December 2012 Articles

More December 2012 Articles

RAMONA MECHANIC KILLED IN BUS ACCIDENT

Photo courtesy 10 News

December 13, 2012 (Ramona) – A school bus mechanic, 32, from Ramona has died of injuries following a collision .  The mechanic was working to repair a San Diego Unified School District bus that had broken down on the right shoulder of I-805 southbound under El Cajon Boulevard at 6:55 a.m. when a 2005 Nissan Altima driver lost control in heavy rain and slammed into the bus.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Nissan driver, a 41-year-old woman, lost control due to her speed on the wet roadway. Her vehicle struck the rear of the bus, trapping the mechanic in the engine compartment and causing serious injuries.

STATE REDUCES FIRE FEE ON RURAL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS



December 13, 2012 (San Diego's East County--The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) , after working with the San Diego County Fire Authority along with several other agencies, today announced that residents within County Service Area (CSA) 135 are eligible for the $35.00 reduction on the State’s Fire Prevention Fee.

“CSA 135 includes all unincorporated areas of East County including the backcountry,” Captain Mike Mohler, public information officer at Cal Fire, told East County Magazine.  The new Fee, which is being assessed on all habitable structures within the State Responsibility Area, is set at $150, but has a $35 reduction when the home is within a local fire protection agency.

TEAM MEMBERS AND GUESTS FROM VIEJAS CASINO & OUTLETS DONATE OVER 7,000 TOYS TO LOCAL SALVATION ARMY

December 13, 2012  (San Diego)– As an air of excitement and anticipation hung over the 37th Annual Stoney & Rob’s Holiday Party and Fundraiser, the curtain was raised on the stage of the DreamCatcher at Viejas Casino last week to reveal more than 7,000 toys that will go to needy families in the area. The exact number this year was 7,217—more than twice the 3,000 gifts raised last year by Team Members and guests at Viejas Casino and Outlets.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR EL CAJON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR; DEADLINE FOR NOMINEES IS DECEMBER 21

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon ) -- Since 1955, El Cajon's civic, service, and fraternal organizations have helped to select an El Cajon “Citizen of the Year” from the many people in El Cajon who contribute to the city through years of volunteer civic and community service. Anyone may make a nomination for this year's Citizen of the Year award by the December 21, 2012 deadline. This award is for volunteer (un-paid) service to the community which benefits the city and residents of El Cajon.  Applicants for El Cajon Citizen of the year need not live within the city limits of El Cajon, but must live in East County.

CHALDEAN LEADERS PRESENT 300 TOYS FOR NEEDY CHILDREN IN EL CAJON

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon) – Two community leaders,  Hani Daymia, President of the Chaldean American Association, and Ben Kalasho today donated 300 toys for children in East County to brighten their holiday season.

The Chaldean American Association is a social club located in El Cajon. Chaldean Americans represent 38% of El Cajon’s population, a segment that continues to grow each year. Daymia is the current president of the Chaldean American Association and has been a leading advocate for community involvement and outreach.

SDG&E WARNS BUSINESS CUSTOMERS ABOUT PAYMENT SCAM

December 13, 2012 (San Diego)--San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is alerting business customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that has been targeting SDG&E commercial customers. Reports indicate that individuals are misrepresenting themselves as utility employees by calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if an immediate payment is not made. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is then removed.

WORKERS DEMAND BETTER PAY AT GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

By Nadin Abbott

December 13, 2012 (La Mesa) Housekeeping and dietary workers were once again outside Grossmont Hospital walking the sidewalk yesterday.  The employees work for Sodexo, a subcontractor whose workers are paid less than Sharp Hospital employees but are charged more for their healthcare, say union representatives who seek fairer wage and benefit terms for Sodexo workers.

Sodexo, a contract company that provides hospital personnel, was not available for comments on the ongoing labor negotiations.

FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH

December 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Rosalio Cardenas, 29, has died of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident yesterday at 7:51 a.m. on Highway 15 northbound near University Avenue. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, two motorcyclists were splitting lanes in heavy traffic when the Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Cardenas slowed and was struck by the rider of the Hyosung motorcycle.  Both riders were ejected. Cardenas landed in front of a Freightliner semi truck and was struck by the right front tire.

BOOK REVIEW: ATHENIA TORPEDOED

Athenia Torpedoed: The U-Boat Attack that Ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. By Francis M. Carroll. Annapolis, MD. Naval Institute Press, 2012. 254 pp. 41 photographs. Notes, bibliography and index. $29.95

Reviewed by Walter Hall

“It’s the end of the world; the end of everything.” US Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt on eve of Britain’s declaration of war, Sept 3, 1939.

