Lemon Grove

SUSPECT WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED CHILD IN LEMON GROVE IS SOUGHT BY AUTHORITIES

 

Image: composite drawing of the suspect provided by the San Diego Sheriff

October 18,2018 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s child abuse unit is asking for public help to identify and find a suspect who sexually assaulted a child. The suspect committed the assault after entering a residence where a family and two children were present at 2 a.m. in the7000 block of Canton Drive in Lemon Grove. He was confronted by a family member who tried to restrain him, but the man escaped.

The suspect is described as a black man age 20-25, about 5 ft. 7 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black hoodie and black gym pants, and may have arrived on a skateboard.

BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

SHOOTING DEATH IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2018 (Lemon Grove) --  Shortly after midnight, sheriff's deputies saw a man and woman inside a vehicle parked in the middle of the street  in the 7400 block of Pacific Avenue, in  Lemon Grove. When the deputies investigated, they found the man bleeding from what a witness described as a gunshot wound, says Lt. Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

Deputies called for Lemon Grove Fire Department personnel to assist and began providing first aid.

“The man was seriously injured and soon stopped breathing. Deputies performed CPR until relieved by fire department personnel,” says Lt. Williams. However dDespite lifesaving efforts, the man was pronounced deceased at about 12:39 a.m.

LEMON GROVE MAYOR VASQUEZ PAINTS OPTIMISTIC PICTURE IN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

 

 

Despite positive changes, budget clouds loom as city draws on reserves for operating expenses

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

August 16, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Members of the Lemon Grove City Council and other city officials are grappling with concerns about a major budget deficit poised to sour the city’s future. The problem has led to media speculation that Lemon Grove might give up cityhood and become part of the County’s unincorporated area.

Yet, to a packed-to-the-rafters community room, recently-elected Mayor Raquel Vasquez painted a positive picture about the city’s many accomplishments in the past year and its challenges in the coming year. During her first State of the City address last week, the Mayor did raise the city’s financial dilemma, but not seeds for solutions over the long term.

HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED IN LEMON GROVE AFTER DEATH OF INJURED MAN WHO KNOCKED ON DOOR SEEKING HELP

 

 By Miriam Raftery

Update June 28, 2018 -- The victim has been identified as Juan Martinez, 47, of Lemon Grove who suffered serious injuries to his upper body. The Medical Examiner's report determining cause of death has been sealed and the Sheriff's homicide investigation continues.

 June 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – An injured man who pounded on a door seeking help last night in Lemon Grove has died. A homicide investigation has been launched into the death of the man, who has not yet been identified.

 Startled residents called 9-1-1 shortly before 9 pm. after hearing banging on their door in the 7600 block of Lemon Avenue. When deputies arrived a short time later, they found a man who was lying on the ground, unresponsive, with visible injuries to his upper body.

BRUSH FIRE IN LEMON GROVE

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Update 8:45 p.m.:   Heartland Fire and Rescue indicates the fire started in palm trees at the Lemon Grove Trolley station and spread along trolley tracks, briefly threatening about 20 homes.  The fire damaged power lines and railroad ties for the trolley, so the trolley remains shut down. There was also minor damage to eaves of some homes and a fence. Cause of the fire is under investigation by the Sheriff's Bomb and Arson squad.

Heartland Fire & Rescue units from Lemon Grove and La Mesa responded, with assistance from San Diego Fire, San Miguel Fire, and Cal Fire/SDSO to swiftly stop the blaze.

May 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- A brush fire in Lemon Grove has charred about two acres, but Heartland firefighters have halted the forward spread.

The fire was reported in palm trees shortly after 5 p.m. in the 1500 block of San Altos Place. It jumped Imperial Avenue and according to CBS 8, briefly threatened structures on Angelus Avenue.

DISPENSARY APPLICANT FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST COUNCILMAN ARAMBULA AND CITY OF LEMON GROVE OVER ASSAULT

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 18, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Christopher Williams has filed a lawsuit against Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula alleging that during a meeting at Arambula’s home on July 15, 2017  to discuss Williams’ applications for marijuana dispensaries, Arambula assaulted and injured Williams. 

The suit also names the city of Lemon Grove, claiming the city knew that Arambula conducted city business outside of city hall and “could be physically violent toward members of the public while he conducted official city business but never took any action to prevent him from acting in such a manner.” 

