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SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

 

Updated October 22, 2014 - CAL FIRE Chief Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority, has written to dispute statements made by two candidates in this race, which he says are "factually false."  You can read details of the Chief's statements here

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over firefighting operations. The board voted unanimously for the five-year contract because the agency was deep in a hole economically and had already closed a fire station. Those in favor argued that this decision would allow the board to continue operations, recover financially, reopen the closed station and keep service at comparable levels. But critics including at least one challenger running for the board have sharply criticized the deal with Cal-Fire,  citing loss of local control and potential delays in response times, also faulting other board actions.

East County Magazine e-mailed questions to all candidates, including inquiries about the CAL FIRE arrangement and a letter the district received from the State Comptroller raising questions over the board’s finances.

The six candidates include two incumbents (Chris Winter and Rick Augustine) seeking reelection and four challengers. Three of the challengers are running together as a slate (Theresa McKenna, Jim Ek, and Mike Vacio). The other challenger is Cindy Croucher. Bios for incumbents Winter and Augustine are available on the San Miguel Fire district website

Three candidates, challengers Theresa McKenna and Jim Ek, along with incumbent Chris Winter, have responded.  Below are the questions, and their answers, posted in full in the order received.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

SDSU STUDENT DECLARED BRAIN DEAD FROM BACTERIAL MENINGITIS; HUNDREDS POSSIBLIY EXPOSED

 

Correction:  An SDSU press release Friday incorrectly stated that Stelzer had died.  The university later clarified that she was brain dead and being kept on life support pending possible donation of her organs. She has since been removed from life support and her organs were donated to help save several lives.

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego) – An 18-year-old freshman at San Diego State University has died of meningococcal meningitis.  Sara Stelzer from Moorpark, who was studying pre-communications, passed away at a local hospital after flu-like symptoms, SDSU announced today.

According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Stelzer was a member of a sorority at SDSU and had recently attended two fraternity parties and her sister’s 21st birthday party. She was also in Moorpark over the weekend for homecoming at Moorpark High School.  County health officials are seeking those who have been in close contact with Stelzer and may have been exposed.

EXCLUSIVE! ECM RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JAMES KIMBER, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NOW ONLINE

 

 

Listen to our full interview here (it may take a few moments to load): http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/cofd06nvhi/Newsmaker-Kimber-James-.mp3 . For highlights, click “read more” and scroll down.

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine invited both candidates for the 50th Congressional District to be interviewed on our radio show.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter did not respond, but we did sit down for an in-depth interview with his opponent, Navy veteran and medical professional James Kimber, who talked about his views on topics including Social Security, healthcare, education, veterans, women's issues, bringing jobs to the district, student loans, energy issues, the Iraq and Syria conflicts, and the need to bring back compromise and end the partisan divide in Congress. 

Kimber has served in the healthcare field for 30 years, currently as a physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery. Asked why he’s running for Congress, he states, “I see the inaction going on within Congress. There are a lot of issues facing this country and some of them are very serious right now, but Congress has stepped back and they’re not working together very well right now.”

SAN DIEGO NAMED A TOP THRILL-SEEKING CITY, CALIFORNIA IS #1 STATE

 

October 12, 2014 (San Diego)--For experienced daredevils, that adrenaline rush is hard to come by when you are scared of virtually nothing. So, where do all of these gutsy guys and gals live and what do they do for thrills and excitement?

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

SHERIFF SEEKS SURVEILLANCE VIDEOS AS SEARCH FOR MISSING WOMAN IN JULIAN CONTINUES

 

Update October 8, 2014:  The search for Sally Estabrook continues.  A witness reported seeing someone resembling her Monday walking near mile marker 15.  A dog search team and helicopters with night-vision goggles have joined in the search.

East County News Service

October 6, 2014 (Julian) – Take a look at these newly-released photos of 75-year old Sally Estabrook, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and has been missing since Saturday, October 4th  from the Pinezanita RV Park & Campground on Highway 79.  Dozens of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers have joined professional search teams from across Southern California.

The Sheriff is asking anyone with surveillance video (home or business) from the day she disappeared to come forward, in hopes of finding clues.

Estabrook’s husband discovered she was missing after he finished taking a shower around 4 p.m. Saturday.  The search has been going on ever since then.  On Monday, the search area was expanded to five miles outside of the campground.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

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

IN HEATED DEBATE, VETS BATTLE FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear audio of the complete debate at the links below. (Note, these may take a few moments to load.)  Or click "read more" and scroll down for details and highlights.

