JOURNALISM FORUM FEATURES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES OCT. 5 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

SANTEE MAYOR AND COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM OCT. 13

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 24-OCT. 21

CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 21: HELIX WATER AND LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES

LIGHTNING STRIKES ACROSS REGION—BUT NOWHERE NEAR RECORD 199–MILE BOLT

FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SEPT. 26 WON’T INCLUDE GREEN OR LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATES

POVERTY ON RISE IN SAN DIEGO

INTERNAL INVESTIGATION INTO DEPUTIES' ACTIONS AFTER BORDER FIRE FIND “NO VIOLATIONS”; CITIZENS VOICE ANGER

SANTEE AND LAKESIDE STORES ABIDE BY LAW, SHERIFF’S “MINOR DECOY” PROGRAM FINDS

POLITICS IN PARADISE, PART 2: CANDIDATES FROM ACROSS OUR REGION SEPT. 29 AT BNS BREWING & DISTILLING IN SANTEE

FIRE IN CUYAMACA

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SEPT. 16 - OCT. 21

News

SAN DIEGO TO BE TARGET OF NATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST DRONES APRIL 4-7

 

March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--A coalition of local and national organizations will hold four days of action in San Diego to protest the U.S. government’s use of drones, from April 4-7, 2013.  The host group, Drone Diego, has invited participants from across the nation to call attention to the threats from increasing unmanned robotic warfare by the United States.  Drone Diego will host varied events over a half-week-long series of actions.  

SD COUNCIL VOTES TO IMPROVE EMERGENCY DISPATCH COMMUNICATIONS

March 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- On March 11,  San Diego’s City Council unanimously approved funding for a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The CAD system is used for dispatching emergency 9-1-1 calls and is of critical importance to emergency response times. In an emergency, seconds can make every difference, including that of a life or death situation. The current software was originally written in the mid-1970s and the existing CAD system was installed in 1991.  The council’s action approved $6.9 million in one- time revenue toward the long overdue CAD system replacement.

The new CAD system will improve response times and modernize the tools available for the efficient dispatching of 9-1-1 calls. By committing the necessary funding to upgrade the CAD system, we increase public safety for all San Diegans and give our first responders the tools necessary to serve our residents. It is estimated that the CAD system replacement will take three to five years, depending on the scope of work.

CITY OF EL CAJON WINS SPECIAL AWARD FOR CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

March 17, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon Recreation Department is the recipient of California Park and Recreation Society’s (CPRS) Achievement Award for the City’s Centennial Celebration Event held on November 12, 2012. The award was announced in February, and formally presented at the March 12, 2013, City Council Meeting by CPRS Board President Susan Richardson.

Richardson stated that El Cajon is one of the leaders in the State of California in recognizing that recreation programs and parks are essential to the quality of life within a community.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECT IN FATAL HIT-AND-RUN

March 17, 2013 (San Diego) – A 50-year-old man was struck and killed while attempting to cross Interstate 15 north of the Landis Street overcrossing near University at 6:55 p.m Wednesday night. 

According to the CHP,  the victim was hit by a Mercedes traveling 50 to 60 mph in the number one lane.  The driver was not injured. The victim’s name has not yet been released, pending notification of  family.  The collision remains under investigation.

If you have information on this accident, call Officer Jake Sanchez at the San Diego CHP office at (619) 220-5492.

MISSING SANTEE MAN, 77, NOT SEEN SINCE MARCH 10

 

March 16, 2013 (Santee) –The Sheriff’s office seeks public help to locate James Robert Albright, 77.  He was reported missing yesterday by his caretaker, but has not been seen since March 10 at Albright’s residence in the 10100 block of Kerrigan Street, Santee. 

Albright has  a full beard and mustache, brown and grey hair, and blue eyes. He stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  It is unknown what type of clothing he was wearing when he disappeared.

“His family is extremely concerned for his welfare,” a press release issued by the Sheriff’s office states. Albright may be in need of medical care for a medical condition.  