LEMON GROVE HIRES PROFESSIONAL HELP

 

 

By Miss Perceptions

April 1, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Following a barrage of negative news stories and claims of alleged misconduct by city council members, Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez has announced plans to bring in professional help to seek reconciliation, restore good relations among elected officials and staff, and improve the city's image in the community.

“Thanks to the intervention of Oprah Winfrey, whom I met at a Democratic Party fundraiser, we’ve arranged for Dr. Phil to counsel our council and restore civility and civic trust to Lemon Grove," Mayor Vasquez announced in a press conference at the city's landmark lemon.

THERE'S STLL TIME TO RSVP! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB MARCH 29 AT GIARDINO IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

 

March 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- You're invited to join East County Magazine and members of our East County DIning Club at Giardino Neighborhood Cucino (8131 Broadway in Lemon Grove) on Thursday, March 29.  This is a deliciously authentic Italian restaurant with a chef from Sicily who formerly worked in the Gaslamp! 

When:  Thursday, March 29. Dinner starts at 6:30, or arrive early at 5:30 for a no-host cocktail mixer to mingle and meet new friends.

Cost: $42 includes appetizers (eggplant rolls, calamaria ftirri with pomodoro sauce/chipiotle aioli),entree  (see choices below), dessert (limconcello cheesecake or tiramisu), tax and tip

RSVP: March 25 deadline: (619)698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org   Include your entrée choice: Cod Picatta  in lemon/capers/butter sauce, Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, Cheese Ravioli with Pesto Sauce, Lasagna, or Penne Primavera with seasonal vegetables.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS UPDATES ON CRIME AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES, COMPLAINTS OVER CASES AGAINST COUNCILMEMBERS

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

March 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Crime rates, emergency response times, and controversies involving Council members embroiled in multilpe claims against the City were among the issues raised during Tuesday’s Lemon Grove City Council meeting.

GIARDINO’S NEIGHBORHOOD CUCINA: A DELICIOUS ADDITION TO LEMON GROVE

 

 

New Italian restaurant is open Christmas Day

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2017 (Lemon Grove) –Marco Provino, originally from Palermo in Sicily, worked as a chef in San Diego’s Gaslamp District at Panavino’s on Fifth before falling in love with manager Karina Karvalis. The couple married, moved to Lemon Grove and opened up Giardino’s Neighborhood Cucina, a delightfully authentic Italian restaurant with creative, upscale options at affordable pricing.

FIRES IN RAMONA AND LEMON GROVE

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

December 11, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Cal Fire crews are working a fully-involved structure fire in Ramona in the 21000 block of San Vicente Road in Ramona, Cal Fire reports. According to Brush Fire Partyline on Facebook, scanner traffic indicates this is a residential structure fire at 1166 San Vicente View, just off of San Vicente Road.

Brush rigs have been called in; the location is adjacent to the Barnett Ranch Preserve, a County Preserve.

GEORGE GASTIL APPOINTED TO UCSD CHANCELLOR'S COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD

 

Photo: Gastil, right, with UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla's Community Advisory Board

By Jonathan Goetz

August 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Lemon Grove resident George Gastil, a professor, former school board and city council member, has been appointed to Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s Community Advisory Board (CCAB) for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). 

PURSUIT ENDS IN SUSPECT FATALLY SHOT IN LEMON GROVE: SEARCH ON FOR SECOND SUSPECT; THIRD PERSON IN CUSTODY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News.

August 24, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Law enforcement agencies from multiple agencies  shot and killed a man in Lemon Grove who had opened fire on them following a pursuit early this morning, Times of San Diego.

  The chase reportedly began after a La Mesa Police officer  approaching a suspicious car stopped at a green light near Fletcher Parkway and Baltimore Drive heard screams; the car then sped away, according to Times of San Diego.

RESTRAINING ORDER REQUEST AGAINST LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN DENIED BY JUDGE; ARAMBULA SAYS HE PLANS SUIT ALLEGING DEFAMATION AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2017  (Lemon Grove) – A judge has denied  a permanent restraining order sought against Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula by a local lawyer for whom he once worked as a paralegal. The restraining order request was denied with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be refilled.  The judge found no evidentiary basis for a civil harassment order.  View the judge’s Minute Order.

