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Photo by Miriam RafterySeptember 2008

Dear Readers,


Back in the Dark Ages before Internet and cell phones, chatting over the back fence with neighbors was the cool way to get news  Think of this site as your virtual back fence: a place to share your views with neighbors all over East County!

We started this publication to fill a news void, give voice to people whose voices aren’t being heard in existing media--and show all those beach dwellers and downtown denizens that there actually is life east of I-15.  

Okay, so we don’t have beaches.   Or sand fleas.  But we do have beautiful lakes, mountains, and deserts.   No coastal fog here -- just plenty of sunshine and solar panels sprouting up faster than wildflowers after a spring rain.

We don’t have over-the-line tournaments or sandcastle building contests.  But we’ve got grape stomps,  jazz and bluegrass festivals, rodeos, parades, free concerts, movies in the park, and Indian pow-wows -- just a few of this month’s festivals! (See our calendar for more events).  Bonus point: No weekend beach traffic jams East of I-15.

You can still find vestiges of the Old West in East County, with rural towns proudly celebrating their heritage.  San Diego’s eastern region is also home to all 19 Native American tribal reservations in San Diego County.  Where else can you find cowboy and Indian museums – as well as tribal-owned resorts, spas, golf courses, casinos, shopping malls and theaters with celebrity entertainers?

We’re eager to connect our readers by building a virtual community.  Concerned about wildfires, healthcare, land use projects, border issues or other community topics?  Have a hot tip on a story we should cover?  Let us know.  Post your views here.  Found a great back roads bistro we should review?  Please share!   Irked at public officials’ stances or votes? Sound off.  (If you don’t know how they voted, or want to contact your elected representatives, check our Citizens Action Center.) 

Our mission is to build better communities.  We’ll profile people making a positive difference, keep you informed about important issues, and cover exciting events beforehand  so you can attend with family and friends.  Our community resource section and columns offer a wealth of useful tips and info. 

We also have a wildfire e-mail alert service plus live updates during emergencies – all free, thanks to our generous donors and sponsors.  (See our “Donors and Sponsors” section to help support our independent community media and emergency alert services.) 

Most importantly, please let us know what you think – and what else you’d like to see in our upcoming issues.

Miriam Raftery

Editor, East County Magazine

Women Gardening

Women GardeningPosting Guidelines

Welcome to the East County Magazine's Back Fence Blog, your place in cyberspace to share news and views with neighbors here in San Diego's eastern region.

We respect all viewpoints and encourage participation by everyone in our community. Please keep posts brief and courteous (no name-calling, threats, hate speech, libel or profanity) and respect copyright laws. Comments will be screened to be sure guidelines are followed, so expect a brief delay before seeing remarks posted.

If you notice an inappropriate post, please contact webmaster@eastcountymagazine.com or editor@eastcountymagazine.org.


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Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid . . .

Congratulations on the launch of what promises to be an informative forum for getting the news out and exchanging ideas. As the November '08 elections cycle picks up pace, readers will benefit from timely updates on how they can support efforts to ensure transparency and verifiability when the ballots are counted. It would be great to include related meetings on the Calendar of Events so folks can plan to participate. Again, congratulations on getting this up and running!

News in the East County

I hope you can do that, because the only news we get out here is shootings and car chases and fires and things that aren't really news, but events that deeply affect friends and family and neighbors of the victims.

The fact that Duncan Hunter wants to pass his Congressional seat on down to his son is news that affects everybody in the area, or the fact that the El Cajon City Council wants to raise our sales taxes a half percent for the next 20, yes, twenty, years, that's news that affects everybody, but you wouldn't know it from teevee news or the Union Tribune.

Hopefully you can get some discussions going about these kinds of subjects that will help people understand better what is happening in our community. Good luck to ya!.

EC Council and Congressional race

Gregg - Thanks for your comments. We'll be covering both the 52nd Congressional District race and the El Cajon Council race in upcoming issues, along with many other local elections. I really appreciate citizens' giving us insights into past actions or proposals by local councils and boards, so we can assure that our reporters are well-versed on key issues.

Fire friendly...

Congratulations on the launch! The site looks great; a mine of information. I particularly enjoyed the columns on green living and housing. And the festivals, and the food!

I hope lots of locals participate and clue in newbies like me on East County delights - from where to dine, to tips on native fire retardant plants that flourish in this microclimate.

And your magazine is where I hope soon to find the definitive list of East County eateries. The sushi and wine bar reviews are a step in the right direction. Keep them coming!