May 2014 Articles

GRAND JURY: CITY FAILS TO RECOGNIZE SERIOUSNESS OF WATER PIPELINE PROBLEMS

 

May 16, 2014 (San Diego) - There has been much attention recently focusing on current and impending water shortages in the State of California, County of San Diego, and specifically the City of San Diego. But water shortage is only part of the problem, concludes a Grand Jury report titled “Don’t Give Me A Break—Water Problems in the City of San Diego.” There are continuing problems with pipeline distribution of the City’s existing water supplies—and the City has failed to alert citizens to the urgency of future water main replacement, the Grand Jury concluded.

NEW APP FOR MOTORISTS PROVIDES REAL-TIME INFO AND ROAD-CLOSURES

 

May 17, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Having timely information on road conditions and closures can be crucial, particularly during evacuations during wildfires or other emergencies.  Now a new, free app called Waze gives motorists the ability to access real-time traffic and road information provided by thousands of drivers or "wazers" in the region--meaning you potentially could get info before announcements have been made by California Highway Patrol or Cal-Trans.

UPDATE ON COCOS AND HIGHWAY FIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2014 (San Diego County)—CAL-FIRE reports that the Highway Fire is now 100% contained, with no structures lost and cost to date of $843,796 for firefighting.

The Cocos Fire is now 70% contained after threatening 1,500 structures and destroying 8 single family homes and a multi-family residence.  Cause remains under investigation and the cost to date of firefighting is nearly $3 million.  There are 1,269 personnel on the scene as well as 162 engines, 27 fire crews, 2 helicopters and 1 water tender,  as well as 11 bulldozers and other equipment.

FIRE IN SANTEE/SYCAMORE CANYON AREA

 

Update 10:15 a.m. - Forward spread of this fire has been stopped at 30 acres, CAl FIRE Captain Kendal Bortisser reports.  The fire burned to Friars and 163, per ECM reporter Nadin Abbott. This fire has been under unified command of CAL FIRE, Santee Fire and Miramar Fire.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Mike Schoonover

May 17, 2014 (Santee) 9:15 a.m. – A brush fire is burning in  the Sycamore Canyon/Santee area in rugged terrain accessible by hand crews and brush trucks; aerial resources have been dispatched.  The fire is now two to three acres. Smoke is visible from State Route 125. 

If you are in this area and have eyewitness information please share in the comments section below.  You can also send photos to editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

SDG&E ASKS CUSTOMERS TO CONSERVE ELECTRICITY

 

Photo by Elizabeth Galloway: SDG&E replaces pole burned on Aurora Drive in Lakeside with steel pole.

May 16, 2014 (San Diego)--SDG&E asks customers across San Diego County  to conserve power by reducing electricity usages, health permitting due to peak demand.  Customers are requested to turn off lights and equipment not in use, turn of the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher and consider using fans instead of air conditioning. Avoid use of major appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washer/dryer and pool pumps if possible.

COUNTY OPENS CENTER TO AID COCOS FIRE VICTIMS; NEW FIRE TONIGHT ON CAMP PENDLETON AS FIREFIGHTERS GAIN CONTROL OF MAJOR BLAZES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Supervisor Dave Roberts

May 16, 2014 (San Diego) 8 p.m. –Firefighters have made major strides toward containing what is now known as the San Diego Complex fires across our region, thanks to major air power and reduced winds.

All told, the fires have required 1,323 firefighting personnel including 164 engines, 27 fire crews, 5 fixed-wing aircraft, 10 helicopters and more, CAL-FIRE reports this evening.  Multilpe agencies and the Sycuan Fire Department's Golden Eagles hotshot team from East County were also deployed to help battle the blaze.

But a new fire tonight, the Combat Fire on Camp Pendleton is burning on the northwest part of the base, prompting evacuations including the San Onofre Housing area and School of Infantry. In addition the Las Pulgas Fire is over 8,000 acres and is 5 percent contained on the base, where the Tomahawk Fire scorched another 6300 acres and is 23 percent contained.

For other fires, those within the CAL-FIRE service area, visit http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current  or scroll down and click "read more."