PASSAGES: MANUEL MIGUEL MORENO DIES OF INJURIES IN CAR CRASH

 

Services set for July 2nd and 3rd

July 1, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Manuel Miguel Moreno, a Lemon Grove resident who was raised in Santee, passed away June 26th at Grossmont Hospital of injuries from a car crash eight months ago in Ramona. He was surrounded by his family.

ZAPATEADOS: DANCES OF MEXICO IN LEMON GROVE

 

East County News Service

Shows held June 23, July 28 and August 25

June 1, 2017 (Lemon Grove)—Muevete Dance Studio in Lemon Grove (3338 Main St.) presents  a Zapateados “fundraiser” on the fourth Friday each month from June through August. These events showcase dance styles from various regions in Mexico,  showcasing talented dancers from Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan.  All shows are free, starting at 7 pm.

MISSING LAKESIDE MAN MAY TRY GOING HOME TO LEMON GROVE

 

Update 8 p.m.:   Todd Perkins has been found safe in Lemon Grove.

East County News Service

November 14, 2016 (Lakeside)—The  Sheriff has issued a be-on-the-lookout bulletin for Todd Randolph Perkins,48.  He has been missing since 2:30 p.m.  His caretaker says he may have walked away from his home on Dorsal Drive in Lakeside.

He suffers from a medical condition that causes him to limp.  He has green tattooso on both arms. He is white with brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and weighs 130 pounds.  He has told his caretaker that he would like to return to his former home on the 7100 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove,though he does not drive.

GASTIL TAKES LEAD IN LEMON GROVE MAYORAL RACE

 

 

Council members elected, marijuana measure fails

By Miriam Raftery

Update November 10, 2016:  This evening George Gastil has retaken the lead by a slim 19-vote margin as counting of mail-in and provisional ballots continues.

November 9, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — The race to fill Lemon Grove’s mayoral seat vacated by retiring Mayor Mary Sessom is still too close to call.  Councilman George Gastil jumped into an early lead, but today Councilmember Racquel Vasquez has pulled into the lead by a mere 12 votes.  If elected, she would be the first African-American mayor in San Diego County.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARLENE MCADORY, THRIVE LEMON GROVE PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL CANDIDATE

 

November 7, 2016 (Lemon Grove) –Charlene McAdory, president of Thrive Lemon Grove and a long-time community activist, is running for the Lemon Grove City Council.  She reached out to us to talk about key issues in Lemon Grove.  In addition, as a past member of a citizens police oversight board in another city,  she gave us her perspective on the recent police shooting in El Cajon and the importance of oversight.

You can hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ Radio, by clicking the orange audio link,and scroll down for more information on this race.

Audio: 

interview: Charlene McAdory, Thrive Lemon Grove president and Council candidate

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER TO RECONSIDER ITS ENDORSEMENT OF MARIJUANA INITIATIVES IN LA MESA AND LEMON GROVE AFTER BACKLASH FROM CIVIC LEADERS

 

Update Oct. 12: The Chamber has rescinded its endorsement of Measures U and V after receiving more information from the cities of La Mesa and  Lemon Grove.

By Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) –Community leaders in La Mesa and Lemon Grove are reacting with shock and outrage over endorsement by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce (ECC) of Measures U and V, which would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the two cities.   Voters in both La Mesa and Lemon Grove rejected similar ballot measures in the last general election.

“The City of Lemon Grove is a dues-paying member of the ECC. Our tax dollars pay for those dues,” states an e-mail sent to  Lemon Grove’s mayor and others  from  Helen Ofield,  President of the Lemon Grove  Historical Society, and her husband, Jack.  “We urge the Lemon Grove City Council and City Manager to oppose the ECC’s action in the strongest possible terms and to cancel its membership in the ECC.”

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SHARE DIVERSE VIEWS FOR CITY’S FUTURE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear full audio of the one-hour candidate forum by clicking the  orange link.

September 29,2016 (Lemon Grove)—At a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine and the Lemon Grove Library on September 21st ,  three mayoral hopefuls shared their visions for the future of Lemon Grove. 

Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez, along with former Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Rosiak, fielded questions from moderator Miriam Raftery, editor of ECM, ,as well  as audience questions.

Audio: 

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEWSLETTER?

 

September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Our latest newsletter just came out --with all the hottest news and events impacting you in East County all in one single-page newsletter.  You can view the latest edition here.   

