July 2013 Articles

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE EDITOR AND PHOTOGRAPHERS WIN PRESTIGIOUS JOURNALISM AWARDS

 

Photo: ECM editor Miriam Raftery with emcee J.W. August of 10 News, ECM's news partner

 

July 11, 2013 (San Diego) –Miriam Raftery, editor of East County Magazine and East County news director for KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, was honored tonight with five awards from the Society of Professional Journalism’s San Diego Chapter including two of the organization’s top prizes with cash awards.

Raftery shared the Sol Price Prize for Responsible Journalism with photographers Jim Pelley and Parke Ewing, for their story titled “Residents Complain of Dust Bowl, Third World Conditions at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Site.” 


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LAKE JENNINGS OFFERS EXTENDED HOURS IN JULY FOR FISHING FANS & NATURE LOVERS

 

July 11, 2013 (Lakeside) – What could be more idyllic than to while away a summer’s day at a beautiful lake?  You can channel your inner Tom Sawyer as you explore Lake Jennings, where you can try your hand at fishing,  campin,g hiking trails to savor nature watching, or glide across the water’s surface aboard a rented canoe, motorboat, or paddle boat.

As a special treat for family summer fun seekers, the recreational side of Lake Jennings (a reservoir)  is open daily in July. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays, 5;30 a.m. until midnight for those who wish to savor the outdoor experience under the stars after  sunset – or do some night fishing.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: REFLECTIONS ON KILLING PIT BULL TO SAVE PET

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

July 11, 2013 (San Diego) – Lee Patisson, a young Navy diver, bitten himself while trying to protect his dog, was recently forced to kill a pit bull that was attacking his pet dog.

According to a San Diego U-T story: “Pattison said he wants to make it clear that he did not shoot the dog without exhausting what he felt was every other means. He tried grabbing its collar and hitting it with his fists. The dog was undeterred. He ran inside and got his shotgun, and struck Bodi [the pit bull] with the butt of the gun five or six times. . . Pattison said Bodi was often tied up on his neighbor’s front doorstep, but the dog was known to break loose . . . He said it was the second time in about a month that the dog had attacked Bolt [Pattison’s dog]. Pattison does not face any charges. Wayne [the dog’s owner] has been cited for failure to keep the dog leashed and failure to protect the public.” (Man Who Killed Pit Bull Says He Is No Hero, July 4, 2013).


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COUNCILWOMAN BONNIE LACHAPPA NAMED CITIZEN OF THE YEAR BY LAKESIDE CHAMBER

 

July 12, 2013 (Lakeside) -- The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce has named Bonnie LaChappa as the 2013 Lakeside Citizen of the Year with their Harry J. Spence Award. Bonnie, a lifelong Lakeside resident and an elected member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians Tribal Council, is well known for her tireless volunteerism in the East County community.

“Giving back and sharing have always been a big part of our Barona Tribal culture,” said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. “We are very proud of everything Councilwoman LaChappa has done in the community to earn this meaningful award.”


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"OPERATION SAFE SUMMER FOR KIDS" TO KICK OFF AT NEW LEMON GROVE LIBRARY

 

July 11, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – Elected officials and representatives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Lemon Grove Firefighters, Lemon Grove School District, and other local public agencies will kick off “Operation Safe Summer for Kids” at the new Lemon Grove Library on Saturday, July 13, 2013, starting at 1 p.m.  The library is located at 3001 School Lane, Lemon Grove, CA 91945.

Sponsored by Thrive Lemon Grove, the event is focused on encouraging child safety and invites the public to take a more active role in the community.

“This new grass-roots community group aims to provide a voice for the Lemon Grove community, said spokesman Scott Robinson.  “Our goal is to work with elected officials and community organizations to bring a full spectrum of improvements to the City with the best climate on earth. These include adding vibrancy to the local economy, encouraging community involvement, supporting healthy initiatives to improve the lives of its residents, and supporting the revitalization of our aging neighborhoods.”


