Rural communities

SUPERVISOR JACOB SPEAKS OUT AT PROTEST OVER HOLLYWOOD CASINO IN JAMUL

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2016 (Jamul) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob today joined with residents at a press conference to voice concerns over state actions regarding the Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego.

WATER AGENCIES RESPOND TO MERCURY CONCERNS IN RESERVOIRS: TESTS FOCUSED ON FISH

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State and local water agency representatives have offered more information for the public following a recent report revealing that 150 reservoirs statewide are “mercury impaired,” including10 in San Diego County, as ECM reported

A key clarification is that the term “mercury impaired reservoirs” referred to testing of fish in those waters,  not testing of water for drinking.  Drinking water can test with no detectable mercury levels, yet still have high, unsafe concentrations of mercury in fish, particularly larger fish that have consumed smaller fish.  This problem raises a new issue: the need for new testing methods to detect low levels of mercury that while not unsafe in drinking water,  can result in unsafe levels in fish living in those waters.

8 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR 2 SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time,  the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections.  The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.

COUNTY RELEASES REPORT ON BORDER FIRE, SETS MEETING IN POTRERO ON SEPT. 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (Potrero) – San Diego County staff has completed its after-action report on the Border Fire.  The report is available at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/Border-Fire-June-2016-AAR.pdf.  View reports on prior fires at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/.

POINTE FIRE NOW 80% CONTAINED, EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Update August 19,2016 8 a.m.:The fire held to 26 acres overnight and is now 80% contained.

Update 8:40 p.m.: Evacuation orders are now lifted. Please watch for firefighters as you return home.

Update7 p.m.:The fire is 15 acres and 40% contained. A firefighter was bitten by a rattlesnake and has been hospitalized.

East County News Service

Photos by Kristink Kjaero taken off State Route 94 and Kathleen Coates-Hedberg, viewed from Mt. Helix.

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) – Evacuations have been ordered in Spring Valley on Ledge Side between Ledge View and South Barcelona due to the Pointe Fire, Cal Fire reports. Structures are threatened north of Point Parkway near the water tanks, NBC 7 news reports.

Monte Vista High School is being set up as an evacuation center at 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd. in Spring Valley. The fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres.

 

BRUSH FIRE IN MEXICO REACHES CAMPO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: Audrua  A. Lou’Lou, taken at Campo Hills, below cut photo:  Bob Scheid

Update August 14, 2016 2 p.m. -  Fire is now 120 acres, all currently south of the Border,per Cal Fire, which has three engines monitoring the blaze.

Update 7 p.m.:  Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez says the fire is now 60 acres. According to Capt. Sanchez it is entirely in Mexico, though several eyewitnesses have told  ECM it did cross the border earlier in at least one spot near Campo. Cal Fire describes the fire as south of Bell Valley near Potrero,burning southeast along the Mexican side of the border fence."

  Firefighters will remain at scene throughout the evening in order to ensure that it does not spread to the north.  Currently, CAL FIRE and San Diego County Fire have 12 engines, 4 water tenders and 4 hand crews (approximately 100 personnel) at scene. 

 

August 13, 2016 (Campo) – A fast-burning brush fire that started in Mexico has now crossed into the U.S. in Campo, multiple residents confirm.  The fire crossed the border fence about two miles west of the Campo store. 

“It is on both sides of the fence and they are pulling water from private ponds not Lake Morena,” says Karen Noblitt-McIntyre. Lake Morena has been drained to below 3% capacity by the City of San Diego.

Long-time residents of the area advise that the brush there has not burned in many years. Some are voluntarily evacuating near the border.

JAMUL RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF INADEQUATE ALERTS AFTER HIGHWAY 94 SHUTDOWNS--AGAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 11, 2016 (Jamul) — On August 5th, a head-on crash between a big-rig and three other vehicles at the steel bridge on State Route 94 near Jamacha shut down the highway for several hours.  A truck lost a rear axle. One car flipped, another partially over the side,” says Kim Hamilton, Deerhorn Valley Antler editor, who cancelled family dinner plans due to the delay. ”Cars were going the wrong way, no law enforcement,” she told ECM.

EXPECT DELAYS ON HIGHWAY 94 IN JAMUL AUGUST 15-22

By Miriam Raftery

August 10,2016 (Jamul) – Signs posted by Cal Trans along State Route 94  are warning motorists to expect traffic delays August 15-22 due to ”events.”

According to a Cal Trans press release posted on the Jamul Indian Village website, Caltrans issued a permit to the Jamul Indian Village for traffic control on  SR-94/Campo Road related to the installation of a new temporary traffic signal at the intersection of SR-94 and Daisy Drive.

