January 2014 Articles

MISSING SANTEE WOMAN

 

January 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County Crime Stoppers and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department are asking for the public’s help  in identifying the whereabouts of Ann Marie Ackerman. She is known to frequent the East County area of San Diego as well as Imperial Beach.

Ms Ackerman was last seen in mid‐November, 2013 in the Santee area where she lives. She was reported missing by a family member on December 26, 2013. Ann Marie Ackerman is described as a 37‐year‐old female, 5’0” tall with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a mole on her right cheek.


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CITY APPLIES FOR SCENIC HIGHWAY DESIGNATION FOR STATE ROUTE 52

 

Photos by Van Collinsworth and Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2014 (San Diego) – State Route Highway 52 travels through Mission Gorge and Santee, offering motorists views of the San Diego River and Mission Trails Regional Park.  Now the City of San Diego is applying for Scenic Highway designation from the state for  the section of  State Route 52 from Santo Road to Mast Boulevard, through Mission Trails Regional Park.

The measure passed unanimously.  Van Collinsworth at Preserve Wild Santee urges the public to send letters of support for recognizing the scenic value of these resources. Letters should be received by February 28 and may be sent to:


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ACCIDENT CAUSES POWER OUTAGE IN LEMON GROVE

January 13, 2014 (Lemon Grove) – A driver who struck a pole last night at 7:42 p.m. sparked a power outage to 4,000 SDG&E customers in Lemon Grove last night. 

Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of the accident at 7342 Canton Drive and found that the driver of the vehicle, a Toyota truck, had left the scene.  According to Sgt. James Blanton with the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s substation, “Deputies found that power was out, and wires were hanging down on to the street.”


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INTERFAITH LEADERS STRIVE TO HELP LOW WAGE WORKERS

 

Photo:  Elizabeth Maldonado Robinson, left, and Sister Justine Church,  right, from the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice

By Jordan Schaffner

January 12, 2014 (La Mesa) -- With the church choir wearing Charger blue and gold in the background, Elizabeth Maldonado Robinson, Program Coordinator of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and Sister Justine Church, Interfaith Committee treasurer, spoke about worker inequality  last Sunday, January 6 at the United Church of Christ of La Mesa. 

Maldonado Robinson said hotel workers earning minimum wage at the Hyatt in La Jolla are pressured to clean rooms within a certain time frame and often don’t receive breaks. When workers asked to speak to management collectively, they were refused. After objecting to this, a worker spoke to the manager in private. The worker was told she could have a break--but must take it in a closet filled with linens and toxic cleaning supplies. After many sanctions against workers, the manager finally agreed to let hotel workers organize--due to protests from the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County.


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FEB. 5 HEARING SET FOR MEASURE TO REQUIRE BACKGROUND CHECKS ON FOREIGN FLIGHT STUDENTS TRAINING LOCALLY

January 11, 2014 (El Cajon ) –Two hijackers who flew a plane into the Pentagon during the 911 attacks in 2011 got flight training at Montgomery Field in San Diego.  Yet to this day, no background checks are required for foreign flight students taking training locally - including a growing number of foreign flight students at Gillespie Field in  El Cajon. 

Supervisor Dianne Jacob aims to change that with an ordinance that would require background checks. Her measure will be heard by Supervisors on February 5th.


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NEW PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX AT HELIX CHARTER HIGH TO BE DEDICATED ON TUESDAY

 

January 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Union High School District will hold a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, January 14 at 2 p.m. for a new, $15.2 million Performing Arts Complex at Helix Charter High School.  The event will include tours of the facility, a ribbon cutting, student performances in the theater, and music by the Helix Highlander bagpipers.


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CHEERS FOR OUR SPORTS FANS!

We're thrilled to have David Dickens, a well known  sports writer join our team -- but we need your support of our sponsor to continue this coverage as nonprofit media.

So enjoy a feast while watching your favorite games at Bridges. Cheers!

Support our new Sports section sponsor by savoring food at Bridges Bar/Grill/Bay - a popular sports bar and restaurant in the SDSU College Area. Bring in this coupon, tell them you heard about Bridges in East County Magazine, and get an entree FREE with purchase of another entree and two drinks.

Read our East County Eater's rave review here.


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FIGHTING FOR THE FOREST: DESCANSO RESIDENT DUNCAN MCFETRIDGE

By Sharon Penny

Duncan McFetridge is a poet, philosopher, wood carver, and a classical man who lives in a quiet cabin in the forest. McFetridge, who studied religion and Greek and Chinese philosophy, lives an ascetic life - he is someone who doesn't care about money the way most modern people do.  He says that justice and truth are supreme.

