San Diego County

WHAT’S IN THE COUNTY BUDGET FOR EAST COUNTY?

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County Supervisors this week approved a balanced budget of $8.5 billion for fiscal year 2024-2025. Among the East County capital projects funded are:

  • Ramona Fire Station 80 - $250,000
  • Ramona Sheriff's Substation - $5,000,000
  • Stowe Trail - $4,400,000
  • Sycamore Canyon Trails - $3,600,000
  • Lindo Lake Improvements - $4,000,000
  • East County Archery Park - $150,000
  • Keeping Lake Hodges, Lake Sutherland, and El Capitan Reservoirs Open = $59,000
  • $65.5 million for resurfacing 101 miles in unincorporated areas, including sections of Tavern Road and Japatul Road in Alpine. Report roads that need repairs here.

Supervisor Joel Anderson says, “Our balanced County budget is a huge win for District 2 residents and our shared top priorities of strong public and fire safety, attainable housing, improving homelessness and mental health, and supporting economic development.”


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO SUNSET AND RAINBOW

May 7, 2024 (Borrego Springs) – Mitchell Sterling sent in these dramatic images showcasing natural spectacles in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

The dramatic desert sunset  features lenticular clouds; the rainbow is over the San Ysidro Mountains on the western end of Borrego Springs..


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THOUSANDS SEEK HELP AT FLOOD ASSISTANCE CENTER IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Kirsten Andelman

Photo, left: flooded home of the Ford family along Chollas Creek

February 1, 2023 (Spring Valley)-- When 86-year old Bienvenida Ford felt the water on her feet January 22, all she could do was yell for her sleeping daughter, Debbie, who jumped up and called 911.  But by then, the waters rushing in from the swollen Chollas Creek were already up to the women’s calves.

Within 20 minutes, the water in their National Avenue living room was up to Bienvenida’s ribs.  In the nick of time, two rescue workers swam inside and dragged her by her armpits to higher ground. Meanwhile, Debbie Ford, age 50, was fending for herself, half paddling, half floating out the front door and towards higher ground.  Hundreds of yards away she could see their freezer – recently stuffed with homemade lumpia – laying on its side on a neighbor’s property.


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COUNTY ISSUES EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION AFTER STORM CAUSES FLOODING DAMAGE; RESIDENTS ASKED TO SUBMIT DAMAGES

East Count News Service

Photo courtesy of the City of La Mesa

January 23, 2024 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego is proclaiming a local emergency on behalf of the Board of Supervisors in anticipation that resources and assistance from the state and federal government may be needed because of damage caused by flooding from the storm January 22, 2024.

Residents and businessowners can submit their damages to https://crisistrack.juvare.com/public/sandiegoCA/request.html

A local proclamation communicates to the state that the County is anticipating significant impacts to both public and private property.

The San Diego National Weather Service office reported that Monday was the 5th wettest day in San Diego since 1850.


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COUNTY OFFERS SANDBAGS AND DRIVING TIPS AS STORM APPROACHES


Weather forecasters say Tropical Cyclone Hilary could bring rains and wind to San Diego County and Southern California, and County and CAL FIRE officials are offering advice and free sandbags for people living in the unincorporated County.


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NEWSOM DECLARES DROUGHT EMERGENCY ACROSS CALIFORNIA

San Diego County included in drought declaration

By Rachel Decker, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

October 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom today declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California, as conservation efforts continue to fall far short of state targets.


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EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING NEXT WEEK, HIGH FIRE DANGER: COUNTY TO OPEN COOL ZONES

Update: Borrego Springs Branch Library is a cool zone, open starting Monday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 11, 2021 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning starting Monday, June 14 through Thursday, June 17 across Southern California. Breezes along with dry conditions will lead to elevated fire weather conditions each afternoon. 
 
Potential record-breaking temperatures are forecast, with low deserts reaching 115 to 120 degrees and high deserts 110 to 112 degrees. San Diego County’s valleys could reach up to 101 degrees, mountains up to 95 degrees, and beaches up to 84 degrees.
 
Soaring temperatures mean increased risk of heat-related illnesses, particularly for those involved in outdoor activities and vulnerable individuals. 

