January 2016 Articles

APARTMENTS UNDERWATER IN CITY HEIGHTS; DOG DIES IN FLOOD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2016 (City Heights) – Floodwaters from tonight’s deluge have left four apartments underwater, also submerging vehicles at 48th and El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights.

Resident Jonathan Goetz says that “at least six feet of water”  have inundated downstairs units. “Dude, my car is underwater!” he posted on his Facebook page. 

His photos document the drama in real life as a woman rescues her dog, Cha-Cha, cradling her pet in her arms. Another man searched frantically for his missing chihuahua  Nacho, hip-high in the swiftly rising floodwaters. Goetz reports that Nacho was found dead in a bedroom.

MAN’S DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND IN STORM CHANNEL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The naked, partially decomposed body of a man was swept downstream in a storm drainage channel from El Cajon to Santee. 

“His death was definitely not related to today’s rains,” Lee Swanson, public information officer at San Diego Fire and Rescue told East County Magazine.  Swanson said it was evident that the man had died days or more before to the current storm. His identity is unknown.

FLOODING IN EAST COUNTY: AVOID THESE ROADWAYS

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) 6:15 p.m.– A flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning, meaning flooding is occurring in our region. Here are updates on roadways reported flooded within the past hour in El Cajon, La Mesa, Crest,  and San Diego.  If you know of other hazards spots please post in our comments section.

Here are flodoed conditions reported in the last hour or so:

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: THUNDERSTORMS TO BRING HEAVY RAIN, POSSIBLE FLOODING

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for San Diego County’s mountains, valleys and coastal areas in effect now through late Wednesday night. Mud slides and debris flows are possible in recently burned areas and on steep or unstable terrain. Urban flooding, minor flooding of small streams and low water crossings may also occur.

A series of Pacific storms will bring  thunder, lighting, heavy rain and possible hail through Wednesday night, with additional light to moderate rainfall continuing Thursday and Friday.

SHOT BORER BEETLE: NEW PEST ATTACKS 200 SPECIES OF TREES IN REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Damage from polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), courtesy of the University of California, Riverside

January 4, 2016 (San Diego)—A destructive new pest, the tiny polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, has attacked over 200 different species of trees in  Southern California.  Infestations range from avocado groves to ornamental trees in residential yards, entomologists at the University of Riverside report. 

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, that includes thousands of trees in the Tijuana River Valley that have been destroyed suddenly in recent months.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN JANUARY 2016

 We thank the County of San Diego for a Community  Enhancement Grant to help support Destination East County.

Listen to Destination East County, also aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audion link.

January 6, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes Hawk Watch in Ramona, a Family Fun Fest at Kroc Center, an art show at Mission Trails, a hike into the Jacumba wilderness and a desert oasis, and a bluegrass open mike night in La Mesa. All month long, you can get free health and fitness classes and services as part of Santee’s Health Awareness Month.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including the opening of trout season at Santee Lakes,  a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast, civil rights speaker and film showing, plus a hike to a garnet mine near Jacumba Hot Springs. So scroll down for all of these events and more.

Audio: 

CHARGERS KEEP MIKE MCCOY AS HEAD COACH

 
By Liz Alper
 
January 4, 2016 (San Diego) - Happy New Year, San Diego.
 
Forget the efforts by Dean Spanos to move the team to Los Angeles for a minute.  In a span of two weeks, the Chargers have made more bad decisions than most of us have made in our entire lives.  As if the decision to prevent safety Eric Weddle from traveling with the team to Denver to take on the Broncos on Sunday wasn't bad enough, KUSI is now reporting that Mike McCoy will stay on as head coach, despite his pitiful 4-12 record in 2015 and finishing last in the AFC West by three games.

COMMUNITY DONATES OVER $44,000 TO HELP CHILDREN OF SLAIN EL CAJON MOM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

January 4, 2016 (El Cajon) - A Go Fund Me site has been established to help the children of Mary Newbold Fa’anunu, a 34-year-old mother of six who was killed by a gunshot wound to her head on New Year’s Day at the family’s home in the unincorporated area of El Cajon.

 

JOURNEY COMMUNITY CHURCH IN LA MESA COMPLETES SOLAR CONVERSION: WILL CUT NEARLY 80,000 POUNDS OF CARBON A YEAR

 

 

By Francine Phillips

 

January 4, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Journey Community Church in La Mesa is bringing new light this year to the community. This month Journey has completed one of the largest solar conversions in East County, San Diego. The church on Center Drive owns a seven-acre campus of buildings, including offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, a thrift store, and a food bank as well as commercial businesses that rent space. Overall, the 207 kilowatt system carbon reduction is the equivalent to 4,302 cars being removed from the road, 3,658,582 gallons of gas not being used, 26,484 trees being planted and could power 5,951 homes or 453,489 light bulbs.

