Communities

RAMONA MAN AND CHILD KILLED IN CHRISTMAS EVE COLLSION; THREE OTHERS INJURED

Update: The driver of the Toyota has also died. He has been identified as Gonzalo Rodriguez.

The child who perished has been identified as Christian Diaz, per the San DIego County Medical Examiner.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

December 24, 2018 (Ramona) – A small boy was killed in a two vehicle collision in Ramona late this morning on State Route 78 east of Haverford Rd. near Ramona. Four other people were injured in the Christmas Eve crash, including a second child who has been life-flighted to a hospital.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, a 44-year-old Ramona man was driving a 2002 Toyota Camry westbound, with three passengers, when his vehicle veered off the road onto the shoulder. According to witnesses, he over-corrected and crossed the center lines into the path of an eastbound 2014 Dodge Ram SUV driven by a 77-year-old man from Falls City, Oregon. The vehicles collided head-on.

PADRE DAM’S WATER RECLAMATION PROJECT DEEMED AFFORDABLE

 

By Mike Allen

December 23, 2018 (Santee) -- Based on future cost projections that involve multiple agencies and variable prices such as power and labor, the Advanced Water Purification Program still makes sense and is worth pursuing, staffers from Padre Dam Municipal Water District told its board this week.

3 EL CAJON BUSINESSES WILL GIVE EAST COUNTY CHILDREN NEW BIKES ON CHRISTMAS EVE



50 New Bikes and Helmets for Military & First Responders’ Children donated by Cartright Pest Control, ASAP Towing and iWash Car Wash

East County News Service

December 23, 2018( El Cajon) –Three El Cajon businesses are joining to give away 50 new bikes and helmets on Christmas Eve to deserving East County children.

The public is invited to the open-house style event which will feature a brisket and pulled pork BBQ cookout provided by Golden Corral of El Cajon, also from 10am-1pm, at Cartwright Pest Control, 1376 Broadway in El Cajon.

RAIN, STRONG WINDS FORECAST OVER CHRISTMAS: SNOW POSSIBLE AT HIGH ELEVATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

December 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Two storms are forecast to bring strong winds up to 60 mph, chilly temperatures and rain to our region starting Tuesday, Christmas morning, through Friday. Light snow may fall above 5,000 feet, with up to two inches of snow potentially bringing a whtie Christmas atop Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain, our region’s highest peaks.

NEARLY 2,200 RESIDENTS EXPRESS OPPOSITION TO COTTONWOOD SAND MINE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Cottonwood Golf, site of proposed sand mine

December 21, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) - In a significant show of early community strength, the Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine Committee this week submitted over 2,100 petition signatures to the County of San Diego from area residents opposed to the plan for a 10-12 year sand mining operation on the current site of the Cottonwood Golf Course in Rancho San Diego. 

TWO KILLED IN HEAD-ON COLLISION AT DULZURA

 

East County News Service

December 21, 2018 (Dulzura) -- A head-on collision in Dulzura killed two drivers last night around 9:50 p.m. on State Route 94 east of Barrett Smith Road.

A woman was driving a 2007 Ford Fusion eastbound, reportedly at a high rate of speed, when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a 2004 Honda Accord driven by a man, 35.  

STATE DROPS PLANS FOR PAROLE OFFICE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nearly 1,800 residents who signed a petition opposing a state parole office in La Mesa got an early Christmas present.

Today, City Manager Yvonne Garrett received a message from Jerry Powers, director of the state’s division of adult parole operations, advising that the agency has determined that “due to functional and logistical issues this site is unworkable for our needs at this time.  We will continue to review other locations in the eastern San Diego County area in our efforts to provide services more directly to the parolee population and the citizens of East County.”

The state had proposed the facility at 9400 Grossmont Summit Drive, next to homes on Mt. Helix and the Brigantine Restaurant and within a quarter mile of Grossmont High School. The closest trolley stop would have been shared by high school and middle school students, with violent parolees and sex offenders walking directly past two schools.

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING POWER POLE IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (Lemon Grove)—The driver of a green Kia utility vehicle has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after striking a power pole at 6:47 a.m. at 1750 Madera Street near Massachusetts Avenue in Lemon Grove.

Broken wires resulted in loss of power at San Altos Elementary School. The outage is expected to last until this afternoon.The school has planned a minimum day.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF CO-RESIDENT AT EL CAJON INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY



By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon has been arrested and charged with the murder of a fellow resident at an independent living center located in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue.

