July 2013 Articles

FILNER TO SEEK THERAPY: REFUSES TO RESIGN

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 27, 2013 (San Diego)—One day after the County Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to call for his resignation, Mayor Bob Filner announced today that he is not stepping down.

Instead Filner announced that he will enter therapy on starting on August 5.


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PARENTS ARRESTED IN DEATH OF BABY LEFT OVERNIGHT IN CAR



 

July 28, 2013 (El Cajon) – Today, El Cajon Police announced the arrest of Israel Soto and Jessica Quezada for the death of their four-month-old baby. The couple’s other three children, ages 3, 2, and 1, have been taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services.


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GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT DEFIES GRAND JURY OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL RECOMMENDATIONS

“For our response, we will simply quote Benjamin Franklin: Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”  -- GUHSD, in its response to the Grand Jury report

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday, , the Grossmont Union High School District issued its response to the findings of a Grand Jury report, with attachments.  In May, the Grand Jury report, titled “Fool us once, Fool us twice” concluded that district residents deserve more clarity from the School Board regarding a proposed 12th high school in Alpine.


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SOME NEWS ABOUT NEWS GATHERING...

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 27, 2013 (San Diego) This has been a busy few weeks of news gathering for East County Magazine. We were at the scene shortly after the Chariot Fire started. We made multiple trips to Mount Laguna reporting on the fire’s path and damage behind fire lines, also visiting the evacuation center. We remained long after other news media left, if they came at all.  We were at the fire scenes in Ranchita, the Old Fire, the Shockey Fire and more – sometimes in the middle of the night. 

We regularly cover local boards and commissions that the San Diego media ignores.  We drove to Julian to cover fire board meetings and report on citizens’ concerns when the fire department was at risk of dissolving and being taken over by the county.  We went downtown to cover hearings on the controversial County wind ordinance, the Quail Brush power plant, and other hot land-use issues impacting East County.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: VETERANS DEMAND DRONE OVERSIGHT

 

By Dave Patterson

July 26, 2013 (Ramona) – Beginning in 2012 the stories about the misuse of drone technology have been frightening.  Starting with the revelation that we have been killing hundreds of civilians and children in places that we are not at war, to the government using the border drones to surveil American citizens.  Worse yet, there appears to be an unholy alliance between our nation and Pakistan because there is now evidence that our drones are killing people that are not terrorists, but instead political enemies of the Pakistani regime.


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ADDITIONAL 22 HORSES SEIZED IN RAMONA

 

July 26, 2013 (Ramona) – Two months after the County Department of Animal Services (DAS) impounded ten horses in Ramona, another 22 were seized from the same owner Monday.

DAS had been monitoring the herd belonging to Lori Patton since the original seizure May 23 to make sure the animals were getting the proper level of care. 


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FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN RAMONA

 

July 26, 2013 (Ramona) – On July 25, 2013 at approximately 11:55 a.m. Sean Kelly Cullen, 22, of Ramona was riding a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650.  The rider was traveling in the eastbound lane of SR-78 east of Magnolia Avenue at approximately 60 MPH when he lost control of the motorcycle.  The motorcycle crossed the parallel yellow lines, into the westbound traffic lane.


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COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ASKS MAYOR FILNER TO STEP DOWN

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 25, 2013 (San Diego) Late today, the Central Committee of the San Diego County Democratic Party voted 34 to 6 to ask Mayor Bob Filner to step down over sexual harassment allegations made by numerous women. This was a supermajority vote.

“With very heavy hearts but clear minds the members of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee met this evening,” said Francine Busby, chair of the party. We affirmed our commitment to our vision of a San Diego as a city of diverse vibrant communities where every neighborhood is a priority.”


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SANTEE APPROVES EMINENT DOMAIN TO TAKE HOMES FOR STREET WIDENING

 

 

Friday: Listen to the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. to hear our interview with Stephen Bartholow, editor of Santee Patch, who has been tracking this story.

