Communities

STEELE CANYON CHARTER RENEWAL REJECTED BY GUHSD; PRINCIPAL GRILLED BY BOARD

 

By Ana Nita

View video including interview with Mark Robak and GUHSD board hearing on the Steele Canyon charter issues: click image at left or visit  https://youtu.be/9cZj0ZmsKzY

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School encountered a set back last week, when the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board decided not to accept the charter’s application for reauthorization, following allegations that school’s governing board and charter committee violated the law and acted undemocratically. 

The charter school in Spring Valley landed in hot water with the district and the parents after a newly elected board member discovered significant discrepancies between the old and the new bylaws up for vote two weeks ago in the governing board. Mark Robak, a local businessman, joined the board on October 9 and by the end of the month, he was sending petitions to the school principal and the district objecting to irregularities with the authorization process and the bylaws.

VISIONARY DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” IN LA MESA DEC. 6-7

East County News Service

November 17, 2019 (La Mesa) – Visionary Dance Theatre will present “Brother of Man” at the Visionary Performance Space (8677 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa) on December 6 and 7at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Spencer John Powell  and choreographed by the VDT male dancers, "Brotherhood of Man" is themed on the diversity of the male experience. The cast includes a broad spectrum of ages, races, and sexual orientations.  Each dancer presents a positive male role model going through the experiences and the struggles of life.

BONJOUR! FRIENDS OF EAST COUNTY ARTS HOSTS “PARIS HOLIDAY” TEA DEC. 14

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Friends of East County Arts, Inc. cordially invites you to “PARIS HOLIDAY,” the theme of this year’s annual holiday tea on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish Hall (405 Ballard St. in  El Cajon).  

Don your fancy hat to enjoy champagne, tea, scones and desserts on fine holiday tableware. There will also be door prizes and opportunity drawings plus entertainment including a performance by the Valhalla High School Dance Program, one of the recipients of this year’s grants.  

Through the years, the 501c3 nonprofit Friends of East County Arts, Inc. has raised over $875,000 in funds for growth and development of the live performing arts and to support fine arts and artists in San Diego’s East County.

CULTURAL ART EXPO DRAWS TOP-NOTCH ARTISTS; MARRIOTT AIMS TO EXPAND EXPO AND CREATE AN ANNUAL EVENT

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Art aficionados found plenty to appreciate at the Cultural Art Expo held Nov. 9 at the Marriott in El Cajon.  Proceeds benefited the East County Arts Association, which had members in a broad range of visual arts at the event, which also featured internationally acclaimed sculptor Enrique Avilez, local authors, live music, wine and beer tasting, art workshops and a fitness workout.

“It was the perfect storm,” Avilez (photo, left), a former fisherman, says of the life-altering event that inspired him to take up artwork as a career. Aboard a fishing vessel off his native Mexico battered by stormy seas, Avilez made a promise to pursue his passions if he survived the ordeal. His works reflect the materials of Baja beaches  and communities where he grew up – utilizing native clays, seashells, coral, wood and more.

SANTEE LEANS TO CURFEW ON COUNCIL MEETINGS, GIVES CITY MANAGER NICE RAISE

By Mike Allen
 
November 15, 2019 (Santee) -- Public speakers at Santee City Council meetings currently may have to sit for more than three hours before they can state their beefs to the city in a public forum.
 
But the Council is considering changing that format, along with a few other things, including establishing a curfew on how long meetings run.

STUDENT ARRESTED FOR THREAT TO BONSALL HIGH SCHOOL; WEAPONS SEIZED

East County News Service
 
November 15, 2019 (Bonsall) – Sheriff’s deputies arrested a student at Bonsall High on West Lilac Rd. in northeast San Diego County on Nov. 13.  An investigation including an interview with the suspect found that he had made specific threats to commit a shooting at a planned school event in the near future, says Lieutenant Ricardo Lopez.

CA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO POWER OUTAGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
November 14, 2019 (San Francisco) --  The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Wednesday opened an investigation to examine recent Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events and ensure utilities are held accountable for their actions.  
 
The electric utilities under investigation are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities/CalPeco Electric, Bear Valley Electric Service, and Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp. In September and October 2019, the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, notably PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, proactively de-energized power lines during high wildfire danger weather conditions to reduce the risk of utility infrastructure starting wildfires. 

