BACKCOUNTRY HIDDEN PLEASURES: WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN SAN DIEGO'S INLAND REGION

SANTEE-BASED M2 DIGITAL POST INC. WIINS THREE EMMY AWARDS

READER’S EDITORIAL: REVEALED—HERE’S WHAT RUSSIA `HAS’ ON TRUMP

11 INITIATIVES ARE CIRCULATING FOR STATEWIDE BALLOT, BUT COURT BLOCKS MEASURE TO SPLIT UP CALIFORNIA

SAN DIEGO’S MOUNTAINS AND GOLD RUSH REGION

DANGEROUS HEAT AND THUNDERSHOWERS FORECAST

PINE VALLEY DAYS: PARADE AND FESTIVITIES JULY 27-28

ECM EDITOR AND REPORTER WIN GLORIA PENNER AWARD FOR REPORTING ON KALASHO THREATS

IN EMERGENCY APPEAL, JULIAN FIREFIGHTERS ASK STATE COURT TO HALT COUNTY TAKEOVER

HAND, CIMBER DEALT TO INDIANS

ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: SAN DIEGO’S SOUTHEAST REGION, WILDERNESS GATEWAY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

News

COUNTY AND RURAL FIRE AGENCIES RECEIVE $164,500 FROM SDG&E TO INSTALL ESSENTIAL TECHNOLOGY

 

Supervisor Ron Roberts recognizes SDG&E and Fire Foundations for their leadership

Source: SDG&E

May 15, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- In an action that will improve communications and awareness for first responders during wildfires and other natural disasters, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today accepted two grants totaling $164,500 for the installation of 70 Mobile Data Computers on CAL FIRE firefighting rigs in the backcountry.

ASSISTED SUICIDE LAW IN CALIFORNIA OVERTURNED BY COURT

 

East County News Service

May 15, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Hours after a judge ruled that California’s assisted suicide law is illegal, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra indicated he will appeal the decision.

Judge Daniel Ottolia with the Riverside Superior Court ruled that the Legislature violated the law by passing the End of Life Option Act during a special session devoted to healthcare issues, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SUPREME COURT DENIES APPEAL BY BLACKWATER GUARDS CONVICTED OF MASSACRE IN IRAQ

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo: Carl Meyer, who led successful recall effort against Potrero planners who voted for Blackwater

May 15, 2018 (San Diego) –  Back in 2007, Potrero residents in San Diego’s East County raised protests against the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide opening up a training camp in their community. The protests in Potrero, which drew global media attention, came at a time when four Blackwater security guards were accused of a massacre that killed 14 civilians and wounded 17 people in Iraq.

DRIVER HITS DONUT STORE BUILDING IN SANTEE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

May 14, 2018 (Santee) – Mary’s Donuts in Santee is not a drive-thru restaurant.  But a driver crashed into the building just a few feet from the donut shop on Carlton Hills Blvd. on Sunday, causing the vehicle to roll onto its side.

COUNTY PLANNING DIRECTOR SEEKS TO “BUNDLE” MULTIPLE BIG DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS TO BYPASS STATE LAW LIMITING GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2018 (San Diego) – California law restricts counties from approving more than four General Plan amendments a year, a law meant to prevent developers from pushing through excessive waivers.  But now a video reveals County Planning and Development Services Director Mark Wardlow proposing “bundling” together multiple projects far larger than current zoning laws allow.

THREE DEAD IN VOLCAN MOUNTAIN CRASH; PLANE MAY BE MISSING FLIGHT SCHOOL AIRCRAFT OUT OF GILLESPIE FIELD

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

May 13, 2018 (El Cajon) – Three bodies have been found at the site of a plane that crashed Thursday night on Volcan Mountain near Ranchita. The crash sparked a brush fire that burned a dozen acres.

Although firefighters located the plane on Friday, Sheriff’s search and rescue crews were unable to reach the crash site until Sunday, after firefighters contained the brush fire 100 percent.

