Communities

LA MESA/SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SHARE VIEWS IN COMMUNITY FORUM

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, from left to right:  Steve Babbit, Rebecca McRae, Jerry Lecko, Charda Fontenot

 

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) - Political civility ruled when four candidates for three open positions on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board appeared at a community forum put on by the La Mesa First United Methodist Church in downtown La Mesa. Appearing at the event were Steve Babbit, Jerry LeckoChardá Fontenot, and Rebecca McRae. Declared candidates Megan Epperson, Brianna Garza, and Matthew Austin Sablove, although invited, were not present at the forum.

 

BOYS' WATER POLO: MATADORS COME UP SHORT TO CASTLE PARK 14-7

 

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Check out our sports section for more sports stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 15, 2018 (Spring Valley) - In our first water polo match of the new school year, ECM Sports caught a glimpse of the Mount Miguel boys as they hosted the Castle Park Trojans in a non-conference matchup.  The Matadors, to put it nicely, are struggling at 1-10 overall and 0-7 in league play.

SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT, RESPOND TO OUR QUESTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

Photos, upper left to lower right:  Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfelt, Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, Councilman Ronn Hall, Councilman Rob McNelis, Lynda Marrokal, Rudy Reyes

Updated October 18 with responses from Rudy Reyes

October 8, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first time Santee has held district elections, where the winners will each represent a specific neighborhood instead of being voted on by the city at large. We sent questionnaires to the seven candidates running for three City Council seats in Santee, asking the same questions of everyone. All seven candidates replied. Their thoughtful responses address a range of issues such as balancing growth and open space, also offering some fresh ideas, such as creating a community choice energy program for Santee.

Below are their answers in full to our questions, along with a link to their ballot statements for more information, arranged by district and in alphabetical order within each district.

BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: JAMACHA TROPHY STAYS WITH COUGARS IN RAIN-DELAYED GAME

 

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!  Type in “Sports” as your donation!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live in-game coverage and updates!

Does your son or daughter play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Comment on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

Check out our sports section for more sports stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 13, 2018 (El Cajon) - It happens every year; the Cougars make their way up the hill from Campo Road to Hillsdale Road for a battle to claim the street that unites them both.  Week eight of ECM Friday Night Lights brings you the midseason East County classic, the Battle for the Jamacha Trophy.  It’s been a year since Thomas Fishburne led the Cougars to victory on Norse turf to keep Steele Canyon the owners of Jamacha Road.  He’s at Southwestern College now.  Can the Cougars still defend their stretch of pavement without him?

JUDGE APPROVES CONDITIONAL RELEASE OF SERIAL RAPIST IN JACUMBA

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Judge David Gill on Friday approved the release of Alvin Quarles, a sexual predator dubbed “bolder than most” to a residence at 43050 Desert Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs. The Department of State Hospitals had proposed Quarles’ release to the site on or before November 30th.

FBI SEEKS MAN WHO ROBBED TWO EL CAJON BANKS

 

 

East County News Service

October 12, 2018 (San Diego) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a bearded man in a striped polo shirt who robbed two banks in El Cajon. In both robberies, the robber passed the teller a threatening note stating he had a weapon and demanded money.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE CHIEF, PARAMEDIC AND FIRE SURVIVOR SPEAK OUT TO SAVE THEIR FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

"Since the inception of the San Diego County Fire Department in 2008, this county has lost over 400 volunteer firefighters, boots on the ground that were guarding their homefront...That's sad." -- JCFPD Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber

“Ranchita in the month of June this year was covered six days. That’s all.” – Karen Kiefer, JCFPD firefighter-paramedic, on services after the County Fire Authority began its takeover of the volunteer department  June 1st.

"They came and found us...it was dark, the embers were everywhere...the roof was on fire," Lori Foss says of JCFPD volunteer firefighters who saved her life and her home during the 2007 Witch Fire

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and Chief Mike Van Bibber

 

October 11, 2018 (Julian) – The battle to save the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, the last volunteer fire district in San Diego County, has reached a heated pitch. Residents are gathering signatures seeking to block the takeover by the County Fire Authority approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission in September, before an October 16th public protest meeting with LAFCO.

On our radio show on KNSJ, East County Magazine interviewed the JCFPD battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber, along with firefighter-paramedic and former emergency medical services director Karen Kiefer, a well as Lori Foss, who lost her home in the 2003 Cedar Fire and had her home and family saved in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire by Julian’s volunteer firefighters. They believe that the takeover will leave Julian and surrounding areas less safe due to longer response times by engines coming from farther away, with no “home team” to respond quickly to medical emergencies, car accidents or structure fires.  Click the audio link to hear the full interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with JCFPD Chief Mike Van Bibber, firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and fire survivor Lori Foss

COUNTY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT STAFF FACES STIFF OPPOSITION FROM IRATE LAKESIDE RESIDENTS OVER PROPOSED SAND MINE PROJECT

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze

October 12, 2018 (Lakeside) -- Members of San Diego County’s Planning and Development staff bravely faced some 500 irate Lakeside residents at a recent loud and often rowdy standing room only meeting at the Lakeside Community Center over a proposed sand mine project at the El Monte Valley.

