Lori Abbott, California News Service
June 18, 2014 (Sacramento)--The first day of summer may be on Saturday, but parts of California already have seen triple-digit heat this year - and more is on the way. With that in mind, health officials across the West are urging people to be careful in the potentially deadly heat.
By Janis Russell; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
June 18, 2014 (La Mesa)- An overflow crowd filled Council Chambers and spilled outside at last night’s La Mesa Planning Commission meeting on the controversial Park Station project, a multi-use development proposed at Baltimore and Nebo Drive. Kitzman, the developer, has scaled down original plans from 18 stories to 11, still well over double the height limit for the area. The new plan also eliminates a park and makes other changes.
Testimony ran on for over to four hours, with 23 speakers opposed and 26 in favor (most from outside La Mesa). The evening ended with a shocker, when Lenny Guccione, business manager for the American Legion – the project’s co-applicant-- criticized the project as “too big” for the neighborhood, then abruptly announced withdrawal of the American Legion’s support and walked out.
The announcement stunned planners and project backers. A recess was swiftly called, after which Sherman Harmer with Urban Housing Partners admitted the American Legion’s withdrawal came as a “total shock” to the applicant.
The Planning Commission voted 7-0 to close the public hearing and end public input on the project. Following internal discussion and staff input, a new meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 16 at 7 p.m.
By Miriam Raftery
“If they keep taking out city after city, the whole world’s safety is threatened. I hope the world acts soon." -- Mark Arabo, Iraqi-American community leader
Update: Our interview with Mark Arabo, which aired on KNSJ 89.1 can now be heard online in a podcast here.
June 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The violence engulfing Iraq as terrorists capture citiy after city is a “living nightmare that won’t go away” for Chaldean Christians across America, Mark Arabo, a first-generation Iraq-American and president/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association, told East County Magazine. “No question about it, this is a slow genocide."
Now, Chaldeans across American are asking the public to help by signing a petition urging President Barack Obama and Congress to join with other world leaders and provide safe passage out of Iraq for Christians trapped with no safe place to go, now that Syria is in civil war and the terrorists in Iraq aim to impose Sharia law. You can click this link to sign the petition to Save Iraqi Christians.
By Miriam Raftery
June 17, 2014 (Ramona) – A search is underway in Ramona to locate Carl Salayer, 66, who was last seen when he went to bed last night. He left his home in the 17000 block of Handlebar Road in Ramona between 2:30 and 6:30 this morning.
He suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and has other medical conditions and needs to take his medications. He had a feeding tube and may only be wearing his undergarments. He is white, 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, with blue eyes , balding grey hair and a moustache He could run when approached, so if you see him please call the Sheriff’s department at 858-565-5200. Refer to Sheriff’s missing persons case 14130623.
June 16, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Wednesday, June 18 the La Mesa Planning Commission will hear a request for a proposed “Park Station Specific Plan” and “Final Environmental Impact Report,” a conceptual plan for a 5.23 acre project in the Village which could include commercial and retail space, as well as 416 residential units with an option for a 500 room hotel in lieu of the residential units.
The developer is requesting the properties be removed from the city’s Village Specific Plan and given its own proposed plan, to be called the Park Station Specific Plan.
While scaled down from the original proposal, the current iteration still proposes double the density, up to a little more than double the height limit, and to cut the residential parking by half compared to current requirements as part of the Village Specific Plan.
By Trevor Hill
June 16, 2014 (San Diego)--On Tuesday, June 10th, experts in the field of drone manufacturing convened at a summit at the Liberty Station Conference Center to discuss the implications and details of the industry, which is currently booming in San Diego.
June 14, 2014 (San Diego) — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a community information meeting June 16, 2014 in Costa Mesa, Calif., on the proposed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) settlement agreement currently before the Commission. The proposed agreement was announced to the CPUC March 27 by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and leading state consumer representatives and other parties. If approved, the settlement would resolve all issues regarding the CPUC’s investigation of the San Onofre Units 2 and 3.
Source: Helix Water District
June 14, 2014 (La Mesa)--Helix Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday approved a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2014-15 that calls for a rate increase of 4.5 percent for the average domestic-class customer. The increase amounts to $5.93 on the average bimonthly bill—well below the anticipated 6.2 percent or $8.23 increase that was approved last year as part of a two-year rate notice in accordance with requirements of Proposition 218.
“Dad, we’re taking away your car keys because you’re not safe to drive!”
