Communities

MARRON VALLEY FIRE NEAR DULZURA BRIEFLY THREATENED POWERLINES AND HOMES

By Miriam Raftery

Photos via Cal Fire

Update July 15, 2021:  The cause of the Marron Fire was a truck that ignited brush, says Cal Fire Captain Thomas Shoots .  "The gentleman was trying to get to the South Bay Rod and Gun Club" but became disoriented on a dirt road and had a techhnical issue with his vehicle, says Shoots, adding that the driver was cooperative and remained on the scene after his truck burned.

July 11, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – The #MarronFire, which began last night along marron Valley Road south of the South Bay Rod & Gun Club in Dulzura, burned approximately 52 acres overnight. The blaze briefly threatened homes and high voltage power lines, however this morning, Cal Fire reports the fire is 40% contained. 

LA MESA CHOOSES RAY SWEENEY AS NEW POLICE CHIEF

By Alexa Oslowski

Photo: Chief Ray Sweeney, via City of La Mesa

July 10, 2021 (La Mesa) - La Mesa announced on July 1 that Captain Ray Sweeney will serve as the new La Mesa Police Chief, effective immediately. The selection was made by City Manager Greg Humora. Sweeney has served as a Captain in La Mesa Police since 2015 and has previously served in the United States Army and the Army National Guard.

“After a comprehensive and thorough recruitment process, I am confident Ray Sweeney is the leader we need to advance our Police Department and sustain our professionalism and focus on best practices to deliver for our community. The La Mesa Community will benefit from his immediate familiarity with our City and Police Department while also leveraging his strong character and clear vision for effective community policing,” City Manager Humora said in the press release.

This appointment comes almost a year after former La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez announced his retirement would start in August 2020, just months after La Mesa’s controversial stops of Amaurie Johnson and racial justice protests that turned into riots in May 2020.

ROAD FIRE CLOSES WB I-8, PROMPTS EVACUATIONS IN PORTIONS OF DESCANSO & VIEJAS RESERVATION

Update: 7 p.m.: Caltrans San Diego reports all lanes re-opened to traffic 
 
#RoadFire removed from CHP Incidents page
 
No official public updates found on acres burned or % contained since 3:30 p.m.
 
Update: 3:30 p.m.: Initial Attack was successful according to retired fire captain Scott Culkin. Out of town air resources released.
 
Thank you: United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.), Calfire/S.D. County, Alpine, Viejas, and others. Firefighters will be present throughout the night to contain the fire and put out any hotspots.
 
"Forward spread has stopped," according to Cleveland National Forest, lead agency on the #RoadFire, yet also reporting only 5% contained, as of 3:30 p.m.
 
Update 1:50 p.m.: Per Cleveland National Forest on Twitter, the #RoadFire is now 70 acres and holding, with a moderate rate of spread. The Humane Society urges pet owners to take pets with you if you evacuate, since you may not be able to return to provide food and water during the fire and intense heat.
 
By Jonathan Goetz
 
Photos: #RoadFire by James Cecil (Pic 1: Mountain, Pic 2: SDG&E Helicopter)
 
July 10, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – All lanes westbound on Interstate 8 west of State Route 79 are closed due to a brush fire, reports Caltrans San Diego.

RAMONA COUNTRY FAIR CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF OLD-FASHIONED FUN

By Regina Elling
 
Photos courtesy of the Ramona Chamber of Commerce
 
July 9, 2021 (Ramona) -- Known as the “Best Days of Summer,” the Ramona Country Fair is an event for those looking for a real, old-fashioned country fair.
 
The Ramona Chamber of Commerce is presenting the Ramona Country Fair from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1 – and the celebration promises to be extra special—the Fair is celebrating its 50th year.

COUNTY RESIDENTS ASKED TO TAKE PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF SURVEY

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services is asking all County residents to fill out a survey about the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program.  The SDG&E program to shut off power during high fire-risk conditions has sparked controversy across the backcountry among residents left without electricity to power their homes, businesses, wells pumps, and other vital needs. The deadline to complete the survey is July 13.

The survey asks residents whether they received adequate notification of such outages and whether they experienced financial losses, among other details – the first step toward documenting impacts of the program and potentially leading to changes.

DO YOU WANT TO RUN FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL TO REPLACE DR. WEBER?

Candidates can file from July 12 through August 6

By Alexa Oslowski

July 9, 2021 (La Mesa) - On November 2, La Mesa will be holding its all-mail ballot election to replace Dr. Akilah Weber, who left the City Council to serve as the 79th District State Assemblymember. The person elected will serve until the end of Dr. Weber’s City Council term on November 8, 2022.

The nomination period opens on July 12, 2021, and closes on August 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Candidate packets will be available in the City Clerk's Office, which is located at 8130 Allison Avenue in La Mesa. To schedule an appointment to obtain a Candidate Packet, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 619-667-1120.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine
 
July 8, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for San Diego County’s inland areas, with temperatures forecast to reach up to 120 degrees in local deserts from Saturday through at least Monday.
 
Expect high temperatures in mountain areas as well, where the heat could hit 98 degrees in areas below 6,000 feet.
 
