AUTHORITIES IDENTITY WOMAN WHO DIED IN RAMONA FIRE

MAYOR VASQUEZ, IN LEMON GROVE’S STATE OF CITY ADDRESS, HIGHLIGHTS EFFORTS TO ADDRESS HUNGER, HOMELESSNESS AND PANDEMIC

PASSAGES: MIKE HANCOCK, RADIO REPORTER

CONGRESSWOMAN SARA JACOBS CELEBRATES THANKSGIVING WITH SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERANS IN SOUTH KOREA

HO HO! HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EVERY WEEKEND FROM THANKSGIVING TO CHRISTMAS

SDG&E RESTORES POWER IN SOME AREAS, OTHERS STILL IN THE DARK. MORE OUTAGES POSSIBLE, UTILITY WARNS

BRUSH FIRE IN SANTEE SPARKS EVACUATIONS; HOMES THREATENED

POWER OUTAGES BEGIN: THOUSANDS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY ON THANKSGIVING

RED FLAG WARNING: EXTREME FIRE RISK TONIGHT AND TOMORROW; SDG&E EXPANDS LIST OF POTENTIAL POWER OUTAGE AREAS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

EL CAJON BRINGS AWARENESS TO NATIONAL HOMELESS YOUTH MONTH

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: EVENTS TO BE THANKFUL FOR

FAMILY ASKS HELP TO FIND MISSING MAN LAST SEEN IN KENSINGTON OVER TWO WEEKS AGO

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2021 (San Diego) --  Family and friends of Steven Hilles, 54, are asking individuals throughout San Diego County to help find hm. Since the evening of October 7, when he experienced an extreme mental health crisis and left his Kensington neighborhood home on foot, no one has heard from him.

When last seen, he was wearing dark blue jeans, a black pullover and dark sport shoes. He is white, 5’7”, 150 pounds. 

His disappearance has been reported to San Diego Police (reference # 21-500959).

SHAKESPEARE CALL AND RESPONSE: GLOBE FOR ALL COMES TO LEMON GROVE NOVEMBER 10

By Helen Ofield, Treasurer/Historian, Lemon Grove Historical Society

October 25, 2021 (Lemon Grove) - The touring arm of The Old Globe Theatre is on the road again after nearly two years of lockdown. Fans are thrilled. The Lemon Grove Historical Society, the City of Lemon Grove and the Lemon Grove School District and adjacent high schools have joined forces to welcome Globe For All to Treganza Heritage Park on Nov. 10 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. for a free, outdoor performance of Shakespeare: Call and Response

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 28 - NOV. 21

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s Destination East County features many of East County’s most popular fall festivities including some haunting Halloween happenings, a murder mystery play, plus art and winetasting events to celebrate harvest season in our region’s wine country.

Scroll down for all of these events and many more!

ROAD WORK ON HIGHWAY 94 BEGINS MONDAY EAST OF DULZURA: TRAFFIC SLOWING EXPECTED

Source: Caltrans

Photo: Creative Commons-SA via Bing

October 23, 2021 (Dulzura) --  Pavement rehabilitation work on a nine-mile segment of State Route 94,  from just west of Arnold Road to State Route 188 in East County, will move to weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Monday, according to Caltrans.

The work will require lane closures on 1.5-mile sections of roadway within the project area through November. Highway personnel will direct traffic onto the open lane, one direction at a time, as crews work on the closed lane.

Traffic delays are expected depending on the traffic queues and motorists are advised to allow additional travel time to reach their destinations.

Signs will be posted ahead of the closures to alert drivers.

75TH ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE WILL BE VIRTUAL NOV. 21

East County News Service

October 23, 2021 (El Cajon) – The 75th annual Mother Goose Parade will be held virtually on November 21, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, at 1 p.m.  You can view it at www.MotherGooseParade.org.  The parade theme is “Celebrating 75 Years of East County Fun.”

MARINES MAKE FIRST-EVER WATER DROPS IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT TO SAVE BIGHORN SHEEP DURING DROUGHT

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – The drought has dried up watering holes and vegetation that the Anza Borrego Desert’s iconic bighorn sheep rely upon.  Scott Gibson with the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep told ECM, “Endangered bighorn sheep mortality due to dehydration has been documented recently."

Fortunately, the U.S. Marines came to the rescue – with help from several nonprofit organizations and state agencies. In September, a Marine Corps helicopter crew made the first-ever helicopter water delivery to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Click here view a video by David Owen Hawxhurst, www.hawxhurtst.com and scroll down for details.