June 13, 2014 (San Diego's East County) – It’s the great debate – who’s the better driver? Mom or Dad? This Father’s Day, dads will love to hear in a recent national survey 63% of adult children say Dad’s a better driver than Mom. However, if adult children had to take away Dad’s car keys because he’s unsafe to drive, many fear Dad would get so angry he’d cut them out of the will.
June 11, 2014 (San Diego) – The public is invited to a free Aging Summit hosted by the County of San Diego. This year, the primary focus will be on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The event will take place on June 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Town and Country Hotel Convention Center. For more information, visit
Age-progressed photo released of teen who vanished in Anza-Borrego Desert in November 2009
By Miriam Raftery
June 11, 2014 (Ocotillo Wells) -- Nearly five years ago, 16-year-old Mickey Guidry disappeared in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The Jeep he’d taken from his family was found broken down and abandoned, its tire worn down to the rim near Fish Creek wash, 22 miles from the nearest highway over Thanksgiving weekend. He has not been seen since November 26, 2009.
By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2014 (Borrego Springs)—For decades, Borrego Springs has been draining down its aquifer at an increasingly rapid pace. If action is not taken soon, a new report warns, the community could face dire consequences.
The Borrego Water Coalition invites the public to a public outreach meeting on Thursday, June 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m at the Borrego High School Library, 2281 Diegueno Road in Borrego Springs.
By Stevon Marshall
June 6, 2014 (San Diego County) - The voter turnout in the San Diego County for the June third primary elections surpassed expectations of a low turnout, the results were 20% equalling to 1 in 5 registered voters casting a ballot.
By Jessica Richmond
June 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- June 15th is Father’s Day--a once-a-year special day reserved to honor all of the hard work and love that our fathers have given to us. We at ECM have compiled a list of special activities sure to bring a smile to your father’s face. These fun family outings this weekend in San Diego and East County range from free to a hundred dollars or so, so you’ll find an ideal outing for minimal or a deluxe day with all the lavish trimmings.
You can take Dad (and the family) to East County’s new “America on Main Street” celebration for free. A family of four could enjoy a day of fishing for under $36 dollars, or savor wine tasting for two with just you and dad for about $15 dollars. Our list also includes free outdoor activities, movies in the park, a Father’s Day “Man it Up Brunch,” a tour of an architectural treasure, night fishing and more at modest rates--all in East County. Or, if you’re feeling flush in the wallet and willing to venture farther afield to the shores of San Diego, you can treat your father to a once-in-a-life-time adventure of falconry flights, breakfast with Shamu, or a guided kayaking tour.
We hope these options give you some good ideas to delight dear ole’ Dad--and East County Magazine wishes you a safe and happy Father’s Day!
Community tailgate at SDG&E offices June 6 in El Cajon and July 7 in Chula Vista
East County News Service
June 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--SDG&E is going to have Community Tailgates at its branch offices, providing information on programs, services and solutions to your energy needs. Their partners, TechniArt, will be on hand offering 3 light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs for $10 (which is a $60 value) along with additional LED sizes.
LEDs use far less electricity, and because they don’t have a filament to burn out, they last up to five times longer than compact florescent bulbs. And LEDs offer a “cleaner” light than compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. The LEDs use so much less electricity and last so much longer that the cost savings over a traditional incandescent bulb is about $540 over the life of the bulb. That’s a solid return on the investment of $3.33 per bulb in this special offer.
Source: County News Service
June 3, 2014 (San Diego)--Tattoos have become so common, many people think getting one is completely safe. But there can be health risks, as two San Diegans recently discovered.
May 31, 2014 (San Diego)—The San Diego County Grand Jury has issued a report, “Give Me Shelter” on Connections Housing, a downtown homeless shelter. While the center has made a “good start,” the report found, there are still many people in the City of San Diego living a marginal life. While the report found some positive strives and praised a dedicated staff, a press release issued by the Grand Jury also states that “it appears that more money is put into staff salaries and the public relations aspect than the programmatic aspect of services for the homeless. No money is earmarked in the budget for food purchases, although the kitchen and food services are obligated to provide breakfasts and hot dinners for up to 150 residents per day.” Instead the program relies entirely on donated food.
June 1, 2014 (Ramona ) – Ramona resident Juan Perez Alarcon, 54, was struck by a vehicle and killed on May 28 at 6:44 a.m. while riding his bicycle at the intersection of Keyser Road and Warnock Drive in Ramona.
