March 27, 2022 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Conversations invites you to meet with Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber on Sunday, April 3 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a legislative update and a chance to share your priorities for the City of La Mesa.
The meeting will be at La Mesita Park, located at 8855 Dallas Street, La Mesa.Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket for comfortable seating.
Story and photos by Karen Pearlman, for East County Magazine
Photo: Avalanche was one of the dogs at the party.
March 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Hundreds of four-legged visitors mingled nose to nose and nose-to-tail for three pawsome hours on Saturday at Parkway Plaza, as the indoor mall in El Cajon literally went to the dogs.
The shopping center, which opened with anchor store Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1969 and added more stores to the indoor mall in 1972, held the “Parkway Paws Party” to officially roll out the welcome mat for dogs.
March 27, 2022 (San Diego) -- United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals throughout California, together representing over 47,000 frontline food workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions, have announced an overwhelming membership vote to authorize union leadership to call for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strikes should that become necessary. But it’s not yet inevitable that a strike will occur.
44 students from 22 local East County high schools were awarded scholarships at the March 18 board meeting
East County News Service
March 27, 2022 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) awarded $111,100 in scholarships to 44 local high school students who have expressed interest in a career as a healthcare professional.
March 27, 2022 (Fresno) - The San Diego State softball team finished off a series sweep over defending Mountain West champion Fresno State with a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Margie Wright Diamond. The Aztecs (22-10) have won eight consecutive games and are 6-0 in MW play for the first time since 2015.
Four Aztec pitchers combine on a three-hitter in the loss
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 27, 2022 (San Diego) - Despite four pitchers combining on a three-hitter, San Diego State could not generate enough offense of its own in a 4-0 setback to Fresno State on Sunday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
California Climate Credit to offset natural gas bills by as much as $171.40, hopes to encourage residents to invest in clean energy options
March 27, 2022 (San Diego) - In the coming months, San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) residential customers will receive a break on their utility bills – up to $171.40 in bill credits, thanks to the California Climate Credit program. Administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the program is part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change.
CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters
Photo: Camp Fire via U.S. Forest Service
March 27, 2022 (San Diego) - As record-breaking drought fuels another potentially dangerous wildfire season, the state auditor reported today that state officials are failing to hold California’s electric utilities accountable for preventing fires caused by their equipment.
March 27, 2022 (Santee) -- One of the more controversial powers government agencies wield is eminent domain, the ability to acquire private property even without the owner’s consent for a project determined to be the public’s best interest.
Photo, left: Screenshot via ECM news partner 10 News
Photos below by Robert Gehr
March 26, 2022 (El Cajon) – Jesse Nunez, a bail bondsman was shot in the face while attempting to find a wanted man yesterday afternoon at an abandoned building at 333 West Lexington Avenue in El Cajon. The shooter was not the person sought by the bail bondsman, says Lieutenant Will Guerin with the El Cajon Police, who added that squatters were occupying the building and two men ultimately surrendered after a brief stand-off.
The wanted fugitive, Jesse D. Tansey, remains at large, 619 news reports. He was being sought for failing to appear in court on charges that included drug dealing and possession of a firearms.
An ECM photographer says he repeatedly called ECPD to report break-ins at the property, as well as apparent drug sales.
March 26, 2022 (Spring Valley) - The world is a crazy place, with everything turned upside down the past couple of years. The Addams Family is as close to normal as anybody else. Steele Canyon Players and Instrumental Music present The Addams Family: A New Musical. It’s funny, romantic and a totally entertaining production.
Photo: Matt Lieurance with rescue Diamond. Photo courtesy Farm Animal Refuge
March 24, 2022 (Campo) — When Jordan Russo and Matt Lieurance met working at Chili’s 14 years ago, they had no idea they would eventually become close friends, roommates, and co-founders of an animal sanctuary in Campo.
March 23, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) announced his office will host a free webinar on April 5 at 10 A.M. PT with industry experts to discuss best practices and the various services of each section of the Medicare Program.
“Projects balance community needs, resource preservation”
East County News Service
March 23, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Darrell Issa testified earlier this month before the House of Representatives Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee in support of three San Diego area projects for which he has requested targeted federal funding.
Photo: Dr. Sugata Das, courtesy of Yuma Regional Medical Center
March 23, 2022 (San Diego) – An autopsy of Dr. Sugata Das, the pilot killed October 11 when his Cessna plane crashed into a Santee neighborhood, found no evidence of drugs, alcohol, or medications. The Medical Examiner’s office also indicates Dr. Das had no history of medical conditions and found no evidence of suicide.
March 23, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Calling all pet owners! Parkway Plaza is officially becoming a dog-friendly shopping center, welcoming customers to bring along their furry friends on all their shopping trips.
