September 2015 Articles

EL CAJON POLICE REACH OUT TO PUBLIC TO IMPROVE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY, ANNOUNCE PLANS TO BEEF UP ENFORCEMENT OF TRAFFIC RULES

 

View pedestrian safety video from El Cajon Police: http://vimeo.com/116996655

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon has had 13 pedestrian fatalities in the past 20 months. In the prior 36 months, there were 10 fatalities. So in half the time, there have been double the number of pedestrian deaths. 

“That concerns us a great deal,” Police Chief Jim Redman told community members at a public safety forum held last month at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, where the department reached out to share safety tips, hear community suggestions, and advise about a new enforcement campaign aimed at saving lives.  A “Check before you step” campaign aims to educate the public on how to prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.

LA MESA CHAMBER LAUNCHES "FALLFEST" LINEUP: "A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY AND A LITTLE BIT ROCK AND ROLL"

 

East County News Service

September 9, 2015 - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has announced the entertainment lineup of its new “FallFest” event being held October 16th and October 17th at Grossmont Center (5500 Grossmont Center Drive, in the Macy’s parking lot.)

The entertainment lineup will combine the best in music with “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.”

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AVOIDED, FOR NOW

 

East County News Service

October 3, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--A government shut-down has been averted, at least for now. 

Conservative Republicans in Congress had sought to deny passage to a spending bill unless all funding for Planned Parenthood was eliminated.  That effort was blocked by House Democrats.  If no spending measure was passed by September 30th, the government would have shut down.

Now a stop-gap measure has been passed to fund the government –but only until December 11.   Republicans ultimately approved funding but convened hearings on Planned Parenthood controversial videos.

NEW ONLINE TOOL CHARTS WILDFIRE RISK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Source: County News Service

October 1, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --As San Diego County enters the perilous fall wildfire season, you can now tap into a new online map to learn the level of fire risk in your immediate area and resources for finding help in an emergency.

The digital tool allows San Diegans to search the county by address or place name to learn the degree of wildfire hazard and how to better prepare for an emergency.

 Many of the county’s biggest blazes have struck in the fall, fed by Santa Ana winds and tinderbox conditions in the backcountry.

FIRE DISPLACES LA MESA RESIDENTS

East County News Service

September 30, 2015 (La Mesa)-- Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from La Mesa and Lemon Grove, with assistance from San Diego Fire, responded to a house fire in the 4100 block of E. Arrieta Circle in La Mesa this morning. 

The first Chief Officer arrived within five minutes to report a single story, single family dwelling with heavy smoke coming from the house. Firefighters quickly attacked the fire from the interior, while simultaneously cutting a hole in the roof to alleviate smoke and hot gases from inside the structure, said Sonny Saghera, public information officer for Heartland.

STRONG EL NINO THIS WINTER COULD RIVAL HISTORIC WET WINTERS

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2015 (San Diego)—The Federal government’s Western Regional Climate Center is predicting with 92% certainty a strong El Niño from December to February.  Additionally, forecasters say there is a 50% chance that winter precipitation totals will be in the top 33% of historic values across Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.

COURT ACTION CHALLENGES CPUC ON “HIJACKING” ELECTRIC BILLS

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2015 (San Diego)—Utility ratepayer attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson have filed a federal appeal in the Ninth District court on behalf of Citizens Oversight.  The suit challenges the power of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which it accuses of “utility bill hijacking.”

A press release issued by Aguirre and Severson states the Governor Jerry Brown has appointed “powerful utility lobbyists to run the Commission.  Working together with utility executives,  these appointees have hijacked the long-standing practice of holding public rate-setting hearings in favor of secret rate-setting meetings with top utility executives.”

ENCHANTED GARDEN GALA OCT. 17

 

September 30, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) -- On Saturday, October 17th, The Garden at Cuyamaca College will once again be transformed into "The Enchanted Garden." Wander a magical path through illuminated gardens as you enjoy ethereal music, delicious, garden-inspired fare and captivating entertainment.

SANTANA PRINCIPAL WARNS OF TRUCK FOLLOWING TEEN GIRLS

 

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (Santee)—Santana High School Principal Tim Schwuchow has notified parents in a letter about two incidents last week in which female students were reportedly followed by a white Chevrolet pickup truck.

SAN DIEGO LIFEGUARDS COME TOGETHER TO ASSIST INJURED COWORKER

 

San Diego Lifesaving Association Raising Funds for Lifeguard Injured On Duty

September 30, 2015 (San Diego)-- After completing a routine rescue at Windansea beach in La Jolla on August 15th, San Diego Lifeguard Gareth “Chappy” Chapman was struck by a large wave in shallow water and driven headfirst into the ground.  The resulting impact left Gareth with several broken vertebrae in his neck and back, but fortunately did not cause any permanent damage to his spinal cord or nervous system.

