September 2012 Articles

More September 2012 Articles

SHOCKEY FIRE: REPORT FROM THE FIRE LINES

By Nadin Abbott

September 23, 2012 (Campo)-- On arrival at the Golden Acorn Casino, a plume of smoke rose in the distance.The wildfire, named Shockey Fire by CAL-Fire, was making swift progress east towards Jacumba. Some residents forced to evacuate were looking on, concern etched on their faces, as the thick billows rose into the sky.

HUNDREDS OF FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE BLAZE AS DARKNESS FALLS

Update 12:10 a.m. September 24 -- Due to the wildfires, all schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District will be closed on Monday Sept. 24.

Update 11:45 p.m. – The Shockey Fire has swelled to 2,000 acres and is 10% contained, Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Mike Mohler advises.  Evacuation advisory for Jacumba; structure threat and evacuations continue for Boulevard and Tierra del Sol communities. Numerous structures are damaged or destroyed; Southwest power grid is also threatened. 

SHOCKEY FIRE TOPS 1,000 ACRES: FOUR HOMES BURNED

September 23, 2012 (San Diego's East County)Update 5:10 p.m. - The Shockey Fire has topped 1,000 acres, IPN reports. Numerous outbuildings have burned, Cal Fire confirms. Scanner traffic now indicates that at least four homes have burned in the Tierra del Sol area.

SDG&E reports that the Shockey Fire has left 183 customers without power in Live Oak Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba. Powerlines have burned and some lines are down.

Jewel Valley is under mandatory evacuation orders following earlier evacuations of 77 homes in Tierra del Sol. 

The Evacuation Center has been changed to Mountain Empire High School, 3305 Buckman Springs Road.     If you need help evacuating large animals, call 619-767-2675 or 619-236-2341.

THE HOTTEST PARTY IN TOWN IS TONIGHT! JOIN OUR BEER BASH FUNDRAISER -- CHEERS!

Please join us this evening to enjoy some cheer and help fund live reporting of wildfires and other hot news in East County! We now have THOUSANDS of dollars in great prizes!

Join us Wed. Sept. 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at El Cajon Brewing Co. for beer-tasting, great food, live music by Charlie Rae (she's opened for Sheryl Crow and other stars), tons of prizes, hot cars from Carrera Coachwerks and more during El Cajon's Classic Cruises' season finale.   

First 100 guests get a $10 voucher for FREE FOOD OR BEER!

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF FIRE IN BOULEVARD

By Miriam Raftery

September 23, 2012 (Boulevard) – Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale has provided ECM with a dramatic eyewitness account of the Shockey Fire, which started on the Campo Reservation just west of her home in Boulevard.  Power and phone lines have burned down, she reports, adding that the area has no cell phone reception. 

“A Deputy showed up to warn us and recommended evacuation.We stayed and the fire raged through parts of our Morning Star Ranch and our son's property next door. Together we have over 300 acres--much now looks other worldly, stark and smoldering,” wrote Tisdale, who sent photos taken from her property.

HELP CREATE A LIVING PHOTO HISTORY OF EAST COUNTY! OCT. 7 DEADLINE

September 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Help tell East County’s story through  photos! 

The Far East Project, a print/multimedia anthology and performance project, is comprised of personal narratives, interviews and histories from East County communities and residents.  This living history project for our region is sponsored by San Diego Foundation Arts and Culture Foundation along with So Say We All.

You’re invited to submit photos that “capture the soul of East County” as you see it.  Deadline for entries is Sunday, October 7, 2012.

SHOTS FIRED AT CAL-FIRE VEHICLE ON HIGHWAY 94

September 23, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- A Cal Fire vehicle traveling east on Highway 94 at Forrest Gate, in the vicinity of the Shockey Truck Trail fire, has been struck by shots fired.  The shots are believed to be from a pellet gun, a Cal Fire individual reported, scanner traffic indicates.  The driver's side window was broken, but no one was injured. 

LOCAL DEMOCRATS “WELCOME” MITT ROMNEY TO SAN DIEGO

By Nadin Abbott

September 23, 2012 (Del Mar)-- Democrats gathered on the off ramp of Ted Williams Parkway at Carmel Country Road, waving protest signs as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade passed by yesterday.

Among the crowd of about 50 people were veterans, senior citizens and workers, a cross-section of the “47 percent” slammed by Romney in remarks caught on video released last week. In the video, recorded secretly at a fundraiser with wealthy donors, Romney denigrated the 47 percent of Americans who receive some form of government assistance (including Social Security retirees, the military, disabled and poor Americans) as well as those who pay no taxes.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH OCT. 22

September 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- For the first time ever, voters in our state can now register completely online -- no paper form needed. Californians whose current addresses match the address they have on file with the DMV can register (or reregister) at www.sandiegovotes.org.

BODY FOUND IN BURNING VEHICLE IN JAMUL IDENTIFIED

Update September 23, 2012 -- The Sheriff has identified the victim as Dillon A. Davis, 20, of 4S Ranch. 

