OUTDOOR PUBLIC PLAYGROUNDS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CAN REOPEN

TRUMP’S TAX RECORDS SHOW PRESIDENT MIRED IN DEBT, BEHOLDEN TO FOREIGN INTERESTS AND AVOIDED PAYING TAXES FOR YEARS DUE TO BUSINESS LOSSES

LA MESA POLICE RELEASE NUMEROUS PHOTOS OF SUSPECTS WHO LOOTED PIERRE’S JEWELERS ON MAY 30-31

FIVE CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE SEATS ON LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD

LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION: PART TWO

ECM TO HOST EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS

FAST-MOVING FIRES THREATEN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES

RED FLAG WARNNG: HIGH FIRE DANGER TODAY

CREST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S NEW OUTDOOR EDUCATION PROGRAM SHINES IN THE ERA OF COVID

SDG&E NOTIFIES APPROXIMATELY 700 BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS DUE TO SANTA ANA WINDS AND FIRE WEATHER WATCH

VIEW VIDEO OF OUR SUPERVISORS CANDIDATE FORUM

FIRM INVESTIGATING LA MESA CIVIL UNREST HOSTS COMMUNITY LISTENING SESSION OCT. 6

COUNTY OPENS EROSION CONTROL CENTER FOR VALLEY FIRE BUSINESSES, RESIDENTS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

September 17, 2020 (Alpine) - The County has opened a new erosion control center in Alpine Thursday to help businesses and homeowners in the areas burned by the Valley Fire by giving out free sandbags, fiber rolls and items to stabilize properties before winter rains arrive.

MEDICAL EXAMINER RELEASES NAMES OF EAST COUNTY CRASH VICTIMS AND BODY FOUND ON HIKING TRAIL

East County News Service
 
Photo: Kiana Taylor's Facebook, SDSU Class of 2020, tossing her graduation hat in May 2020
 
September 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Medical Examiner has released the identities of victims who lost their lives in several East County accidents over the past two weeks including two lives lost in a fiery multi-vehicle crash near La Mesa, a pedestrian killed in El Cajon, a missing Lake Morena camper found dead in Hauser Valley, a Borrego pickup truck driver killed in a rollover crash, and a motorcyclist who died at the scene of a crash in rural Alpine.
 
Kiana Taylor, 22, of Poway died September 11, 2020 after a vehicle fire resulting from a collision on Sept. 9 that occurred at the intersection of 70th Street and El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, on the border of La Mesa.  A vehicle entered the intersection and struck her vehicle, causing it to collide with other vehicles and catch fire. She was transported to UCSD Medical Center, where she died two days later of burns and abdominal blunt force injuries. 
 
Casey Diane Hargis, 22, of San Diego was a passenger in the same vehicle in the accident above when it was struck, pushed into other vehicles and burst into flames. After 911 was called, she was transported by paramedics to UCSD Medical Center and died the next day of vascular injuries from pelvic fractures.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT SEEKS CANDIDATE TO FILL VACANCY ON BOARD

East County News Service
 
September 17, 2020 (Spring Valley) -- The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors is accepting resumes through October 6 to fill a vacant seat in Division 6.  (see map)

COMMUNITY CLEANUPS AND GREEN WASTE CHIPPING EVENTS IN POTRERO, JACUMBA AND CAMPO

By Miriam Raftery

September 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Community clean-up events are slated in three backcountry communities for residents to bring e-waste, furniture, box springs, appliances, mattress and other oversized trash (but no construction waste) from 8 a.m. until dumpsters are full. Chipping of green waste will also be available from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.  The events are scheduled for:

CAMPO:  Sept. 19 at Homemaker’s Thrift Shop, 987 Custer Rd.

JACUMBA: Oct. 17 at Jacumba Community Park, 44605 Old Highway 80

POTRERO: Nov. 21 at Potrero Community Park, 24800 Potrero Park Dr.

