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November 2008 Articles




KRUGER BROTHERS TO PERFORM CONCERT & HOST WORKSHOP  AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE DEC. 5

By Miriam Raftery

December
2008 (El Cajon) —
Kruger Brothers will perform an exclusive concert at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon on Friday, December
5 at 7:30 p.m.

Winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Artistic Excellence Award for
their "Music from the Spring: A Romantic Serenade for Banjo, Guitar, Bass & Orchestra",
the Kruger Brothers' music combines elements of bluegrass, classical, country
and European folk. 

HOLIDAY SEASON ARRIVES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

It's official!  The holiday season has begun, heralded in by special
events across East County.

Over 100,000 people turned out to watch the 2008 Mother Goose Parade on Sunday,
which had a "Heroes of Might and Magic" theme.   Dazzling floats,
giant balloons,  equestrians, marching bands, 50 celebrities plus heroes
ranging from fictional Star Wars characters to real-life firefighters appeared
in this year's parade.  Entertainment include singing, dancing, clowns,
rappin' rollerskaters, high-stepping horses and a brigade of trashcan drummers. 

See
our exclusive video highlights:

Beck Family Rollers
Iceskating at Viejas ice rink
Mother Goose float, Mother goose
Parade, El Cajon 2008

Cox Cable's Happy Holidays float,
Mother Goose Parade 2008

Fun in the Sun float, Mother Goose
Parade 2008

Car doing
wheelies, Mother Goose Parade 2008

They've
got rhythm! Kid drummers at Mother goose Parade 2008

Horse-drawn
wagon at Mother Goose Parade 2008

HOTEL CASSIOPEIA

Reviewed by Kathy Carpenter

Now showing at the Don Powell Theatre at the San Diego State University campus, through December 7, 2008.

Sundays 2:00 p.m. all other days 8:00 p.m. For ticket information call 619-594-6884 or check online at www.theatre.sdsu.edu.

Charles L Mee's Hotel Cassiopeia follows the American collage artist Joseph Cornell. Cornell's dreamlike abstract art is the theme of the play, which is directed by Peter James Cirino. Characters in the play are reminiscent of people Cornell knew, observed or dreamed about. Mee created the play from diaries, letters, clips of Cornell’s life, and the music and movie he loved.

SIMPLE WISDOM - NOVEMBER

Gratitude for Hard Times

By Penelope Young Andrade LCSW

Are you grateful for hard times?  Although you may welcome reminders
to be grateful, you probably don’t strive to be grateful FOR hard times
themselves.  If you’re like most of us, hard times are something
you wish would pass as fast as possible. The problem is that hard times are
usually your best teachers and provide profound gifts. Giving thanks for
dark times is often a prerequisite for receiving these blessings.

LA MESA TO VOTE TUES. NOV. 25 ON WHETHER TO SELL CIVIC CENTER LAND FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

By Miriam Raftery

Kristin Hobbs-Kjaero

November 23, 2008 (La Mesa) — Should the site of La Mesa’s Police Station
be sold to the La Mesa Community Redevelopment Agency and turned into a housing
project?

La Mesa’s City Council will consider this issue on Tuesday, November
25th.  The hearing begins at 7:00 p.m.  The property is zoned “Civic
Center” in both the General Plan and in the Village Specific Plan.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS NEWS...

ECM has searched high and low to find the most under-reported important national and state news stories that may impact you or your family.  Here are our picks:

  • AARP order investigation concerning its marketing (of deceptive healthcare plans sold to seniors)
  • UC Could Cut Enrollment
  • UC may cut some admission requirements
  • Arraignments set for Cheney, Gonzales in Texas
  • Health insurers offer to accept all applicants—with conditions
  • New rules would discount global warming as risk factor for endangered species 

Read on for some surprising details: 

COOL!  OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPENS AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER: ICE SHOW, TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November
17, 2008 (Alpine) —
Looking for the coolest place in East County?

The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the holiday
season at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. 

Video Documents American War Heroes Sleeping On San Diego Streets

homeless sleeping next to the U.S.S. Midway aircraft
carrier museum, Downtown San Diego

With all the vehicles on the streets of America sporting those little yellow “Support
Our Troops,” ribbons, it is truly ironic that we have more than 200,000
veterans who are homeless.  But not many Americans realize it. 