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS TOY DRIVE PARTY DEC. 4 FOR CHILDREN OF MILITARY FAMILIES

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to make a difference this holiday season for children of military personnel living in military housing in La Mesa.  The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting a toy drive for the children, ages 2-13, on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Grossmont Center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

"The La Mesa Chamber is honored to be a part of this endeavor and making a difference in the lives of these children and their families, that do so much for our country," stated Mary England, President & CEO.  

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event, which is free to Chamber members.  Cost for non-member guests is $10, or $20 at the door. Admission includes pizzas, salads, hors d’ouvres, and two wine drink tickets. To register, click here.

PROPOSED COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT DRAWS UNIFIED OPPOSITION FROM RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS AT SCOPING MEETING

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Meeting audio: tinyurl.com/RSDCottonwoodMine11042019

Photo: Elizabeth Urquhart, Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine, speaks to a full house during scoping meeting.

November 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- If the proposal to replace Cottonwood Golf Course with a sand mine were to be decided by local Rancho San Diego residents, Beverly Hills investor and developer Michael Schlesinger and applicant Greg Brown would be hearing a loud chorus of “nay” votes.

Some 300 local residents crowded into the multi-purpose room at Hillsdale Middle School on Monday night, November 4th to vent their strong opposition to the project in a public scoping meeting called by the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services Department. View county handout and fact sheet. The scoping meeting is required to get public input on what should be included in an upcoming Environmental Impact report.

ROSIAK CLAIMS LEMON GROVE COMPLAINT IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Teresa Rosiak has run for Lemon Grove’s city council and mayoral positions in the past, but did not win election. She’s also been a vocal critic at council meetings and is a potential candidate in 2020.  The city has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accuses the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.

“The city again is not using the taxpayer’s dollars properly,” says Rosiak (also known as Rosiak-Proffit) in an e-mail to ECM, adding, “They want me to be discredited since I am outspoken and they will do this regardless of the cost to the taxpayers.”

Rosiak, a former Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce president, is a fiscal conservative. The Council majority is Democratic.  She has criticized the Council on spending priorities, dipping into budget reserves, litigation in which the city has been embroiled over assault allegations against Councilman David Arambula, and has called for resignations of Arambula,  Mayor Racquel Vasquez and City Manager Lydia Romero.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SOUNDS ALARM OVER STATE’S PLAN TO RELEASE ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, NEAR BOULEVARD

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  Thomas Cornwell, 41, convicted of lewd acts on children under age 14, has been diagnosed with pedophilic disorder
 
November 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob, in a letter to Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, cites disturbing statistics regarding sexually violent predators released in East County.  Of 12 released countywide in the past 15 years, nine were sent to East County. Five of the 12 violated conditions of their release and four were sent back to state mental hospitals, according to Jacob. Yet the state is proposing to release two more sexually violent predators into our region.

DEAD HAWK IN RAMONA TESTS POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

County Vector Control warns residents to protect against mosquitoes
 
East County News Service
 
November 13, 2019 (Ramona) – San Diego County environmental health officials announced today that a dead Cooper’s hawk found in Ramona has tested positive for West Nile Virus. It is the second case of West Nile Virus found in birds locally this year; in March another dead Cooper’s hawk found in Lakeside was also found to carry the virus.
 
No locally transmitted cases have been identified yet this year in humans, though two people did test positive for the virus after contracting it in other counties. Symptoms of West Nile can include headache, fever, nausea, skin rash or swollen glands. While most people recover, in about one of every 150 cases, the disease can cause serious illness including brain swelling or even death.

RIBBON CUTTING OF NEW CUYAMACA COLLEGE VETERANS CENTER

East County News Service

November 13, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Student veterans at Cuyamaca College will receive a belated Veterans Day gift in the form of a new veterans center inside Cuyamaca College’s Student Center, Building I.  A ribbon-cutting to officially open the center, in addition to marking the grand reopening of the Student Center after nearly a year’s remodeling, is set for 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Nov 14.

POLICE SEEK VEHICLE THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN, THEN FLED SCENE IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Surveillance video of suspect vehicle

November 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is seeking a small silver four-door sedan that may have damage to the bumper, hood and windshield. The vehicle struck a man at the intersection of East Chase and Lincoln Avenue on November 6 around 6:24 p.m.

