December 2009 Articles

EAST COUNTY ORNAMENTS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY TREE

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Where can you find Christmas tree ornaments that are unique and reflective of life in the eastern areas of Sa Diego County? Here are a few of my favorite finds, from hand-blown glass to Native American handicrafts to critters crafted from corks at a local winery.


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LIGHTS FANTASTIC

December 20, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) –Looking for some spectacular holiday lighting displays?

 

We found the home in these photos on Kildare Lane in Santee (1 block west of Fanita). Yes, these elaborate displays are all on a single house! (Glad we're not paying this electric bill--but the display is definitely dazzling.)

 


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WILD HOLIDAYS AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO’S WILD ANIMAL PARK

 

December 20,2009 (Escondido) – Want to create a gift for a lion, elephant, vulture or meerkat? The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is hosting enrichment days for guests to view animals playing with hand-painted boxes, popcorn-stuffed bags, insect-filled tubes and more. You can even create your own meerkat maze, paint a lion toy, or prepare a taco for an elephant with hay and food pellets.


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NUDE DRIVER KILLS SELF IN EL CAJON

 

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.


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AT&T UPGRADES HISTORIC LA MESA BUILDING

 

December 20, 2009 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting earlier this month to celebrate AT&T’s aesthetic enhancements  to its building at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street. Those enhancements included addition to the building's exterior of tiled mosaics depicting scenes from the company’s history.


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WILL POWER REPORT: DOCTORS CHARGE “FACILITY FEE”


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ACLU ACCUSES SDSU OF ILLEGALLY WITHHOLDING DOCUMENTS ON ADMISSIONS POLICY CHANGE

 

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. 


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$15 MILLION AVAILABLE FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS, COUNTY ANNOUNCES

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.


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SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT: VOCAL COMPETITION AT SDSU JAN. 30 OFFERS $2,000 TOP PRIZE

December 18, 2009 (San Diego) – High school juniors, seniors and sophomores who are recommended by a vocal or choir teacher are eligible to enter the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition at San Diego State University on January 30th, where competitors will vie for a top prize of $2,000. Applications must be received by January 15th.


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COMMUNITY SKEPTICAL OF EL CAJON’S PLANS FOR PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

Citizens express ire over arts mismanagement

by Gayle Early


“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.


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EIGHT VEHICLES BURGLARIZED IN LA MESA THURSDAY NIGHT

 

December 18, 2009 (La Mesa) -- Yesterday during the early morning hours, eight cars were burglarized in La Mesa, mostly in the 5600 block of Amaya Dr. and the 9100 block of Campina Dr. Various items were stolen during the burglaries, mainly loose items lying in open view. There is no suspect description at this time.

 


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HOLIDAY RECIPE SECRETS: APPLE PECAN VINEGARETTE

 

Courtesy of the Julian Grille, Julian

 

This recipe is a favorite among diners at the Julian Grill in Julian, San Diego County’s historic gold-mining town. Celebrating its centennial this year, Julian today is best known for its apple festival and array of delicious apple-based recipes—including this sweet and savory salad dressing featuring apple cider.


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WHOOPING COUGH AT FIVE LOCAL SCHOOLS; CASES TRIPLE OVER LAST YEAR

 

December 18, 2009 (San Diego) - Five area students have been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reporting. HHSA is working closely with school staff to notify the parents of all students at the schools, including three schools east of I-15.

The students are:


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HANUKKAH HIGHLIGHTS AT SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY

December 17, 2009 (San Diego) – In celebration of Hanukkah, San Diego Jewish Academy kindergarten through fifth grade students lit the menorah, ate potato pancakes and learned about Hanukkah in Israel and Israeli culture. The third-grade choir, Kol Tikvot, took singing voices on the road as they visited Seacrest Retirement Home and Jewish Family Services and brought their joy of Jewish music to the elderly community during the Hanukkah season.


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ANDERSON FINED BY FPPC; HOLIDAY PARTY DRAWS PROTESTS & TOUGH QUESTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

December 17, 2009 (El Cajon) – The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has fined Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) $20,000 for soliciting and accepting donations over legal limits. The FPPC also fined the Fresno Central Committee $29,000 for laundering money from major Anderson donors including Hamann Construction family members, Sycuan and Barona Indian bands, then funneling hefty sums back into Anderson’s campaign coffers. Anderson has since returned more than $100,000 in donations.

 

Fines were levied shortly after Anderson’s annual holiday party last week, where he posed for photos with hundreds of constituents. Outside the party, protesters used a loudspeaker to inform party-goers of the controversy, carrying signs that read “Jail Joel” and calling for the Assemblyman to resign.


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BOOK REVIEW: ANZA-BORREGO: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY

 

Anza-Borrego: A Photographic Journey. By Ernie Cowan.
Foreword by Diana Lindsay (Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute).
San Diego. Sunbelt Publications. 2008. Illustrated with full color plates. 80 pages. $19.95.

