June 2018 Articles

June 2018 Articles

RETIRED JULIAN FIRE CHIEF ACCUSED OF STATE LAW VIOLATIONS IN PERB COMPLAINT

 

By Ken Stone

Credit to Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Julian Fire Chief Rick Marinelli (left) with a Julian resident after July 2017 special meeting of fire district. Photo by Julie Pendray via eastcountymagazine.org

June 26, 2018 (Julian) - Five months before retiring, Julian’s fire chief violated state law — threatening volunteer firefighters involved in a vote of no confidence in his leadership, a labor agency says.

But Rick Marinelli, who left as chief in late May, denies allegations made in the state agency’s complaint against the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District.


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ECM PADRES REPORT: SIXTH INNING COMEDY OF ERRORS COSTS PADS GAME ONE AGAINST RANGERS

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo:  despite the loss, Joey Lucchesi pitched well, striking out four over four innings and giving up just one hit.  Via @Padres on Twitter

June 25, 2018 (Arlington) - After a measly showing against the Giants, the Padres were ready to take a break and try out some interleague play against the Rangers.  Joey Lucchesi started tonight’s game one against Rancho Bernardo High alum Cole Hamels.


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BORREGO MAN KILLED IN VEHICLE CRASH

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2018 (Borrego Springs) — Douglas Russell Irons Jr., 24, was found dead at the scene of a vehicle accident June 17th on Borrego Springs Road north of State Route 78 in Borrego Springs.

According to the Medical Examiner’s report, paramedics responded after the crashed vehicle was discovered in the desert. Death was pronounced at the scene of blunt force injuries.

Russell, who was single, resided in Borrego Springs.


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RAMONA SENIOR KILLED IN CRASH OUTSIDE HER HOME IS IDENTIFIED

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2018 (Ramona) – A 72-year-old woman killed in a vehicle crash outside her home has been identified as Nicole Rodriguez Estrada, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office reports.

The Ramona resident’s vehicle was found along the driveway of her home at 480 Gem Lane on June 20th after an apparent impact into an embankment. Fire and paramedic units responded to a 911 call and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was not wearing a seatbelt, according to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.


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OUR NAMES ARE NATASH, LETICIA, MARGARITA: WE SEEK ASYLUM

 

By Chris Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a San Diego Online News Association member

Photo:  Many women and children from Mexico and Central America waited to see if they would be the next people allowed to enter the U.S. Photo by Chris Stone

June 24, 2018 (San Diego) - Natash waited in line Saturday morning to present herself to U.S. immigration officials at the PedWest Port of Entry, believing that America is the “best place where human rights are respected.


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A JEWEL IN THE WILDERNESS: WILLIAM HEISE COUNTY PARK

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures: our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

 June 24, 2018 (Julian) -- Nestled at the end of a series of winding roads shaded by pines and oak trees minutes from downtown Julian is William Heise County Park, a comfortable getaway just over an hour away from the bustle of downtown San Diego.  This park is the jewel of the San Diego County Park system in our inland region.


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ON THE ROAD ALONG A PASSPORT THROUGH TIME

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Gehr and Miriam Raftery

 

June 24, 2018 (San Diego’s Est County) – Dozens of riders revved up outside Indian Motorcycles in El Cajon yesterday morning to start their journey on the  “Passport Through Time Fun Ride.” 

The event organized by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce took a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles along a road trip that included stops at sights along historic highways 67, 78, 79 and 80. Indian Motorcycles served up a light breakfast and swag including free bandanas, cookies, a commemorative event coin, and a multi-use tool complete with flashlight, screwdriver, and level. Then with the sound of rolling thunder, the group headed off to begin a day of adventure.

Participants collected stamps in a special passport at pit stops along the way, enabling them to vie for prizes drawn at a lunch at the destination’s end at Por Favor Restaurant in El Cajon.


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ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES TAKE LEAD IN EXTRAS, BUT BLOW IT IN 11TH

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo:  Andrew McCutchen's one-out double in the 11th led to the Giants' game-winning rally.  Via @SFGiants on Twitter

June 24, 2018 (San Francisco) - The Padres are 1-2 in this series with the Giants.  They looked to split today with Eric Lauer on the mound against Dereck Rodriguez for the Giants.


