Communities

LEMON GROVE HONORS RACE AMITY DAY WITH PICNIC AND FILM

 

 

East County News Service

Photo: Mayor Racquel Vasquez

May 26, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove  Mayor Racquel Vasquez has issued a proclamation designating June 9 as Race Amity Day in Lemon Grove.  The Mayor urges all residents to join in support of the goals and ideals for racial amity (friendship and peaceful harmony) , encouraging residents to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.    

SANTEE BANS SMOKING IN PARKS, EXCEPT AT CITY-SPONSORED EVENTS IN DESIGNATED AREAS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 26, 2019 (Santee) – Lighting up a cigarette, cigar, or vaping device is now illegal in Santee parks, making the city the last in the region to outlaw smoking in public parks.  Council smoked out an exception, however, for designated smoking sections at special events  at Town Center Community Park, including summer concerts and the city’s annual Santee Salutes Fourth of July festivities, as well as Fido Fest.
 

LAKE MORENA RESIDENTS ORGANIZE TO OPPOSE SOLAR FACILITY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2019 (Lake Morena) – A petition signed by 301 area residents opposed to a Forefront Power’s proposed utility-scale solar energy facility in the Lake Morena area of Campo has been submitted to Supervisor Dianne Jacob this week.  

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALL TO ACTION IN LEMON GROVE – SIDEWALKS ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY

 

 

By Elenna Hernandez, Helix Charter High School student

May 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Dear citizens of Lemon Grove:  the city of Lemon Grove is in desperate need of sidewalks all around the neighborhood. In the main streets, there are sidewalks, but in some blocks, we do not have any kind of sidewalks. All of Washington Street, Cypress Street, Bonita Street and others do not contain a sidewalk other than the corners in which the main streets are connected to. Due to no sidewalks around the city, citizens of Lemon Grove at any age can be in danger when they have to walk, either on a run, walk home or to get to places they need to go. 

BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT IN LEMON GROVE JUNE 1 TO BENEFIT SCHOLARSHIPS HONORING TREVON HARRIS, 13-YEAR-OLD KILLED BY VEHICLE

By Miriam Raftery

May 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Trevon Harris, 13, dreamed of becoming an NBA player and played basketball with the Young Bulls, a recreational team in Lemon Grove.  But on May 3, he slipped on gravel outside his home in Lemon Grove and fell into the path of a vehicle, suffering a fatal head injury.

On June 1st, the Lemon Grove Improvement Council and Coach Mark Horton will hold the first annual Trevon Harris 3-on-3 basketball tournament for players ages 10-14 at the Lemon Grove Rec Center, 3131 School Lane.  Teams are encouraged to sign up at Trevon-Harris.eventbrite.com. There will also be music, food, games and more.

“This charity event will memorialize Trevon who was taken too soon from his family and from our community,” says Teresa Rosiak-Proffit with the Lemon Grove Improvement Council. “The funds raised will allow us to award prizes to the players and we are going to set-up a scholarship/endowment fund so that we can help the youth of our community with the sports needs they may have. If a youth cannot afford to join in on a sport or needs sports equipment they can contact us and we will assist."

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: LA MESA'S WALKWAY OF THE STARS

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

May 23, 2019 (La Mesa) - Between La Mesa Boulevard in the heart of this city’s business district and the Allison Avenue Municipal Parking Lot which serves as a venue for Farmers Markets held on Friday afternoons is an innovative walkway in which murals celebrate volunteerism and stars on the sidewalk honor local volunteers. This small urban mini-park is called The Walkway of the Stars.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS SHOULD JUST SAY NO TO FIRE-TRAP DEVELOPMENTS



By Peter A. Andersen, PhD, and Daniel H. Silver, MD

Photos by Miriam Raftery:  State Route 94, the primary evacuation route for Proctor Valley and communities from Jamul south to Barrett Junction, has been previously shut down for hours or even days by the Harris Wildfire, flooding, and serious accidents.  A Border Patrol station, casino and high school along the highway (not shown) all add to traffic back-ups and congestion at peak times, drawing frequent complaints from residents in recent years.

May 23, 2019 (Jamul/Proctor Valley) -- Deadly fires scorched California in 2017 and 2018, destroying thousands of homes and killing 44 people in wine country and 86 in Paradise. Emergency warning and evacuation systems failed. People burned in their cars trying to escape the flames. Homes built to new fire-safe building codes burned anyway in the intense heat. Rapidly moving fires overwhelmed safety systems and careful planning.

The County Board of Supervisors will vote in June whether to approve a major housing development in Jamul, a community already ranked in the bottom 1% of hard-to-evacuate locations in the state. What will convince the Board to apply the lessons of the massive northern California fires to local land-use decisions? At what point does willful ignorance of the risks become negligence?

