BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

FIRE WEATHER CONTINUES, GUSTY WINDS RETURN THIS WEEK

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS SET LOCAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS, BAN GERRYMANDERING AND ALLOW VOTER REGISTRATION AT POLLING PLACES

WHOA! THIEVES STEAL IRON HORSE STATUE FROM FEED AND TACK STORE IN RURAL EL CAJON

CORTNEY BAYUK CHOOSES AN ADVENTUROUS LIFE

100,000 EVACUATED AS SADDLERIDGE FIRE IN L.A. COUNTY BURNS DOZENS OF HOMES

PRESIDENTIAL FRONT-RUNNER ELIZABETH WARREN, IN SAN DIEGO VISIT, LAYS OUT PLANS TO REBUILD AMERICA FOR WORKING PEOPLE

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

SANTEE BALKS AT JOINING JPA FOR COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY; APPROVES NEW HOUSING PROJECT

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CASA DE ORO DISPLAYS ITS GOLDEN BOUNTY

News

“GET USED TO IT. WE’RE GOING TO PAY MORE EACH YEAR.”

Helix Water District raises rates in contentious hearing

 

By Kristin Kjaero

August 19, 2010 (La Mesa) – “Get used to it. We’re going to pay more each year,” Helix Water District Board member John Linden told the audience, shortly before the board voted 3-2 to raise the three-tiered rate structure an average of 8% more starting in November. Last year rates increased 21+%.

 

Discussion at the rate increase hearing was lively to say the least, as tempers frayed and the public, General Manager and Board members accused one another of not being truthful and of micromanaging. The room was filled to capacity, and occasionally members of the audience called out and were gaveled back to order. A La Mesa Policeman stood in the back quietly observing.

AFGHANISTAN “DEVASTATED” BY MONSOON FLOODS

Hundreds of thousands now face starvation as crops, soils washed away
 

Rescue Task Force seeks help to save lives of Afghan women & girls at literary schools
 

By Miriam Raftery
August 19, 2010 (San Diego) –“The same floods that are hitting Pakistan are hitting Afghanistan. It’s just horrific,” said Gary Becks, founder of Rescue Task Force, a San Diego-based nonprofit that has its roots in East County. 

 

Becks has led relief efforts in some of the worst disasters on earth including the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, major earthquakes, and the Cedar Fire. But the scale of devastation in Afghanistan goes far beyond even those catastrophes. Threats from the Taliban make relief efforts dangerous—and with farmlands washed away, the very survival of the Hazara people is at stake.

SALAS URGES GOVERNOR TO ENACT VETERANS' COURT LEGISLATION

 

As last combat troops leave Iraq this week, Salas seeks to expedite help for veterans in need of medical and other services

 

August 19, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Assemblymember Mary Salas’ Assembly Bill 1925, which authorizes superior courts to develop and implement veteran’s courts for eligible U.S. veterans, is now on the Governor’s desk. If signed into law, AB 1925 will allow returning veterans a greater chance for succeeding in civilian life in the aftermath of combat.

5 HIKERS RESCUED ON CEDAR CREEK TRAIL

 

August 18, 2010 (Ramona) – San Diego Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter rescued five hikers last night, including a 20-year-old who was experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms. One of the hikers used her cell phone to call for help and advised they were not sure if they were on the correct trail. She also reported that one of her friends was unable to walk any further.

FATHER OF AMBER DUBOIS CHAMPIONS BILL FACING SENATE APPROVAL

Assemblymembers Nava & Cook Work to Prevent Future Child Abductions

August 18, 2010 (Sacramento)--A package of bills sponsored by Moe Dubois, father of slain Escondido Amber Dubois and founder of MoreKids, has been unanimously passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee recently and will be considered by the full Senate in the coming weeks.

I-8 CLOSED AT WILLOWS FOR LIFE-FLIGHT LANDING

UPDATE 4:25 p.m. - The freeway is now reopened.

 

August 17, 2010 2:15 p.m. -- Interstate 8 westbound is shut down at the Willows Road exit to allow a Mercy Air life-flight helicopter to land.

