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ARMY VETERAN AND FEDERAL CONTRACTOR HELEN HORVATH, INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS, TAKES AIM AT HUNTER’S SEAT

 

"I believe we need more independents in Congress because  parties are so mired in their fighting…they’re not representing the country. I value our community, and I want to serve the country.”  -- Helen Horvath, mliitary veteran, federal consultant and Alpine resident

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2019 (San Diego) – Like many voters, Helen Horvath is an independent whose views on key issues cross political aisles. She’s a fiscal conservative who wants to use her expertise to cut the national debt, but also believes we need to move toward a clean energy future and protect women’s rights, while taking a moderate stance on gun issues. She supports strong border security while also showing compassion for refugees fleeing violence, and pledges to be a strong voice for military families and veterans.

Now she’s entered the 50th Congressional district race, vying against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter,  Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, former Rep. Darrell Issa and State Senator Brian Jones. (Note: the latter two entered the race this week, after our interview).

Hear our interview: In an interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio last month, Horvath shared her thoughts in depth. Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights.

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TALKING TRANSPORTATION: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH COLIN PARENT AND KRISTINE ALESSIO

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2019 (La Mesa)  The future of transportation has sparked debate across our region. SANDAG and MTS are both moving forward on goals to boost transit access with options such as better trolley and bus service with high-speed rail as a long range option.

But what about reducing traffic gridlock and meeting transportation needs of residents in areas that currently lack adequate transit options?  Should building massive housnig projects in the backcountry that add to traffic gridlock be curtailed? 

Recently,  East County Magazine’s radio show interviewed La Mesa Councilmembers and attorneys Colin Parent and Kristine Alessio on transit issues. Parent  is director of Circulate San Diego and Alessio is the Vice Chair of SANDAG’s regional planning committee.  

Click here to hear our full interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

LA MESA WEIGHS LEGALIZING ADULT-USE CANNABIS SALES AND MANUFACTURING SEPT. 10: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COUNCILMAN BABER

Hear our interview with Councilman Bill Baber

By Miriam Raftery

September 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – After years of battling illegal marijuana dispensaries and recently licensing the city’s first legal medicinal cannabis dispensary, La Mesa is considering an ordinance to legalize recreational adult-use sales and manufacturing. 

Councilman Bill Baber and Mayor Mark Arapostathis served on a subcommittee that recently held a meeting with cannabis industry representatives. Next up, staff is preparing ordinance language for the City Council to consider on September 10th, when the public can weigh in with comments.

We sat down for an interview with Councilman Baber that originally aired on KNSJ radio.  You can hear the full interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for details.

Baber says if the measure is approved Sept. 10 and at a second reading Sept. 24, La Mesa could see its first legal recreational cannabis sales starting as early as January 2020. The first sales of recreational marijuana would be through dispensaries already approved for medical marijuana sales, providing they have operated without significant complaints or legal issues.

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LISTEN NOW: OUR MAY AND JUNE 2019 RADIO SHOWS ARE ONLINE

August 25, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our radio shows from  May and June 2019 are now online.  For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show, click here or click the "read more" link and scroll down for audio links below the index. (Audio files may take a few moments to load.)  Our recent interviews include Sierra Club leader Peter Anderson on risks posed by developments in fire-prone rural areas, La Mesa Councilmembers Kristine Alessio and Colin Parent on regional transportation issues, and actor Victor Contreras on BonitaFest and San Diego’s 250th birthday celebration.

We also covered hot issues including affordable housing, the Poway synagogue shooting, a local mountain lion attack, the future of La Mesa’s farmer’s market, a vacancy on the El Cajon Council, and the corruption charges facing Congressman Duncan Hunter as well as top events.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIATE AMMAR CAMPA-NAJJAR ON HIS PLANS TO BRING HIGH-INCOME JOBS TO EAST COUNTY AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

Listen to the full interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio: click the audio link.