A passerby started CPR on the victim, who was unresponsive. Medics transported him to Sharp Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

EL CAJON POLICE ASKS PUBLIC’S HELP TO SOLVE ARMED CARJACKINGS AND ROBBERIES; TWO VICTIMS INJURED

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2019 (El Cajon) –A band of four or five young men in their teens or 20s, wearing masks and armed with handguns and long guns, carjacked multiple passenger vehicles this morning. They also robbing a bystander on a sidewalk of his backpack.

 In one incident, a couple confronted a suspect in their parked car and a struggle ensued. The man was struck with a gun and the woman, who clung to her vehicle, was dragged a short distance when the suspect drove off and fled the scene. Both suffered minor injuries and the woman was taken to a hospital, says Lieutenant Randy Soulard.

All of the crimes occurred between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. this morning.

WHAT SHOULD LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL REQUIRE OF APPLICANTS TO FILL VACANCY? COMMUNITY WEIGHS IN; FORUM FOR APPLICANTS NOV. 13

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove is now accepting applications for appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council left by the resignation of Matt  Mendoza, who moved to Florida for his job.

The appointment process raises questions over what criteria should be considered, beyond basic residency and age requirements, in choosing the next councilmember.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: GIARDINO AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATE SECOND ANNIVERSARY

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Giardino Neighborhood Cucina celebrated its second anniversary last night, treating all guests to a delicious array of complimentary appetizers as well as toasts with champagne and lavender-vodka lemonade.

The appetizers include savory meatballs, cheese platter, olives, strawberries and more.  Guests also enjoyed live music and a festive ambience with red and gold balloons.

ALL ABOARD: RIDE A TRAIN, CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF SAN DIEGO RAILWAY HISTORY NOV. 16 IN CAMPO

East County News Service

November 11, 2019 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its “SD&A Centennial Celebration Gold Spike Day” on Saturday, Nov. 16 at PSRM’s Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNNG GROUP’S TUESDAY AGENDA INCLUDES COTTONWOOD SAND MINE AND SAVE OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE INITIATIVE

East County News Service 

November 11, 2019 (Jamul) – The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group’s meeting tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. will include preliminary discussion of both the Cottonwood Sand Mine and the Save Our San Diego Countryside Initiative. The latter is a county-wide ballot measure that would require voter approval before Supervisors could waive General Plan density developments for residential projects in rural areas. There will also be an update on the Jamul Casino.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: A NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

November 9, 2019 (El Cajon) If it appears during fall that it has been snowing in the California Native Plants Garden at Grossmont College, don’t bother checking the thermometer or calling the Guiness Book of Records. The white precipitate isn’t snow at all, but in fact is a great volume of seeds produced by the prodigious female plant of the Chapparal Broom, also known as the Desert Broom.

GOT POWER? BE PREPARED! FORUM ON GENERATORS NOV. 19 IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
November 8, 2019 (Alpine) – The Alpine Library will host a forum on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. for you to learn more about generators, solar battery backup and other residential emergency power options.
 
Local businesses including SDG&E, Global Power, and Kamp’s Propane will be on hand to answer your questions.
 
The library is located at 1752 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX MEASURE QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: George Gastil, former Lemon Grove Councilmember who spearheaded the petition drive

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Registrar of Voters confirms that the Lemon Grove sales tax measure has qualified to appear on the March 2020 ballot. If approved, the initiative would increase the city’s sales tax by three-fourths of a cent to 8.5 percent, the same as neighboring La Mesa.

According to the Registrar, 1,987 signatures have been verified as valid, substantially more than the 1,482 required for the measure dubbed the "Lemon Grove Security Initiative."

Advocates for the measure posted on their “Sweeten Lemon Grove” Facebook page, “Shoutout to all of the volunteers who circulated 233 petitions and to every person who provided their signature in support of the measure.”

The stakes are high for Lemon Grove residents and businesses.

COURT ORDERS MATT MENDOZA DEPOSITION IN LAWSUIT AGAINST LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Superior Court Judge Richard S. Whitney on October 25th approved a motion to compel a deposition of Matt Mendoza in the case of Christopher Williams vs. Davis Arambula and the City of Lemon Grove. The order was issued just days before Mendoza resigned from the Lemon Grove City Council and announced that he had moved to Florida.