December 14, 2012 (San Diego)--Very few readers today will remember that the first Americans killed in World War II were not at Pearl Harbor. Almost two years earlier, 30 Americans were among the 112 lost when the German torpedo that opened the Battle for the Atlantic struck and doomed the Donaldson Lines ship Athenia

MAJOR ACCIDENTS AND FLOODING: I-805 SOUTH

December 13, 2012 (Bonita) 8:35 a.m. -- Avoid 805 through the Bonita and Southbound areas this morning, where major flooding is reported by CHP and at least two serious accidents have occurred.  At I-805 south in Bonita, a four-vehicle collision has occurred including a semi-truck, CHP report.  At I-805 and Meade, IPN reports an accident involving two school buses with a driver trapped in the engine compartment.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS VOTE TO RESTRICT ROLE OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND SPONSOR GROUPS

Local planning group members and residents voice concerns over stifling of powers for communities and heavy influence of developers

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – By a 5-0 vote, San Diego’s Board of Supervisors this week unanimously voted to  place limits on the powers and influence of community planning group and sponsor group members.   

The action follows recommendations made by a developer-stacked Red Tape Reduction Task Force, which had sought to eliminate planning and sponsor groups completely.  Supervisors previously voted to retain the groups, but make some changes.  But changes approved this week are sparking concern and outrage among many local planning and sponsor group members, as well as the public that they serve.

One local planning representative is even calling for a ballot measure to shift power from Supervisors back to local planning group members and the people in rural communities.

GROSSMONT HIGH GRADUATE AMONG VICTIMS OF OREGON SHOPPING MALL SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2012 (El Cajon ) – Cindy Waddell graduated from Grossmont High School in 1976 and later lived in Scripps Ranch, earning her nursing degree from San Diego State Universtiy before moving to Oregon. Also known as Cindy Passalacqua and later Cindy Yuille, she lost her life in a shooting rampage yesterday at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall near Portland, Oregon.

Former neighbor Linda Hughes recalled the slain woman as a “devoted mother, a sweet person,” ECM news partner 10 News reports. She was working as a hospice nurse in Oregon at the time of her death.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HAS THE TIME COME FOR ALPINE TO DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE COUNTY BY INCORPORATING?

By Lou Russo

“We in Alpine …seem to be saddled with governments that cannot or will not serve us, but instead seem to serve everyone else but us.”—Lou Russo

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

December 12, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

MAJOR INJURIES IN FERTILIZER TRUCK COLLISION IN ALPINE

December 12, 2012 (Alpine)—Major injuries are reported at a collision on I-8 east at Tavern Road in Alpine.  According to the CHP website, a  black Lexus struck a semi-truck from behind, then plummeted off the roadway. 

The truck, which lost an axle, was hauling fertilizer.  A major gouge in the roadway is reported at the CHP website and the right lane is blocked. A helicopter has been called to the scene and SDG&E has also been dispatched due to damage to a power pole.

COUNTY GIVING FREE SAND & BAGS TO RESIDENTS

People Encouraged to Protect their Properties, Keep Roadways and Storm Drains Clear

December 12, 2012 (San Diego County)--Winter rain is on its way, and San Diego County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is once again giving away free sandbags to people in unincorporated communities to help them protect their homes, neighborhoods and streets from flooding, erosion, mud and debris flows.

LIGHTS, BLADE SHADOWS DISTURB RESIDENCES IN OCOTILLO AFTER PATTERN ENERGY BRINGS WIND PROJECT ONLINE

By Miriam Raftery, videos by Jim Pelley

View video of shadow flicker.

View video of  flashing lights

View lights as seen through photographer's home windows.

December 9, 2012 (Ocotillo) –Ocotillo Express Wind,  built on 12,500 acres of public, formerly protected federal Bureau of Land Management property, is now filled by dozens of towering wind turbines. Each massive turbine flashes red lights all night long. During the day, long blade shadows whirl across the desert sands, so there is no time when beleaguered Ocotillo residents or campers may escape the industrial impacts.

HOLIDAY PARADE AT LA MESA'S VICTORIAN-STYLE CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE DECEMBER 14 AND 15

December 11 2012 (La Mesa)—In this centennial year, La Mesa’s annual Christmas in the Village celebration will also feature a holiday parade.  The parade will roll down La Mesa Boulevard at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 14 at 15. 

During the celebration, the entire downtown village transforms into a winter wonderland complete with horse-drawn carriages and bonfires, strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers.  Kids will also enjoy puppet shows, carnival and pony rides, and visits with Santa.

WORKERS RALLY TO PROTECT THE SAFETY NET FOR RETIREES

By Nadin Abbott

December 10, 2012 (San Diego)-- The mood was defiant as workers from throughout San Diego County converged at 750 B Street in downtown San Diego for a rally to protect Social Security and the rest of the social safety. This event was one of a hundred rallies held today around the nation urging Congress not to slash benefits as the "fiscal cliff" deadline approaches. Several rallies were held locally, including protests at San Diego’s Congressional members offices as well as downtown.

READER'S EDITORIAL: CAN SAN DIEGO GROW AMERICA’S FINEST GREEN REGION OVER THE NEXT DECADE?

Moonshot for Green Job Creation Within Reach of New San Diego Leaders, Community

By Kathleen Connell

December 8, 2012 (San Diego)--As the post-election celebrations end and 2013 approaches, new leaders have been elected in San Diego in what many consider a historic moment in the region. At the same time, San Diegans, the nation, and the globe are struggling to come out of a recession so deep, it is often referred to as the second Great Depression. Meanwhile profound challenges - climate change and Hurricane Sandy - have swept through the East Coast and the consciousness of Americans as Sandy pushed the detritus of climate denial aside in its terrible force, damage and cost. 