Learn more about Ammar Campa-Najjar's town hall at the Alpine Community Center on August 18 from 1-4 p.m. by clicking here.

August 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – “We need an economy and a government that works for working people,” says Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running for the 50th Congressional district seat currently held by indicted Congressman Duncan Hunter. So we sat down with Campa-Najjar on our radio show to discuss those plans in detail.

Headlines tout a strong GDP as well as low unemployment. But  those numbers don’t tell the full story,  Campa-Najjar points out. “That’s great if you own stock.  But it’s not great if unemployment is low because one person is working three jobs, barely making a living and living paycheck to paycheck, having to choose whether to buy a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk.”  He says that in talking with people across the district, he’s hearing from people who are having to cut prescription pills in half or who can’t pay for insulin, choosing which bills to skip paying to cover basic survival needs. “These are real issues in the district, especially in rural areas."

Unlike most candidates who have run for this seat through the years, Campa-Najjar says he is uniquely positioned to bring good jobs to East County and elsewhere in the district because “I worked at the Department of Labor to create good-paying jobs, not just in San Diego County, but throughout the country.”

At the Department of Labor, he worked on creating apprenticeship jobs to train workers in high-paying fields, as well as setting up summer youth jobs and opportunities for veterans.  He later worked for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as communications and marketing director, which included promoting opportunities for small businesses to secure contracts with the federal government and corporations. He’s also worked as an educator teaching at UCSD, USD and SDSU.

He’s also a small business owner and Jamul resident who was born in La Mesa and raised by a working class Catholic mother. His first job was as a janitor at his church, where he became a youth leader before graduating from San Diego State and later working in the White House and at the U.S. Department of Labor.

So what kinds of jobs would he bring to the district, including rural areas, small towns and Native American reservations?

Audio: 

Ammar Campa-Najjar interview

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: WARSAN ARTAN, YOUTH WILL ORGANIZER

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

July 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – East Count Magazine sat down last week for an interview with Warsan Artan.  Born in Nairobi, Kenya, after her parents fled civil war in Somalia, she came to Lemon Grove as a refugee at the age of 10. A decade later, she is the lead Youth Organizer at Youth Will, a nonprofit dedicated to making San Diego a world-class region for children and youth. Youth Will recently rolled out a Summer of Youth Power campaign with a series of events to help young people’s voices be heard.

Her goal to create a brand-new regional master plan for San Diego's children and youth. The organization also recently held the region’s first youth county budget forum with Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, created a youth bill of rights, hosted youth presidential debate watch parties, and more.

Audio: 

Interview with Warsan Artan, Youth Will organizer

EAGLES OF THE DESERT (AGUILAS DEL DESIERTO): HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH HENRI MIGALA AND VICENTE RODRIGUEZ

By Miriam Raftery

July 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) –Called in by family members or others to search for immigrants who have gone missing after crossing the border, volunteer with the nonprofit Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert) brave triple digit heat, rattlesnakes and other perils in a desperate effort to save lives. 

Hear our exclusive interview with Vicente Rodriguez and Henri Migala, originally aired on KNSJ radio earlier this year, at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

According to the Border Patrol, 7,000 migrants are known to have died crossing the border since the wall began. The toll is likely much higher, since it doesn’t include those missing and never found.

Audio: 

Henri Migala and Vicente Rodriguez - Aguilas Del Desierto

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JACK SHU AND JANET CASTAÑOS, ADVOCATES FOR A POLICE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IN LA MESA

 

July 5, 2019 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa form a citizens’ police oversight or advisory commission? Jack Shu, a former Superintendent of California State Parks and Janet Castaños, a former dean in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district and past president of Helix Charter High School’s board, have a proposal that will soon be considered by the La Mesa City Council. 

