Communities

TOUR SANTA’S TREEHOUSE DEC. 7-8 FEATURED ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “TREEHOUSE MASTERS” & MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 4, 2019 (Jamul) Want your picture with a Santa that is registered with FORBS (fraternal order of the real bearded santas)? And, not only that, but have your picture in a Christmas-themed treehouse built by Treehouse Masters of Animal Planet fame?

Your chance to do that is here.  Kathie Wellington, of Jamul, is offering that opportunity and more this weekend, Dec. 7 -8th, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m.  The cost is $50 per family but is a fundraiser for families in need. Originally, Santa’s Treehouse opened Christmas 2013.

COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT WILL HAVE A SECOND DEBRIEFING TONIGHT WITH VALLE DE ORO COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Valle de Oro Community Planning Group will have a second public meeting tonight to receive community input about the proposal to turn Cottonwood Golf Course into a sand mine for the next decade. The golf course is located on Willow Glen Drive in a residential area in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon and on federally protected land that’s part of the South County Multiple Species Conservation program. 

The public meeting tonight is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Otay Water District Headquarters, 2554 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SNOW

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: Mount Laguna (Miriam Raftery)
 
December 3, 2019 (San Diego) - The following are tips and considerations for you if you plan to drive up to the snow:
  • Be prepared for significant traffic delays in both directions due to both road conditions and the sheer volume of motorists. Prior snowfalls have left drivers in up to five-hour waits on the roads.
  • You should have a full tank of gas. Don’t count on filling up along the way.

LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.

COUNTY SETS DEFINITIVE DATE TO BREAK GROUND FOR LONG AWAITED LAKESIDE EQUESTRIAN PARK

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (Lakeside) -- County representatives met with the East County Equestrian Foundation last month to announce that construction for the park will finally start in March of 2020. The initial plan prognosticated a groundbreaking ceremony for late 2018 or early 2019, but as the locals said, better late than never. 

The next stage is organizing a bid for construction that is estimated to take 18 months. The county predicts the equestrian park would attract as many as 300 attendees for large events that “are anticipated to take place a few times each year,” per the County’s website for this project. 

EL CAPITAN HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES OPENING OF EVENTS CENTER

East County News Service

Photo courtesy GUHSD

December 2, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Grossmont Union High School District celebrated the grand opening of the El Capitan High School’s new Event Center (@ECHSVaqueros) in November. The new 15,886 SF multi-purpose facility at the Lakeside campus will support the instrumental, choral and dramatic arts programs.

POWAY ISOLATES WATER PROBLEM, AWAITS STATE APPROVAL TO LIFT BOIL WATER ADVISORY

 

Mayor Vaus responds to Anderson smear effort over water quality question

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via City of Poway on Twitter: City provides bottled water for residents

December 2, 2019 (Poway) – One day after the city of Poway issued a boil-water advisory for tap water due to stormwater runoff contamination, the city issued a statement late yesterday indicating city tests have found chlorine residulals meet standards, “but that “The city is not able to rescind the precautionary boil-water advisory until the state is satisfied with testing results.”

In an interview this morning with East County Magazine, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus revealed, “We have isolated the source of the rain water. We have repaired it.” Though still awaiting test results from the state expected soon, Mayor Vaus says the water has been safe throughout the incident. 

“I’m drinking it now. I’m giving it to my pets,” he told ECM.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THANKFUL AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
Photos courtesy of Kelly Massey at Lions, Tigers and Bears
 
December 1, 2019 (Alpine) – At the Lions, Tigers and Bears sanctuary in Alpine earlier this week, exotic big cats and bears enjoyed some special Thanksgiving enrichment.  In addition to savoring raw turkey dinners, the animals also enjoying romping and frolicking in the newfallen snow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CAJON VALLEY PROVIDES BACKGROUND ON DRIVER TRAINING IN RESPONSE TO RECORDS REQUEST AFTER INJURY ACCIDENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – Cajon Valley Union School District has provided information on training and qualifications of its drivers, in response to a California Public Records Act request submitted by ECM after an October 4, 2019 injury accident at which the district’s driver was found at fault.
 
