December 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has named 110 people to serve on community councils to make recommendations on how areas should deal with disruptions caused by Sunrise Powerlink, the $1.88 billion high voltage power line project that the utility company wants to build. But many of the project’s most vocal opponents were not invited to participate—and are accusing SDG&E of stacking the deck in its favor.
December 30, 2009 (Lakeside) – The County Coroner’s office has identified Raymundo Casillas, 43, Executive Director of the Barona Gaming Commission, as the victim who was shot and killed in his office yesterday. The gunman, Donnell Roberts, a former employee, killed himself after fatally wounding Casillas.
“This is a very difficult time for the Barona family and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of this unimaginable tragedy,” a press release issued today by the Barona Gaming Commission stated, adding that the Commission is “saddened” by the loss.
Which East County residents have been good citizens in 2009, striving to make our commuity or our world a better place? Please send us your nomination –along wih a one-paragraph description of why you believe your nominee is deserving of praise. We’re looking for nominees in all categories –including education, business and labor, politics, philanthropy, healthcare, environment, community organizing, humanitarian efforts, heroism, and any other categories you wish to suggest. We will publish winners in an upcoming issue of East County Magazine.
4:27 p.m., December 29 2009 (Lakeside, CA) -- Two are confirmed dead at the Barona Gaming Commission office, Sheriff William Gore confirmed minutes ago.
"It appears to be a murder-suicide," said Gore, adding that homicide is investigating. The gunman, Donnell Roberts, 38, killed himself and another man whose name is being withheld, pending notification of next of kin. The shootings reportedly occurred inside the Gaming Commission manager's office.
Update 12:45 p.m. A Sheriff's spokeperson informed ECM that the sniper took seven hostages but has since released them. She was unable to confirm whether there are any additional hostages. The suspect has barricaded himself in an office and SWAT team negotiators are on hand.
December 27, 2009 (El Cajon) – A vehicle struck a pedestrian on Greenfield Drive near Camillo Way in El Cajon around 5:40 this evening, California Highway Patrol reports. The victim, a 21-year-old man, was thrown 100 feet, Incident Protection Network reported at 6 p.m.
$5 DAY PASS GETS FANS TO PARADE AND GAME WED. ON TROLLEY
December 30, 2009 (San Diego) – The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is expanding Trolley service for the Big Bay Balloon Parade and Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. Fans can park for free, avoid downtown traffic and save money while enjoying the events.
December 25, 2009 (San Diego) –The driver of a Ford Focus sedan at a high rate of speed on southbound I-15, just sound of the I-805 connector, ran off the highway and struck a tree shortly after 3 a.m. this morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. The victim, described by the Coroner’s office as a Hispanic male, has not yet been named pending notification of kin. No other details are available at this time.
December 25, 2009 (Otay) – Alberto Herrera-Garcia was picking up a load of wood planks at a lumber storage company at 9960 Marconi Drive in Otay Mesa on Christmas Eve morning when the load shifted. The forklift fell onto him, crushing him.
State's schools, once top in nation, now rank at bottom as budget cuts ravage K-12 and higher education
By Miriam Raftery
December 23, 2009 (Sacramento) – The Obama administration has challenged states to compete for federal “Race to the Top” (RTT) education funds aimed at improving under-performing K-12 schools. California is eligible for $300-$700 million of those funds—provided the Legislature and Governor can agree on changing state laws by January 19, 2010 to qualify for the funding.
December 22, 2009 (Anza Borrego) – San Diego Sheriff reported on December 18 that Mickey Guidry, 16, has been missing since November 26th when he ran away from his parents’ home in San Marcos. Guidry reportedly took his parents’ 1995 Jeep Cherokee without permission. On November 30th, the Jeep was located unoccupied in an extremely remote area of the Anza Borrego Desert.
December 22, 2009 (Jacumba) – John Carl Bauld, 47, died from injuries sustained in an accident on eastbound I-8 west of Jacumba Road on December 20th. Bauld, a passenger, died after the driver lost control of the vehicle, which rolled down an embankment.
December 21, 2009 (San Diego) – Eight-year-old Anthony Cole DeWeese of Rancho Penasquitos was killed last night when a Coast Guard vessel struck the ship on which he was a passenger during the Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay.
December 20, 2009 (El Cajon) – A naked man shot and killed himself while driving in El Cajon shortly after 6 p.m. last night, El Cajon public affairs officer Monica Zech confirmed. After committing suicide, the driver struck a telephone pole and sheared it off.
