Communities

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.

HAWK IN LAKESIDE TESTS POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

 

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 17, 2019 (Lakeside) - A dead Cooper’s hawk found in Lakeside has tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the first sign this year of the potentially deadly disease in San Diego County.

County Vector Control officials said people should remember to follow the County’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines—particularly to dump out standing water and to wear insect repellent—to protect themselves from mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus and other diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika.

EL CAJON GUN VIOENCE ACTIVIST AMONG HONOREES AT PEACEMAKER DINNER APRIL 6

 

 

East County News Service

March 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident Bishop Cornelius Bowser will be honored as a Community Hero for his leadership efforts to reduce gun violence. Bowser is among the winners to be recognized by the  National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) atthe 31st Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Human Dignity” honoring individuals and organizations dedicated to peacemaking in their own neighborhoods and around the world. The inspiring event shines a bright light on the importance of civility, peacemaking and social justice in a world filled with conflict. 

BARONA CULTURAL CENTER & MUSEUM SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD

 

 

Source: Barona Cultural Center & Museum

March 17, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Two San Diego cultural institutions have been honored nationally by one of the country’s premiere federal arts organizations.  The Barona Cultural Center & Museum in Lakeside and the New Children’s Museum have been selected as two of 30 finalists for the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service Award presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) in Washington, DC.

PASSAGES: FORMER LA MESA MAYOR AND COUNTY SUPERVISOR GEORGE BAILEY: 1919-2019

 

 

Services set for April 27

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 17, 2019 (La Mesa) — Shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday, former La Mesa Mayor and San Diego County Supervisor died at his home on March 11th of congestive heart failure. He is remembered as a leader who left behind an indelible stamp on East County and the San Diego region, drawing respect from colleagues on both sides of the political aisle.

 

“Sad news about a big loss,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob posted on Facebook.  “But George Bailey’s decades of public service in East County and beyond will continue to inspire many of us.”

RENAIISSANCE CRAFT FAIR MARCH 30 IN LAKESIDE

 

 

East County News Service

Photos: Creative Commons images by S.A.

March 17, 2019 (Lakeside) -- River Valley Charter School will hold a craft fair with a Renaissance flair on Saturday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The school is located at 9707 Marilla Drive, Lakeside, CA 92020.

TRANSPARENCY CONCERNS PLAGUE LA MESA COUNCIL OVER GRANNY FLAT ORDINANCES

 

 

By Allan Acevedo

 

March 16, 2019 (La Mesa) – What a difference two weeks makes. The La Mesa City Council heard robust public comment from diverse perspectives concerning the approval of two so-called “granny flat” ordinances. On narrowly won passage from a divided Council, while the second passed unanimously.

BLOOMS, BIGHORNS AND BUTTERFLIES





Superbloom season is in full swing



By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- What a glorious day in Borrego Springs!  The desert is in full bloom --- a huge contrast to just a few days go, when I last visited and found some early blossoms but not the spectacular flower fields now delighting visitors.  Something about frolicking in a field of flowers elicits pure joy. (Photos left and right, along DiGiorgio Road.)

INFAMOUS HATE GROUP, WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH TO PICKET EL CAJON VALLEY AND MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 
 
Westboro has protested funerals of soldiers and slain Sandy Hook elementary students.  Its inflammatory hate speech targets gays and lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics and others.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Westboro Baptist Church has been designated a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The notorious cult-like group has announced on its website plans on March 25 to picket El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon at 7 a.m. and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley at 8:50 a.m.

LA MESA POLICE WORKING TO KEEP ROADWAYS SAFE THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH DUI PATROLS

 

 

Source: La Mesa Police

March 14, 2019 (La Mesa) -- St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by millions across the country, often culminating in parties where drinking is involved. Sadly, this leads to tragedies on our roadways because of drivers who choose to leave parties impaired. This St. Patrick’s Day, the La Mesa Police Department will have additional officers on patrol all weekend, ready to stop and arrest drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

FIERY LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING DRAWS IRE FROM PARENTS OVER ALLEGED FORCED RESIGNATION OF 16 TEACHERS

 

 

By Allan Acevedo

 

March 13, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The community room at the Lemon Grove Library quickly overfilled last night as parents, students, teachers, and community members gathered to share their united concern for what they collectively referred to as the “firing” of 16 teachers.” With all chairs filled, attendees began congregating against the sides and doors of the room, some standing just outside the door to listen in.