COVID-19 BOOSTERS OF ALL THREE VACCINES NOW APPROVED BY THE FDA; CONSUMERS CAN OPT FOR A BOOSTER OF A DIFFERENT VACCINE

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control yesterday announced approval of booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna booster approved is half of the original dose. Boosters of Pfizer, the third vaccine authorized in the U.S., were previously approved.

The CDC also provided consumers the option to mix and match, choosing a different booster than their original vaccine(s).

Who's eligible -- and when should you consider getting a different vaccine than your original dose? 

OUR RADIO SHOWS FROM APRIL-AUGUST 2021 ARE NOW ONLINE

 

Our radio shows from April through August 2021 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.)  

Highlights included a special report with interviews from Sharp Grossmont Healthcare physicians on COVID-19, interviews with several local authors and with El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick, and coverage of top issues from local politics to wildfires as well as features such as the top festivals and events across our region.

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: Due to COVID-19 quarantines, some show dates aired reruns. Original shows are listed below.) Shows also include station IDs and public service announcements.

Audio: 

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: MUSKET STAYS IN LA MESA AS SCOTTIES TOP FOOTHILLERS 29-14

Story and photos by Liz Alper
 
October 22, 2021 (La Mesa) - It has been far, far too long since ECM Sports was on the gridiron for some good old-fashioned Friday Night Lights.  But tonight, we are back in La Mesa for one game that’s always fun to watch.  Grossmont vs. Helix.  Foothillers vs. Scottie dawgs.  The two teams met on Jim Arnaiz Field for the annual Battle for the Musket.  The Highlanders are 4-3 overall and 1-0 so far in the Grossmont Hills League, while the Hillers aren’t faring as well at 3-5 overall, but still 1-0 in league play.  The Scotties have possession of the Musket, beating the Hillers in the makeshift football season in the spring 49-35.  Click the cut to see if they got to keep it on their Senior Night.

A SHADY DEAL: LEMON GROVE JOINS TREE CITY USA

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Creative commons image via Bing

October 22, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove’s City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to join Tree City USA, a national program that has provided 3.6 million trees to  communities since its inception in 1976. Lemon Grove joins East County’s other cities (La Mesa, El Cajon and Santee) and  3,600 other communities in all 50 states.

Planting a thriving urban forest creates theses benefits for communities, according to Tree City USA, a project of the Arbor Day Foundation:  

LOCAL ARAB GROUP CALLS ON SUPERVISOR ANDERSON TO APOLOGIZE FOR REMARKS LINKING CAIR TO TERRORISM

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2021 (San Diego) – The American Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) Committee’s San Diego Chapter has issued a press release denouncing Supervisor Joel Anderson for his statement linking the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to terrorism.

During an Oct. 7 hearing on his proposal to fund Afghan refugee resettlement costs from frozen Taliban assets and to develop a comprehensive county response plan to assist the refugees, Anderson sought to block CAIR from receiving any county funds.  “Any organization that has any affiliation with terrorism in the Middle East could have to be excluded and CAIR would be part of that group,” he said. View video

SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY TO BURNING CHASE BANK, LOOTING LA MESA BUSINESSES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Jake Rose: Chase Bank in flames

October 21, 2021 (La Mesa) – Ricky Bernard Cooper, 34, has pleaded guilty to setting an arson fire that burned down Chase Bank in downtown La Mesa during a riot on May 30, 2020.  Cooper also pleaded guilty to a burglary count for looting at the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center. His sentencing is slated for next month.

MAN ARRESTED FOR BATTERY AT LA MESA BEAUTY SALON

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police arrested a man this evening for domestic violence after a physical altercation at Salon Radiance.

Officers responded to a report of the altercation between a man and woman around 5:30 p.m. at the hair salon located at 4753 Palm Avenue in the La Mesa downtown village.

“When officers arrived, their investigation revealed that it was a domestic violence incident and the victim had a valid restraining order against the suspect. The victim suffered minor injuries (abrasions),” Lieutenant Greg Runge with La Mesa Police told ECM in an email response to our request for information.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENDS CASE QUOTAS FOR IMMIGRATION JUDGES IMPOSED BY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: immigration court, Creative Commons image by NC-ND

October 21, 2021 (San Diego) – The U.S. Justice Department, under the Biden administration, has ended case quotas for immigration judges imposed during the Trump administration, CNN reports. 

The Trump-era performance metrics had required judges to complete 700 cases a year to receive a satisfactory rating, among other benchmarks. But that policy led to complaints from judges who argued that the quotas valued haste over due process.  