December 18, 2009 (San Diego) - The ACLU says San Diego State University has delivered an "empty Christmas present", turning over incomplete records in response to a public documents request. Now the ACLU has sent a demand letter on behalf of the Education Consortium demanding full disclosure.
Many East County communities are on list of eligible areas
December 18, 2009 (San Diego) -If you're a first-time homebuyer, you may be able to take advantage of state funds awarded to the County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Development. The department received $15 million for the Mortgage Credit Certificate, or MCC, program, in addition to almost $11 million awarded to Housing and Community Development earlier this year.
“That theater has been referred to as the white elephant sitting in the middle of El Cajon. It ought to be the jewel of that city, the community place to pull people in together.”—Patricia Parlin
“I don’t have a lot of faith in them. I don’t think they’ll do the right thing.”—John Martes
December 17, 2009 (El Cajon)—Smack in the heart of El Cajon’s business promenade sits a soon-to-be darkened, empty theater. On Tuesday, arts lovers and concerned citizens showed up to the first community forum over the summary closure and renovation plans for the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). After millions in local infrastructure improvements, the City is anxiously casting for ways to entice people to its downtown.
December 15, 2009, 12 noon (El Cajon) - El Cajon Police have just issued a traffic advisory of a major road closure. Washington Avenue is closed, east and westbound, between Emerald and Magnolia Avenue's to clear and repair a downed power pole from the roadway that followed an earlier collision.
December 15, 2009 (Spring Valley) -- San Miguel Firefighters responded to a structure fire on the 600 Block of Brady Court, in the La Presa area. No one was home when the fire ignited. Fortunately, a neighbor heard the smoke alarm sound, investigated, saw thick black smoke coming from the roof and called 9-1-1.
December 14, 2009 – A structure fire in Alpine reported shortly before 6 p.m. this evening has been extinguished, a dispatcher for Heartland Fire has informed East County Magazine. The fire at a two-story home the 1600 block of Peutz Valley Road posed challenges to firefighters, who found a locked gate at the scene, according to Incident Protection Network.
December 14, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Residential fires have caused major damage to homes in Descanso, Lakeside, Valley Center and La Mesa this month. The latest blaze occurred this morning at 4:17 a.m. in a condominium complex at 9320 Earl Street #25 in La Mesa, where fire crews arrived in less than five minutes and ran hose lines inside through thick, dark smoke down to the floor. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire in the kitchen.
Congressman Filner provides update on funds with breakdown by Congressional districts
By Miriam Raftery
December 12, 2009 (San Diego) – More than $250 million has been allocated for the San Diego region through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for transportation and infrastructure projects, according to figures released yesterday by Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego). Filner is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which recently held a hearing titled The Recovery Act: Progress Report for Transportation Infrastructure Investment.”
2ND ACCIDENT IN 2 DAYS TO DROP HEAVY OBJECTS OFF ELEVATED RAMPS IN LA MESA
By Miriam Raftery
December 12, 2009 (La Mesa) – A big rig smashed into a wall on an elevated I-8 connector in La Mesa around 10:20 a.m., knocking chunks of concrete onto southbound SR-125 below. The truck cab teetered precariously as a portion of the wall crumbled high above the roadway, reports Miriam Raftery, who was traveling on 125 moments after the accident occurred as emergency vehicles arrived overhead.
December 10, 2009 (La Mesa) – It was a standing room only crowd December 9, as residents gave their input at the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Public Scoping Meeting for Park Stations at the Crossroads of La Mesa, a six-acre, 18-story multiple use project proposed for the Village.
Supervisor discusses other concerns in exlusive interview with East County Magazine
“I don’t think anybody in Alpine really understands the magnitude of this.” – Supervisor Dianne Jacob
December 10, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – In an exclusive interview with Supervisor Dianne Jacob, East County Magazine obtained new information about the impacts of Sunrise Powerlink on Alpine. In addition, Jacobs disclosed that SDG&E has refused the County access to a new 350 page document filed with the California Public Utilities Commission disclosing potential environmental ramifications of the proposed high-voltage power line.
December 10, 2009 (Lakeside) -- Derek C. Dreis, age 45, of Lakeside died suddenly of a blood clot that stopped his heart on Saturday, December 5th. For the last 10 years, he has worked for Sycuan Casino and Resort as an assistant shift supervisor on the security department.