Communities

POWAY RABBI MAYOR GOLDSTEIN AND EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS JOIN PRESIDENT TRUMP AT NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

President forcefully denounces violent attacks at churches, synagogues and mosques

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 4, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The National Day of Prayer service hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House rose garden on May 2nd included two local VIPs: Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein of Poway and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.

BOY, 14, KILLED NEAR SCHOOL IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 3, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A 14-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle in front of San Miguel Elementary School in Lemon Grove this evening at 6:19 p.m.  He was transported via ambulance to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, says Sergeant Aaron Montan with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

GLOBALLY ACCLAIMED CHAMBER BRAVURA BRINGS A CAPELLA CHORAL MAGIC TO LA MESA MAY 26

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2019 (La Mesa) – Chamber Bravura has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera house, venues in Austria, Australia, England Ireland and Iceland.  They sang the mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome. Now the globally acclaimed young singers—middle and high school seniors from the San Diego region—are bringing their a capella choral magic to The Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa.  Under direction of Katherine Girvin,  Chamber Bravura will perform at 2 p.m. in the church sanctuary at 5940 Kelton Avenue, La Mesa.  (www.tableucc.com)

SANTEE COUNCIL TO HOLD WORKSHOP ON MASSIVE FANITA RANCH PROPOSED PROJECT MAY 8

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2019 (Santee) -- A workshop describing the controversial Fanita Ranch proposed master-planned community will be held during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 8th. The workshop is designed to provide information to the public about the project. No actions on the project will be taken at this meeting.

22 APPLICANTS SEEK TO FILL EL CAJON COUNCIL VACANCY: INTERVIEWS SET FOR MAY 14

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2019 (El Cajon) – The vacancy left on the El Cajon City Council by the resignation of Ben Kalasho has generated strong community interest.  Applications have been received from 22 residents, all seeking to fill the seat. They range from prominent individuals including a former mayor to community activists, members of the planning commission, and a retired police officer who received a Medal of Valor. They bring a diverse range of views and visions for  El Cajon as well.

The City Council will interview applicants at the May 14 meeting at 7 p.m.  Earlier, at the 3 p.m. meeting, Council members will discuss procedures for choosing the next Councilmember, who will fill the at-large seat held by Kalasho until the 2020 election.

The applicants are, in alphabetical order, are listed below along with highlights from their applications:

LA MESA POLICE OFFICER SHOOTS, WOUNDS INTRUDER

 
 
Suspect is a person of interest in an Ocean Beach homicide
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: LMPD Chief Walt Vasquez
 
May 2, 2019 (La Mesa) – Daniel Chase McKibben, 36, was shot in the shoulder and hand by a La Mesa Police officer who fired three shots at 9:15 a.m., Chief Walt Vasquez reports  Officers responded to a call reporting a trespasser who refused to leave a residence at 7920 Rainey Street and found the suspect armed with a knife.

WOMEN OF COLOR ROARED AT SHE THE PEOPLE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL FORUM

 

8 Presidential contenders shared their views

 
By Angela de Joseph
 
May 2, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Indivisible Watu, a political advocacy nonprofit organization based in Lemon Grove, CA., was founded in February 2017. We produce the Women of Color Roar Breakfast.  The well-attended event is held in Black History Month to celebrate the election victories and milestones of African American female office holders and to encourage young women of color to run for office and seek careers in public service. 
 
It was a welcome surprise to be invited to, “She the People,” the first-ever Presidential primary candidate forum focused on issues important to women of color, which was held on April 24, 2019 at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas. 
 

ANOMAR: A CREATIVE COMMUNITY GATHERING JUNE 29 IN RAMONA

 

 

East County News Service

 

May 2, 2019 (Ramona) -- A new, one-of-a-kind immersive arts festival is coming to Ramona this summer and will provide attendees the opportunity to explore hands-on creative activities.

 

Sponsors of the event are the non-profit organizations 2Create Gallery and The Art Center of Ramona, both located at 438 Main St., Ramona, Calif.

TASTE OF JULIAN: A RURAL DINING ADVENTURE SATURDAY, MAY 18

 

 

East County News Service

May 2, 2019 (Julian) – A Taste of Julian is a self-guided culinary tour of unique restaurants, wineries and breweries. This year’s Taste of Julian will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 1-5 p.m.  From delicious main dishes to candied apples, apple pies, chocolates, wine, beer and hard cider, you’ll find plenty to tempt your tastebuds.

HOMELESS COUNT SHOWS 6% DROP COUNTYWIDE: HOMELESS RISES IN RAMONA AND EL CAJON BUT DROPS IN SPRING VALLEY

 

Updated with corrected figures for El Cajon, where homelessness rose and a higher percentage are without shelter than last year.

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – For the second year in a row, the annual Point-in-Time homeless count for 2019 found a 6% drop in the number of homeless people living on the streets and in shelters across San Diego County.  The count found a 1% increase in those who are sheltered and a 10% decrease in those left unsheltered.

MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN RAMONA CRASH

 

Update: The deceased has been identified as Blake Cameron Jennings, 30, of Ramona.

