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October 2008 Articles




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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES OFFER FRESH PERSPECTIVES

By Miriam Raftery

October
25, 2008 (Lemon Grove) -
Who has the best fresh ideas for Lemon Grove?   Which
candidate can squeeze the most benefits out of shrinking tax dollars?

What seeds
of future development should be planted for the city’s future—and
was the Council’s vote to raise its pay 40% a sweet or sour deal?

A QUESTION OF POWER ON SDG&E'S PROPOSED SUNRISE POWERLINK:

  Video documentary distributed to CPUC is now online

October 23, 2008 (San Diego, CA) - Stubborn
Mule Productions and Backcountry Against the Dump, Inc. announce that “A
Question of Power” is now available online.

This one-hour locally produced grassroots documentary about the ongoing battle
over the 150-mile “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line proposed
by San Diego Gas & Electric was premiered recently in Escondido.  

ONLY IN EAST COUNTY

Mayor Mark Lewis and Mother Goose congratulate
winners in the Chicken Hat contest at El Cajon’s Oktoberfest, sponsored
by the German American Societies.
Alpine dancers add to the festive atmosphere at La Mesa’s

HUNDREDS FLOCK TO ELKS OKTOBERFEST

By Miriam Raftery

October
20, 2008 (El Cajon) -
Over 800 people flocked to an Oktoberfest celebration
hosted by El Cajon’s Elks Lodge 1812, a tradition that dates back to
1975.

“I started the Oktoberfest,” said Giselle Howard (photo, left),
who was also the festival’s first Oktoberfest Queen.   “This
is why every year, they honor me.”  Still radiant at 86, Howard
wore her original dress and tiara as a fellow Elk pushed her wheelchair in
the Oktoberfest Parade.  The aromas of steak and bratwurst simmering on
a barbecue filled the air, along with scents of potato pancakes and other traditional
German fare.

THE RENO REPORT: MORNING HAS BROKEN

By Jamie Reno
Exclusive for East County Magazine

Jamie RenoOctober 15, 2008 (Tierrasanta) - Morning has broken. As the sun rises over the East County, a sense of calm permeates my body. Yesterday morning, when I started writing this column for East County Magazine on the new fire threats, it was a different story. I was filled with anxiety. The theme of the piece I was about to write had pretty much been decided for me: Oh, no, here we go again!

CONTROL OF GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL BOARD HANGS IN BALANCE

Election creates rift among Republicans

By Miriam Raftery

Five candidates are vying for two seats on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Board of Trustees. The stakes are high. The outcome of this election may determine if  a popular superintendent will be retained, if a new high school will be built in Alpine, and if divisive forces will regain a majority on the board—forces that prominent Republicans and Democrats have accused of opposing public education.

PROPOSITION U SEEKS FUNDS FOR CLASSROOM UPGRADES, NEW BUILDINGS IN GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Miriam Raftery

Grossmont
Union High School District’s superintendent and four of five GUHSD
school board trustees agree that Proposition U is critical to repair and
replace aging buildings throughout the district—and build a long-awaited
new high school for Alpine.

POLITICKIN' EAST COUNTY STYLE

Counting down to the November 4 election, folks in East County and San Diego's eastern region are pulling out all the stops to campaign for their favorite candidates.

ETHICS, BUDGET CUTS, & CHOOSING NEW CHANCELLOR TOP ISSUES IN GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD RACE

By Miriam Raftery

The
race: 
Four candidates are running for two seats on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca
College Board of Trustees.  Challengers Mary Kay Rosinski and Moe Bakeer
face off against incumbents Tim Caruthers and Bill Garrett, board president.  ECM
interviewed Rosinski, Caruthers and Garrett; Bakeer did not respond to interview
requests.

Remember "L" is on "La Mesa" ballots

City faces low reserves; bond rating, city jobs at stake if measure
fails to pass

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero

The proposition

Proponents call it the “Vital City Services Measure,” and opponents
call it a “Pension Tax.” The impartial ballot analysis identifies
it as a “general tax,” which means revenue would go into La Mesa’s
general fund and “the City would not be legally bound to use this tax
revenue for any special purpose or for any specifically identified special
services, facilities or programs.”

WEEKLY EVENTS OCT. 22-29:  BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL,  WATER-WISE GARDENING FEST, PARADES, COSTUME CONTEST, & SKY SHOW

October
21, 2008 (San Diego’s East County) -
 This weekend’s
hot events include Borrego Days Desert Festival, California Friendly Garden
Festival, Pine Valley Pet Parade, Bates Nut Farm Costume Contest, Willy Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory performances, 2008 Fall Kitchen Tour, and a Sky Show
following the Aztec football game.