HELP NEEDED FOR SENIOR WHO LOST TRAILER HOME IN CAMPO FIRE: FUNDRAISER MAY 26 IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2014 (Campo)—Jerry Weber lost everything in a fire that destroyed his trailer and all his belongings on May 13 in Campo. He has no fire insurance, relies on his Social Security income, and has both diabetes and a heart condition, according to Maria Amaya.

“He’s been my customer for many years,” said Amaya, who is accepting donated items for Weber at Angelous Barber Shop and Beauty Salon in Campo.  The greatest need, however, is a trailer for him to live in.

Weber is presently living in his car despite 100 degree temperatures, determined to remain on his property, Amaya said. He has no water on site, nor electrictiy.

In addition, a fundraiser to benefit Weber will be held on Monday, May 26 at the Bucking DeLorian restaurant in Lakeside. The restaurant will donate 15% of proceeds and is also encouraging the public to bring donations of food, clothing, household goods, toiletries and funds. For details on how you can help, click "read more" and scroll down.

JOINT ARSON TASK FORCE SEEKS INFO ON WILDFIRES

 

 

May 16, 2014 (San Diego) – A Joint Arson Task Force has been established to determine the origin and cause of the many fires throughout San Diego County this week.  If you have any information regarding the fires, please call San Diego Crime Stoppers at 619-235-TIPS, that’s 619-235-8477.  You can remain anonymous and  reward may be offered if information leads to a conviction.

TEA PARTY, GOP HOST CANDIDATE FORUM IN LAKESIDE MAY 19

 

 

May 17, 2014 (Lakeside) – The East County California Republican Assembly and the Lakeside Tea Party announce a forum with candidates running to represent East County. The forum, titled “How Conservatives  Counter the  Bigotry on the Left” will be held on Monday, May 19 at 6 p.m. in the VFW Hall Post $5867, 12650 Lindo Lane in Lakeside. 

Candidates confirmed include:

ARSON ARRESTS MADE IN ESCONDIDO AS FIREFIGHTERS GAIN GROUND ON BLAZES

 

 

Update 12 p.m.  The Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad is now 100% contained.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

May 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)  9 a.m. --Escondido Police have arrested  Isaiah Silva, 19, and a juvenile for arson, U-T San Diego reports.  The arrests came after a citizen reporting seeing two people start a fire in a field near South Escondido Boulevard and another citizen reporting seeing arsonists start a blaze at Kit Carson Park.  However, Lt. Mike Kearney has stated that the two suspects are not believed to have started any of the major wildfires currently burning in San Diego County.

Cause of the other fires countywide remain undetermined.  There has been speculation in some media outlets of arson but officials have indicated the causes remain under investigation.  An arson strike force has been assembled to investigate the fires.

Over 121,000 evacuation notices have been sent by officials and hundreds stayed in shelters overnight as numerous fires burned across the region.

Below are updates on the major fires.

CHALDEAN CHAMBER LAUNCHES MATCHING FUND TO HELP FIRE VICTIMS

 

 

 

May 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce in East County has created a fund to help those who were evacuated during the 2014 wildfires in San Diego County.

“We all have to do our part,” said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chamber. “If we raise $5,000 I will match that contribution with $5,000 of my own.”

To make a donation, visit  http://www.gofundme.com/98nxgo

READER'S EDITORIAL: CONTINUE GROSSMONT HOSPITAL & SHARP HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIP: VOTE YES ON PROP H

 

By Colleen Murphy, RN

May 15, 2014 (La Mesa)--Vote Yes on Proposition H to continue one of San Diego’s and East County’s greatest success stories --Grossmont Hospital. This premier model of public/private partnership with Sharp HealthCare combines the public resources of a state-of-the-art community hospital with a nationally recognized nonprofit healthcare system.

READER'S EDITORIAL: VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION H

 

By Betty Stieringer

The physicians, nurses and technicians of Sharp HealthCare are unsurpassed in their skill, professionalism and patient care.  Why, then, is there opposition to Measure H?