Yet this environmentalist, who loves nature, animals and simplicity, has struck fear in many of San Diego's most powerful movers and shakers. He successfully took on the building industry years ago to prevent development in his mountain community of Descanso, managing to have the Forest Conservation Initiative implemented by the County of San Diego. It is considered one of the most important environmental initiatives in the County; it has protected critical areas within the Cleveland National Forest.


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JAMUL CASINO TO START CONSTRUCTION; OPONENTS FILE LAWSUITS AGAINST CALTRANS

 

Photo: site of planned casino

By Nadin Abbott

January 11, 2014 (Jamul)-- Penn National Gaming announced yesterday that construction of a Hollywood-themed $360 million Casino at the Jamul Indian Village is ready to commence.

“We are very excited that our long-time dream will finally become a reality,” said Raymond Hunter, Chairman of the Jamul Indian Village. “We have worked tirelessly for well over a decade listening to the voices of the community, addressing concerns, and ultimately developing a project that blends seamlessly into the region, while creating approximately 2,500 much needed construction and permanent jobs in our region.”


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RED FLAG WARNING EXPECTED SUNDAY: CAL FIRE OFFERS TIPS TO REDUCE FIRE RISK

 

SDG&E now offers critical weather page to look up conditions in your neighborhood

January 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County ) -- A red flag warning for a moderate to strong Santa Ana Wind event along with low humidity is expected Sunday evening through Wednesday afternoon for San Diego County. Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are likely with some isolated gusts of 65 mph on some ridge tops and canyons.

“Though Cal Fire has year round staffing in Southern California, these conditions warrant adding additional resources on for the duration of the red flag conditions that bring an elevated threat of wildfire," said Chief Dale Hutchinson, Cal Fire's Southern Region Chief. Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to staff extra equipment to augment normal staffing levels in the areas affected.

Cal Fire is asking everyone to be extra cautious during the heightened fire danger period in order to prevent wildfires. One less spark means one less wildfire. Be aware of the following activity restrictions and tips:


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GROUP MEDITATION: SATURDAYS IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

January 11, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Energy Works Rejuvenation is hosting group meditation on Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. at 44545 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs.

The class offeres guided relaxation meditation and light refreshments. No experience is necessary; wear comfortable clothing.


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NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND PREVIEW: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (10-7) AT DENVER BRONCOS (13-3)

 

 

By David Dickens

December 11, 2014 (Denver) -- This could very well be the matchup of two of the best teams in the American Football Conference. This will be the first time these two division rivals square up in the postseason.


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ALPINE TURNS PINK TO SUPPORT TODDLER WITH NEUROBLASTOMA

 

Block party fundraiser planned Saturday, January 11; more events planned

“I couldn’t hold back the tears…It’s amazing to think you have an entire community supporting us and loving us so deeply.” –Bree Rowand

 

By Janis Mork, Sharon A. Penny, and Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2014 (Alpine) -- Anyone who has been to Alpine in the last week has noticed the many pink ribbons dotting the community, with signs supporting a special young girl named Kylie Rowand battling cancer.

The day after Christmas, Kylie’s parents, Luke and Bree, took her to the doctor for what they thought was an infection in a swollen eye.  Soon after, the young couple got the most devastating news any parent could receive: their beautiful,19-month old girl has cancerous tumors in her head and face, on her spleen,  more on her liver, pelvic bone, spine, and bones in both legs. Though the details are frightening, there is hope. This week the family learned that another local child diagnosed in April with stage 4 neuroblastoma is now cancer free.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

 

By Grey Feathers

January 8, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Three years ago today, Gabriele Gifford was shot in the head.  She was rushed to the hospital where we thought she would surely die.  The same hospital where I would be treated after my heart attack a few month later in the hot summer of 2011. 

There was a Lunar Eclipse that summer that plunged Tucson into the deepest darkness conceivable and it seemed the chill of the legendary Shadow Wolf of Native American lore had been unleashed upon my world. 

This morning Gabby wrote in the New York Times that for the first time she can will her right arm to move and it obeys.  After years of persistent physical therapy she is making steady progress.  The news brought me to weeping for joy. 


