People Power

Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

FLYING HIGH: ELLEN OCHOA NAMED TO U.S. ASTRONAUT HALL OF FAME

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: NASA

March 18, 2017 (La Mesa) — I remember Ellen Ochoa from our student days at Parkway Junior High School.  She was brilliant, having already skipped two grades and still maintaining an “A” average. So, I’m not surprised at her stellar career, which included becoming the first Hispanic woman astronaut in space and now, induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to a true local hero!

EL CAJON HONORS SUNSHINE HORTON FOR “GENEROUS SPIRIT” AS CIVIC VOLUNTEER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s City Council declared Tuesday, March 14th as Sunshine Horton Day to honor the city’s Goodwill Promoter. 

Horton, who was previously named El Cajon Citizen of the Year in 2012,  has been improving the lives of East County residents for nearly 40 years.  “We appreciate all she has done to make El Cajon a better place for all,” Mayor Wells stated in the proclamation.

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE RECEIVES $70,000 FOR NEW SENIOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE

 

Funds to support “Navigator,” Uber/Lyft access for seniors without smartphones

East County News Service

March 13, 2017 (San Diego) -- Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has been awarded $70,000 by the San Diego Foundation’s Age Friendly Communities Program to help improve the quality of life for older adults in San Diego through On the Go Navigator – a new addition to JFS’s existing On the Go program.

HOMELESSNESS IN LA MESA: LA MESA CONVERSATIONS MIXER MARCH 23

 

East County News Service

March 13, 2017 (La Mesa) – Homelessness in LA Mesa will be the topic for the next La Mesa Conversation mixer on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Johnny B’s restaurant, 83993 La Mesa Blvd. 

The guest speaker will be Lois Knowlton EdD,  Homelessness and Affordable Housing Advocate at  La Mesa First United Methodist Church. 

LAKESIDE CERT TEAM EXPANDS READINESS FOR DISASTERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CERT team member Christina Whipple

February 28, 2017 (Lakeside) – The room was packed for a recent training program offered by the Lakeside Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for volunteers eager to help their community if a wildfire, earthquake or other disaster overwhelms local authorities.

RESCUED CIRCUS LIONS COMING TO ALPINE: LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS SEEKS DONATIONS FOR NEW HABITATS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2017 (Alpine) — Lufuno, Arusha and Zulu were forced to perform in a famous traveling circus for many years.  But soon the trio of lions will have a new home at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: BONNIE PRICE, WOMEN’S RIGHTS ADVOCATE

 

East County News Service

Hear our interview, originally aired in January on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

“It wasn’t the e-mails; it was the white males,” – Bonnie Price, on sexism she believed prevented Hillary Clinton from becoming president

February 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring Valley resident Bonnie Price is a long-time women’s rights advocate, political scientist and feminist. In January, shortly after Price marched in the historic women’s march in San Diego, we interviewed her about her concerns over the erosion of women’s  rights that she spent much of her lifetime fighting to attain.

 Price has advocated for women’s causes from equal pay to the equal rights amendment.  She once established a Planned Parenthood clinic in rural Pennsylvania. She’s also been active in recruiting women  to run for political office through the nonpartisan Run Women Run and has served as president of the East County Democratic Club. A supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations, Price still hopes to see the ultimate glass ceiling broken in her lifetime. 

Scroll down to read highlights of her commetns , or click the audio link to hear our full interview.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: ESTELA DE LOS RIOS SPEAKS OUT ON HOMELESSNESS IN SAN DIEGO REGION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio in January,  by clicking the audio link, and scroll down for highlights of how Esetela de los Rios believes  our region’s homeless problems could and should be solved .

February 18, 2017 (San Diego)—Estela de los Rios with CSA, a fair housing and human rights organization in El Cajon since 1969, is calling for  a change in how the homeless are treated in the city of San Diego and across San Diego County.  San Diego now has the fourth highest number of homeless people in the nation according to the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency statistics.  Yet instead of providing meaningful help to homeless people, San Diego has often resorted to criminalizing homelessness—passing out citations for sleeping in public places and having police seize tents and sleeping bags even amid cold winter storms.

Homeless has affected every city in San Diego County,  including East County cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee, as well as unincorporated areas of the County. As San Diego cracks down on homelessness, more homeless people have resorted to camping along river banks,  in parks and on the streets of communities in East County, where homelessness is a problem for every city.

Audio: 

GOOD SAMARITAN SAVES ORANGE CAT HIT BY CAR IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2017 (La Mesa) - An orange tabby cat struck by a vehicle February 3rd on La Mesa Blvd. near Rosehedge Drive was rescued by a passing motorist and provided emergency veterinary care.  "Diego," as the lucky cat has now been named, may have used up one of his nine lives, but fortunately he's healed and will be heading to a new home tomorrow.

