Communities

ARSON AT ESCONDIDO MOSQUE PROMPTS HEIGHTENED SECURITY ACROSS COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Image: Funds are being raised through LaunchGood to restore damage at the mosque.

March 26, 2019 (Escondido) – An arson fire at the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido on Sunday has prompted heightened security at mosques throughout San Diego County, the Escondido Grapevine reports.

“Graffiti left behind by the suspect made reference to the shooting incident in New Zealand,” said Lt. Chris Lick with Escondido Police. The mass shooting at a Christchurch New Zealand mosque earlier this month killed 50 people.

JUDGE APPROVES RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR ALLAN EARL JAMES IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 25, 2019 (San Diego) – Ignoring tearful pleas from three people victimized as children by sexually violent predator Alan Earl James, San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Haratunian III today reaffirmed his earlier decision allowing release of James into Jacumba Hot Springs.

WARBIRD EXPO & WW II COLLECTORS SWAP MEET APRIL 13 AT GILLESPIE FIELD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2019 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to a Warbird Expo and World War II collectors’ swap meet at Gillespie Field in El Cajon on Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Tickets for a ride in real WWII aircraft (a historic WWII SNJ-5 Trainer) can also be purchased online or at the event.

This is the largest fundraiser of the year for Air Group One to help keep these historic World War II aircraft flying and fund youth education programs.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO BLOOMS AND BIRDS

 
 
East County News Service
 
Photos by Renee Owens
 
March 24, 2019 (Borrego) -- The Anza-Borrego Desert's superbloom season continues.  Wildlife biologist Renee Owens sent in these beautiful images showing fields of wildflowers and a beavertail cactus in bloom.  She also captured images of two birds that frequent California's largest state park, the California quail, our state birds, as well as a black-throated sparrow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BICYCLIST HIT BY SUV, SERIOUSLY INJURED IN EL CAJON

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – A bicyclist in her 40s who was struck by a sport utility vehicle at Fletcher Parkway and Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon is in a trauma center tonight with serious injuries.
 
Officers from the El Cajon Police department and Heartland Fire Department paramedics responded to calls reporting the collision at 6:25 p.m. They found the victim unresponsive in the street with major injuries. She was transported to a trauma center.
 

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO HOLD MARCH 27 HEARING ON SHIFT TO DIVISION ELECTIONS AND NOMINATION OF LAFCO MEMBERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board voted Feb. 27 to shift to “by division” elections instead of at-large elections.  On March 27 T 5:30 p.m., the board will hold the second of two hearings to solicit public input, after which maps will be drawn for proposed districts.

EARTH DAY GATHERING AT DESERT VIEW TOWER APRIL 20 FEATURES LIVE MUSIC, WILDFLOWER HIKES AND HEALING

 
 
East County News Service
 
March 23, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- An Earth Day Celebration at the Desert View Tower (1 In-Ko Pah Park Rd., Jacumba Hot Springs) will be held on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
 
"We’ll have live music featuring local artists Damian and Marion Bowles on electric guitar and mandolin playing traditional American, blues, Classic Rock, Reggae," says Rebecca Person.  Other entertainment includes Mountain Mayhem, Stephen Cogswell, Meemusica and Jason Berneke and Grammy-nominated Shamanic healer Windwalker.  There will also be food provided by Gloria’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Jay’s 5 Star (vegan) Tacos and vegan treats by Valley Girl, Sweet Surrender and Vanessa’s Golden Lemonade.  Find native plants for sale, plant identification and wildflower hikes, farm products and displays, natural beauty, healing therapies (crystal bowl sound healing, intuitive counseling, reiki energy work, acupuncture, ionic detox foot bath) alpaca yarns, nutrition and EMF education and basketry.  Plus, you'll have a chance to explore In Ko Pah Boulder Park with its unique stone carvings. 

PICKWICK PLAYERS MOVE TO CARLTON OAKS SCHOOL: REVIEW OF ‘FOOTLOOSE’: THE MUSICAL INAUGURAL PRODUCTION

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter, Reviewer

Photos by Adriana Zuniga-Williams

March 23, 2019 (Santee) - Did I do the right thing? That's a question posed by Reverend Shaw to his congregation during Footloose. I know I did the right thing when I decided to go out for this show. Pickwick Players provides quality entertainment to East County. Footloose was no exception. 

STEELE CANYON PRESENTS LES MISERABLES - LONDON STAR DEAN CHISNALL’S INFLUENCE FELT

By Kathy Carpenter

March 23, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - Les Miserables is an epic musical. It’s extremely complex to put on. Over 120 students were involved, including the music department and the orchestra, who played the score seamlessly in the background. the show would not happen without them.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO BIGHORNS

March 21, 2019 (Anza-Borrego) -- Our editor, Miriam Raftery, took these two videos of Bighorn sheep along Montezuma Valley Road, the steep grade into Anza-Borrego Desert State park.  If you're heading to Borrego, which means "Bighorn," keep a sharp eye out for these desert denizens along rocky slopes.