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO BUCKBOARDS BARBECUE AND BREW IN EL CAJON MAY 29

 

Update: We've added lots of great prizes! See list below.

You're invited to the East County Dining Club's next dining adventure at Buckboard’s Barbecue & Brew in El Cajon (975 Greenfield Drive) on Wednesday, May 29 at 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome!

Buckboard’s is brand new to El Cajon, but they’ve been serving up amazing BBQ for 30 years in San Diego before moving to East County. The chef formerly worked as a top chef at Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, a Michelin-caliber restaurant. If you love barbecue, you’ll want to try out Buckboard’s! 

Buckboard’s is famous for their Santa Maria-style slow-cooked barbecue, with meat that is brined and marinated for five days before being cooked over the open flames. 

They also have a full range of craft beers as well as some good wines. 

RSVPs are required so the restaurant can be prepared with a feast for our hungry members and guests!

RSVP: editor@eastcountymagazine.org or call 619 698 7617.

 

FROM MARIACHI TO MOTOWN, LEMON GROVE SUMMER CONCERTS TO OFFER WIDE RANGE OF MUSICAL STYLES

 

 

East County News Service

May 22, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove’s summer concert series opens June 27th and continues through August 22nd each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Berry Park (7071 Mt. Vernon St.)

The series kicks off with Mariachi Real de San Diego,followed by a season that will also include salsa, Cajun-zydeco, rock and roll, Motown, country music and more

CALLING ALL SHEEP COUNTERS: BORREGO BIGHORN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2019 (Anza-Borrego)–Volunteers are needed for the 49th annual Bighorn Sheep Count in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park July 5-7, with an orientation session June 22nd.  If you want to enjoy the thrill of seeing these elusive and majestic animals while helping gather important data to help protect the species, please contact AB.Sheepcount@parks.ca.gov with questions and be sure to fill out the RSVP form on Page 2 of this flyer.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BORREGO RAINBOW

 
East County News Service
 
May 22, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Rob Amato shot this idyllically posed photo of a rainbow arcing over horse statues by artist Ricardo Breceda in Borrego Springs.
 
You can read more about world-famous metal sculptor Breceda at his website: http://ricardobreceda.com/
 
Find a map and details on the Borrego sculptures at https://www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html#newmap.

'NOT A TOWN HALL,' BUT REP. DUNCAN HUNTER, FATHER TO TALK BORDER AT RAMONA FORUM

 

 

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Former Rep. Duncan Lee Hunter chats with former constituents at Ramona Mainstage before his son’s town hall in March 2017. Photo by Chris Stone

May 22, 2019 (Ramona) - Rep. Duncan D. Hunter returns to the scene of a raucous 2017 town hall when he takes part Saturday in another Ramona Mainstage event.

But his office doesn’t call it a town hall.

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA STUDENT NOMINATED FOR 2019 BROADWAY SAN DIEGO AWARDS

 

 

Source: Steele Canyon High School

Photo:  Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur, courtesy of Steele Canyon High School

May 21, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur, a senior with the Steele Canyon High School Drama Department, has received a Broadway San Diego Awards nomination as Best Actress for her role as Eponine in the SCHS spring production of Les Misérables. 

FOOD WASTE FUELS LA MESA’S DIESEL FLEET

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 21, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa’s diesel fleet now runs on renewable diesel, an environmentally sustainable, non-petroleum fuel sourced from food waste and agricultural products.  
 
The change to renewable diesel will reduce greenhouse emissions from the City’s diesel fleet by approximately 65%.

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON SMOKE-FREE PARKS

 
 
East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons b S.A.
 
May 20, 2019 (Santee) – Santee is the last city in San Diego County to allow smoking in public parks.  In January 2018, the City Council voted to make trails in Santee smoke-free, but didn’t commit to ban smoking in parks or open spaces. But after a workshop on municipal code updates at which residents and public health advocates asked for better protection from secondhand smoke, Council members asked staff in May to include smoke-free parks in a municipal code update. 

ELEVENTH ANNUAL SANTEE STREET FAIR AND SIXTH ANNUAL CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MAY 25

 

 

Santee Chamber of Commerce celebrates with family-friendly fun, craft beer and the honoring of military members 

East County News Service

May 20, 2019 (Santee) -- Join more than 30,000 visitors at the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 25 at Town Center Parkway and Riverview Parkway in Santee.  The Street Fair is celebrating its 11th year and offers family-friendly games, live music and entertainment, over 300 various food and vendor booths, artists, carnival rides, a kid’s zone and more. The Craft Beer Festival is back for its sixth year and will feature award-winning craft beer samples from local breweries and beyond. The street fair starts at 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Craft Beer Festival starts at 11:30 am to 5:30 p.m.