 

October 2, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)—Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran,  and challenger James Kimber, a former Navy corspman and current physician assistant in neurosurgery, took the stage September 26th at Cuyamaca College in a contentious yet civil debate.  Voters have a clear choice in this race, in which the candidates clashed on nearly every issue. While finding common ground on the importance of fighting terrorism and protecting the backcountry against massive energy projects that threaten rural communities and public safety, the two contenders offered contrasting views on nearly everything else, from budget priorities to climate change to the role of government itself.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

 

Part III in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 3:  Bleu Boheme (Kensington) and Cali Comfort (Spring Valley)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— For week three in our quest to bring you the most delightful and different happy hours across our inland region, we indulged in French cuisine and burgundy at Bleu Boheme, owned by a prominent San Diego retauranteur in Kensington. We also found fabulous half-price barbecue tri-tip and wings so hot they’re named for a local firefighters’ crew at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, a sports bar and restaurant that has found the winning combination for hospitality.

PAUL MCCARTNEY—TODAY (2014) AND YESTERDAY (1964)

                                                                     

 

Paul McCartney’s OUT THERE Tour has added a San Diego concert set for Sunday, Sep 28th at 8:00 p.m. at Petco Park. Our freelancer, Ariele Johannson, attended the McCartney concert in August at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles—and also shares memories of a Beatles concert in New York 50 years ago that she attended back in 1964. Written for the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles first U.S. tour, this article is a “must read” for all Beatles fans of today and yesterday.

Photo, left: Beatles in 1964,  Library of Congress image

 

THE BEATLES! IN PERSON                                                                             

By Ariele Johannson                         

September 23, 2014 (San Diego)--The year was 1964, and I was touched by a movement—the craze of “Beatlemania.” An eleven-year-old girl in Long Island, New York, my life still felt like a closed book. I didn’t fit in anywhere…yet. I was quiet, smart, freckle-faced, and wore glasses. Yes, they called me “four eyes.”

FOLLOWING WORLDWIDE CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH, SAN DIEGO COUNCIL CALLS ON MAYOR TO ISSUE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2014 (San Diego) – On Sunday, a global climate march drew a half million people worldwide at over 150 locations, all calling for action to stop climate change. The march drew over 400,000 in New York City and an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 in San Diego.  

Today, San Diego’s City Council voted 5 to 3 in favor of a resolution asking Mayor Kevin Faulconer to issue a climate change plan.

The vote split the council down party lines, with all Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against.

SOMETHING FISHY IN COACHELLA VALLEY

 

San Diego's thirst for Colorado River water threatens ecosystem at Salton Sea

By Leon Thompson

Photos:  Salton Sea Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, Salton Sea Museum, and Tobias Deml

September 20, 2014 (Salton Sea) – The rotten smell in the desert just east of East County is the harbinger of worse things yet to come.

The tell-tale odor of “rotten eggs" prompted officials to issue an air quality warning for the Coachella Valley.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an odor advisory Tuesday warning residents they could experience headaches and nausea.

REP. DUNCAN D. HUNTER TO DEBATE CHALLENGER JAMES KIMBER SEPT. 26

 

Submit your questions for the candidates here.

September 19, 2014 (San Diego)—The public is invited to submit questions for Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his Democratic challenger, James Kimber.  The two candidates for the 50th Congressional District have agreed to debate on Friday, September 26 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cuyamaca College’s Performing Arts Center, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon.

Both candidates are veterans. The debate is sponsored by the Veterans’ Campaign and by the National Association for Uniformed Services. The questions are not limited to veterans or military issues, however; all topics are open for debate.

DREW FORD SELLS TO SOCAL PENSKE FOLLOWING DEATH OF FAMILY PATRIARCH

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

September 19, 2014 (La Mesa)—Drew Ford, a fixture in La Mesa with roots dating back to 1927, has sold to SoCalPenske. Mallory Lee, agency manager at Drew Ford, confirmed the sale to ECM reporter Janis Russell, adding that she believes Penske will keep the facility a Ford dealership.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MOXIE THEATRE'S COFOUNDER ON THEIR 10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

 

 

September 15, 2014 (San Diego) --For the debut of our new "Arts and Music Spotlight" on our East County Magazine Radio Show, reknown theater reviewer/writer David Codden interviews  Jennifer Eve Thorn, Co-founder and Association Artistic Director of Moxie Theatre. They talked about the theatre's special focus on presenting works of women playwrights and plays that break stereotypes about women, also previewing Moxie's tenth anniversary season, which opens this week. 

The interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM, is now posted online.  Click here to listen now. 

HURRICANE ODILE HITS BAJA, COULD BRING RAIN TO SAN DIEGO

 

 

East County News Service

Hurricane Odile has struck the coast of Baja California, Mexico in Cabo San Lucas at record speeds of 125 miles per hour as a category 3 hurricane.  Up to 11 inches per hour were reported in the tourist resort town, according to CNN.

As Odile moves north, it is not expected to make landfall near San Diego. However moisture from the system could bring significant rainfall across our region Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service Reports. The risk of flash flooding will also increase by mid week. 

QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2014 (San Diego) – There won’t be a gas-fired power plant built next to Mission Trails Regional Park. Plans for the controversial project have been withdrawn at the request of a letter sent by Quail Brush GENCO LLC, the project applicant, to the California Energy Commission on September 12.

The project had faced strong opposition including city councils of both Santee and San Diego, the Santee School District, environmental groups and residents. 

Preserve Wild Santee posted the following message on its Facebook page upon hearing the news:

OUR JULY RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN HERE

 

Our East County Magazine Show's July radio broadcasts are now online, covering hot issues from the Banner Fire to immigrant children to local rallies to save Iraqi Christians. We also interviewed local authors, musicians, a new winery owner, and a representative of the Lions Clubs’ Camp Jack in Descanso for disadvantaged children. Plus we had coverage and analysis of local and national issues, from the minimum wage to  some controversial Supreme Court rulings.

We also rebroadcast of our interview with Sycuan Chairman Daniel Tucker on the tribe’s Emmy Award winning documentary on Kumeyaay history, plus on the 4th of July weekend, we re-aired our “Spirits of 1776” dramatic presentation featuring `interviews’ with our nation’s founding fathers and mothers. Plus we brought you on-the-scene coverage of Descanso Days.

For a full list of interviews and issues on each of our July shows, click here, or click “read more” and scroll down. To listen to future shows, tune in to KNSJ 89.1 FM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. or listen online live during our broadcasts at www.KNSJ.org.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Part II in a series

By the East County Eaters

 

Week 2:  Alpine Beer Company Pub (Alpine) and Vine Cottage (La Mesa)

September 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Last week, we opened our Best Happy Hours in East County series by focusing on some premier locations for cocktails. This week, our eager team of eaters and drinkers hit the road once again, this time bringing you reviews of a local brewery’s pub that’s one of the most popular watering holes in the backcountry, along with a European-style bistro with a wonderful wine bar and some of the best happy hour food deals in town.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “WE WILL DEGRADE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY ISIL”

 

Watch on YouTube

Read the President's full address here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- President Obama tonight spoke to the nation , laying out a comprehensive strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorist group that has declared an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, massacring thousands of Iraqis and beheading two captured American journalists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” the President said. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The President made clear that the U.S. will lead an international effort to eradicate ISIL. He assured that unlike the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conflict will not include U.S. combat troops on the ground.  Instead, he laid out a four-part strategy. First, air strikes will target ISIL in Iraq, Syria and wherever else ISIL poses a threat.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: RECEPTION & FORUM OCT. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego) –The League of Women Voters invites the public to a “Meet the Candidates Reception and Forum” featuring candidates running in the November 4 election for state legislative offices in San Diego and East County, as well as San Diego City Council, Superior Court Judge, San Diego Unified and San Diego Community College districtsw. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 1st from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. 

Candidates for the following offices are invited to participate:

  •  State Senate, Districts 36, 38 and 40 (District 36 is an open seat; 38 and 40 are held by incumbent Senators Joel Anderson and Ben Hueso)
  •  State Assembly, Districts 71, 77, 78 and 79 (currently held by incumbents Brian Jones, Brian Maienscheim, Toni Atkins, and Shirley Weber)
  •  San Diego City Council, District 6 (open seat)
  •  San Diego Community College, Districts A and E (currently held by incumbents Maria Nieto Senour and Peter Zschiesche
  •  Superior Court Judge, Office 25 (open seat)
  •  San Diego Unified School Board, District B (currently held by incumbent Kevin Beiser)

CASH MOB COMES TO LA MESA SEPT. 13 FOR “REVIVE THE BLOCK PARTY” TO HELP SHOPS IMPACTED BY CONSTRUCTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2014 (La Mesa)—The East County Cash Mob is back – and you’re invited to help several struggling small business owners in La Mesa’s downtown village all day on September 13th.

