Communities

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARDÁ FONTENOT, LMSV SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE ON RESTORING RESPECT AND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Reform candidates’ slate reveals opponents used deceptive tactics, including fake photo, misleading claim on backing by teachers, and scare tactic over theater program

Listen to our interview aired on KNSJ

East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (La Mesa) – Chardá Fontenot is representing a slate of three candidates running to bring changes to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board. She says  she wants to increase transparency, bridge the achievement gap between minority and white students, bring back sixth grade camp, increase revenue sources and restore respect by board members to students, teachers and parents. 

She’s also criticized an opposing slate for deceptive tactics used in their campaign, including running a fake candidate photo and misleading voters on which slate has backing from the LMSV Teacher's Association.

Fontenot has served as a district advisory council representative, parent volunteer, and currently chairs the school site council. A mother who once attended schools in the district herself, she’s also  a certified lactation counselor who owns a lactation business.

Hear her full interview on KNSJ 89.1 FM at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Charda Fontenot, LMSV candidate

STUDENT BODY-SLAMMED AT HELIX HIGH FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST LA MESA AND POLICE OFFICER

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2018 (La Mesa)—Brianna Bell, a Helix Charter High School student shown on video slammed to the ground in handcuffs by a La Mesa Police officer, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of La Mesa (Brianna Bell v. City of La Mesa, Scott Wulfing, U.S. District Court Case No. 18CV2455 BEN BLM).

The lawsuit alleges that LMPD School Resource Officer Scott Wulfing used excessive force, violated Bell’s civil rights, inflicted emotional distress, and committed assault and battery. Officer Wulfing is also named individually in the suit. He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of a third party independent investigation.

SAND MINE DEVELOPER STARTS DIGGING WITHOUT PERMIT, YET COUNTY SAYS IT’S OK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

Photos by Billy Ortiz; Facebook screenshots

 

By Mike Allen

Updated October 26 with comments from Supervisor Dianne Jacob

October 25, 2018 (Lakeside) -- The developer of the El Monte Valley Sand Mine is apparently is so sure the project will get approved he began digging Oct. 24 without a permit, but according to San Diego County he doesn’t need one.

El Monte Nature Preserve LLC, the ironically-named entity that has been seeking county approval for the mining operation on nearly 500 acres of land near Lakeside, sent a heavy equipment operator to the site Wednesday to  begin digging holes. That prompted several local mining opponents to block the operation.

CASA CORNELIA HOSTS ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY, PROVIDES LEGAL COUNSEL TO MINOR ASYLUM-SEEKERS

 

 

Dilkhwaz Ahmed honored for efforts helping refugees and immigrants in El Cajon

By Briana Gomez

 

October 25, 2018 (San Diego) -- Casa Cornelia, a non-profit law firm that provides pro-bono services to the San Diego immigrant community, hosted its annual “La Mancha Awards” last Friday, Oct. 19

ENVISION LA MESA’S CLEAN UP MAKES THE WEST SIDE SHINE

 

Source: Envision La Mesa

October 24, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Last Saturday, volunteers from across the City of La Mesa took a hand in cleaning up University Avenue at Envision La Mesa’s “Shining Our Streets” event. Neighbors and students from nearby Helix High School gathered unsightly trash, reported issues requiring the city’s attention through the YourGov app and dropped by to thank local businesses who chipped in to ensure participants had the supplies they needed for a successful event.

SCHREIBER, BARNETT RESPOND TO ALPINE GAG ORDER REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2018 (Alpine) — Recently, East County Magazine published an article revealing that a gag order in a legal settlement with the Grossmont Union-High School district prevents Alpine education leaders from speaking out in political discussions on the Alpine High School. The nondisclosure clause may also have had a chilling effect that prevented Alpine candidates from challenging GUHSD trustee Jim Kelly, an opponent of the Alpine High School who is running unopposed.

DONATE TOYS FOR LA MESA MILITARY FAMILIES TOY DRIVE

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Make the holidays special for military children and families that live in La Mesa military housing. La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is gathering toys, diapers and items for children between the ages of 2 - 13 years old. The Chamber will host a toy drive party at BJ's restaurant in Grossmont Center on December 4th from 5:30 - 7 p.m. to celebrate. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and join in the fun! 

PROBATION CLOSES CAMP BARRETT, LAUNCHES NEW URBAN CAMP

 

 

After years of steadily decreasing populations across the County’s in-custody juvenile facilities, the County of San Diego’s Probation Department has closed the last remote camp program and moved the youth to a more centrally located Urban Camp facility in Kearny Mesa.

LAKESIDE PLANNERS TO HOLD HEARING THURSDAY AND VOTE ON SAND MINE EIR

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2018 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group will hold a public hearing this Thursday on an environmental impact report on a controversial sand mining project proposed in the El Monte Valley. After public comments and discussion, planning group members are expected to vote on the project’s EIR.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA’S CHOICE

 

By Dr. Anthony Mc Ivor

October 21, 2018 (La Mesa) -- This year’s City Council election offers La Mesa an exciting and encouraging choice. Exciting, because for the first time in many years the challengers present a bright contrast to the incumbents. And encouraging, because La Mesa surely needs the integrity, fresh ideas, community insights, and sheer energy the challengers are bringing to the contest.