We interviewed them on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ.   You can hear the entire interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Jack Shu & Janet Castanos on police oversight in La Mesa

LISTEN NOW: OUR FEB., MARCH AND APRIL RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

May 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our radio shows from January through April 2019 are now online.  For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show, click  here, or click the "read more" link and scroll down for audio links below. (Audio files may take a few moments to load.)  Our recent interviews include Aguilas del Desierto volunteers on searches for lost migrants, attorney for the disabled Bob Frank on his lawsuit against San Diego over dockless scooters and bicycles, musician Diego Rodrigeuz on music in schools, as well as Al Senati and Romero Sandoval on efforts to help Iraqi immigrants  and rebuild Iraq.  We also covered top issues such as the Cottonwood Sand Mine, a ballot measure to dissolve Julian’s fire department, local actions on homelessness, and more.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time but had fewer shows in January due to the station being off-air due to heavy snow that destroyed the transmitter. You can still listen live online via the TuneApp  The station is asking for donations to buy a new transmitter with a cover to protect it from snow and ice. You can donate by clicking here.

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KNSJ RADIO NEEDS FUNDS AFTER ICE STORM DAMAGES ANTENNAE

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2019 (Descanso)—The worst ice storm in decades knocked East County’s nonprofit community radio station, KNSJ 89.1 FM, off the air for weeks, damaging its antennae atop Mt. Laguna. East County Magazine’s radio show airs on KNSJ, along with many other local and national shows providing independent news, views, music and culture.

Thanks to a board member’s $5,000 loan, the station is back on the area—but urgently needs donations recoup those costs for repairs and buying an ice shield, as well as thousands of dollars in more equipment recommended to improve reliability, boost the signal and prevent future disruptions during emergencies when people need news most.

You can help KNSJ’s “people powered radio” station by making a donation at www.KNSJ.org/donate.

LISTEN NOW: OUR JANUARY 2019 RADIO SHOWS ARE ONLINE

OurJanuary 2019 radio shows are now online. For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show, click "read more" and scroll down. (Audio files may take a few moments to load.) We interviewed Daniel and Stephanie Boethin, activists who led efforts to stop a parole office from opening on Mt. Helix, as well as Al Sanati from the War Victims Group and Ramiro Sandoval with Hermanos Unidos Sin Fronteras, on their efforts to help Iraqi refugees and rebuild Iraq. We also reported on top issues including impacts of the federal shutdown, local government actions, winter weather impacts, a controversial sand mind proposal, and top local events.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time but had fewer shows in January due to the station being off-air due to heavy snow that destroyed the transmitter. You can still listen live online via the TuneApp  The station is asking for donations to buy a new transmitter with a cover to protect it from snow and ice. You can donate by clicking here.

 Read more and listen to our January shows.  Click here for the index and scroll down for audio links below.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: HUMANITARIANS AL SANATI AND RAMIRO SANDOVAL SPEAK OUT ON EFFORTS TO HELP REFUGEES AND REBUILD IRAQ

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

Cllick this audio link to hear our interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

February 23, 2019 (El Cajon) — Al Sanati, director of the War Refugees Group, and Ramiro Sandoval with Hermanos Unidos Sin Fronteras (Brothers United Without Borders) were our guests on our East Count Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ recently.

These humanitarian leaders are fighting for justice and filing suit to win financial reparations from the Iraqi government for1.2 million Iraqi refugees around the world, including over 80,000 in East County. They have also met with top dignitaries in Iraq in an effort to help the nation’s new government rebuild Iraq.

Audio: 

Interview with Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MT. HELIX ACTIVISTS WHO LED SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO STOP A PAROLE OFFICE FROM OPENING IN COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

The Boethin family with State Senator Brian Jones

February 3, 2019 (Mt. Helix) –  When Daniel and Stephanie Boethin learned that the state planned to open a parole office near their Mt. Helix home in La Mesa, they took action  As government contractors, they knew how to get the attention of bureaucrats and public officials. In just a few short weeks, they organized their community to successfully halt the parole office near homes, schools and businesses in their neighborhood.

We interviewed the Boethins on our East County Magazine Radio Show, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio. The Boethins offered advice for people in other communities on how to successfully organize to stand up against projects with negative impacts on neighborhoods.