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CITY HOSTS CONTEST FOR YOUR BEST LA MESA PHOTOS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2018 (La Mesa) — You can earn gift cards from $25 to $100 and other prizes for taking and posting photos on social media between Friday, July 6th and Sunday, July 8th for a “Dine, Shop, Explore” contest sponsored by the city of La Mesa.  Photos must be taken in the city in July to show off parks, restaurants, businesses and more.


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GUNMAN INJURES 2 POLICE OFFICERS IN ROLANDO STANDOFF

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 24, 2018 (San Diego) – Two San Diego Police officers who responded to a call in the Rolando area near San Diego State University last night were shot by a suspect wearing body armor.  Both officers are listed in stable condition, one with serious injuries, though Police Chief David Nisleit says both are expected to survive.


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MOUNT LAGUNA: A PLACE FOR ALL SEASONS

Backcountry hidden pleasures: our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry and inland areas

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2018 (Mount Laguna) – At 6,000 feet in elevation, Mount Laguna is the highest peak in San Diego’s East County.  From meadows filled with spring wildflowers to summer picnics, colorful fall foliage and winter snowfall, it’s a place to find beauty in all seasons in the heart of Cleveland National Forest.

If you go, consider a stay at the historic Laguna Mountain Lodge or the Blue Jay Lodge, both along Sunrise Highway about a 60 to 90 minute drive from downtown San Diego, depending on the season.


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LAGUNA MOUNTAIN LIVING HISTORY THIS WEEKEND

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 23, 2018 (Mount Laguna) – The Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association invites you to the 31st annual Living History program this Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24.  Learn about the history of Mount Laguna residents and take free tours offered at 9:30, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days.


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PEDESTRIAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN EL CAJON

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Paul Kruze

June 23, 2018 (El Cajon) – A pedestrian was struck and seriously injured at Main and Ballantyne in El Cajon tonight by a black Ford Focus.  Witnesses told ECM that the injured man suffered a head injury and was transported to a local hospital.

He was described by bystanders as an elderly man believed to be homeless. 


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CABINS , CAMPING AND FISHING ARE LURES AT LAKE MORENA COUNTY PARK, GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry and inland areas

 

Story by Jonathan Ronald Goetz

Photos by Jonathan Ronald Goetz, Ronald Goetz, Miriam Raftery, and County of San Diego, Department of Parks and Recreation

June 18, 2018 (Campo) – People have been hiking, fishing and camping in the area today known as Lake Morena as well as the surrounding creeks and mountains for over 12,000 years, starting with the Kumeyaay, Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Native American tribes.

Today, much of this area in southeast San Diego County is preserved for the public to enjoy.  At an elevation of 3,000 feet, the park has mountain, desert and coastal habitats including over 3,250 acres of dense chaparral, ancient oaks and open grasslands surrounding the lake, the most remote reservoir in San Diego County, according to ranger Jessica Geiszler..

Lake Morena County Park remains one of the most affordable and inclusive places around, with boating from $12-$50, nightly tent-site for $22, RV for $31 or cabins starting at $50.


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HIGHWAY 52 CLOSURE SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHTS IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

June 23, 2018 (Santee) - Caltrans has announced closure of State Route 52 eastbound on Sunday and Monday night between Mast Blvd. and Mission Gorge Road from midnight to 4 a.m.

The closure is to enable crews to upgrade overhead signs. Detours will direct motorists onto the Mast Blvd. exit, turning left, then right onto Cuyamaca Street and back on State Route 52.


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MAN FOUND DEAD IN OCOTILLO WELLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Bryan Hong via Wikipedia

Update June 26, 2018:  The deceased man has been identified as Manuel Lizarraga, who had been reported missing. His body was found four miles from his vehicle in a remote area of the park.

June 22, 2018 (Ocotillo Wells) – A 24-hour search for a man reported missing yesterday at 4:30 p.m. led to discovery of a male body at 5 p.m. today, four miles from the missing man’s vehicle.

A caller reported a man missing and presumably stuck in sand near Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area in San Diego County, between Borrego Springs and the Salton Sea. That prompted a search by park rangers and a Sheriff’s Astrea helicopter late yesterday.