LA MESA RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ON CITY BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES

 

May 14, 2014 (La Mesa) - Applications are now being accepted for positions on the City’s boards, commissions, and committees. The deadline for submission of applications is 5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 5, 2014, in the City Clerk’s office at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue. Applications may be obtained at City Hall or by accessing the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.com.

SON ARRESTED FOR MURDERING MOTHER IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Police have arrested Virgil Dion Richmond, 25, who is charged with the stabbing murder of his mother, Diane Mosley, 59.

Mosely’s body was found inside her residence in the 800 block of Friendly Circle after officers responded to a 911 call of a possible stabbing.

STUDENT SUCCESS PROFILE: CUYAMACA COLLEGE STUDENT DERREK GUDINO REMEMBERS HIS ROOTS

 

This is part of an occasional series of profiles of successful Cuyamaca and Grossmont students. 

May 14, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Cuyamaca College student Derrek Gudino hasn’t forgotten his roots.

A STUDENT SUCCESS PROFILE: GROSSMONT COLLEGE NURSING STUDENT TAMARA MCMILLAN

 

This is one in an occasional series of profiles of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students who exemplify student success.

May 14, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Grossmont College was Tamara McMillan’s destiny. It just took her a little while to get there.

EVACUATIONS IN ESCONDIDO AREA AS COCOS FIRE SPREADS EASTWARD

 

Update 10 p.m. : Officers in Escondido have detained a juvenile and an adult near the scene of a fire , 10 News reports. A shelter has been opened at Escondido High School as the Cocos Fire continues ravaging North County, only 5% contained after charring 1,200 acres thus far.

In addition, a fatality is now reported in Carlsbad from the Poinsettia Fire.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in Carlsbad, Pendleton and Fallbrook, the County Emergency site reports.

The Bernardo Fire is now 75% at 15,048 acres and the Highway Fire is 100% contained at 380 acres. 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (Escondido)—The fast-moving Cocos Fire that has burned over 1,200 acres and destroyed several homes south of State Route 78 remains only 5% contained during the second day of the conflagration. Evacuations have been ordered in Escondido, where U-T San Diego reports some homes have been lost.

Numerous  road closures are in effect as of 5 p.m., the County Emergency Services Department reports. View list of road closures, including a portion of the Del Dios Highway due to evacuations: http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/updates/cocos-fire-road-closures-05-15-14-1659/  Flames scorched hillsides behind Cal State San Marcos today, where graduation has been cancelled.

Smoke checks in several East County communities today prompted brief concerns, but none grew into major fires.  The problem areas for firefighters remain blazes scorching across North County.  

CHAMBER HOSTS "GRIP IT AND RIP IT" GOLF TOURNAMENT MAY 22 AT SYCUAN RESORT

 

May 15, 2014 (El Cajon)—“The recent wildfires reminds us about how important it is to work and play together and build relationships that help us to work together when there is hardship in our communities.  We hope you will join us next week and recover, relax, and enjoy our Grip it And Rip it Golf Tournament.  It is a great opportunity to rebuild relationships for everyone,” said Eric Lund with the East County Chamber of Commerce.

SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATES FOR FRIDAY, MAY 16

 

Update: Grossmont Union High School District schools will be open, though CIF sports events remain cancelled.

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego)--The safety and security of students, faculty, and staff is of the upmost importance to schools across the county, the County Office of Education’s website states. As the current wildfires change and grow, each school district will continue to monitor the local emergency situation and make school closure decisions on a day-by-day basis.  

Below is a list of schools that will be closed Friday, schools that will be open, and others that will announce their decision Friday morning.

CHAMBER WARNS OF FIRE INSPECTION, REPAIR SCAMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The East County Chamber of Commerce is warning members to beware of con artists preying on businesses.

“The Chamber is very concerned about the impacts of our recent disaster and we want to remind you that our staff and business community are available to assistance and support your business through hardships like these," said Eric Lund. He also warned business owners about a rash off “mandatory fire inspector con artists” going around to businesses who are not  with any fire department.

EL CAJON POLICE OFFICERS SHOOT MAN WHO TRIED TO TAKE CHILDREN, AIMED GUN AT OFFICERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (El Cajon) – A man who tried to take his children from his estranged wife at gunpoint.  Jose Albert Garcia, 34, later aimed his weapon at officers and has been shot in the chest, Lt. Tim Henton with the El Cajon Police reports.

