Communities

HELPING WOMEN IN HONDURAS: SPEAKER TO ADDRESS LA MESA ROTARY JUNE 12 ON MICRO-LOAN SUCCESS STORIES

East County News Service

June 10, 2019 (La Mesa) – “We’ve recently read and heard about the number of Hondurans coming to the United States,” says Scott Elam with the La Mesa Rotary Club. “Join us for another perspective to learn about Honduran women who are making great strides to improve the lives of their families and villages through the benefits of micro-financing.”

VINTAGES TO SAVOR AT SAN DIEGO WINE FESTIVAL



By Miriam Raftery

June 9, 2019 (Escondido) – The historic Sikes Adobe farmstead site on San Diego River Park land in Escondido provided a colorful garden setting for this year’s San Diego Wine Festival, where guests sipped, savored and chatted with local winemakers from across our region.

JUST DUCKY: FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE SIX DUCKLINGS FROM STORM DRAIN

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 8, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Six ducklings trapped in a storm drain in El Cajon are lucky ducks -- rescued by Heartland firefighters with help from animal rescue personnel.
 
Firefighters responded to a call at 1:20 p.m. Saturday reporting the situation.  The firefighters found the ducklings under a storm grate in the 200 block of Fletcher Parkway, with no mother duck around. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: LEMON GROVE

By Donald H. Harrison

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

June 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) - If you travel to Hamburg or Frankfurt in Germany, you’ll find that in neither place is a “hamburger” or a “frankfurter” a staple of local diets. Wouldn’t you think that in Lemon Grove, one could get a glass of fresh-made lemonade? Lido’s, a popular family-owned restaurant serving Italian food for nearly a half century, indeed has lemonade on the menu. However, the waitress advises, it’s not fresh-squeezed; it’s from a dispenser.

GAS LEAK NEAR PARKWAY PLAZA FORCED EVACUATIONS, TROLLEY CLOSURE IN EL CAJON

Leak is now controlled; trolley service has resumed and streets have reopened

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

 

June 7, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 2-inch diameter gas line ruptured by construction crews at North Marshal Ave. and Petree Street shortly after noon today prompted evacuations of the Rock Church and multiple businesses including The Lexus car dealership and Black Bear Diner. 10 News reports diners were given just five minutes to flee.

WONDERFUL ADVICE FROM GRANDSON'S PEERS

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Shor Mason graduated from three schools this semester.

June 7, 2019 (El Cajon) -  Thanks to my grandson Shor Masori graduating from three different schools this semester, I recently had the opportunity to listen to several remarkable young women who respectively were speakers at the ceremonies at Community Jewish High School,  Grossmont Middle College High School, and Grossmont College.

CAJON VALLEY AGREES TO COMPLY WITH BROWN ACT ON MEETING RECORDINGS, BUT DRAGS FEET ON OTHER RECORDS REQUESTS

By Miriam Raftery

Listen to audios of CVUSD meetings from Dec.-March (scroll down)

Photos: unobtrusive recording device on tripod used by ECM reporter at two recent meetings does not obstruct views or traffic.

June 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – It took cease and desist letters sent by two attorneys to the Cajon Valley Union School District for ECM to obtain recordings of public meetings previously denied, along with assurances that our reporters will not be threatened for recording those meetings ourselves. But other important records requests remain pending beyond the time frames mandated by state law.  

More than five months after our initial Public Records Act request for tapes of public meetings, the Cajon Valley Union School District has turned over all but one recording from December 2018 through March 2019.  Miraculously, those include a Dec. 11, 2018 recording that the district previously informed ECM had been destroyed. The one missing audio file, for March 12, 2019, was not available to a technical difficulty, the district claims in a letter sent to Californians Aware attorney Terry Francke.  

The records were provided to Francke after the attorney notified the district that its refusal to provide copies of recordings violated the Ralph M. Brown Act (California’s public records act) to ECM reporter Paul Kruze and to board member Jill Barto.  The district’s purported destruction of the December recording after 30 days despite a records request made just one day after the meeting, as claimed by executive assistant Naomie Rodriguez, was also illegal, Francke informed the district.

The district sent its recordings only to Francke, with a short window to download copies, but never did provide copies directly to either Kruze or Barto, both have confirmed. Barto says the district has refused to provide CDs for any meeting prior to May, and that they told her they won’t provide CDs unless a request is made within 30 days of a meeting – backtracking off their vote in  late March to retain recordings for a year and make them available on CD, as ECM reported.

