Communities

LAKESIDE’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE DEC. 7 REVIVES OLD-FASHIONED HOLIDAY CHEER

East County News Service

November 25, 2019 (Lakeside) - The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate at its 21st annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Avenue on Saturday, December 7th from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Santa and his elves are hard at work creating an atmosphere of an old-fashioned hometown Christmas featuring local school performances of holiday favorites, photos with Santa, food and drinks, children’s activities, jumpy jumps, crafters booths, and lighting of the community Christmas tree.


 Find details at https://lakesidechamber.org/.

MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: WHAT IS A MOUNTAIN CHILD?







By Jake Zawlacki

Photo Credit Fern Bowen, 1947

November 25, 2019 (Jamul) -- “Mountain child” is a term I first heard when looking at a class photo of my grandfather. In the small Lyons Valley elementary school of 1947, he stood amongst two of his sisters, he and the youngest with a particularly stern face.

“Look at them. They’re like wild mountain children,” my Dad said, smiling at the black and white photo. It was true; they looked more like children of the corn than civilization standing in the dirt, some with bare feet. But most looked happy.

THANKSGIVING TURKEY BASH WITH SAN DIEGO'S RESCUED LIONS TIGERS AND BEARS NOV. 29-30

East County News Service
 
November 24, 2019 (Alpine) — You’re invited to come get wild at Lions Tigers & Bears the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving - and watch rescued big cats and bears enjoy their Thanksgiving feasts. 
 
This event is a special twist on regularly scheduled 10 a.m. guided educational visit. Choose from “member for a day” or “feed with a keeper” options.

FPPC CLOSED COMPLAINT AGAINST ROSIAK AND WITHDREW WARNING LETTER

 

Update Nov. 25, 2019:  Lemon Grove has confirmed that it has no records of any prior complaints filed against any other candidates for violation of campaign contribution or disclosure requirements in the past 10 years.

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Earlier this month, we reported that the city of Lemon Grove has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accused the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.  Rosiak told ECM, “The FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) cannot provide help or an opinion, but my filings were received by them and they have no issues with me.” 

The city contends that Rosiak borrowed money from her campaign and didn’t pay it back within 30 days, nor disclose expenditures on her behalf totaling over $100.  The city claims Rosiak violated state and city laws.

ECM asked the FPPC for a record of any FPPC complaint against Rosiak and the resolution, and the FPPC has now responded.

The FPPC confirmed that did send  a warning letter on July 13, 2018 regarding a missed filing deadline of form 470 in her campaign for Lemon Grove City Council. However, that warning letter was later withdrawn on July 16, 2018 after Rosiak stated she had sent a copy of the statement to the County Registrar’s office 10 days before the deadline via U.P.S. When notified by the Registrar that it had not arrived, she emailed a copy of the paperwork which she had retained.

SANTEE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A TREE LIGHTING AND FESTIVITIES

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Nov. 24, 2019 (Santee) Santee kicked off the holiday season with an annual tree lighting ceremony held at the Santee Trolley Square on Nov. 22.

The tree lighting ceremony, held  at 6:30 p.m., was accompanied by a display of fireworks.  The event, attended by thousands, also featured live music, snow sledding, carriage rides, mini-express  train rides, a petting zoo, carolers, free holiday crafts, and more.

DRUNK DECOY OPERATION - LEMON GROVE AND COLLEGE AREA

Source:  San Diego Sheriff's Department

November 23, 2019 (Lemon Grove/San Diego) - Sheriff's Deputies, San Diego Police Officers and California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Agents conducted a joint drunk decoy operation in Lemon Grove and the College Area on Saturday, November 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

NEW BOOK DESCRIBES THE EVOLUTION OF THE ANZA-BORREGO DESERT REGION

Source:  Sunbelt Publications

November 23, 2019 (Anza-Borrego) - The Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) in Borrego Springs is sponsoring a free public book launch for A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region: Then and Now, just in time for holiday gift-giving on Saturday, December 14 at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center at 401 Tilting T Drive in Borrego Springs, starting at 4:00 p.m. Authors Mike Wells and Marie Simovich will  present the story of how the desert landscape and organisms that inhabit this desert area evolved to their present state and what the future may hold for these desert lands. Books will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served. All author royalties are assigned to ABF to help support Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The book was published by Sunbelt Publications of San Diego in cooperation with California State Parks and ABF. 