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HELIX WATER DISTRICT REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH

 

July 11, 2013 (La Mesa) – The Helix Water District Annual Water Quality Report is now available online in both English and Spanish.  Again this year, as in all prior years, Helix’s drinking water meets or exceeds all State and Federal drinking water standards. 

The annual 2013 Water Quality Report contains important information about drinking water in the Helix District.  The District encourages customers to read the report carefully and ask any questions they might have about water sources, quality, or distribution by contacting:  (619) 667-6248 or wqr@helixwater.org.


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FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: EMERGENCY EDITION

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 11, 2013 (San Diego) – Before a wildfire strikes:

  • Know where your gas, electric and water main shut-off controls are and how to use them.
  • Become familiar with your community’s disaster-preparedness plans and create a family plan.
  • Plan several escape routes from your home and neighborhood and designate an emergency meeting place.
  • Put together an emergency kit.
  • Ensure you follow your local fire code and adhere to its brush compliance program


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SUPPORTERS CALL ON MAYOR FILNER TO RESIGN OVER ALLEGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT, BUT DECLINE TO DISCLOSE DETAILS

 

 

 

Photo: Filner and Frye earlier this year joined in presenting open government award to Terry Francke at Californians Aware, an organization Frye now heads after leaving the Filner administration.

 

By Nadin Abbott

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story

July 11, 2013 (San Diego) – At a press conference today, three former supporters of Mayor Bob Filner called for his resignation, claiming to have credible evidence of sexual harassment involving multiple women.  They declined to provide any details on the alleged acts of harassment, nor have any of the women been publicly identified. However, Mayor Filner has acknowledged failing to respect women in his workplace and admitted to needing help.

Donna Frye, formerly Filner’s Director of Open Government as well as a past Council member and former mayoral candidate, joined with attorneys Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez in asking the Mayor to step down.   Hear audio of today's press conference from KNSJ 89.1 FM news:  https://soundcloud.com/mikehancock/frye


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INTO THE ASHES: RESIDENTS RETURN TO MOUNT LAGUNA

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 11, 2013 (Mount Laguna) –Amid the devastation on Mount Laguna, one ironic symbol stands out: a flag flying at half-mast.  Flown to honor the Prescott Arizona Hot Shot crew that perished at the Yarnell fire, the flag at the Al Bahr Shrine Camp survived the Chariot blaze, while much of the camp was reduced to ashes.

As of 6 p.m. last night, Sunrise Highway was reopened at both old Highway 80 and Highway 79, though it remained shut down from Los Huecos Road  (milepost 24.5) in Mt  Laguna, to Kwaaymii Point ( milepost 30).  The fire has burned over 7,000 acres and is 70 percent contained.

First responders assess the damage

“It makes me very sad,” Lieutenant Rose Kurupas with the San Diego Sheriff’s office said of the devastation.  But she resolved, “These are good people, they’ll rebuild. You’ll see, it will be better than ever.”


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

July 12, 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/REGIONAL

STATE

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


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PASSAGES: GROSSMONT COLLEGE COLLEAGUES MOURN DR. CURTIS STEVENS, PLAN BLOOD DRIVE IN HIS MEMORY

 



July 12, 2013 (El Cajon) --Colleagues on the Grossmont College campus are planning a special blood drive in conjunction with the Bloodmobile’s regular visit to the campus on Sept. 10.  They are urging blood donations in memory of Prof. Curtis Stevens, who was such a regal man that in joking awe they called him "His Royal Highness, The Emperor Curtis Stevens."

Blood donations in Dr. Stevens’ memory may be made not only on campus, but also at any of the six San Diego Blood Bank donor centers throughout San Diego County by mentioning his name and reference code C42.


