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April 2009 Articles




EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE NOMINATED FOR "MEDIA WATCHDOG" AWARD BY SAN DIEGO TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION

 

 

Award Finalists Announced for Good Governance, Media Initiatives
Winners revealed at Golden Watchdog & Golden Fleece Awards Dinner May 20

May 5, 2010(San Diego) -- San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) today announced finalists in its annual Golden Watchdog, Media Watchdog, Public Private Partnership and “It’s About Time” awards.  East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery and Channel 10 News have been nominated for a Media Watchdog award for a joint investigative report titled "Water Board Stirs Flood of Controversy." 

WEEKLY CAJON CLASSIC CRUISE OPENS MAY 13TH FOR 9TH SEASON

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May 1, 2009 (El Cajon)--Cajon Classic Cruise, the largest weekly classic car show in Southern California, returns to Main Street in Downtown El Cajon on Wednesday, May 13 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with its 2009 Season Opener. In addition to viewing classic cars, the grand opening includes live music by the little Efert Band, a DJ from 104.2 FM radio, and children's activities including face-painting by a clown, a bounce house and jump slide.

SOUTHERN POVERY LAW CENTER CHAIR TO SPEAK ON RISE IN HATE CRIMES: LA MESA, MAY 6

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April 26, 2009 (La Mesa)--Jim McElroy, Chairman of the Board, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), will speak on the rise in hate crimes in America during the May 6th meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club. A recent report from the SPLC shows a 50% rise in the number of hate groups in the United States. According to the SPLC, California is home to 84 hate groups, there are 4 hate groups in San Diego, and one in Lakeside.

 

CUYAMACA COLLEGE EAST COUNTY CAREER FAIR SET FOR MAY 5

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Community interest likely to be high as more people look for jobs

April 30, 2009 (El Cajon)– With unemployment figures topping a record 9 percent in San Diego County, Cuyamaca College’s 15th annual Career Fair set for Tuesday, May 5 is expected to draw strong interest among job and career-seekers. Nearly 60 companies and organizations will be represented at the free event, set for 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the new student center. The fair offers students and the community an opportunity to meet employers and possibly get hired on the spot. Companies and organizations will be discussing the job market, interviewing and collecting resumes.

April Capitol Report:How They Voted

Capitol Report LogoApril
2009 (Washington and Sacramento) — Do you know how your Congressional and State
Legislative representatives voted?  

Find out here!

For more information on these and other bills, visit www.vote-smart.org or www.govtrack.us

 

GOLDEN ARTISTRY DANGLES ‘KARAT’ IN HIGH SCHOOL DESIGN COMPETITION

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April 30, 2009 (La Mesa)--A local Goldsmith has high school students competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze, looking for a diamond in the rough. More than 100 area teens have turned out for this unique design challenge, and the top prize of seeing their creation come to life.

Terry Whyte, owner of Golden Artistry in La Mesa, launched the jewelry design competition among East County High Schools students. The challenge: design a unique, one-of-a-kind piece to be made of precious metals and gems.

SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES DECLARE LOCAL HEALTH EMERGENCIES OVER SWINE FLU

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April 29, 2009 (San Diego)—San Diego and Iimperial Counties both declared local health emergencies today. The declarations are routine steps in preparations for addressing an outbreak of swine flu. There are eight confirmed cases in San Diego County and 5 confirmed cases in Imperial County. The three newest cases in San Diego County include a three-year-old boy and his father, as well as a 23-year-old man. An additional seven cases of suspected swine flu are currently being tested, East County Magazine has learned.

 

ROCKOLA! BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND CONCERT OPENS SPRING FEST IN ALLIED GARDENS FRIDAY NIGHT

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Allied Gardens (April 29, 2009) – Spring Fest, one of East County's favorite community parties kicks off Friday night, May 1st at 6 p.m. with a concert by Rockola. Bring your dancing shoes! Enjoy classic rock ‘n’ roll music as well as food, a beer garden, and more. Known for their Beatles tributes, Rockola has concert clips you can view and listen to here: http://www.rockola.com/music_samples.html. Concerts by other bands, a parade, carnival rides for kids and more are also part of the two-day fun fest celebration in Allied Gardens Park.

