May 2015 Articles

SUMMER NIGHT SKY TOURS IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2015 (Borrego Springs)--Dazzling sights can be viewed each night in the clear dark skies over Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert―including colorful stars, stellar clusters, planets, star-forming nebulae, Earth-orbiting satellites, distant galaxies and more. 

Famed astronomer and night sky photographer Dennis Mammana invites you to treat yourself or your family to an inspiring and personalized tour of the cosmos above Borrego Springs—California’s first and only International Dark Sky community – with the power of a large telescope and one of America’s favorite celestial tour guides. The summer 2015 night sky tour schedule is now available at http://www.borregonightskytours.com/.

VILLAGE MERCHANTS BEGIN SELLING BOOTHS FOR OKTOBERFEST

No permit, no debt repayment plan yet, but the clock is ticking

By Kristin Kjaero

June 9, 2015 (La Mesa) – Although the City Council sent them back to the drawing board with a requirement that means they must come up with a repayment plan for $37,229 they owe the City before any new special event applications from them will be processed, the La Mesa Village Merchants Association yesterday evening sent e-mails to all 2014 Oktoberfest vendors soliciting applications and payments for booth rentals for a 2015 Oktoberfest.

The e-mail states, “Even though it was very hot during the day, the event was a great success. We hope that you feel the same way and will consider joining us again this year.”

The Merchants group owes the City $33,996 for Police, Fire and other support services provided for the 2014 Oktoberfest, and said at the last City Council meeting that they’d spent the revenue from it on Christmas in the Village instead of paying back the City’s General Fund.

The e-mail gives the vendors a date, time, fees for booth rental (ranging from $500 for crafters up to $2,100 for food vendors plus $100 cleaning deposit), and where to send their checks, but does not mention the debt issue or problems with their previous application which triggered a City Council policy change regarding special event applications and permits.

29 RESTAURANTS JOIN IN TASTE OF LA MESA JUNE 8

 

May 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to “eat your heart out” at the 7th annual Taste of La Mesa, featuring tastings from 29 local restaurants.  This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Community Drive).

SAND MINING PROJECT IN EL MONTE VALLEY ON AGENDA FOR LAKESIDE PLANNERS JUNE 3

UPDATE: Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with Lisa Wood, Lakeside resident and chair of Supervisor Dianne Jacob's youth activites on the river committee.  Wood discusses impacts of the sand mining project, which she believes would be severe, irreversible, and worse than Sunrise Powerlink. 

Listen online now:

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Facebook site dedicated to stopping project

May 29, 2015 (Lakeside) – A controversial proposal for sand mining in scenic El Monte Valley along the San Diego River bed is on the agenda for the Lakeside Planning Group on Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Community Center (, 9841 Vine St, Lakeside). The applicant is the “El Monte Nature Preserve LLC,” though residents voice concerns the project will be destructive to nature, not preserve it.  View application.

Lakeside resident Billy Ortiz, a videographer who chronicles Lakeside’s beauty for media outlets and the Lakeside Historical Society, opposes the project. He voiced outrage over the plan.

. “If we don’t stop them, our beautiful valley will be destroyed,” Ortiz told ECM.  “We will be there to protest and discourage the project.”

Audio: 

CHEERS! CRAFT BEER AND WINE SUMMER FESTIVAL JUNE 6 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (La Mesa) –A Craft Beer and Wine Summer Festival to benefit the La Mesa Historical Society will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 1 to 6 p.m. at 4888 Date Avenue at the La Mesa Farmer’s Market parking lot.  The festivities include unlimited tastes from 20 breweries plus a VIP lounge, live music, food trucks, and over 30 vendors.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST 2015

Debt from 2014 leaves future wide open

 

Photo: Councilmember Ruth Sterling states, "I feel for the Merchants, I feel for the situation, believe me I do, but when you have the money and you know you owe the money, you’ve got to get your priorities straight. I would say the same thing to my children, if they got the rent to pay and they’ve got other things to pay. You get your priorities straight and pay the rent, or you’re going to be out on the street."

 

By Kristin Kjaero

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – The operation of this year’s Oktoberfest is up in the air, with the door open for a new organizer to potentially take over. Last week, the city of La Mesa received an application from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association for the 2015 Oktoberfest, but the Merchants’ group still owes the city $37,229 for past events including last year’s Oktoberfest.  Without ruling on the application directly, the city added a phrase to its special event application policy that empowers the City Manager with discretion to pre-qualify and negotiate with applicants.

