A DIVERSE FIELD OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG. 25-OCT. 2

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN PARENT: ATTORNEY, ENVIRONMENTALIST AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE RUNS FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT--BE GREEN! DISPOSE OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS FREE ON SEPT. 17 IN POTRERO

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING PARTY AUGUST 27

ALPINE MAN ARRESTED FOR PHOTOGRAPHING GIRL IN WALMART BATHROOM; SHERIFF SEEKS OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS

OPEN SEATS IN SANTEE DRAW 2 MAYORAL AND 3 COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS AVAILABLE

OPEN SEATS IN LEMON GROVE ATTRACT 3 MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND 5 COUNCIL CANDIDATES; BALLOT STATEMENTS NOW UP FOR PUBLIC REVIEW

UNSUNG HEROES OF FIRE RECOVERY BRING PRICELESS RELIEF

43RD ANNUAL LA MESA OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 30 - OCT. 2

ESCAPED PRISONER HAS TIES TO COLLEGE GROVE, CHULA VISTA

News

HIGH-SPEED DRIVER CRASHES INTO LEMON GROVE HOME

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

March 4, 2013 (Lemon Grove)--The driver of a car that crashed into a Lemon Grove home last night has been taken into custody.  Residents told ECM news partner 10 News that they estimate the car, an older model station wagon, was traveling over 100 miles per hour.

WISING UP AFTER SMART METER ISSUES IN CALIFORNIA, IDAHO UTILITY INSTALLS SMART METERS WITHOUT WIRELESS COMMUNIICATIONS

Devices transmit power over existing power lines

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Smart meters have become a public relations nightmare for utility companies in California. After a flood of complaints by consumers alleging health problems suspecting of being caused by electromagnetic radio frequencies (EJF), the California Public Utilities Commission ordered utilities to allow consumers to opt out, or to have smart meters removed if already installers. Many homeowners have done so, but must pay for removal plus a monthly fee for reading meters.

Now Idaho Power has begun offering its customers smart meters that claim to avoid these problems. The company's website states: “Smart meters being deployed in Idaho Power's service territory do not transmit radio frequencies. Our smart meters do not use any wireless communication media or generate any high-frequency signals. Our system uses only wired infrastructure to communicate to and from our smart meters utilizing the low-frequency 60 hertz (Hz) power line signal as the carrier for our communications. This may be of interest because some smart meter deployments in California have raised concerns that radio transmission, wireless transmission or high-frequency transmission may pose health risks. The technology we're deploying is fundamentally different from the technologies in question in California.”

This begs the question: Why aren't these devices available to Califiornia ratepayers?

SUSAN DAVIS MEETS WITH FAA REPRESENTATIVES REGARDING GILLESPIE FIELD

March 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – Congresswoman Susan Davis called representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration to her Washington office to share constituent concerns with Gillespie Field flight paths.  Neighbors of Gillespie Field in El Cajon have complained of increased flight traffic, noise, and low-altitude flights.

“As discussion of Gillespie Field development continues, Congresswoman Davis is looking to balance economic expansion in El Cajon and East County with quality of life near the airport,” said Aaron Hunter, spokesperson for the Congresswoman.

The meeting was informational, though no course of action has yet transpired, he advised.

PRISONER REALIGNMENT DRAWS CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS ON BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT

By Miriam Raftery

Governor Jerry Brown, in his State of the State Speech in January, praised legislators for casting “difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget.  You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment,” he said among other cost-cutting measures listed.

The realignment shifts responsibility for tens of thousands of prisoners from the state to local governments by 2014.  The action is fueled in part by a court ruling that ordered California to reduce overcrowding in state prisons by 33,000 prisoners, though the Governor’s move goes further in an effort to cut the budget.

The action, however, shifts responsibilities for those prisoners  to local counties and cities. It is also forcing some jurisdictions to release some prisoners early to avert overcrowding in local jails--and raises questions on how best to address the state's crime problems overall.