GOOD BET: POKER FUNDRAISER & RIDE MAY 9; EVENT TO BENEFIT WARNER SPRINGS AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT

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April 29, 2009 (Warner Springs)—Feeling lucky? Join a Poker Ride Fundraiser to benefit the Warner Springs Agriculture Department on May 9th. A $75 entry fee includes entry into a 7-card-stud poker tournament, tri-tip barbecue lunch at Lake Henshaw Resort, apple pie and ice cream from the Julian Café served up at Jess Martin Park in Julian, a $10 free slot play at Santa Ysabel Casino, and buffet dinner (chicken and ribs) at Sadie’s Homestyle Restaurant. The day’s events also include live entertainment by musician Celia Lawley, a raffle, and an evening awards presentation.

8 SWINE FLU CASES CONFIRMED IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY; SDSU CASE SUSPECTED. COULD CAMPUS BE SHUT DOWN BEFORE FINAL EXAMS?

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WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DECLARES PHASE 5 EPIDEMIC

April 29, 2009 (San Diego)—Eight cases of people infected with swine influenza have been confirmed in San Diego County, confirms Tom Christensen, Health & Human Services media spokesman. Details on new cases will be released later today. Several other local cases are suspected, including an SDSU student. President Barack Obama today said that schools with an infected student should close down, raising the possibility that SDSU could shut down shortly before final exams scheduled May 4-8.

EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF JOINS GROSSMONT COLLEGE WALK OF FAME

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April 28, 2009 (El Cajon)--On Friday, May 1, the Grossmont College Foundation will induct El Cajon Police Chief Pat Sprecco into their Walk of Fame for 2009. The public is cordially invited to attend the ceremonies honoring Chief Sprecco that will start at 9:00 a.m. at Grossmont College's Main Quad area; this is following the conclusion of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce First Friday Breakfast, which will begin at 7:15 a.m. at Grossmont College's Student Center. The Walk of Fame is located on campus in the Main Quad area, a short distance from the Student Center.

PRIVACY 101: DATA POLLUTION--HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS

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By Darity Wesley

"Data is the pollution problem of the Information Age." -Bruce Schneier

April 28, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Just about every person delivers some form of data into the cyber-world at least once daily. We leave digital footprints with every website we visit, every tweet we Twitter, and every purchase we make either online or on the physical plane when using a credit or debit card. I had my first realization of this the first year I got my new California driver’s license with the magnetized strip on it and my first ATM card.

 

SCHWARZENEGGER DECLARES EMERGENCY, TRAVEL ADVISORY ISSUED OVER SWINE FLU

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HUNTER SEEKS CLOSURE OF BORDER UPDATED April 29, 2009 (San Diego)—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in California to request federal funds for emergency services and supplies to combat the disease. To date, 91 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., including 11 in California and five in San Diego County. The first U.S. death, a boy who traveled to Texas from Mexico, was confirmed today and tests are being done on a Los Angeles man who died following symptoms of swine flu. (Tests on a second L.A.man proved negative.) The outbreak has spread to Europe, Asia, the middle East and Canada. In Mexico, over 149 deaths have occurred and nearly 2,000 cases reported, prompting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to issue a travel advisory asking travelers to avoid nonessential trips to Mexico.

 

At least two lawmakers have called for a shut-down of “nonessential” travel from Mexico to the U.S.

“The swine flu presents a serious threat to the American public and we must act aggressively to ensure it’s contained,” Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) said in a statement issued in Washington D.C. “If the State Department is restricting all nonessential U.S. travel to Mexico as a precaution, similar steps should also be taken to restrict cross-border traffic entering the U.S. from Mexico. ..Given the San Diego community’s close proximity to the border and the fact that 340,000 people enter the U.S. through Southern California’s ports of entry every day, the necessary precautions must be taken to ensure this virus does not spread any more.”

