July 2018 Articles

July 2018 Articles

OUR EAST COUNTY WILDFIRE ALERTS PROVIDED CRITICAL, TIMELY INFORMATION DURING EARLY HOURS OF WEST FIRE IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Scheid, shortly after the West Fire began, helped us provide critical early warning to our readers

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) – In the critical first few hours of the West Fire in Alpine, our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided the earliest news that a fire had begun and was threatening homes in Alpine. In the first 12 hours, we posted 38 updates including Twitter, email, articles and social media.

During the fire’s first day, our first alert was sent at 11:44 a.m (simultaneous to the Forest Service's first Tweet five minutes after the fire was reported at 11:39 a.m., per Cal Fire's incident report). That was nearly an hour and a half before the first Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Tweet at 1:04 p.m.  and a full four hours before the first Cal-Fire e-mail alert went out at 3:43 p.m. announcing “numerous structures destroyed.”

Cal Fire/County Fire Chief Tony Mecham has said homes were burning within eight minutes after the fire started, Patch.com reports.

Alpine Fire Department, battling the inferno amid power outages and grappling with a seriously injured fire captain, didn’t get their first Twitter alert out until the next day.  Cleveland National Forest did send timely alerts via Twitter only, but stopped after the fire burned outside of federal lands and into neighborhoods with homes.

During the first 12 hours of the fire, we sent frequent updates via Twitter and email, as well as posting numerous updates on our webpage plus photos and video link. We even went the extra mile to post some information on our Facebook page and on some community forum Facebook pages in or near the Alpine area, where many were without power but could access those sites on cell phones.

ANIMAL SERVICES HELPS PETS, LIVESTOCK DISPLACED IN WEST FIRE

 

Owners sought for pets found after Alpine fire

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) - The County Department of Animal Services rescued or sheltered approximately 30 animals from the West Fire, and after reuniting all but four, staff members are helping people impacted by the fire with pet food and resources if needed at the Alpine Local Assistance Center.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

DONATE GOODS TO HELP ALPINE FIRE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2018 (Alpine)--A donation center has been set up  by Living Life Alpine for the pubic to drop off goods to help survivors of the West Fire in Alpine, which destroyed at least 35 homes as well as many outbuildings, also damaging other properties.  Donations can be dropped from from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium at 2320 Tavern Road, Alpine.

This location has changed from an earlier site opened last night, which has already provided relief supplies to several families. 

“Any donations are welcome,” the organization’s Facebook page states.  “Here are some ideas:”

WITH WEST FIRE 92% CONTAINED, ALPINE RESIDENTS RETURN HOME – BUT DOZENS FIND ONLY ASHES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Ready San Diego

July 8, 2018 (Alpine)—The grim toll wrought by the 505-acre West Fire in Alpine has risen. With the wildfire now 92 percent contained and all evacuations lifted, reentry brought relief for some who found homes still standing, but heartache for others facing total devastation.

The fire destroyed at least 56 structures, including 34 homes, a business, and 21 other buildings including barns and sheds.  Another 15 homes were damaged, along with 5 outbuildings.

Merlyn Cochran, assistant manager at Baron’s Market, was at work  when the fire started. Neighbors Al and Sharon Haven told Cochran and her husband to “go get my mother-in-law, who is 96 years old and lives at our ranch, because the winds were shifting and blowing towards our ranch,” Cochran recalls.

ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES EMERGE FROM EXTRA-INNINGS MARATHON VICTORIOUS OVER SNAKES

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo:  Carlos Asuaje scored the first run of the game for the Padres to give them the initial lead. Via @Padres on Twitter

 

July 8, 2018 (Phoenix) - Last night was uh…yep, we’re moving on.  Clayton Richard started against Zack Greinke for Arizona.