By Grey Feathers
June 1, 2014 (San Diego) -- An 18 month old girl with a form of Juvenile Epilepsy died in New Jersey, Chris Matthews reported on MSNBC’s Hardball. The girl suffered as many as 90 seizures every day. Children to young adults diagnosed with this disease are destined to suffering with little or no chance of surviving. Immediately parents are looking to alternative medicines and treatments to save their children. The latest treatments are effective for only about half of the one million or so people who have uncontrolled seizures. The side effects of these artificial drugs are almost as bad as the disease says Christopher Dimascio, “I feel like I’m moving through Jello. I hate the feeling.”
East County News Service
May 30, 2014 (Lakeside) -- A head-on collision on Highway 67 near Winter Gardens Boulevard today at 3:15 p.m. has resulted in the death of an El Cajon man and a Jamul woman who was driving on the wrong side of the freeway.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the Jamul woman, 29, was driving a 2003 Ford F150 southbound in a northbound lane at 60 mph when she struck a Chevrolet 3500 utility vehicle towing a trailer. The Chevrolet was driven by an Alpine man, 53.
The crash caused both vehicles to spin across traffic lanes and one struck a third vehicle—a 2002 Ford F450 driven by the El Cajon man, 53.
May 27, 2014 (San Diego)--Tuesday, May 27th is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the June 3rd election. You can download an application from the Registrar of Voters site and e-mail or fax it in. Your request must include your name, registered address and date of the election, the address where your ballot should be mailed, and your signature. You can email your request to ROVmail@sdcounty.ca.gov.
East County News Service
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
May 25, 2014 (La Mesa)--The Omelet Factory on Baltimore Drive in La Mesa isn’t intended to be a drive-through restaurant.
CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS VISIT AFGHANISTAN, URGES SUPPORT FOR RIGHTS OF AFGHAN WOMEN AFTER TROOPS WITHDRAW
May 25, 2014 (San Diego)--While many legislators spent time with family on Mother’s Day, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) went to Afghanistan. Davis, whose district includes much of East County, led a bipartisan group of women Congressional members to visit with U.S. service members and with groups of Afghan women—as she has done each Mother’s Day since 2009.
GRAND JURY URGES THAT COUNTY, CITY AGENCIES AND SCHOOLS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO IMPLEMENT GRAND JURY RECOMMENDATIONS TO WHICH THEY HAVE AGREED
May 24, 2014 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Grand Jury has issued a report “Say what you’ll do and then do what you say.” It urges the County Office of Education and the City of San Diego to each establish an implementation review committee. The report notes pointedly, “The 2013/2014 Grand Jury believes that all agencies within the county should be held accountable for implementing those Grand Jury recommendations to which they have agreed.”
PWIA Launches 2nd Annual Safe Rider Program: Awareness initiative focused on education and personal watercraft rider responsibility.
May 20, 2014 (Washington D.C.) - The Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) announced May 19 that it is again promoting the responsible use of personal watercrafts (PWC) by encouraging safety and education.
By Lori Abbott, California News Service
May 22, 2014 (Sacramento) -- Budget negotiations will begin soon, and many of California's female lawmakers want to make sure the state's spending plan does a better job of helping women and children.
CPUC CHAIR CURSES AT RATEPAYERS’ ADVOCATE MIKE AGUIRRE, REFUSES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON SECRET SETTLEMENT TALKS WITH ENERGY COMPANY
May 21, 2014(San Francisco) –“I’m not here today to answer any of your goddamn questions. Shut up, shut up!” California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Peevey shouted at former City Attorney Mike Aguirre during a videotaped evidentiary hearing on the $3.3 billion settlement over the closed San Onofre nuclear facility. Aguirre had asked Peevey to confirm secret meetings with Southern California Edison representatives, accusing Peevey and Mike Florio of “collusion.”
Aguirre asked that SCE president Ronald Litzinger be required to confirm if his SCE stock rose $160,000 days after the settlement was allowed, but Administrative Law Judge Melanie Darling refused to require that the question be answered.
May 21, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)--The Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station wants your help in finding a missing person at risk.
May 16, 2014 (San Diego) - There has been much attention recently focusing on current and impending water shortages in the State of California, County of San Diego, and specifically the City of San Diego. But water shortage is only part of the problem, concludes a Grand Jury report titled “Don’t Give Me A Break—Water Problems in the City of San Diego.” There are continuing problems with pipeline distribution of the City’s existing water supplies—and the City has failed to alert citizens to the urgency of future water main replacement, the Grand Jury concluded.
May 17, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Having timely information on road conditions and closures can be crucial, particularly during evacuations during wildfires or other emergencies. Now a new, free app called Waze gives motorists the ability to access real-time traffic and road information provided by thousands of drivers or "wazers" in the region--meaning you potentially could get info before announcements have been made by California Highway Patrol or Cal-Trans.