Communities

SPRING VALLEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FATAL HIT-AND-RUN IN LA MESA WHICH KILLED COLLEGE STUDENT

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Jok Joseph Jok, 18, had dreams of going to medical school and was a student at the University of California, Riverside when he was struck by a pickup truck a year ago. The driver fled the scene, leaving Jok injured alongside the road on Bancroft Drive in La Mesa on Feb. 27, 2021. Jok died a week later in a hospital.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: PIT BULL EUTHANIZED, BUT PROBLEM OF DANGEROUS DOGS PERSISTS

By Bettie Wells

February 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- On Saturday, February 26, 2022, exactly 6 months to the day after Zeus, the homicidal pit bull, nearly killed a woman and her dog that were peacefully walking by Granite Hills High School, Zeus was euthanized. 


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TREGANZA DYNASTY REMEMBERED AT HISTORY ALIVE MARCH 3 IN LEMON GROVE

By Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Historical Society

Photo:  Mike Norris Media for LGHS

February 26, 2022 (Lemon Grove) - They left nothing to chance. Starting in 1842 when the first "Tregensoes" (later, Treganzas) crossed the Atlantic to America and a new life, the family left the starting gate (Cornwall) with many of the things that make life worth living:  Art, Writing, Music, Crafts, Agriculture, Architecture, Anthropology, Ethnography, Medicine, Research, Business, Education, International Relations, and above all, a sense of adventure and faith in the future. 


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SANTEE COUNCIL DENIES PERMIT FOR NEW GAS STATION/MINI MART ON PROPERTY TIED TO KALASHO FAMILY

By Mike Allen

File photos: Lina Charry and Ben Kalasho

February 25, 2022 (Santee) -- Santee apparently has enough gas stations, or at least enough on a stretch of Mission Gorge Road near the confluence of State Routes 125 and 52.

At its Feb. 23 meeting, a reduced City Council shot down a proposal to build yet another station under the Arco brand, a car wash and mini-mart on an oddly shaped, less-than-an-acre parcel at 9015 Mission Gorge Road.


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EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO ZEST WINE BISTRO FEB. 24 IN LEMON GROVE

 
You're invited! Our East County Dining Club is going to the wonderfull new Zest Wine Bistro at 8129 Broadway in Lemon Grove on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.! 
 
Order anything you’d like off their amazing menu of international wines, tapas (appetizers), charcuterie boards with gourmet cheese/deli meats/nuts/fruits/jams and more, wraps, ahi, salads, seafood toastada, wrapped dates, shrimp cocktails, hummus and more. Full menu at https://www.zestwinebistro.com/. Outdoor seating includes heaters and a firepit. 
 
Proceeds benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. We also have an amazing raffle with prizes including gift certificates from Zest Wine Bistro, Lamplighters Theatre Jasmine Creek Florist, Mike Hess Brewing, Maxwell's House of Books, Desert View Tower, San Diego: California’s Cornerstone books from Sunbelt Publications, items from other local businesses as well as wine lovers gifts and more.
 
Space is limted, so RSVP soon to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or call 619 698 7617. 

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ROSES IN BLOOM

East County News Service

February 24, 2022 (El Cajon)Robert Gehr snapped these early signs of spring in El Cajon.


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PRAYER SERVICE AND PANAKHYDA IN SANTEE FOR UKRAINE HELD TONIGHT

House of Ukraine shares link to donate to help Ukraine

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Image courtesy of the House of Ukraine) 

Feb. 24, 2022 (Santee) A prayer service and Panakhyda, a memorial service,  will be held for Ukraine at the future site of the Ukrainian Catholic parish in Santee today at 5 p.m. The memorial will honor those killed thus far by Russia’s attacks on the Ukraine, including children. The location of the future parish is 9308 Carlton Oaks Drive.

Organizers are encouraging attendees to bring signs, flags, wear Ukrainian shirts, or other supportive materials.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND ON MOUNT LAGUNA

East County News Service

February 23, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – UCSD’s HP Wren webcam captured this serene image of snow-covered pine trees and land atop Mount Laguna during a break in today’s winter storm.


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SANTEE UPS DRIVER DIES IN ACCIDENT ON I-15

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

February 23, 2022 (Santee) – Jeffrey James Sutch, 51, of Santee died today when the United Parcel Service (UPS) vehicle he was driving ran off a rain-slicked highway and struck a eucalyptus tree on Interstate 15  north, near I-8.  He was driving a UPS Freightliner semi-tractor and pulling a semi-trailer when the crash occurred.


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STORM BLANKETS EAST COUNTY MOUNTAIN AND HIGH DESERT COMMUNITIES IN SNOW; SOME ROADWAYS ARE CLOSED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, right: Snow in In-Ko-Pah, by Greg Curran

February 23, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A late winter storm brought much-needed rain across much of the county, also bringing heavy snowfall to Mt.Laguna and lesser amounts of snowfall to elevations as low as Campo, Descanso, Lake Morena and In-ko-pah. In addition, a freeze warning has been issued for valley areas tonight and a frost warning for coastal communities.