Audio: 

SAPS AT SEA PRESENT: 'GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND' JUNE 29

Source:  Saps at Sea San Diego

June 5, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy fan society, invites you to their next meeting on June 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church in Spring Valley. 

LA MESA MAN WITH ALS DISEASE TO MEET WITH D.C. POLITICOS

East County News Service

June 5, 2019 (La Mesa) – It began with unexplainable fatigue then weakness in his left arm and shoulder for Jessy Ybarra of La Mesa. “I regularly worked out with my trainer 3 days a week and it seemed like one day, my left side just couldn’t keep up with shoulder presses and pushups anymore,” said Ybarra. “Then, my left pinkie finger started curling up. Then, there was a twitch on my left triceps.”

LA MESA CLASSIC CAR SHOW REVS UP STARTING JUNE 6

East County News Service

June 5, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Classic Car Show season opens this Thursday, June 6 and will continue each week through August 29 from 5-8 p.m. (except July 4).  In addition to vintage pre-1974 cars, trucks and vans parked along La Mesa Blvd. between Spring Street and 4th Avenue, this free community event also features live bands, DJs, and awards for each evening’s best classic cars.  This Thursday, Four Way Street will provide live musical entertainment. 

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT AT TERRA-GEN WIND PROJECT MEETINGS IN BOULEVARD AND CAMPO JUNE 6 AND JUNE 19

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2019 (Campo) – Public participation is needed at two upcoming meetings on Terra-Gen’s proposal to install 60 wind turbines, each 586 feet tall and capable of producing 4.2 megawatts of power.  The turbines are proposed on the Campo tribal reservation, from north of I-8 to near the border in the south. 

“These turbines are about twice the size with twice the harmful energy and noise as existing local Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines. If new turbines are approved, life for many area residents will change for the worst.” Says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group which represents nearby communities. She adds, “People are already sick around existing turbines.”        

Below are details on upcoming meetings June 6 and June 19, where the public can learn more and speak out:    

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY AND CITY OF SAN DIEGO ARE VIOLATING LAWS BY PUMPING DOWN LAKE HODGES, LEAVING GREBE NESTS “HIGH AND DRY”

Updated with City of San Diego response and a wildlife biologist's reaction

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Grebe and chicks; grebe nest at risk

June 4, 2019 (Escondido) – A coalition of environmental groups has sent an urgent request to the San Diego County Water Authority asking for an emergency directive to halt pumping of water from Lake Hodges which has left grebe nests with eggs “high and dry” for the third time this season. The lake is in the city of San Diego, which has advised ECM today that it is taking steps to address the problem.

Grebes are famed for “dancing” across the water during mating system, drawing visitors for the spectacle. (View video of dancing grebes and a new video titled “Save the Grebe Chicks of Lake Hodges.”) 

The letter, signed by the Sierra Club, San Diego Audubon Society and four other environmental organizations, states that an estimated 300 eggs have been lost recently at Lake Hodges, from Western and Clark’s Grebes nests, some just days from hatching. 

COULD YOUR LA MESA HOME QUALIFY FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND BENEFITS? FIND OUT JUNE 6

East County News Service

June 4, 2019 (La Mesa) – Was your home built before 1984?  If so it may qualify for historic preservation, with tax benefits and other advantages.  La Mesa Conservations and the La Mesa Historical Society will host “Historic Preservation in La Mesa: Myths, Realities and Benefits” including the city’s historic property update. The event will be held this Thursday, June 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 4731 Date St., La Mesa.

This event is free. but please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/historic-preservation-in-la-mesa-tickets-61773023777?mc_cid=a883f98a8a&mc_eid=54e8d2ba08

EXPERTS GIVE THEIR INSIGHTS ON LAKESIDE FIRE AND SECURITY ISSUES

By Mike Allen

June 4, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Lakeside has a good reputation as a relatively safe area, but like every area of the county, it’s got some crime and could be made even safer if citizens make an effort and speak out when they see problems.

That was the key message imparted by a panel of experts speaking May 29 at the Lakeside Community Center organized by the Institute for Public Strategies.

MORTARBOARDS WITH A SPECIAL TOUCH ARE FEATHERS IN THE CAPS FOR MANY GROSSMONT COLLEGE GRADS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District

June 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -  Commencement is a day of celebration, but for some, the pomp and circumstance is more than they can afford.