PARKWAY PLAZA SELLS AFTER OWNER DEFAULTS ON BONDS: FUTURE OF REGIONAL SHOPPING MALL IS IN LIMBO

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2020 (El Cajon) – Starwood Capital Group has lost ownership of Parkway Plaza Regional Shopping Mall in El Cajon and six other U.S. malls, after defaulting on Israeli-held bonds.  A ratings downgrade on the debt earlier this year triggered a clause allowing bondholders to take control of the properties. 

Six parties bid on the portfolio back in May, including Starwood.  The winning bidder, a partnership between Pacific Retail Capital Partners and Golden East Investors, have indicated they “plan to replace department store tenants or repurpose the malls into apartments or offices,” the Wall Street Journal reports, according to The Real Deal.

But El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick says getting rid of East County’s largest and only indoor regional shopping mall “would be unacceptable.”  He anticipates the mall’s new owners will face opposition to any such proposal from the City Council.

SANTEE MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND A COUNCIL CONTENDER AGREE CITY FACES RACIAL CRISIS, BUT CLASH OVER DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

View full video of ECM’s Santee Mayoral and City Council candidates forum

By Mike Allen

Photo: Santee Mayor John Minto and his opponent, Councilman Stephen Houlahan, City Council candidates Samm Hurst and Dustin Trotter

Both candidates for Santee mayor, and one candidate for District 4 have varying opinions on issues but to one question about the biggest crisis besides traffic facing the city, the three agreed it’s racial intolerance. But the three voiced divergent views on housing and development issues, including controversies involving Fanita Ranch.

The candidates responded to questions at a forum held Sept. 10 via Zoom hosted by East County Magazine. Mayor John Minto and Councilman Stephen Houlahan, who is vying to become Santee’s mayor, along with City Council candidate Samm Hurst appeared at the hour and a half forum moderated by ECM Editor Miriam Raftery.

Dustin Trotter, a construction contractor running against Hurst, declined to appear, saying he had a prior scheduled meeting. He also did not respond to a request for a one-on-one interview via Zoom with ECM’s editor, but has responded to questions from ECM reporter Mike Allen, which will be published soon along with in-depth interviews with all Santee candidates.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO PARTICIPATE IN FORUM SEPT. 16

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Lemon Grove candidates David Arambula, George Gastil, Liana Lebaron, and Teresa Rosiak

 

August 29, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – All four Lemon Grove City Council candidates have agreed to participate in a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. This is your opportunity to learn more about the candidates looking to represent you, as well as to ask questions on issues of importance community.

The forum will be held on Zoom due to COVID-19 and will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine.  Video will also be posted later at www.EastCountyMagazine.org and audio will be aired on KNSJ radio. You can send in questions before noon on the 16h to editor@eatcountymagazine.org. ECM editor Miriam Raftery will moderate the forum, which is made possible through a Facebook Journalism Project grant.

The four candidates are:

GROSSMONT COLLEGE MARKING 42ND ANNIVERSARY OF PSA FLIGHT 182 CRASH

By Della Elliott, District Communications for Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD)
 
September 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – The 42nd anniversary of the PSA Flight 182 crash in San Diego that killed 144 people and transformed North Park into a swath of wreckage and carnage will be remembered Sept. 25 with an online commemoration by Grossmont College’s history department.
 
Organized by history instructor Marty Ennis, the 1 p.m. free Zoom event will include a lecture, video clips and discussion about the still ongoing campaign for an official memorial honoring crash victims.
 
“There are still many surviving family members and friends of the victims who experience the loss caused by this tragedy,” said Ennis, who has been putting on annual presentations at Grossmont College for the last several years, but is limiting it to a virtual event this year because of the pandemic.
 
“First responders experienced a scene unlike anything they had ever encountered and worked under extreme conditions to provide emergency aid, put out fires, and move people to safety,” he said, noting that what was at the time the deadliest air crash in the country represents an important chapter in local history.

HEARING OCT. 26 ON PLACING CHILD MOLESTER IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 16, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Joseph Bocklett, a 75-year-old sexually violent predator convicted of molesting three children ages 4 to 9, may be placed at 45612 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs. A public hearing on his proposed release into the supervised home is slated for October 26 at the Superior Court in San Diego.
 