Today and tomorrow, gusty winds and thunderstorms are possible in local inland areas, with a possibility of monsoonal thunderstorms returning on Tuesday and Wednesday.

SIP OF JULIAN ON JULY 31: TASTING ROOMS OFFER SAMPLES OF WINE, BEER, HARD CIDER AND CRAFT COCKTAILS

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (Julian) -- On Saturday, July 31, the Julian Chamber of Commerce will co-host the 6th Annual Sip of Julian featuring alcoholic beverages and local cuisine.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH REVIEW - COMMUNITY THEATER RETURNS

Review by Kathy Carpenter

July 4, 2021 (Spring Valley) - Slowly, we are returning to a semi-normal lifestyle--one that includes live theatre. Musicals. As such, the Young Actors Theater in Casa De Oro presents "James and the Giant Peach." You may remember the book from your childhood, written by Roald Dahl, who also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

CELEBRATE RAMONA’S HISTORIC KENILWORTH INN MURAL WITH A TRADITIONAL CHICKEN DINNER

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2021 (Ramona) – The Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Murals Project invites you to an old-fashioned chicken dinner at Begent Ranch (18528 Highland Valley Road, Ramona) on Sunday, July 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the historic Kenilworth Inn Mural.

Catered by Marinade on Main, the event will offer music by Dirty Confetti band, a silent auction that includes sketches of the mural by the artist Beata Wojcik, a sneak peek at the upcoming Kumeyaay mural by the artist, historical overview of the Kenilworth Inn, and a full course chicken dinner in the tradition of the Kenilworth Inn and more.

You can opt for just the dinner with free parking, or purchase a package that includes the Ramona Art and Wine Festival on November 5, 6 or 7.

HARRAH’S RESORT SOCAL AT RINCON CELEBRATES PRIDE WEEKEND JULY 17-18

East County News Service

 

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- As a longtime supporting sponsor of San Diego PRIDand in celebration of pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communitiesHarrah’s Resort SoCal today announced a bevy of beautiful PRIDE experiences, offerings and specials to celebrate PRIDE in style.  From the hotel towers lit up in rainbow colors in support of San Diego Pride weekend July 17 and 18 to Resort decor including a rainbow ribbon chandelier and a proud alpaca, colorful photo ops and celebration abound.

DRIVER DIES AFTER DEHESA ROAD CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2021(El Cajon) – A San Diego resident, 57, died at a hospital where he was transported after a solo-vehicle crash at 4:08 a.m., July 1, in unincorporated El Cajon.

The motorist was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblaze westbound on Dehesa Road, east of Cunningham Lane, when he missed a curve. The vehicle rolled over and struck a utility pole.  The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.

EVACUATIONS IN SANTA YSABEL DUE TO BRUSH FIRE

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

Photo by Jonna Waite, viewed from west Pine Hills

Update July 5, 2021: The #YsabelFire is 90% contained; firefighters have held it to 173 acres.

Update 7:05 p.m. Fire remains 173 acres and is now 17% contained. All Evacuation Orders and Warnings have been lifted. Road closures lifted; Highway 79 remains open for one-way traffic.

Update 4:45 p.m. -- The fire is now 173 acres and 0% contained, but the spread has slowed, per Cal Fire.  A temporary evacuation point has been established at Lake Henshaw.

July 3, 2021 (San Diego's East County) – The CHP website reports that a county trash truck rear-ended a motorhome, sparking a fire that ignited vegetation on Highway 79 north of Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel. (screenshot, right).

The brush fire is over 10 acres and is now threatening homes.

Photo, left: Burned RV, via Cal Fire

NEW BARBERSHOP, STUDIO CUTZ, OPENS IN LA MESA

By Briana Gomez

July 3, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Studio Cutz, a new barbershop in La Mesa located at 7520 El Cajon Blvd.,  had its ribbon cutting ceremony today.

The shop is offering $20 haircuts all week until July 4 with a valid I.D.

La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Reverend Shane Harris of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates participated in the grand opening and praised owner Aydarus Sakawe.

“He’s mindful of the youth. He wants to encourage everyone to not only come and get a haircut, but he’s a member of the community and wants to serve the community, and so we’re so happy to have Studio Cutz coming to La Mesa,” Mayor Arapostathis said.

EL CAJON POLICE SEIZE LARGE CACHE OF WEAPONS INCLUDING OVER 100 FIREARMS, GHOST GUNS, AND ARMOR-PIERCING AMMO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via El Cajon Police

July 3, 2021 (El Cajon) – A paroled felon prohibited from possessing firearms was arrested on June 28 by El Cajon Police after officers found a massive arsenal of weapons at his home in unincorporated El Cajon.

“Many of the firearms found in Fencl’s home are illegal to possess in the state of California and other parts of the United States,” says Lt. Randy Soulard with El Cajon Police.

REHABILITATED BALD EAGLE RETURNS TO WILD AT LAKE HENSHAW JUST AHEAD OF JULY FOURTH

Young Bald Eagle Came to San Diego Humane Society with an Injured Clavicle

 July 2, 2021 (Lake Henshaw) -- An injured bald eagle, found in Warner Springs with a wing droop and unable to fly, was brought to San Diego Humane Society’s Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center on June 8. The bird has been rehabilitated and was released back into the wild on July 1, just in time for the Independence Day holiday.

