Miriam Raftery

ECM WINS TRIO OF AWARDS FROM SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2019 (San Diego) – East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery and contributing editor Paul Kruze once again won awards in the San Diego Press Club 46th annual Excellence in Journalism Awards.  The awards honored coverage of the West Fire in Alpine as well as investigations into legal and ethical scandals embroiling El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho, who later resigned.

ECM has received a total of 116 journalism awards since our lanch in 2008, 11 years ago -- an average of 10 per year

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD AMENDS POLICY ON ACCESS TO RECORDINGS OF PUBLIC MEETINGS—AFTER LEGAL DEMAND ON ECM’S BEHALF

CalAware warns district after CVUSD destroys requested school board meeting recordings

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Updated with CVUSD letter to CalAware)

March 28, 2019  (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees voted 3-2 on Tuesday to change its policy on board meeting audio recordings. The action came after the district received a legal warning letter from Californians Aware (CalAware) regarding the district’s destruction of recordings from the Dec. and Nov. public meetings requested in a California Public Records Act request by East County Magazine in December.

Instead of destroying audio of board meetings after 30 days, the district will now keep them for one year and will make them available to the public on request on compact disc (CD). The measure, spearheaded by board trustee Jill Barto, was affirmed by Barto along with trustees Karen Clark-Meija and Jim Miller. Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) trustees President Tamara Otero and Jo Alegria voted “no” on the new policy.

The letter addressed to Otero accused the CVUSD of violating multiple sections of the California Government Code relating to its refusal to permit inspection and copying of audiotape recordings made by the District of open and public meetings. The government act violated is more commonly known as the “Ralph M. Brown Act” which legally obligates government agencies and bodies to abide by specific rules regarding open meetings and access to public documents.

Audio: 

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE PICKS UP MORE AWARDS

 



By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Three East County Magazine writers received honors in San Diego Press Club’s 2018 Awards of Excellence presented this week.  All were entered in the online and daily newspapers category, bringing our total to 112 journalism awards as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

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

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2018 (San Diego) -- The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) San Diego Chapter presented the Gloria Penner Award for political affairs reporting to East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery and reporter Paul Kruze for their entry titled "Kalasho threats."

The judges commented, "Nothing says tough political reporting like exposing a corrupt politican, and the judges believe that Gloria Penner would have been proud of the journalists' work to expose El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho."

The award, named for the late, great KPBS political journalist, was one of four honors won by ECM at last night's SPJ awards dinner at the Kona Kai resort on Shelter Island. The award includes a $250 prize.

The entry detailed threats and retaliatory actions made by Councilman Kalasho, a mayoral candidate, after our news publication reported on his legal and ethical controversies including judicial findings of sexual harassment, fraud, defamation and cyberharassment against beauty pageant contestants and a businessman. 

FOUR EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE REPORTERS WIN AWARDS FROM SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County Magazine) – Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego has released the list of winners in its 2017 journalist competition.  Four East County Magazine journalists are among the award winners:   Jonathan Goetz, Rachel Williams, Rebecca Jefferis Williamson, and editor Miriam Raftery.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS FIRST AMENDMENT PRIZE, 5 AWARDS TOTAL FROM SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – East County Magazine received five awards in the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego Pro Chapter’s 2016 Journalism Awards Contest.  Journalists honored include ECM editor Miriam Raftery, reporters Mike Allen and Janis Russell, and sound editors Ed Barrena and Leon Thompson.

Honors include the special First Amendment Award and a $100 prize for our series on county efforts to suppress free speech and first place in the multicultural category for our story on local Chaldeans’ efforts to obtain release of Iraqi Christians in an Otay immigration detention facility, including both written reporting for our website and audio coverage that ran on our radio show on KNSJ.

2015 WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED BY SAN DIEGO-EAST COUNTY CHAMBER

 

 

East County Magazine Editor and Founder Miriam Raftery is among those honored

Photo:  2015 WILL winners (from left to right): Elizabeth Smith Chavez, Erica Pinto, Wendy Urushima-Conn, Mara Fortin, Molly Nocon, Miriam Raftery. Not shown: Carey Guthrie, Shelly Zimmerman.

October 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has honored eight women with Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) awards.

Honorees included: Mara Fortin, Nothing Bundt Cakes; Carey Guthrie, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors; Molly Nocon, Noah Homes; Erica Pinto, Jamul Indian Village; Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine; Elizabeth Smith Chavez, Smith Chavez Law; Wendy Urushima-Conn, Asian Business Association; Shelly Zimmerman, San Diego Police Department.

