East County's Best Videos
November 15, 2014 (El Cajon)--Rob Tade at the El Cajon American Legion post sent in this video by David Miyashiro, CVUSD Superintendent, of El Cajon’s 2014 Veterans Day commemoration held earlier this week to honor our nation's veterans.
November 6, 2014 (Alpine) -- An Alpine resident has posted a video on YouTube showing a close encounter with a bobcat that wandered into her backyard, apparently unaware of the photographer on a porch swing close at hand.
By Miriam Raftery
November 3, 2014 (Jamul) – Pirates, wenches and other costumed guests jumped into action at the Fair Oaks Vineyard Grape Stomp last month. Stephanie Young brought her crew from the Manor Vineyard to savor the festivities, as this video from the grape stomping competition shows.
See full frame video from the event here: http://youtu.be/Byf5fO_UxEQ
September 18,2014 (Alpine)-- Viejas Casino & Resort set two new Guinness World Records today – for World’s Longest Sparkler Relay and World’s Longest Chain of Fireworks.
September 18, 2014 (Ramona)—It’s harvest time at our local wineries, and many now host grape stomps to encourage community members to join in crushing those ripe grapes. Health rules prohibit drinking wine made from the stomps in California, but that didn’t stop patrons at Hacienda de Las Rosas Winery in Ramona from diving in and savoring the experience! Our editor, Miriam Raftery, caught the action with this video.
United Nations passes resolution for sanctions against ISIS backers; local Iraqis ask for airlifts to save lives
Hear our exclusive interview with Mark Arabo on progress at the United Nations to save Iraqi Christians, originally aired Aug. 20 on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM:
By Miriam Raftery
August 21, 2014 (El Cajon) – Chanting “Save Iraq, save humanity,” and “Save Iraqi Christians,” hundreds of Iraqi-Americans marched through the streets of El Cajon on Tuesday. Many are gravely concerned about family members trapped in Iraq or who have fled as refugees as terrorists now calling themselves the Islamic State have seized cities across Iraq, torturing , killing or kidnapping those who refuse to convert to Islam. The community showed support, with many motorists honking horns and drawing cheers.
Speakers, including former State Senator Wadie Deddeh, Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo, and religious leaders also turned out to show solidarity with the persecuted minorities of Iraq.
June 11, 2014 (La Mesa)--La Mesa showed its patriotic spirit at the city's annual Flag Day Parade in 2014. Kristen Kjaero and Jose Abadie compiled this video with highlights of the event.
May 30, 2014 (Ramona) – Activists from Veterans for Peace and the Ramona Forum found a creative way to get their message out at the Ramona Parade. Dave Patterson narrates the groups’ video, providing details on a “drone pork drop” float created here in East County. View the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuPsjj_12j0
February 28, 2014 (Ocotillo) -- An Ocotillo resident has prepared a poignant video dramatically illustrating the scope of destruction done by Pattern Energy to build its Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility. The video details the beauty of the desert with closeup images of birds and other wildlife amid the ocotillo forest mowed down on 12,500 acres of public lands, then shows the construction and finished results.
By Miriam Raftery
February 15, 2014 (Mt. Helix)—The Mt. Helix Academy in la Mesa, which has students from kindergarten through ninth grade, takes pride in “happy kids who love to learn,” says Tracey Singer, marketing coordinator. So Singer wrote and directed a music video starring kids at the school “to show what a fun place we have,” he said. “To my knowledge we are the only school in San Diego, and probably the nation, that is marketing itself with original music videos.”
By Miriam Raftery
December 19, 2013 (San Diego) -- Christopher Caluza, Philippine national champion, performed as the grand finale at last night's holiday ice show at the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center Ice Arena. The show also included performances by skating school students, from tots to senior citizens.
Caluza got his start training at local ice rinks before gaining international acclaim. I recall seeing him landing splits on the ice when he was a young kid; we all knew he was destined to be a star! Click here to view the video of his performance: http://youtu.be/7gHnrQA21Gw
September 12, 2012 (Ocotillo)- Photographer Jim Pelley captures lightning show over a wind project in the Ocotillo desert.
A reader sent links to an amazing video shot during a ride on a freight railway line through the rugged Carrizo Gorge, across Goat trestle , through tunnels and the Seven Sisters bridges. This line is not open to the public, so enjoy this rare footage!