JAZZERCISERS KICK OFF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH WITH "DANCE FOR LIFE" EVENT ABOARD USS MIDWAY OCT. 3, 2015

 

El Cajon cancer survivor is organizer of “Dance for Life” event

September 30, 2015 (San Diego)--Jazzercise instructors will bring San Diegans together to fight breast cancer and dance for a cure aboard the USS Midway on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 8:30-10 a.m. More than 1,000 Jazzercise instructors, customers, family and friends, including many who have been affected by breast cancer, are expected to participate in a huge group fitness class on the deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier located at 910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego. Proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. At last year’s Jazzercise Dance for Life event, more than 1,100 people danced together and raised more than $93,000 to fight the disease.

YELLOW "HIT-AND-RUN" ALERTS APPROVED

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2015 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 8 into law. The measure will create “yellow alerts” to display descriptions of vehicles involved in hit-and-run collisions on digital freeway signs.  The alerts, set to start January 1st, will be similar to Amber Alerts used for kidnapped children.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM SEPTEMBER 27, 2015

 

For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org

 

September 27, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - This column is also published in the http://EastCountyMagazine.org. If you are from East County, I highly recommend that you check out the ECM for articles and the latest in what is happening in the East County.

ALPINE COUNTRY CRAFT AND HARVEST FESTIVAL OCT. 8-10

 

September 29, 2015 (Alpine)—Alpine Country Gifts & Crafts is hosting its 22nd annual “Something to Crow About”  Craft and Harvest Festival from Thursday October 8 through Saturday October 10. The event will be held at Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd., Alpine, and features crafts and homemade items, including “Owl Nesting Boxes.”

TWO SDSU STUDENTS FACING EXPULSION OVER PATRIOTIC SYMBOLS

 

 

By Liz Alper


September 30, 2015 (San Diego) - Two San Diego State students are in danger of losing their rights to attend SDSU for displaying patriotic flags.

 

Cameron Box, an active duty Coast Guard member, and Connor Fenwick, who is in the Army ROTC, proudly display the U.S. Coast Guard flag, an Army flag and the American flag from the balcony of their on-campus housing unit at San Diego State.  However, the school is threatening to expel them, citing a “fire hazard”, also claiming that the flags “block visibility.”

GERMAN BANDS, BEER, DANCERS & MORE PLANNED FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST OCT. 2-3

 

 

East County News Service

September 10, 2015 (La Mesa)—Oktoberfest has been a tradition in La Mesa’s downtown village since 1942, drawing over 100,000 attendees in recent years.  This year, the La Mesa Village Merchants Association aims to host the Oktoberfest on Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3 from 12 noon to 10 p.m.

After meeting its deadline for paying off past debt to the city and obtaining a permit, organizers plan to bring the popular festival goes back to its roots with a focus on German heritage. 

The Bavarian Beergarden Band, Alpine Gemutlichkeit Dancers, and the El Cajon German Band highlight the entertainment listed on the Merchants' website.  There will be German food including bratwurst and real German beer served up at two beer gardens. Beer lovers can choose from Oktoberfest Marzan, Hef, Munich Lager and kegs of Salvator. There will also be vendors.

Below is the lineup of entertainment:

BILL ON GOVERNOR’S DESK WOULD LET MOTORISTS CHALLENGE TRAFFIC TICKETS WITHOUT PAYING FINES FIRST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Currently, California drivers who want to challenge a ticket in court have to pay a fine or fee first, in many jurisdictions.  But Senate Bill 405, now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s approval, would give motorists the right to fight tickets without paying a fine or fee unless they are found guilty.

 The U.S. justice system is supposed to presume innocence until someone is found guilty.  But traffic fines and add-on fees amount to hundreds of dollars in some cases. The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that those fees block access to the justice system for the poor.

CA REDUCES FEES FOR OVERDUE TRAFFIC FINES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2015 (Sacramento) – If you’re a California driver with an overdue traffic ticket fine, you may be eligible for a limited amnesty program starting this week under Senate Bill 85, which was signed into law by Governor Brown.

Under the program, all fines due on or before January 1, 2013 will be reduced by 50 to 80 percent. In addition, all penalties added for late fees will be cancelled. You can also make payments to pay off the balance, based on your income. In addition, if you lost your license for failing to pay a fine or appear in court, you can apply to get your license restored.