According to the California Highway Patrol, a district employee made an “unsafe turning movement” and lost control of the district pickup truck he was driving, which was towing a trailer.  The vehicle veered into the path of a sedan on Avocado Blvd. near Mt. Helix, causing a head-on collision that caused serious injury to both drivers, also causing minor injuries to an infant. The vehicles also careened into the front yard of a home. Alcohol was not a factor, according to CHP officer Jeff Christy.

OH BABY! SOUTHERN WHITE RHINO CALF BORN AT SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK THROUGH ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

Source: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

December 1, 2019 (San Pasqual) -- San Diego Zoo Global announced the successful birth of a female southern white rhino calf on November 21 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park—the conservation organization’s second rhino born after hormone-induced ovulation and artificial insemination. This calf’s birth also is a milestone, since she is the 100th southern white rhino born at the Safari Park.

Artificial insemination of southern white rhinos has rarely been successful in the past; this is only the second successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America. The first was Edward, born to mom Victoria, at the Safari Park’s Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center on July 28.

30TH ANNUAL CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT CONCERT DEC. 13 & 14 IN ESCONDIDO BENEFITS RADY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Benefit concert includes performances by Collin Raye, Craig Campbell, Bryan White, Jamie O’Neal, Anna Vaus & Steve Vaus 

 

East County News Service

 

December 1, 2019 (Poway) – Carols by Candlelightheartwarming holiday concert headlined by country music stars, will take place Dec. 13 & 14 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Now in its 30th year,  this family-friendly concert's proceeds will bemefot Rady Children’s Hospital.

 

The concert, beginning at 8:00 p.m. both nights, will feature prominent country music singers performing their hits and favorite holiday songs. Headliners include Collin Raye, who has been nominated for 10 CMA and ACM Awards, 24 Top 10 Records, and 16 #1 Hits. 

Other headliners both nights include Bryan WhiteJamie O’Neal, as well as up-and-comer Anna Vaus and concert founder,Poway Mayor Steve Vaus (2010 Grammy winner).

POWAY WARNS RESIDENTS NOT TO DRINK TAP WATER WITHOUT BOILING, DUE TO POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION: COUNTY SHUTS DOWN POWAY RESTAURANTS

East County News Service

November 30, 2019 (Poway) -- As a precautionary measure, residents in the City of Poway should boil their tap water before drinking or using the water for cooking until further notice, or use bottled water.  Restaurants and other food preparation facilities in Poway have been ordered by the County to temporarily close until the problem is resolved.

Due to the recent storm event, it is believed that the potable drinking water system has possibly been compromised.  Crews are working around the clock to restore normal water service.

MOTORCYCLIST ARRESTED FOR FLEEING SCENE OF OCT. 31 FATALITY CRASH IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Therese Clouthier, via a GoFundMe page set up to help her daughter
 
November 30, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcyclist who fled the scene of a fatal crash that killed Theresa Clouthier, one of his passengers, in  La Mesa on October 31st has been arrested. Chad Paul Tucker, 44, was taken into custody on November 26 on charges of manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit and run.  

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE WITH LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY DEC. 6 INCUDES SANTA--AND BOOKS ON LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery 

November 30, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Historical Society invites you to Christmas Open House on Dec. 6 from 5-8 p.m. Santa will be in the H. Lee House. You can tour the museum and also buy books at the Parsonage Museum before enjoying the city’s annual bonfire.   

Audio: 

VALLEY CENTER FIRE-HARDENING OF LINES PROPOSED BY SDG&E: PROTESTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 3

By Miriam Raftery

View proposal: click here

November 30, 2019 (Valley  Center) – SDG&E has submitted a notice of construction for a fire-hardening project in Valley Center. The public has until December 3 to submit any protest letters for the project, which is slated to begin construction on January 30, 2020.

The project would remove about 7 miles of an exiting powerline alignment (tie-in 6926) from the Rincon Substation to Valley Center Substation and leave existing distribution circuits in place.  About 6 miles of the tie-line would be installed underground in road right-of-way from Valley Center Substation to a cable pole on Pauma Heights Road. From there, another 3 miles of overhead line would be installed in a double-circuit overhead configuration on an existing powerline alignment from the Pauma Heights Road pole to the Rincon substation.

LEMON GROVE BONFIRE TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT DEC. 6

East County News Service
 
November 29, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The city of Lemon Grove will hold its 22nd annual community bonfire in Civic Center Park (3200 Main St.) on December 6 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  In addition to a giant bonfire built by the fire department, this year’s event will feature spaghetti-eating and ugly sweater contests, a horse-drawn carriage, music, rock climbing, an obstacle course, cookies and hot chocolate, and more.

