintendent TIm Glover (photo, left)

January 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Observers of the political hijinks which have become customary at meetings of the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board of trustees were not disappointed at the last regular meeting for the year on December 17th

The meeting started with school board President Tamara Otero advising her fellow board members “to be careful in any contact” with Board Trustee Jill Barto in light of Barto’s recently filed federal civil rights lawsuit.

Then the spotlight shifted to Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Glover. Glover visibly caught the board off guard when he addressed the trustees, raising objections to Cajon Valley’s preliminary plan to expand and start a new charter high school (grades 9 to 12) at the site of the district’s Bostonia Language Academy, which encompasses kindergarten to eighth grade. The new charter school would be called the “Bostonia Global Charter School.”

SKYLINE RETIREMENT CENTER, AVENTINE CONDOS AND GENERAL PLAN CLEANUP TO BE HEARD BY SUPERVISORS JAN. 29

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 18, 2020 (San Diego) – On January 29, County Supervisors’ agenda will include a proposed general plan amendment that includes a general plan clean-up and amendments to allow two developments proposed in East County: the Skyline Retirement Center proposed on Campo Road on undeveloped land near Skyline Church near Rancho San Diego, and the Aventine condominium project with 92 units proposed at Sweetwater Springs Blvd. near Austin in Spring Valley. 
 
The general plan amendment will be heard in the Board Chambers on January 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the County Administration Center (CAC) located in downtown San Diego at 1600 Pacific Highway on the north end of the third floor. 

SEXUAL PREDATOR CAUGHT BY BORDER PATROL IN POTRERO

Source: U.S. Border Patrol
 
January 18, 2020 (Potrero) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested five people Wednesday morning who were involved in a human smuggling event which included a man with a prior felony conviction.
 
Around 6:20 a.m., a man driving a black Nissan Sentra approached a temporary immigration checkpoint in Potrero and failed to stop at the designated inspection point. Agents stopped the vehicle several yards past the checkpoint and inspected the vehicle.

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.

GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – Authorities yesterday announced a $10,000 reward for information to help find Elijah “Bear” Diaz, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians who vanished under suspicious circumstances in August 2015. 
 
He was 20 years old at the time and ill from diabetes.  “He was about to get his foot amputated. He couldn’t walk. He was in a wheelchair a few days before,” his mother, Lelanie Joe Thompson told ECM in a interview last year, adding that her son weighed only 110 pounds and could not have left on his own. She said Diaz had only two weeks of insulin left when he disappeared.

CACTUS MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS IN SANTEE AND VALLEY CENTER

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications 
Image Credit: shutterstock
 
January 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two cactus mice collected separately in routine monitoring in Santee and Valley Center have tested positive for hantavirus, marking the first appearance in San Diego County in 2020 of the potentially deadly virus.
 
County officials said people should never sweep up or vacuum, but use “wet cleaning” methods instead, to clean up rodent droppings or signs of rodent infestation if they find them in their living spaces — homes, garages, sheds, cabins and outbuildings.
 
Infected rodents shed hantavirus in their urine, feces and saliva. If people stir that dry matter into the air by sweeping or vacuuming, they can inhale the virus and get sick.

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF WATER IN EAST COUNTY ON JANUARY 25

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Dignitaries rode boats to celebrate opening day of the San Diego Flume in 1889, which brought water from Lake Cuyamaca to meet the needs of East County residents.

 January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At the next Helix Water Talks, on Saturday, January 25, Helix Water District will take customers through 130 years of local history including how the need for a robust water infrastructure played into development of East County and how Helix Water District was formed to meet that need.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. at Helix’s administration office in La Mesa. The free event includes coffee and bagels, a presentation and an hour-long, 3-floor tour of the district’s collection of historical photos.

“The history of Helix Water District and our role in developing and providing water for East County over the last century is fascinating,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Our customers really enjoy this event.”

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

SANTEE LIBRARY GETS NEW LAPTOP KIOSK

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- Patrons of the Santee Library can now borrow small laptop computers through a new, high tech dispensing machine that was funded by the Friends of the Santee Library.

The kiosk, available to use for free to anyone with a library card, has been operating for about two weeks but got an official ribbon cutting Jan. 13.

Chris Miller, vice president of the Friends of the Santee Library, said her group provided about $38,000 towards the purchase of the kiosk, while the county of San Diego, which operates the library, put up about $24,000 to pay for the laptop computers made by Hewlett Packard and the maintenance cost.

“The Friends of the Santee Library is committed to doing whatever we can to expand the capabilities of the library regardless of the space we have to work with,” Miller said.

FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

 

Update January 17:  Eli is now awake and eating on his own, his aunt has informed ECM, but still faces a long recovery.

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (Jamul) – Brody’s Burgers in Jamul will host a benefit on January 26 rom 11 a.m. to 4 p.m for Eli Oliveros, a 6-year-old Jamul boy who was seriously injured in a car accident. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to help Eli’s family pay his medical bills.