LA MESA TO HONOR RON AND ALICE BRADY, ROERT AND MARY-EM HOWARD WITH “WALK OF FAME” PLAQUES MONDAY, FEB. 13

 

Source: City of La Mesa

February 11, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Since the incorporation of La Mesa in 1912, the city has benefited from the influence and giving spirit of residents and businesses within its borders. One way the City recognizes these contributions is by adding their names to the La Mesa “Walk of Fame.” Recipients are recognized through placement of a bronze plaque on the sidewalks of La Mesa Blvd. in the downtown Village between Spring St. and 4th St.

KATIE STINCHCOMB, STEELE CANYON STUDENT, HONORED FOR SERVICE TO COMMUNITY

 

East County News Service

February 11, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Councilwoman Dianne Jacob honored Katie Stinchcomb, a La Mesa resident, with a proclamation that recognized it to be “Katie Stinchcomb Day” on Feb 10th.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY TO HOST CONRAD’S SUPPER CLUB’S FUNDRAISER ON FEB. 25

 

East County News Service

February 7, 2017 (San Diego) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County will present its 51st annual Conrad’s Supper Club, formerly called the Children’s Ball, a fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Omni San Diego Hotel, 675 “L” St., Downtown San Diego. Reception will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7 p.m. and live auction at 8:30 p.m.

JEWISH COMMUNITY JOINS WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS AND NONPROFITS TO COMBAT HATE TARGETING IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES

 

Executive order canceled 129,000 immigrant visas

"The refugee crisis, the millions that are displaced…Now is not the time to be spectators, we need to be involved: Generous with our time, money and with our feet." --Rabbi Scott Meltzer

By Thea Skinner  

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- Days before U.S. District Judge James Robard halted an executive order to bar immigrant travel, the Jewish community and official leaders organized at Congregation Beth El in La Jolla on February 2nd.

SIX LOCAL WOMEN WILL BE INDUCTED INTO THE WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME

 

Chosen from over 200 nominations, these women represent our community.

Source:  Women's Museum of California

January 18, 2017 (San Diego) - Nominations to honor women of accomplishment from our community have flooded the offices of the Women's Hall of Fame since June. The Hall of Fame Selection Committee identified five women who have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of other women and to bring change to their communities.

LISTEN NOW: OUR INTERVIEW WITH REV. SHANE HARRIS ON MONDAY’S MARTKIN LUTHER KING DAY MARCH AND TAKING BACK DR. KING’S DREAM IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

January 13, 2017 (San Diego) –  Rev. Shane Harris with the National Action Network (NAN) aims to reclaim Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream here in San Diego, the eighth largest city in the U.S. , starting with a local MLK march on Monday.  This week, in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ,  Rev. Harris shared his concerns and visions for the future.

“What we’ve seen with the Democrats and Republicans nationally and statewide is they will run around touting Dr. King, but they don’t understand his dream and vision,” Rev. Harris explains. “Dr. King died for a poor people’s campaign.  He was getting ready to lead a poor people’s march in Washington D.C. when he was killed.”

Audio: 

RECLAIMING MARTIN LUTHER KING’S DREAM IN SAN DIEGO: “OUR LIVES, OUR AGENDA” MARCH AND RALLY JANUARY 16

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2017 (East San Diego) – The National Action Network (NAN) along with a coalition of African-American activists, labor, and families of police shooting victims held a press conference last week to announce the first annual Martin Luther King march in San Diego “reclaiming MLK’s day and dream” on January 16h. The event will be four days before inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump “to set the tone on important issues regarding the civil rights community in San Diego and beyond” as well as to hold elected officials at all levels accountable on key issues, states a press release from NAN.

HELP NEEDED FOR COUPLE SERIOUSLY INJURED CHRISTMAS EVE, WITH BABY ON THE WAY

 

Update 1/4/17: Sierra has had a setback; she was slated for release but had breathing difficulties so her breathing tube has been reinserted. 

By Miriam Raftery

December 31, 2016 (El Cajon) – A Go Fund Me site has been set up to help a young couple from El Cajon seriously injured in a car accident  on Christmas Eve that occurred when a driver pulled out of a side street in front of them in El Cajon; the impact spun their vehicle around 180 degrees. 

Reuben DeHoyos Jr., 19, and his girlfriend, Sierra Marco, 17. were rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital’s trauma with major injuries.  They both face 6-12 months of recovery, are unable to work, have large medical bills not fully covered by insurance and they are expecting a baby.

RUNNING PUTS PROBATION YOUTH ON POSITIVE PATH

 

A running program is giving some youth in detention not only a physical outlet for stress but also meditative time to refocus and readjust attitudes that landed them in trouble. It’s turned into both a goal and an accomplishment they never thought they could attain – and an important component of their efforts to get their lives on the right track.

JOYS OF JOINING THE LAGUNA MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEERS

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy Bob Perry

December 29, 2016 (Mount Laguna) – The Laguna Mountain Volunteers (www.LMVA.net) are looking for more volunteers to man the visitor center and do other good works.  There are no minimum obligations, “just opportunities to seize,” says Bob Perry, who sent us these photos of a visit this week to the winter wonderland complete with  six inches of snow:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/rudyperry/albums/72157678384403265

He adds, “Louise and I drive up from El Cajon two Sundays a month to open the visitor center.  It's just the two of us having fun at 6,000 feet.  We've been doing this for six years.” 