The Judge initially ordered $1,500 in sanctions to be awarded to Williams, but later removed the sanctions.

Williams has accused Arambula of assaulting him  in July 2017, following a discussion at Arambula’s home regarding cannabis dispensary applications submitted by Williams to the city.  Arambula has claimed he acted in self defense, but never notified the Sheriff. A Sheriff report was filed after Williams received treatment of serious injuries at a hospital emergency room.

LEMON GROVE TO APPOINT NEW COUNCILMEMBER TO FILL VACANCY: APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED NOV. 11-21

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – At a special meeting last night, Lemon Grove’s City Council voted to fill the vacancy left by Matt Mendoza’s resignation through appointment.  Applications will be accepted starting Monday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

FREE FISHING FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY MEMBERS AT LAKE JENNINGS NOV. 11

East County News Service
 
November 7, 2019 (Lakeside) – Lake Jennings in Lakeside invites veterans and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces to fish and enjoy a beautiful day at the lake for free at Lake Jennings on Veteran's Day 2019. The lake will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and proper military identification will be required.
 
On Facebook, Lake Jennings, owned by Helix Water District, posted, “Thank you for your service!”

SENSE & SENSIBILITY REVIEW - JANE AUSTEN FUN

By Kathy Carpenter

November 7, 2019 (Escondido) - Fun is probably not the word that comes to mind when you think of Jane Austen, but her genres are listed as romance novels and comedy of manners on Google. Jane Austen is known for writing six novels. Sense and Sensibility is her first novel, written in 1811, followed by Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1914, Emma in 1815 and Persuasion and Northanger Abbey in 1817.

LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN MATT MENDOZA RESIGNS, REPLACEMENT PROCESS IS ON TONIGHT’S AGENDA

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove Councilman Matt Mendoza resigned Monday after moving to Florida due to his work for Boeing.  The Council will meet tonight in a 6:30 p.m. public session to discuss options for filling the vacancy. The  Council originally planned a closed-door meeting but changed to an open session after the San Diego Union-Tribune raised questions about the legality of a closed-door process, the newspaper reported.

The resignation comes at a critical time for the city, which has been forced to dip into its financial reserves.  An initiative to raise sales tax by three-quarters of a cent has just qualified for the ballot – a measure that Mendoza, a conservative, has said he supports.  He told the Union-Tribune that his greatest regret has been the inability of the city to attract enough new businesses to attain fiscal stability. The city has even faced calls from some to consider disincorporation, or giving up cityhood to revert to county control.

Mendoza’s departure comes just weeks before a December 19, 2019 jury trial in a lawsuit against the city of Lemon Grove and Counclman David Arambula is set to commence.  Judge Richard Whitney authorized Cory Briggs, attorney for plaintiff Chris Williams, to take a deposition from Mendoza but so far, Mendoza has been unavailable for that deposition, Candid Chronicle reports.   

READER’S EDITORIAL: MY GRANDMOTHER’S STORY – PLEASE BAN VAPING

An open letter to El Cajon City Councilmembers to consider vaping ban Nov. 12

By Amanda McGimpsey, El Cajon

November 6, 2019 (El Cajon) -- My grandmother had a beautiful singing voice.  But I never heard it.

In the 50’s, my grandmother was a social smoker. She was told that smoking was healthy. That it helped her skin. Helped her loose weight. Even that it was good for calming your nerves during pregnancy. That’s what the packaging said and the scientific research on the long-term health effects of smoking wouldn’t be completed for nearly two decades.

OLD GLOBE BRINGS “THE WINTER’S TALE” ON TOUR TO 20 LOCAL VENUES, INCLUDING A FREE PERFORMANCE IN EL CAJON ON NOV. 8

East County News Service

 

November 7, 2019 (San Diego) -- The Old Globe celebrates six years of making theatre matter to more people.  Its talented Globe for All company of professional actors will bring a stirring production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale to a variety of economically, geographically, and culturally diverse communities throughout San Diego County. The free-admission Globe for All Tour kicked off in late October and has already held several performances around the County.  The Tour comes to the El Cajon branch of the County Library with the Chaldean Middle Easter Social Services on Friday November 8 at 5:34 (799 East Washington).

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