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND STATE TO KEEP MASK MANDATE UNTIL JUNE 15

By Miriam Raftery

May 18, 2021 (San Diego) – California and San Diego officials have announced that they will wait until June 15 to lift mask mandates for most public places. The four-week wait allows young people age 12 and up to get vaccinated, since the CDC just approved COVID-19 vaccines for younger teens starting last week.

Starting June 15, assuming cases remain low, as expected, Californians who are fully vaccinated will be able to go without masks in most indoor settings, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary.  Vaccinated people can already go without masks in most outdoor settings.

“We urge all Californians to get vaccinated to ensure that infection and hospitalization rates remain low across the state and that we can all return to the activities we love,” Dr. Ghaly advises.

“San Diego County is aligned with the California Department of Public Health and will wait until June 15 to adopt CDC mask guidance,” Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, announced yesterday on twitter. “This short time frame allows us to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine and time for business and entities across our county to prepare for the change.”


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RESTAURANT OWNERS SEEK REFUNDS OF STATE AND LOCAL FEES

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2020 (San Diego) – Restaurant owners in San Diego and several other counties filed claims Tuesday October 27, asking for refunds of state and local fees assessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiffs seek refunds of costs incurred for liquor licenses, health permits and tourism fees at a time when public health orders shut down many businesses or forced them to operate at reduced capacity, while incurring added expenses.

The state has 45 days to respond to the claims, after which a lawsuit could be filed.


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REPAIR SMITH, MOBILE MECHANICS COME TO YOU

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Kevin from Repair Smith

October 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are staying home and avoiding indoor spaces, where the virus can spread. Waiting for hours in an auto repair shop’s waiting room has become not only inconvenient, but potentially risky.  Thankfully, there is an alternative.  Repair Smith (www.RepairSmith.com) sends mobile mechanics directly to your home. 

This writer was fortunate to win a complimentary repair from the company.  Repair Smith’s mobile mechanics were kind, clean and courteous. I would recommend them to others. Their representative, Keith, kept in contact with me, leading up to the diagnostic.  A couple of days later, Kevin, a mechanic, conducted the repair.

Repair Smith was convenient. My car went through a diagnostic and subsequent repair, all without having to wait in a car repair shop.


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MOVIE THEATERS AND MORE CAN REOPEN

Image Credit: Shutterstock

June 13, 2020 (San Diego) – The latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions are rolling out. Since yesterday, June 12th, indoor movie theaters can reopen and film production of TVs and movies can resume. Also allowed to reopen, with limitations, are gyms, bars and wineries, swimming pools, hotels and other rental properties for travelers, and major tourist attractions such as zoos, aquariums, galleries and museums.


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COUNTY COVID-19 INFORMATION AND UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Source:  SDCountyEmergency.com

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County residents can sign up to receive updated information about the novel coronavirus via text with the County COVID-19 public information text message alert system.


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COUNTY LAUNCHES EVACUATION PLAN FOCUSED ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE

If you needed to evacuate for an emergency, could you just get in your car and go? For some, the answer may be no because they lack transportation, need additional help with medical equipment or gathering items in their home.

Studies have shown that during a disaster, older adults or people with disabilities, or access and functional needs have added challenges when faced with evacuation. This information inspired the County Office of Emergency Services to come up with the Neighborhood Evacuation Team program in partnership with the Community Emergency Response Teams throughout the region. The teams are made up of disaster-trained volunteers who can help in their neighborhoods.

People who reach out for assistance will be teamed up with a CERT member who can guide them through the process of making a plan that suits their needs, including working out transportation needs with a caregiver, neighbor or family member.


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SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.


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LAKESIDE PLANNERS CALL SPECIAL MEETING WED. FEB. 20 ON COUNTY ZONING CHANGES PROPOSED TO IMPACT LAKESIDE AND OTHER UNINCORPORATED AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2019 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group has called a special meeting to be held this Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Teen Center in the Community Center. The County will have a representative present to “explain some of the actions that the County Planning Commission has approved and is sending to the Board of Supervisors for their approval regarding changes to the local zoning ordinances that will have an effect on Lakeside,” according to an email sent by LCPG chair Brian Sesko.