HEALTHY FOOD FOR HEALTHY LIVING

 

Food for Life, by Laila Ali (St. Martin’s Press, New York, N.Y., 2017, 312 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 8, 2018 (San Diego) - Passionate health advocate, cook, television personality, and four-time undefeated boxing world champion Laila Ali’s first cookbook is an idea-rich guide for happy dinners (and breakfasts and lunches) at home.

PROTEST TUESDAY IN EL CAJON OVER CHILD IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Child migrant detention facility in El Cajon

July 8, 2018 (El Cajon) – Activists are organizing a protest rally Tuesday, July 10th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in front of El Cajon’s City Hall (200 Civic Center Way) to call for a public hearing on a federal internment facility holding immigrant boys, including some who were separated from their parents at the border and others who arrived as unaccompanied minors.

The activity is part of the national #familiesbelongtogether movement following disclosure that thousands of children have been separated from their undocumented immigrant parents at the border.  Following exposure in media, children as young as one year of age have been ordered by the government to represent themselves at immigration hearings and some parents deported without their children.

“Our mission will be to apply extreme and persistent pressure upon the El Cajon City Council to hold one or more Public Hearings providing full discloser as to population welfare, and operational practices, of El Cajon's Migrant Youth Internment Facility," organizers state on a Meetup page for the event.

ALPINE FIRE CAPTAIN AND SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD MEMBER MIKE VACIO INJURED IN WEST FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Facebook

July 8, 2018 (Alpine) — An Alpine Fire Department crew, the first to arrive at the West Fire in Alpine on Friday, swiftly found themselves surrounded by flames and narrowly managed to escape.  The scorching flames were so hot that they melted tires on the fire engine, 10 news reports.

ECM PADRES REPORT: DBACKS DESTROY PADRES, SCORE MOST RUNS IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo via on Twitter

July 7, 2018 (Phoenix) - The Padres have so far split the series with the Diamondbacks.  They hope to take a series lead tonight with Tyson Ross on the mound against Robbie Ray for the Diamondbacks.

HEARTBREAK AND HEROISM IN ALPINE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, courtesy San Diego Sheriff Office, Alpine

 

July 6, 2018 (Alpine) – At the Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine, owner Missy Bender posted this  panicked message on Facebook today as the #WestFire approached: “Fire is here desperately need help…”   With 41 horses in need of evacuation, she pleaded for  help “even on foot” adding that the Sheriff wasn’t letting trailers in. “We have to lead horses out on foot,” she said, adding, “We are fighting the fire off our back fence…”

CAL FIRE LIFTS EVACUATION WARNING FOR SOME WEST FIRE AREAS

 

Update July 8, 2018 --  A Local Assistance Center (LAC) will open Monday, July 9th at the Alpine Library. County representatives & other organizations will be there to help impacted residents begin the rebuilding & recovery process. The LAC will operate 9am-6 pm, until further notice.

Source: County Emergency Services

Photo by Miriam Raftery

Update 8:30 p.m. -- Due to more accurate mapping Cal Fire reports the West Fire is now 504 acres. Firefighters continue to make excellent progress, as the fire is now 81% contained. Evacuation orders and road closures remain in effect throughout the night.

 

July 7, 2018 (Alpine) 6 p.m. --CAL FIRE San Diego announced that the following areas previously under evacuation order or warning for the West fire are now open to residents only:

  • Palo Verde Ranch community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • Rancho Palo Verde community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • West of South Grade Road area
  • West of the fire perimeter
  • South of Alpine Boulevard between Peutz Valley Road and South Grade Road
  • West of South Grade Road between Alpine Boulevard and Via Viejas Oeste
  • West of Via Vejas Oeste between South Grade Road and Via Asoleado
  • West of Via Asoleado between Via Viejas Oeste and Japatul Road 

The following areas remain under an evacuation order throughout the night and until further notice:

EAST COUNTY ARTISTS’ WORKS ON DISPLAY AT FINE ARTS FESTIVAL ARTWWALK @ LIBERTY STATION AUG. 11-12

 