Rep. Eric Massa, a Democrat from New York, where 45 people have now been confirmed ill with swine flu, has also called for immigration to be halted temporarily. “The public needs to be aware of the serious threat of swine flu, and we need to close our borders to Mexico immediately and completely until this is resolved,” Massa said.

All schools throughout Mexico have been closed because of the epidemic, along with other public places such as theaters and libraries, as well as public events including Olympic trials and Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a stage 4 pandemic alert for the first time in its history amid concerns that the Mexico deaths have been largely among young, healthy adults—not infants or the elderly, who more commonly succumb to flu due to underlying respiratory complications. Deaths of young adults was a hallmark of the 1918 flu pandemic.

In Mexico, a factory pig farm with unsanitary conditions is coming under scrutiny as the possible epicenter of the outbreak. (See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/mexican-lawmaker-factory_b_191... )

In the U.S., most cases have been mild and the vast majority of patients have recovered. The disease is responding to anti-viral medications when treated within 48 hours of symptoms.

Locally, health officials have shut down Christ the Cornerstone Academy in Mira Mesa after a student contracted swine flu and three teachers became ill with flu-like symptoms. The County of San Diego has activated its 2-1-1 call center for the public to call and talk with live specialists for non-emergency information on swine flu.

Frequent hand-washing and covering one’s nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing are advised to avoid spreading the disease. If you are ill, health authorities ask that you remain home from work or school. If you experience breathing problems or other severe symptoms, seek medical help immediately. For more information on swine flu in English and Spanish, visit the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov.

 

CHALLENGE IN CURBING SPREAD OF SWINE FLU: HALF OF WORKFORCE LACKS PAID SICK DAYS

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By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2009 (Washington D.C.) – At least 50 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the U.S. with confirmed cases in many other countries today, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise its pandemic alert level to Phase 4 for the first time ever. Locally, Christian Cornerstone Academy in Mira Mesa has closed after six teachers fell ill following exposure to a student with swine flu.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that those who are sick should stay home from work or school to avoid infecting others. But analyses of Bureau of Labor Statistics and other data conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) reveal that less than half of workers have paid sick days, and only one-third can use sick days to care for sick children. Workers who lack paid sick time are more likely to go to work with a communicable illness, and parents who cannot stay home with a sick child are more likely to send sick children to school or day care.

LIFE’S A CIRCUS: BIG TOP SHOW TONIGHT IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO, NEXT 2 DAYS IN POWAY

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April 28, 2009(San Diego’s East County)—Elephants hoisted a big top tent to open the 73rd edition of Carson & Barnes Circus in Rancho San Diego/La Mesa, where the show goes on with a 4:30 matinee and a 7:30 evening show tonight. The circus brings nearly 100 performers and a traveling zoo to East County. Proceeds help benefit local hosts--including the Rancho San Diego-Jamul Chamber of Commerce--making this one of the more entertaining economic "stimulus" programs East County has seen yet.

CHALDEAN FOOD TASTING FESTIVAL & BUSINESS FAIR FRIDAY NIGHT

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April 29, 2009 (El Cajon)—East County is home to one of the largest populations of Iraqi Chaldean Christians in the United States. On Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m., the public is invited to savor the authentic flavors of Chaldean cuisine including such favorites as falafels, kebabs, shawamma, hummus, tabbouleh, and more.

The event, hosted by Knights of Columbus, will take place at the St. Peter Chaldean Church Hall, 1627 Jamacha Way in El Cajon. A fair showcasing local restaurants, business products and services is also included in the $10 admission charge.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN CELEBRATES 10th BIRTHDAY

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April 28, 2009 (El Cajon)--The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College celebrated its tenth birthday on Saturday, April 25. Garden Executive Director Marty Eberhardt commented on the remarkable timing of the event. “Just two days ago, the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors declared a Level 2 Drought Alert, which means that retail agencies will soon be instituting water restrictions. This is exactly the kind of situation that the founding agencies foresaw.”