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ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES END FIVE-GAME SKID WITH SERIES-EVENING WIN OVER GIANTS

 

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By Liz Alper

Photo:  Clayton Richard has now gone six or more innings in nine consecutive games, the longest by any lefty in the majors this season.  Via @Padres on Twitter

June 22, 2018 (San Francisco) - The Padres lost game one to the Giants last night in a poor effort game which resulted in a shutout.  They tried again in game two tonight with Clayton Richard on the mound against Chris Stratton for the Giants.


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FORMER AZTEC ASHLEY HENDERSON FINISHES SECOND IN THE 100M DASH AT USA TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

Henderson runs personal best 10.96

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

June 22, 2018 (Des Moines) - Former Aztec Ashley Henderson took second place in the 100 meter dash at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships with a personal best time of 10.96 seconds at Drake University Friday evening.


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FREE MEETING TO HEAR SUCCESS TIPS FROM TOP EAST COUNTY REAL ESTATE AGENTS

 

East County News Service

June 22, 2018 (El Cajon) – Keller Williams Realty San Diego East Foothills, based in El Cajon, will host a panel discussion with top Keller Williams sales agents from noon to 2 p.m., Thursday, June 28, at its El Cajon office, 1030 Fletcher Parkway. Real estate professionals throughout San Diego County are invited to attend. Admission is free. Free lunch will be served.


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CPUC DENIES GAS PIPELINE PROPOSAL BY SDG&E

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Protesters in Santee and Mission Trails Regional park opposed the pipeline; Preserve Wild Santee

June 22, 2018 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission has denied SDG&E/Sempra Energy’s request to build a 47-mile, three-foot diameter gas pipeline known as Line 3602, which would have replaced the aging Line 1600. The new line would have run through neighborhoods in San Diego’s North County and could also have impacted Mission Trails Regional Park and Sycamore Canyon preserves. 

Activists reacted with joy, while SDG&E voiced disappointment.  The utility had argued that the pipeline was necessary for safety and reliability.  But the CPUC rejected those arguments, based on the utility’s projections for natural gas supply and the CPUC natural gas reliability standards, 10 News reports.


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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED IN LEMON GROVE AFTER DEATH OF INJURED MAN WHO KNOCKED ON DOOR SEEKING HELP

 

 By Miriam Raftery

Update June 28, 2018 -- The victim has been identified as Juan Martinez, 47, of Lemon Grove who suffered serious injuries to his upper body. The Medical Examiner's report determining cause of death has been sealed and the Sheriff's homicide investigation continues.

 June 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – An injured man who pounded on a door seeking help last night in Lemon Grove has died. A homicide investigation has been launched into the death of the man, who has not yet been identified.

 Startled residents called 9-1-1 shortly before 9 pm. after hearing banging on their door in the 7600 block of Lemon Avenue. When deputies arrived a short time later, they found a man who was lying on the ground, unresponsive, with visible injuries to his upper body.


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10TH ANNUAL TASTE OF LA MESA HITS A SWEET SPOT

 

 

 

East County News Service

June 14, 2018  (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s 10th Annual “Taste of La Mesa” was a night of fantastic food, good conversation and people browsing both sides of the Community Center to savor the cuisines and beverages, as well as meet representatives from participating restaurants and other sponsors.


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ROTTWEILER DOGS SEIZED AFTER SERIOUSLY INJURING TODDLER AND MOM IN LA MESA

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

 

Update: a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the mother and son with their medical bills.

June 21, 2018 (La Mesa) – A 2-year-old boy will require arm surgery following a vicious attack by two Rottweiler dogs that escaped from a backyard kennel.  The attack occurred in the 6900 block of Waite Drive, where the tot’s mother, 29, was pushing him in a stroller, her 8-year-old daughter beside her. 


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TRUMP NOMINATES ROBERT BREWER TO BE U.S. ATTORNEY IN SAN DIEGO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump has nominated Robert “Bob” Brewer to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.  Brewer is a former assistant U.S. attorney and deputy district attorney who once ran for San Diego district attorney, but was defeated by incumbent Bonnie Dumanis. 

Brewer has prosecuted cases including espionage, bank robberies, smuggling, narcotics, murder for hire and civil rights violations.

He has spent most of his career, however, as a defense attorney representing clients such as Sempra Energy at a time when Sempra was facing bribery allegations in Mexico. In 2011, he was named San Diego’s criminal defense white collar lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers. He’s also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America.