SAN DIEGO SOLAR HOMES TOUR: SATURDAY OCT. 18

Street Smart San Diego 2008

The San Diego Solar Homes Tour is quite possibly the longest running and most popular tour in California.  Celebrating the ninth year of the free tour, over 40 homes throughout San Diego County are participating—including many in East County and San Diego’s Eastern region. This self-guided tour, sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy,  offers real-life, working examples of three residential solar energy technologies: solar electric (photovoltaics), solar water heating and solar pool heating.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE RETRACTS ENFORCEMENT OF BAN ON POLITICAL MESSAGES IN FACULTY OFFICE WINDOWS

By Miriam Raftery

Obama Sticker in WindowOctober
14, 2008 (El Cajon) -
After English professor Timothy Pagaard posted a small
Barack Obama sticker on the outside of his office window at Cuyamaca College,
he was astounded to receive a warning from the Dean on September 27th ordering
him to remove his message in support of the presidential candidate.

7th DISTRICT FIGHT - EMERALD VS. BOLING:  YOUR RINGSIDE GUIDE

Accountant April Boling refuses to comment on allegations of “illegal and unethical bookkeeping”; opponent Marti Emerald shares vision for San Diego’s future

By Joseph Rocha

October 15, 2009 (San Diego)--Touted  as “The Troubleshooter vs. the Accountant” by local media,  San Diego’s 7th District Council race sounds more like a build-up to a Saturday night cage fight than a hotly contested political contest..  But the issues at stake will impact many residents in San Diego’s eastern region, since the district includes Allied Gardens, City Heights, Del Cerro, Grantville, Redwood Village/Oak Park, Rolando, San Carlos, the SDSU college area, and Tierrasanta.  At stake:  fire protection for our region, energy and water issues, outsourcing of public jobs, responsibility to taxpayers, integrity and openness of our City government. 

HIGHWAYS OPEN, FIRES 100% CONTAINED IN CAMPO AND RANCHO BERNARDO; FIREFIGHTERS STILL BATTLE JULIET BLAZE

October 14, 2008, 11:00 p.m. -- All major highways in San Diego County are open tonight.
The Juliet Fire, which burned 3,980 acres in the Oceanside area after spreading from Camp Pendleton, is now 60% contained and evacuation orders in Fallbrook have been lifted. The Shockey Fire in Campo is 100% contained after burning 200 acres. A small fire in Rancho Bernardo has also been extinguished. A red flag alert for high fire danger remains in effect through 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

ARTISTS' RECEPTION Oct. 19 for 6th EL CAJON INVITATIONAL ART EXHIBIT

By Jolene Crowley

Sisters III by Sammy Pasto
Sisters III by Sammy Pasto

(El Cajon) - The public is invited to a free artists’ reception hosted
by the St. Clair Gallery in East County Business Center on Sunday, Oct. 19
from 3-6 p.m.  Nearly 200 pieces of art in all fine art categories will
be displayed, including photography by 22 San Diego artists, about 70 percent
of whom are East County residents.

NEW FIRES BREAK OUT IN RANCHO BERNARDO AND OCEANSIDE, I-5 CLOSED

October 14 (12:30 p.m.) - Santa Ana winds are fueling new fires in several
portions of San Diego County, forcing closure of several major highways and
evacuations in the Rancho Bernardo, Oceanside, Fallbrook and Campo areas last
night and today.

Police have ordered evacuation of homes on the west side of a fire on a hillside
at Camino del Norte and Camino San Bernardo in the 4S Ranch area near Rancho
Bernardo. Two helicopters are dropping water on the flames; fire engines and
ground crews are also dousing hot spots. Details and video: www.cbs8.com/stories/story.143243.html.

FIRE NEAR CAMPO 50% CONTAINED, HWYS 94 AND 8 CLOSED, 400 EVACUATED

October 13 (Campo) 9:30 a.m. -- Three hundred homes have been ordered to evacuate due to a 100-acre wildfire that began at Highway 94 near Shockey Truck Trail. The blaze has burned 100 areas on both sides of 94 and is 50% contained. No structures have been lost. Evacuation centers have been established at at the Potrero Library and Mountain Empire High School.

4,000 FLEE FIRES IN PENDLETON, OCEANSIDE, FALLBROOK

Fire in North County. Photo by Corina Squires

October 14 (Camp Pendleton) 12:10 p.m. - The third blaze in there weeks to
strike Camp Pendleton has charred over 1,500 acres, forcing evacution of over
4,000 people from Oceanside as well as base housing. Some schools in Oceanside
may be closed tomorrow, ECM has learned.

The Juliet fire forced evacuation of Serra Mesa Housing and San Luis Rey Housing
on the base, authorities at Camp Pendleton told ECM. As flames spread to the
northeast tonight, a second fire broke out near Fallbrook. The City of Oceanside
has announced that mandatory evacuations are now in effect for the East end
of Sleeping Indian to include Wilshire, Indian Trail, Hidden Valley and Camino
Baja Cerro.

SDG&E THREAT TO CUT POWER DURING FIRE DANGER SPARKS HEATED OUTCRY AMONG EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

Large crowd likely at CPUC meeting Tuesday in San Diego

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2008 (San Diego’s East County) - Backcountry residents
are reacting with shock,  praise and outrage to a notice sent by San Diego
Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to 45,000 customers warning that power lines
may be shut off when fire danger is high.  With red flag warnings issued
by the National Weather Service through Tuesday night, thousands of East County
and North County residents may find themselves without power Monday or Tuesday.