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2012 (Jamul)—Firefighters summoned to extinguish a vehicle fully engulfed in flames in the 16200 block of Skyline Truck Trail in Jamul at 4 a.m. found the charred remains of a human body. 

"We are treating this as a homicide. The position of the body was suspicious," Captain Duncan Fraser with the Sheriff's homicide detail told ECM. "The body was not behind the wheel." He added that there was no evidence of a vehicle accident and that "it appears to be a deliberately set fire."

Officials want to hear from any witnesses or individuals who have information, he added.

CAMPO FIRE NOW 100 ACRES, SPREADING EAST

FOR UPDATES ON THIS FAST-GROWING FIRE, SEE OUR NEW STORY POSTED HERE:

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/11145

ALSO CHECK OUR HOMEPAGE FOR POTENTIAL NEW STORIES LATER AT www.EASTCountyMagazine.org.

 

Update 1:40 p.m.:  The Shockey Fire is now over 100 acres and spreading rapidly to the east, being driven by a southwest wind, Cal Fire’s Roxanne Provaznik reports.  The Incident Commander has requested 5 additional engines, 4 additional airtankers, 2 additional water tenders, and 1 additional bulldozer.  There are structures out ahead of the fire but they are not immediately threatened, per  Cal Fire.

COUNTY REVERSES COURSE, SAYS IT NO LONGER HAS TO FOLLOW BROWN ACT OPEN GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS

By Miriam Raftery

September 23, 2012 (San Diego)—Back in July, the state suspended the Ralph M. Brown Act.  As a result, cash-strapped cities and counties no longer have to provide agendas to the public prior to meetings--opening the door for a return to backroom actions without public scrutiny.  On July 24, Supervisors affirmed that they intended to continue following the Brown Act anyhow. 

But just two weeks later, Supervisors announced resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard—and named a replacement in the same meeting, with zero public notice. San Diegans for Open Government, which has sued the County for prior Brown Act violations,  sent a cure and correct letter to the County on August 14.

The County’s response?  County Counsel Ellen Pilsecker fired back a letter stating that there’s “no legal basis” for a lawsuit because the Brown Act “no longer exists.”  Clearly, voters can no longer count on open government in San Diego County--a fact confirmed by other recent troubling actions by Supervisors. 

BULLY STOP SEMINAR: SEPT. 28 AT QUEST MARTIAL ARTS IN SPRING VALLEY

September 23, 2012 (Spring Valley)--"Bullying is tough on kids.  It's tough for adults because no one teaches the grownups how to handle it!" says Scot Conway, Ph.D.  "Very often, adults end up playing the bully's game.  With every good intention in the world, adults end up giving power to the bully."

CONGRESSMAN BILBRAY ACCUSED OF BEING "SLUMLORD"

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) – A local organization is accusing Congressman Brian Bilbray of being a “slum lord.”  The independent expenditure group, Much Better Choices, has filmed a video revealing numerous apparent building code violations.   Fox 5 aired the video on Sept. 21.

The video shows old boats, gas cans, a trash-littered weedy lot, and a dilapidated trailer with a growth resembling mold or fungus around windows--all on an unfenced lot adjacent to a school. Neighbors confirm the allegations and have said that they hope to see fines levied and the mess cleaned up.  

TRADER JOE’S PEANUT BUTTER MAY BE LINKED TO SALMONELLA OUTBREAK, FDA WARNS

September 22, 2012 (Washington D.C) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday issued a warning advising consumers not to eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.

POWER OUTAGE IN EL CAJON INVOLVING EXPLOSION IN TRANSFORMER, UNDERGROUND PROBLEMS, AND POSSIBLE GAS LEAK

September 22, 2012 (El Cajon)-- A power outage that left downtown El Cajon, including the courthouse, in the dark yesterday afternoon and evening was started by a transformer fire, ECM has learned.

According to a fire official, there was also an underground explosion and gas leak--a potentially dangerous situation that forced shut down of an adjacent gas station and blocking off a section of Main Street just west of downtown.

The outage began about 3 p.m. SDG&E's website indicated power restoration could take up until 11:59 p.m.  The website blamed a "suspected problem in the overhead electrical system" although there are no powerlines visible near the transformer in question.

FDA ISSUES SAFETY ALERT ON INTESTINOMICINA, DRUG PRODUCT MARKETED AS TREATMENT FOR INFECTIOUS DIARRHEA

September 22, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Intestinomicina, a drug product manufactured in El Salvador and marketed as a treatment for infectious diarrhea and acute gastrointestinal infections. Consumers who have purchased this product should immediately stop taking it and consult with a health care provider.

Intestinominica contains the prescription drug ingredient, chloramphenicol. Oral forms of chloramphenicol were formally withdrawn from the United States market in July 2012 due to the risk of serious and life threatening injuries.

SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL EXPANDING VETERANS' ACCESS TO INFERTILITY TREATMENTS

September 22, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on Wednesday has approved a package of bills, including legislation (S 3313) that would expand access to assisted reproductive technologies for veterans with combat-related infertility conditions and their spouses, CQ Today reports (Fuller, CQ Today, 9/12).