LA MESA FARMERS MARKET MAY END IN AUGUST UNLESS A NEW OPERATOR COMES FORWARD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2019 (La Mesa) – Frustrated by a lack of compromise between local businesses for and against the Friday night farmers market in downtown La Mesa, the city council has voted unanimously to end its contract with the La Mesa Village Association to run the market.  Council will put out a request for proposals from other operators to potentially move the market to another location or a different day,or keep the same location and days, but with improvements to resolve the rift.

If no entity comes forward, East County’s longest running farmer’s market could end after July 31, when the LMVA contract runs out.

LAVENDER DAY AND ANTIQUE FAIR JUNE 8 AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS

 

 

East County News Service

May 18, 2019 (Flinn Springs) – Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs invites you to come celebrate the fragrance and beauty of lavender at a Lavender Festival and Antique Fair on Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CHICK-FIL-A IN LA MESA, SANTEE HONORING MILITARY FAMILIES WITH FREE FOOD AT MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT MAY 22

East County News Service



May 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County will honor the community’s military personnel and their families with a Military Appreciation Night from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22. Chick-fil-A restaurants in East County are located at 8200 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa and 9418 Mission Gorge Road, Santee.

FPPC SENDS WARNING LETTER TO BILL BABER, LA MESA COUNCILMAN AND SAN DIEGO ETHICS COMMISSION MEMBER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 18, 2019 (La Mesa) — The California Fair Political Practice Commission has sent a warning letter to Bill Baber for failing as treasurer of the Better East County Committee to file a timely 24-hour contribution report during the November 6, 2018 election. Baber, a La Mesa City Councilman and member of the San Diego Ethics Commission, could be fined up to $5,000 per violation, the Feb. 6 letter states.  

EL CAJON FIRE WAS CAUSED BY HASH LAB EXPLOSION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Last night’s major fire at 920 El Cajon Blvd. in El Cajon was caused by an explosion at an illegal hash oil extraction lab which caused burn injuries to one victim. The explosion occurred less than two weeks after a hash oil lab exploded in Mira Mesa, seriously injuring three people.

FORMER TEACHER AT CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN EL CAJON ARRESTED FOR RAPES

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s Department arrested Dustin Sniff, a.k.a. Dustin Stevens, a former teacher at Christian High School in El Cajon, on May 15. He is charged with rape and sexual assault of a minor. Six victims ranged from 16 to 22 years of age, including two of his students.

ATTORNEY CORY BRIGGS REPRESENTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE IN ACTION AGAINST CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

“Based on your agency’s history of deleting audio recordings of board meetings, it has become necessary for reporters to record the meetings because your agency cannot be trusted to carry out this basic governance function.Now that all board members are on notice of the fact that the public must perform this function, any member’s participation in a meeting at which the public has been thwarted in its efforts to make a recording will subject the member to criminal prosecution.” – Attorney Cory Briggs, in a letter to the CVUSD.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  ECM's recording device, a cell-phone sized recorder on a small tripod next to the front left seat, is clearly not obstructive or disruptive at the May 7 board workshop.

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – “Despite lawfully occupying open seats in the front  row, reporters have been threatened with arrest, removal, or both if they did not move to the back of the room,” states a letter sent by Attorney Cory Briggs of Briggs Law Corporation to Cajon Valley Union School District yesterday on behalf of ECM. His letter makes clear that such conduct is “flatly illegal.”

On May 7, Ryan Love, safety and security officer for the district, ordered ECM contributing editor Paul Kruze and editor Miriam Raftery to move to the back, where we explained that audio recordings would not turn out due to noise from an air conditioner and the audience. We refused to comply with this illegal request. 

On May 14, Love again demanded that Kruze move from the front row to the back, and Kruze again refused. Kruze says he was told that an El Cajon Police officer would be called to arrest him.

BUSINESSMAN AND PLANNING COMMISSIONER PHIL ORTIZ APPOINTED TO FILL FORMER EL CAJON COUNCILMAN KALASHO’S SEAT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

May 17, 2919 (El Cajon) --In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday approved planning commissioner and businessman David “Phil” Ortiz to fill the seat formerly held by Ben Kalasho. Ortiz edged out three other finalists for the position: Richard Agundez, Anthony Sottile, and Humbert Cabrera.

Other applicants were Gladys “Jo” Alegria, Juan Barajas, Richard Campbell, Margaret Carlson, Estela De Los Rio, James Elia, Mark Jamil, former El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, Amanda McGimpsey, Juan Carlos, Mercado, Michelle Metschel, Abraham Muheize, Nancy Wilson, and Steven Woods. Community activist Stephanie Harper dropped out of the race at Tuesday’s meeting. See our prior coverage for highlights on all 22 candidates.