MAYOR BOB FILNER LAUNCHES OPEN GOVERNMENT WEB PAGES

 

March 16, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner has launched the City’s first ever Open Government web pages. The newly created web pages are another step by Mayor Filner to provide easier access to documents the public has a right to and need to know.

“The public has a right to know what their government is doing, and why,” said Mayor Filner. “This information will help make it easier for the public to participate and find documents.”

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE GIVES PREVIEW OF FARMERS’ MARKET OPENING MARCH 21 IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

January 30, 2013 (El Cajon) Updated March 15, 2013- Last week, Troy McKinney, Fresh Fund coordinator from the International Rescue committee (IRC), participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine. He gave more details of the future farmers’ market that will be set up on the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon each Thursday starting March 21.

Like the IRC’s farmer’s market started four years ago in City Heights, the El Cajon farmer’s market will help both local refugees and the broader community.

8 POWER POLES COLLAPSE IN EL CAJON: OVERNIGHT ROAD CLOSURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos courtesy of Heartland Fire

March 14, 2013 (El Cajon) – Mollison Avenue is closed between Washington and East Main Streets due to eight power poles that toppled over.

“It might be a good 24 hours,” Monica Zech, spokesperson for the City of El Cajon, told ECM late tonight. Earlier an estimated 1500 residences were without power, though all but about 300 have now been restored. 

“Some residents are trapped in parking lots and can’t get out of their homes. Others parked on side streets and went in,” she said, adding that there were no evacuations and El Cajon Police have been escorting pedestrians back into the area.

FIRST PEDIATRIC INFLUENZA DEATH REPORTED IN SAN DIEGO

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--Three additional deaths were reported for this flu season, including the first child’s death, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced yesterday.

A 10-month old child who had underlying health conditions died in February and was referred to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death. In past flu seasons, San Diego has reported zero or one pediatric death each year due to influenza. Last year there was one pediatric death.  The total number of overall deaths for this flu season is 51.

RESTAURANT MEALS PROGRAM INCREASES HOT-FOOD OPTIONS

Certain CalFresh Recipients Eligible to Participate

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has launched a new program to help seniors, disabled individuals and homeless gain more opportunities to buy hot, prepared meals with their CalFresh benefits.

The Restaurant Meals Program allows certain CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) recipients who have difficulty preparing meals for themselves or do not have a place to store and cook food, to use their benefits at participating restaurants.

DISASTER FUND CREATED FOR GERRY FOWLER, SURVIVOR OF 35-FOOT FALL INTO WELL IN POTRERO

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

March 13, 2013 (Potrero)—Community members in Potrero are rallying to raise funds to help pay for the medical expenses of Gerry Fowler, who was critically injured on Sunday March 10 when he fell into the family's well, as ECM reported. Fowler, an independent truck driver, does not have medical insurance. 

Walena Arnold, owner of the Potrero General Store told ECM that the community is very close knit and that a fund has been created to help defray the medical costs.  Blood donations are also needed and can be made in Gerry Fowler’s name at the San Diego Blood Bank.

SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list. 

“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and  all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states.  The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120  requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”

MAN RESCUED FROM WELL IN POTRERO

 

By Nadin Abbott, photos Tom Abbott

March 11, 2013 (Potrero)— Gerry Fowler, 43, and his father were working on the well they rely on for water yesterday when planks of wood used for support gave way. Fowler’s father was able to keep himself from falling, but  Fowler fell 35 feet to the bottom of the well.

An emergency call was placed to 911, which led to mobilization of multiple fire agencies, as well as Mercy Air and American Medical Response.  The patient lapsed into unconsciousness during the ordeal and was listed in critical condition as of 11 p.m.