ALS ASSOCIATION IN SAN DIEGO PRESENTS ALS GOLF CLASSIC, FRIDAY, DEC. 6, AT SYCUAN’S SINGING HILLS RESORT IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

November 29, 2019 (El Cajon) – 
The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter will present the 11th annual ALS Golf Classic, a fundraising golf tournament, on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan, 3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon. The tournament is open to the public.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN EL CAJON ON THANKSGIVING NIGHT

East County News Service

November 29, 2019 (El Cajon ) – A woman, 60, died after being struck by a 2001 Tacoma last night shortly after 8 p.m. at the intersection of East Chase and Avocado Avenue.

El Cajon Police officers and paramedics responded to a call reporting the accident. A police officer performed CPR on the unresponsive victim until medics arrived.  She was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her identity is known, but is being withheld until family is notified.

CAJON VALLEY TRUSTEE JILL BARTO FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DISTRICT, SUPERINTENDENT, AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 28, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Longtime Cajon Valley Union School District Board member Jill Barto on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the district, Superintendent David Miyashiro and four trustees over what her attorney, Mike Aguirre, alleges are violations of her civil and First Amendment rights.

The suit alleges that since she was re-elected to her seat on the Board of Trustees in November 2018, she experienced retaliation and had her civil rights violated by Miyashiro and others after she questioned Miyashiro’s use of district funds and his travel at district expense.

“The School District Board Superintendent and four other board members have retaliated against Plaintiff and conspired against her in violation of her First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” the suit alleges. “Defendant’s retaliatory conduct has repeatedly tried to prevent Plaintiff from fully representing the constituents that elected her to the Board,” it continues. The suit lists does 1-50, leaving open the possibility of adding other defendants.

AFTER RULING BY JUDGE, COUNTY REMOVES ALL EQUIPMENT FROM JULIAN FIRE STATION 56, INCLUDING FIRE ENGINES, AMBULANCE AND WATER TENDER

Safety concerns raised; court ruling by Judge Randa Trapp could be death knell to Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 20, 2019 (Julian) -- With a stroke of a gavel, San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp on Friday morning dashed hopes of volunteers from the former Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District that the district will be resurrected anytime soon.

Judge Trapp denied the motion filed by JCFPD’s attorney Cory Briggs last April 10, which sought to invalidate the dissolution of the volunteer fire and medical protection district by the San Diego Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO). Briggs filed the motion to appeal the afternoon after LAFCO’s vote.

Within hours of Trapp’s decision Friday, despite a new appeal of Friday's judgement filed by Briggs, the County Fire Authority operated by CALFIRE raided Julian Fire Station 56, towing away or hauling off all remaining firefighting equipment of the JCFPD including fire engines and ambulances. A broker has reportedly indicated that at least some of the equipment is being put up for sale, instead of being either held for the JCFPD in case of a win on appeal, or turned over to the CFA/CALFIRE to utilize to protect Julian.

Briggs called the action a “raid.”  Some Julian residents cried, while others voiced anger.

The action leaves Julian entirely dependent upon the CFA/CAL FIRE for protection, despite grave concerns raised by many residents over serious gaps in equipment and coverage since the JCFPD was dissolved.

SNOW FALLING ON I-8, HEAVY SNOW BLANKETS MOUNTAINS AS OTHER AREAS FLOOD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Robert Scheid:  Snow falls along I-8 near the Sunrise Highway exit

November 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s a white Christmas across East County’s mountains and rural areas. Snow is falling along Interstate 8 east of Alpine.

A blanket of snow covers the Cuyamaca area, Cal Trans reports on Twitter.  In Warner Springs, chains or snow tires are required, with two inches of snow on Chihuahua Valley Road, NBC 7 reports. Snow is heavy in the Julian area, leaving some residents snowed in, sources told ECM.

SENATOR JONES HONORS THREE LA MESA BROTHERS WHO EARNED NATIONAL EAGLE SCOUT AWARDS

Jacob, Joshua and Noah Epperson of La Mesa completed three local community projects

East County News Service

Photo:  pictured with Senator Brian Jones are Jacob, Noah and Joshua Epperson during a ceremony in Senator Jones' El Cajon District office.