Festival Chair share insights in interview with East County Magazine
By Matthew Manosh
Photo: Borrego Springs Film Festival 2022 Poster
March 23, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- A desert town away from the city, with films by independent artists from around the globe. It sounds like the perfect setting for a film festival. That’s the backdrop for the Borrego Springs Film Festival, which normally takes place in January, but was pushed back due to the COVID pandemic to this week, starting Thursday, March 24 and continuing through Monday, March28.
East County Magazine got a chance to sit down and talk with the chairman of the film festival, Fred Jee who discussed the early days of the festival and what’s yet to come.
Photo: right to left: Blake Vaz, John Estrada, Enrique A. Mendoza, Camilla Demichelis Richard
March 22, 2022 (San Diego) - The Latino Film Festival showcased Un Mundo Extrano - Folk Tales and Speculations on March 20th, the festival’s closing day. This showcase was curated by Miguel Rodriguez, the founder and executive producer of Horrible Imaginings, a 13-year-old horror-based festival slated for September 1-4 in Santa Ana, according to Filmfreeway.
Photo: Gerald (Gerry) Kostiha eats a grapefruit while sitting on a chair outside his tent Tuesday, March 8, 2022, near El Cajon, CA. He has been living at the Magnolia encampment with his dog Lumpy for four months. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego
March 22, 2022 (San Diego) - For the past four months, Gerry Kostiha has lived with his dog Lumpy off North Magnolia Avenue on a plot of county land only a few feet from the border of El Cajon. The 62-year-old worked as a plumber until a fall down a flight of stairs left him immobile and required a series of major surgeries.
Note: This interview was recorded in early February.
March 22, 2022 (San Diego) – Joseph Rocha, the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate in the newly redrawn 40th State Senate district currently represented by Republican Brian Jones, recently sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine that originally aired on KNSJ radio. He’s running to focus on jobs, housing, infrastructure, veterans and climate change among other important issues. The interview addressed these topics and more.
Rocha is a veteran of both the Navy and Marine Corps. He served as a bomb dog handler in the Persian Gulf and later, after obtaining his law degree, as a Marine Corps captain and prosecutor. He’s also a former intern at East County Magazine, where in 2008 he gained interest in politics while interview candidates for Congress and City Council.
“I think the adversity in my life has given me the passion for service,” he says. “I’m second generation Mexican-American,” he says. His mother was a grocery store worker who struggled with addiction; his father worked as a truck driver, raising five children. “These bread and butter, working class issues of the middle class have been a core passion of mine since I can remember," Rocha says.
March 21, 2022 (San Diego) – Following the Biden administration’s designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghan refugees last week, the San Diego-based Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) and other immigrant groups are calling for similar protections to be provided for Black immigrants, including refugees from Cameroon.
Photos: finalists Diego Lynch, Mimi Pollack and Bettina Hanna created films set in San Diego’s East County.
March 21, 2022 (San Diego) – Migrant stories from around the world were poignantly displayed at the San Diego Latino Film Festival on March 15, when finalists in the fourth annual Migrant Voices Today Challenge were presented. The finalists included East County producers and directors as well as stories set in East County.
March 21, 2022 (San Diego) - On March 15, 2022, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a Board Letter introduced by Supervisors Jim Desmond (District 5) and Joel Anderson (District 2). The purpose of this Board Letter was to direct the Chief Administrative Officer to urge the Governor and State Legislature to suspend the State gas tax for one year.
Iconic Diane Powers restaurant honored by San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce
East County News Service
March 21, 2022 (La Mesa) - Diane Powers’ Mexican restaurant Casa de Picohas been named the “Best Restaurant in East County” by the members of the San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce, awarded during the chamber’s 110th annual East County Honors ceremony on February 27.
208 inmates have died in county custody since 2006
By Miriam Raftery
Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Akilah Weber, M.D.
March 19, 2022 (San Diego) – A bipartisan group of San Diego state legislators have introduced AB 2345, the Saving Lives in Custody Act. The bill follows a scathing state auditor’s report which found conditions in San Diego County Jails to be so dangerous that the auditor urged legislative intervention.
March 19, 2022 (El Cajon) - Jane Austen in the 21st century takes stage in the Grossmont players presentation of Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill. Directed by Shana Wilde, this is a fun show--simply delightful. Everyone walked out saying it was excellent.
March 18, 2022 (San Diego) -- "The war between Russia and Ukraine is absolutely barbaric...and unthinkable on its scale. We are all deeply devasted," Russian language instructor Dana Shembel at San Diego State University said in an interview with East County Magazine.