To get a free subscription to our weekly newsletter-- and also the option to get free wildfire and emergency alerts, click here

Tell your friends and family!

FROM POT SHOPS TO SCHOOL BONDS TO A BUILDER’S BONANZA: INITIATIVES ON EAST COUNTY BALLOTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 1,2016  (San Diego’s East County) – Beyond the blizzard of ballot measures statewide and candidates on your November ballot, East County voters will be asked to weigh in on a variety of local initiatives with big impacts.

Those include countywide measures:  one a tax to fund transportation, the other  a measure that would set a precedent for developers to  evade environmental reviews by taking projects directly to voters.   There are also medical marijuana dispensary measures on the ballots in Lemon Grove and La Mesa, a redistricting proposal in El Cajon, and school bond measures in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, Grossmont Union High School, and Cajon Valley  Union school districts.  Here are details:

OPEN SEATS IN LEMON GROVE ATTRACT 3 MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND 5 COUNCIL CANDIDATES; BALLOT STATEMENTS NOW UP FOR PUBLIC REVIEW

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Scroll down for complete ballot statements from all candidates

August 23, 2016 (Lemon Grove)-- The Lemon Grove City Council is undergoing some major changes. Mayor Mary Sessom is stepping down. Council members Racquel Vasquez and George Gastil are running for the open mayoral seat, along with Teresa Rosiak, former president of Lemon Grove’s Chamber of Commerce.

Although the races are officially nonpartisan,Gastil has won endorsement from the County Democratic Party, an advantage in Lemon Grove, a heavily Democratic community.  Vasquez is also a registered Democrat,while Rosiak is a Republican. 

Both Gastil and Vasquez have their terms end this year, meaning they are giving up their seats by running for Mayor and there will be no costly special election to fill their seats. Five candidates are hoping to fill those slots.

Below are highlights on all Mayoral and Council candidates' qualifications, along with their full ballot statements submitted to the cities. (Note,  statements are within the public review period which ends August 29; statements may change on official ballots if any information is challenged.)

FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO WEDNESDAY IN THESE RACES WHERE INCUMBENTS ARE NOT SEEKING REELECTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16,2016  (San Diego’s East County)—The deadline for candidates to file, submit signatures and run for local offices has been extended to 5 p.m. tomorrow in  races where incumbents  did not file ot seek reelection. This includes key city council and mayor races in East County, as well as many school boards and special districts such as fire and water boards,as well as community planning boards.

HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES 3-2 FOR 10.3% RATE HIKE WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING: CANDIDATES BLAST INCUMBENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2016 (La Mesa) – With scarcely any public notice, Helix Water Board passed a 10.3% rate hike by a slim one-vote majority. The stated reason was because water use has dropped due to customers conserving water--just as the district asked them to do.

Directors Kathleen Coates-Hedberg and Joel Scalziti voted against jacking up rates, while directors John Linden, Chuck Muse and Deana Verbeke voted for the rate hike over public objections.

CANDIDATES CAN NOW FILE TO RUN FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE ELECTIONS; FILING DEADLINE IS AUGUST 12

No filing fees, ballot statement costs  $315 to $360 in smaller trustee districts

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – For the first time, the Grossmont Union High School District will hold elections in November for individual trustee districts.   There are no filing fees, though modest fees are charged for candidates to publish ballot statements. With smaller districts, the cost for ballot statements is far less than in the past --just $315 in Trustee Area 1 (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley/La Prensa),which is an open seat, and $360 in Trustee Area 2 (La Mesa/Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix and part of Rancho San Diego) currently represented by Jim Stieringer.

The candidate filing period opened July 18 and closes August 12th.  August 12 is also the deadline for candidates to submit ballot statements, which for the first time will be accepted electronically.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH GEORGE GASTIL, MAYOR PRO TEM OF LEMON GROVE

 

East County News Service

April 29, 2016 (Lemon Grove) – Recently, East County Magazine sat down with George Gastil,  Mayor Pro Tem of Lemon Grove and a candidate for Mayor.  Our two-part interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio earlier this month.

In our series, he talked about key issues facing Lemon Grove and changes the city has seen through the years. In addition, Gastil, who has also served on the Metropolitan Transit board and the Lemon Grove School District Board, discusses transportation, education and politics--including his upcoming bid to become Lemon Grove's Mayor, after long-time Mayor Mary Sessom announced her retirement.

Audio: 

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