For the past 15 years, longtime Grossmont College staffer Juliette Harrington has quietly paid for the caps and gowns of dozens of graduates who might otherwise not been able to participate in commencement. This year, Harrington, a Health Services specialist, wanted to help more students and thanks to a $500 grant from student government and a vendor who provided a sizable discount, 105 students received caps they can treasure as keepsakes and six will be provided loaned gowns, all for free, for the ceremony taking place at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Grossmont College Main Quad.

IDENTITIES RELEASED OF TWO TEENS KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH IN JAMUL, FOUR OTHERS INJURED

Updated with identies of the vicitms, provided by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2019 (Jamul) – The driver and a passenger in a 1997 green GMC Sonoma pickup truck are dead following a head-on collision with a Jeep at 11:45 p.m. last night on Lyons Valley Road in Jamul.  The driver, Martin Lopez Soto, 19, from Lemon Grove and his passenger, Hope Najera, 18, from Jamul, died at the scene after the GMC crossed the center line into the path of the Jeep. According to their Facebook posts, the couple recently became engaged.

Witnesses called 9-1-1 but both victims were found inside the vehicle without a pulse by first responders who were unable to revive the teens despite aggressive life-saving efforts. The Medical Examiner concluded that both died of blunt-force injuries.

The driver of the Jeep, an 18-year-old El Cajon woman, had three teen passengers in the vehicle. All four sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were either treated on scene or transported to local hospitals for medical evaluations, according to the California Highway Patrol.

BREAKING NEWS: CALFIRE/COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO RETAKES REMAINING JULIAN FIRE STATION; DEFIES STAY TRIGGERED BY APPEAL

San Diego County fails to pay JCFPD paramedics as agreed in earlier court judgment

Update: Sheriff's office declines to comment on eviction of the JCFPD

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 3, 2019 (Julian) -- CAL FIRE, under the authority of the San Diego County Fire Authority, retook the remaining Julian fire station Sunday afternoon. The station  has been held by volunteers Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) with court approval after the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) dissolved the JCFPD, pending the outcome of litigation by those trying to save the county's last volunteer firefighting district.

The move by CAL FIRE and the Sheriff’s Department failure to halt the takeover was in defiance of an appeal filed to the San Diego Superior Appellate Court Division immediately after Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp on Friday ordered members of the JCFPD to vacate Fire Station No. 56 in her Friday ruling.  The appeal triggers an automatic stay, the County’s director of communications acknowledged Friday, prior to the forced takeover this weekend. Judge Trapp on Friday also affirmed that no eviction should occur until an appeal could be heard, according to a witness present in the courtroom. ECM is working to obtain videotape of the judge’s statement.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SANDAG MISUSE OF OUR TAXES

By James Rue, El Cajon

June 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Hello, SANDAG.  I'm in fear of misuse of our tax dollars by SANDAG, and I would like my opinion heard.

For more than 30 years I commuted to/from downtown San Diego. I drove, I carpooled, and commuted using public transportation (bus & trolley).

And your system still stinks. Originally, I'm from one of those very large cities where public transportation was accessible on every corner, and the fare was reasonable.  San Diego, and metro area is NOT accessible.  I remember leaving home two and half hours to three hours early to get to work, using public transportation and always getting home several hours late. When I carpooled I left about an hour earlier and if I drove myself and left 30 minutes earlier I could be at work in less than 25 minutes.  I have some suggestions for you to consider.

CHP ASKS PUBLIC FOR HELP TO IDENTIFY MAN KILLED IN FIERY TOYOTA TUNDRA CRASH ON I-8 AT CRESTWOOD

By Miriam Raftery
 
Update: The victim has been identified as Monterro Friend, 34, of San Diego.
 
June 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Highway Patrol seeks public help to identity the driver of a blue Toyota Tundra killed shortly before 4 a.m. after his vehicle, traveling at a high rate of speed, struck a guardrail and went airborne over the side at Crestwood Road in rural East County.  The vehicle vaulted over traffic on Crestwood and hit the I-8 westbound bridge.  

