February 2013 Articles

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: NO MORE RECESS APPOINTMENTS

One More Way the Republican Minority Continues to Run the Country

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

February 22, 2013 (San Diego) -- Just four days after President Obama was sworn in for his second term, a Right-wing federal appeals judge gave the Republican Senate minority new powers to take over the country and shoot down whole government departments whose missions or policies displease them. Judge David Sentelle, one of the most powerful people you’ve never heard of, and two of his colleagues on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a sweeping ruling on January 25 that effectively ended the ability of a President to make so-called “recess appointments” to government departments that require Senate confirmation.

GUHSD BOARD VOTES AGAINST ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL RESOLUTION

 

By Jake Christie

ECM editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story

February 20, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--In a four-to-one vote, the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board  this week decided to not adopt a resolution to resubmit building plans for a 12th high school in Alpine. There was no public input from the small audience, and the item was not discussed until about an hour and 30 minutes into the meeting. The Board members voted 4-1 to defeat the motion, with only Jim Stieringer voting in favor of his resolution.

DEVASTATION RESTORATION? QUESTIONS RAISED ON ADEQUACY OF REPLANTINGS AT OCOTILLO ENERGY PROJECT SITES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2013 (Ocotillo) – As mitigation for major projects including Sunrise Powerlink and Ocotillo Express Wind Facility, energy companies were required to mitigate damage by restoring vegetation.  But now residents and some environmentalists are raising criticisms over the level of restoration efforts put forth by Pattern Energy and SDG&E.

 

 

 

 

TWO TEENS ARRESTED IN 7-11 ARMED ROBBERY SERIES

February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of Forrest Gunner Fermil and Kailee Ray, both 18, in connection with three armed robberies within an hour on February 18 committed by a masked man.

The suspects were arrested in the 10000 block of Vista Parque in Lakeside at 3 p.m. today. After developing a promising lead, El Cajon Police workined in junction with investigators from the Santee Sheriff’s Station and located the first suspect.

MARTY BLOCK INTRODUCES SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURE TO PROTECT STUDENTS AND TEACHERS FROM INTRUDERS

 

SB 316 would require school doors to lock from the inside

February 20, 2013 (Sacramento)--State Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego, 39th district) introduced legislation Tuesday requiring all classrooms with five or more persons to install devices that allow doors to lock from the inside by January 1, 2015. The California Federation of Teachers is sponsoring the legislation.

Following the school shooting tragedies in Newtown, Conn. and Taft, Calif., schools are rethinking safety procedures, including additional protections against campus intruders. A 2010 analysis of similar legislation estimated that 70 percent of schools already have such locks. Without the locks, teachers must go outside to secure their classrooms during emergencies. Block’s proposal would ensure that every school regardless of age complies with the inside lock requirement.

CALLING CREATIVE MINDS: BARKITECTURE 2013 SEEKS ENTRIES FROM DOGGY DREAM HOUSES TO CAT CONDOS

 

February 20, 2013 (El Cajon)--Get the Drawing board out and get ready--the El Cajon Animal Center for Education and Services (“ACES Foundation”) invites you to be a part of the first “Barkitecture 2013” by designing, building, and donating a “doggy dream house” or “cat condo” for the ACES Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to assist the El Cajon Animal Shelter. Donated dog houses and cat condos will be displayed during late April at Westfield Parkway Plaza. Each will then be auctioned to the highest bidder at an exciting and unique reception April 28. This event is not to be missed.

Image from http://www.barkitecture.net/

FROM THE CHIEF’S CORNER: PREVENT DRYER FIRES

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna       

February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Who would think that the danger exists in doing such a daily household chore such as laundry? Recent incidents across the country point to the dangers of dryer fires. In fact, on average, over 13,000 fires start in our laundry rooms in the United States each year, resulting in deaths and close to $10 million in property damage says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Nearly 4,000 of these fires arise from lint buildup and overheated motors that occur when people fail to clean their dryer vents. The following advice can help you prevent a disaster.

ENERGY EXPERT LECTURES AT EL CAP

 

By Walt Meyer

February 19, 2013 (Lakeside)--New careers as the wave of the future was a key theme in a guest lecture February 12 given by Chuck Brands at El Capitan High School.  Brands is a local sustainability and solar energy expert who is also vice-president of Heartland Coalition and director of its UnitedGREEN division.