GASOLINE EXCISE TAX TO INCREASE 3.5 CENTS ON JULY 1, 2013

March 2, 2013 (Sacramento) – Effective July 1, 2013, the excise tax on gasoline will increase 3.5 cents per gallon following a vote February 28, 2013 by the California State Board of Equalization. The Board is sensitive to the financial impact consumers are feeling at the pump, but state law requires the BOE to adjust the excise tax rate by March 1 of each year in order to ensure revenue neutrality.

As gasoline prices increase, the relative amount of state sales tax that would be collected, but for the fuel tax swap, decreases and must be offset by an increase in the excise tax rate.

LA MESA POLICE SAY "NO" TO SPEEDERS

March 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department, in an effort to keep everyone safe, was aggressively enforcing the state’s speed laws during the fourth “Traffic Safety Enforcement Program” operation, which took place Saturday February 23, 2013. The program relies on heavy enforcement and public education as a means to help reduce deaths and injuries on our local roadways.

When caught speeding, driver’s often ask for just a verbal warning.  Though sometimes appropriate based on the overall circumstances, La Mesa Police Officers said “no” to that request at least 27 times and issued them speeding tickets during Saturday’s operation.  One speeding driver was also driving on a suspended driver’s license, and his vehicle was impounded. 

PASSAGES: CHRIS KYLE, FORMER NAVY SEAL AND AMERICAN SNIIPER AUTHOR

 

 

March 1, 2013 (Alpine) – Former Alpine resident Chris Kyle, who served with Navy Seal Team 3, was gunned down near his home in Dallas, Texas in February by a fellow veteran. This morning, a flag-lowering ceremony was held at De La Fuente Cadillac in El Cajon, where the public joined in commemorating the famed fallen soldier.

 Kyle served five tours of duty in Iraq, where he earned a reputation as one of the U.S. military’s most lethal snipers, earning two purple hearts, four Bronze stars for valor and two Silver Stars. He authored a book, American Sniper, documenting his wartime experiences.

EL CAJON TO COVER AND SHUT OFF RED LIGHT CAMERAS; WILL REEVALUATE SAFETY IN 6 MONTHS

 

By Janis Mork

March 1, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s Council 4-1 this week to cover and shut  off red light cameras for six months, though cameras will remain installed.  Safety data will be evaluated in six months and if accidents have not risen sharply, Council made clear its intent to permanently remove the red light cameras.

Pro Tem Mayor Bill Wells addressed issues that red light cameras have brought to El Cajon.  While some contend the surveillance devices improve safety, the results are inconclusive.  But the cameras also pose problems of “civil liberties,” Wells noted.  “I am asking us to engage in a debate to end the contract [with Redflex].”

VEHICLE CRASHES INTO VALLEY FOODS MARKET

 
March 1, 2013 (El Cajon)--At 5:02 p.m. on February 28, a vehicle leaving the Valley Foods Market at 1275 E. Main Street in El Cajon, swerved to miss a car. In trying to avoid a collision, the driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes and struck a wall of the market, also hitting a gas meter and breaking a small water line. Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from the City of El Cajon arrived on scene and quickly turned off the gas and water lines securing the area. The driver of the vehicle that struck the wall was not injured.
 
 
 

FIRE AT CTC TOWING IN LAKESIDE KNOCKED DOWN BY A MULTI-AGENCY RESPONSE

By Nadin Abbott

February 28, 2013 (Flinn Springs)--CTC Towing at 15275 Olde Highway 80 suffered a fire of unknown origin on Tuesday. The fire started before 1 p.m., according to the Lakeside Fire Protection District, and drew a multiagency response, including both San Diego City Fire Department HAZMAT and County HAZMAT.

ON LOCAL SCHOOL BONDS, BIG DONORS OFTEN WIN BIG CONTRACTS

“Every one of the 12 companies that contributed more than $5,000 to the Grossmont Union High School District's Proposition U campaign in 2008 won a contract from the district.” – Voice of San Diego

Reprinted with permission from Voice of San Diego

Link to original story by Will Carless and Wendy Fry

Posted February 19, 2013 (updated February 27, 2013) 

From the Reporters:

The Question


We wanted to know whether major donors to school bond campaigns are likely to win contracts from school districts once the bond passes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYER ASSOCIATION PUSH FOR QUAIL BRUSH GAS POWER PLANT FUELS IRE: OPPONENTS SAY PLANT IS A BOONDOGGLE THAT WILL BE COSTLY FOR TAXPAYERS

 

“The danger is that consumers will be required to pay for an expensive gas-fired plant they don’t’ need now or in the future.” – The Utility Reform Network

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Why is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) pushing for a fossil fuel power plant that many authoritative sources indicate is not needed and will prove costly to taxpayers?