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT? LOCAL LEGISLATORS SQUARE OFF OVER TAX DAY "TEA PARTY" PROTESTS

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By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—California’s Republican legislators joined in a “tea party” tax protest in Sacramento earlier this month. In response, Democratic leaders staged a “reality check” to unveil a 150-foot long scroll listing $26 billion in budget cuts made since 2003--warning that more severe cuts to schools and other essential programs would be required without the revenue increases in the 2009-2010 budget.

Both sides bolstered their arguments with videos--posted here.

POLICY MATTERS:  OPTIONS WHEN YOU HAVE DAMAGE FROM A PRIOR ACCIDENT

By Dennis Volz

A client called me yesterday with an interesting dilemma. He said that recently,
when his car was parked on the street, it was hit by another car whose driver
was gracious enough to stop, confess and make contact.

Nevertheless, he was concerned because on the same side of the car there was
some damage from a prior accident.  He wanted to see if he could get that
fixed at the same time. He also wanted to make sure the paint
matched the rest of the car
. So here's the advice I offered to Steve.

BOXER INTRODUCES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING AFGHAN MARITAL RAPE LAW: URGES AFGHAN LEADERS TO RESPECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS

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April 27, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) have introduced a concurrent resolution in the Senate and House of Representatives calling on Afghanistan’s leaders to repudiate a new Afghan law that legalizes marital rape and imposes other Taliban-era restrictions on Shiite women in Afghanistan.

“We stand with the hundreds of Afghan women who were pelted with stones and verbally abused last week as they marched to protest this abhorrent law,” Senator Boxer said. “This law is a direct attack on individual freedom and a license to commit despicable acts against women in their homes.”

“DREAM SCAPE” PAINTINGS  AMONG ART ON DISPLAY AT ST. CLAIR GALLERY THROUGH MAY 29; ARTISTS’ RECEPTION MAY 19

By Miriam Raftery

"Morning Light" by Alex Toporovsky

April 27, 2009 (El Cajon)—“In my work, I try to evoke a séance of peace and
happiness,” artist Alex Toporovsky told East County Magazine.  “These
are usually things which are lacking in most people’s lives, including my own.
We are all so busy running around and trying to make a living these days. I
feel that my paintings are sort of a dreamscape where most people would love
to run away, too, to find peace of mind.  I try to take people to that
place, to escape for a while, and get refreshed before doing the daily grind.”

SILVER CREEK FINE ART CELEBRATES 30 YEARS WITH $3,250 DRAWING

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April 26, 2009 (El Cajon)--Silver Creek Fine Art & Custom Framing is offering more than $3,000 in prizes as part of its 30th Anniversary celebration, according to Lynn Endicott, owner of the art gallery and custom framing business serving East San Diego County since 1979.

WELCOME RECEPTION MAY 5 FOR NEW GCCD CHANCELLOR: DEALING WITH BUDGET CRISIS A TOP PRIORITY

April 26, 2009 (El Cajon)--– Talk about a baptism by fire.

Dr.
Cindy L. Miles has started a new job as chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca
Community College District at a time of fiscal uncertainty amid what some economists
still expect to be the deepest recession in the modern era. Limited funding
by the state at a time of escalating enrollment and expanding costs presents
the college district with major fiscal challenges.

FLOOD OF RATEPAYER PROTESTS PROMPTS HELIX WATER TO HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING MONDAY, APRIL 27 AT 2 PM; CRITICS CONTEND DISTRICT PLAN IS UNFAIR TO BIG FAMILIES & LARGE LOT OWNERS

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Update April 28: Despite strong public protest, Helix Water District approved eliminating agricultural meters for 900 customers and accepted other staff recommendations. Watch for details soon.