Audio: 

Interview with Daniel and Stephanie Boethin

LISTEN NOW: OUR DECEMBER 2018 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

Our December 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show, click "read more" and scroll down.  (Audio files may take a few moments to load).  We covered breaking news stories including the proposed Cottonwood sand mine, Borrego water shortage, Councilman Kalasho's trial hearings, a proposed parole office on Mt. Helix, holiday happenings and more.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Read more and listen to our December shows below, or click here for the index:

Audio: 

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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH BERNARD MAURICIA, THE SEANY FOUNDATION, HELPING “KIDS BE KIDS” WHILE BATTLING CANCER



Hear our interview with Bernard Mauricia, Vice President of Marketing at The Seany Foundation: click here to listen or download

 

Get Well Soon Retreat January 26 is latest program to help families of pediatric cancer patients



By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2018 (San Diego) – “We have to be able to go out and advocate for kids with cancer to just be kids, and for families to be able to breathe…to have tools and resources to support them through their cancer journey,” says La Mesa resident Bernard Mauricia, vice president of marketing at The Seany Foundation.

The foundation runs Camp Reach for the Sky, funds cancer research and support programs for families of children with cancer. The organization also has several events coming up including a Get Well Soon Retreat in January.

The San Diego-based foundation has a mission to fund meaningful projects that enhance the lives of children and young adults affected by cancer.  The Seany Foundation is named for Sean Lewis Robins (1983-2006), who was diagnosed at age 16 with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He spent seven years battling the disease, becoming an inspiration to others with his mantra, “When nothing is certain, everything is possible!”

Audio: 

Interview with Bernard Mauricia, The Seany Foundation

LISTEN NOW: OUR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2018 SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

Our October and November 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show, click "read more" and scroll down.  (Audio files may take a few moments to load).

Our interviews included author Richard Carrico, Claudio Erickson of Unplugged Village, all four candidates for La Mesa City Council (previously published in our politics section) and discussion of the top issues across our region and our nation.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.  Read more and listen to our October and November shows below, or click here for the index:

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THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: RUDY REYES, FIRE SURVIVOR RUNNING FOR SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) –  The race for Santee City Council District 1 pits incumbent Councilman Ronn Hall,  an insurance company owner and former Chamber of Commerce president, against Rudy Reyes, a San Diego State University program director, Cedar Fire survivor and advocate for burn victims.

We invited both candidates onto our radio show at KNSJ 89.1 FM.  Reyes accepted; you can listen to his full interview at the audio link and view highlights below. 

Councilman Hall declined, citing dental surgery, but did answer written questions earlier in the campaign which you can read here.

Audio: 

Rudy Reyes interview - District 1, Santee

DEVELOPMENT IS KEY ISSUE IN SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 RACE: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS



 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first election in which Santee residents cast votes by district. In District 1, Councilman Rob NcNelis, a market leader with a mortgage banking company and former Chamber of Commerce president, is running against Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield, a software engineer and business owner who worked at U.C. Berkeley’s school of public health as a program manager and chair of the staff advisory council.

Key issues are development vs. quality of life, as well as how to address the city’s budget deficit. Andrade-Heymsfield claims her opponent puts developers’ interests over those of residents; she pledges to oppose Fanita Ranch. McNelis says he’s voted against some developer donors’ projects and votes for what's best for Santee. He pledges to keep government small and out of people’s pockets; Andrade-Heymsfield says she has ideas for new revenue sources to address the city’s deficit without raising taxes. 

We interviewed both candidates on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. Hear the full interviews by clicking the audio links (Evlyn Andrade Heymsfield audio and Rob McNelis audio) plus read highlights below.

Audio: 

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield interview
Rob McNelis interview

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR BILL WELLS ON HIS REELECTION CAMPAIGN





Listen to our interview by clicking this link



East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine Show’s producer Miriam Raftery.