November 27, 2019 (El Cajon) - Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) yesterday met with and presented official Senate Certificates of Recognition to three local brothers who all earned their National Eagle Scout awards on the same day last month.

WHITE THANKSGIVING FORECAST FOR MOUNTAINS, FLASH FLOOD WATCH ALSO ISSUED AS “DANGEROUS” WINTER STORM TO IMPACT HOLIDAY TRAVELERS

 

East County News Service

November 26, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm watch has been issued for the National Weather Service from Wednesday at 4 a.m. through Friday at 10 p.m. for all mountain areas in San Diego County. There is also a flash flood watch for areas west of the mountains from Wed. at 4 a.m. through Thursday at 10 p.m.

Heavy mountain snow will bring hazardous travel conditions Wednesday through Friday, with accumulating snow down to 3,000 feet by Thanksgiving night.  Up to three feet could accumulate above 5,000 feet including Mt. Laguna and Palomar, with several inches at lower elevations.

WHO WANTS TO BE THE NEXT LEMON GROVE COUNCILMEMBER AND PLANNNG COMMISSIONER? HERE ARE ALL THE APPLICANTS

By Miriam Raftery

November 26, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove City Council will hold a special meeting on December 2 at 6 p.m. to interview applicants to fill vacancies on the City Council and Planning Commission.  A wide range of people have applied for these positions, bringing a diversity of skills and backgrounds. 

Here are summaries of each applicant's primary qualifications and aspirations:

MAN SHOT IN DISPUTE, AIRLIFTED TO HOSPITAL FROM RAMONA

By Miriam Raftery

November 26, 2019 (Ramona) – An argument between two men, ages 24 and 26, escalated into a fight today in the 400 block of Pala Street in Ramona.  “One of the men produced a gun, firing one round and hitting the other person in the left leg,” says Lt. Ken Jones with the Sheriff’s department.

Sheriff’s deputies and Cal Fire paramedics arrived on scene. Paramedics stabilized the wounded party and transported him to a hospital by helicopter. The wounded man is expected to survive.

EAST COUNTY FOSTER CARE TOWN HALL AND TURKEY GIVEAWAY WED. IN EL CAJON

 

 

East County News Service

November 21, 2019 (El Cajon) – The People’s Alliance for Justice and its president, national civil rights activist Rev. Shane Harris, will host a town hall forum on foster care disparity Wednesda,Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. (check in at 5 p.m.) at the Choice Harvest CHurch, 760 Palm Ave. in El Cajon.

Free turkeys will be provided to attendees. Call 619-354-8051 to RSVP for the turkey giveway.

You’re invited to the free event to learn about injustices in the foster care system, hear from foster youths and professional to discuss changes they believe are needed

This event will be moderated by East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery.  Call (619)354-8051 to RSVP and register for a free turkey, or email paj@peoplesallianceforjustice.net.

VIDEO OF THE MONTH: MAYOR WELLS ON SAX AT BENEFIT TO HELP HOMELESS

 

Video by Paul Kruze

November 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells played saxophone and sang at the East County Transitional Living Center's fundraising dinner on November 14, 2019 at the Shadow Hills Community Church Center, accompanied by Jonni Glaser on saxophone.

COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY APPROVES REQUIRING COUNTYWIDE VOTER APPROVAL FOR 2 AGENCIES SEEKING TO LEAVE REGIONAL CONTROL

Regional electorate should weigh in on plans by Fallbrook and Rainbow water agencies

East County News Service

November 26, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week authorized actions to ensure all San Diego County voters are heard on plans by the Rainbow and Fallbrook water agencies to leave the regional water wholesaler and instead join a Riverside County water agency.

Rainbow’s Water District Manager Tom Kennedy has said the Riverside District charges $1,000 per acre foot of water, substantially less than the SDCWA which charges about $1,600 per acre foot – an annual savings of $5.6 to $6 million for Rainbow area customers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in June.

HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPE SALE AT THE GARDEN DEC. 7

East County News Service

 

November 26, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - Looking for a little something special for that special someone? Drop by the Water Conservation Garden’s annual Holiday Gift Shoppe Sale on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to find wonderful whimsical gifts for your special gardener or garden aficionado.

 

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