November 20, 2012 (Lakeside) --Early in the morning on November 15 in El Monte Valley, I was driving slowly like always, hoping to see a cat. Today was my day--I spotted one close to the road, followed it up the mountain a bit and discovered that there was more than one. Much to my surprise, I saw a second and then a third bobcat to my right. What I didn't realize was that I had gotten between the mama and one of her young.
November 3, 2012 (Lakeside) -- On a cool, cloudy autumn morning on October 20 in East County a group of teenage Boy Scouts from troop 801 in Coronado arrived at the Lakeside River Park. They brought heavy timbers and other materials to build what they hope will become a nest for the Ospreys that frequent a pond at the River Park.
In honor of Harold Hilliker Farm Day at Lakeside Middle School, videographer Billy Ortiz created a video documentary tour of local agricultural sites
Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz
June 30, 2012 (Lakeside)-- Lakeside Middle School held its first annual Harold Hilliker Farm Day on May 30.It was a day full of information on agriculture, highlighting several Lakeside farms for the 6th and 7th graders.
View a special video tour of local farms in Lakeside created for the Lakeside Historical Society by clicking this link.
In addition, view a presentation at Lakeside Middle School by freelance videographer Billy Ortiz here.
December 21, 2011 (Lakeside) -- Early in the morning on December 10 at the Lakeside River Park Conservancy, students from El Capitan High School AP Environmental Science Group, Lakeside River Valley High School, and biology students from Cuyamaca Collage joined members from AmeriCorps NCCC for a Lakeside Community Day event. The day’s goal was to teach students how to construct habitat for small wildlife that lives along this stretch of the San Diego River.
August 28, 2011 (San Diego) -- East County Magazine videographer Jack Winemiller has created this video tour of Mission Trails Regional Park. At over 6,150 acres, Mission Trails is larger than Balboa Park, New York's Central Park, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park combined!
Story by Miriam Raftery; Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery
August 2, 2011 (Alpine) -- "Oh, you're beautiful!" San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Alevy exclaimed as his wife, Joanne, dished up a forkful of chicken. But he wasn't complimenting her cooking. Instead, Alevy was admiring Raja--a 500-pound Bengal tiger that Joanne was feeding after winning a drawing at Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine.
The Chamber hosted a fundraiser to benefit the big cat rescue facility last weekend, donating 100% of proceeds to help this worthy cause while providing a memorable experience for Chamber members. View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFhE9h-O0Uw
July 4, 2011 (Santee) - An estimated 7,000 people turned out for Santee Salutes, including families from throughout East County as well as local dignitaries including Assemblyman Brian Jones and Mayor Randy Voepel. Live music, patriotic presentations, carnival rides and a spectacular fireworks show were all part of the festivities.
July 4, 2011 (Poway) –Decked out with red and blue bunting on wooden railway bridges, water tower and gazebo/bandstand, Old Poway Park today looked like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The Old West-themed park exemplifies the best of Americana this 4th of July, compete with rides on the Baldwin steam train (watch for train robbers), a Dixieland jazz band, square dancing, quilting show/contest and craft show—plus two-acres of picnic grounds and family-oriented activities such as three-legged races.
June 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Nestled in between slopes in the Cleveland National Forest lies a gem known as Cedar Creek Falls, often referred to as The Devil’s Punch Bowl. A wondrous waterfall is the picturesque background to the swimming hole at the end of this approximately four-mile hike. The location used to be accessed mainly from Julian. But due to a newly revamped trail out of Ramona, it’s now more accessible than ever before--and more populated, especially on weekends and holidays.
May 7 5K Run/walk will give public glimpse of new park lands—see it first in our ECM video adventure
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Pam Wilmer
Video by Billy Ortiz
April 27, 2011 (Santee) – San Diego River Run is moving its 5K fun run/walk to the Walker Lakes property in Santee this year. Participants will be the first members of the public to experience this site, which will soon become part of the San Diego River Trail, which is not yet open to the public.
East County Magazine’s Billy Ortiz got a special preview tour. View his video adventure here.
View the Pine Creek trail video: http://www.facebook.com/v/1334760865455 "I would rate this trail as a five-star experience...The trail is very scenic, with a chance to see wild turkey, cattle ranging in the canyon, and perhaps even a mountain lion."
December 23, 2010 (San Diego's East County)-- Videographer Billy Ortiz traveled to Flinn Springs Park yesterday, capturing storm-swelled headwaters of Los Coches Creek. He spliced yesterday's shots together with some October images of areas further downstream, including a spectacular waterfall at the long forgotten Los Coches dam in Lakeside. Then he added a soundtrack to create this one-of-a-kind music video. Enjoy!
View our video adventure on Lakeside River Park, where an East County community has reclaimed a former sand mine site to create trails, habitat, and a place of beauty to enjoy the riverfront--and scroll down to learn more about this unique environment.
December 5, 2010 (Lakeside) --Growing up in Lakeside, California, the San Diego River has been a big part of my life. Although I’ve only experienced the full force of the river two times in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it has always fascinated me and captured my imagination.
On a dark, cloudy night in 1961, Lt. J.G. Thomas Allen Ryan, 23, crashed a Navy jet fighter plane onto a mountainside in Lakeside. Four decades later, a group of Lakeside residents hiked to the crash site to pay homage to the military pilot’s memory.
November 11, 2010 (Lakeside) – This video adventure reveals an exciting discovery in my search for East County history. Reading about the history of the Lakeside Inn, I discovered that the innkeepers needed a water source, so a dam was built on Los Coches Creek back during pioneering days in the 1800s. An old black and white photograph of the dam captured my imagination.
I’d assumed that when the flood channel was built in the 1880s, the dam may have been destroyed. So I was excited when Pam Wilmers, a friend, told me a story of riding her horse to a waterfall back in the 1970's. I just had to take a look.