Communities

TRICK OR TREAT IN LA MESA VILLAGE ON HALLOWEEN OCT. 31

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Village Association invites the community for family-friendly Trick-or-Treating in downtown La Mesa on Halloween.  Participating businesses will be handing out treats from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on October 31st in La Mesa’s historic downtown village. Some will also offer discounts and promotions. Costumes are encouraged!

SDG&E EXPANDS POTENTIAL OUTAGE AREAS; SOME CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OF ERRATIC NOTIFICATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Update October 24:  As of 8 a.m. Thursday, power is shut off for 431 people in Dehesa, Alpine, Rancho Palo Verde, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, Pine Hills, East Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Cuyamaca, Viejas, West Descanso, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jacumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs, Morena Village. Resource centers have been opened in Julian and Descanso; scroll down for details.

October 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E is warning of a new round of potential power-shut offs that could affect up to 23,944 customers, with a red flag warning from 5 a.m. Thursday through 5 p.m. Friday evening.

The areas that could be impacted are Alpine, Barona, Barrett Lake, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, East Poway, East Valley Center, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo (portions), Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley, Viejas and Warner Springs.

The utility’s site states that it makes several efforts to notify ratepayers prior to shutoffs. In many cases the system worked to provide customers with time to prepare for outages.  However, some rural residents have posted complaints on social media stating that they received repeated warnings of shut-offs that never occurred, and later had power shut-off with no warning.

LAKESIDE SAND MINE IN MORENO VALLEY TO EXPAND AMID LOCAL PROTESTS

Lakeside planning group postpones action until Nov. 20 on proposal to deepen East County Sand Mine in Morena Valley to 80 feet

 

By Ana Nita, East County Magazine

 

 

October 23, 2019 (Lakeside) – Early in the morning on October 1st, dozens of trucks and heavy machinery traveled through in all directions on the job for the many industrial sites located (some would say “dumped” here with minimal or no county oversight) in this town. 

CARLTON OAKS OWNERS PLAN RESORT WITH HOTEL, HOUSING AND MORE

By Mike Allen

October 22, 2019 (Santee) -- The owners of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course submitted plans to the city of Santee to build 285 residential units on the site and other new development to create an upscale tourist attraction. The golf course itself will be moved and revamped to accommodate the new facilities.

SPRING VALLEY TAILGATE & BBQ FESTIVAL FIRES UP OCT. 27

By Miriam Raftery 

October 22, 2019 (Spring Valley ) – California’s Largest Annual Amateur Tailgate & BBQ Contest is the perfect way to learn how to take your backyard BBQ skills and test them out in a contest that helps raise money for local youth.The 10th annual Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

HELIX HIGH SCHOOL: THE THEATRE IS ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Review by Caley Hernandez
 
October 21, 2019 (La Mesa) --The Highland Players of Helix High School treated their peers and the public to the well-known musical The Sound of Music over the past couple of weekends.  In this classical masterpiece, put on by high school students under the direction of Paul Reams, it is clear that these performers know how to work as professionals!  The casting choices were stellar, and all who were involved in the show appeared to have enjoyed their time working both on the show and with one another.  

TWO CLASSICS BRING FOLK ROCK AND PEACEFUL EASY FEELINGS TO THE POWAY STAGE NOVEMBER 2

East County News Service

October  21, 2019 (Poway) -- The effervescent and eclectic folk singer Steve Poltzhas been described as “quite possibly the most talented and engaging solo performer on this planet” by Front Porch Music.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Update:  Shortly after publication of this report, the CVUSD responded  to our California Public Records Act requst for documentation of any financial or enrollment benefits received by the district due to its promotional videos on YouTube.  Naomie Rodrigues advised us that that "NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST" but noted that some videos were published on the County Department of Education's website.  View our article on her response and the district's lagging responses to numerous other records requests. 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 (when David Miyashiro became Superintendent) through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

CITY OF LA MESA FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND RELATED PARTIES

Source:  City of La Mesa

October 21, 2019 (La Mesa) – Similar to other jurisdictions in California and around the nation, the La Mesa City Council has directed the City Attorney to file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California against numerous opioid manufacturers and distributors.

