BORDER FIRE SURVIVORS SHARE CONCERNS AT MEETING WITH SUPERVISOR JACOB, FIRE AND SHERIFF OFFICIALS

GROSSMONT COLLEGE CLOSED UNTIL TUESDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGE

PADRES TRADE FERNANDO RODNEY TO MARLINS FOR MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JULY 4-30

TWO BODIES FOUND IN POTRERO ON PROPERTY BURNED BY BORDER FIRE WHERE INJURED DOG WAS FOUND

BORDER FIRE CLAIMS HOME OF SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ WAR

COUPLE MISSING AFTER BORDER FIRE; CONCERNED NEIGHBORS LAUNCH SEARCH WEDNESDAY MORNING

COUNTY TAKES ACTION TO WAIVE FEES FOR BORDER FIRE SURVIVIORS TO REBUILD, ALSO PROVIDE BINS FOR DEBRIS

READER’S EDITORIAL: BORDER FIRE SURVIVOR ASKS SUPERVISOR JACOB AND AGENCIES TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING ON FIRE ISSUES IN THE AREAS THAT BURNED

TRUCK CARRYING CRANE HITS OVERPASS ON 67

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

EL CAJON MAKES PROGRESS ON BUDGET AND HOMELESSNESS, STALLS ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS, REJECTS LOCAL HIRING REQUIREMENTS

News

THESE HONDA AND ACURA VEHICLES ARE UNSAFE AND SHOULD NOT BE DRIVEN DUE TO HIGH RISK OF INJURY FROM AIRBAG RUPTURES

 

Photos: Examples of 2001-2002 model Honda Civic (left) and Honda Accord.

East County News Service

June 30, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- New test data on a particular subset of defective Takata air bag inflators in certain model-year 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment, prompting an urgent call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that unrepaired vehicles in this population are found and fixed before they cause further injuries or fatalities.

BORDER FIRE SURVIVORS SHARE CONCERNS AT MEETING WITH SUPERVISOR JACOB, FIRE AND SHERIFF OFFICIALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Emotions ran high at a community meeting on Border Fire issues convened by Supervisor Dianne Jacob this morning at the Barrett Junction Café in Dulzura.

 Rural residents praised efforts of firefighters, but voiced frustrations and pointed criticisms over problems that arose including lack of adequate care for animals in the evacuated areas and at shelters. communications failures, and inadequate help to locate a missing couple found dead yesterday by volunteer searchers in Potrero.

Jacob  converted a  previously planned coffee with the community event into a forum for the public to air concerns and for officials to respond.  Representatives from Cal Fire and the Sheriff’s Department turned out, but Animal Services did not.  “Not being here is not a good thing,” Jacob said of Animal Services, adding that she has heard many complaints from rural residents about both Animal Services and the Sheriff’s Department.

GRAND JURY CALLS ON LOCAL CITIES TO INCREASE OVERSIGHT OF POLICE

 

“Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy” --President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

June 29, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- In response to complaints about law enforcement officers’ behavior, the 2015/2016 San Diego County Grand Jury recommends improvements to existing citizens’ review boards and calls upon cities without review boards to establish them.

EMERGENCY MEETING ALERT: BORDER FIRE SURVIVORS -THURS 8 AM AT BARRETT CAFE

 

June 29, 2016 (Barrett Junction)--Supervisor Dianne Jacob has pulled together an emergency meeting in response to all the concerns raised by Border Fire survivors. The meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the BarrettCafe, 1020 Barrett Lake Road in Dulzura.

A note from her office states: "She will be there with Fire Officials, Sheriff's Department, Office of Emergency Services, Animal Services, BLM, Border Patrol to listen to residents' concerns andanswer questions. This meeting was scheduled already. Sup Jacob has quickly reformed it to include the very people who need to hear from residents there on the ground.  She is well aware of the concerns you've shared with her office."