COLON CANCER PATIENT IN CAMPO NEEDS HELP TO CONTINUE CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS

 

East County News Service

August 9, 2016 (Campo-Lake Morena) — A GoFundMe site has been established by Bill Holtwick to help raise money for huge medical costs needed to save the life of his wife, Pat.  Claudia Millerbragg, who runs a Campo-Lake Morena community forum, has confirmed that Pat Holtwick is a cherished community member who has devoted many hours to rescuing abandoned or abused animals.

“I am 71 years old and Pat is 66 and we just can’t keep up with physical and or the financial responsibilities. We are both on Social Security, and are on a very low/limited income,” Holtwick writes.

HIGH MERCURY LEVELS FOUND IN MANY LOCAL LAKES AND RESERVOIRS

 

Update:   Helix Water says Lake Jennings drinking water tests clean, issue is with fish tissue; state clarifies problem is with fish tissue, not necessarily water for drinking

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

August 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State officials are warning that 150 reservoirs statewide are tainted by mercury. Ten San Diego reservoirs are contaminated, including some of East County’s most popular fishing spots.  “Mercury is negatively impacting the beneficial uses of many waters of the state by making fish unsafe for human and wildlife consumption,” the State Water Resources Control Board website warns.

However some local officials dispute those findings.

 

What lakes locally have mercury issues,accordingto the state?

Local reservoirs listed as "mercury impaired" on the state's document are El Capitan Reservoir, Lake Henshaw, Lake Hodges, Lake Jennings, Loveland Reservoir, Lower Otay Reservoir, Lake Morena Reservoir, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Sutherland, and Sweetwater Reservoir, according to a California Water Boards publication released in June.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE SIGNS TRIBAL-STATE GAMING COMPACT WITH STATE OF CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2016 – Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a tribal-state Gaming Compact between the State of California and the Jamul Indian Village of California. This compact affirms JIV’s partnership and government-to-government relationship with the State.

NOBODY IS RUNNING YET IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES: DEADLINE IS AUGUST 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The deadline to file as a candidate to run for local offices is August 11. But so far, many East County races have no candidates declared or qualified for the ballot, according to the Registrar of Voters candidate list for the November election.  Most community planning groups have nobody running.  The same is true in some school, water and fire districts. Races with no candidates will be filled by appointment. In other districts, people are running unopposed—even incumbents on some of the most controversy-riddled boards.

No candidates are listed yet for the city councils in El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove or Santee, nor for the mayoral seats open in Lemon Grove and Santee, nor the La Mesa City Clerk or Treasurer seats.  Candidates have been actively campaigning in some of those races and some will likely file before deadline, but it’s also common for candidates to drop out before qualifying for the ballot.

In the Grossmont Union High School District, incumbent Jim Stieringer is thus far running unopposed in district two (La Mesa/Mt. Helix/Rancho San Diego); in district one (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley) which is an open seat, only one candidate has filed: Pastor Steve Babbitt from Spring Valley Community Church.

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.

FIREFIGHTER INJURED, HOMES DAMAGED BY RECYCLING CENTER FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Screenshot, ECM news partner 10 News

August 3, 2016 (Spring Valley) — A firefighter was injured by a falling stack of cardboard while battling a blaze at a recycling center Tuesday morning in the 3800 block of Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley.

GROUNDWATER REPORT, TULE WIND LAWSUITS AND SDG&E PLAN TO BOOST CAPACITY ON SOUTHWEST POWERLINK ARE ON BOULEVARD PLANNERS’ AGENDA THURSDAY, AUG. 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (Boulevard) -- On Thursday, August 4 at 7 p.m. the Boulevard Community Planning Group will meet at the Boulevard Fire Training Room.  View full agenda.

LEARN FIRE SAFETY AT COUNTY PARKS

 

Fire safety events are coming to San Diego County parks, with CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service and park ranger experts sure to kindle your interest in fire science, preparedness and nature in an outdoor classroom.

ALPINE BUSINESS NETWORKING ASSOCIATION HOSTS MIXER AUGUST 11

 

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Alpine) - Calling all businesses in Alpine and East County San Diego!   Alpine Business Networking Association (ABNA) is holding a membership drive networking mixer on Thursday August 11th from 6pm to 8pm at Donatos Italian Restaurant located at 2654 Alpine Blvd in Alpine.   Come enjoy a delicious Italian dinner and network with the businesses in our communities.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

COMMUNITY: JOIN THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT FOR NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME

 

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff's Department

July 27, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Join the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for FREE Night Out Against Crime© events on Tuesday, August 2nd. Sheriff's Stations and Substations all over the county will be hosting block parties to take a stand against crime.