Owner and CEO of New Earth Energy Specialists Inc. and a pastor of Foothills Church, Ortiz is also an active community volunteer. He serves on the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is founding member of the El Cajon Community Clean Up Group.  He has a B.A. degree in criminal justice administration from SDSU and a master’s in organizational management with emphasis in public administration.

According to his application with the city, his top priorities are public safety, including making retention of officers a priority, homelessness, including partnering with local organizations and having metrics to determine programs effectiveness, and having a balanced budget plus revitalization and incentivization to build on vacant lots.

Watch a streaming video of Tuesday’s evening's council session here and scroll down for details.

AUTO DEALERSHIP FIRE DOUSED IN EL CAJON; BURN VICTIM TRANSPORTED TO UCSD MEDICAL CENTER



Updated at 11:02 with information on burn victim and estimated damge.

May 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A major fire has caused an estimated $100,000 of damage to a  structure at the New 2 You Autos used vehicle dealership at 930 El Cajon Blvd. near Washington in El Cajon tonight.  The fire is now extinguished.

The fire was reported at 9:13 p.m. by a caller from a nearby Walmart who was involved in the fire. He has been transported to the UCSD Medical Center burn unit.

Division Chief Mike Chasin told the press that this is the second fire at a car dealership recently, following a fire at a Mercedes Benz dealership last week.

Chemicals were found at the scene tonight and an arson investigation will be done, Chief Chasen confirms.. ECM reporter Paul Kruze reports at least eight fire engines were present to battle the blaze. A Hazmat unit arrived at 10:45 p.m. 

CAJON VALLEY BOARD ATTACKS MEDIA, DECLINES TO RECONSIDER OTERO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT DESPITE CONFLICT OF INTEREST QUESTIONS

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

May 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Cajon Valley Union School District stepped up its war on the media during its May 7th board workshop.  A guard demanded that East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery and contributing editor Paul Kruze move from the front row to the back, in a clear effort to prevent the investigative journalists from recording an audible copy of the meeting. Both refused, citing First Amendment freedom of the press and the district’s continued non-compliance with California public records act requests to receive audios of past meetings.

 At a subsequent meeting May 14, the guard repeated this demand for Kruze to move out of a front row seat, even threatening to the El Cajon Police for “disruption” if he would not comply. Kruze’s recording device is inobtrusive, about the size of a cell phone. There is nothing inherently disruptive about a journalist quietly recording a meeting, which is a right guaranteed to any citizen by the California Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s public records act.

These intimidation tactics come after the board admitted destroying recordings of public meetings despite our requests for the recordings.  After receiving a cease and desist letter from an attorney at CalAware, the board on March 29 responded with a letter agreeing to comply with the law, as we reported, but has not done so. The board also voted to retain recordings for a year and make copies available on request. But the  district’s lawyer claims our more records request, along with other emails sent to multiple  people at the district, all went to a spam folder.

Audio: 

Board Workshop Public Comments
Board Workshop complete

REVIEW OF “FAILURE: A LOVE STORY" - A CELEBRATION OF LIFE AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE THROUGH MAY 27

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

Reviewer for sdtheatrereviews.com

May 12, 2019 (La Mesa) - "It is February 1928. And it is the last year of each of the Fail Sisters' lives." Grossmont College Presents "Failure: A Love Story," directed by Brian Rickel. In the opening scene for the first time on stage, this production announces the death of the three sisters. One by a blunt object, one by disappearance and one by consumption.

ANOMAR INCLUSIVE ARTS FESTIVAL IN RAMONA JUNE 29 EXPANDS CREATIVE OFFERINGS

 

 

East County News Service

Photos courtesy of Anomar and Xavier Bailey Photography

May 14, 2019 (Ramona) -- Explore what it means to be creative at the upcoming Anomar Festival on June 29th in Ramona. Located at the scenic Begent Ranch, surrounded by the Ramona Grasslands, attendees can meet our art “collaborators” who will offer a variety of hands-on activities meant to spark joy and expand their horizons.   

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR JURIED MT. HELIX ART SHOW

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 14, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – Calling all artists! It’s time to head to the top of the mountain for inspiration to draw, paint and photograph Mt. Helix.  A juried art show reception will take place on Saturday, July 13th at 6 p.m. Award winners will receive a complimentary ticket to the heart of NMt. Helix event August 10th, where their artworks will be on sale.

 

This year, a photography category has been added and Nainsook Framing + Art is the sponsor.  Award winning art will also be on display at Nainsook July 13-Aug. 28. Entries are due by July 10. Below are entry details:

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