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide coverage for in vitro fertilization and other ART procedures. Since 2003, more than 1,830 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq sustained pelvic or genital injuries that could affect their fertility, according to Department of Defense figures released by Murray's office.

SDSU RANKED AMONG BEST IN NATION BY U.S. NEWS

SDSU  is No. 8 nationally for least debt among graduates, in top 20 for ethnic diversity and top 100 overall

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) -- U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges 2013”  ranks San Diego State University No. 8 in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of debt. Among universities in California, SDSU ranks No. 1 for students with the least debt. According to the magazine, 44 percent of SDSU students graduate with no debt at all and the average amount of a student’s debt is $16,400.

YMCA’S BRANDING EVENT RAISES FUNDS FOR SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS FOR LOCAL YOUTH AND FAMILIES SEPT. 29

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Saturday, September 29, hundreds of East County residents will shine their belt buckles and don their best pair of jeans for East County Family  YMCA’s annual fundraiser called The Branding. The event, now in its 19th year, will be held in a western setting at McGrath Family YMCA in Rancho San Diego.

Since The Branding’s inception, thanks to the generosity of community members, sponsors, donors, and dedicated volunteers, The Branding  has raised more than $1.5 million.

SEEKING FILMS AND VIDEOS FOR 20TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) --Be a part of film history! Media Arts Center San Diego is now seeking films and videos for 20th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival (March 7-17, 2013)! Come celebrate our landmark 20th year with an even broader program of exhilarating new activities, special events, and initiatives. The 20th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF) is now accepting entries for the 2013 festival. SDLFF will take place March 7-17, 2013 at the Ultrastar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center located in San Diego, California. 

MURDER IN LA MESA: MAN SHOT IN FACE DIES; POLICE SEEK WITNESSES

September 22, 2012 (La Mesa) – Around 9:43 last night, La Mesa Police responded to a report of a vehicle accident at Myrtle and Johnson. Upon arrival, they found a Hispanic male face-down on the ground. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his face.

The man died early this morning at a local hospital of his injuries. Police are investigating this as a homicide.  If you have information please call La Mesa Police at 619-463-6611.

PLANES, CARS AND TRUCKS : FREE FAMILY FUN AT RAMONA AIRPORT SAT. SEPT. 22

September 21, 2012 (Ramona)--Looking for free family fun this weekend? The Ramona Airport Open House will display classic and modern hot rods and big trucks; classic war birds will fly in formation and be on display from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Visitors can tour U.S. Forest Service operations, the airport control tower, and Classic Rotors (the helicopter museum.)

There will also be arts and crafts and Smokey Bear for children to enjoy. Special guest Capt. Claude Rowe, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen of WWII fame, will also be there.

KIDS CARE FEST TO OFFER FAMILY-FUN ACTIVITIES AND FREE HEALTHCARE SCREENINGS SATURDAY IN LA MESA



Over 1,000 children anticipated to attend with their families

Grossmont Healthcare District and the City of La Mesa will present Kids Care Fest from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Briercrest Park, 9001 Wakarusa St., La Mesa.

Kids Care Fest is a free, family-oriented event featuring free health care screenings open to the public. Over 1,000 children under age 12 are expected to receive free, potentially life-saving health care screenings including hearing, vision and dental from healthcare professionals at 50 exhibit booths. Free medical information from pediatricians, dermatologists and pharmacists will also be available, as well as flu shots.

More free hands-on activities will include arts and crafts, water safety, astro jumps and pony rides, demonstrations and displays from police and fire officials--plus giveaways and more.

SAN DIEGO COALITION CALLS ON CITY COUNCIL TO SAY “NO” TO POWER PLANT NEAR MISSION TRAILS PARK

September 21, 2012 (San Diego)-A coalition of local community groups announces that it will fill the San Diego City Council chambers on Monday, September 24 at 2 p.m.

They will call on the City Council to uphold a recent Planning Commission decision to deny a community plan amendment request that would have paved the way for a 100 megawatt gas-fired power plant on open space designated land adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park.

"47% WELCOMING COMMITTEE” TO GREET MITT ROMNEY’S ARRIVAL IN SAN DIEGO SATURDAY

Days after a video was released in which Mitt Romney dismissed half the country for taking federal benefits and/or paying no taxes -- taking a swipe at students, veterans, seniors, the unemployed, and average wage-earners -- the Republican presidential nominee will be in Carmel Valley tomorrow for a $1,000-a-head fundraiser. 

The County Democratic Party is organizing a "47% Welcoming Committee" protest on the route to the event on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on the Carmel Country Road / Highway 56 Overpass. Click here for more details on how to participate.

EDITORIAL: SUPERVISORS SEEK TO SQUELCH NOTICE OF PLANNING GROUP MEETINGS, HIDE AGENDAS FROM PUBLIC

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Thanks to Valley Roadrunner editor David Ross for giving us a heads up on County Supervisors’ latest attempt to hide their actions from public scrutiny.  The newest scheme to keep the public in the dark is a proposal that would limit publication of community planning group meetings to a tiny two-by-two inch square ad in print publications—with no agenda included.

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