CAJON VALLEY “WORLD OF WORK” PROGRAM FEATURED IN FORBES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2018 (El Cajon) — Cajon Valley Union School District was recently featured in an article in Forbes, The World of Work - In Elementary School, highlighting the El Cajon district’s World of Work program by Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: HAUNTFEST ON MAIN

 

 

East County News Service

Photos by Robert Gehr

October 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Visitors to El Cajon’s HauntFest on Main Street got in the spirit Friday evening. Kids enjoyed free rides and jumping on inflatables. The event also featured live music, costume contests, and food vendors at a spirited occasion for all.

LA MESA POLICE ASK MOTORCYLISTS TO SLOW DOWN AFTER FOUR HIGH-SPEED INJURY CRASHES, ONE FATAL

 

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of LMPD

October 20, 2018 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Police are advising motorcylists to “please slow down and be careful, your life may depend on it,” after investigating four accidents involving serious motorcycle collisions including a fatality crash in the past six weeks.  “Excessive speed has been a factor in all of these crashes,” a tweet sent by LMSD states.  #Slowdown #drivesafe

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: FOUR-TOUCHDOWN THIRD LIFTS HELIX OVER GRANITE HILLS

 

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 19, 2018 (El Cajon) - Unbelievable that it’s late October already, but we’re already on week nine of the prep football season and ECM Friday Night Lights is at Granite Hills for what should be a high-scoring matchup between the undefeated-in-league (5-3 overall, 3-0 league) Scottie Dawgs from Helix and the undefeated-in-every-sense-of-the-word Eagles (8-0 overall, 3-0 league).  The winner of this game is crowned the Grossmont Hills Championship game winner.

LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS HOSTS SPOOKY CAMPOVER OCT. 26-27

East County News Service

October 19, 2018 (Alpine)--Come for a wild and ghoulish night under the stars with the rescued exotic animals of Lions Tigers & Bears in Alpine on Friday night, October 26th through Saturday morning, October 27th.

The annual Spooky Campover at this world renown non-profit animal sanctuary is a family favorite. Enjoy pumpkin carving, s’mores, campfire songs, special animal feedings and more.  A costume contest will be held Saturday morning, followed by a special feeding visit to watch the big cats and bears enjoy their pumpkin treats.

AIRPLANE LANDS ON I-8 IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

October 19, 2018 (El Cajon) – After losing engine power aboard a small plane, a flight instructor took over controls from a student pilot and made an emergency landing on westbound Interstate 8 in El Cajon.  The flawless landing avoided damage to the aircraft, vehicles on the freeway or property; no one was injured.

The pilot, 25, and student pilot, 36, both of San Diego, were inbound to Gillespie Field in El Cajon when the emergency occurred, said Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway patrol.

Two lanes were blocked briefly until the aircraft was pushed to the shoulder, blocking the Mollison Avenue off-ramp which remains closed while the plane’s wings are disassembled for removal from the Interstate.

EL CAJON COUNCILMAN BEN KALASHO RANTS AGAINST PRESS, TELLS AUDIENCE TO “NOT SPEAK TO ANY REPORTERS”

Councilman’s wife, Jessica, served with legal suit papers during meeting

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 18, 2018 (El Cajon)--Troubled El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho launched into a screed at the conclusion of last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, attacking the local news media during the activities portion of the session. He did not directly name a particular journalist or publication.

He opened by thanking the public for coming to express concerns about the city and have their voices heard, noting that the 3 p.m. meetings are a time when many are working or picking up kids from school.

“It does really say a lot to see so many people come in and speak about genuine issues and concerns – whether if they’re homeless or wanting to bring in more police. I thank you for doing that. This is part of our democracy that we hold dear,” he said. “Your freedom of speech to making these statements – whether they are pro or against. Whether you’re for someone or not it doesn’t even matter. It doesn’t matter the political party. I would even say that we have forgotten how to argue without hating each other. That’s something I think we need to bring back.”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EL CAJON PARAMEDICS RESCUE LARGE TORTOISE

 

Story and photos: Heartland Fire and Rescue

October 18, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Anyone missing a tortoise? Heartland Paramedics from American Medical Response (AM) came across a rather interesting patient “slowly” traveling down the sidewalks of El Cajon near Emerald and Washington Streets earlier today. Possibly suffering from a little "shell shock," it was transported to El Cajon Animal Shelter to be checked out and held until the owner can stop by and claim it.

Shelter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  All in a day’s work!

SUSPECT WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED CHILD IN LEMON GROVE IS SOUGHT BY AUTHORITIES

 

Image: composite drawing of the suspect provided by the San Diego Sheriff

October 18,2018 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s child abuse unit is asking for public help to identify and find a suspect who sexually assaulted a child. The suspect committed the assault after entering a residence where a family and two children were present at 2 a.m. in the7000 block of Canton Drive in Lemon Grove. He was confronted by a family member who tried to restrain him, but the man escaped.

