Janis Mork

SECOND CHANCE PROGRAM GIVES TROUBLED YOUTH A ‘SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE’

By Janis Mork

October 24, 2013 (San Diego)- The Second Chance Program in Southeast San Diego deals with the hard-to-serve population, giving formerly incarcerated, former substance abusers, homeless vets, and at risk youth a ‘second chance’. They offer programs such as Strive, JOLT workforce, and recovery groups.  Their mission is to empower people to change their lives.

Robert Coleman, executive director of Second Chance, was recently interviewed by ECM to share more details about this program.

SOMALI BANTU ASSOC. HONORS NATIONAL HERO AT YOUTH EVENT

 

African beads auctioned, traditional dances showcased

By Janis Mork

October 3, 2013 (San Diego) - The Somali Bantu Association of America held a fundraiser for their youth group to receive new supplies and computer activities. Throughout the event in September, there was also a silent auction on African beads.

Isha Aweyso, a volunteer of the association, welcomed everyone. “We have things you can buy to help our community,” he said, noting that the event benefits students. “I’m really thankful to have this association community.”

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS GETS UPDATE ON HOW COMMUNITY CAN BE BETTER PREPARED FOR FIRE SEASON

 

By Janis Mork

October 3, 2013 (San Diego)- At its September 11 meeting, the Board of Supervisors received an update from the Office of Emergency Services (OES) on how the department is better preparing San Diego for the 2013 fire season. The board also learned steps to keep those with special needs safe and what caregivers can do.

Supervisor Dave Roberts, a former firefighter, spoke first. “ I have tremendous respect for fire fighters…[to] take care of the vulnerable population.”  He  thanked the OES for its efforts and said he is pleased to be moving the item forward. “This will help get caregivers more assistance.. It’s my hope that today everyone will leave with a better understanding of being prepared.”

SYCUAN BOOSTS REWARD TO $100,000 IN CASE OF XUSHA BROWN JR., VICTIM KILLED IN FREEWAY SHOOTING

 

Victim was gunned down on I -8 freeway in La Mesa on May 5

By Janis Mork

September 7, 2013 (La Mesa)- Four months ago, 22-year-old Xusha Brown Jr. was shot in the head while a passenger in a vehicle driven by Malcolm Hune, heading home on May 5 at 4:00 a.m. He lived on the Sycuan reservation, oldest of nine children, and also worked at Sycuan. 

His mother, Deborah Flores, described him as “very loving, very kind hearted” at a press conference in La Mesa. 

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES COLLABORATIVE ADDRESSES HOUSING AND OTHER ISSUES IN REFUGEE COMMUNITY

 

By Janis Mork

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) - At the San Diego Refugee Forum on August 20, the focus was on housing issues faced by refugees. The forum covered a variety of programs on housing and other topics, including announcements of upcoming events in San Diego and East County. 

Faith Espejo, Director of Program and Operations, and Tina Parra, Resources Coordinator of San Diego HUB, from Housing Opportunities Collaborative addressed housing issues. HUB serves as an information clearinghouse by consolidating housing-related information and making it easily accessible to the public and partners, and also acts as a hub for its partners by conducting outreach events to educate and provide housing counseling services to the public. 

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL URGES SERVICE TO COMMUNITY AT GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

 

“Leaders inspire people to reach beyond themselves.”—Former Secretary of State Colin Powell 

By Janis Mork

September 5, 2013 (La Mesa)- More than 500 people gathered at Journey Community Church in La Mesa on August 8 and 9 to watch a videocast of the 10th annual Global Leadership Summit broadcast from Willow Creek Church in Illinois to over 300 host sites in 100 countries.  Bill Yaccino, Connection and Formation Pastor at Journey Community Church, hosted the event.

FORMER CONGRESSMAN PATRICK KENNEDY ADDRESSES NEW MARIJUANA POLICY IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Janis Mork

August  26, 2013 (San Diego) - “Bottom line - we’re all losers if we stay in the political advocacy. We need to get them on our side [and] come up with a political campaign that’s a winning campaign.” – Congressman Patrick Kennedy

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy spoke in San Diego recently about a new project that began in 2012 called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).  

A background on San Diego marijuana issues was addressed followed by Project SAM at the offices of California for Alcohol and Drug Free Use. 

MILITARY VET/AUTHOR DELIVERS KEYNOTE SPEECH TO GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

By Janis Mork

August 26, 2013 (El Cajon) - On August 12, Brian Castner, author of  The Long Walk, delivered a speech to faculty and staff at Grossmont College on how to reach out to military veterans.

His book, The Long Walk, tells the story of Castner’s outward struggle of serving in combat and inward struggle to find himself again after he had been home for a couple years.  

AUGUST 21 DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON HELIX WATER PROPOSED RATE HIKE

 

By Janis Mork

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District is looking to raise rates for its 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years. For 2013-2014, proposed water rates for the domestic/ single customer - using 25 units bi-monthly - will increase six percent. Commercial/Multi-family customers will see a rate increase of three to eight percent. 