SUPERVISORS ASK YOU TO CONTACT FAA , OPPOSE IMMINENT CLOSURE OF RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC TOWER CRUCIAL FOR FIREFIGHTING: COMMENT DEADLINE IS TOMORROW

 

By Nadin Abbott, photos Tom Abbott

March 12, 2013 (San Diego)—Today, Supervisor Dianne Jacob urged citizens in San Diego County to contact the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) at Closurecomments@FAA.GOV  and oppose closure of the Ramona Airport’s air traffic control tower, a vital component in fighting wildfires and protecting safety of firefighting crews. Tomorrow at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time is the deadline for comments.

 The Board learned that the Federal Aviation Administration has targeted the Ramona Air Traffic Control Tower for closure as as early as April 7. This means, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ray Cheney, that the airport would revert back to an “uncontrolled airport, where pilots have to avoid each other and announce their intentions.”  

This was the way it was back on June 21, 1995 when there was a midair collision between a United States Forest Service Beechcraft and an NTSB air tanker, leading to the deaths of the air tanker crew. An open space, instead of a controlled space, will increase the risk of mid-air collisions, since a “controlled airport controls the air traffic sequencing.”

SANTEE COUNCIL TO WEIGH CRACKDOWN ON HOMELESS

March 12, 2013 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council on Wednesday will weigh actions aimed at reducing  activities by the homeless including panhandling, overtaking public parks, riverbed camping and “scavenging” (including taking items from recycling bins). 

The City of Santee has no shelter for the homeless.  The proposals to discourage homeless people from taking up residency in Santee public areas focuses not on providing services to help the homeless, however, but rather emphasizes punitive actions such as banning cigarettes in public parks and alcohol on weekdays, prohibiting single-sale sizes of alcoholic beverages at new businesses, and prohibiting aggressive conduct by panhandlers.

POSTAL INSPECTORS WARN ABOUT FOREIGN LOTTERY FRAUD

March 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--The United States Postal Inspection Service is warning the public about foreign lottery scams. In three years, American consumers lost over $42 million in lottery scams.  Lottery fraud victims not only suffer the devastation of a financial loss, but even worse, the psychological pain and suffering that take a physical toll on the victims.  And many victims suffer alone, because they are too embarrassed to report the crime and seek assistance.  These scams continue to plague our nation’s citizens and can only be stopped by educating the public about this devastating crime.

QUAKE RATTLES REGION

 

March 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A 4.7 earthquake  at 9:56 a.m. rattle San Diego and Imperial Counties.   The temblor was located 64 miles east of San Diego, 13 miles east-southeast of Anza and 23 miles south of Palm Springs. The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded the strength of the quake, which was earlier estimated at 5.2.

SPRING VALLEY MAN BURNED RUNNING THROUGH FLAMES TO ESCAPE MOBILEHOME FIRE

March 12, 2013 (Spring Valley)--San Miguel Fire District Firefighters responded to a fully engulfed mobile home fire tonight at Avalon Estates in the 1200 block of Grand Avenue, Spring Valley.

Two of the family’s four residents were home when the fire broke out. One resident, a female broke a bedroom window and escaped the flames, said Leonard Villareal, public information officer at San Miguel Fire Department. The other person home, a young man suffered severe to moderate burns over an estimated 25-percent of his body as he ran through the flames to escape from the front door. He was given stabilizing care on the scene and then rushed to the UCSD Burn Center.

PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE CALIFORNIA’S WATER SUPPLY

 

By Roy L Hales

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green; original published at http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/articles/improving-californias-water-supply/

March 10, 2012 (San Diego)--A recent Sierra Club news release states, “For more than two million Californians, access to clean drinking water is a daily struggle. This year, a number of legislators are taking the lead to address this growing problem. According to a study conducted by the California Water Resources Control Board, 680 communities in California rely on contaminated water sources and roughly a third does not have necessary filtering systems in place to make sure that the water that comes out of their faucet is safe to drink.”