TWO BODIES FOUND IN POTRERO ON PROPERTY BURNED BY BORDER FIRE WHERE INJURED DOG WAS FOUND

 

Update:  A memorial fund, which also aims to care for the couple's dogs, has been esatblished here: https://www.gofundme.com/2c2et997

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Bodies found at site where dog with burned paws was rescued shortly after Border Fire began

June 29, 2016 (Potrero) – Two bodies have been found in a rocky crevasse in Potrero by volunteer community members who organized a search this morning, multiple sources have informed East County Magazine.  The bodies were found at a site burned by the Border Fire, 10 days after the blaze began, Reporting San Diego’s Nadin Abbott, first media at the scene, and Deerhorn Valley Antler Editor Kim Hamilton both confirmed.

The bodies have not yet been identified,  but were found during a search for Jim Keefe, known as “Barefoot Jim” and  his wife or girlfriend who neighbors knew as “Kylie.”   As ECM reported last night, neighbors launched the search themselves after voicing frustrating over repeated efforts to get help from a Sheriff’s official failed to lead to a serious search of the property and vicinity.

“Spent 15 minutes and picked up smell,” Hamilton told ECM in an e-mail. “Located bodies on hillside tucked into a pocket in the boulders. Exactly what has ben communicated to sheriffs from the beginning.”

BORDER FIRE CLAIMS HOME OF SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ WAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2016 (Potrero) -- The  Border Fire destroyed five homes, ravaging lives and memories.  In Potrero, one of the families whose home burned had already suffered a devastating loss. 

Their son, Army Sgt. Brud Cronkrite,  was killed in Karbala, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired into a nearby building while he was on a security patrol during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. He was born and raised in Potrero, before joining the Army and deploying first to Kuwait, then Iraq. He was 22 years old when he lost his life in service to his country.

COUPLE MISSING AFTER BORDER FIRE; CONCERNED NEIGHBORS LAUNCH SEARCH WEDNESDAY MORNING

 

Update June 29, 2016  -- Volunteer searchers have found two bodies between rocks on a hill behind the home where Jim and Kylie Keef lived.  A positive identification is pending the County Medical Examiner's exam. For details,view our article: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/two-bodies-found-potrero-property-burn...

A memorial fund to also help care for their dogs has been established here:  https://www.gofundme.com/2c2et997

By Miriam Raftery

June 28,2016 (Potrero)—“Barefoot Jim” Keefe and his wife, Kylie, have not been seen since the Border Fire scorched their property on June 19th

Several dogs were rescued days ago from the blaze  including a dog with burned paws dubbed “Little Joe” after 10 News reporter Joe Little, who helped in the rescue.  According to neighbors, other dogs have died and additional dogs are still running loose.  Friends say the couple would not have abandoned their dogs and voiced concerns that their aqua van with painted flames –the couple’s only known vehicle--was also still at the site, just eight inches from the fire’s scorch marks, along with their trailer.

They fear the couple may have set off on foot or perhaps tried to take shelter in caves on or her their property, and that they may have perished from the fire.

COUNTY TAKES ACTION TO WAIVE FEES FOR BORDER FIRE SURVIVIORS TO REBUILD, ALSO PROVIDE BINS FOR DEBRIS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Day 2 of the Border Fire, Cal-Fire

June 28,2016 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to help those who lost homes or buildings in the Border Fire. The County will waive fees for building permits and plan-check reviews. 

Fees will only be waived for structures that were legally permitted originally, prior to the fire. The Board’s Tuesday action would also distribute trash bins to people in the fire areas to help them clear debris.

The Border Fire started June 19th and over the past 10 days has charred over 7,600 acres, destroyed five homes and 11 outbuildings. CAL FIRE reported Tuesday that the Border fire, which grew to 7,609 acres, was 92 percent contained.

“It’s an absolute tragedy for anyone who has lost everything,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, whose district includes the Potrero, Campo and Lake Morena communities ravaged by the Border Fire.