ST. MADELEINE’S SWING WITH SANTA GOLF TOURNAMENT TEES OFF NOV. 5

East County News Service

October 21, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to realize their full potential, will host its 8th Annual “Swing with Santa” Golf Tournament in memory of Don Parent on Friday, November 5. Guests are invited to join SMSC at the Singing Hills Golf Resort Pine Glen 3-Par Executive Course at Sycuan (3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon, CA 92019) for a 10:30 a.m. check-in and a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. Participants can expect a day full of fun, opportunity drawings, games, a golf ball drop, food and drinks, and a visit from Santa. 

KAISER PERMANENTE PHARMACY AND LAB WORKERS AUTHORIZE STRIKE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Hospital staffers and union organizers waved signs and banners in protest over staffing shortages at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Roseville. Photo by Fred Greaves for CalMatters

October 21, 2021 (San Diego) - The union representing pharmacy and laboratory workers at Kaiser Permanente locations throughout Southern California said Wednesday members voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s offer and authorize a strike if a new deal can’t be reached.

ATMOSPHERIC RIVER TO SOAK REGION

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2021 (San Diego) – A strong Pacific storm is forecast to bring an “atmospheric river” to Southern California Sunday and Monday. The storm could dump over two inches in some East County communities including El Cajon, Alpine, Julian and Mountain Laguna, with over five inches forecast on Palomar Mountain.  Even high desert areas such as Campo and the Anza Borrego Desert could receive an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service in San Diego.

RIBBON CUTTING TURNS OVER NEW LEAF FOR CUYAMACA COLLEGE’S ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE COMPLEX

UPDATE:  Due to rain, the Ornamental Horticulture ribbon-cutting has been rescheduled for  Friday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

Source: Cuyamaca College

Photo:  The Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Complex & Building M Renovation includes a new nursery sales office for the campus’ retail nursery that will be open to the public.

October 21, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held Monday, Oct. 25 for Cuyamaca College’s expanded Ornamental Horticulture complex marks a new chapter for one of the campus’ flagship programs.

JAMUL SHOPPING CENTER SELLS FOR $6 MILLION IN OFF-LISTING TRANSACTION

East County News Service

October 21, 2021 (Jamul) – A retail shopping center in Jamul has been sold for $6 million. The property, which had not been listed for sale, sold on Sept. 17, Commercial Asset Advisors announced.  The 18,926-square-foot center has multiple tenants and is anchored by a 7-Eleven gas station. It is located at 12918-12930 Campo Road, Jamul, CA 91935.

CAA’s Gino Kalasho and Mike Conger represented the buyer, Fuel Team Inc., on this transaction. The seller was Dan Floit.The property includes approximately one acre of unused land that could be developed in the future.

SAN DIEGO MAYOR GLORIA SPONSORS PET ADOPTION CAMPAIGN: FEES WAIVED FOR FIRST 100 ADULT ANIMALS ADOPTED OCT. 22-24

Source: San Diego Humane Society

October 21, 2021 (San Diego) – The San Diego Humane Society is hosting an adoption campaign sponsored by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Oct. 22-24. During the event titled #Gloria100, adoption fees for the first 100 adult pets will be waived. After 100 adoptions are reached, all adult animals will be $25.

“We are so grateful to Mayor Gloria for sponsoring this adoption campaign,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO, San Diego Humane Society. “There is no place like home for a pet and we are lucky to have a mayor in the City of San Diego who recognizes the importance of highlighting adoptions. Each time we find a pet a new home, we create space for another animal who needs our help.”

ONIONS FROM MEXICO LINKED TO SALMONELLA OUTBREAKS

East County News Service

October 21, 2021 (San Diego) – A salmonella outbreak in 37 states including California has been linked to fresh red, white, and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc. The outbreak has sickened 652 people in the U.S. and resulted in 129 hospitalizations.  

These onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers are advised not to buy or eat any fresh onions unless you know where they were grown. If there is no sticker, or if they are labeled from Chihuahua, Mexico or ProSource, throw them away or return them to the retailer. Wash any surfaces or containers that the onions touched with hot soapy water or run containers through a dishwasher. Businesses should check coolers and discard any onions of unknown origin or from the contaminated sources.

COVID IS TOP COP KILLER IN CALIFORNIA AND U.S., YET OFFICERS RESIST VACCINE MANDATES

 

476 of 605 officer deaths in 2020 and 2021 in the U.S. were due to COVID-19

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2021 (San Diego) – Law enforcement officers risk their lives daily to protect the public. Yet many have voiced fear over COVID-19 vaccines as their unions push back against mandates.