Last fall, Brands coordinated a class at Southwestern College to teach a new technology that uses all relevant data to map a building so that owners and occupants can manage their energy consumption and plan to adapt the building for energy innovation. The students were team-taught this pioneering class by experts from across the country under a grant from SDG&E to the Heartland Coalition.

FILMS, SCHEDULE & TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR MARCH 7-17, 20TH ANNIVERSARY SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

 

February 20, 2013 (San Diego)--As San Diego comes together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF),  mix and mingle with celebrities, filmmakers, and civic and community leaders.

Showcasing the latest in Latino cinema, from the highly anticipated documentary Hecho en Mexico featuring Diego Luna, the historical drama Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla; to Colosio, the film that delves into the life and mystery shrouded murder of the Mexican presidential candidate.

EYEWITNESS DESCRIBES HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT IN EL CAJON

February 20, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Paul Kruze, a freelance photojournalist whose works have appeared in ECM, was at the scene of last night's fatality hit-and-run accident in El Cajon. He offers new details which suggest that the victim was jaywalking and died on impact.

"I was just getting gas at the ARCO on Avocado," he told ECM.  According to Kruze, the pedestrian was crossing Avocado considerably north of Chase -- not at the intersection.  The victim "clearly had been jaywalking, and it was really dark and raining," he said, adding that the victim wore a light-colored hoodie but visibility was poor. 

Kruze stated that the victim sustained a severe head injury and that due to the obvious damage, the individual died immediately.

I-8 CLOSED AND OTHER WEATHER-RELATED TRAFFIC PROBLEMS

February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Interstate 8 is closed  this morning at Willows Road in Alpine due to ice and snow. There is a second closure in effect at Ocotillo. In addition, an accident has occurred at Viejas Grade and Willows Road and a rollover at Harbison Canyon, where two people are reported injured, per IPN.

Chains are required on Sunrise Highway.  Elsewhere in the county, rain, hail and snow are causing major delays for motorists. Use caution if you must drive during the storm.

MEDIA WATCH: KNSJ HOSTS SCREENING SATURDAY OF DOCUMENTARY ON LOCAL MEDIA CONSOLIDATION IMPACTS

February 21, 2013 (San Diego) – KNSJ, the new radio station soon to begin broadcasting from East County,  announced last night that it has purchased a transmitter and now is raising funds to cover station operations. 

On Saturday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m.  a benefit film showing of the documentary Save KLSD: Media consolidation and local radio will be shown at the Joyce Beers Community Center  in Hillcrest. Organizers promise “film, food and fun.” A  panel discussion will follow.

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO FATAL HIT AND RUN

Update 11:55 p.m. -- The driver has come forward to contact police. For details, see: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/12514

February 19, 2013 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon Police Traffic division is now investigating a hit and run collision involving a pedestrian tonight. A male pedestrian was struck and killed while crossing mid-block along Avocado Avenue near Carter Street just after 6:00 p.m. this evening. Avocado Avenue was closed between Chase Avenue and Washington Avenue for the investigation.

The Traffic Division is requesting witness information. If you have any information regarding this fatal collision, please call our 9-1-1 Dispatch, at (619) 579-3311.

WINE PAIRING DINNER AT JEREMY’S ON THE HILL FEBRUARY 22

By Caprice Harrison

February 19, 2013 (Wynola/Julian) -- Hart Winery and Jeremy’s on the Hill present their second annual Temecula and Julian Wine Pairing Extravaganza this Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m.

Call: (760)765-1587 to make your reservation. The cost is $49 for one person or $95 for two plus tax and gratuity. (Please view the special menu for the event below.)

Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 25, a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.

STORM TO DROP SNOW TO LOW LEVELS; HAZARDOUS WINDS ALSO FORECAST

 

February 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)-The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect now through noon on Wednesday. 

A very cold Pacific storm will  bring heavy rain, low elevation snow and, thunderstorms. Snow levels will drop down to 2000 to 2500 feet tonight with higher valley and desert areas potentially seeing light accumulations of snow. Rain will occur elsewhere this afternoon and continue through Wednesday morning with amounts ranging from 0.50 to 1.00 inches except less than 0.25 inches in the deserts. Very strong and hazardous winds will also affect the mountains and deserts.