”Based upon the investigation at this time, it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other and lived in separate rooms within the facility,” says Lieutenant Walt Miller. “Witnesses told investigators the two were arguing for unknown reasons just prior to the suspect attacking the victim with a blunt object.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: ALARMING NEW PAROLE OFFICE INFORMATION REVEALED

 

Update December 20, 2018:  The State has sent a letter to La Mesa's city manager advising that it has dropped plans for a parole office at this location, at this time, but will seek an alternative site elsewhere in East County.



By Susan Nichols, President, Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA)

December 19, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA), along with the greater community, continues to gather information to oppose the leasing of a building by the Department of Corrections for a Parole Operations Center amidst of their residential community. GMIA and the greater community have sought help from elected state officials, who are aware of the community plea to stop the parole office but have yet to provide substantive action.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man was shot in the head last night around 10:30 p.m. but fortunately is expected to survive.  Shots were fired from a white four-door vehicle near Jamacha Blvd. and Grand Avenue in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, Patch.com reports, citing Lt. Karla Menzies.

EL CAJON RECEIVES $4.8 MILLION TO IMPROVE STREET SAFETY

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon has been awarded $4.8 million in grant funding from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration. The grants will fund a number of improvements along two busy El Cajon roads—Jamacha Road (which turns into North Second Street) and Madison Avenue. The grant awards aim to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at these two locations in El Cajon, which has had a high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in recent years.

EXPERTS OUTLINE ALTERNATIVES FOR BACKING UP ELECTRICAL POWER

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Jenne Bergstrom, Alpine Library

December 19, 2018 (Alpine) -- A raging thunderstorm overhead added emphasis to the importance of having a backup electrical source during a free public forum at the Alpine Library.

Four experts provided information to homeowners and others during the Dec. 6 session, hosted by the library at 1752 Alpine Blvd.

ARCO CLERK ALLEGEDLY THREATENS CUSTOMERS, ASSAULTS DEPUTY

East County News Service

December 18, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A clerk at the Arco convenience store in the 9000 block of Campo Road assaulted a deputy who responded to a call reporting that the clerk was threatening customers with a knife. The caller reported that the clerk appeared to be under the influence of a drug and chased a customer with a knife.

RE-ELECTED MAYOR WELLS REPORTS “OUTSTANDING” STATE OF THE CITY

 

 

Cites accomplishments, addresses city's homeless problem and criticizes Sacramento for governing mandates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Watch video 

 

See Powerpoint presentation

 

December 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --I am proud to report that the State of our City is outstanding,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday to a nearly full council chamber. He added, I believe that the City is moving in a positive directionWe have relied on innovation and creative thinking to tackle difficult issues and we have maintained the City’s strong fiscal health, at a time when other cities have struggled.” 

EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPENING DELAYED

By Paul Kruz, Contributing Editor

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Residents of El Cajon and the County of San Diego will have to wait awhile longer before the community's theater, shuttered for over a decade, will reopen for performances.

While performing an evaluation of the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), experts have determined that the system will require complete replacement rather than an overall. Further investigation has found more age-related problems with the roof of the 1,140 seat theater.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DIRECTS STAFF TO DRAFT LETTER OF CONCERN OVER SOUTHWEST KEY MIGRANT CHILDREN FACILITY

Action comes after Union-Tribune reports seven children missing from Southwest Key facility

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Ana Babudar, Southwest Key Programs Inc., addresses City Council

Watch video testimony here

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a proposal asking staff to prepare letters to the California Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asking for a review of Southwest Key Programs, Inc, The Texas-based company provides extended care for undocumented immigrant children. Its El Cajon facility, known locally as “Casa San Diego,” contracts with the federal government to provide care to children who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without any parents, as well as some children who were separated from their legal guardians by U.S. immigration officials.

Co-sponsored by Council members Steve Goble and Gary Kendrick, the proposal stems from a November 18, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that revealed discrepancies with Southwest Key reports to the El Cajon Police Department and California Department of Social Services.

SCHOOL CHILDREN AND ALLSTATE HELP BRING NEW PLAYGROUND TO SHELTER IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Students from Meridian Elementary arriving at East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon are surprised and delighted to see a playground that they envisioned has come to life at the center, funded by Allstate through the company’s Good Starts Young program.

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon)  --  Fourth grade students in Mrs. Lee’s class at Meridian Elementary were asked how they would like to improve their community. The children dreamed up the idea of a playground for families at the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, which helps homeless people transition off the streets, then created the design.  But they had no idea that Allstate Insurance had provided funding through its Good Starts Young program to make the playground become a reality.  