SDG&E IS PREPARED FOR SANTA ANA WINDS, WARNS 1,000 BACKCOUNTRY CUSTOMERS OF POTENTIAL SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS

October 21 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s backcountry is expected to experience Santa Ana winds Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 20-22), winds expected to peak on Monday in the 30-40 miles per hour range.  The utility has warned 1,032 customers that it may need to turn off power for safety in these communities:

  • Boulder Creek
  • Boulevard
  • Cameron
  • Crestwood
  • La Posta
  • Valley Center East
  • Viejas

(A map of the areas that could potentially be affected is posted at sdge.com/ready.)

LAKESIDE RIVER PARK’S TRAIL OF TERROR OCT. 25-26

East County News Service

October 21, 2019 (Lakeside) – You’re invited to the first-ever Trail of Terror at Lakeside’s River Park.  This haunted trail will feature an Old West ghost town –where the inhabitants think it’s still 1850. The prospectors want their gold back, the townspeople want their town back—and they all want you OUT!

DANCING WITH THE STARS LIVE TOUR COMING TO SYCUAN ON MARCH 26

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

October 21, 2019 (El Cajon) -- America’s favorite dance show is going back on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars – Live Tour 2020.” The longest tour to date will be dancing through Sycuan Casino Resort on March 26 at 8 p.m. The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars.

REVIEW: THE CIRCLE PLAYERS – DINNER THEATRE FUN IN EL CAJON

By Kathy Carpenter

October 20, 2019 - (El Cajon) - Events done by The Circle Players are total entertainment. I've been to their murder mysteries in the past, always at dinner. This time I was at lunch. The food and price are the same, $20.00. Where else can you even get a meal and entertainment for that price?

 

DOG ESCAPES, ATTACKS FROM GERMAN SHEPHERD RESCUE FACILITY IN LA MESA PROVOKE CALLS TO SHUT DOWN THE FACILITY

Photo:  Screenshot from 10 News, ECM news partner

East County News Service

October 20, 2019 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents are voicing concern over the Happy Hearts German Shepherd Rescue after the city’s police were called at least 28 times to help round up escaped canines.  Several people have reported being attacked by the dogs, ECM news partner 10 News reports after reviewing police records.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SET TO APPROVE HAZARDOUS 5G SMALL CELLS TUESDAY

Update: La Mesa's City Council voted 4-1 ton October 22 to approve the 5G measure, with Councilman BIll Baber voted against it.

 

By Susan Brinchman

Photo:  Small Cells on pole in Topanga, CA (Dafna Tachover)

October 20, 2019 (La Mesa) -- URGENT ALERT! The La Mesa City Council will vote on a policy to allow thousands of  very hazardous 4G and 5G small cells (cell towers on poles) to blanket La Mesa's streets, at their public meeting on Tues. 10/22/19, at La Mesa City Council Chambers, 8130 Allison Ave. La Mesa, CA 91942. It starts at 6 PM and  agenda item #7 (see below) will occur sometime later. Note that  scheduling it late in the meeting is a typical ploy used to reduce community input on controversial or harmful agenda items, and oversight. This certainly falls under all of those categories.

BARONA CULTURAL CENTER & MUSEUM RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF TRIBAL ARCHIVES, LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

October 20, 2019 (Lakeside) – The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATLAM) recently presented the 2019 International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways “Museum Institutional Excellence” Award to the Barona Cultural Center & Museum at its annual international conference in Temecula.

 

 

 

Story and photo courtesy of Barona

 

LA MESA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR CITIZEN PUBLIC SAFETY OVERSIGHT TASK FORCE, WHICH OVERSEES POLICE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez

October 20, 2019 (La Mesa) – The city of La Mesa is seeking diverse representation for the newly created Citizen Public Safety Task Force. Members will develop the framework for a Commission that will review police department policy, complaint investigations, training, and citizen concerns. This Commission will provide recommendations to assist the La Mesa Police Department in serving the city in a more effective manner.

If you are interested in applying, visit http://www.cityoflamesa.us/250/Boards-Commissions.

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE VOLUNTEERS CHALLENGE CAL FIRE/COUNTY FIRE CHIEF TONY MECHAM'S MEDICAL ASSISTANCE CLAIM

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

October 18, 2019 (Julian) -- San Diego County Fire Authority/CAL FIRE Chief Tony Mecham raised alarms about a medical situation at the Julian Fire Station No. 56, which led San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp to issue a court order in late May that forced Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District volunteers out of the embattled fire station. But volunteers with the JCFPD vigorously dispute Mecham’s assertions and contend he misconstrued the matter.