The snowstorm has caused traffic snarls on I-8, where at least 10 semi-trucks got stuck this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. The road was cleared with snow ploughs by around 9 a.m. However, Sunrise Highway is closed due to snow between State Route 79 and mile marker 27.5 due to snow.

Chains are required to access the following roadways:


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SNOW DAY: SCHOOLS CLOSED IN EAST COUNTY MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES

February 22, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- Due to an impending snowstorm, schools in the following school districts will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 23, the County Office of Education has announced:

  • Julian Union Elementary School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Spencer Valley School District

Schools in the Julian Union Elementary and Julian Union High school districts will have a late start on Thursday, Feb. 24.


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CHILD, 6, ABDUCTED IN SPRING VALLEY; LAST SEEN IN NATIONAL CITY

East County News Service

Photo: Joylin Gutierrez, 6, and her suspected captor, her non-custodial parent Wendy Guttierez

Update:  Authorities indicate the abductor may have taken Joylin Gutierrez into Mexico.

February 22, 2022 (Spring Valley) -- The Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station wants your help in locating a missing six-year-old girl from Spring Valley.

On Tuesday, February 22 around 1:15 p.m., Joylin Gutierrez was taken from Kempton Elementary School located in the 700 block of Kempton Street in Spring Valley. Joylin  is Hispanic, three feet tall with long brown hair and brown eyes.  She was last seen wearing a pink or purple sweater.

 Joylin is believed to be with her biological, non-custodial parent, 45-year-old Wendy Gutierrez.

They were last seen around 4:00 p.m. in the area near East Plaza Boulevard and South Harbison Avenue in National City.


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TRAUMA TEAM RECRUITING NEW VOLUNTEERS: NEXT TRAINING SESSION MARCH 2 IN LA MESA

East County News Service

February 22, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- When trauma hits it does not discriminate. It can come in a blink of an eye and can turn your life around like a tornado in a matter of seconds.   Most do not know the steps to move forward from a crisis event, but there are people with hearts two sizes too big who volunteer to be by the side of victims.

In collaboration with the emergency response system, Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego (TIP) provides immediate crisis intervention following a tragedy. TIP volunteers add another dimension to the emergency system compassionate support. Specially trained volunteers provide care and support to citizens who have been traumatized or are in a state of crisis providing service 365 days a year.


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STATE-FUNDED BATHROOM PROJECTS APPROVED IN LEMON GROVE FOR BERRY AND WASHINGTON STREET PARKS

By Elijah McKee 

Photo: New restrooms may look similar to these, according to Mayor Racquel Vasquez

 

February 21, 2022 (Lemon Grove) — “I’m really excited to be able to replace these aging, crumbling bathrooms,” reveled Councilmember Jennifer Mendoza. According to her, the restrooms at the Berry Street and Washington Street parks are going on 60 years old. 


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DROUGHT WORRIES RETURN AFTER DRIEST JANUARY AND FEBRUARY IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY

By Rachel Becker, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Lake Mendocino in Northern California in late October. Courtesy Department of Natural Resources

February 20, 2022 (San Diego) - The first two months of 2022 are shaping up to be the driest January and February in California history, prompting state officials to warn of dire water conditions ahead. 


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VALHALLA CHOIR WOWS PASSENGERS WITH IMPROMPTU CONCERT DURING FLIGHT DELAY

By Miriam Raftery

February 20, 2022 (El Cajon) – Valhalla High School in El Cajon, where students are known as Norsemen, sent the Valhalla Vocal Music Choir on a trip to Scandinavia and London. But when their British Airways flight out of San Diego was delayed, the choral members delighted passengers by singing an impromptu concert.


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CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL COMING TO ALPINE; CHANGE IS WELCOME BY MANY RESIDENTS, BUT LOSS OF STUDENTS COULD IMPACT GUHSD’S BOTTOM LINE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Alpine Elementary School, site for the future Liberty Charter High School.  Photo courtesy George Barnett

February 20, 2022 (Alpine) – For over 20 years, Alpine residents pined for a high school, even engaging in unsuccessful litigation with the Grossmont Union High School District after the GUHSD reneged on promises to build one due to declining district enrollment.  But in August, Liberty Charter High School will open at the site of the recently closed Alpine Elementary School.


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OASIS HELPS SENIORS AND HOMELESS LEARN TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Oasis trainer David Beevers helps Trinity Place resident John Hurst with his new tablet.

February 19, 2022 (San Diego) -- Getting the homeless off the streets is just one step in a multi-pronged approach to achieving a life of self-sufficiency. An example of a follow-up step is an innovative program by San Diego Oasis: giving low-income seniors and older homeless folks smart technology devices that can make a difference in their lives.