BREW HA HA PRESENTS COMEDIAN MARK CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE FROM NBC “CHUCK” SERIES MARCH 13 AT HARITNA

 

March 12, 2013 (La Mesa) – Mark Christopher Lawrence from NBC’s hit series “Chuck” will headline a Brew Ha Ha comedy show Wednesday, March 13 at Haritna Mediterranean Restaurant, 7303 El Cajon Blvd. in La Mesa. Haritna was voted best Mediterranean food in San Diego by San Diego “A” List.

A mixer begins at 6 p.m. followed by the show from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Mediterranean food is available, plus hookah on the patio.

RANCHITA RESIDENTS REJECT PROPOSED CELL TOWER

By Ariele Johannson

March 9, 2013 (Ranchita) -- For most people, their home is their sanctuary. Having a cell tower erected close to your home or in your neighborhood would be an issue. Yet, if you disagreed with a neighbor’s application to install a cell tower, ranging in height to 58’, would you be able to do anything about it? In the unincorporated community of Ranchita, which is 4,065 feet elevation and approximately 12 miles southwest of Borrego Springs, a group of residents is finding out. These residents have formed an organization, Ranchita Community Group for Responsible Cell Tower Siting. They have committed to proving to the county that the proposed location of a new Verizon cell tower is inappropriate. The construction company is Vista Towers, LLC. The county’s job is to review the application for the tower.

DON'T LET DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME LEAVE YOU BEHIND

Alvarado Hospital Expert Offers Tips for Adjusting to the Time Change

By Tina Barker

March 8, 2013 (San Diego)--With daylight saving time just around the corner, moving our clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. also means losing one hour of sleep.

To some this may mean complaints of fatigue, memory lapses, impaired reaction time and clumsiness, but according to researchers that report in the New England Journal of Medicine there is a connection between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular health risks. An increase in the amount of heart attacks could occur during the first week of this time change.

The following tips given by Dr. Larry Emdur, pulmonologist, with Alvarado Hospital Sleep Center offers the following tips to help your body adjust to the time change in a faster and easier transition and alleviate your chances of serious cardiovascular health risks.

DO WE NEED MORE TRAFFIC LANES ON ALPINE BOULEVARD?

By Tom Myers

March 8, 2013 (Alpine)--This question will be addressed at the next ACPG Circulation Subcommittee, scheduled for 6:30 pm on March 14 at the Alpine Community Center.

Bob Citrano, SD County Planner will be on hand to explain the roadway improvements recommended in a recent Supplemental Environmental Impact Report. San Diego County is seeking public comments on the SEIR report for the Former FCI lands which are the subject of a proposed amendment to the San Diego General plan adopted in 2011. Although the amendment deals with land use density changes in nine planning areas within the County including areas north, east and south of Alpine, the traffic assessment portion of the SEIR deals with the traffic impacts that increased population would bring to Alpine.

EARLY MORNING FIRE DAMAGES CONDO IN LA MESA

 

March 8, 2013 (La Mesa)--Shortly after 6:00 a.m. this morning, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in La Mesa, with  assistance from San Diego Fire, responded to reports of a structure fire in the 5700 block of Baltimore Drive.  As crews arrived on scene, flames were seen coming from the roof area of a two-story condo unit at 5715 Baltimore Drive. The end unit was unoccupied and in the process of being renovated, the neighboring condo was evacuated.

FLOOD ADVISORY ISSUED: EAST COUNTY AND COASTAL COMMUNITIES INCLUDED

 

March 8, 2013 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for minor flooding in urban areas of San Diego, as well as several East County communities including El Cajon, Santee, Spring Valley and Valley Center. 

As ECM previously reported, snow is forecast for mountain areas down to 3500 feet, with thundershowers at lower elevations.

View full flood advisory below.

QUICK ACTION BY HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS SAVES HOME IN EL CAJON

 

March 7, 2013 (El Cajon )--A Heartland Fire & Rescue engine company in El Cajon was returning from a call at 5:30 this evening and came across a possible garage fire in the 100 block of West Douglas Avenue. The fire company, noticing heavy black smoke from the garage of the three-story town home, quickly called for a first alarm assignment to combat the fire.

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