Officers responded to a 911 call from Garcia’s estranged wife, who told officers he was at her door demanding that she give him their two children. Officers arrived and spoke with Garcia in the driveway, but he was “uncooperative” and refused to follow orders, Lt. Henton said. “He showed officers that he had a gun in his waistband, and eventually drew the gun.”

HOT WEATHER TO CONTINUE THIS WEEKEND

 

By Cary Hyatt

May 15, 2014 (San Diego) – High temperatures are forecast to continue this weekend, cooling off early next week.  Today, sunny weather with a higher of 105 a low of 62 is forecast.  A red flag warning for high fire danger continues through 5 p.m. this evening.  Friday and Saturday will be sunny with a high of 96 on Friday and a high of 84 on Saturday; lows are forecast around 56 degrees both days.

STRESSED OUT? SOAK AWAY TENSIONS AT JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS HEALING WATERS & ARTS FESTIVAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (Jacumba) –Celebrate a century of healing waters, outdoor adventures and the arts on Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Jacumba Hot Springs Healing Waters and Arts Festival.

The community invites you to visit California’s “rejuvenation adventureland” at the Jacumba Hot Springs on Old highway 80 in the heart of Jacumba Hot Springs.  Meet holistic healing and New Age practitioners, enjoy art walks and art sales,  entertainment including multiple music venues, a drum circle and Kumeyaay bird singers, craft vendors, food including vegetarian options children’s activities, geocaching and more –all in a beautiful high desert setting.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: THIS WEEKEND’S TOP EVENTS & PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

 

 

By Ariele Johannson

May 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes all kinds of outdoor activities in East County parks and golf courses and a couple of film and theatre events. Our preview will tell you about a mock medieval battle taking place and a healing waters festival. We also have a section of ongoing weekly or monthly activities, so let’s get started!

CREATING NEW LIFE FOR OLD COMPUTERS CAN SAVE MILLIONS FOR LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS, GRAND JURY FINDS

 

May 15, 2014 (San Diego) - California adopted nationally-recommended standards for English-language arts and mathematics in 2013 as a condition for receiving federal education funds. These state standards are generally referred to as the Common Core curriculum that all California schools must now follow. While there are many benefits that can be attributed to the new curriculum, one downside is that beginning with the 2014-2015 school year all future statewide student achievement testing must be done on-line, utilizing computers instead of manually completed pen-and-ink forms.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS



May 15, 2014 (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

For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.

JUDGMENT CALLS? CONTROVERSY CONTINUES AS BILLBOARDS COME DOWN IN KEEHN VS. SCHALL JUDICIAL RACE

Judge Schall speaks out, defends her record (photo, left)

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego) –Last week, we reported on a Superior Court candidate, Carla Keehn, who put up billboards drawing attention to judicial admonishments and a conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving (later expunged)  involving her opponent, Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall.

Judge Schall has issued a statement defending her record.  In addition, Clear Channel has removed the billboards, stirring up new controversies over its actions as well as free speech issues in judicial elections.

ADDITIONAL AIR POWER DISPATCHED TO REGION AS FIRES BURN THROUGH NIGHT

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 news

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Fires have scorched over 9,200 acres since yesterday, with several still burning.  A large DC-10 air tanker, 17 helicopters and military aircraft are en route to our region, where hot, dry temperatures and Santa Ana winds have prompted extension of the red flag alert for high fire danger to be extended through tonight. 

Nearly 600 people stayed in evacuation centers overnight from the San Marcos and  Carlsbad fires.  More than 125,000 residences countywide received evacuation calls through the County’s Alert San Diego system. The County Emergency website has received over 1 million visits in the past three days.  Most area schools are closed today countywide due to the wildfires.

In North County, three major facilities are impacted.  Kaiser Permanente medical offices on Craven Road in San Marcos are closed;  Palomar Medical Center and Palomar Health Downtown campus on Valley Parkway have announced cancellation of elected surgeries, 10 News reports.

Below are updates on each major fire:

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