The irony is that according to the “Officer Down Memorial Page,” the greatest risk by far to the lives of police and other law enforcement officers isn’t an armed criminal. In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 killed by far more law enforcement officers nationally and statewide than anything else. In California last year, COVID took the lives of more officers than all other causes of death combined.

VIDEO OF THE MONTH: FOODIE FEST DRAWS HUNGRY CROWD IN EL CAJON

October 21, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Visitors to El Cajon's first-ever Foodie Fest on October 9 had an opportunity to savor flavors from an array of restaurants and caterers, featuring cuisines from around the world.

East County Magazine intern Cristina Lombardo visited Foodie Fest and created a video to document the experience. She spoke with local restarurant owners and an event organizer of the successful event.

Among the offerings were Iraqi, Afghan, Mexican, Italian, Hawaiian foods and more.  Offerings ranged from spicy entrees to healthy smoothies to rich desserts.

SDSU HOSTS ANNUAL AZTECS FOR LIFE BLOOD DRIVE NOV. 19

This is the fifth time SDSU has teamed up with the American Red Cross for a blood drive

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

October 20, 2021 (San Diego) - For the fifth consecutive year, San Diego State University and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help hospital patients through the Aztecs for Life blood drive. The San Diego community is invited to join Aztecs and CBS 8 at the largest annual collegiate blood drive in the state of California, Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Viejas Arena. The blood donations collected will help treat cancer patients, trauma victims, surgery patients and others requiring lifesaving blood transfusions.

NEWSOM DECLARES DROUGHT EMERGENCY ACROSS CALIFORNIA

San Diego County included in drought declaration

By Rachel Decker, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

October 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom today declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California, as conservation efforts continue to fall far short of state targets.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BIDEN MUST URGE THE SENATE TO END THE FILIBUSTER

By Staley Pitts

October 20, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Biden has a choice to make: Does he want to establish his legacy as a president who fought for voting rights, or not?

In order to be remembered as a president who fought for voting rights, Biden must do more than ask the Senate to pass voting rights legislation. He knows as well as we do that bills like the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act won’t make it through the Senate unless we abolish the filibuster.

FEDERAL JUDGE ISSUES JUDGEMENT FOR CAJON VALLEY IN SUIT FILED BY TRUSTEE BARTO

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2021 (El Cajon) – U.S. District Court Judge William Hayes has issued an order ruling on behalf of the Cajon Valley Union School District and dismissed a lawsuit filed against the district in 2019 by Trustee Jill Barto. 

Barto declined comment. Her attorney, Michael Aguirre, told ECM, “We are appealing,” but did not elaborate. 

DR. MARK SAWYER, COVID EXPERT AT RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, RESPONDS TO PARENTS’ CONCERNS OVER VACCINES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2021 (San Diego) – East County Magazine interviewed Dr. Mark Sawyer, infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital and an advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on COVID-19 vaccines for children and booster shots.  He also serves on an advisory commission for the Governor and advised County Supervisors on COVID-19 issues. 

We asked him to address concerns raised by parents and others over vaccine mandates, to assess the safety of COVID vaccines compared to risks of COVID-19 for children and teens, and discuss the likely timetable for approvals of vaccines for young children and boosters for adults.

Dr. Sawyer revealed that hundreds of children have been treated at Rady Children’s Hospital for COVID-19, including 75 treated in the intensive care unit and another 75 diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory disease, a rare but serious complication of COVID-19 in children.  “To say that COVID is not serious in children is underestimating the virus,” he said.

HUNDREDS PROTEST SCHOOL VACCINE AND MASK MANDATES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery and Henri Migala

View Zoom interview with Dr. Mark Sawyer, infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital and advisor to the FDA, responding to parents' concerns:  https://youtu.be/qSlSxgWUQaU   

View video of protesters:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deM8NE8SWAo

October 20, 2021 (La Mesa) – Over 300 parents, teachers, staffers and students held a protest against new mandates to require vaccines in public schools and existing mask mandates.

The local protest was held Tuesday on the Grossmont bridge over Interstate-8 in La Mesa, part of a statewide school walkout day over California’s public health mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants waved flags and held signs, slowing traffic on the freeway as some motorists honked in support.

ECM spoke with several parents  regarding their concerns for their children's health, and also consulted a prominent pediatric medical expert on COVID-19 to respond to those concerns. In addition, we reached out to two East County school districts to assess the impact of the walkout on school funding and attendance.

Parents and school employees speak out; medical expert responds

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