July 25, 2013 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, Santee City Council ignored pleas from residents and authorized the city to seize and force sale of four properties, as well as obtain easements for nearly a hundred more.   The declaration of eminent domain was done to allow the Prospect Avenue street widening project, which impacts properties on nine streets.

“We don’t want to leave,” Gloria Duff testified, Santee Patch reported.  Duff, whose family has lived in their home for 50 years, said the family took out a second mortgage for remodeling recently and fears they won’t get enough money.


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VALLE DE ORO PLANNERS HAVEN’T MET IN TWO MONTHS

 

“We aren’t trying to avoid anything,” said Chairman Jack Phillips (photo, left). “We haven’t had anything to put on the agenda.”

By Jake Christie

For possibly the first time ever in its 30- year history, the Valle de Oro Community Planning Group has cancelled two and a half months of meetings, from May 21 to July 16. The planning group members are elected, unpaid volunteers serving on the advisory group overseeing land use issues in a 19 square mile unincorporated area which covers Casa de Oro, Mt. Helix, Rancho San Diego, and Vista Grande Hills.

The group normally meets twice a month in the training room of the Otay Water District Headquarters on Sweetwater Springs Boulevard at 7 p.m.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST ADDING SEWER SERVICE CHARGES ON TAX BILL

 

By Janis Mork

 July 25, 2013 (El Cajon)- At the July 9 El Cajon City Council meeting, Council voted against putting sewer service charges on the property tax bill after 168 residents objected to the proposal.

Dennis Davies, Deputy Director of Public Works, informed Council of the proposal to take sewer bi-monthly bills (six times a year) and include those charges with the property tax bill.


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TWO MORE CROWS FOUIND WITH WEST NILE VIRUS

 

July 25, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Two weeks after finding the first sign of West Nile virus this season — a dead infected crow — two more dead infected birds have been discovered.

Two dead American crows, one from Ramona and one from Carlsbad, were turned in by members of the public and have tested positive for the disease. The first bird, also an American crow, was found near Lakeside.

County vector control and environmental health officials said the discoveries are a reminder that people should protect themselves from West Nile virus, a potentially-deadly disease that is transmitted to people most often by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds.


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BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED FOR WILD BILL’S RETAIL CENTER IN CAMPO

 

July 25, 2013 (Campo)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Wild Bill’s Retail Center located at 31471 Highway 94, Campo CA 91906 effective immediately.  This public water system serves a Circle K mini mart, gasoline station, office building and Subway sandwich shop.

The drinking water system has tested present for total coliform bacteria and absent for E. coli.


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EARLY BIRD RATES EXTENDED! WESTERN REENACTMENTS TO BRING OLD WEST ALIVE AT WILD WEST FEST AUGUST 10--ALL TO BENEFIT WILDFIRE REPORTING FOR ECM

 

 

Thousands of dollars in fabulous prizes--and a wild west show!

Listen to our audio preview for this exciting event 

July 12, 2013 (Descanso) --Descanso Junction is firing up the BBQ to help us celebrate East County's western heritage at our Wild West Fest and BBQ on Saturday, August 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the historic Descanso Town Hall (24536 Viejas Grade Road, Descanso).  Prince includes BBQ feast, wild west show, dancing, live music, and prizes galore!

Your ticket ($15 at early-bird rates, $20 at the door) includes a delicious tri-tip and chicken barbecue feast,  Wild West show, live music, dancing, and a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes.The Hole in the Wall Gang and  Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters will provide live western reenactments with a full half-hour wild west show. Author Bryon Harrington will be there with his book, Campo, the Forgotten Gunfight. Plus we'll have a Doc Holliday reenactor. Pine Creek Posse Band will provide live music- so bring your dancing shoes (or your cowboy boots!)