STORMY THANKSGIVING COULD BRING SNOW BELOW 3,000 FEET, THUNDERSTORMS AND HEAVY RAINS ACROSS REST OF REGION

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re heading over the rivers and through the woods this Thanksgiving week, you might just wind up traveling through white and drifted snow, as the popular song lyrics go—not to mention rain and flash flooding, too, making for hazardous roadway conditions across southern California, the National Weather Service warns.

The National Weather Service predicts a major winter storm will bring significant snowfall of one to two feet above 5,000 feet by Wednesday, with the snow level dropping to 3,000 feet or even lower by Friday.  Snow could impact I-8 through San Diego County’s mountains, as well as areas such as Cuyamaca, Julian, Jacumba Hot Springs, Descanso, Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain locally, as well as the Cajon Pass on I-15 for those heading north.

SANTEE LAKES RECREATION PRESERVE NAMED PLAN-IT-GREEN PARK OF THE YEAR

Award presented to park owners at the 2019 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo
 
Contact-person David Basler, ARVC
Photos by Miriam Raftery
 
November 22, 2019 (Santee) -- The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has named Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, located in Santee, California, its Plan-It-Green Park of the Year at the 2019 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE), held November 4-7 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

JACUMBA'S FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS: A POP-UP SHOW OF LOCAL ART STARTS NEW TRADITION

By Rebeca Person

Editor Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

November 22, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Local Jacumba artists exhibited their works in a Pop-Up Show October 5th launching Jacumba’s first ever Festival of Sunflowers at Gilliam Gallery in downtown Jacumba Hot Springs.
 
Linda Churchill, muralist and mosaic artist, revealed new mosaics and oil paintings of Jacumba’s scenic beauty. 
 
Now the community plans to make this event an annual tradition.

CELEBRITY LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR MOTHER GOOSE PARADE THIS SUNDAY

East County News Service
 
November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) – Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the 73rd annual Mother Goose Parade this Sunday at 1 p.m. will draw thousands of spectators lining the parade route along Main Street through downtown El Cajon to see their favorite TV and movie celebrities as well as marching bands, floats, equestrian units, large helium balloons and more.  Here are the celebrities lined up:

FORMER SHERIFF’S CAPTAIN GARMO INDICTED FOR GUN TRAFFICKING, LYING TO FEDS, AND TIPPING OFF COUSIN WHO OWNED POT SHOP ON RAIDS

Jeweler Leo Hamel, Lt. Fred Magana plead guilty to aiding in scheme; gun dealer and El Cajon resident also charged

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Indicted former Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Captain Marco Garmo, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 22, 2019 (San Diego) --  Former Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo was arrested this morning based on a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with operating an illegal firearms trafficking business – at times from his office at the Rancho San Diego Station with the help of others, including a fellow Sheriff’s deputy.

The indictment also charges Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Fred Magana, prominent San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel, firearms dealer Giovanni Tilotta and El Cajon resident Waiel Anton with aiding and abetting Garmo’s illegal firearms business.

ECM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAUL KRUZE TO BE ONE OF THE ANNOUNCERS AT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE

East County News Service

November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) -- East County Magazine’s award-winning Contributing Editor, Paul Kruze, will be one of several celebrity announcers at this year’s iconic “Mother Goose Parade” set to hit the streets of downtown El Cajon on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. on Main Street.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this classic start to the holiday season,” said Kruze, who has been a part of East County Magazine for nearly a decade. “The best part of my work is when I get to meet so many people who are involved in our community."

VIEJAS HOSTS ROARING 20S NIGHT TO REMEMBER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 22, 2019 (Alpine) – To ring in 2020, Viejas Casino & Resort is hosting a Roaring ‘20s themed New Year’s Eve bash that promises to be the resort’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration yet.

 

You’re invited to don your flapper dress or Gatsby get-up, then choose a package tailored to fit your fortune.  Festivities will span the ballrooms, pool bar, park, and beyond.