YOUR VOICE HAS POWER: GROUP SEEKS TO STOP RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENCE PREDATORS INTO EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A new citizens’ group, Your Voice Has Power, has been formed to oppose the continuing release of sexually violent predators into East County communities. The group will meet on Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m. at Tio Lio’s, 5302 Napa St. in San Diego. Organizers are calling for a public forum and encourage community leaders, impacted citizens and survivors of sexually violent predators to attend and speak out.  The group also urges the public to attend two hearings next week on the proposed release of two sexually violent predators into Jacumba Hot Springs.

EAST COUNTY ARTISTS WIN AWARDS

 

 

By Judy Edelblute, Coordinator of St. Mark's Art Shows

Photo:  “The Ballerina” oil painting by Carlos Meneses

March 14, 2019 (San Diego) - Three East County artists have won awards in the 56th annual Lenten Art Show at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, San Diego.  Carlos Meneses, Paradise Hills, won first place, Jenny K. Ferrone, El Cajon, won second place and Sandra Seckington, Lakeside, received an Honorable Mention Award. There are a total of 56 art works by 30 artists in the show.

RESPONSE TO EDITORIAL ON MEASURE A FROM CAL-FIRE FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 2881 VICE-PRESIDENT PATRICK WALKER

By William T. Everett, Board Member, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

March 14, 2019 (Julian) -- Union Vice-President Patrick Walker believes that the Julian Cuyamaca "volunteer fire station is inefficient and unable to provide adequate fire and life safety services in comparison to full time." He goes on to tout his experience and career as the reason he is credible. Yet, numerous Fire Chiefs and career firefighters throughout California, with far more experience than Walker, strongly disagree with his conclusion. What is the difference between Walker and the others? It is simple. Walker works for the Cal-Fire union and his primary responsibility is to promote the union and help create more union jobs. 

It appears that Walker's primary argument in favor of dissolving the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is his claim that full-time firefighters are better for the community than part-time (i.e., volunteers). What Mr. Walker either doesn't know or doesn't want the public to know is that the Julian fire station is now staffed full-time with 60  firefighters (volunteers) that are as highly trained and qualified as any "professional" firefighters in the United States.

MARCH BREAKFAST MEETING WITH CITY COUNCIL MEMBER AKILAH WEBER IS PITCH PERFECT

 

 

Source:  La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy Sandra Small

March 14, 2019 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held their second breakfast meeting of the year on Wednesday, March 6th. There was an overwhelming crowd that gathered to meet La Mesa’s newest elected Council Member, Dr. Akilah Weber. There were many new faces in the crowd, including new members that joined us on this special morning. Dr. Weber was elected to the La Mesa City Council in November 2018. Dr. Weber is a board-Certified obstetrician/gynecologist and the Director of the Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Dr. Weber shared her commitment to listening to members of the community and encouraged people to email her on any issue that they wish addressed. To reinforce that commitment, Dr. Weber shared that she is launching her “Community Chat with Your Councilmember” on Saturday, May 4th. She invited everyone to attend and be a part of the dialogue on any subject they wish. This first community chat will be held at Sylvan Learning, 8366 Parkway Drive in La Mesa at 7:00 a.m. Dr. Weber discussed items that have recently been on the Council agenda and took questions from the audience.

HOOLEYFEST RETURNS, PLUS MORE ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONS IN LA MESA MARCH 16-17

March 13, 2019 (Hooleys) -- Several St. Patrick’s Day activities are planned in La Mesa this weekend. Hooley’s Public House is celebrating 20 years in East County with the return of Hooleyfest on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17 at Hooley’s Grossmont Center location. The hours Saturday are 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Ticket are available in advance at Hooleys or at the door.

On Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on March 17th, Grossmont Center kicks off a St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun Run, followed by a kids’ concert from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

STEELE CANYON THEATER STUDENTS DREAMS COME TRUE WITH STAR OF THE LONDON PRODUCTION OF LES MISÉRABLES

 

 

By Jennifer Doucet

Photos courtesy of Steele Canyon Players

 

March 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- London stage actor, Dean Chisnall, visited Steele Canyon Charter High School March 7 through March 9 to help prepare the school’s theatre and music departments for their own production of the award-winning hit, Les Misérables, premiering March 20th.  Over two and a half days, Chisnall worked closely with SCHS Theatre Director, Nicole LaBella and Music Director, Heather Luck to coach the cast, crew and orchestra.

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