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN PRIZES: Prizes include a vacation at the Viejas Resort, "cowboy for a day" at Campo Creek Ranch, gift certificates from delicious restaurants, $165 in hay bales, gifts from feed stores, retail shops, salons, leather bag from MCClintock Saddleworks, hay bales, winery gift baskets, bowling, buffets, event tickets and even a free rental at Descanso Town Hall! and more. Descanso Junction will serve up the barbecue feast. KNSJ 89.1 FM radio will be on hand to record YOUR stories, too.


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AUGUST 21 DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON HELIX WATER PROPOSED RATE HIKE

 

By Janis Mork

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District is looking to raise rates for its 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years. For 2013-2014, proposed water rates for the domestic/ single customer - using 25 units bi-monthly - will increase six percent. Commercial/Multi-family customers will see a rate increase of three to eight percent. 


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MAN STABBED ON BUS IN DEL CERRO

 

July 24, 2013 (Del Cerro) – An unidentified man was stabbed twice on July 20 at 10:25 p.m. at Adobe Falls Road in Del Cerro.  The incident began when several males became belligerent on a party bus, San Diego Police report. 

The driver, a 30-year-old man, told them to get off the bus.  The assailants reportedly began punching the driver.  After another group of males in the same age group intervened, one of the men was stabbed with an unknown object. 


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MAYOR FILNER APPOINTS LEE BURDICK AS CHIEF OF STAFF

 

 

July 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner has promoted Lee Burdick to serve as his Chief of Staff. Burdick most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff and was initially hired as the Mayor’s Director of Legal Affairs. She previously represented the City as a Commissioner on the Board of the Port of San Diego.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: REGIONAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

 

July 25, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

Click “read more” and scroll down for excerpts and full stories.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

July 25, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

Click "read more" and scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.


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AIRPORT TRAVELERS MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO WHOOPING COUGH

 

July 24, 2013

A four-month-old child who travelled out of San Diego Lindbergh Field may have exposed fellow travelers to pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory illness which is also known as whooping cough, according to San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials.

The child, who was up-to-date with vaccinations for his age, travelled with a parent from San Diego to Norfolk, Virginia on Friday, July 19. The child was seen by medical staff at Rady Children’s Hospital shortly before leaving. Tests later confirmed the child had pertussis.


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SAN DIEGO CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS VOTE TO DEFEAT MEASURE THAT SOUGHT TO STOP NSA SPYING ON AMERICANS' PHONE AND INTERNET RECORDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2013 (San Diego) –An amendment that sought to ban the National Security Agency from collecting phone and Internet records on Americans who are not under investigation failed to win passage in the House of Representatives today.  The Amash amendment, a bipartisan proposal to a spending bill,  was narrowly defeated 205-217.

 All five members of the San Diego Congressional delegation voted to defeat the measure including Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa as well as Democrats Juan Vargas, Susan Davis, and Scott Peters.

Supporters of the amendment argued that the NSA overstepped its authority by conducting warrantless spying on citizens--activities never authorized by Congress and that some contend violates the Constitution.


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WATERMELON DAYS AT THE OASIS CAMEL DAIRY JULY 27-28

 

July 25, 2013 (Ramona) –The Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites the public to one of East County’s most unique events, Watermelon Days on July 27 and 28 from 3-6 p.m.

The fun begins with an exotic bird show at 3 p.m., followed by a camel show at 4 p.m.  After that, you can feed watermelons to the camels, enjoy camel rides, and shop at the Camel Dairy store for gift items such as camel milk soaps and lotions.


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WILD RIDE: VIDEO INSIDE A FLASH FLOOD AT THE OCOTILLO WIND FACILITY

 

July 24, 2013 (Ocotillo) - In a dramatic video, award-winning videographer Jim Pelley takes a wild ride along a flooding roadway in the heart of the Ocotillo Express Wind Project.  The brief storm, which lasted only an hour, closed Highway 98, also washing rocks and debris across access roads. (Note: video contains strong language as Pelley struggles to escape the rising floodwaters.)