 

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS ANNOUNCE JANUARY-FEBRUARY OUTINGS

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2016 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have announced their schedule of hikes for January and February in the high desert region surrounding Jacumba Hot Springs. 

The hikes range from easy to extreme, covering terrain from wilderness to a desert oasis, mountains and canyons.  You’ll also see sites rich in history reflecting the region’s Native Americans, Spanish, and pioneer settlers. Other excursions including a trip to the Chinese Castle, a Garnet Mine, Goat Canyon’s railroad trestle, and a waterfall, plus dips in mineral hot springs at the Jacumba Spa and Resort.

For a full schedule, scroll down, and also be sure to read these hikng safety tips.

HAWK WATCH RETURNS: SATURDAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2015 (Ramona) –  Hawk Watch, a free celebration of raptors will take place at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona Grasslands at 10 a.m. each Saturday in January and February—rain or shine.   You can observe both wintering and resident raptors such as the Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Burrowing Owl.

Nineteen species of raptors have been recorded at this “raptor hotspot,” where you will learn the life histories of these beautiful birds as well as the importance of the Ramona Grassland ecosystem from WRI biologists.  In addition to wild raptors, you will also see several trained raptors and owls up close.

DESCENDANTS OF EARLY SAN DIEGO AND WRITE OUT LOUD ANNOUNCE PLAYWRITING CONTEST FOR TWAINFEST AT OLD TOWN

 

Update: Hear our interview with Victor Contreras, Descendants of Early San Diego, on Twainfest, including a reading from a monologue on his own famous ancestor from early San Diego.  The interviewe originally aired on KNSJ; listen online here.

East County News Service

January 3, 2016 (San Diego)--The Descendants of Early San Diego (formerly known as the Old Town San Diego Descendants Group seek submissions of short  monologues for presentation at TwainFest 2016 to be held at Old Town San Diego State Park in August of 2016. Each monologue should be in first person, accurately reflecting real people who lived in our region in the 1800s. Two $100 prizes will be awarded and authors can also audition for opportunities to perform their works for additional compensation. See below for details.

Audio: 

Newsmaker Victor Contreras - Twainfest

MISTS OF PALENQUE: THE MYSTERIOUS RED QUEEN OF MEXICO

 

 

The Mayan Red Queen: Tz’ aakb’u  Ahau of Palenque, by Leonide Martin (Made for Success Publishing, 2015, 300 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Leonide Martin, retired California State University professor, author and Maya researcher, continues her Mists of Palenque Series in Book 3 with a work of historical fiction that has been described as tastefully written with a beautiful weave of historical fact; The Mayan Red Queen: Tz’ aakb’u Ahau of Palenque.

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS ANNOUNCES NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS AND USE OF FORCE

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Los Angeles) -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies outlining new responsibilities under state law to report incidents involving shootings or any use of force that results in serious bodily injury or death of a civilian or a peace officer.

OUR NOVEMBER 2015 SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

 

January 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our November 2015 radio shows are now online!  You can listen online now (sound files may take a minute to load). For links to listen to the shows plus a full list of topics and interviews in November, click here and scroll down.

Our newsmaker interviews include Molly Nocom (photo, left) on her amazing achievements helping developmentally disabled adults at Noah Homes, Bobbi Brink at Lions, Tigers and Bears on her latest tiger rescue effort, plus a two-part interview with SDSU’s David McIllwain on terror and refugee issues, as well as tips from his class on emergency preparedness. On Bookshelf, hear from Bill “Santa” Swank on his book, Christmas in San Diego. Our news coverage also included the latest in the Alpine High School case, the Covert Canyon controversy, homeless issues,  Tribal Beat coverage of local and national Native American issues, and much more.

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

SPREAD OF ZIKA VIRUS AND OTHER MOSQUITO-BORNE TROPICAL ILLNESSES WORRIES PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Centers for Disease Control

January 2, 2016 (San Diego)—Though threats of terror attacks have captured headlines, fast-spreading diseases carried by tiny mosquitoes may pose serious danger to far more people in the western hemisphere. These include Zika virus, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus.

Before May 2015, Zika virus had occurred only in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. But the virus has spread rapidly and has now been contracted in 13 countries or territories in the Americas. In Brazil, where over a million cases of Zika have occurred,  the virus has been linked to 3,000 babies born with brain damage known as microcephaly.  Ominously, new research now suggests Zika virus can now be sexually transmitted from a patient bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus to a partner.