"FROM COLLIER TO CARREFOUR" BRINGS AWARENESS TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 

By Janis Mork

May 11, 2013 (La Mesa)- “From Collier To Carrefour”, a fundraiser held April 28 at Collier Park, raised funds to send young adult leaders to a summer camp in Carrefour, Haiti through New Format, a Bible study for young adults that is part of Journey Community Church. 

20TH ANNUAL SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL CIRCLED AROUND "URBAN FARMS AND GARDENS" THEME

 

By Janis Mork

May 11, 2013 (El Cajon)- Last month, the 20th Annual Spring Garden Festival took place around Cuyamaca College and the Water Conservation Garden.  Kids and parents got an up-close look at chickens, bees, bountiful gardens and much more during this free event. The theme centered on “Urban Farms and Gardens.”

This year, the festival had experts on raising urban chickens, beekeeping, and vegetable gardening, as well as garden professionals, a plant sale, animal encounters for kids, live music, nature-oriented craft items for sale, and many free lectures and presentations throughout the day.

SANTEE COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER FOR "COFFEE CORNER BENEFIT ALL 4 DYLAN"

By Janis Mork

April 29, 2013 (Santee)- Recently, a Coffee Corner benefit was held for Dylan Pourner, a kindergarten boy with brain cancer, in Santee. Organizers and students who helped out wore bracelets that said, “We Love Dylan…The greatest of these is love,” and “We Love Dylan” t-shirt.  A concert was also held. Now, local schools are pitching in to help raise funds to help Dylan and his family.

ECM interviewed Gina Milton, one of the organizers. She told us that Dylan has a glioma, a non-operable mass. “He lost control of his hands and he can’t stand. The tumor is on the brain stem. It keeps growing and putting pressure on his brain.” But there is hope; he started a new treatment a few weeks ago and is expected to be getting it for eight weeks.

QUIETER STREETS? IT'S ALL PART OF NEW PAVING IN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- This past Tuesday, Michael Griffiths from the El Cajon Public Works Department gave a PowerPoint presentation to El Cajon City Council about the pavement maintenance program underway since 2006 and set for completion in 2014. City Manager Doug Williford stated that this program affects businesses and residents.

Before Griffiths began, he acknowledged junior engineer Katie Odiorne, who put the PowerPoint slides together. First, he presented a scale of old to new street pavings from 1-100.

CRITICAL TEEN ISSUES FORUM OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO BULLYING, SUICIDE, ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SAFETY FOR EAST COUNTY YOUTH

By Janis Mork

“Facebook doesn’t create relationships. When I was younger, I remember posting something on Facebook, a bad word. My uncle called me and told me it was dumb. If you have a million followers or a lot of friends, those are not your friends honestly.”- a 22-year-old girl 

April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- April 16 was the 18th annual youth-led event by STAAND (Students Together Against Alcohol And Drugs), a critical teen issues forum addressing common problems prevalent in East County teens. Among those are bullying, suicide, alcohol, drugs, and safety (cyber bullying, cyber dating).

STAAND is a part of Communities Against Substance Abuse. The group has this forum because adjusting to high school can be challenging for all students, but East County has experienced a huge influx of immigrant families and up to 50 languages are spoken among families in local school districts. More of these families live in poverty than ever before. This affects teens greatly.

TEENS LEARN IMPACTS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING FROM CHP AND VICTIMS' FAMILIES AT GROSSMONT HIGH EVENT

By Janis Mork

April 2, 2013 (El Cajon) - Driving is multitasking. When you’re distracted, driving goes to the back of your brain,’ CHP Officer Brian Penning said Tuesday, April 2 in a press conference held at Grossmont High School to kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Border Division California Highway Patrol Chief Jim Abele shared some grim statistics. “In April 2012, CHP issued over 1000 citations in San Diego County. Texting and driving continues to be a problem in California. 22% of all crashes in California are caused by distracted drivers. We will continue to educate the public about the problems of distracted driving in 2013. There’s no reason to text when you’re driving.”

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS FROM AGRICULTURE EXPERTS ON DISEASE THREATENING CITRUS CROPS

By Janis Mork

January 31, 2013 (El Cajon)—A dozen trees in El Cajon have been found infested by an insect carrying a disease that is deadly to citrus disease and which has prompted a countywide quarantine, agriculture experts informed El Cajon Council members at yesterday’s meeting.

Mark Olson, a representative for the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, wanted to give the community an update on the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the disease it carries- Huanglongbing (HLB). “It was recently found in El Cajon for the first time,” he said. “The good news is that the pest has been found and the disease has not shown up. We’re preparing for it though; it will probably show up in El Cajon.” 

GABRIEL PINA STRIVES FOR "A GREAT EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 26, 2012 (Santee)- Small business owner Gabriel Pina is running against small business owner Elana Levens-Craig and real estate agent Robin Fries for seat 4 on the Santee school board this November. The seat is opened since Dan Bartholomew will not be up for re-election. ECM has asked all candidates to respond to questions; below are Pina’s responses.