“Many of my neighbors are up in arms. The guy next to me has about 280
acres, and he’s about ready to storm Washington,” said Bill Root,
an Alpine resident who relies on power from SDG&E to pump well water that
sustains his horses and other livestock as well as his family. 

HIGH FIRE DANGER, SANTA ANA WINDS STARTING TONIGHT

CAL Fire gears up with extra airpower, asks homeowners to take defensive
steps;
SDG&E may cut power in high-risk areas

Story and photos by
Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2008 (El Cajon) - CAL Fire has issued a warning that the
danger of wildfire is high due to forecasts of Santa Ana winds starting tonight
combined with already hot, dry conditions in San Diego’s East County.

“We
provide the offense,” CAL Fire Batallion Chief Ray Chaney said at a press
conference this morning, where reporters received a briefing on preparations
being made to battle a major conflagration.  “It’s up to homeowners
to provide the defense.”

WATER, PACE OF DEVELOPMENT TOP CONCERNS IN CAMPO/LAKE MORENA PLANNING GROUP RACE

By Miriam Raftery

Lake Morena

October
6, 2008 (Campo) -
Concerns over the impacts of new and proposed
major developments on water supplies and community character have divided community
members in this rural region.  

Tensions ran high at a forum for Campo/Lake Morena Planning Group candidates
held on September 29th,  where community members posed tough questions
for candidates on two opposing slates, plus independents with sharply different
visions for future growth.

CITY, COUNTY SEE SHIFTS TOWARD DEMOCRATIC COLUMN - OCT. 20 DEADLINE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION

Countywide,
new voter registrations have been running ten to one Democratic over Republican
for the past several months, even in traditionally “red” conservative
areas including Santee and El Cajon. 

A FIERY ARGUMENT

Fire Chief, City and County leaders debate pros and cons of fire
tax

By Miriam Raftery

2007 San Diego wildfires destroyed over 3,400 structures
and killed 15
people (photo: La Mesa Fire Dept.)

October
1, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) -
“We have to stop turning to others
to solve our problems,” said Ron Roberts, Chair of  San Diego’s
Board of Supervisors.  He urged voters to support Proposition A, the fire
parcel tax initiative on the November ballot.

 “The most recent state budget had money for 150 new fire trucks.
We expected 15.  We were told we would get five,” Roberts added,
noting that during the 2007 firestorms, only three aircraft fought fires locally
during the crucial first 24 hours: all San Diego city and county helicopters. 

EAST COUNTY OKTOBERFESTS:  WUNDERBAR!

October 1, 2008 (East County) - Time to get into the zeitgeist (spirit
of the time) and take to the streets for some old-fashioned celebrating at
East County’s multiple Oktoberfests!  

Began in Bavaria to celebrate the marriage of royalty, Oktoberfests have since
gained popularity worldwide.  Below are details on our region’s
oldest and biggest Oktoberfests, where you can savor German food, music, and
more.

GREEN HOUSES

ASID Kitchen and Bath Tour Oct. 25 Features “Green” Kitchen on Mt. Helix

By Miriam Raftery

Recycled glass adds sparkle to natural slate backsplash

October 11, 2008 (Mt. Helix) - A Mount Helix kitchen/great room featuring natural materials, solar screens and and energy-efficient features is among 11 kitchens featured on the 2008 Fall Kitchen Tour on October 25th.  Sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) San Diego chapter, this year’s tour features remodeled kitchens ranging from modest tract homes to lavish estates—including several homes in eastern areas of San Diego County. 

THIS WEEK'S HOT EVENTS: OCT. 15-22, 2008 -- PRO-AM GOLF, CRUISIN' OLD HWY 80, GREEN JOBS FAIR,  SYMPHONY CONCERT, SIDEWALK ARTS, CAMPO HARVEST FESTIVAL AND PARADE!

Tee off for a good cause at a Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Sycuan Resort’s Willow Glen Course this Friday. Proceeds benefit Home of the Guiding Hands, which provides shelter and services for mentally disabled people.  HGH has a huge funding gap due to the California budget crisis. 

Editorial - SDG&E SHUT-DOWN THREAT FIRES UP BACKCOUNTRY OBJECTIONS

By Donna Tisdale

La Mesa Fire Department

In
response to SDG&E's announced plans to shut off-power to "remote areas" during
high wind events:

SDG&E and their urbanite supporters want to run the Sunrise Powerlink
through the most HIGH RISK FIRE ZONES of our highly flammable backcountry.

BATTLE OF THE WATCHDOGS: WILL THE REAL CONSUMER CHAMPION PLEASE STAND UP?

 

By Miriam Raftery

Anderson
Lutz

October 10, 2008 (Assemblyman Joel Anderson considers himself a watchdog for taxpayers.  His opponent, Ray Lutz, founded a citizens’ watchdog group.  Both claim to represent the public interest.  The differences in their views reflect a core question being asked more and more amid today’s challenging economic times:  just what is the proper role of government?

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