US DEPT. OF LABOR RECOVERS BACK WAGES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS DENIED OVERTIME WAGES BY JAMUL COMPANY

J S Plastering of Jamul also assessed $25,000 in penalties for willful violations

 By Miriam Raftery

June 30, 2021 (Jamul) – Failing to pay overtime wages has cost JS Plastering of Jamul nearly $125,000 in back wages and penalties.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company paid overtime hours at straight-time rates in unrecorded cash, instead of paying time and a half as required by law when employees work more than 40 hours in a week.  

The investigation led to the recovery of $98,720 in overtime back wages owed to 39 employees and assessment of $25,380 in penalties for the employer’s willful violation of the law.

EL CAJON ANNOUNCES FOUR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS

Source: City of El Cajon 

June 30, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council will host a series of public hearings to gather input as part of its redistricting process. Cities with district-based elections must evaluate and adjust City Council voting districts every ten-years following the US Census to ensure that each district has roughly the same number of residents. 

CHECKPOINTS JULY 3 IN LEMON GROVE FOR DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE AND UNLICENSED DRIVERS

Source: San Diego Sheriff

June 30, 2021 (Lemon Grove) -- The Sheriff’s Lemon Grove Substation will be conducting a DUI / Driver's License checkpoint on Saturday, July 3 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.at an unspecified location in Lemon Grove.  

“In an effort to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol-involved crashes, DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the street, as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving,” says Traffic Sergeant Aaron Montan. “All too often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on local roadways by impaired drivers. This DUI / Driver's License checkpoint is an effort to reduce those tragedies, as well as ensuring drivers have a valid driver's license.”

JACUMBA RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO FIGHT SOLAR PROJECT: JULY 9 PLANNNG COMMISSION HEARING IS NEXT STEP

Story and photos by Henri Migala 

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

June 30, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Imagine moving to a small, quiet, rural community over an hour away from a major metropolitan area to enjoy the quiet solitude of the open backcountry--only to learn that an international investment group is planning on building a massive solar project, six times larger than your entire community, within feet from you house.<--break->

MONSOONAL THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, ALONG WITH FLASH FLOODS, DAMAGING WINDS AND HIGH HEAT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
 
June 29, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Monsoonal moisture may bring thunderstorms over San Diego’s mountains and deserts Tuesday through Thursday, with flash flooding, lightning strikes and damaging winds possible particularly in the afternoons and evenings. 

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER IN SAN DIEGO’S MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re looking for a getaway with your furry friends, you’ll find many dog-friendly destinations in San Diego’s mountain communities

Your options range from dog-friendly hikes to restaurants, wineries, breweries, stores and adventures to share with your four-footed traveling companions.

JULIAN 4TH OF JULY PARADE CELEBRATES TOWN’S SESQUICENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2021 (Julian) – Founded in 1870, Julian turned 150 years old last year.  Due to the pandemic, no events could be held. So this year’s 4th of July parade has the theme “Julian 150+1 years.”  Pre-parade activities begin at 10am and the parade starts at noon. Main Street closes down at 9 a.m., so plan to arrive early.

LAKE JENNINGS NAMES WINNERS IN SPRING PHOTO CONTEST FOR 2021 “LIFE AT THE LAKE” THEME

East County News Service
 
Photos courtesy of Helix Water District
 
June 28, 2021 (Lakeside) – In the 10th annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, 61 photographers submitted entries. This year’s theme was “Life at the Lake.”

PALA CASINO SPA RESORT COMMENDS LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING MESA FIRE, PROVIDED ACCOMMODATIONS AND SUPPORT TO FIRE AGENCIES

Source: Pala Casino Spa Resort

June 28, 2021 (Pala) -- Pala Casino Spa Resort commends the local agencies battling the Mesa Fire that broke out along State Route 76 near Pala Casino this week. Pala Casino has worked closely with Riverside County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Scoville and CAL FIRE Captain Wes Handy to provide support for the agencies.

LEMON GROVE LIONS HOST CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT AUGUST 7

East County News Service
 
June 27, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – You’re invited to join the Lemon Grove Lions in a cornhole tournament fundraiser at 13 Point Brewing, Lemon Grove’s new brewery located at 8035 Broadway in Lemon Grove.
 
The tournament will take place on Saturday, August 7 at 4 p.m., with check-in at 3 p.m.
 
Proceeds benefit San Diego Center for the Blind and other causes supported by the Lions. 

PETER PAN JUNIOR THEATER CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH PRODUCTIONS OF PETER PAN JUNE 28-30 AND JULY 1-3

East County News Service
 
June 27, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Peter Pan Junior Theater will return to Neverland with performances of Peter Pan on June 28-30 and July 1-3 at the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Performing Arts Center (6611 University Ave., San Diego, just east of La Mesa). Shows start at 7 p.m., plus 1 p.m. matinees will be offered on July 2 and 3. 

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