The Carrizo Gorge portion starts about 32 minutes into this video, westbound from Plaster City in Imperial County, then through the rugged Carrizo Gorge in San Diego's East County:
July 24, 2013 (Ocotillo) - In a dramatic video, award-winning videographer Jim Pelley takes a wild ride along a flooding roadway in the heart of the Ocotillo Express Wind Project. The brief storm, which lasted only an hour, closed Highway 98, also washing rocks and debris across access roads. (Note: video contains strong language as Pelley struggles to escape the rising floodwaters.)
Pelley, an engineer and resident of Ocotillo, has long contended that changes to natural drainage patterns made by the wind project developer, Pattern Energy, would worsen flooding in the region. Ocotillo is in a federally designated flood plain, but area residents have said that in the past, it took hours of heavy rainfall to cause serious flooding.
View a video by Billy Ortiz of water flowing into Lindo Lakes.
View an earlier video of stilts in low water.
View a Facebook page created by Ortiz with photos of wildlife at Lindo Lakes.
June 22, 2013 (Lakeside) – Migratory shorebirds at risk for nesting areas drying out will be saved, thanks to an inquiry from Lakeside resident Billy Ortiz, a volunteer with the Lakeside River Park Conservancy.
“I am happy to inform that as of June 21, 2013 San Diego County Parks and Recreation is pumping fresh water into Lindo Park Lake’s East basin,” Ortiz informed ECM today. The decision is a result of a request made in late May by Ortiz, also an ECM photographer and publicity chair of the Lakeside Hisotrical Society.
Campo Creek Ranch offers local delivery of all-natural grass-fed beef
By Miram Raftery
June 13, 2013(Campo)—Cattle come running when rancher John Clark arrives. It looks like a scene out of a California “happy cows” commercial. View video.
These beef cattle are raised in open pastures, not crowded feed lots. They graze in green pastures at Campo Creek Ranch in San Diego’s East County. They receive no hormones and their diet is all natural – native grass or in some cases, barley.
“They’re all much healthier to eat,” says Clark, adding that grass-fed cattle re higher in omega-3 fatty acids. The ranch also offers all-natural chickens, pigs and rabbits – with meat delivered straight to consumers.
By Ariele Johannson
April 9, 2013 (Campo)--Imagine the Old West back in the 1800s. Lawmen are few and far between. Desperadoes sometimes spread terror throughout the new state of California. And Campo, on the United States-Mexican border, is the site of a confrontation between law-abiding citizens and one such gang of outlaws.
The Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters, an Old West reenactment team, brought history to life with period attire and weapons outside the Golden Acorn Casino on March 23, 2013. The occasion was the Campo Gunfight of December 4, 1875. Forgotten by history, The Campo Gunfight lasted longer and had more casualties than the shootout at the OK Corral.
By Miriam Raftery
March 16, 2013 (Vallecitos) -- A soldier, a sailor, and a mountain man—all bringing to life tales from the 1850 and '60s, shared their stories at Vallecitos Days. The two-day event continues Sunday morning (ending at 2 p.m.) at the Vallecitos Stage Station in the Anza-Borrego Desert .
For details see http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/12586. To get there, take I-8 east to S-2 at Ocotillo and continue north until you reach the Vallecitos Stage Station on your left.
As we arrived, a soldier in a Union Army uniform offers visitors bread cooked over a campfire. It resembles s’mores, baked long and narrow to fit on a soldier’s gunstock to be carried on the trail. Another Army man launches into a story of how he wound up at this outpost, while nearby, a woman in a hoopskirt shades herself with a parasol.
March 11, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Pinch Flat Fortune Productions has created a delightful video that provides a cyclist’s eye view of Jacumba Hot Springs, a town built around a natural mineral spring bubbling up from the ground near a pond that’s a birdwatcher’s haven. The filmmakers call Jacumba Hot Springs “magical,” adding that in addition to free camping and soothing soaks, the community has, “some of the kindest, quirkiest, most interesting people we have ever met, all in one place.”