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CHARIOT FIRE 65% CONTAINED, SOME EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Photo by Kenneth Douglas

July 11, 2013 (Mount Laguna) -- Mandatory evacuations for all areas south of Los Huecos Road were lifted today as of 6:00 p.m., with the Chariot Fire now 65 percent contained.  Evacuation orders remain in effect on Los Huecos Road and North to Kwaaymii Point.

The wildfire has charred 7,055 acres, Cal Fire estimates, causing seven injuries.  Full containment is projected for  July 14.


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THE CHAPARRAL REBELLION: BACKCOUNTRY FIRE AGENCIES FIGHTING TO MAINTAIN INDEPENDENCE FROM COUNTY

By David Ross

Part I of several parts

On June 11, I became part of the story of the Chaparral Rebellion when my house on Palomar Mountain partially burned (photo, left).

In the 1980s a group of Western states fought federal intrusion in states rights called themselves the Sagebrush Rebellion. In San Diego County today a group of backcountry fire agencies are fighting to retain their autonomy from the two-headed coin that is the San Diego County Fire Authority and Cal Fire.

You might call this movement the Chaparral Rebellion.


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS



July 11, 2013 (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

Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.


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DANCING UNDER THE STARS AT 43RD ANNUAL PINE VALLEY DAYS JULY 26 & 27

 

July 10, 2013 (Pine Valley) – Pine Valley Days returns to Pine Valley County Park, 28810 Old Highway 80 on July 26 and 27.  It begins on Friday with a Deep Pit BBQ from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with dancing under the stars following.  Saturday kicks off at 9 a.m. with a 2 hour parade down old Highway 80 from Pine Valley Road to Pine Blvd.  Parade entries include equestrian, bands, clowns, old cars and fire trucks, among others.


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HISTORIC LODGE AT SHRINE CAMP, SIERRA CLUB’S FOSTER LODGE CABIN AMONG 108 BUILDINGS DESTROYED IN CHARIOT FIRE

 

ECM reporters allowed inside evacuation area to assess damage

 

By Nadin Abbott; photos by Nadin and Tom Abbott

 

July 9, 2013 (Mt. Laguna)— For owners of property on Mount Laguna, the past 24-hours have been heart-wrenching.  The Chariot Fire has reportedly destroyed 108 structures along Sunrise Highway, including the Al Bahr Shrine Camp and one lost at the Sierra Club Guymon Lodge. The blaze has scorched over 7,055 acres and is now 40 percent contained. Highway 79 is open but Sunrise Highway remains closed from 79 to I-8.

Peering through thick smoke late yesterday at the Shrine Camp site (photo, left), we saw a husk of burnt metal and the charred remains of other structures.  We later learned that losses included the 87-year-old lodge and a dozen or more cabins.


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FIRESTORM PHOTOS FROM OUR READERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our readers have sent some dramatic images of the Chariot Fire, which as of tonight has scorched 4,850 acres and burned at least eight buildings. 

Here are some of the most stunning images from our readers--and thanks to the many of you who sent in photos and news tips on this major story.  (Note, additional photos were used in our earlier stories on this fire, all in our wildfire news section.)

Jim Pelley shot the photo, left, taken at sunset in Ocotillo.


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PANCAKE BREAKFASTS ANNOUNCED

 

July 8, 2013 (Descanso) -- The public is invited to support a historic building and enjoy all the pancakes you can eat at the Descanso Town Hall’s monthly Pancake Breakfast.  The second Sunday of every month (except July and December), from 8:30-11:30am, the Descanso Town Hall Association hosts a  Pancake Breakfast cooked by local residents. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausages, fruit, orange juice, and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.


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HEAR OUR SHOW AT 5 PM ON KNSJ 89.1 FM!

 

 

LISTEN LIVE AT FIVE!

 

July 8, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our first show debuts today at 5 p.m. on KNSJ 89.1 with top newsmakers and hot issues of the week. If you miss it you can catch a rerun tomorrow at 9 a.m. or listen to live streaming at www.knsj.org if you aren't able to hear the station.