Sesko told ECM that the county presented the matter as zoning “cleanup” and complying with state mandates, but that some residents who went down and ready the full proposal raised concerns about potential impacts on Lakeside and other unincorporated areas.

He added that Supervisors are slated to hear the proposed amendments next Wednesday and that the County Planning Commission already voted in favor despite some objections.


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RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED FOR HIGH FIRE DANGER

 

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

 

October 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for all of inland San Diego County as medium to strong Santa Winds bring very dry and windy weather to our region starting tonight through early Tuesday.  Critical fire weather conditions are likely in parts of coastal foothills, valleys and mountain passes.

Northeast winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour are forecast. This could bring power outages, broken tree limbs and debris on roadways as well as hazardous cross-winds for high-profile vehicles, so use caution if traveling.


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ARE YOU OWED A REFUND? COUNTY HAS HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED MONEY

 



By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2017 (San Diego) – Over a half-million dollars in tax refunds has gone unclaimed by more than 1,360 residents and businesses in San Diego County. That includes property tax refunds,  Superior court money, and funds from county departments. View the list.

 If unclaimed by September 8, some of those funds will be lost to the owners and by law, will be transferred into the County’s general fund, according to County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said.  Others on the refund list still have several years to claim their refunds.

"We've been trying to reach people who have had refunds for two years or more, and this is their last chance to claim the money before it's returned to the County of San Diego,” says McAllister. “If you've done business with the Superior Court, any county department, or with our office, you may have money in your name."


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COUNTY PROCLAIMS LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO RECENT STORMS

 

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

Residents asked to report all storm damage: County has not reached level yet to get help for individuals or businesses

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) --The County of San Diego proclaimed a local emergency Friday, due to damage caused by the severe winter storms that hit the region late last month.


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COUNTY TO MOVE OFFICES FROM EL CAJON TO SANTEE

 

East County News Service

January 25, 2017 (Santee) – County Supervisors have unanimously approved plans to build new county offices on Mission Gorge Road in Santee, near the Edgemoor skilled nursing facility.  


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HEAT RECORDS SHATTER ACROSS COUNTY

 

East County News Service

June 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Across the region, record temperatures were reached during today’s scorching heat.  So how hot was it?


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RAMONA WINE INDUSTRY IN JEOPARDY, VINTNERS WARN: SUPERVISORS HOLD HEARING APRIL 27 ON REGULATORY CHANGES

Update April 23, 2016:  County staff has responded to ECM questions on this issue.  View their response here.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elaine Lyttle, Hatfield Creek Winery & Vineyard, says the county's "priorites are wrong" and faults excessive regulations for stifling her award-winning winery in Ramona.

April 20,2016 (Ramona) –  Leaders in Ramona’s burgeoning wine industry warn in correspondence to Supervisors that Ramona’s wine industry could die on the vine as a result of changes proposed to the County’s Boutique and Small Wineries Regulations.

 The changes are set for hearing by Supervisors on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center (Room310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego).  View agenda and hearing announcement. 

Two versions of the ordinance will be up for consideration, one approved by the Planning Commission, the other a recommendation by staff of Planning & Development Services. One important note: legal challenges may be limited only to issues raised at a public hearing or in written correspondence delivered to the hearing body at or before the hearing, according to the hearing notice.


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COUNTY SEEKS INPUT FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

 

October 8, 2015 (San Diego)--Do you or a loved one have a mental health challenge? Do you have ideas about what behavioral health programs and services are needed in your community?


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CROP REPORT: COUNTY'S AGRICULTURE VALUE JUST UNDER $1.82 BILLION

 

Source: County News Service

October 8, 2015 (San Diego)--Agriculture continues to be an economic heavyweight in San Diego County, totaling nearly $1.82 billion in value. Trendy crops — like grapes for the region’s budding wine industry — continue to rise. Specialty crops like cacti and succulents have blossomed in spite of, or maybe even because of, the ongoing drought.