By Billy Ortiz
View video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0EPuSgKJOY
November 20, 2012 (Lakeside) --Early in the morning on November 15 in El Monte Valley, I was driving slowly like always, hoping to see a cat. Today was my day--I spotted one close to the road, followed it up the mountain a bit and discovered that there was more than one. Much to my surprise, I saw a second and then a third bobcat to my right. What I didn't realize was that I had gotten between the mama and one of her young.
Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz
View video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Y0hc267sA
November 3, 2012 (Lakeside) -- On a cool, cloudy autumn morning on October 20 in East County a group of teenage Boy Scouts from troop 801 in Coronado arrived at the Lakeside River Park. They brought heavy timbers and other materials to build what they hope will become a nest for the Ospreys that frequent a pond at the River Park.
In honor of Harold Hilliker Farm Day at Lakeside Middle School, videographer Billy Ortiz created a video documentary tour of local agricultural sites
Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz
June 30, 2012 (Lakeside)-- Lakeside Middle School held its first annual Harold Hilliker Farm Day on May 30. It was a day full of information on agriculture, highlighting several Lakeside farms for the 6th and 7th graders.
View a special video tour of local farms in Lakeside created for the Lakeside Historical Society by clicking this link.
In addition, view a presentation at Lakeside Middle School by freelance videographer Billy Ortiz here.
View East County Magazine’s video of this event: http://youtu.be/NrWud3-lEGM
Photos and video by Billy Ortiz
By Miriam Raftery
Video by Billy Ortiz
There comes a time in life when a person may decide to take a chance—to do something wild, so daring that it challenges the spirit and nurtures the soul.
September 3, 2011 (Blossom Valley) – When Dale Harker, a Vietnam combat veteran and cancer survivor, decided to train a wild mustang, friends thought he was crazy. “You old fool, don’t you know that horse is gonna kill you?” one roping expert told him.
But Harker defied the odds, relying on his faith—and training videos he found online—to gentle a wild horse that he obtained through the Bureau of Land Management. His amazing success was chronicled in a documentary, Mustang Man: How a Wild Horse Tamed a Vietnam Veteran. But his story doesn’t end there.
August 28, 2011 (San Diego) -- East County Magazine videographer Jack Winemiller has created this video tour of Mission Trails Regional Park. At over 6,150 acres, Mission Trails is larger than Balboa Park, New York's Central Park, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park combined!
A ROARING GOOD TIME: EAST COUNTY CHAMBER MEMBERS GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH BIG CATS AT LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS
Story by Miriam Raftery; Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery
August 2, 2011 (Alpine) -- "Oh, you're beautiful!" San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Alevy exclaimed as his wife, Joanne, dished up a forkful of chicken. But he wasn't complimenting her cooking. Instead, Alevy was admiring Raja--a 500-pound Bengal tiger that Joanne was feeding after winning a drawing at Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine.
The Chamber hosted a fundraiser to benefit the big cat rescue facility last weekend, donating 100% of proceeds to help this worthy cause while providing a memorable experience for Chamber members. View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFhE9h-O0Uw
July 4, 2011 (Santee) - An estimated 7,000 people turned out for Santee Salutes, including families from throughout East County as well as local dignitaries including Assemblyman Brian Jones and Mayor Randy Voepel. Live music, patriotic presentations, carnival rides and a spectacular fireworks show were all part of the festivities.
ALL ABOARD! STEAM TRAIN RIDES, SQUARE DANCING & DIXIELAND JAZZ AT OLD POWAY PARK’S INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
July 4, 2011 (Poway) –Decked out with red and blue bunting on wooden railway bridges, water tower and gazebo/bandstand, Old Poway Park today looked like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The Old West-themed park exemplifies the best of Americana this 4th of July, compete with rides on the Baldwin steam train (watch for train robbers), a Dixieland jazz band, square dancing, quilting show/contest and craft show—plus two-acres of picnic grounds and family-oriented activities such as three-legged races.
Story, photos and video by Elena Peña
June 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Nestled in between slopes in the Cleveland National Forest lies a gem known as Cedar Creek Falls, often referred to as The Devil’s Punch Bowl. A wondrous waterfall is the picturesque background to the swimming hole at the end of this approximately four-mile hike. The location used to be accessed mainly from Julian. But due to a newly revamped trail out of Ramona, it’s now more accessible than ever before--and more populated, especially on weekends and holidays.