 

The invite adds, “See you there, revelers – it will be the bee’s knees!

For more information, visit https://viejas.com/new-years-eve-bash-2020/.

TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION TARGETS BORDER WALL IN CAMPO IN BRAZEN SMUGGLING ATTEMPT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Smugglers cut the old border wall to facilitate an alien smuggling attempt.
 
November 21, 2019 (Campo) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 16 individuals Wednesday afternoon after smugglers cut the old landing mat border wall to facilitate a vehicle drive-thru human smuggling incident.

“GOT POWER” PROGRAM ON GENERATORS AND BACK-UP POWER OPTIONS SPARKS INTEREST IN ALPINE

By Chris Whipple
 
Photo:   Alpine residents Sally and Brian Shepherd speaking with Robyn Herrick and Israel Juarez of SDGE.
 
November 21, 2019 (Alpine) -- East County residents braved the rain Monday evening to attend a community presentation at the Alpine Library titled, "Got Power?"  Representatives from KAMPS Propane, SDG&E, and Clayco Electric Inc. Solar answered questions about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program in East County during Santa Ana, high-wind conditions.  Chris Whipple, a resident of Flinn Springs, also made a brief presentation about back-up power plans that allow her to use her medical CPAP equipment when the power is out.   

NORTH POLE LIMITED: TRAIN RIDES DURING HOLIDAY SEASON IN CAMPO

East County News Service
 
November 21, 2019 (Campo) – The North Pole Limited, a special holiday train ride, will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. between Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.
 
Santa’s elves will sing favorite Christmas carols, read a popular Christmas story to young ones, and pass out cookies and hot chocolate to all passengers. The North Pole Limited will stop at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit with all passengers on the train on our way back to the Campo Depot.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES BOND TO FUND BACKUP GENERATORS AND SOLAR PANELS TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN DURING POWER OUTAGE

East County News Service

November 21, 2019 (Sacramento) – Schools have been hard hit statewide by utility companies’ repeated power outages intended to prevent lines from sparking wildfires—including rural and mountain school districts in San Diego’s East County. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed steps to remedy the problems, including calling for a $15 billion bond to fund back-up generators and solar panels to keep schools open during unforeseen power outages, as well as other steps.

 

Future proposals may include rethinking the traditional school calendar and building in makeup days to deal with not only natural disasters but unplanned power outages, according to a press release issued today by the Calif. Dept. of Education.

STORM DOUSES COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2019 (San Diego) – The first winter storm of the season has dumped snow on Mt. Laguna and Palomar Mountain, also bringing lightning strikes, heavy rainfall and flooding to some parts of San Diego County.

Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted a photo (left) with this message:  “Yes there is a bit of snow on Laguna but it is melting fast and the roads are dangerous. This is not the time for your winter outing.”

THE RAINS ARE COMING; GET YOUR FREE SANDBAGS AT COUNTY, CAL FIRE STATIONS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 19, 2019 (San Diego) - The first rains in months are bearing down on San Diego County, meaning this could be a good time to stock up on free sandbags.

The County of San Diego and CAL FIRE are providing free sand and bags to residents in unincorporated areas at numerous fire stations around the county.

FIND HOLIDAY TREASURES AT DESCANSO ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR NOV. 23

East County News Service

November 19, 2019 (Descanso) – Unique hand-crafted and locally made Christmas gifts will be available at an Arts and Crafts Fair at the historic Descanso Town Hall on Saturday, November 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

WOMAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BIZARRE OUTBURST IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

November 19, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A woman has been hospitalized after a disturbing outburst in Lemon Grove Sunday shortly before 11 a.m.  Several residents called to report the woman was yelling that she had a gun and that someone had stolen her children. She reportedly banged on the door of a stranger’s home in the 2600 block of Mercury Drive.

According to the Sheriff’s media relations department, “When deputies arrived, a 24-year-old transient matching the description of these calls became assaultive towards them.  Deputies were forced to use a less lethal bean bag round on the woman to take her into custody.  The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment.”

