Communities

COMEDY NIGHT MAY 18 TO BENEFIT EAST COUNTY TRANSITIONAL LIVING CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 22, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A comedy night fundraiser to benefit the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon will be presented on Saturday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Skyline Church, 11330 Campo Rd. in La Mesa.

LAKESIDE PLANNING GROUP RIPS ZONING REVISIONS, SENDS CRITICAL MESSAGE TO COUNTY SUPERVISORS BEFORE FEB. 27 HEARING

 
 
By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  County planner Noah Alvey speaks to board.
 
February 22, 2019 (Lakeside) -- A special meeting of the Lakeside Community Planning Group called Feb. 20 to discuss proposed changes to the county’s zoning code turned into a venting session by residents who say the changes will destroy the unincorporated area’s rural character.

CHILD RAPIST PROPOSED FOR RELEASE IN JACUMBA

 

 

East County News Service

February 22, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The state of California is proposing to release Alan Earl James, a sexually violent predator and pedophile, at 4512 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs. He has multiple convictions including child rape and child molestation.

SNOW, ICE SHUTS DOWN I-8 AT ALPINE; SNOW BLANKETS MOUNTAIN AREAS

 

Update 10:38 a.m.  -- CHP is now escorting vehicles on I-8 between Alpine and the county line. Expect delays.

February 22, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- East County's mountain areas look like winter wonderlands, with two feet of snow atop Mt. Laguna and several inches or more in Julian (photo, left, webcam in downtown Julian). 

But winter conditions have wreaked havoc with motorists. After many vehicles incuding a semi-truck and a school bu skidded on icy conditions along Interstate 8, authorities shut down I-8 from Alpine to the County line last night. It remains closed this morning, though the CHP has been escorting stranded motorist through the area. 

BOYS BASKETBALL: VALHALLA'S PLAYOFF HOPES END; BURIED BY CAVERS IN DIII CHAMPIONSHIP 75-56

 
 
Story by Liz Alper
 
Photos by Don De Mars
 
February 21, 2019 (San Diego) - Valhalla High boys basketball has had an impeccable season; 28-3 on the year.  So it’s only fitting that they’d make it to the CIF San Diego section Division III finals after beating Southwest El Centro and Del Norte.  Tonight, they faced off against the Cavers of San Diego High on the campus of Mira Mesa High School.

CAL FIRE SAYS SNOWED-IN FIRE ENGINE POST WAS A HOAX



Update Feb. 22, 2019 10:26 a.m.  This morning the Julian Times posted a photo on its Facebook page showing Cal Fire/CFA engines purportedly stuck in snow. Scroll down for the image. 

In addition, Times of San Diego forwarded this aerial video provided by a Julian resident showing Cal Fire engines in heavy snow at the station this morning:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C6U3pTQIY3W7UJd2Jd6EC-wHghTwzEqp/view?fbclid=IwAR2CcW9R9b5rPvicADyqPXU_XtYJ4DhBe87yicG5lihg12g-g7VLkoMti44

 



By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rachel Goddard,, JCFPD volunteers clear a tree blocking a snowy road.

February 22, 2019 (Julian) -- With up to two feet of snow blanketing the mountains of East County last night, a post circulating on social media and sent to ECM last night contained a screenshot that appeared to be a screen shot from a County Fire Authority social media page. The post stated that  its Cal Fire Station 51 in Julian and a fire engine "is unable to respond to calls and is out of service due to the growing snow conditions." (See screenshot below.)

But this morning, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Nick Schuler told ECM that the image and its message was "false" and not an official Cal Fire page. He said Cal Fire engines were in operation responding to calls at the time. Schuler blamed advocates of a contentious ballot initiative to keep the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District independent for circulating what he states was a hoax. ECM has requested call logs for the evening from both agencies.

Volunteer firefighters with the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District sent ECM a photo last night demonstrating a can-do spirit as they continued to serve their community during the emergency conditions, responding to calls for medical assistance and removing a downed tree. (Photo, left, courtey of the JCFPD.)