You can hear the full interviewed aired on KNSJ Radio at the audio link, or scroll down for highlights as he discusses his achievements as Mayor and his goals for the city if reelected.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARDÁ FONTENOT, LMSV SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE ON RESTORING RESPECT AND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Reform candidates’ slate reveals opponents used deceptive tactics, including fake photo, misleading claim on backing by teachers, and scare tactic over theater program

Listen to our interview aired on KNSJ

East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (La Mesa) – Chardá Fontenot is representing a slate of three candidates running to bring changes to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board. She says  she wants to increase transparency, bridge the achievement gap between minority and white students, bring back sixth grade camp, increase revenue sources and restore respect by board members to students, teachers and parents. 

She’s also criticized an opposing slate for deceptive tactics used in their campaign, including running a fake candidate photo and misleading voters on which slate has backing from the LMSV Teacher's Association.

Fontenot has served as a district advisory council representative, parent volunteer, and currently chairs the school site council. A mother who once attended schools in the district herself, she’s also  a certified lactation counselor who owns a lactation business.

Hear her full interview on KNSJ 89.1 FM at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Charda Fontenot, LMSV candidate

OUR AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 2018 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

October 28, 2018 (San Diego's East County)-- Our August and September 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen to the shows plus an index with full list of topics and interviews, click "read more" and scroll down. (Audio files may take a few moments to load).

Our interviews included author Richard Carrico, Claudio Erickson of Unplugged Village, all four candidates for La Mesa City Council (previously published in our politics section) and discussion of the top issues across our region and our nation.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.  (Note, our August shows reran on Fridays due to staff vacations.) Read more and listen to our August and September shows below:

Audio: 

ECMShow8-3-2018
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ECMShow8-10-2018
ECMShow8-17-2018
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BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below this story, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE CHIEF, PARAMEDIC AND FIRE SURVIVOR SPEAK OUT TO SAVE THEIR FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

"Since the inception of the San Diego County Fire Department in 2008, this county has lost over 400 volunteer firefighters, boots on the ground that were guarding their homefront...That's sad." -- JCFPD Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber

“Ranchita in the month of June this year was covered six days. That’s all.” – Karen Kiefer, JCFPD firefighter-paramedic, on services after the County Fire Authority began its takeover of the volunteer department  June 1st.

"They came and found us...it was dark, the embers were everywhere...the roof was on fire," Lori Foss says of JCFPD volunteer firefighters who saved her life and her home during the 2007 Witch Fire

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and Chief Mike Van Bibber

 

October 11, 2018 (Julian) – The battle to save the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, the last volunteer fire district in San Diego County, has reached a heated pitch. Residents are gathering signatures seeking to block the takeover by the County Fire Authority approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission in September, before an October 16th public protest meeting with LAFCO.

On our radio show on KNSJ, East County Magazine interviewed the JCFPD battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber, along with firefighter-paramedic and former emergency medical services director Karen Kiefer, a well as Lori Foss, who lost her home in the 2003 Cedar Fire and had her home and family saved in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire by Julian’s volunteer firefighters. They believe that the takeover will leave Julian and surrounding areas less safe due to longer response times by engines coming from farther away, with no “home team” to respond quickly to medical emergencies, car accidents or structure fires.  Click the audio link to hear the full interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with JCFPD Chief Mike Van Bibber, firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and fire survivor Lori Foss

STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: FOUR CANDIDATES VIE FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Dave Myers, Bill Baber, Akilah Weber and Guy McWhirter

 

September 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Councilmembers Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter are running on their records. Their challengers, retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers and physician Akilah Weber, are running on the slogan “Elect a cop and a doc.” East County Magazine sat down with all four candidates on our radio show, originally aired on KNSJ. 

Key issues in La Mesa include affordable housing and development vs. community character, downtown revitalization, crime and public safety, public health,  marijuana regulations, the city’s climate action plan, and a potential new library.