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

Cowan captures the essence of this grand desert Park and shares it with the world in this heartfelt account. Mark C. Jorgensen, Superintendent, Anza-Borrego.

December 17, 2009 (Borrego) -- This is the story of a desert love affair. A romantic journey suitable for all ages. San Diego author Ernie Cowan put his heart on his sleeve for Anza-Borrego many years ago. With this luminously illustrated volume, it is easy to understand why.


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NEW COLUMN! ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: Reflections, Tips & Recipes from East County's Backcountry

 

by Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
 

The Gift of Today

 

The land is getting ready for winter. Flowers have died back mostly. The leaves have changed colors and dropped to the ground, a carpet of reddish-yellow, soon fading into earth colors. The seeds have popped from their husks and been harvested by birds. Squirrels have tucked away tons of acorns. Daylight pales early. Temperatures drop quickly as the sun disappears over the western sky. I want to sink into my own ‘cave’ with a fire in the fireplace, a good book, visitors dropping in for a cup of chili (recipe below) and a rowdy game at the community table.

 

The holidays are coming soon, and this time of year can bring joy… or dread.


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SMUGGLED CHRISTMAS PUPPIES INTERCEPTED AT BORDER IN EAST COUNTY

 

County warns public of sick puppies sold through local pet dealers

 


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SDG&E OFFERS TIPS FOR SAFE, 'GREEN' HOLIDAY SEASON

 

Dec. 15, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is encouraging  customers to deck the halls with energy-efficient holiday decorations to help the environment and save money at the same time.
 


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TERM LIMITS FOR SUPERVISORS INITIATIVE QUALIFIES FOR JUNE 2010 BALLOT

SAN DIEGO -- (December 16, 2009) – The Campaign to reform San Diego County government announced today it has passed the next crucial milestone for appearing on the June 2010 ballot when the San Diego County Registrar of Voters qualified the signatures this week.

Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler found that the measure qualified for the ballot after her office projected the campaign to have submitted 118 percent of the required 77,837 signatures needed to appear on the June ballot.


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CDC RECALLS 800,000 SWINE FLU SHOTS FOR CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2009 (San Diego) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a voluntary recall of 800,000 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine in pre-filled syringes for children ages 6 to 36 months. Testing by manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur found reduced potency in four lots distributed nationwide, including 3,100 doses distributed in San Diego County.

 


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GAME OF THE WEEK: PIRATES MAKE SCOTTIES WALK THE PLANK, WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP 26-10

 

 

by Christopher Mohr

 

(SAN DIEGO) December 15 - On a good day, it is difficult to beat Oceanside High School in a CIF championship football game. Prior to Friday's Division II championship game, the Pirates had appeared in 16 championship games and won 11 of them. They had also won the last five championship games, including three against Helix.

 


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EL CAJON TRAFFIC ADVISORY: WASHINGTON AVE. CLOSURE

 

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.


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FREEBIE ALERT! WINTER SOLSTICE WALK DEC. 21

 

Cowles Mountain is the site of a Kumeyaay Indian solstice site and the Canyoneers are conducting a free walk up the mountain on December 21 at 6 am to view the sunrise on the first day of winter.


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DOLLAR-WISE DIVAS: SAVE MONEY – BE CREATIVE WITH GIFT WRAP

Share creative ideas to assist people of all ages with tips to save money and improve their lifestyle!
 

By Nancy and Dawn Clement

 

December 17, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) - We all know the holidays can get extremely expensive. Not only do people buy many gifts to give away, they also spend a good chunk of change on gift-wrap for those gifts. There are ways you can save on gift-wrap, however. You just need to get a little creative. You can even use the money you save to buy more presents!


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NEIGHBOR HEARS SMOKE DETECTOR, CALLS FIRE DEPT.

 

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.


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LOCAL PILOTS AIRLIFT TOYS FOR TOTS

 

December 15, 2009 (San Diego's East County)-- In  East County's mountains, Santa got some help to airlift in toys just in time for Christmas.

 


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ALPINE FIRE POSED CHALLENGES FOR FIREFIGHTERS

By Miriam Raftery
 

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.

 


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SEASONAL FLU CLINICS ANNOUNCED IN LA MESA DEC. 17 & SAN DIEGO DEC. 21

 

December 14, 2009 (La Mesa) -Sharp Grossmont Senior Resource Center is offering seasonal flu vaccine from the county. The seasonal flu arrives in late December and circulates as late as February and March.

 

Seasonal Flu Shots Clinic dates and locations:


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GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT BILL GARRET & WIFE DONATE $27,000 to OSHER FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

 

Judy Garrett recalls father’s love of teaching in community colleges


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