The suspect is described as a black man age 20-25, about 5 ft. 7 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black hoodie and black gym pants, and may have arrived on a skateboard.

BOY SCOUTS NEED HELP AFTER TRAILER THEFTS

 

East County News Service

October 18, 2018 (El Cajon) - Boy Scout Troop 363 in El Cajon needs help after thefts of two trailers containing all of their gear and equipment—including supplies needed to run their annual Christmas Tree lot sales in December, a fundraiser that sustains the scouts year-round camping program.

KALASHO LIED: PROCESS SERVER DID FILE POLICE REPORT ACCUSING COUNCILMAN OF THREATENING TO ATTACK HIM WITH DOG

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

ctober 17, 2018 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have released call records documenting that a process server reported being threatened by Councilman Ben Kalasho with an attack dog.  The records were released in response to a records request by East County Magazine, after Kalasho posted this denial on Facebook:

HEARTLAND FIRE & RESCUE APPOINTS NEW CHIEF

 

Source: Heartland Fire & Rescue

Photo:  Steve Swaney, new Heartland Fire Chief

October 17, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) --The Cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove, which jointly manage Heartland Fire & Rescue, have selected Steve Swaney as the next Fire Chief.  The City Managers for the three cities (Graham Mitchell of El Cajon, Yvonne Garrett of La Mesa, and Lydia Romero of Lemon Grove) made the announcement that Swaney will begin serving in this capacity on October 20, 2018.  Chief Swaney replaces Colin Stowell, who recently was appointed Fire Chief for the City of San Diego.

SANDAG HOSTS A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION IN EAST COUNTY TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – SANDAG will host a community conversation with East County on the future of transportation on Thursday, October 18th at the La Mesa Arts Academy (4200 Parks Ave. in La Mesa) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The even will be hosted by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and La Mesa Councilmember Kristine Alessio. Below are details.

PILOT INJURED IN CRASH AT OCOTILLO WELLS AIRPORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2018 (Ocotillo Wells) – An Ultra-Light aircraft crashed onto the runway of the San Diego County airport at Ocotillo Wells this morning, causing minor injuries to the pilot.

Deputies from the Rancho Sheriff’s substation responded along with Cal Fire and California State Parks personnel.  The pilot, 57, was transported via air ambulance to Palomar Hospital.

FATE OF VOTE ON JULIAN VOLUNTEER FIRE FORCE AWAITS PETITION SIGNATURE COUNT

 

 

By Ken Stone 

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

Photo:  Julian Volunteer Fire Department advocate Lori Foss turns in petition signatures at LAFCO hearing. Photo by Ken Stone

October 17, 2018 (Julian) - Like a cliffhanger election, it will take a week or two for Julian residents to learn if they have a chance at saving their last-in-the-county volunteer fire department.

JULIAN MELODRAMA: LADY SOPHIE’S SECRET

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (Julian) - The Julian Triangle Club  presents a Julian melodrama titled “Lady Sophie’s Secret” running now through October 27th.  You’re invited to join the floozies, boo the villain, cheer for the hero and laugh until you cry at this production written by Patricia McFarlane exclusively for the Julian Triangle Club.

You can find tickets at www.JulianMelodrama.com, at EventBrite.com or at the Julian Town Hall.

TRAVELING 911 MEMORIAL PAINTING ARRIVES AT SANTEE FIRE STATION ON OCT. 18

 

Source: Santee Fire Department

October 16, 2018 (Santee) -- An original art work honoring the sacrifice of first responders on September 11,2001 will make Santee its home for the next three months.

The 3-by-4-foot oil painting portrays a New York firefighter with is head in his hands standing below a tattered American flag with the iconic wreckage of the Twin Towers in the background.

HIDDEN GEMS: DELI EDITION, A DELICIOUS SUCCESS

 

By Craig Reed, Envision La Mesa

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Envision La Mesa hosted its second Hidden Gems event on Saturday, October 13 at BMH Italian Deli located at 7670 El Cajon Blvd in La Mesa. More than 20 participants met Sammy Carini, the owner of the deli, while enjoying handcrafted deli sandwiches, soups, and cannolis.

GIARDINO CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY AND ANNOUNCES NEW EVENTS

 

East County News Service

October 16, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – On November 8th, Giardino Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special evening of tastings and live music.  In addition, the popular eatery announces a pasta making class with Chef Marco on October 24th and new pizza nights every Tuesday.  Scroll down for the delicious details.

FATHER OF THREE KILLED IN LA MESA SHED COLLAPSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – Paul Sandoval, 33, died Wednesday after a shed he was demolishing in La Mesa collapsed on him, with a large beam landing on his back.  He was found with no pulse and though paramedics revived him, he suffered brain damage and ultimately could not survive. His kidneys and liver were donated to help others live.

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