FREE CHRISTMAS TREE GIVEAWAY FOR EL CAJON RESIDENTS DEC. 23

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 21, 2016 (El Cajon) --Newly elected El Cajon City Councilmember Steve Goble and the El Cajon Police Department are hosting a “Free Christmas Tree” giveaway this Friday, December 23rd.

These free Christmas trees will be given out from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Cartwright Pest Control, located at 1376 Broadway in El Cajon.   There will be 150 trees, up to 8’ tall and some will include flocking.  The trees will be given out first come, first serve, while supplies last.

SECRET SANTAS ASK SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES TO SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER

 

Source: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

December 17, 2016 (San Diego) - Three generous community members (Secret Santas) enlisted the help of Sheriff's Deputies today to surprise dozens of families with cash and gift cards.  People's reactions were one of pure joy.   

EL CAJON VALLEY LIONS CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKET PROGRAM FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

 

Source: El Cajon Valley Lions

December 14, 2016 (El Cajon) - On Saturday December 17, 2016, El Cajon Valley Lions will box and deliver Christmas food baskets to needy families in El Cajon. Each family will receive turkey and all the fixings and toys for the children. El Cajon Valley Lions have been doing this program in collaboration with the El Cajon Salvation Army for more than 25 years.

LAKESIDE RIVER PARK CONSERVANCY HONORS VOLUNTEERS

 

Source: Lakeside River Park Conservancy

Photo: Chris Manzella accepting her award from Volunteer Manager Cindy Collins

December 13, 2016 (Lakeside) -- Chris Manzella has been named Lakeside's River Park Conservancy's Volunteer Of The Year. The award given was the "The Joan Burnett Memorial Inspirational Award" named after founding volunteer Joan Burnett, who passed away in 2005.

"PAW IT FORWARD" WITH COATS, SWEATERS FOR PETS OF HOMELESS

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Buying your dog a festive doggie sweater or coat for the holidays? Throw two into the shopping basket or donate an old one to County Animal Services’ “Paw It Forward” campaign for pets of homeless people.

CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL KICKS OFF ITS ANNUAL “CHIPS FOR KIDS” HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE

 

East County News Service

December 6, 2016 (San Diego) - The California Highway Patrol has launched its 2016 CHiPs for Kids toy drive in San Diego County.  CHiPs for Kids is a Community Outreach program that has been in existence for 28 years in other areas of the state.  Friday December 16th.  There will be several collection and distribution events in the county, including Friday,  December 16th from  2 to 6 p.m. at the Walgreens Store in Lakeside(9728 Winter Gardens Boulevard 92040 here in East County.)  You can also drop off a new, unwrapped toy at any CHP office, Red Robin Restaurant, Waste Management, or Walgreens location between now and December 23rd.

BLANKET AND LINENS DRIVE FOR HOMELESS IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

December 5, 2016 (El Cajon) - The East County Transitional Living Center is holding a blanket and linen drive for the center’s formerly homeless residents.  Donations of new twin or full linens or blankets can be brought to  Cal Fire Fire stations at several East County locations by December 15 (See flyer below)  or you can drop them off at the ECTLC,  located at 1527 East Main Street in El Cajon.

EAST COUNTY CREATES REGIONAL HOMELESS TASK FORCE

 

East County News Service

November 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The newly created San Diego East County Regional Homeless Task Force held its first meeting in mid-November at the El Cajon Police Department. 

The effort is being spear-headed by the San Diego-East County Chamber of Commerce with support from civic leaders, educators, religious and other nonprofit organizations, social service providers and law enforcement. City managers from La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove and about 100 others attended the inaugural meeting.

COUNTY, MARINES COLLECTING TOYS FOR TOTS

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Putting a smile on a child’s face just feels good — especially during the holiday season.

You can get that good feeling by teaming up with County airports and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and donating a new, unwrapped toy to their annual Toys for Tots drive.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN GARY KENDRICK, A HERO FOR THE HOMELESS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left to right: Councilman Gary Kendrick with his son, TJ, and two formerly homeless men they have taken into their home, Tony and Michael

November 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- It’s rare to find elected officials willing to stand up to special interests or cast votes unpopular with vocal constituents, doing what he or she believes is right for the community and for people in need.

EL CAJON SCOUT EARNS EAGLE RANK

 

East County News Service

Photos courtesy of Pat Palma

November 7, 2016 (El Cajon) - The Eagle Court of Honor ceremony for new Eagle Scout Alexander Bryan Mast of Boy Scout Troop 320 was held on Nov. 5 at the First Presbyterian Church of El CajonFamily and friends, El Cajon City Councilman Bob McClellan and a representative from State Senator Joel Anderson’s office joined Scouts at the celebration at 500 Farragut Circle. A reception followed. The First Presbyterian Church has sponsored three Scout 320 units.

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