 

By Miriam Raftery April 26, 2009 (La Mesa)—Deluged by hundreds of calls from residents irate about steep rate increases for heavy water use, and by many seeking irrigation meters to qualify for cheaper water rates, Helix Water District’s Board of Directors will convene a special meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, April 27th.

 

U.S. DECLARES SWINE FLU EMERGENCY; BORDER CROSSERS, AIR TRAVELERS TO BE SCREENED FOR ILLNESS

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April 26, 2009 (Washington D.C.)—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public emergency today in the United States due to the outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in five states (California, Ohio, New York, Kansas and Texas).

“We have implemented passive surveillance protocols to screen individuals who may arrive at our borders,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a press conference today. Travelers entering the U.S. from areas with swine flu, including Mexico, will be asked about their health and will be isolated if ill. In addition to screening travelers at borders, security personnel at airports will also be screening passengers.

 

CASINO NIGHT A WIN FOR LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

By Miriam Raftery

Jeff Hallman (right) of Hallman Jewlers portrayed James Bond; Mary England (center) filled the bill as a Bond Girl for the La Meas Chamber's Casino Night; George Juchum (left) is owner of  
Rockscapes, Inc. 

April 14, 2009 (San Diego)—More than 175 guests filled the Golden Ballroom at the Town & Country Hotel for the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s Casino Royale event  last week.   Emcee Jeff Hallman  played the role of James Bond, with Chamber president Mary England doubling as a “Bond Girl” for the evening’s festivities which included dinner, installation of new officers and recognition of local heroes who help make our community safe.

SUPERVISOR JACOB & AREA MAYORS TO SPEAK MAY 1 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

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April 26, 2009 (El Cajon)--County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is scheduled to be joined by several mayors of East County cities as featured speakers at the East County Chamber of Commerce’s “First Friday Breakfast” starting at 7:15 a.m., Friday, May 1, at Grossmont College’s Student Center on the eastern side of the campus. Also speaking at the breakfast will be Barry Jantz, 2009 chairman of the San Diego East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC), sponsor of the program. The ECEDC, an alliance of key representatives from business, government and education, works to foster economic prosperity in San Diego’s East County region.

SWINE FLU STRAIN IN SAN DIEGO MATCHES DEADLY VIRUS IN MEXICO; ANTI-VIRAL MEDICINES COMBAT DISEASE IF TREATED EARLY

 

By Miriam Raftery

ECM intern Marissa Kerizan also contributed to this story.

 

April 25, 2009 (San Diego)—The Center for Disease Control has found that swine flu virus strains in San Diego match samples of a virus that has killed 81 people and sickened over 1,300 in Mexico. In Mexico City, where the majority of cases occurred, all public events have been suspended. Schools, museums, theaters and libraries there have been closed to halt spread of the disease.

HOLLINGSWORTH OPPOSES BILLS TO RESTRICT SALE OF TOBACCO NEAR SCHOOLS & ADD RENEWAL FEE FOR TOBACCO LICENSES; SENATOR TOOK HEFTY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM TOBACCO INDUSTRY

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By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2009 (Sacramento) California State Senate Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murietta), whose district includes San Diego's East County, has issued a statement opposing three bills aimed at restricting sale of tobacco to minors. The three measures, SB 601, 602 and 603, passed the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on a party-line vote. Holilngsworth took $39,500 in campaign donations from the tobacco industry between 2003 and 2006, according to a 2007 report issued by the Center for Tobacco Research Control and Education. http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1074&context=c...

“EATER” EVENT A VORACIOUS SUCCESS—AND FUN FOR ALL

By Miriam Raftery

Ballroom dancers Peggy Diamond and Peter Tworoger

April 21, 2009 (Alpine)—East County Magazine’s guests were all winners at
our “On the Road With the East County Eater” party Monday night at the Vine
Wines Bar & Bistro in Alpine. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful
sponsors, every guest walked (or danced) away with a prize!

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