Mark Schulze and Patty Mooney, of Crystal Pyramid Productions, a San Diego
video production company, shot footage at the 20th anniversary of Stand Down
in 2007 for the Veterans Administration (VA).  Stand Down is a three-day
event that allows homeless veterans to come in off the streets for a shower,
hot meals and a change of clothing. 

TALKING TURKEY: BEST THANKSGIVING OPTIONS FOR EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Credit: Leon Thompson

Whether your holiday spirit hearkens for a traditional feast or offbeat alternative
activities, you’ll find plenty of tempting choices in and around East
County this Thanksgiving weekend.  Here are a few of my favorite discoveries
for ECM readers to savor:

WATER FOR CHILDREN AFRICA PRESENTS THE 12TH AFRICAN TRADE AND BUSINESS CONFERENCE NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2008 (San Diego) -- The twelfth Annual Africa
Trade and Business Conference sponsored by Water For Children Africa will be
held November 21-23, 2008. 

Inspired after a visit to Africa with her mother, El Cajon resident
Vickie Butcher founded the nonprofit organization to create infrastructure
for bringing clean, safe water and medical supplies to help children in rural
African villages.

WINGS & SNOW ART RECEPTION NOV. 20 - GREEN ANGELS & ORNAMENTS

November
17, 2008 (El Cajon) —
This holiday season, Sophie's Art Gallery is going green
with a collection of art made form recycled materials.  Green angels are
made from recycled wood, blue jean jackets saved from the landfill, and ornaments
made from found objects. 

MOTHER OF ALL FESTIVALS - A STAR-STUDDED MOTHER GOOSE PARADE!

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2008 (El Cajon) — The mother of all East County festivals
takes place this Sunday, November 23rd.  The Mother Goose Parade in downtown
El Cajon is the largest parade in San Diego County and the biggest parade of
its kind west of the Mississippi.  This
year, parade organizers have assembled a dazzling array of 50 celebrity participants
led by grand marshals Tori Spelling (star of Tori and Dean Inn Love and Beverly
Hills 90210
), KayCee Stroh of High School Musical fame, and Padres
first basement Adrian Gonzales. 

HOPE BEGINS IN THE DARK

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Jamie Reno, an award-winning journalist and an 11-year survivor of stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has written a book about the resilience of the human spirit. Hope Begins in the Dark chronicles the lives of 50 lymphoma survivors, revealing their exclusive stories. The book speaks of the frailty of our existence as human beings and the lengths that we will go to in order to maintain a certain semblance of a quality of life.

Eco-Job Faire at SDSU Works Toward Green Economy

Story and photos by Gayle Early

Amanda Costa and Erin Lannon of SDSUÕs Enviro-Business
Society

November
12, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) —
“Hey,
you’re going the wrong way!” Amanda Costa, former co-president
of SDSU’s Enviro-Business Society called out to students streaming down
Aztec Center steps. A “green-career forum” was about to start,
where the Society, also known as “Club
e3
,” would spill information on the top ten cities to find green
jobs, salaries, and info on how to “put green in your pocket.” About
15 vendors, including businesses and nonprofits, lined the causeway below to
discuss specific eco-opportunities and internships, all part of Society’s
eco-job faire at SDSU campus. ECM was there to check out a few of
the tables.

SYCUAN DONATES $300,000 TO SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL AT FUNDRAISING GALA

Event Raises More Than $600,000 for New Robotic Surgery Program

November 15, 2008 (SAN DIEGO)  — Grossmont Hospital Foundation
hosted its Carnevale di Venezia Annual Gala on Saturday, Nov. 1, at
the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina to help raise money for Sharp Grossmont
Hospital.  The event netted more than $600,000 dollars, which will support
the hospital’s new da Vinci® Robotic Surgery program.

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation formally presented the hospital with
a $300,000 contribution during the event, as the tribe’s chairman, Daniel
J. Tucker, made the announcement.

SDG&E HOSTS "FIRE PREPAREDNESS" COMMUNITY MEETINGS

SDG&E
will host a series of fire preparedness community meetings on November 17,
18 and 19 in Valley Center, Alpine and Pine Valley to discuss its proposal
to shut-off power during high fire-risk periods. 

"Border 24" Fire

November 15, 2008 - A Vegetation Fire broke out this morning East of the Tecate Border crossing. Fire officials say 35-40 acres have burned but the fire's advance has been stopped.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT SHARES VIEWS ON ELECTION OUTCOMES AND IMPACT ON BUSINESS COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

East County Chamber of Commerce President Mike Cully
(left) and membership director Regina Williamson (right) present new member
plaque to ECM Editor Miriam Raftery and Marketing Director Leon Thompson.