JESSICA KALASHO BRINGS OWN ATTORNEY TO HEARING IN FRAUD AND HARASSMENT CASE; BEN KALASHO ARRIVES SEPARATELY WITHOUT LEGAL COUNSEL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left to right: Linda Charry, Jimmie Parker, Donald Wolf, Jessica Kalasho, and Ben Kalasho  

NAINSOOK FRAMING + ART ANNOUNCES JANUARY EVENTS

 

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nainsook Framing + Art in La Mesa (8130 La Mesa Blvd.) will host several January events including an artist reception, watercolor and mixed media classes, mosaic workshop, and more. Scroll down for full details on these activities and learn more at https://nainsookframing.com

NEW 4-STORY MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING PROJECT PROPOSED IN LA MESA: COMMUNITY MEETING DEC. 17

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2018 (La Mesa) – Developers of Jefferson La Mesa, a proposed multi-family apartment project proposed at 4949-4999 Baltimore Drive, invite the community to a meeting to hear about project plans.  The meeting will be held on Monday, December 17 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the La Mesa Police Department (8085 University Ave.).

The proposed four-story project would include 230 residential rental units, including some designated as affordable housing on-site. Though designated officially as mixed use, only four of the units are designated as work/live apartments.  The developer is listed as South Baltimore LLC/The Forties Challenge.

OLAF WIEGHORST MUSEUM PRESENTS QUILT EXHIBIT THROUGH DECEMBER

 

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2018 (El Cajon) – The Olaf Wieghorst Museum at the Wieghorst Western Heritage Center, 131 Rea Ave., El Cajon, is presenting an exhibit of 25 quilts created by East County residents, including Cheryl Minshew, Daniela Stout and Sylvia Thomas. “Visitors to the Wieghorst will be impressed by the variety and creativity of patterns designed by East County residents,” said Minshew, the show’s curator. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Dec. 29.  Admission to the museum is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. For more information, phone (619) 590-3431, or visit www.wieghorstmuseum.org.

COLLEGE DISTRICT TRIO PRESENTED CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

 

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

December 12, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Cohesion and excellence are concepts often expressed in threes. The Three Musketeers. The Three Tenors. The Three Wise Men. The Triple Crown. The three Olympic medals. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has a winning trio of its own – the winners of the 2018 Chancellor/Classified Senate Award -- who were lauded Tuesday night by the Governing Board in recognition of their exemplary work. The jobs of the winners – Rochelle Weiser from Grossmont College; Gwen Nix from Cuyamaca College and Gabriella Avila-Garcia from District Services, are varied, representing the broad expanse of tasks performed by non-instructional staff.

PRIVATE JULIAN PATIENT DATA BREACHED AMID 11-DAY HARD DRIVE LOSS, FIRE OFFICIALS FEAR

 

Update December 26, 2018 -- Patient data was not on the missing hard drive, long-time Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District Chief Mike Van Bibber has informed EMC. Patients' information was on a county server instead.

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  photo taken Tuesday after backup hard drive was discovered missing. Photo via Brian Kramer

December 12, 2018 (Julian) - Julian fire district officials and local authorities are looking into the possible theft of private medical information and employee records from a backup hard drive.

According to Julian-Cuyamaca fire board member Brian Kramer, the external hard drive with possibly years of data went missing Dec. 1 from a locked room at the Julian fire station on state Route 79.

RESIDENTS FLOOD LA MESA CITY COUNCIL WITH COMPLAINTS OVER PROPOSED PAROLE FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)--  Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.

ELF JR, THE MUSICAL—THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS CONTINUES THROUGH DEC. 16 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

December 11, 2018 (Spring Valley) - Do you believe? If you currently need more holiday spirit or if your holiday spirit abounds and for all you in-betweenersElf Jr. brings us the Christmas magic everyone seeks. You will love Buddy the Elf and leave the show with a huge smile. The production continues through December 16th at the Encore Theatre in Spring Valley.

GIARDINO OFFERS SEASONAL SPECIALS AND HOLIDAY TO-GO MENU

 

 

East County News Service

December 10, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- This holiday season, Lemon Grove’s cozy neighborhood eatery, Giardino, is giving diners multiple reasons to gather around its tables. A menu only available through the new year features chef’s specials highlighting flavors that bring on nostalgia. Start with a bowl of Lobster Bisque, or Portobello Ripieni stuffed with artichokes, gorgonzola, spinach and bell peppers. Pasta includes Oxtail Cannelloni and Turkey and Pumpkin Lasagna, while the entrees feature dishes like Roasted Duck Airline Breast, Veal Saltimbocca and Salmon San Remo. Save room for dessert – Chef Marco has a special Nutella Pistachio Tiramisu and housemade Limoncello to end the meal on a good note.

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