According to Leah McIvor, 2015 event chair, a record 41 nominees were considered by the committee for the awards program, now in its 13th year. She said the recipients were honored for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business.

ECM EDITOR NOMINATED FOR “WOMEN OF INFLUENCE” AWARDS

 

East County News Service

March 14, 2015 (San Diego) – East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery is among the nominees for the  Women of Influence Awards set to honor women business leaders as well as organizations and individuals championing women in leadership. 

More than 250 nominations were submitted and 137 final nominees will be honored by ConnectedWomenofInfluence.com at the event on March 25th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mission Valley Hilton.  For tickets and details, visit www.womenofinfluenceawards.com.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS 11 AWARDS FROM SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB

 

East County News Service

October 29, 2014 (San Diego's East County)-East County Magazine picked up 11 more awards in San Diego Press Club’s 2014 Excellence in Journalism awards on October 28th, bringing our total to 80 journalism awards since our launch in 2008.

This year’s awards including winners in the following categories: breaking news, environment, general news, investigative reporting, political/government, public service/consumer advocacy, criminal justice, health and medicine, radio special reporting and radio feature categories.

To read and hear our award-winning reports, click "read more" and scroll down.

ECM WINS 10 SPJ AWARDS FOR ONLINE NEWS AND RADIO SHOW

 

East County News Service

July 9, 2014 (San Diego) –East County Magazine picked up 10 journalism awards tonight in the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego contest, including four first place awards and for the third year in a row, the James Julian Memorial Award for community reporting.  

ECM picked up two awards for reports aired on KNSJ radio, as well as honors for online reporting. This brings ECM’s total awards to 69 since our launch in 2008.

“This is public service journalism at its finest—identify the problem for readers and track the changes. It worked in this case. Bravo,” commented a judge for the James Julian award, which includes a $100 cash prize for our story titled Why is County Veterans Service Department ignoring rural East County vets?  By Miriam Raftery.  After the report aired, Supervisor Dianne Jacob introduced a measure later adopted to bring veterans’ services to county libraries in rural locations.

ROSE PARADE FLOAT TO HONOR MEATBALL, RESCUED BEAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2013 (Alpine) -- Meatball’s fame just keeps growing.  On New Year’s Day, the Rose Parade will feature a float honoring Meatball, the now famous black bear residing at Lions, Tigers and Bears, a rescue facility in Alpine. 

Meatball was removed from the wild after he started raiding trashcans in a suburban Glendale neighborhood, where he had a fondness for frozen meatballs. Now the City of Glendale is drawing attention to the situation of Meatball of other wildlife with its float in the Rose Parade. The float, titled “Let’s Be Neighbors” will feature a mechanized Meatball in a trash can surrounded by other forest creatures.

WHOOPING COUGH ON THE RISE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Five new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, have been reported at area schools this week according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.  The new cases include a student at Maryland Avenue Elementary School in La Mesa here in East County.

There have been 216 cases of pertussis reported in the county so far this year, compared to last year’s total of 165 cases for the entire year, so the rate of whooping cough is on the rise.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Here’s a heads up for some key items coming up soon on the agendas in Lemon Grove, El Cajon, and at the San Diego Supervisors.

Lemon Grove’s City Council meets on Tuesday, November 5.  This week, the agenda includes proposed locations for a dog park, an expert panel on community gardens, and a report on economic development challenges and opportunities in Lemon Grove.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS 11 AWARDS FROM SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Nine East County Magazine team members combined to win 11 awards in the 40th annual “Excellence in Journalism Awards” presented by San Diego Press Club on October 29.  ECM has won a total of 58 journalism awards since our launch in September 2008.

Our winning news entries dealt primarily with compelling public health and safety issues(wildfires and industrial-scale energy projects), though we also picked up awards for photography, feature-writing and commentary.

Congratulations to our winners!  In alphabetical order, they are:  Nadin Abbott, Parke Ewing, Paul Kruze, Brian Lafferty, Ron Logan, Jim Pelley, Miriam Raftery, Sierra Robinson, and Darin Sefcik.