The Arts District at Liberty Station’s Ingram Plaza will transform into a sea of colors as local artists display artwork of all mediums

East County News Service

July 7, 2018 (San Diego) – ArtWalk @ Liberty Station will return to Ingram Plaza for its 13th year on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12 in the Arts District at Liberty Station. The free event’s 2018 theme “Connecting Creative Communities” embodies ArtWalk’s mission to bring San Diego together to enjoy art and cultural expression all weekend long. In addition to thousands of works of art, attendees can also expect food, wine and beer, live entertainment and interactive art projects. East County artists include clay artist Cindy Teyro, photographer Amir Barlev, jewelry artist Bette Barnett and abstract artist Theresa Vandenberg Donche.

EL CAJON AND SANTEE WALMART SUPERCENTERS COMPLETE REMODELS

 

The two projects are part of the retailer’s investment in serving today’s customers

East County News Service

July 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- San Diego County residents today got their first look at two newly remodeled Walmart Supercenters. The El Cajon Supercenter at 605 Fletcher Pkwy, and Santee Walmart Supercenter at 170 Town Center Parkway both underwent extensive changes to better serve their customers.

JUDGE FINDS FACTS TRUE AND ADMISSIBLE IN CASE AGAINST KALASHOS: FAKED NUDE PHOTOS, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, DEFAMATION, AND OFFER TO TRADE SEX FOR PAGEANT CROWN

 

 

Judicial finding that Kalashos engaged in cyber-harassment, defamation and other intimidating actions comes within days of ECM reporter Paul Kruze filing a police complaint alleging that Councilman Kalasho threatened him with an attack dog and defamed him on social media.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ben and Jessica Kalasho at  a Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce event, before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office forced them to change the name of the organization due to trademark infringement.

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor has issued a judgment granting a motion  filed by beauty pageant contestants and a taco shop owner against El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica. The ruling allows documents and a supporting declaration  submitted by plaintiffs’ lawyers to be admitted as facts at trial and  most damning, orders evidence of the following admissions to be submitted  at trial as true facts--meaning the Kalashos cannot dispute the accuracy of these findings in court:

  • Kalasho, his wife and their entities created fake nude photos of Miss Middle East pageant Queen Zhala Tawfiq and published them online “intending to cause and causing Ms. Tawfiq severe emotional distress.”
  • Kalasho propositioned pageant contestant Paris Kargar, offering sex in exchange for assuring she won the 2016 Miss Middle East pageant. He made statements indicating her declining this proposition cost her a fair shot at the title.
  • Kalasho whispered in Kargar’s ear, “You are so f*cking hot, I cannot take my eyes off you.” He also made comments about her breasts jiggling as she walked down the runway.
  • Kalasho conducted one-on-one recorded interviews with 2016 contestants including Tawfiq and Karger, but destroyed these videos after the lawsuit in which Kargar contends she was harassed during her interview.
  • Kalasho,his wife and his entities created multiple alias Facebook profiles used to make defamatory posts against Tres Taqueria, including fabricated poll results and false claims of food poisoning after the restaurant owner refused to post Kalasho campaign signs.

FIRES IN NORTH COUNTY

 

Update July 7, 2018 10 a.m.  The brush fire near Camp Pendleton has burned 1,000 acres.  Crews remain in the Miramar area today mopping up hot spots.

Update 8 p.m.:  The brush fire east of Camp Pendleton is 40% contained after burning 330 acres, but no structures have been reported lost.  Residents in Scripps Ranch and Miramar have been warned to be prepared for possible evacuations, NBC 7 reports.

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alert Service

 

July 6, 2018 -- A 25 acre brush fire near Stonebridge Estates/Scripps Ranch in Miramar was reported to San Diego Fire Department at 3:25 pm., Bob Ilko, president of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association has informed East County Magazine.

 

In Oceanside, a 125-acre fire at Camp Pendleton has forced evacuations of 750 homes.