 

A roll-over accident involving a single vehicle, a mini-van, resulted in a man trapped inside, CHP reports.  According to Incident Page Network, the patient is in CPR status and a technical rescue was required.

WEDDING BELLS SILENCED: JUDGE BLOCKS SAME-SEX MARRIAGES UNTIL DECEMBER

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday announced an indefinite stay on same-sex marriages. The 9th Circuit also expedited scheduling to hear the appeal of Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Prop 8.

 

JUDGE RULES SAME-SEX MARRIAGES MAY BEGIN WEDNESDAY UNLESS HIGHER COURT INTERVENES

 East County News Service

August 13, 2010 (San Diego) – U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker lifted a stay on gay marriages yesterday, after overturning Proposition 8 as unconstitutional last week. The judge declined to implement his order immediately, however, giving opponents time to appeal to a higher court. If the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals does not intervene, same-sex marriages may occur starting Wednesday.
 

San Diego’s Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office is accepting reservations for ceremonies to be performing as early as Wednesday, provided the ruling holds.

SHERIFF GORE ANNOUNCES PROMOTION OF ED PRENDERGAST

 


August 10, 2010 (San Diego) -- Sheriff Bill Gore announces the promotion of Commander Ed Prendergast to Assistant Sheriff, Law Enforcement Services. Assistant Sheriff Prendergast is currently assigned oversight for the Alpine, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, and Santee Stations, as well as Rural Law Enforcement and Crime Analysis.He is a 29-year veteran with the Sheriff's Department who has served with distinction in every assignment throughout the organization, said Gore.

PASSAGES: BARBARA LOWE, ALPINE EDUCATION ADVOCATE

 

Donations sought for memorial fund to benefit new high school

 

August 6, 2010 (Alpine)-- Barbara Lowe, resident of Alpine, passed away on July 31, 2010 due to complications from liver cancer and Crohn’s Disease. She was  the secretary for the Alpine High School Citizen’s Committee and an executive committee member for the past three years.

 

“Her commitment to seeing this local Alpine High School built, largely for her Alpine resident grandchildren to attend, had become just one of her many reasons she fought her disease with desire and dignity,” said Bill Weaver, chair of the Committee. “She loved her family and friends dearly.”

FEDERAL JUDGE OVERTURNS PROP 8

 

Judge to hear arguments today on whether to issue a stay extending ban on gay marriages pending appeal; weddings could resume as early as tomorrow


East County News Network

August 4, 2010 (San Diego) – Over a thousand people celebrated in the streets of San Diego today after a federal judge declared Proposition 8, the initiative banning gay marriage, to be unconstitutional.  Same-sex marriages could resume as early as tomorrow--or not at all, depending on a judge's ruling on a request for a stay to extend the ban pending appeal.

 

"Yesterday when the ruiling came out, our phones starting ringing off the hook," San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Dave Butler told East County Magazine.  Then word got out that the judge had issued a temporary stay until he hears arguments today and issues a decision on the stay.  "The phones have been quiet today," Butler said. 

1,800 DISABLED, ELDERLY REFUGEES LOCALLY TO LOSE FEDERAL BENEFITS



Aide workers voice fears over impact of cuts on East County’s growing refugee population; San Diego’s Congressional representatives have thus far declined to take action to extend benefits

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 3, 2010 (San Diego) – Over 3,800 disabled and elderly refugees who came to the U.S. legally, all victims of persecution or torture, have been notified that they will lose Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on October 1st. Those slated to lose benefits include about 1,800 Iraq War refugees living in East County.

 

“They don’t have any other income. They want to find work and they can’t. They are too old and too sick,” said Joseph Ziauddin, president of the East County Refugee Center in El Cajon. Ziauddin estimates that there are around 40,000 Iraqis now living in East County.  Asked how many of East County’s Iraqis are currently refugees, he replied, “Ninety percent.”

1 DEAD, 4 INJURED IN PLANE CRASH ON TIERRASANTA GOLF COURSE


WITNESS RECOUNTS HARROWING NEAR-MISS

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 2, 2010 (Tierrasanta) – A pilot who reported a door falling off in flight crashed onto the 11th hole at Admiral Baker Golf Course in Tierrasanta this afternoon, killing a woman passenger and injuring four others.  The plane was a single-engine Velocity Super XLRG5.
 