East County News Service

May 1, 2019 (Ramona) – A motorcyclist died at the scene of a collision at 12:48 p.m. today in Ramona. According to witnesses, the rider was driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed, passing eastbound motorists on San Vicente Road left of the double solid yellow lines. 

BOARD APPROVES FIRST PHASE IMPROVEMENTS FOR POPULAR LINDO LAKE COUNTY PARK

 

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 1, 2019 (Lakeside) - San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to move ahead with a $7.5 million first-phase improvement project for the popular Lindo Lake County Park in Lakeside.

PUBLIC PLANNING SESSIONS TO GUIDE LA MESA AGE-FRIENDLY ACTION PLAN

 

 

Source:  City of La Mesa

May 1, 2019 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa invites the public to participate in the Livable La Mesa project by attending upcoming community action planning sessions. After collecting feedback from the community, La Mesa residents have prioritized the following domain topics for the La Mesa Age-Friendly Communities Action Plan: Outdoor Spaces & Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social & Civic Participation, Community Information, and Health & Wellness. All action planning sessions are open to the public.  Residents are encouraged to attend any session for the topic areas that are important to them. Light refreshments will be provided.

SPRING HIKES IN COUNTY PARKS

 

 

East County News Service 

May 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring is here – time to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. The County is offering a series of special hikes in county parks, from leisurely strolls to a rugged “Warrior hike challenge” up El Capitan.

 

Find details below provided by County Parks: 

POWAY SHOOTER CHARGED WITH MURDER, PARENTS DISAVOW SON

 

 

Thousands turn out at vigil to commemorate victims of Chabad synagogue 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2019 (Poway) – District Attorney Summer Stephan has said she may pursue the death penalty against John T. Earnest, 19, who is accused of one count of murder with special circumstances for a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday during a Passover celebration. He is also charged with arson at a house of worship for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido.

SUPERVISOR JIM DESMOND TO HOLD REVITALIZATION MEETING IN BORREGO SPRINGS MAY 7

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Newly elected County Supervisor Jim Desmond has been holding a series of community revitalization meetings in his district. Now he is starting a Borrego Springs Community Revitalization Committee to bring public resources to Borrego Springs.  This is a community meeting and the public is welcome to attend.  On Tuesday, May 7, the meeting will be held in the community room at the Borrego Springs Library.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT OTERO FAILS TO DISCLOSE SON OWNS COMPANY THAT GOT $665,000 CONTRACT

Outbid contractor claims irregularities with bid process

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 30, 2019 (El Cajon) - A $655,000 construction contract for a new modular building at Los Coches Creek Middle School on Mar. 26 was awarded to Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees President Tamara Otero’s son, Dryw Otero, owner of Otero Construction, Inc.   In total, 37 contractors “pulled plans” for the project and eight actually submitted bids.

Prior to the vote Tamara Otero was asked by fellow board member Jill Barto, “It looks like….is this your husband’s company?” Otero replied, “No,” and immediately brushed off the question, saying the internet connection to her computer on the dais is disconnected. (Barto says she asked about the family connections but her phrase, “and your family” was masked by Otero’s response.)

Tamara Otero is the mother to Dryw Ortero, the owner of Otero Construction, Inc., State Contractors License #1025227, according to the State of California, with offices located on the 8400 block of Magnolia Street in Santee. The young company has been in business less than two years, founded in April 2017.

Audio: 

Cajon Valley 3-26-2019

DRIVER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS FOR INJURING BOY ON BIKE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery 

April 29, 2019 (El Cajon) - Courtney Webber has been sentenced to three years in prison for hitting a 9-year-old bicyclist in El Cajon on October 5, 2018, then fleeing the scene, Times of San Diego reports.  Webber pled guilty to the crime.

FIGHTING HATE FOR GOOD: A COMMUNITY VIGIL FOR POWAY TONIGHT AT 6:30 P.M.

East County News Service

April 29, 2019 (Poway)  -- In the wake of Saturday’s tragedy at Chabad of Poway, the San Diego Jewish community and its allies will gather at Poway High School (1550 Espola Rd., Poway) tonight at 6:30 p.m. to honor the victims and to stand together against anti-Semitism – and hate of all kinds.

In partnership with Poway Unified School District, the vigil is being convened by the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego County, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Family Service of San Diego and Jewish Federation of San Diego County. The  Mayors of Poway and San Diego will speak, along with religious, law enforcement, civil rights and education leaders.

FAMILY OF CHABAD SUSPECT EXPRESSES ‘SHOCK, SHAME AND ANGUISH’

 

 

By Chris Jennewein

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

Photo:  John T. Earnest via 10 News

April 29, 2019 (Poway) - The family of John T. Earnestthe suspect in the fatal attack on a Poway synagogue, issued a statement Monday expressing “shock,” “grief” and “anguish” while lamenting  their son “is now part of the history of evil.”