COMMUNITY GARDEN DAY IN EL CAJON FEB. 23

 

February 17, 2013 (El Cajon)--Feb. 23, 2012 is a Day of Celebrating Community Gardens in El Cajon. Events are scheduled throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at different gardens and venues. Please see attached flyer.

At 11 a.m. there will be a grand opening celebration at Circle Community Garden, 476 Highland at Farragut Circle. We will celebrate with a ribbon cutting at 10:55, short speeches by dignitaries, introduction of committee and Master Gardeners. Cake then will be served and Master Gardener Joyce Gemmell and others will be there to answer gardening questions.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: BALBOA PARK--THE GOOD GUYS WIN

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

February 19, 2013 (Revised February 20) -- Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs’ plan for an extensive remodel of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park sailed easily through the San Diego City Council last summer — Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s was the only vote against it — but it hit a snag in San Diego Superior Court February 5.

That’s when Judge Timothy Taylor, ruling in the suit the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) filed against the city to stop the Jacobs plan, found that the city had basically ignored its own rules by insisting that the current configuration of the park, with much of its area used for large, free parking lots, was not a “reasonable beneficial use of the property” under city law.

POWER LINE UPGRADE TO IMPACT TRAFFIC FLOW IN SANTEE

 

February 19, 2013 (Santee)--Motorists will have to be cautious along Magnolia Avenue and Mast Boulevard for the next several months because of a major construction project by San Diego Gas & Electric. Crews will be replacing wood and steel poles with galvanized steel and concrete poles.

The project footprint will span 11 miles from the utility’s Sycamore substation to the Santee substation near Mast Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue.  According to the City of Santee’s website, the infrastructure upgrades are necessary to service the expansion of the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility and to improve power circuit stability.

LA MESA EIR for GENERAL PLAN UPDATE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

February 19, 2013 (La Mesa)—La Mesa’s Community Development Department announces that the Environmental Impact Report for the city’s  General Plan Update has been completed and is available for public review and comment. The 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR opened on February 14, 2013 and will close on April 1, 2013, at 5:30 p.m.

A copy of the Draft EIR may be reviewed, or purchased for the cost of reproduction, at City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942. A copy of the Draft EIR will also be available for review at the La Mesa Library, 8074 Allison Avenue. The Draft EIR is also available on the City’s website: http://cityoflamesa.com/CivicAlerts.aspx .

FOREST SERVICE BURNING CLEARED BRUSH IN SAN VICENTE AND PALOMAR AREAS TODAY

February 19, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --Cleveland National Forest is conducting burning operations today in the San Vicente area in East County and on Palomar Mountain near Observatory Campground.  This is a continuation of burning operations that began yesterday, but are not expected to continue into tomorrow due to the weather system that may bring rain and that is moving into southern California.

The Forest Service is burning fuels that have been piled as a result of hand and mechanical fuel treatments in the area.

“INDOCTRINATED” EXPOSES CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING

Lemon Grove Filmmaker Jim Ellis Creates 33-Minute Documentary for Children, Parents to Watch Together

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

February 18, 2013 (Lemon Grove)--Nikki’s story is all too typical of the ones told in Lemon Grove filmmaker Jim Ellis’s new 33-minute documentary, Indoctrinated: The Grooming of Children Into Prostitution. At age 18, to raise the money to go to college, she took a job in a strip club. There she met an older man who helped her out financially, bought her nice clothes and accessories, and got her to fall in love with him and ultimately move in with him. Then he put the hammer down and told her that in order to keep her lifestyle — and his affections — she’d have to have sex with other men, for which he, not she, would be paid. Nikki’s story ends more happily than most such tales; she got out of “the life,” as prostitutes call it, and in her 20’s is trying to piece her life back together. She’s sufficiently self-assured that of all the present and former prostitutes Ellis interviewed, she was the only one who agreed to show her face on camera instead of having it electronically blurred.

OVER 500 SAN DIEGANS JOIN NATIONWIDE PROTEST AGAINST KEYSTONE XL

 

Photos by Diane Lesher

February 17, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner and over 500 San Diego protestors in Mission Bay Park joined similar rallies in cities across America Sunday in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, beginning a massive effort to demand President Obama block it and call for leaders at all levels to take action to fight global warming.