“Times have been tough with local construction on the city streets. Their business has dropped 80 percent,” says Susan Barron, organizer of the event, said of the impact that torn up streets from a downtown revitalization project is having on local merchants.

Cash mobs organize through social media to draw customers and support small businesses during tough times. To participate, simply come prepared to spend $20 or more at any of the following businesses:

 

  • Act ll                   8321 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Wildflowers          8323 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Amethyst Moon    8329 La Mesa Blvd.
  • O’Dunn Fine Art    8325 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Glamour Girlz    special invited guest inside Amethyst Moon

FLASH FLOOD IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery, photos by Danielle Cook and Wayne Brammer

September 7, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—This high desert town in San Diego’s East County is normally characterized by dry washes.  But tonight around 7:30 p.m., the town’s Centennial Committee chair Danielle Cook reports, “I received a call a half hour ago from another Jacumba resident, Bill Pape, saying to "get down to the bridge right away, there is a flash flood here and about 20 of us are gathering to watch it.”

FAST FOOD WORKERS STRIKE NATIONWIDE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2014 (San Diego)--Fast food workers across America on Thursday put down their burger flippers and picked up picket signs.  Workers went out on strike at an estimated 150 fast food restaurants nationwide. The workers want wages raised to $15 an hour . They point out that it’s not just kids working at fast food chains nowadays;  the economy has forced many adults including parents with families to take jobs in the fast food industry. Many are struggling at minimum wage jobs.

In some places, striking workers engaged in civil disobedience, from New York to San Diego. Locally, workers in City Heights staged a march from McDonalds to Burger King and Jack in the Box outlets.  Several staged a sit-in on the University Bridge over I-15 to draw attention of  motorists, and some protesters were arrested, KPBS reports.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO DISCUSS LAWSUIT, ENERGY ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  The rural planners will be discussing some hot issues, starting with disclosure of a lawsuit filed against the Planning Group, its Chair, the County and other parties over alleged loss of property values to Lansing Industries, which has been unsuccessful in its effort to develop its property as first a housing development and later, an industrial solar facility, amid large-scale community opposition.

Chair Donna Tisdale and two other incumbents won reelection to the Boulevard Planning Group unopposed.

VET WARNS OF NEUROTOXIC SNAKES IN SUBURBAN SAN DIEGO NEIGHBORHOODS

 

Photo, left: rattlesnake in Ramona, by Elena Pena

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Neurotoxic snake bites, known as “super bites”, were formerly  rare in our region, found mainly in the Mojave Desert. But 10 News reports these serious bites are occurring now in suburban areas of San Diego and East County.

A dog with a neurotoxin bite in Del Cerro, for example, went into shock and had difficulty walking. The dog was treated at Pet Emergency and Specialty Center in La Mesa, where vets told 10 news that three of the ten snakebites treated in the past week have been neurotoxic bites.

LAKE JENNINGS LOSSES DOWN 56%: HELIX TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING WED. ON LAKE’S FUTURE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Just a few months ago, the future of Lake Jennings, in Lakeside appeared dire, with someHelix Water District board members ready to close it permanently or eliminate campgrounds.  But a special committee was established to come up with solutions to save this resource for the public enjoyment--and the results are promising, based on a dramatic drop in losses and increasing use by the public.

The future of the lake is on the agenda this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at a special meeting of  Helix Water District’s Board at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.  (View full agenda: http://www.hwd.com/board/package090314.pdf

HAVE A BLAST: VIEJAS AIMS TO SET WORLD RECORD FOR FIREWORKS SEPT. 12

 

August 30, 2014 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort will attempt to launch the world’s longest chain of fireworks—more than 10,000 – to celebrates its 23rd anniversary on Friday, September 12th at 8 p.m. You’re invited to the festivities near the Viejas Hotel pool to witness the sky come alive with fireworks during this Guinness Book of World Records setting attempt.

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