The meeting came on the heels of a controversial draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released by the County on the possible environmental effects the sand mine project might have directly on the Lakeside community and on the adjacent cities of Santee and El Cajon.

The County has solicited its draft report for public review and comment from August 30th through October 29th. (The report and other documents related to the project can be accessed here.)

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES NAME ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRANSPORTATION AMONG PRIORITIES AT OCT. 4 FORUM

 

By Ana Nita

View video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxJlcuFhwyI&t=10s

October 11, 2018 (Santee) -- In April, the City of Santee ended the “at large” election system by adopting an ordinance that divided the city into four election districts. The electoral battle on November 6 now has seven candidates from three districts. Registered to run in District 1 are Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield and current Vice Mayor Rob McNelis; in District 2, Council Member Ronn Hall and Rudy Reyes; in District 3: Zach Gianino, Laura Koval and Lynda Marrokal.

LA MESA WINE WORKS CELEBRATES FRUITFUL TWO YEARS AT ANNIVERSARY PARTY SATURDAY

 

From Maine lobsters to wine slushies, games to rock ‘n’ roll music, urban winery is pulling out all the stops for anniversary bash Oct. 13 from  12 noon to 10 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

October 11, 2018 (La Mesa) – With a motto of “when all else fails, wine works!” La Mesa Wine Works opened its doors two years ago as a cooperative urban winery tasting room serving up award-winning vintages from San Pasqual Winery and Wyatt Oaks.  Now the space has become a hub of activities ranging from live music on weekends to trivia nights, classes, fundraisers for charities and the ever-popular $5 wine night complete with wine slushies and frozen sangrias.

“Business has been good,” says Mike McWilliams of San Pasqual Winery.  On Saturday, October 13th from 12 noon to 10 p.m., Wine Works is celebrating its two-year anniversary with festivities that start with Cousins Maine Lobster truck from noon to 3 p.m. and Quick Stop Grill from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Live music wil include the Sock Monkeys from 3 to5  pm. and the Phoenix Band from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Guests can also enjoy games and in the afternoon, $5 specials on all glasses of wine, wine slushiness and frozen sangrias. The party will go on rain or shine.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO BAN TARGET SHOOTING NEAR DONOHOE MOUNTAIN IN DULZURA

 

 

East County News Service 

Photo: Gate Fire started by target shooters in 2017 near Dulzura

October 11, 2018 (Dulzura) — By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors approved an ordinance introduced by Dianne Jacob to ban recreational target shooting year-round on two portions of Bureau of Land Management property near Dulzura. The action aims to reduce wildfire risk following multiple blazes sparked by target shooting.  The ban does not apply to hunting of legal game.

UTILITY BOX MINI-MURALS PROJECT COMPLETED

 

Seven more artists finish

Photo:  Lori Sutherland

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (Ramona) - Ramona artists recently finished painting seven more utility boxes, completing the total of seventeen mini-murals as part of the Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project, aided by a grant from the Ramona Community Foundation and donations from Ransom Brothers Lumber & Supply Company.

The seven recently painted utility boxes include:

SANTEE CANDIDATES DUCK MAJOR ISSUE FACING CITY AT OCT. 9 FORUM

 

By Mike Allen

October 10, 2018 (Santee) -- The proposed Fanita Ranch housing project that would add nearly 3,000 houses to Santee is probably the most controversial issue facing city leaders. But at a candidates’ forum Oct. 9 at the Pride Academy School, three candidates for City Council including two incumbents declined to reveal their opinions about it.

SURF RIDER PIZZA OPENS LA MESA LOCATION IN NOVEMBER COMPLETE WITH BAKERY AND BAR

 

Pizza goodness with an East Coast accent comes to San Diego’s East County community

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (La Mesa) – Surf Rider Pizza Co. will officially open in downtown La Mesa the first week of November.  Surf Rider Pizza Co. is known for its East Coast-style pizza available whole or by the slice, fresh salads, authentic Stromboli and cheesesteaks and decadent homemade desserts from the onsite bakery. While born in the beachside communities of San Diego, the Surf Rider Pizza Co. brand continues to grow throughout the region, bringing a slice of the East Coast to San Diego.

PARKWAY PLAZA HOSTS HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR BASH FOR SAFE TRICK OR TREATING OCT. 31

 

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Families are invited to bring their little ones -- ages 14 and younger -- dressed up in their  funniest, silliest or scariest outfits to trick-or-treat inside Parkway Plaza shopping mall on October 31st, Halloween night from 5-7 p.m. for a “Spooktacular” Halloween bash.   In this safe indoor environment, participating retailers will pass out candy, as long as supplies last.

OPERATION KID SAFE AT EL CAJON’S TRUNK OR TREAT OCT. 20

 

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (El Cajon) – Families are invited to attend Operation Kid Safe Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Held in conjunction with a Trunk or Treat event, Operation Kid Safe is hosted by Subaru of El Cajon at 900 Arnele Avnue.  Families can get safety tips to set up a family safety action plan, as well as free digital fingerprints, photo safety program, and fee Amber Alert ready child safety form.