 

 

 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: LUPINE AT INDIAN HEAD

 

 

East County News Service

March 21, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher has sent yet another gorgeous shot of wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  These purple lupine are blossoming along a trail to a ridgeline to Hidden Saddle east of the Cove at Indian Head Mountain. 

ARREST MADE IN SPRING VALLEY MURDER CASE

 
 
Update March 22, 2019:  A suspect in this case was arrested last night by the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force.  Carlos Davis, 22, of La Mesa has been booked for murder at the San Diego Central Jail and is being held without bail. The victim has been  identified as Carlo Avila, 27, of Santee and his family has been notified. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

 
East County News Service
 
March 21, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a 9-1-1 call of a shooting at 1:21 a.m. searched the area and found a severely injured, unresponsive man on the ground in an alley behind 8914 Delrose Avenue in Spring Valley.

ECPD OFFICER HONORED FOR AUTO THEFT RECOVERIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, L to R – Lt. Steve Paz, Captain Michael Mouton, Police Chief Jeff Davis, Officer Allen Boyer, Julie Boyer his wife and Captain Rob Ransweiler. 

March 21, 2019 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police Officer Allen Boyer was presented with the Top Officer of the Year award yesterday in the 29th annual Auto Theft Advisory Committee (ATAC) awards program held at The Prado in Balboa Park.

PASSAGES: TOM HYDE, VIEJAS TRIBAL ELDER AND LAST ORIGINAL RESERVATION MEMBER, 1927-2019

 

March 20, 2019 (Viejas Reservation) -- Tom Hyde, revered tribal elder, passed from this earth and his beloved Viejas community, March 14, 2019, at 92 years of age.  He is survived by a large family of 200, both blood and chosen.  Born Thomas James Hyde to Prudencia and Valentine Hyde, of El Capitan Village, he’s the last of the original Viejas Reservation members, and last to have personally witnessed destruction of El Capitan Village, at age five. Thus, he began life as a bridge between the past and future of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE PREDATOR PLACEMENTS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Today, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced on Facebook that she has sent a letter to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging him to investigate the disproportionate placement of sexually violent predators (SVPs) in rural East County.

EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL: COUGARS MAUL BRAVES 18-0

 

 

Story and photos by Liz Alper

 

March 20, 2019 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Valley and Steele Canyon baseball are both off to rocky starts as they begin conference play against each other this year.  The Braves are 2-3 while the Cougars teeter at .500 at 5-5. They started Grossmont League play today with a home-at-home series, starting in El Cajon. ECM Sports was there for our first baseball coverage of the season.  Senior Robert Verdugo took the mound for the Braves against senior Jack Schlotman for Steele.

LA MESA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE ON HOMELESSNESS

 

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2019 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa is seeking volunteers for an ad hoc citizen committee on homelessness.  If you're passionate about homeless issues and want to make a positive difference in the community, you are encouraged to sign up.

LA MESA EARTH DAY FESTIVAL APRIL 27 FEATURES PEDAL FOR THE PLANET TRAIL RIDE

 

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2019 (La Mesa) – A Pedal for the Planet Trail Ride, arts and crafts, vendors, STEM activities, educational materials, a bounce house and food trucks are all part of La Mesa’s Earth Day Festival.

Sponsored by the La Mesa Park and Recreational Foundation, La Mesa’s Earth Day Festival will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden Street in La Mesa. The event promises “fun for all ages.”

For more information, contact ci.la-mesa.ca.us or call Misty at 619-667-1319.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MAN MISSING FROM EDGEMOOR HOSPITAL IN SANTEE



Update March 21:  This individual has been found and is safe.

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2019 (Santee) - A search is underway for Jose “Raul” Martinez, a 63-year-old patient reported missing yesterday from Edgemoor Hospital, a skilled nursing care facility at 655 Park Center Drive in Santee.  He suffers from medical conditions and may become disoriented.

He is Hispanic and was last seen waring a black jacket, dark jeans and white shoes. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

JULIAN VOTES TO ABOLISH THE JULIAN CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report

Update March 27, 2019: The margin has narrowed slightly but Measure A still leads by 114 votes and a 7.96% margin: yes 53.98%, no 46.02%

March 19, 2019 (Julian) – The County’s last all-volunteer fire department may soon be history. With 1,294 ballots counted tonight, Measure A is passing with 55.56%, the Registrar of Voters reports.

The measure would affirm a decision made last September by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to abolish the 35-year-old Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Fire and ambulance services would be shifted entirely to the County Fire Authority, under the direction of Cal-Fire.

The Registrar’s office will continue to accept ballots until Friday, if postmarked by today. It is unclear how many ballots mailed out have not yet been returned, or whether there could be enough to make up the 145-vote gap (719 to 575).