TRUCK CARRYING CRANE HITS OVERPASS ON 67

 

June 28, 2016 – 4:30 p.m. – A truck carrying a crane has reportedly struck the overpass bridge on State Route 67 southbound at Prospect Avenue in El Cajon and is stuck, according to the CHP incident page.  Lanes are blocked and a fuel spill has reportedly occurred.

A bridge supervisor is en route.  We recommend avoiding this area.  

LA MESA GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WINS CAR ON PRICE IS RIGHT

East County News Service

Video credit:  Fremantle Media North America

June 27, 2016 (La Mesa) – Ellen "Gigi" Draper from La Mesa won a car on the Price is Right earlier this month. She and her husband, Robert “Bob” Draper went to Los Angeles the night before in order to be first in line in hopes of being picked by host Drew Carey.

“I had on an orange shirt and it says, `HI Drew, I need help. Married 58 years to Pop Pop, Mother of four boys and 1 girl, grandmother of 18 and great-grandmother of 15. I need a vacation – Gigi.”

EL CAJON MAKES PROGRESS ON BUDGET AND HOMELESSNESS, STALLS ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS, REJECTS LOCAL HIRING REQUIREMENTS

 

By Jonathan Goetz     

June 27, 2016 (El Cajon)—Last Tuesday, the City of El Cajon adopted a new annual budget, announced its participation in the East County Homeless Outreach Team and recertified its Property and Business Improvement District.

SUPREME COURT: POLICE MUST HAVE WARRANTS FOR BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTS ON SUSPECTED DUI DRIVERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — Suspected drunk drivers can refuse to take a blood test without a warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. But the Court also held that drivers must submit to a less invasive breath test when ordered, or face arrest.

SUPREME COURT: DOMESTIC ABUSERS CAN BE BARRED FOR LIFE FROM OWNING GUNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – By a 6-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a federal law that allows a person to be banned for life from owning a gun if they commit domestic abuse “recklessly,” even if the actions were not premeditated.

LARGE BLACK CATS IN EASTLAKE?

 

 

Update: Not wild cats, County Animal Services Deputy Director concludes

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

June 2016 (Eastlake)—In 2014 and 2015, East County Magazine has documented dozens of local sightings by people who claim to have seen large black wild cats prowling the region, some as large as mountain lions or jaguars, others smaller but still much larger than a housecat.  But thus far, no photos had been provided of the elusive animals.

Then on June 6, 2016,we received cell phone images taken at night by a resident in the Eastlake community of Otay Mesa in Chula Vista, due east of where some earlier sightings were reported in Jamul/Deerhorn Valley and South Spring Valley.  It’s hard to judge the size or species, but looking at items such as a vehicle, hydrant , house and a three-feet-high wall in the photos raises  a question: what was prowling yards in this suburban neighborhood?

A NIGHT OF REVELRY AT BOHEMIAN BASH HELPS RAISE FUNDS TO RESTORE KNSJ TRANSMITTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More donations needed to recover costs of repairing tranmitter on Mt. Laguna after vandalism

By Miriam Raftery

June 25,2016 (La Mesa) – Thanks to all who came out to our Bohemian Bash benefit!   KNSJ 89.1 FM founder Martin Eder announced the good news that thanks to generous community donations plus a loan, KNSJ’s transmitter has been repaired! The station is still working to fix software communication issues but anticipates full restoration of broadcasting soon – thanks to your help. 

Donations are still needed and can be made at www.knsj.org or www.eastcountymagazine.org to support KNSJ Radio and the East County Magazine Show production.

Guests enjoyed an expansive feast with international flavors a plethora of prizes, a wide variety of entertainment and even the opportunity to shimmy and shake as they learned classicial Indian dance steps in true Bohemian flair. Click"read more" and scroll down to see more photos of the festivities over the warm and wonderful summer solstice weekend.


THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS:

HOPE FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS SEEKS MATCHING FUNDS BY JULY 4 TO HELP 200 REFUGEE FAMILIES: ADOPT A FAMILY FOR JUST $1 A DAY

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2016 (La Mesa)—Hope for Iraqi Christians, a La Mesa based organization that assists Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing genocide in the Middle East, has received a pledge from the  Anahid Oram Memorial Refugee Fund to match $10,000 in monthly donations, sponsoring 100 families per month, but only if they can secure sponsors for at least 100 families by July 4. If that goal is met, the matching funds will mean that 200 families will be helped.

You can sponsor a family for as little as  $1 a day. Each donor will receive information on the family adopted.  Smaller donations will be pooled to help reach the total. Or consider adopting multiple families.

SDG&E DRAWS PRAISE FOR SWIFT RESPONSE TO OUTAGES DURING FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – During the Border Fire, SDG&E rapidly mobilized resources that have been substantially beefed up since prior firestorms—getting electricity back on swiftly in burned-out communities sweltering in triple-digit heat.  For many rural residents,electricity also powers wells that provide water in and in some cases, equipment burned. 

But as of this morning, power has been fully restored in all areas impacted by the fire,according to SDG&E’s outage map.

“The SDG&E crews have been amazing. They have not stopped since the fire swept through,” Potrero resident Jan Hedlun writes. “They have a camp up next to the Potrero Community Church and are working, working, working. The rate of speed they took to get most of us hooked up is wondrous. I watched them using a helicopter to move the poles over the ridge. Well coordinated crews.”

HELP NEEDED FOR RESIDENTS AND ANIMALS IN CAMPO, LAKE MORENA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Rapture's Horse Rescue joined efforts led by Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton with help from local community members and businesses to bring supplies to Potrero

June 25, 2016 (Campo/LakeMorena) – With the Border Fire now 70% contained, relief efforts continue.  Shontel Grivno at Rapture’s Horse Rescue Foundation sent us the following e-mail this morning asking for supplies of non-perishable foods, water  propane and animal feed for fire survivors, livestock and pets in the Campo/Lake Morena communities:

BORDER FIRE 45% CONTAINED; EVACUATION SHELTER CLOSES FRIDAY

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – This morning Cal-Fire reports that the Border Fire is 45% contained after scorching 7,483 acres.  Five homes and 11 outbuildings were destroyed. 

The evacuation shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School in El Cajon is closing today. All evacuated areas are now reopened, however some road closures remain in effect.  View full details from Cal Fire at: https://twitter.com/CALFIRESANDIEGO/status/746347587112828928

Appreciate our alerts?  Please donate to help us continue keeping you safe and informed during emergencies!  Click here to make a donation or a monthly pledge to help sustain our East County Alerts and wildfire  news reporting: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/donate

LOCAL CHALDEAN CHRISTIANS REACT WITH FEAR AS SUPREME COURT DEADLOCK THREATENS DEPORTATION BACK TO RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN IRAQ

 

East County News Service

Photo: Iraqi Chaldeans rallied in El Cajon in 2014 pleading for the U.S. to help to save Christians from ISIS.

 

June 23, 2016 (San Diego) — Fear rippled through the community here, as word of Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court vote reached San Diego, home to the nation’s largest concentration of Iraqi Christians.

“Today’s announcement is alarming for immigrant families everywhere, but it is particularly frightening for Chaldeans,” said Mark Arabo, spokesperson for the Western U.S. Chaldean Catholic Diocese and the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, a San Diego organization that has rescued over 400 Iraqi Christians fleeing genocide in the Middle East and seeks to help another 700,000 victimized by religious persecution.

“People who came here to escape religious persecution and extermination at the hands of ISIS are now being told they have to go back. They’re terrified.” Arabo said.

RESIDENTS HEAR UPDATES ON BORDER FIRE, THANK FIREFIGHTERS AND VOICE SOME CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: County Fire Chief Gary Croucher

June 23, 2016 (El Cajon) --At a community meeting Thursday night at the Los Coches Creek Elementary School in El Cajon, fire officials gave a briefing on steps they took to battle the Border Fire, which since Sunday has burned close to 7,400 acres, destroying 5 homes and 11 outbuildings.  