VIEJAS CASINO AND RESORT COMPLETES SEVEN-YEAR EXPANSION PROJECT: GRAND OPENING OCT. 20 TO INCLUDE CIRCUS PERFORMERS AND FIREWORKS

 

Popular destination unveils renovation results; launches new center bar and high limit gaming area

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (Alpine) -- Viejas Casino & Resort has announced the completion of its seven-year renovation and expansion. Since initiating the project in 2011, the popular destination has constructed three hotel towers, redesigned the entire property, and launched a new and extensive center bar and high limit gaming area. The project completion follows closely behind the opening of Viejas Casino & Resort’s recently developed adult-only destination, Willows Hotel & Spa.

SANTEE WOMAN INJURED IN AFRICA NEEDS FUNDS TO COME HOME

 

GoFundMe page started to pay for medical evacuation flight

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2018 (Santee) – Jeanette Craig, a retiree from Santee, has been seriously injured while vacationing in Lesotho, an African nation, when a tour bus overturned. Three people were killed and 12 injured. Craig suffered a fractured pelvis and leg, as well as torn ligaments, 10 News reports.

“Regular airlines will not transport her because of the severity of her injuries. The cost is estimated at $160,000,” says Nicolas Wiseman, a friend who started a GoFundMe page to help Craig return home. “While Jeanette has travel insurance, it will not cover these costs.”

PADRE DAM BOARD FREEZES WATER RATES FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019

 

 

A previously approved water rate increase will not be implemented

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District 

October 10, 2018 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to freeze water rates for Fiscal Year 2019. The decision to freeze rates was based on an increase in water sales the previous year compared to the District’s Budget and the strong financial position of the water operation funds. 

LIGHTS ARE ON: JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE FINISHES LIGHTED INTERSECTION ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMUL

 

 

Source: Jamul Indian Village

 

October 10, 2018 (Jamul) -- The Jamul Indian Village announcecompletion of road safety improvements at the intersection of Lyons Valley Road and Campo Road in Jamul.  Breaking ground in July, the project funded by the Jamul Indian Village was completed on time and on budget, the tribe reports.    

WASTE MANAGEMENT AND MOTHER GOOSE PARADE ORGANIZERS LAUNCH FOOD DRIVE IN ADVANCE OF HOLIDAY SEASON

 

 

Food drive benefiting East County Transitional Living Center starts Oct. 5

Source: Waste Management 

October 10, 2018 (El Cajon) -  For the second consecutive year, Waste Management of San Diego and the Mother Goose Parade Association have launched a non-perishable food drive benefiting the East County Transitional Living Center. The drive will run Oct. 5 through Nov. 16 and will culminate with food being collected at the Mother Goose Parade on Nov. 18.

JOIN LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HELP HOMEBOUND SENIORS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 

Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

October 10, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce encourages you to join them and make a difference in the lives of La Mesa homebound seniors. The Chamber is gathering items now through November 30th for 24 seniors as part of its annual drive.

ROBERT WEAVER IS FORCED BY GOVT. RULING TO WITHDRAW FROM EL CAJON MAYORAL RACE OR LOSE JOB WITH SPAWAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – Robert Weaver, a Navy veteran now working for an acquisition agency for the U.S. Navy, has been forced to withdraw from the El Cajon mayoral race in order to keep his job. The decision hinges on a broad legal interpretation of what constitutes a partisan race.

TAKING A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY ABOARD A WORLD WAR II B-17

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – Aboard an exhilarating flight on a World War II B-17G warbird named the Sentimental Journey, WWII veterans told spellbinding stories about their experiences as combat pilots and prisoners of war.  This peace-time flight out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field was offered on October 1st  to members of the press and public, thanks to the Arizona Memorial Museum’s staff and flight crew.  

KENDRICK’S SON FILES POLICE COMPLAINT ALLEGING STALKING BY KALASHO; KALASHO FALSELY ACCUSES KENDRICK OF CAMPAIGN VIOLATION ON NEGATIVE FLYER

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon)—Jesse Kendrick, son of El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick, has filed a police report accusing Councilman Ben Kalasho of twice stalking and harassing him on the campaign trail, including pursuing him some two miles, at times blocking his way.Kalasho is running against Kendrick on the November ballot.

Jesse Kendrick told ECM that on September 28, he was driving a licensed golf cart in Fletcher Hills “distributing flyers warning the citizens of El Cajon of Mr. Kalasho’s gross misconduct in office” when I noticed a black Range Rover driving very closely behind me.” Those flyers were titled `The terrifying truth about Ben Kalasho.’  View call records to police.

GAG ORDER STIFLES EDUCATION LEADERS FROM POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL, CANDIDATES OR BOND MEASURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2018 (Alpine) –The legal settlement between the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and the Alpine Union High School District (AUSD) contained a non-disparagement clause that has effectively muzzled Alpine education leaders and concerned parents from criticizing the GUHSD board.

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