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SEMPRA ENERGY TRUCK SEIZED IN HIT AND RUN FATALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Victim identified as Robert Fisher, 54

January 10, 2014 (El Cajon)  -- El Cajon Police today announced that investigators have recovered a work truck owned by SDG&E/Sempra Energy that police believe fled the scene after striking a pedestrian on January 6th shortly after 10 p.nm. at Main Street and Jamacha Road. 

The pedestrian, Robert Fisher, 54, was later struck by a second vehicle and died at the scene.

“The vehicle seized is a white 2008 Ford 550 work truck owned by SDGE/Sempra Energy. Current evidence indicates the vehicle was not operating in an official, on-duty capacity at the time of the collision,” said Lt. R. Soulard with El Cajon Police. “SDG&E/Sempra Energy has been fully cooperative in this investigation,” Lt. Soulard added.


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DROUGHT DECLARATION EXPECTED FOR CALIFORNIA

 

By Mark Gavit

As dry winter conditions continue, Gov. Jerry Brown can be expecting the California Department of Water Resources to present him with an emergency drought declaration draft.

Director of the DWR, Mark Cowin, told the California Board of Food and Agriculture that his agency is in the midst of deciding wether or not to present the governor with a drought declaration. Nancy Foley, spokeswoman for the DWR agency said that the declaration may appear "within a couple weeks."


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EAST COUNTY STORIES OF THE YEAR: 2013

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- These are the stories that riveted our attention in 2013 and had major impacts on communities and residents across our East County region. We've chosen stories across a wide spectrum, from energy and politics to the arts, health, public safety, sports and much more.


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SANTEE MAN MISSING AFTER NAVY HELICOPTER CRASH IN VIRGINIA

 

Update January 15, 2014-- The remains of Lt. Snyder have been recovered, the Navy announced.

January 9, 2014 (Santee) – Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, 39, of Santee has been identified by the U.S. Navy as the pilot who remains missing after a Sea Dragon helicopter crash off the Virginia coast on Wednesday. 

Two other crew members died and two more were hospitalized. After the wreckage was found by a dive and salvage team, a formal search has been suspended, though the cutter Shearwater remains at the scene.    

Snyder family members expressed gratitude to all who participated in the rescue efforts, according to a statement issued by the Navy, which further states,“At this time, our hearts and prayers are for Sean’s recovery, the other families who have suffered loss, and for the health of the hospitalized sailors. Lieutenant Sean Snyder is a decorated pilot, a man of honor, dedicated husband, and father, who is proud and grateful for his privilege to serve his country in the United States Navy.The family has a deep faith and trust in God and from him they have found their hope and peace. The Snyder’s are extremely grateful for the love and support they have received from their friends and their community. They truly appreciate your continued prayers.”


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CHARGING FORWARD WITH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION 2014

East County residents, business owners share resolutions -- plus tips for making some offbeat resolutions of your own

Story and photo by By Rebecca J. Williamson

January 9, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –If you’re procrastinating making your New Year’s resolutions, here are a few points to ponder.

Maybe traditional resolutions such as slimming up don’t fit if you’ve already got a hard-driving Zumba instructor or you’re in such great shape that strangers post YouTube videos of you out dancing.  So think outside the box.  Resolutions do not always have to be standard.  They could encompass things like:

  1.  I will have all my friends perform their Charger tricks and superstitious rituals before their next play-off game and next season.  This includes excluding any family members who bring a hex to them by watching the TV, only wearing Charger socks not the jersey, and performing any rituals in your house that you “know” help them win.

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MOTORCYCLYST KILLED IN HIGH SPEED CRASH ON I-8

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Stephanie Wiseberg

January 9, 2014 (San Diego) Updated January 10, 2014 – A motorcyclist who witnesses reported was speeding at up to 100 miles per hour and weaving across lanes struck a Hyundai sedan on I-8 eastbound west of Texas Street in Mission Valley around 4 p.m. today.  Both vehicles burst into flames.

Passerbys stopped and tried to douse flames with a fire extinguisher, also performing CPR on the motorcyclist, 22, from San Diego before firefighters and paramedics arrived, but he was declared dead at the scene.  He was driving a dark 2008 sport-type Suzuki motorcycle, according to CHP.

The Hyundai driver, a 53-year-old Chula Vista woman, escaped without injuries.


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'TIS THE SEASON TO VISIT ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2014 (Anza Borrego) -- Late winter and early spring are the prime seasons to visit Anza-Borrego Desert State park, when the weather is mild enough for savoing outdoor hikes through rugged and  beautiful terrain.  There are also many activities coming up from hikes to cultural events -- and several organizations offering activities besides the Park itself.  