Cal-Fire firefighters’ union local #2881 posted on Facebook tonight, “Thank you to the Citizens of Julian and Cuyamaca for the opportunity to serve them.” (photo, left)

For backers of the JCFPD who have fought hard to keep their volunteer firefighters, however, the outcome sparked strong emotions.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT APPROVES $8 MILLION PAY-DOWN OF PENSION LIABILITIES

 
 
Source: Helix Water District
 
March 19, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The Helix Water District Board of Directors approved on February 13, 2019 a one-time, $5 million payment in 2019 and an additional $3 million in payments over the next four years to reduce the district’s unfunded employee pension liabilities.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT LAUNCHES 2019 LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST

 

 

Source:  Helix Water District

March 19, 2019 (Lakeside) - Helix Water District has launched its eighth annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest to share the beauty of its reservoir with the local community. The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings between March 1 and May 31, 2019.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LAKESIDE SAND MINE FACES PROSPECT OF LITIGATION AND LOSSES

 

 

“If Supervisors approve it, there will be a lawsuit by citizens and environmental groups to stop it … Perhaps Bill Adams will engage in good faith negotiations with anyone interested in buying this 400+ acre property. It might be better to get out now while there is some profit to be made.” – Catherine Tancredi Clothey

 

By Catherine Trancredi Clothey

Photo by Billy Ortiz

 

March 19, 2019 (Lakeside) -- What is the status of the sand mine project proposed by Bill Adams and his El Monte Nature Preserve partners and money lenders?

 

I write this as a Lakeside resident (as Catherine Clothey) and as an attorney (as Catherine Tancredi). In the mid 1990s, I represented a local group who sued to stop the Fashion Valley trolley extension due to CEQA violations. We lost and the appeal was denied. I also set up the 501(c)3 Iron Mountain Conservancy in Ramona. 

 

Public comments on the EIR were due October 29, 2018. It is now March, 2019. The City, County, environmental organizations and citizens wrote very detailed comments regarding the effects the sand mine would have on the community and its people. Hundreds of people showed up for the County’s public hearing and the Lakeside Planning Commission meeting last year to voice concerns. 

HELIX WATER BOARD TO HEAR FINAL REPORT ON COMPENSATION STUDY AT PUBLIC WORKSHOP MARCH 27

 
 
Source: Helix Water District
 
March 19, 2019 (La Mesa) - On March 27, 2019, the Helix Water District Board of Directors will hear the final report on the compensation and benefits study conducted for the district by Reward Strategy Group. The public workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m.  on March 27 at Helix’s administration office, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CATCHING A WHOPPER AT LAKE JENNINGS

 

 

East County News Service

March 19, 2019 (Lakeside) – Steven Scouten sent in this photo of his son, Justin, with a large-mouth bass caught at Lake Jennings in Lakeside this past week.  “It’s 10 pounds—his personal best,” Scouten says. 

You can find more information about fishing, including special fishing events, at Lake Jennings by visiting http://www.lakejennings.org/.

“RAINBOW DANCE PARTY” PLANNED TO COUNTER WESTBORO, HATE GROUP PICKETING HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 

 

East County News Service

March 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Activists have announced plans for a “Rainbow Dance Party” to counter picketing by the hate group Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, March 25th. The counter-protesters will begin their event at 6:45 a.m. at El Cajon Valley High School, shortly before Westboro’s picketing starts at 7 a.m.  Then the rainbow dancers and marchers will proceed to Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, arriving before Westboro’s picketing at 8:30 and remaining until 9:30 a.m.

GUATAY MOTORCYLIST KILLED IN COLLISION

 

East County News Service

March 18, 2019 (Guatay) – A Guatay man, 56, died at the scene of a collision yesterday at 4:25 a.m. He was riding a Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle on Olde Highway 80 approaching westbound State Route 79, when a Chevrolet Silverado driven by a Temecula man, 21, entered the intersection to make a left turn, violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, according to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

LA MESA BEAUTIFUL CULTIVATES HARMONY WITH NATURE IN EAST COUNTY

 

Upcoming spring events April 10 and May 19 reap harvest of community opportunities

By Elisabeth Handley

March 18, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Spring heralds all things new, so what better time to plan a new garden or landscape renovation? La Mesa Beautiful’s spring events are the perfect venues to get ideas, talk to experts and have a lot of fun in the process.

NEIGHBOR FINDS HOMICIDE VICTIM IN POTRERO

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 17, 2019 (Potrero) – A Potrero resident was found dead in his residence in the 25700 block of Potrero Valley Road this morning with signs of trauma to his body.
 
A concerned neighbor who hadn’t seen the man in several days looked through the window shortly after 11 a.m. and saw him lying on the floor, then called 911. Sheriff’s deputies responded to assist fire department personnel.

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