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LA MESA MONTHLY MARKET FEB. 26

East County News Service

February 18, 2022 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to “find your treasure” at the La Mesa Monthly Market.  The next event is Saturday, February 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 8200 La Mesa Blvd. in the heart of the La Mesa downtown village, organized by Pacific Coast Market.


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RECALL DRIVE AGAINST POWAY MAYOR VAUS FALLS SHORT BY AT LEAST 1,500 SIGNATURES

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Poway Mayor Steve Vaus spoke to the media after Chabad of Poway fatal shooting in April 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

February 18, 2022 (Poway) - Poway Mayor Steve Vaus won’t face a recall election over alleged violations of political laws and supposed nondisclosures about his annual Christmas charity concert.


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DRINKING WATER WARNING LIFTED FOR CAMERON CORNERS WATER SYSTEM

Test results show the drinking water supply is safe from nitrate contamination

East County News Service

February 18, 2022 (Campo) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality, is advising the public that a Drinking Water Warning has been lifted for Cameron Corners Water System located at 31484 Highway 94, Campo, CA 91906. The water system supplies water to 3 service connections, including a convenience store, restaurant, and office retail space.  Following system repairs, water sample results reported February 17, 2022, showed that nitrate levels are non-detect in the drinking water supply.  


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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL MEETING UNRAVELS, ADJOURNS EARLY

By Elijah McKee

February 17, 2022 — Sixty-two — that is the number of times Mayor Racquel Vasquez hit her gavel during Lemon Grove’s City Council meeting on February 15, 2022. In the end, the meeting was adjourned early and scheduled to resume two days later at 6 p.m.


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LA MESA CHAMBER INVITES YOU TO WELCOME SAN DIEGO LIVING REAL ESTATE AT OPEN HOUSE & RIBBON CUTTING FEB. 23

Source:  La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

February 17, 2022 (La Mesa) - On Wednesday, February 23rd the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them at an open house and ribbon cutting for San Diego Living Real Estate located at 8504 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m. with the “official” ribbon cutting taking place at 6:00 p.m.


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“TACO TUESDAY” MIXER HOSTED BY THOUGHTFUL CREATIONS IN LA MESA FEB. 22

East County News Service

February 17, 2022 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce announces that Thoughtful Creations, an innovative retailer located at 8270 La Mesa Boulevard, will host a mixer Tuesday, February 22nd between the hours of 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


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THIS SALE ROCKS

East County News Service

February 17, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – Heritage of the Americas Museum will hold a “Rock Sale” this Saturday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can find rocks, crystals, fossils and more. 


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SHERIFF DEPUTIES FIRE SHOTS, INJURE SUSPECT AND DETECTIVE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

February 17, 2022 (El Cajon) – A vehicle theft suspect armed with a knife was shot by San Diego Sheriff’s deputies and injured last night in El Cajon. 

A detective from National City Police Department assigned to the Regional Auto Theft Task Force also sustained a minor gunshot wound.


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WOMAN, 77, DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY CAR IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC-by-NC-ND

February 17, 2022 (Lakeside) – A 77-year-old woman was struck by a car while walking east at the intersection of Pino Drive and Lindo Lane in Lakeside this morning. She was taken to Sharp Memorial, where she died of her injuries.

The accident occurred at 6:45 a.m., when a 2000 Honda Accord driving north on Pino Drive hit the pedestrian. The Honda was driven by a Lakeside man, 37, who had a female juvenile passenger.


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JANIS IAN TO PERFORM AT THE MAGNOLIA MARCH 6

East County News Service

February 16, 2022 (El Cajon) – Famed singer-songwriter Janis Ian will perform live at The Magnolia in El Cajon on March 6 at 8 p.m.  


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FRESHWATER SWIMMING LAKE PLANNED FOR NEW PARK IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2022 (Lakeside) – Imagine swimming beneath waterfalls alongside fish in a freshwater lake. That dream is all part of the ambitious plans that Lakeside River Park Conservancy has announced for a new park at Channel Road in Lakeside.


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ARAB COMMUNITY OBJECTS TO EL CAJON COUNCIL RETAINING DISTRICT LINES

By Elijah McKee
 
“It is unfathomable that a community hasn’t changed in five years.  This is a form of voter suppression, by dividing a community that can and should be kept together.” –Jeanine Erikat, Policy Associate at the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
 
February 15, 2022 (El Cajon) — The City Council of El Cajon unanimously chose its Council districts map last Tuesday night, February 8. The decision, as part of decennial redistricting, determined how the City will elect council members for the next ten years. 
 
Instead of drawing new district lines, the Council voted to keep the same boundaries drawn up in 2017, despite sharp criticism from El Cajon’s large Arab-American community, whose leaders argue that their population has changed since five years ago. They asked for updated districting to create a fair and complete representation of El Cajon. 

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