Mike Cully, president of the East County Chamber of Commerce, was at Election
Central in Golden  Hall downtown as the announcement was made that Barack
Obama had won the presidency. “Drivers were honking horns. There was
so much enthusiasm,” he recalled, adding that Obama’s ability to
inspire people to work together “espouses what it means to be an American.”  Noting
that the stock market rallied up 300 points upon news of the presidential race
outcome, he observed that Obama’s victory “instills hope in people—and
hope is more tangible than you can imagine.  It’s what drives America--and
it’s what drives business.”

FIRE RELIEF FUNDRAISER SET FOR SAT. NOV 8

"Do you think the victims of the fires of 2003 & 2007 be allowed
to go
homeless?" asks Randy Seol of the musical group Strawberry Alarm Clock.

This Saturday, November 8 from 3 to 8 p.m., Seol is organizing a benefit
fundraiser to meet and hear musical groups slated to perform at a benefit
concert next March.(The concert was originally set for October 4th but was
postponed due to permit issues.)

SDG&E PLAN TO CUT POWER GETS FROSTY RECEPTION AT PUC HEARING; BACK COUNTRY RESIDENTS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS VOICE OBJECTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

November  2008
(San Diego) — Public officials and backcountry residents leveled
harsh criticism at SG&E during a public meeting of the California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) convened in San Diego on October 14 to discuss
causes of the 2007 wildfires and how to prevent future conflagrations.  Speaker
after speaker blasted SDG&E’s proposal to cut power to 45,000 homes
during high fire risk conditions and urged commissioners to take action to
prevent future fires.  (Citizens with information for the CPUC may send
an e-mail to sd2007fires@cpuc.ca.gov.)

HOPE PREVAILS:  OBAMA VICTORY HAS LONG COATTAILS LOCALLY

By Miriam Raftery

Democrats gathered at House of Blues await word on Presidential
race

On the night when most of America turned blue, Democrats gathered to celebrate
at the aptly-named House of Blues in San Diego.  Cheers greeted the historic
announcement that Barack Obama had just been declared the winner, becoming
the first African-American president in U.S. history.   Kristy Mundt,
president of the East County Democratic Club, exchanged high-fives with fellow
Democrats, passing out Obama stickers. Hope filled the air and flowed outside
onto streets flocked with revelers, where strangers embraced and even homeless
people grinned, offering thumbs-up signs.

VINES AND STEINS - ORFILA VINEYARD & WINERY

By Richard Noel

Orfila employee Dolores Castaneda pours a generous taste
for Shari Zollo (right) of Vista, who enjoyed the festivities with Barbara
Deuel and Drea Zollo Bush (both of Oceanside).

“Oh yes, it’s Eighties night!”

For all those who still wear their sunglasses at night, you could have worn
them to Orfila Vineyards’ tasting room as the crew kept the doors open
late on October 23rd for a special evening of uncorked fun.  With a 1980s
music theme, wine club members and other visitors enjoyed listening to blasts
from the past while sipping the Escondido winery’s latest hits.  Tasting
room manager Benjamin Wier put together what may be the first of many more
late-night events to come, and pulled it off with the flair of a high school
reunion. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TURNS BLUE:  MORE REGISTERED DEMOCRATS THAN REPUBLICANS, REGISTRAR REPORTS

Democratic voter registration volunteers cheer as Party
Chair Jess Durfee announces San Diego County now has more registered Democrats
than Republicans.

NOVEMBER
2, 2008 (San Diego) —
“We have, after 24 years, returned San Diego
County to the blue column,” San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman
Jess Durfee announced at a press conference today.

DANGERS OF LIVING NEAR CELL PHONE TOWERS RAISED

La Mesa Council holds hearing Nov. 5 on proposal to erect cell phone
tower in Lake Murray area

By Miriam Raftery

When Mom asked me to look into possible health hazards posed by cell phone
panel antennas that a church in her neighborhood wants to put up, I expected
to find reassuring facts to allay Mom’s concerns.  Instead, I found
deeply disturbing data that makes me wonder why the public is not being informed
about health risks—and why our government seems intent on covering up
troubling truths.