He was originally slated for release into Pauma Valley in North County, but that proposal was scrapped after objections from community members, Supervisor Jim Desmond and Native American tribal leaders that the site was too close to many families. (However, the state has since proposed release of another sexually violent predator, Joseph Cooley, whose crimes include rape of a 12 year old girl, at the same address.
 
District Attorney Summer Stephan has written letters objecting to release of Cooley in Pauma Valley, but has thus far not taken action to try and block release of Bocklett into the Jacumba Hot Springs community.
 
Bocklett was last sentenced in 2000 to 17 years in prison. He was diagnosed with pedophilic disorder and found likely to reoffend, so was confined to a state hospital where he underwent treatment and was recently approved for release into a supervised facility.
 
Supervisor Dianne Jacob has long complained that rural East County including the Jacumba area has been used as a “dumping ground” for violent sexual predators. She has objected to this and wants prisoners housed near Donovan State Prison if they are to be released at all.

GUNMAN CARJACKS PICKUP TRUCK IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
September 16, 2020 (Spring Valley)—A man unloading his 2015 Toyota pickup truck Sunday, Sept. 13 around 7 a.m. in front of a Spring Valley apartment building was confronted by a man armed with a handgun. 
 
The gunman, who appeared to be in his 20s, pointed the gun at the victim and stole the truck.

LEMON GROVE DRIVE THRU 2020 CENSUS EVENT SEPT. 18

East County News Service

September 16, 2020 (Lemon Grove) - The city of Lemon Grove and U.S. Census Bureau will be present to help you complete the 2020 census survey, answer any questions you have about the census, and will be giving away census swag to those that complete the survey at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center.

The Lemon Grove drive-through census event wil take place this Friday, September 18 from 1-4 p.m.

JAMUL’S CHANDELIER LOUNGE CUISINE SUPPORTS FIRST RESPONDERS AND THOSE DISPLACED BY VALLEY FIRE

By Henri Migala

 

September 15, 2020 (Jamul) - One of Jamul’s newest restaurants, Chandelier Lounge Cuisine, has not only become a local favorite, but is on the front lines in supporting our first responders and those displaced by the Valley Fire.

READER'S EDITORIAL: ACTION NEEDED TO CUT CARBON USE, ADDRESS WILDFIRES FUELED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

By Susan Tamura, San Diego
 
September 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- With California wildfires in the forefront, it is readily apparent that climate scientists' predictions of drier conditions in the West are coming to pass.  Wildfires and their smoke are not new to us; it's their ever-increasing magnitude that will test our resilience.

NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR CIRCULATE SAN DIEGO'S 2020 MOMENTUM AWARDS

 

By Colin Parent, Circulate San Diego

September 14, 2020 (San Diego) – Circulate San Diego announced today the 2020 nominees for their annual Momentum Awards. The nominees are listed below.

Circulate San Diego’s Momentum Awards recognize the people and projects in the San Diego region that are creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods. This year’s awards also include a special category for COVID-19 Innovation, to highlight the efforts made to transform streets and policies during the ongoing pandemic.

The 2020 Momentum Awards will be online-only on October 1st, at 5:30 p.m. Attendance is free, but registration is required to receive information for how to participate in the event. Registration and event details are online at http://www.circulatesd.org/gala2020.

SDSU STUDENTS AND RESTAURANTS FUEL RISE IN COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery 
 
September 14, 2020 (San Diego) – Saturday, 265 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in San Diego County, including 29 new cases in San Diego State University students – bringing the total number of SDSU students infected to 624 since Aug. 24.
 
In addition, San Diego County Health officials report five new community outbreaks confirmed yesterday, including three in restaurants, one in a restaurant/bar and one in a business.  In the past seven days (Sept. 6 through Sept. 12), 16 community outbreaks were confirmed.
 
A study released this week by the U..S. Centers for Disease Control found that people diagnosed with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have dined in restaurants in the prior two weeks than people who don’t have the virus, however the study was relatively small and did not ask whether people ate indoors or outdoors.