 The Merchants Association proposed to pay both its past debts and future costs by taking over the entire event without the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s participation, combined with a request asking the Council  to roll back cost recovery to 50%. The Merchants group also promised to place future proceeds from 2015 into an escrow account so the City would be the first paid from future event revenues. 2015 Car Show series, funded annually by Oktoberfest profits, was also cancelled last week by the Merchants.

This isn’t the first time that the Merchants Association’s finances have led to a change in the way the City processes applications for special events.

THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: OLD BUT NOT CRAZY

 

By SharonAnn Hamilton

May 31, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- Dear SharonAnn,

My eighth decade is creeping up and I find that I am deeply disturbed by how people act today. It bugs the heck out of me when I see people do not pick up after their dog, when kids sit talking in their cars along the park and throw trash out the window to the ground and when people leave shopping carts where it could damage a car because they are too lazy to return them. When I couldn’t find my gold hoop earrings that I hadn’t worn in a year, I chalked it up to losing them on a trip. Then I couldn’t find my leaf rake or my extra package of toilet paper in the garage. Someone is stealing from me. I am getting increasingly angry because people just are not doing the right thing. I just feel so helpless. What am I supposed to do? Signed: Old but not Crazy!

SCHOOL CONTAMINATION IN EL CAJON PROMPTS LAWSUIT

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 27, 2015 (El Cajon) – Parents have filed a class action lawsuit against Ametek Aerospace & Defense in El Cajon, alleging that the company dumped toxic waste into the ground for 20 years, from 1963 to the 1980s.  The site is located next door to Magnolia Elementary School, where children have been suffering mysterious health problems.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. HOSTS COFFEE FOR COMMUNITY JUNE 24 IN LAKESIDE

 

May 30, 2015 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Sheriff’s Substation is holding a Coffee With the Community event on Wednesday, June 24 from 6 to 7 :30 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street in Lakeside.

4.1 QUAKE RATTLES BORREGO

 

East County News Service

May 31, 2015 (Borrego Springs)--If you felt the earth move under your feet Sunday morning at 6:02 a.m., that’s because a 4.1 earthquake centered 7 miles northeast of Borrego Springs rattled our region.  Our news partner, 10 News, reports the quake was felt as far away as Escondido, but the Sheriff’s Department did not receive any reports of damage.

EL CAJON SUMMER DAY CAMP: FROM ALIEN INVASION TO ZANY ZOO

 

East County News Service

May 30, 2015 (El Cajon) – Looking for some fun activities to keep the kids fit and entertained this summer?  The City of El Cajon is announcing some creative week-long camps for kids including Hawaiian Adventure Indoor Soccer Camp, Super Hero Camp, Alien Invasion Dodgeball Camp, Zany Zoo Camp, and Little Kickers Indoor Soccer Camp. For costs and details, click “read more” and scroll down.

$10,000 LIBRARY CHALLENGE GRANT ANNOUNCED

 

May 30, 2015 (Alpine)--The Alpine Library Friends Association (ALFA) announces an anonymous challenge grant pledge of $10,000. The Donor will match any contribution of $250 or more from an individual or group, up to a total of $10,000. The Challenge period runs from June 1st to July 15th   The money raised by this challenge will be used to outfit the Library.  San Diego County provided $10.7 million for the construction of the Library; but the Alpine Community must raise the money needed for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E ) the cost of which is estimated at $675,000. ALFA has, so far, raised about $350,000.

MAN ARRESTED IN LA MESA FOR MURDER IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Mark Michael Everitt, 52 was arrested today in the 5000 block of Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. He is charged with the murder of Julie Ann Marie Ulm, 55, a Santee resident, says Lt. John Maryon with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST TASTE OF LA MESA

 

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 7th annual Taste of La Mesa from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 8, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa. Presenting sponsor is Sycuan Casino. The event will feature networking and food sampling from local restaurants and food providers. In addition, local businesses will be on hand with exhibit tables. Parking is free and shuttle service will be available.

FDA: ANTI-WRINKLE INJECTIONS CAN CAUSE STROKES, BLINDNESS OR DEATH

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – There’s a new wrinkle to consider before signing up for those wrinkle-plumping injections of soft tissue fillers, also called derma fillers or injectible face implants. The substances that have gained popularity with cosmetic surgeons and other healthcare providers to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face or to augment lips and cheeks.

CHP SEEKS WITNESSES: ROAD RAGE LEADS TO MURDER OF MOTORCYCLIST ON HWY 54

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (National City) -- Darla Renee Jackson, 25, has been arrested and charged with murder.  She is accused of intentionally ramming and running over a motorcyclist on State Route 54 on Thursday evening, May 28th after an altercation with him earlier on I-5.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO OUTSOURCE CUSTODIAL SERVICES

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted this week to outsource custodial services at all 22 city facilities to NMS Management, Inc.  The move is expected to save the city $350,000 to $400,000 a year.