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BACKSTAGE VISIT READIES DETAINED YOUTHS TO EXIT RIGHT

County News Service

July 26, 2015 (San Diego)--Youth from the County’s Camp Barrett juvenile detention facility in Campo were given a sneak peek into theater production, thanks to a unique partnership between the County's Probation Department, San Diego County Office of Education and the La Jolla Playhouse. Watch how being “zombified” has created a valuable experience for youths looking to start a new life.


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PROPERTY OWNERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR RAIN RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

County News Service

Photo: County crews work to clean up mud flow on Rutherford Road in Ramona, where over 3 inches of rain fell on Sunday.

July 20, 2015 (San Diego) -- The remnants of Hurricane Dolores created record rainfall in San Diego County, taking residents by surprise over the weekend. If your property or small business sustained damage from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.

The County Office of Emergency Services is asking storm-affected residents to complete a short damage survey form that will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding.

The information gathered from the surveys will be used to estimate total damages countywide and will determine if enough damages occurred to qualify the region for federal disaster assistance, such as low interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for those who are uninsured or underinsured.


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5 GROUPS UNITE FORCES TO FIGHT TUBERCULOSIS

 

June 21, 2015 (San Diego) – On Friday, San Diego County, Imperial County, the state of Baja California and two non-profit organizations signed a memorandum agreeing to continue working together to prevent and control the spread of tuberculosis. The signing makes official a years-long collaboration between the five entities.


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COUNTY SEEKS TO RESTRICT FREE SPEECH, PROTESTERS, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MORE IN PUBLC PARKS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

Photos: Rural residents rallied for protection from wind turbines after explosions; faith-based community leaders sought justice for immigrants outside County Administration Building at site that may soon be restricted for free speech rallies.

June 6, 2015 (San Diego)—For years, community groups and activists have rallied outside the County administration building where Supervisors meet to protest or urge support for various causes, from immigrant rights to stopping environmentally damaging projects, with rally organizers ranging from civil liberties advocates to conservative Tea Party groups. 

But under a new ordinance proposed for consideration on Tuesday’s agenda, people wishing to exercise First Amendment rights may be restricted to  designated “free speech zones” at the new Waterfront Park around the building, where you won’t be able to bring a megaphone, microphone, or even a chair on which to sit.  There will be noise limits and gatherings of 200 or more must obtain permits—meaning you’ll have to predict how many will show up for your event, or risk paying fines.

That’s not all.  The proposed ordinance would go farther,  changing codes regarding selling and advertising for all county parks and recreation facilities to regulate “other issues such as commercial photography, noise levels, and the prohibition on posting or affixing materials on park property.”


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CASA AND VOICES FOR CHILDREN SEEK VOLUNTEERS, HOST 3 INFO SESSIONS IN MAY

 

Volunteers Needed!

April 30, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Volunteer with Voices for Children and be the voice for a child.  Voices for Children provides more than one-third of local foster children in San Diego County with the caring support of a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).  But there are many more that still need a CASA to speak on their behalf – in the courtroom, classroom, and community – to ensure their needs are met. Our information session event provides the community with an opportunity to learn more about Voices for Children and the CASA program.


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TAKE OUR POLL: SHOULD AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES IN EAST COUNTY BE IMPROVED?

 

March 29, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego County only requires that ambulances response within 30 minutes in rural areas, unlike urban areas where the limit is 10 minutes. The American Heart Association reports that brain death and permanent death start to occur in 4–6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest.  The County's response time requirements are far too long for a heart attack patient to survive without brain damage. In addition, these times mean it sometimes takes more than the "golden hour" to reach a hospital following a trauma, stroke or other medical emergency, the time frame that medical experts recommend for saving lives. 

Take our Poll:  Should San Diego County require faster ambulance response than the 30 minutes currently required in rural areas?

Vote here: http://eastcountymagazine.org/poll/should-county-require-faster-ambulanc...


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SAN DIEGO IS 5TH MOST POPULOUS COUNTY IN U.S.

 

March 26, 2015 (San Diego)--If you think San Diego is having some growing pains, you may be right.  The Census Bureau’s numbers are in, and San Diego County is now the fifth most populous county in the nation.


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