Eli was in a medically-induced coma and on a respirator after the Dec. 27 accident in Los Angeles, as ECM reported.  As of yesterday, he is now breathing on his own. But he also suffered multiple broken bones as well as damages to his lungs and brain. His vision is crossed, but doctors are hoping the condition will self-correct.

PAIR WANTED FOR ROBBING CITI BANK IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks public help to locate two men responsible for robbing the Citi Bank at 402 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon on December 27th at 1:20 p.m.
 
According to special agent Davene Butler, one of the men approached a teller and made a verbal demand for money.  He was described as white, in his late 40s to 50s, approximately 5'9” tall, slender build, with dark (possibly dyed) hair and a dark handlebar mustache. This robber was wearing reading glasses, a camouflaged colored baseball cap, a long sleeve blue shirt with a short sleeve red shirt over top, and boots. 
 
The second robber stayed in the lobby of the bank.  Witnesses described the second man as a Caucasian male, in his late 30s, approximately 5'10"tall, with a slender build and was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a San Diego Chargers logo, a dark colored zip-up jacket, jeans, and sunglasses.

FATALITY CRASH ON I-8 AT JACUMBA

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs)- - Alejandro Jiminez Mendoza, 46, of Heber died January 12 after an accident that occurred on westbound I-8 at Carrizo Gorge in Jacumba Hot Springs.
 
Heber was a passenger in a vehicle that struck the left shoulder media and plunged down to the base of the embankment. 911 was called and paramedics responded, but he was pronounced dead of traumatic injuries.  

TWO TEENS KILLED IN LAKESIDE CRASH

Update:  The deceased have been identified as Justin Kyte of El Cajon and Isaac Culkin of Lakeside.

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (Lakeside) – A teen driver in a Chevrolet Silverado with three teenage passengers struck a tree in Lakeside on January 11, killing the driver and one of the passengers.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the 16-year-old driver was traveling at a high rate of speed at 10:45 p.m. on Willow Road westbound, east of Ashwood Street, when he lost control and struck a large tree.

Kyte, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. Culkin, a passenger, was transported to a hospital, but has been taken off life support after sustaining irreversible brain damage; his family decided to donate his organs to save others. A GoFundMe site has been set up to assist Culkin' family.

LANE-SPLITTING MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN LA MESA

East County News Service

Update: The deceased has been identified as Everett Burgess, 31, of Lemon Grove

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A Lemon Grove motorcyclist who was “splitting lanes at a high rate of speed in stop and go traffic” on State Route 125 northbound near Spring Street in La Mesa died after a multi-vehicle collision this morning, says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

The victim, a 31-year-old Lemon Grove man, was riding a 2013 Suzuki GW250 motorcycle at 7:22 a.m. when he sideswiped a Dodge Challenger driven by a Coronado man, 46.  The motorcyclist then veered left and struck the rear of a 2014 Toyota Corolla driven by an El Cajon man, 39.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SHOULD WE LIMIT FREEDOM OF PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO BE HOMELESS?

By Steve Goble, El Cajon Councilman

January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) -- This has lots of good information. Thank you for this article, “Cities Should Act on Homelessness or Face Lawsuits, Newsom Task Force Says.”   

What I don't see the state officials addressing yet is, "What about a person's freedom to not live under a roof?"

The Council meeting today will have a comprehensive discussion on our efforts and results to-date on programs addressing homelessness.

WATCH FOR WINDY WEATHER

East County News Service

January 14, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- A storm system will bring gusty winds as well as a chance of rain and mountain snow Thursday into early Friday morning. Winds at 35-45 miles per hour with isolated gusts up to 50-60 mph are in wind-prone mountain and desert passes.

Light rainfall of 1-3 inches is forecast in most locations, with up to 6 inches at higher elevations, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Adam Roser.  The snow level may drop to 5,000 feet, so be prepared if driving in mountain areas.

U.S. BANK ROBBED IN FLETCHER HILLS

By Miriam Raftery

January 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – The U.S. Bank located at 2755 Navajo Road in El Cajon’s Fletcher Hills neighborhood was robbed today at 3:13 p.m. The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s with numerous acne scars on his face, unshaven with a full mustache.  He is approximately 6 ft. 1 inch tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, baggy blue jeans and a dark gray hat with mesh on the back.

According to El Cajon Police Lieutenant J. Larson, the suspect walked up to a teller and stated, “This is a robbery, give me all your large bills.”  No weapon was seen.

The teller provided money to the suspect, who fled on foot. He was last seen running south on Fletcher Parkway near the intersection at Navajo Road and Fletcher Parkway.

“The FBI responded to the scene and will be working with the El Cajon Police Department during this investigation,” says Lt. Larson.

COUNCIL ADOPTS ITS SUSTAINABLE SANTEE ACTION PLAN

By Mike Allen
 
January 12, 2020 (Santee) -- The city of Santee is, like most small cities in the state, strapped for funds. Councilmembers are unhappy about complying with the many mandates promulgated by what they view as the big, bad guys in Sacramento.
 