PASSAGES: JOYCE DUNE, RETIRED TEACHER (JULY 12, 1932-MAY 4, 2018)

 
 
By Greg Dunne

 

May 12, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Joyce Elizabeth Dunne, who taught school for many years in La Mesa and Lemon Grove schools, passed away on FridayMay 4th in Waco, Texas with her daughter Shannon at her side.  Beloved by all who knew her, she will live in our hearts forever.  She is survived by her brother: Donnie, four children: Greg, Grant, Guy and Shannon, and her six Grandchildren.

 

CALIF. REPUBLICANS DENOUNCE NEO-NAZI RUNNING FOR SENATE, DECLINE TO ENDORSE IN GOVERNOR’S RACE

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2018 (San Diego) – The California Republican Party ejected Patrick Little from its state convention in San Diego last weekend, denouncing the candidate’s neo-Nazi views.   Ballots mailed this week list Little as a Republican “civil rights” advocate, but in fact he advocates anti-Semitic views and posted a video of himself spitting on and stomping the Israeli flag. Many of his videos have been removed off Facebook as offensive hate speech.

“There's no room for that kind of hate speech that that man uses," Cynthia Bryant, executive director of the Calif. Republican Party, told the Los Angeles Times.

Little alarmed many after a recent poll showed him in second place after Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the incumbent. 

The state GOP made no endorsement in the Senate race, nor in the Governor’s race. The top two candidates in each statewide race will advance to the November election.

BRUSH FIRE NEAR VOLCAN MOUNTAIN-RANCHITA AREA; PLANE REPORTED DOWN

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

 

Update May 11, 2018 12:45 p.m.: Crews have found wreckage of an airplane but have not been able to identify the plane, nor whoever was aboard.  Anyone with information is asked to notify the Sheriff.

Update May 11, 2018 10 a.m.:  Morning firefighting crews are nearing the site; the fire is now 10 acres, Cal Fire reports.

Update: 9:55 p.m. from Cal Fire: Incident commander reports the fire is 3 to 4 acres, burning at a slow rate of spread on the north side of Volcan Mountain. There are no homes in the area of the .

May 10, 2018 (Ranchita/Julian) -- Cal Fire confirms that a brush fire is burning near Volcan Mountain in steep, inaccessible terrain tonight.  The Sheriff's Department has confirmed to ECM news partner 10 News that deputies can see flames near Ranchita, near Volcan Mountain, between Warner Springs adn Borrego.  A plane has been reported down, according to HAM radio reports and calls to authorities though the crash is not yet confirmed.

Brett Staulbaum, a ham radio operator in Shelter Valley, relayed this message to ECM warning of a possible risk to the nearby Shelter Valley area:

RESCUES ON RISE AT POPULAR WATERFALL TRAILS IN EAST COUNTY DESPITE TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS

 

Source: U.S. Forest Service

May 10, 2017 (Ramona) -- As temperatures begin to rise, so have the number of heat-related injuries and air rescues at the popular Three Sisters and Cedar Creek trails in Cleveland National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service reports.

BYSTANDERS HELP RESCUE SANTEE RESIDENTS FROM BURNING APARTMENTS; BLAZE DISPLACES 40 PEOPLE

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson and Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2018 (Santee) – A fire has scorched multiple apartments at Santee Villas in the 10400 block of Mast Boulevard across the street from Santana High School tonight, where a passerby told East County Magazine details of efforts to save residents and pets from the flames.

“I was riding down Mast Boulevard when I noticed black smoke coming from an apartment complex,” says Robert Johnson, a Santee resident.  “I chucked my backpack and bike,” he says, adding that he followed the lead of others trying to assist. He says  he “started busting windows and helping people out where I could.”

IMMIGRANT CHILDREN TO BE SEPARATED FROM PARENTS, ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS SAYS IN VISIT TO SAN DIEGO BORDER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2018 (San Diego) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, visiting border communities in San Diego and Arizona in the past week, affirmed a zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally. He also made clear that no compassion will be shown to parents seeking a safe haven in America for their children, stating, “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”

PASSAGES: EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER ROBERT GARDNER (1939-2018)

 

Update: A memorial service will be held on May 30th at the Garden Chapel at Greenwood Mortuary, 4300 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA 92113. Viewing will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.with the service itself from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 

East County News Service

May 9, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon resident Robert D. Gardner, a video producer honored with 28 Emmy awards, died of a heart attack on May 6th at his home.  President of Gardner Productions, he also worked at KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Diego for 17 years.