GROUND BROKEN ON NEW FIELD FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY

 

May 29, 2015 (Alpine) – Ground was broken this morning for a new turf field at Alpine Elementary School.  Funding was received from the County thanks to efforts by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Colin Campbell, former president of the Alpine Education Association, told East County Magazine. “Finally, some positive news coming out of Alpine!”

CLEANING UP THE SANTA BARBARA OIL SPILL

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 28, 2015 (Santa Barbara) - It has been eight days since a 24-inch Plains All American oil pipeline ruptured. Though the pipeline was manually shut down after 45 minutes, approximately 105,000 spilled and 20,000 of that entered the ocean. Volunteers are combing 8 miles of affected shoreline, skimming oil from the ocean, and rescuing wildlife. Close to a thousand people are cleaning up the Santa Barbara Oil Spill.

SPJ RAISES CONCERNS OVER SDPD, FBI VISIT TO JOURNALISM STUDENT'S HOME

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (San Diego)--The Society of Professional Journalists San Diego Pro Chapter has issued a statement criticizing local and federal law enforcement for going “too far” when an FBI agent and a San Diego Police Department detective on the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force visited a San Diego City College student journalist’s home. The investigators inquired about a news crew filming outside the FBI San Diego office for a story about sex trafficking.

GOATS ARE BAAAAA-CK: CLEARING BRUSH IN LEMON GROVE

Source: Heartland Fire and Rescue

May 29, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, is taking steps to clear brush from 8 and a half acres near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas. Goats are being used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area.

“This type of brush abatement is a tremendous help to firefighters in protecting land and nearby homes from fast moving brush fires during our summer months and the long fire season we live with in San Diego County” says Heartland Fire Chief Rick Sitta.

The company being used for this project in Lemon Grove is Environmental Land Management (ELM), the same company that was used in El Cajon to create the defensible space in 2011 that assisted in the protection of several homes from a brush fire.

OCOTILLO WIND FAILS TO PRODUCE POWER PROMISED FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

Fraud issue heightened by 2nd year of weak wind energy output. So why isn't the federal government taking action?

By Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2015 (Ocotillo) – Last year, our award-winning investigative story, Was It Fraud?  raised serious questions over why Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility produced only 15% capacity factor in 2013—far less than the 34 percent capacity factor that Pattern promised the federal government in order to obtain lucrative federal subsidies. Even after accounting for time when a fallen blade shut down the project, capacity factor for the remaining months still averaged less than 19 percent.

Now, the figures are in for 2014—and the Ocotillo wind project again under-performed, this time reaching 24 percent capacity factor:

EMPLOYERS FIND JOB FAIR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE REALLY WORKS

 

May 29, 2015 (EL CAJON) –The recent East County Career Expo at Cuyamaca College has resulted in at least 113 anticipated hires and lined up more than 80 interviews for jobseekers, according to a survey of employers who attended the May 20 event.

ASK AN AUTHOR COLUMNIST SARKA-JONAE MILLER SPEAKS AT ALPINE LIBRARY JUNE 6

 

East County News Service

May 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Local award-winning author Sarka-Jonae Miller recently launched “Ask the Author,” a column for East County Magazine.   You’re invited to join us as she discusses her experiences as a publicist and journalist at the Alpine Library on Saturday, June 6th at 1 p.m.

ASK AN AUTHOR - PIRACY AND SCAMS

ANIMAL TALES: ROY TOFT, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND TOUR GUIDE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to hear our exclusive radio interview with Roy Toft during our show on KNSJ 89.1 FM: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/1uet4ydret/AnimalTales-RoyToft-final.mp3 . Scroll down to view his fabulous photos and read more.

By Mimi Pollack

May 28, 2015 (Ramona)--Many of us lead mundane lives, but not Roy Toft. This amiable Ramona wildlife photographer has had enough adventures for many lifetimes. His pictures have appeared in National Geographic, Audubon Magazines and Zoonooz, gaining him international acclaim.

FOUR YOUNG SCHOLARS FOR THE AGES ANNOUNCED IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

 

May 26, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--The Lemon Grove Historical Society announces the winners in its 2015 Bobby Carroll 8th Grade History Essay Competition.  The Annual Bobby Carroll 8th Grade History Essay Competition is made possible by the Mary England Endowment for Education and is named for Ms. England's late son. This year’s winners are:

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