The City Council finally got to scratch one lingering mandate off its list last week when it unanimously approved its Sustainable Santee Action Plan.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST BEER GARDEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER’S FIRST FRIDAY MARKETS

Celebrate vegan lifestyle with all-vegan eats, drinks, music and more

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has inked a deal with Grossmont Center to host a beer garden at all of the center’s First Friday markets starting February 7th through the end of this year. The beer garden will feature featuring Mike Hess Brewing Company and Local Roots kombucha.

The markets are held on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.in the shopping mall’s parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers. The  market celebrates the vegan lifestyle with all-vegan foods, sweets, drinks, goods for sale and live music. Grossmont Center is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Blvd., La Mesa. 

The beer garden will have a seating area beneath lighted tents for dining and drinking under the stars. 

ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT WARNS OF STRANGER IN TRUCK APPROACHING STUDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2020 (Alpine)—The Alpine Union School District is warning parents about two separate incidents Tuesday afternoon and again today, both involving a stranger in a truck approaching young students.

"Today, a Joan MacQueen Middle School student reported being approached by a stranger in a white-greyish four-door truck with tinted windows on Victoria Drive and Sneath Way. We have met with the Alpine Sheriff’s Deputies and have requested extra patrols at our schools. Deputies will be present after school today, and the detectives are investigating," a letter posted to the Joan MacQueen Middle School’s Facebook page reads.

In Tuesday’s incident, a vehicle described as a white lifted truck similar to a Toyota Tundra reportedly followed two young girls down a private dead-end road.

HELP NEEDED FOR 6-YEAR-OLD JAMUL BOY IN COMA AFTER CAR WRECK

By Miriam Raftery 

January 9, 2020 (Jamul)—A 6-year-old Jamul boy is in a medically-induced coma due to serious injuries suffered in a car accident on December 27th with his father and two cousins. His aunt, Britney Judd, has organized a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for Eli Ontiveros' expensive medical care.  The family hopes to locate and thank bystanders who saved Eli from a burning vehicle. 

According to the GoFundMe page, Eli suffered fractures to his clavicle, sternum, and six ribs. He also has damage to his lungs and brain. “Right now the goal is to get him off of ventilation and to get his breathing on his own,” the GoFundMe page states.

LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WINS “BEST OF LEMON GROVE” AWARD

By Helen Ofield
 
January 9, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) has been selected for the 2019 Best of Lemon Grove Award in the Local Business category by the Lemon Grove Award Program. LGHS is a 501(c)(3) non profit educational organization established in 1978 that has honed its outreach and marketing skills in all media for public benefit.
 
Each year, the nationally syndicated award program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success locally and regionally to enhance the positive image of small business through service to their patrons and community. These exceptional companies help make the Lemon Grove area a great place to live, work and play.
 
The award managers work exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and adjacent advertising and marketing groups in order to recognize the contributions to the U. S. economy by businesses and organizations like LGHS. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Lemon Grove Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Lemon Grove Award Program and data provided by third parties. Recognition is given to those companies that use their best practices and implement programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

DEPUTIES SHOOT REPORTEDLY SUICIDAL SUSPECT IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove)—A man reported by a family member to be threatening suicide at a home in Lemon Grove was shot by multiple Sheriff’s deputies on January 6th.  The shootings occurred after the man removed a revolver from inside his jacket, according to Lt. Michael Blevins, who indicated that the man did not fire the weapon.

Shane Felix, 34, was treated at the scene by deputies for gunshot injuries until paramedics arrived. He was transported to a hospital and underwent successful surgery; he is expected to survive, according to Blevins.

CBS 8 reports that Felix had a prior conviction for arson and is expected to be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, once he is medically cleared.

LA MESA POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER: INJURED PEDESTRIAN UNIDENTIFIED; DRIVER ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek witnesses to a serious injury accident that occurred at 6:16 p.m. at the intersection of Grossmont Center Drive and Center Drive.  Police also seek the identity of the victim, a white male pedestrian in his 50s who was struck while crossing the street by a 2004 Nissan SUV.

The victim suffered a compound fracture to his lower right leg and a fractured left hip, according to Lt. Brian Stoney. “Unfortunately he did not have any identification on him and we have not been able to positively identify him at this time,” he said.

SDG&E BEGINS UNDERGROUNDING POWER LINES IN JULIAN, PROJECT WILL ALLOW CRITICAL FACILITIES TO REMAIN POWERED DURING SHUTOFFS

East County News Service

January 7, 2020 (Julian) – SDG&E has begun construction to place powerlines underground east of downtown Julian along Banner Road (State Route 78) and Cape Horn Avenue).

The project aims to reduce wildfire risk and allow key facilities to remain open during safety power shutoffs, according to a press release issued by SDG&E.

“Unlike overhead power lines, underground lines do not present a fire risk during high winds and elevated fire danger conditions. Facilities that will benefit from the undergrounding work include: the post office, county branch library, Julian Union High School, Julian Charter School, Julian Elementary School and the CAL FIRE Station, as well as a county public works maintenance yard and a school bus yard,” the utility states. Existing overhead power lines in the area will remain, as they are needed to continue serving some customers.

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