WESTMONT RETIREMENT COMMUNITY HOSTS GRAND OPENING: PUBLC TOURS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 18, 2019 (La Mesa) – Westmont of La Mesa invites the public to a tour, buffet lunch, entertainment and prizes this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The upscale facility features independent living and assisted living, including memory care, at its location at 9000 Murray Drive at Wakarusa.

This 130,00-square foot, three story retirement community includes 50,000 square feet of common area space will include a common meeting room that can be used by community groups for meetings and workshops, along with a pool that can be used for aqua aerobics for residents, as well as the community.

DESERTED AMUSEMENT PARK IS HOME TO SCARE TRAIL FOR HALLOWEEN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Scare Trail at The Haunted Amusement Park, located in the long-deserted Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park in El Cajon, is the perfect setting for chilling thrills during this Halloween season. You have until Oct. 31 to scare yourself silly before they close.

THE SALVATION ARMY'S EL CAJON RED SHIELD CENTER OPENS TO SERVE EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

(October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Salvation Army of San Diego announces the opening of the newly completed Red Shield Center at 1025 E. Main Street in El Cajon.

Located on the property adjacent to the current El Cajon Corps, the 29,540-square foot facility will offer more opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in need in the East County. The facility will open Saturday November 2nd. There will be a ribbon cutting with dignitaries at 10am. The public is invited to enjoy the space starting at 11:00am with free tours, games and food.

SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO START LOCAL FIRE SAFE COUNCILS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF WILDFIRE

East County News Service

October 16, 2019 (San Diego) -- Because fire season is now a year-round threat in San Diego, enlisting the support of community volunteers is critical to ensure the safety of the County. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is encouraging communities to create local fire safe councils to increase their neighborhood’s chances of surviving a wildfire. San Diego County currently has 41 community fire safe councils – the most of any county in the state – and they want to see that number grow.  

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING DEPUTIES AND STABBING K-9 DOG IN JAMUL

East County News Service
 
October 15, 2019 (Jamul) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego station have arrested Richard Lechuga, 29, of San Diego following a violent altercation this morning in Jamul.
 
The deputies received a radio call requesting a welfare check on a man seen walking around a vehicle and talking to himself in the 15000 block of Skyline Truck Trail I Jamul around 10:10 a.m.  They found Lechuga sitting in a vehicle. But when deputies approached, he sprayed three of them with bear spray through an open window, then brandished a knife and what appeared to be a handgun.

KUMEYAAY ANCIENT ROCK ART BOOKS DONATED TO SCHOOLS

East County News Service

October 15, 2019 (San Diego, CA) -- For the past two years the Mountain Empire Unified School District’s Teachers and Native students received a gift of 500 full-color books including the photography and research of historical Kumeyaay rock art. Much of the rock art located along the U.S./Mexico border is within the school district’s boundaries. 

LA MESA POLICE AWARDED GRANT FOR BICYCLE, PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

Source: La Mesa Police Dept.

In an alarming trend, there have been 86 injury collisions in La Mesa between January 2013 and December 2015 involving pedestrians, resulting in 61 injuries and 4 fatalities. “This is a significant increase in serious pedestrian related collisions.” -- LMPD

October 15, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department received a $25,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to fund a year-long program aimed at improving the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.


MARRIOTT HOSTS CULTURAL ART EXPO NOVEMBER 9 IN EL CAJON

Advance tickets now on sale:  earlybird rates through Oct. 31

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) –You’re invited to discover local and international artists at the 2019 Cultural Art Expo on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Marriott (141 N. Magnolia Ave.) in El Cajon. Proceeds will benefit the East County Arts Association.

Enjoy live music by the Jazilla Band, a local Latin jazz legend, savor food samples from 12-2 p.m., visit a wine and beer garden, and enjoy artworks including adobe sculptures by Enrique Avilez form Mexico City, fish carving sculptures by award winner Bob Berry, local artist Grace Schleisher, workshops by local artist Barbara Young and more.

Stop by East County Magazine’s booth at the Cultural Art Expo to meet local authors and our editor!

LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES TRAFFIC EDUCATION AND ENFORCEMENT GRANT

Source: La Mesa Police
 
October 15, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department has been awarded a $95,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The program will include a variety of outreach to educate the public, as well as enforcement actions ranging from DUI patrols to seat belt and child safety seat compliance.

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