SANTEE COUNCIL VOTES TO APPROVE ANNEXATION OF CASTLEROCK

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By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2013 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council has voted to allow annexation of the controversial Castlerock Development project, meaning the land will be transferred from San Diego to Santee.  Pardee Homes plans to build 283 single family homes, 147 multi-family dwellings and a public park at the project. 

The Council has fought to oppose Castlerock on the boundary of Santee and San Diego, but the City of San Diego approved it.  Unable to block the project, Santee’s Council decided to allow annexation so that developer fees and property taxes from the new homes will be paid to Santee. In turn, Santee will provide services as fire protection.

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO PROVIDE CHANCE FOR PAROLE TO JUVENILE INMATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2013 (Sacramento)—Many juveniles who were tried as adults and imprisoned before their 18th birthdays will be able to ask for parole after serving 15 to 25 years, depending on the severity of their crime.  The measure, Senate Bill 260, was signed into law in September by Governor Jerry Brown.

In San Diego, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has sought to try even very young juveniles for murder, notably a 10-year-old Lakeside boy accused of fatally stabbing a 12-year-old playmate. (A judge later found that child unfit to stand trial and sentenced him to a treatment facility.)

RAMONA WATER DISTRICT BOARD SEEKS TO OUST MEMBER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2013 (Ramona) – The Ramona Water District Board is trying to oust one of its elected members. Last year, the board voted to change its meeting time from 4:30 to 2 o clock p.m.  But the director, Kit Kesinger, was absent and says he can’t attend meetings so early in the day.  He wants the board to change the time back to 4:30, when more members of the public can also attend.

GONZALEZ BILL PROVIDES IMMIGRANTS PROTECTION FROM FRAUD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent payment for immigration reform services until federal immigration reform is enacted and to ensure that other consumer protections are provided to immigrants pursuing a pathway to U.S. citizenship under the federal immigration reform act pending in Congress.

ALCOHOL ORDINANCE ON EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA FOR AUGUST 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Council will consider an ordinance to restrict alcohol sales at its next meeting on August 27.

The law aims to restrict sales of single-serve alcohol containers to individuals with repeated arrests for alcohol-related offenses.  The law would not affect restaurants or bars.  It would restrict sales at future stores and would also require current stores to comply with the law. 

TOYOTA PROPOSAL FOR ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD IN SANTEE RAISES OBJECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2013 (Santee) – An environmental group has lodged a formal complaint over a proposed electronic billboard in Santee, contending that the sign violates city laws and further, should require an environmental review.

The LEC-powered video billboard proposed by a Toyota dealership would stand 70 feet tall and be 321 square feet in size.  It would tower above the junction of highways 125 and 52.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS, AWARDS AT MANESS VINEYARDS’ FOOD AND WINE MIXER

 

By Miriam Raftery, photos by Sue Brenner and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Award winners Raftery, Jacob and Kerns with Maness; photo by Sue Brenner Photography

June 30, 2013 (Mount Helix) –At the 5th annual Maness Vineyards’ Food and Wine Mixer earlier this month, Greg Maness presented Trailblazer awards honoring Supervisor Dianne Jacob, East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery, and winemaker/  Ramona Vintners Magazine Editor Teri Kerns for their pioneering efforts benefitting the local wine industry.  Maness also made another big announcement. At the event at Manor Vineyard on Mount Helix June 15, benefitting  St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

“”We have recently broken ground and designed the new [St. Madeleine’s] Mad Hatter Vineyard,” Maness told the crowd, then promptly asked for supporters to adopt  rows of grapevines.

CHEERS! 5TH ANNUAL FOOD & WINE MIXER TO BE HELD JUNE 15 AT MANOR VINEYARD ON MT. HELIX

 

Honors to be presented to “pioneering women” in local wine industry at Maness Vineyards’ event

May 27, 2013 (Mt. Helix) –  East County Magazine  Editor Miriam Raftery is among three honorees slated to receive an “Award of Merit” on June 15 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the 5th annual Maness Vineyards; Food & Wine Mixer.  This year’s event will be held at Stephanie Young’s Manor Vineyard on Mt. Helix.  Other honorees are Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Teri Kerns, Executive Editor of the Ramona Valley Wine Region Magazine.

Guests are invited to bring two bottles of wine to share and enjoy a barbecue luncheon and wine-tasting. An opportunity drawing will also be held, with proceeds benefitting St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for developmentally disabled adults.

ECM EDITOR WINS SD ROSTRA/FLASH REPORT CONTEST TO PREDICT ELECTION OUTCOMES

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –Yes, there is a free lunch!