CALIFORNIA NOW FIFTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN WORLD

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2018 (San Diego) -- California now has the fifth largest economy in the world, surpassing Great Britain to rank above all other nations on earth except the United States, China, Japan and Germany.

The state’s economic production last year topped $2.7 trillion, fueled in large part by California’s high-tech industry.

DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT BLOCKED IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Lemon Grove Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Jones

May 8, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove's downtown redevelopment climate dampened last week, as the City Council blocked a plan to allow four and five story buildings throughout downtown. The infill plan for redevelopment passed on April 17, by a 4-1 vote. But it failed upon second reading on May 1, by a 3-2 vote.

4.5 QUAKE RATTLES SOUTHERN CALIFONIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2018 (Cabazon) – If you awoke early this morning, you may have felt the earth move under your feet.  It wasn’t a bad dream.  A 4.5 earthquake struck at 4:49 a.m. 6.8 miles north of Cabazon, located about 20 miles northwest of Palm Springs in east Riverside County.

The quake was measured at 8.6 miles below the earth’s surface, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

Many small aftershocks have also been reported. There are no immediate reports of damage.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: SHERIFF BILL GORE MAKES CASE FOR REELECTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 6, 2018 (San Diego) – In an exclusive interview aired recently on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ radio, Sheriff Bill Gore said San Diego is the “safest urban county in America” and touted his nine-year record, also addressing controversies. Hear the full interview at the audio link above, or scroll down for highlights.

Gore has a 44-year career in law enforcement, including serving as Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), where he helped pioneer a cyber crimes squad and joint terrorism task force. A Navy veteran raised in San Diego, he comes from a law enforcement family and is married to one of the FBI’s first women agents. His department serves the county’s unincorporated areas and contracts with nine local cities, including Lemon Grove and Santee here in East County.

Audio: 

Sheriff Bill Gore interview 2018 on KNSJ

HUMANE SOCIETY AND SPCA TO TAKE OVER ANIMAL SERVICES IN SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2018 (Santee) – The County of San Diego will no longer provide animal services to contracted cities including Santee starting July 1st. So, the Santee City Council voted last week to have the San Diego Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) take over animal control in Santee starting July 1st.

FARMER’S MARKET DEBUTS IN LA MESA’S DOWNTOWN VILLAGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2018 (La Mesa) --  I took a trip into La Mesa’s downtown village today to check out opening day of the new Farmer’s Market, which has moved to downtown La Mesa along La Mesa Village.  The market is now operated by the La Mesa Village Association instead of the city, with a new farmer’s market company.

REP. SUSAN DAVIS PUSHES FOR EXPANDING AND IMPROVING MILITARY CHILDCARE CENTERS

 

East County News Service

May 3, 2018 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) is calling for action on expanding military childcare centers to reduce the backlog of children waiting to get into these facilities and to provide more flexibility for military parents. Davis will direct the Department of Defense to report to Congress on expanding operating hours, contracting with private-sector childcare services, and adding services for the National Guard and Reserves.

COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS ACCESS TO CALFRESH FOOD ASSISTANCE

 

Applying for CalFresh – California’s federal food assistance program – has never been easier. And San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency, community partners and food advocates are doing outreach at dozens of events during May’s CalFresh Awareness Month to spread the word.

CALIFORNIA SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO PROTECT CLEAN AIR AND AUTO EMISSION STANDARDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2018 (Sacramento) – California announced Tuesday that it will join 16 other states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration to stop Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Secretary Scott Pruitt from reversing fuel efficiency standards to protect clean air and reduce greenhouse gasses fueling climate change. 