STRUCTURES BURNING IN DULZURA AND ALPINE BRUSH FIRES

 

Update 5 p.m. The County has declared an emergency due to the fires: County proclaims a local emergency due to the fires:  http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/updates/county-proclaims-local-emergenc...   The Governor has also declared a state emergency in San DIego County moments ago: @JerryBrownGov declares state of emergency in San Diego County due to #WestFire https://bit.ly/2MPRlNi

Update 3:10 p.m.:  10 News, ECM's news partner, has provided a map of the #WestFire in Alpine.

Update 2:30 p.m. Fire is now 350 acres in Alpine and 0% contained.

Update 2:10 p.m. Lakeside Rodeo Grounds is open for large animal evacuations.

Update 1:50 p.m.  CHP has shut down I-8 east at Tavern Rd. The Tavern and Willows Rd. exits are also closed. Over 1,400 homes are without power in the Alpine area due to lines damaged by the fire; estimated restoration time is 4 p.m. per SDG&E.

Update 1:30 p.m.:  The #WestFire in Alpine is now 150 acres. Mandatory evacuations are underway. Homes are burning on Honey Hill Road.

 

Photos:  #WestFire in Alpine, by Robert Scheid

View video:https://www.facebook.com/robert.scheid.35/videos/1024052857719513/

July 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two brush fires have burned at least one structure each in Dulzura and Apine.  The #StructureFire at State Route 94 and Community Rd. in Dulzura has charred over 10 acres per Cal Fire and prompted 144 evacuation notices to be issued per County Emergency Services.  NBC 7 has film of a structure in flames.

In Alpine, the #WestFire started south of I-8, west of Willows, and is burning toawrd mobile homes, an eyewitness at the scene advises ECM. It is now estimated at 10-15 acres per Cleveland National Forest which confirms structures are threatened. A Fox TV video shows at least one structure already burning.  A DC 10 has been requested.

Robert Scheid, an eyewitness at the scene, says the fire in Alpine is burning toward mobile homes and that some flames are as tall as power poles.

LA MAESTRA FAMILY CLINIC GRANTED FM RADIO STATION LICENSE IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – La Maestra Family Clinic, a nonprofit which operates community health centers including a facility in El Cajon, has been granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate a low-power FM radio station in El Cajon.

EL CAJON SALVATION ARMY RUNS OUT OF FOOD

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Food donations are urgently needed at the Salvation Army in El Cajon, where supplies are at a “critical low point” after an annual holiday food drive fell far short.

Donations of canned, boxed or other nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the Salvation Army facility at 1011 East Main Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, the organization states on Facebook. For details, call (619) 440-4683. Financial donations are also welcome.

If the supplies are not promptly replenished within 30 days, the nonprofit will be forced to use funds to buy food items to feed the hungry, reducing money available for other important needs, an agency spokesperson has stated, NBC 7 reported.

ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES TAKE GAME ONE AGAINST SNAKES SMOOTHLY

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo via @Padres on Twitter

July 5, 2018 (Phoenix) - After being swept by the As, the Padres headed to Arizona and back to the NL West for a four-game weekend series with the Diamondbacks.  Eric Lauer started against Shelby Miller for the Dbacks.

LISTEN NOW: OUR MARCH-MAY 2018 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

 

Our March, April and May 2018 radio shows are now online. For links to listen to the shows plus a full list of topics and interviews, click here, or click "read more" and scroll down. (Sound files may take a few moments to load).

Our interviews included wildlife biologists Tommy Hough and Renee Owens on their adventures in the field and conservation efforts, Sheriff Bill Gore, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, legal thriller novelist Teresa Burrell, judicial candidate Matt Brower, Assembly candidate  Larry Wilske, County School Board candidate Eric Lund, Victor Crosswaithe Contreras on a historical script-writing contest, and investigative journalist Greg Palast. (Note: candidate interviews were previously posted separately before the election and are now also available in complete show files.)