POWAY SYNAGOGUE VICTIMS SHOWED COURAGE AND HEROISM IN FACE OF COWARDLY ATTACK

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Lori Kaye, the sole fatality, and injured survivors Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, Almog Perez, and Noya Dahan

Updated April 29 with information on Iraq War veteran Oscar Stewart, who chased the gunman out of the synagogue

April 28, 2019 (Poway) – When a gunman opened fire on unarmed worshippers and a rabbi inside the Chabad Congregation synagogue on Saturday, his victims displayed remarkable courage—saving many lives.  About 100 people were in the synagogue, but only four were struck, according to Sheriff Bill Gore.

 Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, a founding member of the synagogue, jumped between the gunman and Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, sacrificing her own life to save the spiritual leader, CNN reports. She had come to say a Kaddish prayer for the dead for her late mother, but now the prayer will be recited in her memory.

Rabbi Goldstein raised his hands and bullets tore through his fingers.  ““I saw a group of children in the banquet hall, including my granddaughter,” he told NBC TV after surgery, “not even knowing that my fingers were blown off, I got the kids and everyone out of the sanctuary safely.”  Outside the sanctuary, despite his bloody wounds, the Rabbi continued to deliver his Passover message and told his congregation, “We are united.”

PASSOVER SHOOTINGS AT POWAY SYNAGOGUE: 1 DEAD, 3 INJURED

 

Updated 3:45 p.m. with information from the Sheriff's press conference and comments from Poway Mayor Steve Vaus

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2019 (Poway, CA)--An older woman has died and three others were injured in a shooting  today at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sheriff Gore confirmed in a news conference this afternoon.  The attack occurred during a Passover celebration.

ECM news partner 10 News reports that  Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, suffered a hand injury. Two men and a 10-year-old girl were also injured with shrapnel wounds; all are in stable condition and expected to recover. 

A white male, 19, from San Diego is in custody after he called authorities to surrender. He used an AR-type assault weapon, according to Sheriff Gore. He was arrested in nearby Rancho San Diego.  No motive has yet been disclosed.

NBC 7 reports that multiple sources confirm the suspect is John T. Earnest, who published a manifesto at 10 a.m. on Reddit threatening to live-stream the shooting in Poway. In a rant filled with racist remarks and Bible quotes, he also claimed credit for arson at an Escondido mosque a month ago. The killer stated that he was inspired by the recent deadly attack on a New Zeland mosque and by shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING BROTHER IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with names of victims

April 27, 2019 (Lakeside) – Felix Joseph Hernandez, 50, is under arrest for killing his brother. George Hernandez, as well as shooting and injuring Elwin Ray Downs, 65. He is charged with murder and assault.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting the shooting yesterday at 4:31 p.m. in a mobile home park at 13460 Highway 8 Business in Lakeside.  Deputies found a 65-year-old man in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his torso. The victim reported another man had been shot inside a residence.

REALTORS TRADE GROUP HONORED FOR HELPING EAST COUNTY HOMELESS POPULATION

 

 

East County News Service

Photo:  (from left to right) Tracy Morgan Hollingworth, Joe Mackey, Robert Calloway, Kay LeMenager, Carol Lewis, Anna Marie Piconi Snyder.

April 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors, recently presented a $5,000 check to the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help pay for a website featuring resources to assist homeless people in the East County.

TWO MAYORS TO MISS THEIR OWN EAST COUNTY MAYORS PRAYER LUNCHEON, THURSDAY, MAY 2 IN EL CAJON; BOTH WILL BE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AT SEPARATE EVENTS

 

 

East County News Service

April 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – The East County Mayors Prayer Luncheon will be held on the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 2, at Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon. The public is invited to attend.

COUNTY AGREES TO COMPROMISE AFTER FILING FOR COURT ORDER TO FORCE VOLUNTEERS OUT OF JULIAN FIRE STATION

Despite dissolution put in force by LAFCO and County authorities, volunteers and supporters can stay in station at least 30 days, Judge Trapp rules

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 26, 2019 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego and Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) went into Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp’s courtroom Thursday seeking an order to evict supporters of the dissolved Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD).

Instead, the Judge pushed both sides to hammer out a compromise agreement that  allows former volunteer firefighters and their supporters to remain in station 57 for at least 30 days while the legal issues work their way through the court system. 

Calls will be responded to by the County Fire Authority/Cal Fire and the County will have a right to inspect the station daily, with specifications.

RISE UP HELPS FORMER INMATES MAKE TRANSITION TO NEW LIFE

 
 
By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  Dustin Greeves and Ernie Garcia
 
April 25, 2019 (Santee) -- A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses.

MEET MOUNTAIN MEN AND MORE AT MANZANITA HIGH RENDEZVOUS MAY 10-18

 

 

East County News Service

April 25, 2019 (Lake Morena) – You’re invited to step back in time and visit an authentic mountain man rendezvous on May 10-18 at the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous. The event will be held at the Northcote Ranch near Lake Morena.

HISTORY ALIVE MAY 2 IN LEMON GROVE: LOWDOWN ON THE FORGOTTEN “GARDEN OF THE DEAD”

 

 

By Helen Ofield

April 25, 2019 (Lemon Grove) - The Lemon Grove Historical Society continues its free "History Alive" series with award-winning historian Alexander Bevil on May 2 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.

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