EL CAJON LIBRARY FRIENDS’ BOOK SHOPPE WILL EXPAND

Source: Friends of the El Cajon Library

November 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The small Book Shoppe operated by the Friends of the El Cajon Library is going to get bigger.

President Connie Smith of the Friends said on Nov. 16 that she is thrilled that the County of San Diego has approved the project to expand the Book Shoppe by using an adjoining conference room. The work is expected to start and end in early 2020.  

WINTER STORM TO BRING SHOWERS AND SNOW

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The first winter storm will impact southern California Tuesday through Thursday, says Alex Tardy with the National Weather Service.

A cold upper level storm will interact with tropical moisture on Tuesday bringing precipitation. The cold air from this northern stream storm will arrive early Wednesday and allow snow to develop in the mountains.

STEELE CANYON CHARTER RENEWAL REJECTED BY GUHSD; PRINCIPAL GRILLED BY BOARD

 

By Ana Nita

View video including interview with Mark Robak and GUHSD board hearing on the Steele Canyon charter issues: click image at left or visit  https://youtu.be/9cZj0ZmsKzY

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School encountered a set back last week, when the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board decided not to accept the charter’s application for reauthorization, following allegations that school’s governing board and charter committee violated the law and acted undemocratically. 

The charter school in Spring Valley landed in hot water with the district and the parents after a newly elected board member discovered significant discrepancies between the old and the new bylaws up for vote two weeks ago in the governing board. Mark Robak, a local businessman, joined the board on October 9 and by the end of the month, he was sending petitions to the school principal and the district objecting to irregularities with the authorization process and the bylaws.

VISIONARY DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” IN LA MESA DEC. 6-7

East County News Service

November 17, 2019 (La Mesa) – Visionary Dance Theatre will present “Brother of Man” at the Visionary Performance Space (8677 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa) on December 6 and 7at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Spencer John Powell  and choreographed by the VDT male dancers, "Brotherhood of Man" is themed on the diversity of the male experience. The cast includes a broad spectrum of ages, races, and sexual orientations.  Each dancer presents a positive male role model going through the experiences and the struggles of life.

BONJOUR! FRIENDS OF EAST COUNTY ARTS HOSTS “PARIS HOLIDAY” TEA DEC. 14

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Friends of East County Arts, Inc. cordially invites you to “PARIS HOLIDAY,” the theme of this year’s annual holiday tea on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish Hall (405 Ballard St. in  El Cajon).  

Don your fancy hat to enjoy champagne, tea, scones and desserts on fine holiday tableware. There will also be door prizes and opportunity drawings plus entertainment including a performance by the Valhalla High School Dance Program, one of the recipients of this year’s grants.  

Through the years, the 501c3 nonprofit Friends of East County Arts, Inc. has raised over $875,000 in funds for growth and development of the live performing arts and to support fine arts and artists in San Diego’s East County.

CULTURAL ART EXPO DRAWS TOP-NOTCH ARTISTS; MARRIOTT AIMS TO EXPAND EXPO AND CREATE AN ANNUAL EVENT

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Art aficionados found plenty to appreciate at the Cultural Art Expo held Nov. 9 at the Marriott in El Cajon.  Proceeds benefited the East County Arts Association, which had members in a broad range of visual arts at the event, which also featured internationally acclaimed sculptor Enrique Avilez, local authors, live music, wine and beer tasting, art workshops and a fitness workout.

“It was the perfect storm,” Avilez (photo, left), a former fisherman, says of the life-altering event that inspired him to take up artwork as a career. Aboard a fishing vessel off his native Mexico battered by stormy seas, Avilez made a promise to pursue his passions if he survived the ordeal. His works reflect the materials of Baja beaches  and communities where he grew up – utilizing native clays, seashells, coral, wood and more.

SANTEE LEANS TO CURFEW ON COUNCIL MEETINGS, GIVES CITY MANAGER NICE RAISE

By Mike Allen
 
November 15, 2019 (Santee) -- Public speakers at Santee City Council meetings currently may have to sit for more than three hours before they can state their beefs to the city in a public forum.
 
But the Council is considering changing that format, along with a few other things, including establishing a curfew on how long meetings run.

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