In a letter sent February 20, 2013 to the California Public Utilities Commission, Lani Lutar, president and chief executive officer of the SDTCA, urged the Commission to postpone a decision on the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park, until after the California Energy Commission has completed its examination of the project. 

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD ON ORDINANCE TO RESTRICT ALCOHOL SALES

 

By Janis Mork

February 28, 2013 (El Cajon)-At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, members voted unanimously to send a “deemed approved” ordinance to restrict single-serve alcohol sales to the Planning Commission.

City manager Doug Wlliford introduced the alcohol sales land use study session, advising Council members, “It’s a very complex issue.” A PowerPoint presentation included three speakers- Chief of Police Jim Redman, Planning Manager Manjeet Ranu, and City Attorney Morgan Foley.”

EL CAJON GOES DOWN ROCKY ROAD WITH OFFICIAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHURCH GROUNDBREAKING AND WORSHIP EVENT

 

By Paul Kruze

A Special Report for East County Magazine

February 26, 2013 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon may once again be walking down a rocky road of church and state separation issues with the announced participation of the El Cajon Police and Fire Departments as “special guests” at the groundbreaking of Rock Church’s newest location on Saturday, March 9 near Parkway Plaza on Jackman street. The invitation also includes “prayer and worship” at the newly-leased space.

TALK OF THE TOWN: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS REGAINS HISTORIC NAME – AND HOPES FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Town sells to owner of clothing optional resort.

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Hoping to revitalize tourism in their community, leaders in the small eastern San Diego County community of Jacumba petitioned the State to change the town’s name back to Jacumba Hot Springs, as it was known in a bygone era.  Now it’s official, community members learned today.

“I am excited to announce that Jeff Chambers of the State of California Geographic Names Commission called Dave Landman, Mark Ostrander and Howard [Cook[ this morning to say that the Federal Geographic Names Commission has approved our name change (back to Jacumba Hot Springs) effective February 14th of this year,” Danielle Cook with the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance nformed ECM. 

SANDAG SEEKING SHINING STARS IN SUSTAINABLE COMMUTING: DIAMOND AWARDS NOMINATIONS DUE FEB. 28

 

More award categories added this year to recognize sustainable commute leaders

February 25, 2013 (San Diego)--SANDAG is seeking nominations for the iCommute Diamond Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations for promoting and adopting sustainable commute choices, such as taking transit, carpooling, and teleworking. Nominations are due by 4 p.m. PST, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION SAVES JOBS IN CHILD NUTRITION AT LMSV SCHOOLS

 

By Janis Mork

February 25, 2013 (Spring Valley)--CSEA’s (California School Employees Association) Chapter 419 has announced an agreement to save benefited positions in the Child Nutrition Department at La Mesa-Spring Valley School District middle schools.  

Anna Bongard, kitchen manager (left) with lunch workers Debbie Martin and Doris Evans

FIRE SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAY 80 IN FLINN SPRINGS

Update: ECM writer Nadin Abbott is at the scene; authorities except this incident to last another 3-4 hours and the fire fully extinguished. 

February 25, 2013 (Flinn Springs) -- A fire at atowing facility has shut down Olde Highway 80 at Flinn Springs, CHP's incident page reports and IPN confirms.

"It is on or near...[a towing facility] 15289 Old Highway 80," Russ Park, who shot the photo at left, told ECM.  The blaze is at least 100 yards off the main road.  Park confirmed an early IPN report, with both indicating the fire originated at a pile of junked cars. IPN reports propane tanks nearby.  Visibility on I-8 is also now affected.

Burning tires are sending billlows of black smoke visible across the area, the Alpine Community Network reports.