DONALD TRUMP'S ADMIRATION FOR RUSSIAN LEADER VLADIMIR PUTIN

 

Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again, by Donald J. Trump (Threshold Editions, An Imprint 0f Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY, 2015, 193 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Donald J. Trump, the very definition of the American success story, has now delved into politics with his candidacy for the White House, and explains why in his very provocative book; Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again. Trump, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance, an accomplished author and having written more than fifteen bestsellers, with his first book, The Art of the Deal, being considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books of all time. There is no question that trump has been a very successful entrepreneur and businessman – but does that necessarily translate into his being a great politician or President of the United States?

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER JOINT JURISDICTION OF BORREGO GROUNDWATER

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Borrego) -On Wednesday January 6th,  San Diego Supervisors’ agenda  includes a public hearing on authorizing the County to become a groundwater sustainability agency, giving it jurisdiction over the Borrego Valley groundwater basin—the sole source of water for the Borrego region, jointly with the Borrego Water District.

The Borrego Valley area uses four times more groundwater than is replenished annually, on average.  As a result, groundwater levels have declined over 100 feet in some parts of the Borrego Valley, due to heavy water use for irrigated agriculture, residential, and commercial users including golf courses and resorts that draw tourists to the region, as well as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, according to a  U.S. Geological Survey study on the Borrego Valley groundwater basin from 1945-2010, done in cooperation with the Borrego Water District. View study  here.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL TO WEIGH MARIJUANA BAN AND SHIFTING PLANNING AUTHORITY TO COUNCIL

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -Lemon Grove’s City Council meets on Tuesday, January 5th at 6 p.m. The agenda includes a proposed ordinance to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, deliveries and commercial cultivation. Council will also consider an ordinance to shift planning authority from the Planning Commission and  the City Council hear planning matters instead.

Changes to the Water Efficient Landscape ordinance will also be considered, along with a continuing hearing on housing element obligations and awarding a contract for stormwater services.

LA MESA AND SANTEE SEEK PAGEANT CONTESTANTS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 1, 2016 (La Mesa and Santee) -- On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold one of their most grand traditions, the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee scholarship pageants.  The pageants are currently seeking outgoing residents ages 12-26 to participate in a program that has been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960s and is an outstanding mentoring program for young women.  The pageants are sponsored by the local Chambers of Commerce and focus on community service, networking, improving public speaking and interview skills and overall personal growth.

 

START THE NEW YEAR WITH A “JAZZY” WALK UP MT. HELIX JAN. 2

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association invites area residents to celebrate the New Year with a walk up Mt. Helix on Saturday, January 2 at 10 a.m. 

Meet at the fire station at 10105 Vivera and stroll as a group to the summit.  At the ampitheater, enjoy live music by Jan McBride Jazz, along with refreshments while savoring scenic views.

HEARING JANUARY 22 ON SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PLACEMENT IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--The hearing date for the proposed placement of Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Ural Davis will be held on January 22, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court,Dept. 28 (220 West Broadway).  

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) has proposed placement of Davis at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs.  Testimony from the public will be accepted at the hearing. In 1993, Davis was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison for sexually assaulting women in three separate cases between 1984 and 1992.

VIDEO OF THE MONTH: WINTER HIKING AT WILDERNESS GARDENS PRESERVE

 

East County News Service

 

January 1, 2016 (Wilderness Gardens Preserve)--The County of San Diego has created a video showing the joys of winter season hiking at Wilderness Gardens Preserve, located in  the picturesque San Luis Rey River watershed in Pauma Valley in northeast San Diego County.

A WET START TO 2016: STORMS TO SWEEP IN, STARTING SUNDAY

East County News Service

January 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--“What could be better than the Rose Parade? How about a parade of storms!” The National Weather Service website in San Diego states on New Year’s morning. Starting late Sunday, the first in a series of storms will move in, bringing light rain across Southern California, with the heaviest rainfall forecast for southern San Diego County.  More storms will bring additional rain throughout the week, with heavy downpours  at times.  Snow is forecast for 4,500 feet elevation and higher.

Watch for blowing snow and dust in the mountain and desert areas.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING WIFE

 

Update January 2, 2016: The Medical Examiner has confirmed that the victim was Mary Faanunu, 34, wife of the suspect. She died of a gunshot wound to her head. 

East County News Service

January 1, 2016 (El Cajon )—Six children apparently lost their mother early this morning and their father is behind bars. Hauati Faanunu, called police at 12:34 to report that he had shot his wife at their home at 82020 Melrose Lane in unincoporated El Cajon.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Lakeside substation responded and found a woman dead inside the residence with trauma to her upper body.  Soon after, Faanunu turned himself in at the El Cajon Police Department. KNSD 7 News reports that he dropped the couple’s six children, ages 2 to 13, off at a relative’s house; no one was home when police arrived at the family's residence.

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