GOP RIVAL CALLS ON ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL TO RESIGN AS NEW VIDEOS SURFACE

 

 

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

May 2, 2018 (Santee) - Assemblyman Randy Voepel should resign for lying about his service record, says his Republican rival and an allied military critic in the wake of new videos of Voepel claiming combat experience.

CITY OF EL CAJON INVESTS HALF MILLION DOLLARS INTO A FUTURE WITH RECYCLED WATER

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

May 1, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Nobody can escape from death and taxes. Add to that, if you live in Southern California, there is no way to escape the inevitably of a water scarcity during an extended drought, earthquake or other disaster. 

 

WOMAN KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

 

Updated May 2, 2018 with identity of the victim.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by ECM news partner 10 News

May 1, 2018 (Spring Valley) – Maria Cristina Duran, a 35-year-old mother from Spring Valley, was driving a blue Kia SUV westbound on State Route 94 this morning near the Kenwood Drive exit when she swerved to avoid hitting a Honda Civic that had pulled in front of her. She crashed onto the center divide and the vehicle overturned, CHP reports. 

Duran, who was wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene, says California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Demarest.

Her son, 17, and daughter, 12, both passengers in the Kia, were transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

FIRE AT CLOVER FLAT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
April 30, 2018 (Boulevard) -- Cal Fire reports a fire at Clover Flat Elementary School on Old Highway 80 earlier today seriously damaged a classroom and two outbuildings.
 
Some 100 students and faculty members were relocated to another location on the campus while firefighters worked to get the blaze under control.

BORREGO SPRINGS HELICOPTER CRASH INJURES THREE

 
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
April 30, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- Emergency response vehicles from Cal Fire, the San Diego County Sheriff, Borrego Fire, and State Parks were called to the scene this afternoon of a helicopter crash north of Borrego Air Ranch airstrip, east of Borrego on Stinson Road at about 1:30 p.m.

MERCHANTS CRY FOUL OVER FARMER’S MARKET SURVEY AND VOICE CONCERNS OVER DEBTS OWED BY EVENT'S PROMOTER, AARON DEAN

 

 

 

Updated April 30, 2018:  The city has rescinded $3,400 in fines and administrative citations on Depot Springs after finding the property in "substantial compliance" April 26, for violations and citations dating from 11/30/17 through 4/11/18.

Also comments from city manager Yvonne Garrett on availability of the existing Farmer's Market site have been added.

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – Numerous merchants in La Mesa’s downtown village are calling for the City Council to reconsider its vote to move the Farmer’s Market to the heart of the village on Friday nights. Some say they were never contacted, while others contend they were deceived  in a survey sent around by the La Mesa Village Association (LMVA) about which night of the week the market would be held, and/or about the inclusion of food trucks. One says that her survey was forged—with even her name misspelled.

 Several long-time merchants are also raising concerns over the financial stability of Aaron Dean, president of the La Mesa Village Merchants Association which is currently set to takeover management of the Farmer’s Market from the City of La Mesa starting the first Friday in May, on a six-month trial basis.

LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST SDG&E OVER POWERLINE EASEMENTS: ATTORNEYS SEEK OTHER IMPACTED PROPERTY OWNERS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Screenshots, KUSI Turko Files

April 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Several property owners have filed lawsuits against SDG&E over negative impacts from the utility’s plan to widen easements to 15 feet on each side of power lines in communities including Pine Valley, Descanso and Alpine.

GREG PALAST TO SPEAK IN SAN DIEGO MAY 1ST AT SHOWING OF DOCUMENTARY ON “THEFT” OF ELECTION: HEAR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

 

 

Our interview with Greg Palast originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM You can  listen now by clicking the audio link .

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2018 (San Diego) –  Acclaimed investigative journalist Greg Palast will be appearing and speaking at a showing of his award-winning documentary film, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Case of the Stolen Election” on Tuesday, May 1st at the Joan B. Kroc Peace & Justice Center theatre at the University of San Diego (5998 Alcala Park, San Diego).

Audio: 

Interview with Greg Palast April 2018

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