MOTORCYCLIST DIES AFTER COLLISION WITH TEEN DRIVER ON OLDE HIGHWAY 80

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A 19-year-old Jamul woman driving a Hyundai Accent made a U-turn on Olde Highway 80 west of Bond Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon yesterday at 5:25 p.m., crossing directly into the path of a motorcycle.  The driver of the motorcycle, a 27-year-old Santee man on a black SSR Razkull 125, was ejected following the collision and sustained blunt force trauma.

ATTORNEY AND WIRELESS EXPERT TO SPEAK IN LA MESA TODAY; LOCAL RESIDENTS RAISE CONCERNS OVER NEW COUNTY RULES ON 5G INSTALLATIONS NEAR HOMES

East County News Service

June 2, 2019 (La Mesa) -- A free talk on “5G & Wireless: Keeping Safer in a Wireless World” by a wireless expert and attorney Dafna Tachover, is being held at 4700 Spring St., La Mesa, Suite 201, on Sunday 6/2/19 at 3 p.m.  Tachover previously worked in the Israeli Defense Forces as a telecommunication and computers officer. She is the founder the advocacy group “We are the Evidence” for rights of people impacted by wireless technology radiation and led a Supreme Court case in Israel that led to the strictest limitations in the world on Wi-Fi in schools.

Susan Brinchman with the Center for Electrosmog in La Mesa has been working for three months in an effort to consult with the County on a revision of its recent wireless ordinance approved Feb. 27 for unincorporated areas which she says “fell short in the area of protecting property owners and residents.  The County is now seeking public comments. View the latest draft ordinance: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/advance/smallcellwirelessfacilities.html

APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FOR CITY OF EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION

Are you interested in shaping El Cajon’s future? The El Cajon City Council seeks interested applicants to fill a vacant seat on the City’s Planning Commission.

Source:  City of El Cajon

June 1, 2019 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon City Council is accepting applications for the Planning Commission to fill the vacancy left by the appointment of commissioner Phil Ortiz to the City Council. The planning commission has long been a stepping stone to higher office, with many past commissioners going on to win election or appointment to council or mayoral seats.  The filing period is open through June 27, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT

 

 

East County News Service

June 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr snapped this photo of a crow in El Cajon. “It was keeping an eye on me as I photographed the antics of it, being a bit playful,” he writes.

Crows are highly intelligent, capable of recognizing individual human faces and have even been trained to talk.

PEÑASQUITOS PRESERVE REOPENS AFTER DNA TEST PROVES LION KILLED IS SAME ONE THAT ATTACKED BOY

By Miriam Raftery


June 1, 2019 (Rancho Peñasquitos) – The Rancho Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve has reopened to the public after DNA testing proved that a mountain lion killed by state wildlife officers is the same one that attacked a 4-year-old boy.

ANOTHER RECORD YEAR AT GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES: MEET SOME INSPIRING GRADUATES

 

Meet some amazing stand-out students

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca College

June 1, 2019 (El Cajon) - Almost 2,700 graduates from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be receiving 5,652 degrees and certificates at this year’s commencements, setting a new record as the largest graduating class from the two East County colleges.

PASSAGES: DENNIS RUTH, MOUNTAIN MAN OF JACUMBA, IN KO PAH

Memorial gathering June 8 at 2 p.m. at Desert View Tower

East County News Service

May 31, 2019 (Jacumba) -- Local icon "Mountain Man" Dennis Ruth passed away May 23rd after a battle with cancer.  He spent his early years in Santee, and the rest of his life in the high desert community of In Ko Pah, near Jacumba. 
 
His stone cabin became a hidden local treasure which took him 30 years to build and where he lived without electricity with his dogs and mule named Big John. 
 

EL CAJON EXPANDS NUMBER OF PETS ALLOWED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  CC by SA

May 30, 2019 (El Cajon) – You might say that El Cajon is going to the dogs – and cats. The City Council has voted unanimously to allow pet owners to have up to four dogs, or four cats.  Owners can also have a combination of cats and dogs, up to a maximum of four.

Formerly, the city allowed no more than two dogs or cats per household, though exceptions were made for puppies and kittens not yet old enough for adoption.

SHOOTING THREAT PROMPTS DISMISSAL AT BANCROFT ELEMENTARY

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A male caller, possibly a juvenile, called Bancroft Elementary School in Spring Valley at 2:44 p.m. today to state that there would be a shooting and warned the school to go on lockdown.  Staff put the school into lockdown and notified the Sheriff.

Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers responded.  There were no further threats or substantiation, but the school dismissed students with law enforcement present.

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