Each election, SD Rostra/Flash Report’s Barry Jantz holds a contest to see who can predict the most local election outcomes based on questions he dream up.  The winner (me!) successfully nailed eight of ten questions, plus three tie-breakers. 

The prize?  Free entry to the next “Albondigas” luncheon for political movers and shakers in East County.  I look forward to savoring my winnings. Hmm...maybe I should try my luck at predicting horseracing next....

ECM EARNS 11 AWARDS AT SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB CEREMONY

8 of 11 awards recognize ECM's in-depth coverage of energy issues in our region

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Continuing our proud tradition, East County Magazine was once again among the top recipients of honors at tonight’s San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.  All entries were in the Daily Newspapers and Websites category, going up against the major print newspapers and online news sites in our region.

The majority of the honors recognized ECM's in-depth coverage of the impacts of major energy projects, including industrial wind turbines, on local rural, mountain and desert communities. ECM editor Miriam Raftery won nine awards, including a first place award in general news for Silence of the Lambs: U.S. Government authorizes killing of endangered bighorns in path of wind project.   Raftery and ECM intern Mia Myklebust shared an additional first place award in the public service/consumer advocacy category for Jacumba: A town surrounded. That story focused on the impacts of major energy projects on a small rural community.

Scroll down to see our full list of winners and read the winning entries.

ECM EDITOR MIRIAM RAFTERY TO SPEAK ON WIND ENERGY ISSUES IN OUR REGION OCT. 18

October 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Nearly 50 industrial-scale renewable energy projects are planned in San Diego’s East County and neighboring Imperial County.  San Diego Supervisors will vote Dec. 5 on a wind ordinance that could open vast tracts of scenic areas and rural communities to skyscraper-sized wind turbines to harness renewable power. There are costs, however, to ther environment and risks to health and safety of residents, including heightened fire danger.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, ECM editor Miriam Raftery will be the guest speaker at the East County Democratic Club, making a presentation on impacts these big energy projects pose for on our region.  The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon. Program starts at 7 p.m., if you wish to purchase dinner, arrive at 6 p.m. 

If you would like a presentation on wind energy issues to your organization, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org to arrange for a speaker or a Powerpoint presentation that you may use.

ECM WRITERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS TO BE HONORED AT 2012 SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB AWARDS

September 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – For the fifth year in a row, East County Magazine reporters and photographers will be taking home awards in the San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.  Nadin Abbott, Tom Abbott, Jim  Pelley, Ryan Schuler, and ECM editor Miriam Raftery are all winners in the 2012 competition.

The winning categories—and just how many awards ECM has won – will be announced on October 23 at the San Diego Hall of Champions.

ECM EDITOR MIRIAM RAFTERY WINS TOP SPJ AWARDS FOR COMMUNITY REPORTING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM

 

June 29, 2012 (San Diego) – The Society of Professional Journalists' San Diego chapter has awarded East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery the James Julian Memorial Award for best community service series.  Raftery received the honor, along with a $100 prize, for her series titled FEMA refund demand sparks firestorm of controversy.

The series also won an honorable mention in daily news reporting. In addition, Raftery won a second place award for environmental reporting for an East County Magazine article titled County issues draft wind ordinance; backcountry leaders level harsh criticism.

ECM EDITOR ON WIND WISE RADIO AT 4:30 TODAY

East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery will be a guest on WindWise Radio.  The network, which specializes in wind energy issues, broadcasts nationally via live-stream over the Internet.

The show starts at 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, with Raftery slated at 4:40. She will talk about new developments with the Ocotillo Express and Tule Wind projects locally. 

Preston Arrowweed, an elder in the Quechan tribe which has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the project, will also be a guest on the program.

Listen live at http://www.windwiseradio.org and please call in with your questions and comments at (213)943-3683! Tis is a great chance to air your concerns on wind issues nationally.

 

 

ECM SWEEPS PRESS CLUB AWARDS—AGAIN

East County Magazine News Service
 
October 3, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Ten of East County Magazine’s writers, photographers and videographers have won awards in the San Diego Press Club’s 2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards. 
 
“We’re delighted to learn that this year’s list of winners includes not only professional career journalists, but also community volunteers, interns and photographers who receiving training from ECM in citizen-journalism skills,” said Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of the nonprofit publication. “Congratulations to our dedicated team.”
 

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