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SET TO DEBATE MONDAY, SEPT. 14

 

View a videotape of the forum now posted :

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVtSH4cwfEQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine/videos/10219161150363190

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right:  Councilman Jerry Jones, Kamaal Martin, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, Chris williams

September 5, 2020 (Lemon Grove)—On Monday, September 14 at 7 p.m., all four candidates running for the Lemon Grove City Council have agreed to participate in a candidate forum.  The forum will be virtual via Zoom. You can watch it live via livestreaming at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine, and send in questions to editor@eastcountymagazine.org now through up to 2 p.m. the date of the forum. 

For those unable to watch live, a video will also be posted later on our news site at www.EastCountyMagazine.org and audio will be aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio at a date to be announced.

(Lemon Grove's City Council candidates will be in a separate forum on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.)

East County Magazine thanks the #FacebookJournalismProject for a grant to help support our virtual candidate forums during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four mayoral candidates are Mayor Raquel Vasquez, Councilman Jerry Jones, financial professional Kamaal Martin, and businessman Chris Williams. Below are more details on each candidate and links to their websites, as well as highlights of key issues.

BORREGO ART INSTITUTE CALLS FOR “FLORA AND FAUNA” ART FOR FALL SHOW

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Kathleen Raftery

September 13, 2020 (Borrego Springs)- - The Borrego Art Institute has issued a call for art with the theme “The Art of Flora and Fauna” celebrating plants and animals through art. Works selected will be shown at an art show Oct. 3-25.

An opening reception will be from 10-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, with an outside wine/water bar on the patio and a maximum of 25 people in the gallery at one time, due to COVID-19. Masks must be worn.

Works are accepted in the gallery Sept. 26-27 from 10:30 to 3 p.m.

For info and entry forms, contact gallery@borregoartinstitute.org.

All mediums are acceptable, with a limit of three pieces of art per artist. Work must be professionally finished; wall art must be ready for hanging using the institute’s hook and cable system. Pedestals are available for standing art. There is an entry fee of $10 per work for nonmembers; free for members.

MISS LAKESIDE WINNERS CROWNED AFTER VIRTUAL PAGEANT

Source: Miss Lakeside Pageant

All photos by Rob Riingen Photography

Photo: 2020 Queens left to right: Priscilla Guidi, Trinity Stewart, and Brylee Cox. 

September 13, 2020 (Lakeside) - On March 12, 2020, due to nationwide shutdowns Jill Fleming, the Miss Lakeside Scholarship Pageant Executive Director since 1997, was faced with postponing or cancelling the Miss Lakeside Pageant for the 1st time ever, two days before the actual event was scheduled to take place due to sudden COVID-19 shutdowns. After months of preparation, the program books were printed, new sashes and crowns ready to be placed, families, friends, and community members were excited to see our Lakeside girls take the stage, and our contestants were ready for their time to shine...the 58th Annual Miss Lakeside Scholarship Pageant was 48 hours from taking the stage! After 5 months of waiting, hoping, and praying to be able to reschedule the "normal" pageant.. Director Fleming came to the conclusion that it was time to move forward.

DRONES (UAV) PROHIBITED FROM FIRE AREA

Source: CAL FIRE

Logos belong respectively to U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and San Diego County Fire

The “If You Fly, We Can’t” safety awareness campaign is designed to keep drone pilots away from airspace used by firefighters.

September 12, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Federal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urge members of the public not to fly “Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV)” or drones over or near wildfires. Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photos courtesy of the National Institute of Mental Health

 

September 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- When the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council sent an invitation to its monthly meeting in August, it came with a request.

ALL EVACUATION ORDERS, WARNINGS AND ROAD CLOSURES LIFTED FOR VALLEY FIRE

 

Update September 14, 2020:  Containment is now at 87%.

Update September 13, 2020:  Containment is now at 79%.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Walter Schlunegger

September 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – all evacuation orders, evacuations and road closures have been lifted in the Valley Fire, allowing residents to go home.

The last remaining temporary evacuation point at Steele Canyon High School is also closed.

The Valley Fire is now 55% contained, holding at 17,665 acres as ground crews continue working to suppress fire growth. Lighter wins and higher humidity are expected to limit fire growth overnight.

Residents in need of diaster assistance can visit www.SDCountyRecovery.com or cal 858-715-2200.