PROPANE TANKS EXPLODE, CAUSING FIRE THAT DAMAGES EXTERIOR OF GINGHAM’S RESTAURANT IN LA MESA VILLAGE

Neighbor who reported fire says rooster crowing alerted him to the blaze

By Miriam Raftery

December 9, 2012 (La Mesa) – “It sounded like really big thunder,” ECM writer and La Mesa resident Ariele Brooks said of propane tank explosions that damaged the exterior of Gingham’s Restaurant on La Mesa Boulevard downtown.  “First my back door rattled two times about 5 or 10 minutes apart…Nothing was out there, so I thought maybe it was an explosion.  But then there was this very loud sound.”

Another neighbor, Bob James, told La Mesa Today that a rooster crowing awakened him. Spotting flames, he called 911.  "The rooster is a hero!" he proclaimed. (No word on whether the plucky foul who saved the downtown village will sway councilmembers on the merits of owning roosters, which is currently prohibited in La Mesa.)

SAN DIEGO COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY BACKS AMENDMENT TO OVERTURN “CITIZENS UNITED” DECISION

December 7, 2012 (San Diego)--In a stunning unanimous vote Tuesday, the San Diego City Council supported a Constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed virtually unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns. The vote was 8-0 to limit the power of money in politics, with one absent councilmember not voting.

The resolution asks Congress to begin the process to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission “so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech.”

BROWN ACT IS BACK IN FORCE: OPEN GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS RESTORED

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The public’s right to know what’s on the agenda for local government boards is now fully restored--thanks to a provision tucked within the fine print of Proposition 30, the tax measure to aid schools passed by voters in November.  

Back in July, the cash-strapped California Legislature suspended a section of the Brown Act that required local government boards to post agendas at least 72 hours before a meeting.  Because the law required the state to reimburse local governments for such costs, the state simply eliminated citizens’ right to know what actions government bodies had scheduled.

“Since the election, the Brown Act mandate is fully back in force and agencies can no longer claim reimbursement for mandated costs.  That's a side effect of the passage of Prop 30,” Terry Francke, general counsel at Californians Aware (CALAWARE) told ECM.

STORES CAUGHT SELLING TO DRUNK DECOYS, SHERIFF OPERATION REVEALS

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2012 (Bonita) – Today Sheriff’s deputies, with help from Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, conducted drunk decoy operations in Imperial Beach and Bonita.  Of 11 retail outlets visited, six sold alcohol to individuals who appeared to be intoxicated.

An undercover Deputy Sheriff was sprayed with alcohol for the operation, then entered the establishments acting intoxicated and reeking of alcohol.  Where alcohol was sold to the decoy, plainclothes deputies entered and provided informational handouts to the persons who made the sales; no enforcement actions were taken.

MOUSE IN CAMPO TESTS POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS

December 6, 2012  (Campo)--A mouse trapped in Campo during routine monitoring has tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, officials from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health said Thursday.

County officials said it was normal to find rodents carrying hantavirus in San Diego County, but that they rarely posed a threat to people if they remained in the wild. However, they said people should protect themselves whenever cleaning up after rodents if they found them in their homes or on their properties.

RED FLAG ALERT ISSUED FOR HIGH FIRE DANGER: HIGH WINDS AND FOG ALSO FORECAST

December 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning  starting tonight at 6 p.m. through Tuesday at 2 p.m. for San Diego’s inland valleys.  A red flag alert means conditions for wildfire danger are high.

In addition, a high wind warning has been issued from now through 4 p.m. Monday by the National Weather Service in San Diego.  A dense fog advisory has also been issued for tonight and tomorrow morning.  Use caution if you must drive during these conditons.

Backcountry residents concerned about potential proactive electricicty shutdowns due to high winds can monitor SDG&E's website for updates at http://www.sdge.com/tools/windspeed-dashboard

"TOTAL PEA SOUP": HEAVY FOG ON MAJOR FREEWAYS IN EAST COUNTY

December 8, 2012 (La Mesa)--East County freeways are socked in by fog described as "pea soup" by ECM journalist Paul Kruze. Kruze reports zero visibility at 10:10 p.m. through La Mesa including the junction of Interstate 8 and State Route 125. Kruze said he relied on speed bumps to avoid going off the roadway due to the thick fog.

The National Weather Service has forecast heavy fog for tonight across much of the county, as well as high winds.  Avoid driving if possible and be sure to use low beam settings on your headlights if you encounter fog.

THE SAN DIEGO POTTERY TOUR BEGINS IN EAST COUNTY DECEMBER 8 – 9

December 7, 2012 (San Diego) – East County makes a strong showing in the upcoming San Diego Pottery Tour on December  8 & 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The tour is a celebration of ceramics, city-wide with over 25 potters in 10 locations from Spring Valley to Point Loma.  Seven of the studios are located in East County with local artists David Cuzick, Mary Cuzick, Eric Rempe and Danae Dehne, to name just a few.

The tour is self-guided and free. Click here for a map of the studios along with which artists are located at them. 

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