By Nadin Abbott
Photos and videos by Billy Ortiz
July 2, 2013 (Lakeside)—Firefighters from Heartland Fire, the U.S. Forestry Service, Cal-Fire and Lakeside Fire Department have attained 50% containment of a brush fire that consumed at least 110 acres Lakeside as of this evening. The fire began along El Monte Road in light, flashy fuels this afternoon and burned portions of El Cajon Mountain (El Capitan).
November 28, 2012 -- (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:
- Refugee grateful for new life in new country (U-T San Diego)
- San Diego Congressmen get campaign contributions for domestic drone support (San Diego Free Press)
- Report: We’re in the midst of a housing recovery (U-T San Diego)
- Witness to deadly shooting by border patrol agent disputes official account (10 News)
- El Cajon working to reduce pedestrian deaths (U-T San Diego)
- Border economy to see greater emphasis under Filner administration (San Diego Free Press)
- David Copley dies at 60; heir to Union-Tribune fortune was once worth $1.2 billion ( La Jolla Patch)
- Republican activist seeks ouster of Tony Krvaric as GOP Chairman (Ramona Patch)
- New Lakeside fire station opens (East County Californian)
- El Capitan cross country team runs to state championship (East County Californian)
- Deputies break up 20-man brawl at Carlton Oaks bar (Santee Patch)
- Ocotillo: worker airlifted after falling ( IV Press)
- SDG&E makes last push to bill users for wildfires (U-T San Diego)
- Unemployment checks to stop for 400,000 Californians (U-T San Diego)
- Erin Brokovich town faces new threat from utility company (NPR)
- Democratic power in state capitol has its limits (Sacramento Bee)
- California elected officials set to take pay cut (Sacramento Bee)
- First cap and trade auction a bust for California budget (Sacramento Bee)
- California man accused in plot to join al Qaeda denied bail (Reuters)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
August 30, 2012 (Lakeside) -- Authorities have recovered the body of Milt Eisen, 41, who drowned August 26 in the El Capitan Reservoir.
Eisen, manager of the El Cajon Kia dealership, reportedly jumped from a boat into El Capitan reservoir to cool off but was unable to make his way back to the boat. Divers searched the 197-foot-deep for multiple days in conjunction with several agencies.
Coach Steve Vickery inducted into National High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame
By Ryan Schuler
February 28, 2012(Lakeside)--It’s no secret that El Capitan High School is a powerhouse when it comes to baseball in San Diego. Coming off a 2011 season in which the squad was ranked California's No. 18 team by ESPN’s CalHiSports and reached the San Diego Section CIF Division III finals, the Vaqueros are back in the CalHiSports state rankings again, this time in the preseason.
Led by reigning California Coaches Association State Baseball Coach of the Year Steve Vickery and 6-foot-5 senior southpaw Troy Conyers, the Vaqueros enter the season ranked No. 4 in California.
By Emma Cajthaml
January 24, 2012 (Lakeside) -- What could be more beautiful than a mid-winter’s sunrise over an East County mountainside?
Photographer Billy Ortiz shot these stunning images while hiking in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley, along El Capitan, over the Lunar New Year, marking an idyllic start to this Year of the Dragon.
Story and photo by Pam Wilmers
View a video by Billy Ortiz: http://youtu.be/RGCBdTSChHw
December 11, 2011 (Lakeside) -- Stranded at 3200 feet on the face of El Cajon Mountain (El Capitan) at near freezing temperatures Saturday, two young college students survived the night. Early Sunday morning their cries for help were heard down in the El Monte Valley.
By Billy Ortiz
View video of eagle chick shot April 21, 2011 in Lakeside's El Monte Valley: http://youtu.be/G__OAP57RW4
I am sending this in hope of raising awareness of our Golden eagles here in San Diego County. Recently these magnificent eagles have come under attack by the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink. This could be the last time we see footage like this video of an eagle chick here in Lakeside, California and in many other parts of the San Diego's East County.
NEW DISTRICT BOUNDARIES PROPOSED FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT: MEETING JUNE 2 FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
May 27, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Two proposed options for new boundary lines in the Grossmont Union High School District will be presented by the District’s Boundary Committee at a public meeting on Thursday, June 2 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Instructional Resource Classroom, 301 North Mollison Avenue in El Cajon.
One plan, Model 12, includes redrawn boundaries to include a 12th new high school planned in Alpine. An alternative plan, Model 9, provides a contingency in case the Alpine High School is not built and redraws boundaries for the District’s nine existing non-chartered high schools.
“This is a watershed meeting,” said Doug Deane, chairman of the committee. “If there are different viewpoints, people need to speak June 2 at our meeting….Every high school will be affected, whether or not there is a twelfth high school built.”
Projects Funded by Proposition H, Proposition U School Bonds
El Cajon, Calif. (May 11, 2011) – Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) announced today that it has awarded several new construction contracts, valued at over $50 million. Many of the projects are now underway at campuses throughout the district as part of the Prop H and Prop U bond programs. In the months ahead, the district projects it will award another $38 million in work.
By Billy Ortiz
April 23, 2011 (Lakeside) – It’s a beautiful April day as I head down East Main Street in El Cajon towards my home near Tunnel Hill. I can't help but notice Old Glory high above the El Cajon skyline and beyond, my favorite place towering in the background: El Cajon Mountain, also known as El Capitan.