JCFPD Chief Mike Van Bibber told ECM today that he is confident the post did not originate with his firefighters. He added that one of his team owns a backhoe that was used to keep the JCFPD station clear for engines' access.

After we received Schuler's statement, this morning the Julian Times posted this photo on their Facebook page which appears to show two CFA engines temporarily blocked in by snow:

AS VOTERS PREPARE TO CAST BALLOTS ON FUTURE OF JULIAN AREA'S FIRE DEPARTMENT, COUNTY ANNOUNCES FULL STAFFING OF RANCHITA FIRE STATION

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2019 (Ranchita) – For years, residents of Ranchita, a small town between Borrego Springs and Julian, have complained about prolonged periods of time when their fire station was unstaffed, leaving their community without rapid response to medical emergencies and fires. 

But now, just as area residents prepare to go to the polls in March to vote on a ballot initiative to determine the fate of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Department, the County Fire Authority and Cal Fire have announced that they have upgraded staffing at the Ranchita Fire Station to permanent full-time staffing and are in the process of boosting paramedic services.  

CAJON VALLEY UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT DESTROYS BOARD MEETING RECORDING DESPITE ECM PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST



Donna Frye, open government advocate, calls district’s actions “morally repugnant;” request follows negative state evaluation of CVUSD schools

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

February 20, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Some local government agencies including many school districts pride themselves on their transparency and openness towards local citizens. Others, such as the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD), would rather operate under a cloak of darkness.

Despite a legally submitted California Public Records Act (CPRA) request made by ECM for a copy of the recording for the Dec. 11, 2018 CVUSD board meeting, the district willfully destroyed the recording without fulfilling our request.

Audio: 

RIVERBED PLACE: HOMELESS IN LAKESIDE





By Teeamarrie Lewis

February 20, 2019 (Lakeside)-- Hello, my name is Teea and I have been homeless in Lakeside for the past three years but have lived here for 30 years. I am not here by choice, I am clean, looking for work with no success but I have seen more problems in this community than they want to let on. In my years of being a homeless citizen I have gained family, lost loved ones, and have lost almost all hope for the human race. When it comes to compassion it seems that there is more stereo types made than there is a realistic version of what is really going on. I am here to try to debunk the stereo type of the Lakeside homeless community.

SANTEE PLANS COMMUNITY CENTER TO SERVE SENIORS AND TEENS, BUT WITHOUT LIBRARY

 
 
By Mike Allen
 
February 18, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council affirmed that a new community center serving senior citizens and teens is still a top priority and that the best site is just east of the Cameron YMCA.
 
But the long-planned project won’t include room for a much-needed new library, the council decided. The five-member body voted 4-1 on Feb. 13, with Mayor John Minto opposed, to put the center on a 40,000 square foot parcel that takes up about half of an existing parking lot serving the community park and the YMCA.

CHEERS! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AT HOOLEY'S FEB. 28

 

 

 

 

 

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, what could be finer than an evening at Hooley’s Irish Pub and Grill with East County Dining Club--featuring great food and drinks, plus prize drawings?

Hooleys will donate a portion of every food and drink item purchased to benefit East County Magazine nonprofit news in the public interest and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

Hooley’s was voted best Irish pub in the world (outside of Ireland) by an organization of international Irish pub owners.  Founder Craig McDonald has added authentic ambience along with traditional Irish foods, brews and bar offerings. 

Date:  Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Location;  Hooley’s Irish Pub and Grill

Grossmont Center (5500 Grossmont Center Dr.), La Mesa

Please RSVP by Feb. 25 to be entered in an early bird prize drawing!