“Whoever was at the helm of that plane was a hero in my mind.  It could have been much worse,” Arrit McPherson told East County Magazine, before news of the fatality was known. “There are a lot of houses around here, as well as power lines.”  McPherson was working on his boat, Treasure Seeker, at San Diego Boat Movers, when he saw the pilot make an evasive move to avoid striking his boat, then head for an opening between trees at the golf course.

SWEEPS OF HOMELESS CAMPS IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

 
 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – San Diego Sheriff deputies along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials conducted sweeps of homeless camps in wooded areas of Rancho San Diego in the grey light of early morning.

 

East County Magazine accompanied officers on the first sweep, behind Savanna Grill. More sweeps were held near Cuyamaca College, the YMCA, Target, and the old Steele Canyon bridge off Highway 94. No homeless people were present or arrested, though many left behind trash and/or treasures that could not be toted away in a backpack or shopping cart. Makeshift tents, lean-tos and mattresses were found, along with more poignant items: a large stuffed monkey, a cracked mirror with ornate frame, a pushcart, cooking utensils, nail polish, and a chipped china pitcher.

 

All lay forgotten in the mud, symbols of shattered lives and broken dreams.

FAMILY DOG KILLS TODDLER IN TIERRASANTA

 

Update August 1:  County Animal Control officers have euthanized the dog, at the request of the family, which has other small children.

 

July 31, 2010 (Tierrasanta) – A family’s German shepherd fatally mauled a toddler in their home at 3529 Lofberg Street late this morning. “The baby, a boy, was taken to Children’s Hospital but did not survive,” San Diego Police officer Kevin McNamara confirmed.

HUNTER CALLS FOR INCREASED SHIPBUILDING

 

July 30, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today highlighted a report by the bipartisan Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) Independent Panel, which calls for increasing the Navy to a 346-ship fleet and expanding America’s focus to prepare for threats in the Western Pacific.

 

FIERY FINDINGS: AMONG MAJOR CITIES, SAN DIEGO HAS LOWEST LEVEL OF FIREFIGHTERS—AND BIGGEST REVENUE SHORTFALL


Leaders propose options to address serious public safety crisis in City and County

 

By Miriam Raftery


July 28, 2010 (San Diego) – San Diego has the fewest firefighters per capita of any major city in the nation, a shocking new report by Center for Policy Initiatives revealed yesterday.

 

“Service quality has dropped below acceptable standards, most tragically in the fire-rescue department,” a CPI press release warned. “Without increased revenue, the city could face the closure of almost half of our fire stations and the firing of several hundred police officers, as the chief operating officer described to the Council yesterday.”

HOMES SAVED IN LAKESIDE FIRE


East County News Service

Photos by Dennis Richardson

July 28, 2010 (Lakeside) – A brush fire charred several acres near Rocky Lane and San Vicente Avenue this evening, briefly threatening several homes including one that had previously burned and was rebuild following the 2003 Cedar Fire. Flames came with 50 feet of homes before firefighters contained the blaze.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: JULY 29, 2010

 

East County Roundup highlights stories of interest to East County residents, published in other media

 

July 29, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Roundup stories include:

•Fetal position: County Supervisor Bill Horn uses your money to promote pro-life education
• Schwarzenegger orders furloughs for state workers
• Judge blocks part of Arizona immigration law
• Q&A with Ralf Swenson, new superintendent of Grossmont Union High School District
• Fallbrook: Mountain lion believed shot
• San Diego’s refugee brain drain
• Governor orders National Guard to border
• Powerlink booster may have powered up too soon
• Economy threatens parks
 

 

SAN DIEGO SOLDIER, 24, KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2010 (San Diego) –Four U.S. soldiers including Army Staff Sergeant Conrad Mora, 24, of San Diego were killed Saturday in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb. Mora was leading a group of solders when the attack on their vehicle occurred. He was a graduate of Morse High School, where he played football.

 

He is survived by his wife, Ann, and their one-year-old son, Christopher. The family had recently moved to Washington state before his deployment.  Mora’s parents, Alejandrino and Carmelita Mora, live in National City. He is also survived by his sister, Carmela.

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