 


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FATE OF EVERGREEN NURSERY SITE ON AGENDA TUESDAY IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2013 (Spring Valley) – The Spring Valley Community Planning Group will hear a committee report Tuesday night  on Master Craft Homes’ proposed residential development at Jamacha Boulevard at Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, the former Evergreen Nursery site.

 The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District headquarters, located at 2850 Via Orange Way in Spring Valley.


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CHARIOT FIRE JUMPS SUNRISE HIGHWAY, STRUCTURES AND CAMPS BURNED ON MT LAGUNA

 

 

 

Update July 8, 2013 -- 9 p.m.:  The fire, now 4,850 acres and 15% contained, has jumped across Surnise Highway. ECM has confirmation from multiple sources including an eyewitness report from our reporter Nadin Abbott at the scene that a structure has burned at Sierra Lodge and that Shrine Camp has also burned. 

Mt. Laguna is evacuated along the entire Sunrise Highway and an evacuation center, closed earlier, is now reopen at Joan McQueen Middle School, 2001 Tavern Road in Alpine. Dark smoke is billowing over the mountains at Descanso and Pine Valley; residents across these areas and Cuyamaca are advised to stay alert and informed. 

 

Story and photos by Nadin Abbott

July 7, 2013 (Mt Laguna)—Crews from all over Southern California, including Kern, Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego County are fighting the Chariot fire. This fire is now at 2500 acres and 20% contained.

Many of these hand crews include hot shot crews. According to Rosanne Grier, Cal Fire Public Information Officer trainee and Fire Fighter One, “There are no structure threats at this time. There was an old historical cabin, they had crews in place to try to protect; I don’t believe that it is still at threat at this point.”


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CASTLEROCK HOUSING PROJECT IN SANTEE-SAN DIEGO AREA ON SD PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA JULY 11

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 7, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A controversial housing project that could include up to 430 residential units on 204 acres will be heard by the San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday, July 11 at 9 a.m.  The public can attend and testify at the hearing, which will be held at Council Chamber, 12th Floor, City Administration Building, 202 C Street in downtown San Diego.

The project proposed by Pardee homes has sparked substantial opposition from environmentalists and residents.  A 925-page environmental impact report details significant negative impacts on wildlife and the environment.  ftp://ecity.ci.santee.ca.us/DDS/FinalEIRCastlerock062013.pdf

Preserve Wild Santee’s Facebook page describes Castlerock as “a monstrous housing development in San Diego and Santee” which “proposes to destroy four vernal pools and fairy shrimp, without examining the cumulative impact of these projects …”


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"CELEBRATE OUR ROOTS" -- HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL AT HERITAGE OF THE AMERICAS MUSEUM

                                                                                                                                      

 

 

View videos of Eric Runningpath:   Video 1 (Crow Dance) and Video 2 (Hoop Dance)

 

By Ariele Johannson

If you missed the festivities, our East County Magazine event, “Celebrate Our Roots” at the Heritage of the Americas Museum on June 19 was a huge success! The event brought together people in a fun and educational way to celebrate East County’s cultural and agricultural heritage. Highlights of the event were recorded by Mike Hancock from KNSJ, East County’s NEW Community Radio Station with its transmitter in Descanso.  The East County Magazine LIVE! Radio Show will debut this week, airing Mondays through Fridays at 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.


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EVACUATIONS ORDERED FROM CAMPGROUNDS AND HOMES; KNSJ TRANSMITTER IN PATH OF 2500-ACRE CHARIOT FIRE

 

 

Photo left: View at start of fire from Sunrise Highway; photo by Erik Johnson

Update 4:30 p.m. -- The fire is now 2,500 acres.  An evacuation center is now open at Joan McQueen Middle School, 2001 Tavern Road in Alpine.  The fire is now just one mile from communication towers on Monument Peak, including the new KNSJ 89.1 FM station's transmitter. 