619-698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org

*We’ve priced this event for affordability!  You can order just an entrée, or as many other items as you wish off a special menu just for our dining club event!  Here are the delicious details:

COMMUNITY INPUT SOUGHT FOR PARKS ALONG FORESTER CREEK IN EL CAJON AT WORKSHOP FEB. 26

The San Diego River Park Foundation is seeking feedback about future improvement on Forester Creek

Source: San Diego River Park Foundation

February 20, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Ever heard of Forester Creek?  For many in El Cajon, the answer is no!  But Forester Creek, which feeds into the San Diego River, was once a major natural feature of El Cajon.  Today, much of it is channelized, lined with concrete, and hidden.  Community input is needed to help plan for future improvements and connections to the Creek. The public is invited to a community parks workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m at the Ronald Reagan Community Center (195 E. Douglas St.) in El Cajon.

Local nonprofit The San Diego River Park Foundation believes the Creek has potential to provide opportunities for recreation, nature, and environmental education in El Cajon.  The organization has partnered with the City of El Cajon and received a $320,000 grant from the State of California to complete planning to develop a Recreation Access Plan for Forester Creek, as part of a larger effort to improve the health of Forester Creek.  They have hired Cal Poly Pomona’s Studio 606 Landscape Architecture program to facilitate the planning.

GROSMONT CENTER SNOW DAY FEB. 23

East County News Service

February 20, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Grossmont Center in La Mesa invites you to enjoy a full day of free snowy fun on Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  In addition to playing games with the whole family, you can enter a drawing to win Mountain High lift tickets and ski lessons for four.

LA MESA POLICE CITE, WARN 342 MOTORISTS FOR TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS IN ENFORCEMENT ACTION

 

 

East County News Service

February 20, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Today, the La Mesa Police Department’s Traffic Unit hosted the County-wide Inter-agency Traffic Enforcement Team which consists of motorcycle traffic enforcement officers from all over the County of San Diego, who meet once a month for the specific purpose of targeting primary collision factors and reducing traffic violations in problem areas.

OLAF WIEGHORST MUSEUM PRESENTS FREE LECTURE ON NATIVE AMERICAN PUEBLO STORYTELLER POTTERY

 

 

East County News Service

February 20, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Olaf Wieghorst Museum at the Wieghorst Western Heritage Center, 131 Rea Ave., El Cajon, will present a free lecture about Native American Pueblo Storyteller pottery from 1 to 2 p .m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. The public is invited to attend.

LOW SNOW TONIGHT COULD DIP TO 1,500 FEET

East County News Service

Photo: Rare winter snowfall in Ramona in 2011, by Mike Mulligan

February 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- A storm tonight coupled with a cold front is forecast to drop snow as low as 1,500 to 2,500 feet, the National Weather Service predicts. That could mean rare snowfalls in Ramona, Alpine, or even atop Cowles Mountain.  At higher elevations, 2 to 5 inches are forecast above 3,000 feet in areas such as Julian and Descanso, 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 feet including Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain, and  12 to 16 inches above 6,500 feet including Cuyamaca Peak.

The storm is expected to bring rainfall of .25 to 1 inch to San DIego County's coastal and desert areas. A frost warning has been issued for Thursday and Friday morning.

CHAIRWOMAN PINTO KICKS OFF GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION AT JAMUL CASINO POKER ROOM WITH STAR STUDDED POKER TOURNAMENT

 

 

East County News Service

Watch video of the grand opening of Jamul Casino’s Poker Room:  https://youtu.be/mNBTA7mep8w

February 19, 2019 (Jamul) -- On Friday, Jamul Casino® united hundreds of local poker players with celebrities and professional players vying for a $50,000 prize pool in the inaugural Golden Cap poker tournament.  Included in the celebrity line-up were Professional Poker Player Tiffany Michelle and legendary ESPN poker commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, as well as numerous others.  The poker tournament was part of the Grand Opening celebration for the casino’s new Poker Room. 