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CALIFORNIA POLITICANS REACT TO TRUMP ORDER ON FAMILY SEPARATION; STATE FILES LAWSUIT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2018 (San Diego) – East County legislators and California’s state attorney general are taking action in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to end separation of immigrant children and parents. Some argue that the directive does not go far enough to protect children and babies, since they could still be detained with parents and since it’s unclear how or when youngsters already taken from parents will be reunited.

Trump's reversal came after audiotape of terrified, crying children at a detention facility was released by ProPublica and after a judge sharply criticized the Trump administration upon learning that records were not kept when some children were taken from their anguished parents, who have been unable to get any information on their children's whereabouts 

"I can’t understand this," the exasperated judge reportedly told the attorney. "If someone at the jail takes your wallet, they give you a receipt. They take your kids, and you get nothing? Not even a slip of paper?”


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LA MESA: EAST COUNTY’S EMERGING RESTAURANT ROW

 

Our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry and inland areas

By Miriam Raftery

Farmer's Table, one of  La Mesa's newest restaurants, offers fork-to-table fresh cuisine.

June 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – if you’re looking to savor lots of great restaurants in San Diego’s newest culinary destination, you’ll want to visit  La Mesa.  Tracing its roots back over a century, the city is just 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, also close to backcountry destinations.  

The biggest attraction is La Mesa’s restored historic downtown village, with a  thriving restaurant row that now attracts visitors from far and wide, plus several happening night spots. Additional great eateries are scattered through the city with the motto "jewel of the hills."


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MARRIOTT COURTYARD HOTEL, CORNERSTONE OF EL CAJON’S DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT, CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING

  

 

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor, and Miriam Raftery, Editor

June 21, 2018 (El Cajon) — The seeds of El Cajon’s Herculean downtown redevelopment plans for the city's historic heart bore fruit at Thursday's grand opening of the Courtyard-by-Marriott El Cajon hotel, drawing an enthusiastic crowd.

The four-story, 88,000-square foot hotel is located on Magnolia Street just off Main Street near the city's “superblock”, which also includes the East County Performing Arts Center set to reopen in spring under management of international concert promoter and producer Live Nation.

Numerous restaurants, sidewalk cafes, shops, galleries, and civic festivals  are all within a couple of blocks of the hotel in the revitalized heart of El Cajon, a city that celebrated its centennial in 2013. Located just off Interstate 8 in San Diego's East County,  the hotel is 20 to 30 minutes from downtown San Diego and beach areas, also close to attractions in the region's backcountry. 

But there's plenty to do right here in downtown El Cajon, where major community events include Friday night outdoor concerts at Prescott Promenade Park and Wedneday night classic car shows (photo, below right)on Main Street all summer long. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal celebrations such as America on Main Street, Hauntfest on Main, and holiday festivities. The superblock also includes city hall, the courthouse, library, and police headquarters.


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EAST COUNTY REALTORS REVIEW UPDATES TO REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION FORMS

 

East County News Service

June 21, 2018 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group with an El Cajon office, will present a class for realtors on recent changes to real estate transaction forms from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). The class will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 3, at the PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. All real estate professionals in San Diego County are invited to attend. Admission is free for PSAR members, $20 per person for nonmembers. For more information, call PSAR at (619) 421-7811, or visit www.psar.org/formsnew.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SCARLET WILDFLOWERS IN JULIAN

 

 

June 21, 2018 (Julian) -- These scarlet-hued Climbing Penstemon wildflowers, also known as Heart-leaf Keckiella, are in bloom this week at William Heise County Park in Julian. 

ECM editor Miriam Raftery shot this photo of the native plant species, is a favorite of hummingbirds, sitll in bloom at higher elevations in our region.


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SHERIFF SHUTS DOWN ANOTHER ILLEGAL POT SHOP IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2018 (Spring Valley) – The Gas House 64 marijuana dispensary at 8818 Troy Street is the latest of many illegal pot shops to be shut down in Spring Valley.

Although marijuana use is legal in California, new marijuana dispensaries are illegal in the unincorporated parts of San Diego County.  Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s deputies served an abatement notice on the dispensary’s owners yesterday morning for violating a zoning ordinance.  Large amounts of marijuana, marijuana edibles, paraphernalia and other items were seized, though no arrests were made.


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