Update 12:30 p.m. -- Pine Hills Cafe and Tavern has sent an email advising that there are now mandatory evacuations for the following sites:  Shrine Camp, Laguna/ElPrado Campgrounds, & Horse Heaven Campground, and for two private properties.  The town is not evacuated, however, at this time and the cafe remains open for business.

View map of fire: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/971143_561267857270007_1100094835_n.jpg

 

July 7, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The Chariot Fire, which began yesterday near the Butterfield Ranch, is now 1,700 acres, according to estimates by air attack pilots. Cal Fire officially lists the fire size at 1400 acres as of 8:45 a.m. The fire is still only 10 percent contained and could burn for days, scanner traffic indicates.

The fire is burning nine miles southeast of Julian.  Sunrise Highway on Mount Laguna  reopened briefly after yesterday's shut down, but a hard closure has again been ordered from Highway 79 to Pine Valley. Voluntary evacuations of cabins and the Shriners campground have occurred as the fire burned into the canyon below the campground.  A structure protection team has been assembled.  

The fire is now under joint command of the U.S. Forest Service and Cal-Fire as it burns into Cleveland National Forest.  Firefighters have been contending with shifting winds and some have been treated for heat exhaustion. 


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SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT SHUT DOWN AFTER CRASH

 

July 6, 2013 (San Francisco) – An  Boeing 777 jetliner from Korea has crashed at the San Francisco airport.  Early indications are the tail of the Asiana flight came apart on landing.  Two fatalities and 30 to 40 serious inuries are reported.  Firefighters on scene swiftly  sprayed fire retardant, preventing a far worse tragedy.

Below are tweets from people at the scene of this breaking news story, including David Eun, a passenger who tweeted the photo at left:


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CHARIOT FIRE SWELLS TO 500 ACRES, SUNRISE HIGHWAY SHUT DOWN

 

 

See our new story with many more updates here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/13562

Photo left:  View from Mason Valley near Butterfield Ranch, by Brett Stallbaum

Update July 6, 2013 5:00 p.m. -- The fire is now 500 acres and Cal-Fire has entered into a unified command with the U.S. Forest Service.  The blaze is burning approximately nine miles east of Julian.  Firefighters have been dispatched to scene from Riverside for mutual aid. 


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SPIRITS OF 1776: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS--AND MOTHERS

July 5, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- If you missed our Independence Day original dramatic presesntation of "Spirits of 1776," in which ECM editor Miriam Raftery interviews our founding fathers, you can now listen to it here:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

Thanks to our talented cast of performers:  Marie Johnson (Abigail Adams), Paul Kruze (John Adams), Leon Thompson (Chief Joseph Brant), John Falchi (Benjamin Franklin),Jake Christie (Patrick Henry), Mike Hancock (Thomas Jefferson), Dr. Kenmeth Hanson,(James Madison), Jason Smothers (Thomas Paine and King George III),  and Imani Robinson (Phyllis Wheatley).

Note: CDs of this presentation will  soon be available for use by nonprofits and other organizations for a nominal donation of $20  to East County Magazine. Contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org

Audio: 


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WELLS FARGO BANK ROBBED IN LA MESA

 

July 6, 2013 (La Mesa) – A stocky suspect with a mustache robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at 5610 Lake Murray Boulevard in La Mesa yesterday at 4:32 p.m.

According to La Mesa Police, the suspect entered the bank, approached the teller counter, and produced a demand note. After the teller complied, the suspect left the bank on foot and was last seen going northbound from the bank into the parking lot.


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RESTORE THE FOURTH AMENDMENT EVENT DRAWS CROWD ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 5, 2013 (San Diego)—Several hundred people from across San Diego County, including East County residents, held a rally and march through Balboa Park to the National Security Agency  (NSA) surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet records.

What compelled San Diegans to protest in the park on July 4, rather than going to a picnic or barbecue?   The activists are calling for restoration of Fourth Amendment rights to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure—rights born out of our founding fathers' struggle to win independence against tyranny.


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