FEEDING SAN DIEGO RESPONDS TO VALLEY FIRE BY DOUBLING AMOUNT OF DRY GOODS AVAILABLE AT EAST COUNTY MOBILE PANTRIES

Source:  Feeding San Diego

September 11, 2020 (San Diego) - To assist those facing hardship and disruption to daily life caused by the massive Valley Fire, Feeding San Diego, whose mission is to connect every person facing hunger with nutritious meals by maximizing food rescue, will increase the amount of food available at its East County mobile pantries located in Alpine, Campo, Descanso, Jacumba and Potrero.  

SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL GOES VIRTUAL SEPT. 17-27

East County News Service

 

September 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The 27th annual San Diego Film Festival hosted by Media Arts starts Thursday, Sept. 17 and runs through Sept. 27. This year, you can watch films from the comfort of home. View a video with some of the participating filmmakers. 

COUNTY HOSTS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL SEPT. 18 ON OPIOID OVERDOSES

East County News Service

 

September 11, 2020 (San Diego) - Drug overdose deaths in San Diego County have spiked in the past several months. You’re invited to join a virtual Town Hall via Zoom to learn more about the San Diego Opioid Project on  Friday, September 18 at 10 a.m. Registration is required.  Please click here to RSVP.

COUNTY OPENS LOCAL ASSISTANCE CENTER FOR VALLEY FIRE

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo: Rancho San Diego County Library (courtesy: County News Center)
 
September 11, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) - County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and officials announced the County is opening a Local Assistance Center to help residents affected by the  Valley Fire, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the County Library’s Rancho San Diego branch at 11555 Via Rancho San Diego in El Cajon.
 
The Local Assistance Center is designed to make it as easy as possible for residents to start the recovery process by giving them one place to receive help and information from numerous agencies. The center is initially scheduled to operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.
 
The Local Assistance Center will comply with public health orders for the coronavirus, including physical distancing and facial coverings.

THE AMERICAN FLAG: “OLD GLORY”

 

By Robert Gehr

9-11-2001:  19 years ago today -- a time for reflection

"Emotional and physical wounds continue to heal, while the visible and not so visible scars remain. -- Robert Gehr

September 11, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Although tattered and torn, this American flag still represents the soil on which we live. Waving on in the wind, beckoning to the patriots among us. A symbol of strength and courage surviving the elements of nature. A special piece of cloth that binds Americans together within the fabric of life.

Songs have been written exemplifying the glory for which it stands. We salute the red, white and blue as a sign of respect, then pause to remember those brave soldiers who fought and died in various wars to protect this cherished land we live on.

‘Old Glory’ may fade with time and show some wear, yet no one can take away our admiration of this symbol and the freedom for which it stands, no matter what happens.

VALLEY FIRE 39% CONTAINED, BUT STILL A THREAT

By Miriam Raftery

September 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Firefighters have increased containment on the Valley Fire to 39%. But Cal Fire’s latest bulletin cautions, “ Dry fuels and a dry airmass could potentially result in fire growth on portions of the fire.”

A temporary evacuation center at Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Rd. in Spring Valley, remains open but other evacuation centers have closed.

“Ground crews continue to construct and strengthen hand and dozer lines and are focused on mopping up hot spots and providing defense to structures that remain threatened,” Cal Fire reports. “Firefighters are working to mitigate fire growth with the support of aerial assets. For each day the fire stays within its  current perimeter; the threat to the adjacent communities continues to diminish.”

 A high pressure system will slowly build over Southern California through the weekend and will be accompanied by gradually warming temperatures, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

The fire has destroyed 30 homes and 31 other structures, also damaging 11 additional buildings.

VIEW INTERVIEWS WITH LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES KRISTINE ALESSIO AND LAURA LOTHIAN

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – ECM held ZOOM virtual interviews with La Mesa City Councilwoman Kristine Alessio and realtor Laura Lothian, who were unable to attend our candidate forum last week. The candidates discussed the major issues facing La Mesa including the city’s response to protests, housing and homeless, downtown redevelopment, help for local businesses, racial justice and policing and more. 

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