FROM PARKS TO PARKING, ALPINE PLANNING GROUP ANNOUNCES AGENDA FOR FEB 28

 

February 25, 2013 (Alpine) – Parks, housing, a proposed county equine ordinance, Forest Conservation Initiative lands, and Viejas’ plans for a parking garage are among the items on the agenda for the Alpine Community Planning Group this week.  For a full agenda and details, read more.

BOIL WATER NOTICE LIFTED IN ALPINE AFTER SINKHOLE REPAIRED

Update February 24: The boil water notice has been cancelled.  View notice here

Photo courtesy of the Alpine Community Network

February 23, 2013 (Alpine) – Yesterday’s water main break and sinkhole continue to cause problems for merchants and residents in Alpine, where a boil water order remains in effect to protect public health.  (View map of affected areas.)

Padre Dam indicates it may be up to 72 hours before the problem will be resolved.  “In the meantime almost ALL of our Alpine restaurants had to close last night (on a busy Friday night),” Angela Brookshire, editor of the Alpine Community Network, told ECM.

BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED DUE TO ALPINE SINKHOLE

 

Update February 23:  The sinkhole is being filled; see photo left.

Photos by Greg Dunne

February 22, 2013 (Alpine) – A water main break has created a sinkhole on Alpine Boulevard at the intersection of Victoria Drive.  The break occurred this afternoon, forcing closure of Victoria Drive.

Repairs may take 24 hours, a workman told ECM photographer Greg Dunne. 

The Alpine Comunity Network reports that a boil water order has been issued for area residents.

ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT TO WEIGH SCHOOL SECURITY MEASURES AT FEB. 21 MEETING

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2013 (Alpine)—In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, school districts across America are examining security procedures to consider the unthinkable – how to respond if confronted with a gunman aiming to commit mass murder.

The debate is raging in Alpine, where at least one parent is calling for armed guards in public schools.  On February 21, the Alpine Union School District Board will hear a report from Superintendent Pellegrino on school safety measures in place and new concepts to consider—ranging from enhanced lockdown procedures to potentially, adding armed guards and perimeter controls to local campuses.

EYEWITNESS DESCRIBES HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT IN EL CAJON

February 20, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Paul Kruze, a freelance photojournalist whose works have appeared in ECM, was at the scene of last night's fatality hit-and-run accident in El Cajon. He offers new details which suggest that the victim was jaywalking and died on impact.

"I was just getting gas at the ARCO on Avocado," he told ECM.  According to Kruze, the pedestrian was crossing Avocado considerably north of Chase -- not at the intersection.  The victim "clearly had been jaywalking, and it was really dark and raining," he said, adding that the victim wore a light-colored hoodie but visibility was poor. 

Kruze stated that the victim sustained a severe head injury and that due to the obvious damage, the individual died immediately.

I-8 CLOSED AND OTHER WEATHER-RELATED TRAFFIC PROBLEMS

February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Interstate 8 is closed  this morning at Willows Road in Alpine due to ice and snow. There is a second closure in effect at Ocotillo. In addition, an accident has occurred at Viejas Grade and Willows Road and a rollover at Harbison Canyon, where two people are reported injured, per IPN.

Chains are required on Sunrise Highway.  Elsewhere in the county, rain, hail and snow are causing major delays for motorists. Use caution if you must drive during the storm.

DRIVER COMES FORWARD IN FATAL HIT AND RUN

 

February 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – A driver sought by El Cajon Police following the death of a pedestrian has now contacted the Police Department and is cooperating with authorities.

Based on the preliminary investigation, an adult approximately 70 years of age was wearing dark clothing and attempting to cross the roadway near the intersection of Avocado Avenue and Carter Street this evening, when he was struck by a Toyota Camry traveling southbound on Avocado.

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO FATAL HIT AND RUN

Update 11:55 p.m. -- The driver has come forward to contact police. For details, see: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/12514

February 19, 2013 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon Police Traffic division is now investigating a hit and run collision involving a pedestrian tonight. A male pedestrian was struck and killed while crossing mid-block along Avocado Avenue near Carter Street just after 6:00 p.m. this evening. Avocado Avenue was closed between Chase Avenue and Washington Avenue for the investigation.

The Traffic Division is requesting witness information. If you have any information regarding this fatal collision, please call our 9-1-1 Dispatch, at (619) 579-3311.

Pages