Winter is a good time to try and spot elusive and endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep and other wildlife.  Soon, spring blooms will cover the desert floor and mountain passes, adding brilliant splashes of color to the landscape.


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SMALL, BUT EXPLOSIVE BRAVES SHOULD WIN VALLEY TITLE

 

By David Dickens

January 9, 2014 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Valley High School boys basketball coach Marty Ellis has still plenty of work to do, however there is a  a very good chance to win the Grossmont Valley League title.

 “Due to lack of practice time, we can’t fix what needs to be fixed,” stated a frustrated Ellis. Which is quite true at all levels due to the delays because of tournament schedules.

 The EL Cajon Valley Braves are small in size but extremely quick and one of the best squads at trap defense. The Braves started off with a bang out of the gate with an 8-0 run, which has since declined to 10-5, winning only two of their last eight games. It definitely can be exhausting as well, going from tournament to tournament.


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ARRIBA! BALLET FOLKLORICO PERFORMANCES IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Ariele Johannsen

January 9, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan will be presenting free Sunday Zapateados on several dates from January to August this year at the Muevete Dance Studio in Lemon Grove. These presentations also provide information about the sampler or cuadro of dances performed, usually from one of the 32 regions of Mexico in each performance. The performances last about a half hour.

The first Zapateado performance in 2014 will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. on Jan.12 is from the region of Tamaulitas.


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INSPIRING STORIES FROM 2013

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Too often, media only reports the bad news.  But there are many unsung heroes , dedicated do-gooders and citizens work to make the world a better place, proving that dreams do come true, helping others, or simply offering inspiration to us all.   There are stories here that will tug at your heartstrings and, perhaps, move you to take action in some way.

 Here are a dozen people and organizations who you may never have heard of; most are not famous, but all have stories worth taking to heart as we begin the New Year.


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SIGHTINGS OF MISSING TEXAS TEEN REPORTED IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

January 9, 2014 (San Diego) – Several recent sightings have been reported of missing 16-year-old Arielle Randall in the San Diego-Carlsbad areas, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

The Center is asking for public help to locate the missing Texas teen, who may be in the company of an unknown male.  Arielle is black and Hispanic, with brown hair and eyes. She is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. She has pierced ears.  She was last seen leaving her home in Grand Prairie, Texas on November 13, 2013 and has not been heard from since.


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YOGA AT THE MUSEUM

 

January 9, 2014 (Rancho San Diego) – Heritage of the Americas Museum invites you to experience “Yoga at the Museum.”  Classes run for 12 sessions on Wednesdays from February 5 through April 30 from 4:15 to 5:15 in the museum’s conference room.

Classes with instructor Paulette Young run $35 for the 12 sessions.  The museum is located at Cuyamaca College, 12110 Cuyamaca College Drive West in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon 92019.


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COMMUNITY SAYS NO TO $1.6-BILLION PIO PICO POWER PLANT

 

Rally at Environmental Protection Agency hearing shows no need for SDG&E’s dirty power plant

January 8, 2014 (Otay)--On December 17, local community organizations and residents from around the county rallied to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny a permit for SDG&E’s proposed fossil fuel power plant, Pio Pico, in San Diego. The hearing ironically falls on the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, a federal law requiring the EPA to develop and enforce regulations that protect citizens from breathing hazardous and harmful air.


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AARP OFFERS FREE TAX HELP FOR SENIORS IN EAST COUNTY

 

January 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The AARP Tax Aide Program offers free tax preparation and E filing for seniors and low income residents and others in need in the East County Community. Tax sites will be open the week of February 3, 2014 and continue until April 15, 2014


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RECYCLE E-WASTE JANUARY 11 AND 12 AT GROSSMONT CENTER

 

January 8, 2014 (La Mesa) – In order to create a cleaner environment for our community, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free electronic waste (e-waste) recycling collection event on Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held in the parking lot of Grossmont Center between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa.

The event is a free service to everyone to properly dispose of your old TV's, computers, printers, and other approved items, and at the same time, help reduce improper and illegal dumping in our city and landfills. 


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NEW SKATEBOARD PARK OPENS IN ALPINE

 

 

January 8, 2014 (Alpine) – A new skate park opened December 23rd in Alpine.

The skate park is located at the Alpine Youth Center at 2153 Arnold Way in alpine. The facility also includes a mini-movie theater, pool tables and other activities for youths.

The skate park opened with a celebration that included gift-giving, music plays, dinner and a holiday movie.  


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