POTRERO WOMAN, 38, DIES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING; TWO MORE HOSPITALIZED

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 19, 2019 (Potrero) – Alejandra Alejandre, 38, of Potrero died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her home on Hartley Hill Road. Two other family members, including a child, were taken to a hospital on Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

ROLLOVER CRASH DURING CHASE INJURES FIVE PEOPLE IN BOULEVARD

 

 

East County News Service

February 19, 2019 (Boulevard) – A blue Mazda that failed to stop for U.S. Border Patrol agents this evening on McCain Valley Road near Olde HIghway 80 regarding possible immigration violations led officers on a chase that resulted in a rollover crash in Boulevard, injuring several peopole.

The driver failed to yield to a Border Patrol vehicle with flashing lights and siren at 5:15 p.m.  A pursuit was initiatied and the driver turned onto several roads before driving south on Shasta Way just south of State Route 94.  At a dip in the road, the driver lost control, striking a steel fence and utility pole. The vehicle overturned, coming to rest on its wheels, says Officer Travis Garrow with the California HIghway Patrol.

LAKESIDE PLANNERS CALL SPECIAL MEETING WED. FEB. 20 ON COUNTY ZONING CHANGES PROPOSED TO IMPACT LAKESIDE AND OTHER UNINCORPORATED AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2019 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group has called a special meeting to be held this Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Teen Center in the Community Center. The County will have a representative present to “explain some of the actions that the County Planning Commission has approved and is sending to the Board of Supervisors for their approval regarding changes to the local zoning ordinances that will have an effect on Lakeside,” according to an email sent by LCPG chair Brian Sesko.

Sesko told ECM that the county presented the matter as zoning “cleanup” and complying with state mandates, but that some residents who went down and ready the full proposal raised concerns about potential impacts on Lakeside and other unincorporated areas.

He added that Supervisors are slated to hear the proposed amendments next Wednesday and that the County Planning Commission already voted in favor despite some objections.

LOCAL CONSERVATIVES SEEK LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT FOR CONVENTION OF STATES TO AMEND U.S. CONSTITUTION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Assemblyman Randy Voepel, center, gives a thumb up to a Convention of States during meeting with local supporters

February 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Constitution grants states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments to the federal constitution. To do so would require that 34 states agree to call a convention, though it would take 38 states to ratify any proposed amendments.

A national movement has begun among conservatives seeking to convene such a convention, with Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) the latest to voice support for the idea.

POWAY MAN KILLS SELF AMID SWAT STAND-OFF

 
 
East County News Service
 
February 18, 2019 (Poway) – A man who reportedly threatened his wife with a gun prompted an eight-hour SWAT team stand-off early yesterday morning in Poway before taking his own life.
 
According to Lt. Christopher Collier with the San Diego Sheriff’s department, after the woman reported the threat, deputies arrived and began communicating with her husband. Because he was armed, the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and Special Enforcement Detail (SWAT team) were called in.

IDENTITY RELEASED OF MAN WHO DIED PADDLE BOARDING IN STORM CHANNEL

 
 
East County News Service
 
File photo: San Diego Fire Dept. Swiftwater Rescue
 
February 18, 2018 (Escondido) – James Michael Miller, 62, has been identified by the County Medical Examiner’s office as the victim found dead in an Escondido flood channel on Thursday.  Witness told police that Miller was trying to paddle a surfboard down the flooded channel  near his home after heavy rains, but fell off the board.

WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN: PRESIDENTS’ DAY THOUGHTS

 

 

By Jack and Helen Ofield, https://www.newpacificproductions.com

February 18, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- On President's Day we honor the father of our country, George Washington (born Feb. 22, 1732). Knowledge of his life and achievements is, alas, fading, yet he is the one who ensured the birth of our nation and the adoption of its Constitution--the document that prompts millions to move to the USA whether they understand it or not. 

DISTRICT CHANCELLOR CINDY L. MILES ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 

 

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

February 18, 2019 (El Cajon) - The 10-year era of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District with Chancellor Cindy L. Miles at the helm will soon draw to a close.

 With what she described as “mixed feelings,” Miles announced today that she will be retiring at the end of the year. Her retirement contract, set to go before the Governing Board Feb. 19, calls for Miles to remain until the end of the year to allow time for a successor to be selected.

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