JOHN REVELS WANTS VOTERS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT TO HAVE A CHOICE ON RESTORING INDEPENDENCE FROM CAL-FIRE

By Janis Mork

October 16, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Civil engineer John Revels is running for the San Miguel Fire Board. In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, he shared his views on his candidacy and the future of the fire district.

Revels was motivated to run because, “I got a flyer of what was going on at San Miguel fire board. I have nothing against Cal Fire; they are a great organization. I wanted to keep San Miguel independent as it’s always been [before the merger with Cal Fire]. So a year ago, I started attending meetings and talking to people, and I also went to meetings to speak to the board at Cuyamaca College.”

RANDY DIBB WANTS TO BRING CHANGE TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 11, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Retiree Randy Dibb wants to run for the San Miguel fire board because he has “concern for the district” and wants to bring “changes.” His values include satisfying the needs of the constituents coupled with the dramatic changes in the way the district does business, and putting together a viable budget within the current concerns of the district.

BARBARA STEVENS STRIVES TO "DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS" IN THE GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Barbara Stevens has been a writer/editor for over 35 years. She grew up in San Diego, attended Point Loma High School and San Diego State University.

She wants to focus “on the kids more so than adults, focus on student achievement, education, the students’ and districts’ needs.”Stevens was motivated to run because her daughter went through the district, graduating from Helix Charter in 2008 and recently graduating from California State University San Marcos.

JERRY TETALMAN STRIVES TO "STAND FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD" IN THE 49TH DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 18, 2012 (San Diego)- Democrat Jerry Tetalman is running against Republican Congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th District this November.   Issa is among the wealthiest members of Congress and has long been viewed as invincible in a largely Republican district—though Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) have documented numerous controversies and most recently, filed ethics and a Department of Justice complaint against Issa.

Tetalman supports a future of peace and prosperity based on building a world ruled by democratic law rather than force, and a sustainable economy  in harmony with the environment.

JIM STIERINGER BELIEVES HE CAN CREATE HARMONY AMONG GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS

By Janis Mork

October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Retired La Mesa city treasurer Jim Stieringer is running for the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board with confidence that he can, first and most importantly, create greater collegiality among the board members by presenting a policy that all board members must abide by, if elected. In this policy, Stieringer expects that “all board members will agree to the standards of conduct amongst themselves, and their relationships with each other and the public.”

DAVE RICKARDS SEEKS REELECTION TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 10, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Fire captain/paramedic Dave Rickards hopes to get re-elected to the San Miguel Fire Board because “I care about the community I want the best fire protection in the community I live in.” The three-term incumbent is a district resident since 1990, spent 29 years in the fire service in El Cajon, and currently sits on the Heartland Communications Commission. He is also the Districts’ representative Finance Committee.” He adds, “We’re all training each other and we all have agreements that help each other out.” 

He is also a U.S. Navy vet, a USS Midway volunteer, and a private pilot. He is currently a Company Engines Officer in the Fletcher Hills Community of El Cajon.

BILL WEAVER HOPES TO BE A VOICE FOR PARENTS' AND STUDENTS' NEEDS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Bill Weaver hopes to replace incumbent board member Dr. Gary Woods on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board. He is a parent of a son and a daughter in Alpine schools, soon to enter the district. His two kids are the main reason of why he is devoted to GUHSD. He has championed a high school for Alpine but believes in reaching out to all schools. He also pledges to listen to concerns of every parent, make kids the focus when reaching a decision, use tax money wisely, and be open-minded and considerate of students’ needs.

PRISCILLA SCHREIBER WANTS TO CONTINUE TO MEET GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT'S NEEDS

By Janis Mork

October 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Priscilla Schreiber seeks reelection to the Grossmont Union High School GUHSD) District Board this November.  She is motivated to run again because “there are many things that still need to be done, and I’d like to be a part of it.” She was a concerned parent when she ran in 2000, and she’s been on the board ever since.  Also a businesswoman, her priorities are maintaining financial integrity, rigorous academic standards, career technical education, and strong work ethic with character education.

DAN MCMILLAN WANTS TO REPRESENT TAXPAYERS, PRIORITIZE BUDGET FOR SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- The cash-strapped San Miguel Fire District recently voted to outsource firefighting services to Cal-Fire. This election season, six candidates are running for four seats on the District’s board, which has taken heat from labor and the public over tough decisions made. ECM has contacted all candidates for information on their candidacies.  Below, we profile business/college educator Dan McMillan.  Other candidates are retiree Randy Dibb, retired civil engineer William A. Kiel, civil engineer John Revels, fire captain/paramedic David Rickards, and incumbent board member Karrie Johnston Scully. View a map of the district: http://www.smgfire.org/district-map.

WILLIAM KIEL WANTS TO GET INTO A SAVINGS MODE FOR SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 4, 2012 (Spring Valley) - San Miguel fire board recently voted to outsource all fire services to Cal Fire. There are six candidates running for four seats on the board. Other candidates include retiree Randy Dibb, incumbent board members Karrie Johnston Scully, fire captain/paramedic David Rickards, civil engineer John Revels, and college educator/businessman Dan McMillan. View a map of the district: http://www.smgfire.org/district-map. Below is a profile on retired civil engineer William Kiel.