Pelley, an engineer and resident of Ocotillo, has long contended that changes to natural drainage patterns made by the wind project developer, Pattern Energy, would worsen flooding in the region.  Ocotillo is in a federally designated flood plain, but area residents have said that in the past, it took hours of heavy rainfall to cause serious flooding.


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NATIONAL WOMEN VETS GROUP CANCELS FILNER KEYNOTE SPEECH; TWO MORE WOMEN ALLEGE UNWANTED ADVANCES

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 24, 2013 (San Diego)— Tara Jones, President and founder of the National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) today announced that the group has rescinded its invitation to Mayor Bob Filner as keynote speaker at its August 30 gala in San Diego.  The Mayor, who now faces accusations of sexual harassment, ironically was slated to address issues of military sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence against women.

“The Mayor speaking at our event interferes with the moral compass of my organization,” said Tara Jones, President and founder of  (NWVAA) at a press conference today at the Civic Center downtown where a pair of counter-protesters showed up in support of Filner.  Jones said that NWVAA has heard from thousands of people at the national level about “the public embarrassment that San Diego County is currently receiving.”


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AN AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY: UKRANIAN IMMIGRANT BECOMES VALEDICTORIAN AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

 

By Janis Mork

July 24, 2013 (El Cajon)- “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Viktoriya Sinnelnikov, who moved here from the Ukraine in 2004, quoted this saying by Confucius in her commencement speech as valedictorian at Cuyamaca Community College last month.

Sinelnikov majored in science and mathematics with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Her journey at Cuyamaca began in spring 2007, where she went to school part-time all the while juggling that with being married to her husband, also from Ukraine, and raising her two children, son Kiril, now 7, and 2-year-old Elizabeth.


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HUNTER CALLS FOR AUDIT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES ON PROCESS OF CLASSIFYING DOCUMENTS

 

July 24, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) has raised concerns over how federal agencies determine what materials will be classified and who will have access.  In a newsletter to constituents, Hunter suggested that “classification inflation” has occurred.

“In the ongoing debate on the activities of the National Security Agency, the abundance of classified documentation is one issue among others that demands further scrutiny,” Hunter’s newsletter states. “An excess of classified information and documents have required that the federal government issue more security clearances, without always taking the depth or context of information into account.  In some cases, the classification system is used to withhold information from the public and sometimes even Members of Congress.”


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DISASTER RELIEF FOR CHARIOT FIRE VICTIMS

 

July 24, 2013 (Mount Laguna) – County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg is advising all property owners whose property was damaged or destroyed during the recent Chariot Fire that property tax relief is available.

This tax relief program requires the reassessment of the property to reflect its damaged condition. The reduced value will remain in effect until such time as the property is rebuilt or repaired. More importantly, after the property is rebuilt or repaired, the owners can retain their previous taxable value if the property is rebuilt in a like or similar manner. This means that the property tax assessment will not increase beyond what it was prior to the fire.


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COMIC-CON FAR MORE THAN COSTUMES AND BIG HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTIONS

 

 

 

By Nadin Abbott 

Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott   

July 23, 2013 (San Diego) – There is more to Comic-Con than Game of Thrones or cool costumes. Yes, there are plenty of incredible costumes. We promise to show you that aspect of the Convention later in the article with the Steam Punk reunion that happened on Saturday. That said, Comic-Con also has a strong educational aspect to it.


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I-15 CLOSED THIS WEEKEND NEAR STATE ROUTE 56

 

July 24, 2013 (Rancho Penasquitos) – Attention, motorists: Interstate 15 southbound will be closed this weekend between State Route 56 (the Ted Williams Parkway exit) to Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard/Poway Road.

The closure Saturday to Monday is due to drainage improvements. Southbound express lanes will be open as a detour and will be available to all drivers free of charge.


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FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: DAD, THE BURGERS ARE BURNING, AND SO IS THE HOUSE!

 

“July has been dedicated National Grilling Safety Month…”

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Dad, the burgers are burning, and so is the house!” Not something one wants to hear. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.


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