I have often wondered why it is called El Cajon Mountain, but after seeing this view I think I understand. I am a historian; the first thing I think of when I see a sight like this is what East County must have looked like say 100 years ago. The view today remains much as it did a century ago--but now this scenic and historic view is at risk.
March 10, 2011 (Lakeside) – San Diego River Park Foundation and Family Kayak Adventure Center invite you on a guided tour of East County’s El Capitan Reservoir, one of the only places where you can kayak on the San Diego River.
Cost is $50 for adults, $35 for children and includes kayak, paddles, life vest, basic instruction, lake entrance fee, guide and a light lunch. The event launches on Sunday, March 13 from 9-11 a.m., with lunch to follow.
Watch a video of the trail opening ceremony here:. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6000bFjSB0s
By Billy Ortiz
February 23, 2011 (Lakeside) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob, other County officials and around 100 local residents were on hand for the opening ceremony of a new trail in Lakeside yesterday. Jacob said she was delighted to be standing at the foot of “East County's landmark,” El Cajon Mountain, also known as El Capitan. “For a long time, the community has wanted safe, official access to the beautiful El Monte Valley,” she observed.
Whether you ride a bike or horse, walk or jog you'll enjoy this new two-mile path, which joins El Monte Valley to Blossom Valley.
December 27, 2010 (Lakeside) - It's rare to view a helicopter hoist rescue from the victim's point of view. East County Magazine videographer Billy Ortiz has posted a dramatic video shot by his hiking companion, Pam Wilmers, chronicling his rescue off El Capitan Mountain following a rockslide yesterday.
View this remarkable video here: http://b.static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v1/yg/r/_g3DSzyCT-K.swf?v=12552852...
By Miriam Raftery
Video by Ron Cook
December 26, 2010 (Lakeside) – Shortly after reporting about an injured hiker air-lifted off El Capitan Mountain this afternoon, I was dismayed to learn that the victim is East County Magazine’s own videographer Billy Ortiz, creator of our “Video Adventures in East County” series. He was taken to the emergency room at Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he spoke with me by phone moments ago about his harrowing ordeal.
Update 6:30 p.m. Approximately one-third of students stayed home today as a result of a rumored school shooting. According to posts by parents and students at Facebook and 10 News, some authorities were aware of the potential threats on Friday. Some parents have questioned why the District did not notify parents on Friday, why a parent meeting has not been called, and whether adequate steps have been taken to protect student safety.
December 13, 2010 (Lakeside) – A parent of two teens at El Capitan High School notified East County Magazine late last night that there is a “major rumor running that there is going to be a shooting tomorrow at the school.” The source said the shooting was rumored to be planned in retaliation for the death of former El Capitan student Christopher Carioscia, whose body was found at Barona last week following discovery of his burned car. The parent said Carioscia also went by the name Chris Younghusband. Law enforcement officials have previously stated that Carioscia had a history of drug problems.
Detective Jason Rouse at the Santee Sheriff’s substation confirmed, “We have received reports from several parents. At this point we have not been able to identify a source other than there’s lots of kids on Facebook saying they’ve heard about this.”
County honors deputies who saved couple’s lives during Monte Fire;
Climbers offer safety tips for others
By Miriam Raftery
August 26, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Sheriff’s deputies Gary Kneeshaw and Scott Blight saved two rock climbers trapped on the face of El Capitan mountain during the Monte Fire in Lakeside on Saturday. Today, the deputies were honored with a commendation from the County Board of Supervisors for their heroic actions in a daring ASTREA helicopter rescue. In a press conference at Gillespie Field in El Cajon today, Lieutenant Richardson praised the deputies for actions “above and beyond the call of duty” which “without a doubt, saved the lives” of rock climbers André Doria and Meg Rippy.
Doria and Rippy, 27-year-old graduate students at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, revealed details of their ordeal to East County Magazine.
"The policy of the GUHSD in thunder/lightning storm conditions would be to immediately seek safe shelter at the first sound of thunder." -- Larry Pear, Grossmont Union High School District
ECM Special Report
Story by Miriam Raftery, photos by Dennis Richardson
July 16, 2010 (Lakeside)—While lightning strikes caused multiple fires in East County including Lakeside, El Capitan’s football team continued practicing on an open field during a thunderstorm in direct violation of district rules.
“There was thunder and lightning in the immediate area striking the ground...during the time the kids were practicing,” ECM photographer Dennis Richardson reports. “As I was shooting pictures of the players [from a hill nearby], a man who was watching the lightning storm from the safety of his home near me told me he had just seen a bolt of lightning hit a power pole near Wildcat Canyon and Willow Road.” That’s about half a mile from the football practice, he estimated.
Playing sports during a thunderstorm can be deadly. In 2008, all eleven players on a football team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed when lightning struck the field.
November 23, 2009 (Lakeside) – After an evenly played first half Friday night, the Vaqueros of El Capitan High School dominated the visiting Wildcats of Brawley High School in the second half en route to a 35-10 win.
This was the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Division III playoffs. El Capitan entered the game as an eighth seed, while Brawley was the ninth seed.
November 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)
By Steve Haiman, co-coordinator
The moderator for today’s Grossmont Union-High School Academic League Match pitting the Granite Hills “Eagles” against the El Capitan “Vaqueros” was Valhalla math teacher extraordinaire Brian Andersen. He kept the match moving and in good order with a good sense of humor.