Activities vary by location and may include free food, drinks, giveaways and activities for kids. Night Out Against Crime© is a celebration of community relationships. Meet your neighbors, as well as deputies who patrol your area. All locations will have a Sheriff's Crime Prevention Specialist on site so you can get tips on how to stay safe. See below for a community near you or visit www.sdsheriff.net:

GROCERY STORE BOYCOTT BEGINS: STORES IN LA MESA AND SPRING VALLEY AMONG THOSE TARGETED

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (San Diego)—A boycott of six Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery store locations is underway starting this week, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union in San Diego has announced.  If no contract agreement is reached by August 8th,the union has voted to call a strike against all of the stores’ locations throughout southern California.

The boycott locations include two in East County:  the Vons store at 8011 University Ave. in La Mesa and the Albertsons at 9831 Campo Road in Spring Valley.

PETITION LAUNCHED TO SAVE EAST COUNTY LAKES--AND PROTECT LIVES DURING WILDFIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2016 (Lake Morena) – An online petition has been launched asking the City of San Diego to stop draining Lake Morena and Barrett Lake. Rural residents seek help from San Diego residents and all who are concerned about wildlife or the prospect of a devastating firestorm to sign the petition.

The petition, posted by Campo resident Karen Noblitt-McIntyre, accuses San Diego officials of ignoring public safety, noting that two residents died during the recent Border Fire. Firefighting aircraft were diverted to water sources farther away due to lack of water in these lakes, witnesses stated in recent public meetings.

The petition states that the city has put wildlife and rural communities at risk, also failing to live up to its promise to repair the dam at Lake Morena. The city drained Lake Morena to less than 3% of capacity and Barrett Lake to below 6% of capacity, public records indicate.  Although San Diego claimed it needed drinking water during the drought, the city did not ask its residents to conserve water before draining East County’s lakes.  The water was pumped to Otay reservoir, which overfilled when rain fell, so the city dumped the precious water supply into the ocean.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO CONSIDER CANCELLING PEPPER DRIVE FIRE STATION, PURSUING ANNEXATION OF CSA 115 BY LAKESIDE FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board meets Wednesday, July 27th at the district board room at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley.  The board will discuss possible action to reestablish discussions with Lakeside Fire District over a possible joint annexation of County Service Area (CSA) 115, a 441-acre parcel that includes the planned Pepper Drive fire station.  The board will also consider halting development of Station 19 at Pepper Drive pending results of discussions with Lakeside Fire District over annexation.

In addition, board members will discuss and may take action to approve recommendations from the Transitional Ad Hoc Committee regarding a contract for a Transitional Consultant and may approve appointment of a Transitional Consultant.  Purchase of a fire prevention vehicle will also be considered.

SHOOTING ON BLM LANDS BANNED FOR FIRE SEASON—BUT SOME RESIDENTS SAY MORE ENFORCEMENT IS NEEDED TO PREVENT FIRES IN BACKCOUNTRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Effective July 1st, the Bureau of Land Management has banned all recreational shooting on its federal lands in San Diego County due to high fire hazard declared by the California Department of Forestry.

BBQ AND DANCE AUGUST 6 IN ALPINE TO HELP CANCER SURVIVOR VICKI HALSEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (Alpine) — Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine is hosting a barbecue, dance and silent auction on August 6th to help fund medical bills for colon cancer survivor Vicki Halsey, a horse trainer and advocate for children. The deadline for pre-purchasing dinners is August 1.

WANT TO RUN FOR A LOCAL OFFICE? FILING DEADLINE IS OPEN NOW THROUGH AUGUST 12

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The filing period to run for local offices is now open, closing August 12.   Concerned citizens can often make positive differences in their communities by become elected officials serving as members of school boards, community planning groups, fire boards, water boards, hospital districts, city councils, or as mayors.

DOGS WHO LOST OWNERS IN BORDER FIRE NOW AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s animal shelter in Bonita is still seeking good homes for five of the dogs owned by Jim and Kyrie Keefe, the Potrero couple who perished in the Border Fire.  You can view the dogs in this video. Ideally, Animal Control hopes the dogs can be adopted by someone with a large yard and other dogs.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE LAND TRANSFER TO CAMPO NONPROFITS

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2016 (Campo) – Last week, County Supervisors voted to convey 247 acres in Campo to several nonprofit organizations, including Mountain Health and the Pacific Southwest Museum, to expand historical, civic and educational opportunities for rural residents and visitors.

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