We also covered hot local, state and national issues including school gun violence, a lawsuit over powerline easements in East County, a lawsuit against  Lemon Grove Councilman Arambula , El Cajon Councilman Kalasho accused of false real estate filings, homelessness, the Trump-Russia investigation, family separations, La Mesa’s new farmer’s market, an initiative to limit growth in Santee, Earth Day activities and more.

FANITA RANCH DEVELOPERS REACH OUT TO TELL THEIR STORY AS SLOW-GROWTH INITIATIVE BACKERS TURN IN SIGNATURES

 

By Mike Allen

July 5, 2018 (Santee) -- The developers of the Fanita Ranch residential project mailed out a slick brochure last week describing their plan for the 2,600- acre site and inviting residents to tell them what they think of the project that would add about 2,900 new houses to the city of Santee.

SENATOR HUESO NAMED TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

 

East County News Service

July 5, 2018 (San Diego) -- California Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) has announced the appointment of Senators who will serve on the Conference Committee on Wildfire Preparedness and Response. They include Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), whose district includes the southern portion of East County.

FLOWERS, BUDGET AND TAX PROPOSALS TAKE ROOT AT LEMON GROVE COUNCIL MEETING

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo:  Lemon Grove Management Analyst Miranda Evans, smiling, received flowers for her self-taught videography in Lemon Grove's 40th birthday year of celebration and history minutes.

July 5, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- It wasn’t all flowers Tuesday as the City Council discussed roads, sidewalks, a memorandum of understanding with firefighters and bringing various proposals before voters in order to raise revenue for the City of Lemon Grove, which is forecasting a budget deficit.

CONSTITUTION, CONTEMPORARY DANCE: ARTFUL, GRACEFUL AND PROFICIENT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos by Spencer John Powell

July 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Happy Independence Day! I would like to take this time to share pictures from Constitution, the Dance, by Visionary Dance Theatre.  Constitution was an exemplary inclusive contemporary dance by Kidz Danz Kompany with artful, graceful and proficient moves, showcasing prominent African Americans and non slave-holding founding fathers, and giving voice to their struggle and American aspirations.

TRIBAL AND NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS, PRE-HISTORIC TO MODERN TIMES, WILL BE IN HELMS AUCTION, INC.’S ONLINE-ONLY SALE, JULY 7TH

 

East County News Service

Photo:   lot 128: oil on canvas figural landscape by the Latvian-born German painter Johann Valters-Walter Kurau (1869-1932), in a gold gilt frame, 62 ½ inches by 61 ½ inches (est. $50,000-$100,000).  

July 5, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Helms Auction, Inc., based in El Cajon, will hold its Tribal & Native American Summer Shindig on Saturday, July 7th.  The auction is packed with over 460 lots of Navajo weavings and Pueblo pottery; pre-Columbian artifacts; prehistoric arrowheads and other stone tools; Oceanic, African and Chinese tribal artifacts; 20th century Native American and Mexican jewelry items and more.

CHAMBER MIXER AT GRANITE LIONS CELLARS SHOWCASES NEW OUTDOOR EVENTS VENUE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 5, 2018 (Jamul) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce held a joint mixer beneath shady oaks at a new outdoor event venue at D&S Farms, home to Granite Lions Cellars in Jamul.

ALPINE FOURTH OF JULY PARADE DRAWS A CROWD

 

Source: Alpine Chamber of Commerce

 

July 5, 2018 (Alpine) -- Alpine’s hometown 4th of July Parade & Festival was a joyful celebration of the nation’s 242nd birthday. Whether they walked, danced or waved from vehicles and floats coming down Alpine Boulevard, parade participants with more than 65 entries smiled and called out to family, friends and visitors.

VACANCY ON SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2018 (Spring Valley) – “There is now a vacancy on our planning group for Seat #5 with a term expiring in January of 2021,”  Spring Valley Community Chairperson Jim Custeau announced today. “If you are interested in applying or know someone who might be interested, please see the attached Vacancy Notice.”

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