You can click the audio links at the bottom of this story to hear each interview, and scroll down for highlights. Candidates are listed in the order that they scheduled their interviews.

Audio: 

Interview with Dave Myers, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Bill Baber, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018
Interview with Dr. Akilah Weber, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Guy McWhirter, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018

LA MESA VOTERS TO DECIDE ON MARIJUANA BUSINESS TAXES: BABER PROPOSES COUNCIL ALSO LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL ADULT USE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview with Councilman Bill Baber on marijuana measures, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link

September 13, 2018 (La Mesa) --The La Mesa City Council has approved by a 5-0 vote a ballot measure, Proposition V, which would allow the city to put a business excise tax on cannabis businesses in  La Mesa.  The tax, if approved, would be paid by the businesses, not consumers. The city’s finance departments estimate that the measure could raise $1.5 to $2 million per year.

“As a separate matter, we’re working on an adult use ordinance that would bring the opportunity for adult use businesses to come alongside medicinal,”  reveals Councilman Bill Baber in an interview with ECM on KNSJ Radio.  He envisions allowing dispensaries already complying with medical marijuana sales requirements to be the first to carry recreational cannabis.

Audio: 

Interview with La Mesa Councilman Bill Baber on marijuana measures

LISTEN NOW: OUR JUNE AND JULY 2018 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

 

Our June and July 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen to the shows plus a full list of topics and interviews, click here or click "read more" and scroll down. (Sound files may take a few moments to load).

We covered the June primary races, wildfires in East County, efforts to help West Fire survivors, controversies involving El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho, the fight to save the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, major land use controversies, and more.

Our newsmaker interviews included  Dana Law who hiked the Pacific Coast trail, Rebecca Tasker, a straw bale home builder with Simple Construct, along with homeowners of a straw bale home and SDG&E’s Helen Gao on help for energy efficient building, East County Chamber president Eric Lund on the Passport Through Time event, and more.

LISTEN NOW: OUR MARCH-MAY 2018 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

 

Our March, April and May 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen to the shows plus a full list of topics and interviews, click here, or click "read more" and scroll down. (Sound files may take a few moments to load).

Our interviews included wildlife biologists Tommy Hough and Renee Owens on their adventures in the field and conservation efforts, Sheriff Bill Gore, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, legal thriller novelist Teresa Burrell, judicial candidate Matt Brower, Assembly candidate  Larry Wilske, County School Board candidate Eric Lund, Victor Crosswaithe Contreras on a historical script-writing contest, and investigative journalist Greg Palast. (Note: candidate interviews were previously posted separately before the election and are now also available in complete show files.)

We also covered hot local, state and national issues including school gun violence, a lawsuit over powerline easements in East County, a lawsuit against  Lemon Grove Councilman Arambula , El Cajon Councilman Kalasho accused of false real estate filings, homelessness, the Trump-Russia investigation, family separations, La Mesa’s new farmer’s market, an initiative to limit growth in Santee, Earth Day activities and more.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: DANA LAW, HIKER WHO COMPLETED PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

Law will speak today at the El Cajon Library on his Pacific Crest Trail adventure

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Dana Law is a magician, but he’s recently completed a feat that required no magic—just a lot of willpower and walking.  He hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to Canada. The trail runs 2,650 miles – the equivalent of climbing Mt.  Everest 16 and a half times.  He did it in 31 sections over 13 years.  In an interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ,  the intrepid local hiker discussed his adventures along the way, also offering advice to those who may wish to tackle the trail.

Click the audio link to listen to our interview, and scroll down for details on today's event, plus links to his blog and Facebook page, where you can find a journal he kept of each stretch along the route.

For Law, his motivation wasn't all about nature, though he has stated, "The trail symbolizes everytihng there is to love--and protect--in the Western States." To him, the real treasure of the trek are the bonds built with friends along the way, and the accomplishment of fulfilling a rigorous physical challenge.

Audio: 

Interview with Dana Law, Pacific Coast Trail hiker, on KNSJ

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