REMEMBER TO VOTE! ELECTION DAY TUESDAY NOV. 4TH

TIPS FOR VOTERS:

  1. Forgot to mail your absentee ballot? Do NOT put it in the
    mail! Ballots received late will NOT be counted. Instead, take it to any
    polling place or to the Registrar of Voters office.
  2. Have to work on Election Day? California law requires that
    your employer let you take time off from work to vote.
  3. Disabled and can’t stand in line?
    A new rule lets you bring a friend to request curbside voting at any polling
    place in San Diego County.
  4. If you’re
    in line before 8 p.m. you have an absolute right to vote.

See our “Politics” section for info on East County political races.

TAKE OUR POLLS: PRESIDENT & CONGRESIONAL RACES

EARLY VOTING LINES

Why does a County with 4,261 square miles have only 1 early voting place? Two San Diego Assemblymembers call for changes after ECM inquiry

By Miriam Raftery

Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña vowed to take action in Sacramento to require that San Diego have more early voting locations to avoid long lines in the future.

November 2, 2008 (San Diego) — San Diego County stretches 65 miles from north to south, and 86 miles from east to west, covering 4,261 square miles. We are the sixth largest County in America, with a population over 3.1 million people. So why do we only have one early voting location, at the Registrar of Voters office, which is a two-hour drive from some portions of the County? And why must people wait four or more hours to vote once they arrive?

GREEN HOUSES: DEL CERRO DESIGNER COOKS UP A GREEN KITCHEN

By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2008 (Del Cerro) — “Clients will ask, `How can we go green and still make it beautiful?  That’s really the trick,” observes designer Rick Fahmie of Kitchen Expo.

Fahmie designed a green kitchen in his own Del Cerro home, using utilizing natural and eco-friendly materials as well as maximizing energy efficiency.

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP - NOVEMBER

Links to top stories in other publications on East County issues

East County Roundup LogoPOWERLINK GETS PUMMELED

ECM Editor’s note:  The CPUC decision leaves the door
open for a southern route to be built, which would impact East County communities
near the border, so stay tuned.

Voice of San Diego (November 1, 2008) — San Diego Gas & Electric's proposed
$1.2 billion Sunrise Powerlink will not be built through Anza-Borrego Desert
State Park.

The California Public Utilities Commission, the state regulatory agency that
decides whether the power line should be built or not, issued draft rulings
Friday that give the five-member commission two options to consider when deciding
the Sunrise Powerlink's fate in December: Don't build it at all, or build it
around the park — on the condition that SDG&E guarantee it delivers renewable
energy to San Diego.

 

DROUGHT, BEETLES KILLING FORESTS

More than 10,000 oaks in S.D. County affected

San Diego Union-Tribune (October 25, 2008 ) — Bugs and diseases are
killing trees at an alarming rate across the West, from the spruce forests
of Alaska to the oak woodlands near the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Several scientists
said the growing threat appears linked to global warming. That means tree mortality
is likely to rise in places as the continent warms, potentially altering landscapes
in ways that increase erosion, fan wildfires and diminish the biodiversity
of Western forests.

 

A SLOW STRUGGLE

Only 9 percent of homes that were destroyed in blazes have been
rebuilt

San Diego Union-Tribune (October 21, 2008 ) — Mary
Wagner and her family are among the lucky ones. Although they lost their
home in Rancho Bernardo in the wildfires that started a year ago today,
they navigated insurance claims and building permits with little trouble
and will be moving into a new, bigger house before Christmas.

“We
couldn’t have been more fortunate,” she said. “The
house looks a lot different, but it’s beautiful.”

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, CITIES & BOARDS TAKE STANDS ON PROP 8

Events planned this weekend by supporters and opponents of initiative
to overturn same-sex marriage

By Miriam Raftery

Art Madrid, La Mesa Mayor

November 1, 2008 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s City Council voted unanimously
to take a neutral stance on Proposition 8, drawing applause from most of the
crowd assembled at council chambers last week.

“The city of La Mesa will not allow its council chambers to be the battleground
for conflicting social issues,” Mayor Art Madrid observed. 

A CONSERVATIVE AGAINST PROP. 8!

By the Rev. Michael C. Boblett

Editor’s Note: Proposition 8 seeks to overturn the legality of same-sex
marriages in California.

I
believe that Proposition 8 is a perfect example of an important fault line
dividing the conservative movement in America today.  On one side of this
line are people like me, fiscal conservatives who prefer a government
that does not seek to legislate private morality.  On the other side are
those who seek, whether they admit this or not, to turn this republic into
a theocracy. 

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