Speaking at the San Diego rally, Mayor Bob Filner expressed his concerns about Keystone, climate change and what he wants to do in San Diego.

FCC TO REVIEW RADIOFREQUENCY RADIATION GUIDELINES

 

February 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reviewing its policies on radiofrequency (RF) radiation, such as that emitted by cell phone towers, smart meters, broadcast antennae and other sources.  Public comments will be accepted until March 6, 2013.

SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATION BILL

 

February 18, 2013 (Washington D.C.) –“Everyone has a teacher from their past who inspired them. Teachers play a significant role in a student’s development and as our nation’s builders, which is why it is so important to give teachers the opportunities to grow as educators,” a press release from Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) states. However, many school districts lack a method for giving teachers and principals the developmental feedback to help them reach their ultimate professional potential. 

Davis, along with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced legislation that they believe will give teachers the feedback and the support they deserve.

SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATION BILL

 

February 18, 2013 (Washington D.C.) –“Everyone has a teacher from their past who inspired them. Teachers play a significant role in a student’s development and as our nation’s builders, which is why it is so important to give teachers the opportunities to grow as educators,” a press release from Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) states. However, many school districts lack a method for giving teachers and principals the developmental feedback to help them reach their ultimate professional potential. 

Davis, along with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced legislation that they believe will give teachers the feedback and the support they deserve.

COUNCIL UNANIMIOUSLY VOTES TO EXPEND FUNDS FOR LA MESA VILLAGE PARKING GARAGE FEASIBILITY STUDY

 

By Janis Mork

February 18, 2013 (La Mesa)- At the La Mesa City Council meeting Tuesday, Paul Marra, senior principal from Keyser Marston Associates Inc., and Stephen Cook from Fehr and Peets  gave a presentation on the La Mesa Village Parking garage.

 Bill Chopyk, La Mesa community development director, advised that staff recommended that the Council establish the parking in-lieu fee to “provide an incentive to develop downtown.” Developers would pay this fee into a fund in lieu of providing required parking on site, and the fees can be used to provide centralized public parking, (http://www.mapc.org/resources/parking-toolkit/strategies-topic/fees-lieu).

MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING LA MESA WOMAN HE MET VIA CHRISTIAN DATING SITE

February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) –Del Mar resident Sean Patrick Banks is accused of raping a La Mesa woman who he met through ChristianMingle.com, an online dating site. Police say he used several aliases on the site and has traveled considerably, leading to concerns that there could be other victims.

He is free on bail, after pleading not guilty to sexual assault and burglary charges, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Banks also reportedly used the names Rarity, Ryan Butterwood, and Ryan Harlough online.

Lt. Matt Nicholass with La Mesa Police has said that Banks was invited to the victim’s home and “ultimately ended up raping her.” The dating site cooperated with authorities to track Banks down, he added.

LA MESA STUDENT, 10, AMONG WINNERS OF MASTERMIND® BRAINTWISTER CHALLENGE AT TOY FAIR 2013

 

February 17, 2013 (New York)--Pressman Toy (www.PressmanToy.com), announced winners of its first annual Mastermind Braintwister Challenge February 10 at its 110th annual American International Toy Fair. The first place winners, 4th grader Gaurov Bansal, age 10 from Stamford, CT; won for “Letters Equal Numbers” and 5th grader Sophi Schneider, age 10 from Dresher, PA, won for “Wordsticks Mode 4 – Let’s Race.”  Each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Three Braintwister category winners were also awarded $100 each:

  •          “Difficulty” – Luke Cepurac, 10, La Mesa, CA,  for his entry “Order Up”
  •          “Skills” – Erica Blakely, 12, Tinley Park, IL, for her entry “Who, What, Where”
  •          “Creativity” – Max Hartle, 12, Tampa, FL, for his entry “Air Attack”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FOUR-WHEELING INTO MCCAIN VALLEY

 

February 17, 2013 (McCain Valley) – Melody Ponchot of Boulevard sent this beautiful set of photos from an early morning adventure she took with a friend, Donna Tisdale, after the snowfall last weekend.

“Four wheeling in the snow to McCain Valley is so much fun,” she observed. 

This pristine public land, one of East County’s most beautiful recreational areas, is slated to be razed for construction of Tule Wind, an industrial wind facility approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management despite overwhelming public opposition.

 

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