Residents voiced gratitude toward firefighters for  valiant efforts to save homes and lives, also acknowledging much that has improved since the 2003 and 2007 firestorms thanks to better investments in firefighting equipment and technology.

But some voiced concerns over areas they hope to see improved-- notably helping children and young teens forced to evacuate when parents were away at work, slow communications early on about the fire’s progress, animals lacking food and water in the evacuation zone, and inadequate water at Lake Morena for firefighting aircraft due to the city of San Diego draining the reservoir too low.

TACTICAL FIRING NEAR POTRERO

Source: Cal Fire

June 23, 2016 (Potrero) Tactical firing Operations are being conducted above the north east corner of the Border 3 Fire., Cal Fire advises.

These firing operations are one of the many tools used to stop and or slow down the spread of large fires. The firing operation, along with direct perimeter control efforts, will continue throughout the day and night until the objective has been met.

UPDATED ROAD CLOSURES IN BORDER FIRE

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

June 23, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Cal Fire and the County Office of Emergency Services have released the following updates on new and contining road closures due to the Border Fire.  Also, a large plume of smoke visible this afternoon is due largely to a backfire lit to protect communities.

Below is the latest info on road closures:

LAKE MORENA, CAMPO STILL THREATENED; COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT ON BORDER FIRE ISSUES

5 homes lost, all on same property

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Facebook post by Kerra Elizabeth McAhren

June 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – This morning, the Border Fire is now 20% contained and has scorched 6,8450 acres as over 1,900 firefighters battle the blaze.  Five homes (of which 3 were secondary homes on the same property as the two homes lost) and eleven outbuildings were destroyed, while one other home was damaged, Cal Fire confirms. Residents on the Campo-Lake Morena Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook have been posting eyewitness accounts, photos and videos as well as thank you messages for firefighters at https://www.facebook.com/groups/345408365593244/.

There will be a community meeting at the Los Coches Creek Middle School located at 9669 Dunbar Ln., El Cajon, CA at 7:00 pm today hosted by the Cal Fire IncidentManagement Team with an update on the Border Fire.  Representatives from agencies managing and supporting the incident as well as local dignitaries will provide a briefing and answer questions.  Public inquiries regarding the Community Meeting or Fire Information, please call 2-1-1.

“The fire still remains a threat to the communities of Lake Morena Village, Campo as well as the outlying recreational assets as the fire continues to move north and northeast. This is still a dynamic and active fire, residents in the surrounding area of the fire should continue to be prepared to evacuate if need be,” Cal Fire’s latest update reads.

FIVE HOMES LOST IN BORDER FIRE; BLAZE 20% CONTAINED

East County News Service

 

June 22, 2016, 8 p.m. (San Diego's East County ) -- Cal Fire reports that the Border Fire is 6,723 acres and 20 percent contained. Five homes total were destroyed; two of the homes were primary dwelling units and three homes were second dwelling units/guest houses. No information is avalable yet on the locations of homes that burned.

1900 firefighters are assigned to battle the blaze, including crews from Lakeside Fire (photo, left) who worked to cut a firebreak today.

The Potrero Branch Library will re-open on Thursday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a Cool Zone. No data or WiFi service will be available at the library. Cool Zones can help you beat the heat. A complete list can be found here.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

Updated June 24 with information from the CHP

June 22, 2016 (Alpine) — A 64-year-old woman walking her dog was struck and killed by a car this morning at South Grade and Calle de Compadres near Wright’s Field in Alpine.  The accident caused temporary closure of South Grade Road.

According to the California Highway Patrol spokesman Kevin Pearlstein, the driver, a 57 year old man from alpine was driving 2004 Honda Civic southbound at 35 to 40 miles per hour when he struck the pedestrian, who apepared to be crossing the road toward her parked vehicle

"Due to the change in elevation of the roadway,the drive of theHonda was unable to avoid the pedestrian who had appeared directly in his path of travel," Pearlstein said,adding that the driver did apply his brakes but could not avoid the collision. The driver was not injured and was not cited.

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