HELIX WATER CANCELS PENALTY ON HIGH WATER USERS, BUT STILL AIMS TO RAISE WATER RATES

 

Two meetings set on rate hikes Sept. 30 and Oct. 7

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (La Mesa) — Helix Water District’s Board has voted unanimously to rescind a 10 percent penalty assessed on its highest tier water users. The change comes after customers cut water use 28 percent, enabling the district to meet the 20 percent cuts mandated by the state. Board member Kathleen Hedberg asked for those penalized to receive rebates, but instead the funds will be used for water conservation outreach, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

But the district is moving forward on hefty water rate hikes for water users. The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) opposes what it describes as a 70% rate hike over five years. The GMIA invites the public to a community forum on the rate hike on Wednesday, September 30th at 7 p.m. at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad Drive in La Mesa).

The GMIA has crafted a sample letter for those opposed to submit public comment: http://www.gmia.net/docs/SampleLetterToTheHelixWaterDistrict.pdf

LA MESA RESTAURANTS NOT HAPPY WITH DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK PROJECT

 

By Mike Allen

Photo, left: Concrete pour for new sidewalk, courtesy City of La Mesa. See more photos on the City's Twitter feed for the project.

September 29, 2015 (La Mesa)--Several downtown La Mesa restaurants say the city’s Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project has taken a much bigger hit on their businesses than anticipated—and the owners aren’t happy about having to shell out more money to get their patio seating back.

While the project that began construction in July of last year is nearly finished, there’s still work to be done, and most restaurants haven’t had their outside patios re-installed in time for this weekend’s big Oktoberfest celebration.

-- SENATOR ANDERSON SETS 'COMMUNITY COFFEE" IN LA MESA SEPT. 30

 

East County News Service

California Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) will listen to constituents and invite ideas on how to improve state government at a “Community Coffee” starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Chapel at Grossmont, 5651 Water St., La Mesa. The free event, open to the public, will be hosted by La Mesa City Council members Guy McWhirter and Bill Baber.

SDG&E WANTS RATEPAYERS TO PAY 90% OF ITS REMAINING WILDFIRE LAWSUITS COSTS

 

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (San Diego)—San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) on Friday asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow the company to charge ratepayers for 90% of its remaining costs to settle the 2,500 lawsuits from the 2007 firestorms.  SDG&E faced $4 billion in claims arising from the fires, but settle most cases for $2.4 billion.

Most of that was covered by the company’s liability insurance or recoveries from third parties. SDG&E now wants its shareholders to pay just 10% ($42 million) with the remaining 90% to be passed on to ratepayers.  If approved, SDG&E proposes to spread out the remaining $379 million over six years, which it estimates would raise monthly bills less than $1.70 for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.

By contrast, a poll of East County Californian newspaper readers found that 100% believe  SDG&E and its shareholders, not ratepayers, should bear responsibility for the wildfire settlement costs.

BARONS BACKROOM BEER PAIRING SEPT. 30 IN ALPINE

 

September 29, 2015 (San Diego) – Barons Market will host “Backroom Beer Pairing,” featuring locally made brews from Pizza Port Brewing Co. and yummy delights from Gourmet Bites. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. Join Barons Market at  1347 Tavern Road in Alpine to raise money for local breast cancer support.

MEDIA WATCH: KPRI RADIO FLIPS TO CHRISTIAN FORMAT

 

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (San Diego)--KPRI Radio, San Diego’s independent station known for its alternative rock format and cutting edge issues coverage, has sold the Educational Media Foundation which runs Christian music stations.  The deal will require approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

In addition to music, KPRI radio has been home to programs such as a Morning Show that recently included discussions on issues and features ranging from climate change to the Master Chef competition.

WOMAN, 21, CHARGED WITH MURDER AFTER DUI CRASH KILLED PEDESTRIAN

 

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (Lakeside) – Katie L.M. Ellison, 21, has been arrested and charged with murder and felony driving under the influence, the California Highway Patrol reports.

On Friday, September 25th at 10:16 p.m., Ellison was driving a 2013 Toyota with headlights off, traveling east on Woodside Avenue east of Winter Gardens Blvd. in Lakeside when she struck an older couple walking across the street after leaving a local restaurant.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

September 29, 2015 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

HORSE FEED SOLD IN SAN DIEGO KILLS 3 HORSES

 

East County News Service

September 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Western Blend horse feed, manufactured by Western Milling, has been linked to deaths of three horses and illness of dozens more.  The feed contains monensin, an ionophore that is used to put weight on cattle but that is toxic to horses. There is no antidote for the poisoning.

On Sunday, the company announced a recall of Western Blend sold in 50 pound bags in California and Arizona, with the lot number 5251. ABC news reports the deaths occurred in Fresno.

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