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June 2009 Articles




WHAT DO VIKING REFRIGERATOR/FREEZERS AND COFFEE GRINDERS SOLD BY STARBUCKS HAVE IN COMMON? BOTH ARE RECALLED FOR DANGERS TO CONSUMERS

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By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2009 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a voluntary recall of 45,000 Viking built-in refrigerators and freezers with doors that have detached and injured consumers. In addition, Starbucks is recalling over half a million Starbucks Barista Blade Grinders and Seattle's Best Coffee Blade Grinders. More than 176 complaints have been reported that the grinders turned on unexpectedly or failed to turn off, causing hand lacerations in three cases.

“TASTE OF LA MESA” JULY 20: RESTAURANTS SERVE UP FARE TO COMMUNITY

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June 16, 2009 (La Mesa) -- Gio Bistro Wine Bar and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invite area residents to savor the first annual "Taste of La Mesa" event. Sample fare from many of the La Mesa area’s finest restaurants and food while savoring an East County evening complete with music, food and drinks. The event will to be held at the La Mesa Community Center 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

VACANCY ON COLLEGE DISTRICT'S CITIZENS BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

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June 15, 2009 (El Cajon) – A community member who is active in a senior citizen’s organization is sought to fill a vacancy on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Proposition R Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER ANNOUNCES NEW SMALL BUSINESSES LENDING PROGRAM

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June 15, 2009 (Washington D.C.) – Many local small businesses will soon be eligible for interest-free loans under a new program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) announced today.

 

EDITORIAL: THE TRUTH ABOUT HEALTHCARE REFORM: WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN KILL YOU

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"Single-payer is the health system that works for every other industrialized nation on earth."

By Sylvia Hampton

Supporters of real health care reform want a national expansion of the popular Medicare single payer program now covering every American over age 65. But they are being told that it is just not “politically feasible.” When one asks “Why?” there is double talk and a run-around. The facts are clear. Oxen will be gored--and the industry and some in Congress are circling the wagons to protect their own self interests. We have some blatant conflicts of interest here that would make an eight-year-old blush: Congress members who have stock holdings in the industry and get large campaign contributions from insurers. Imagine that.

EDITORIAL: HEALTHCARE ISSUES—DON’T FIX WHAT ISN’T BROKEN

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"It would make little sense for the federal government to assume responsibility for the 300 million Americans who are able to fend for themselves."

By Jim Stieringer

June 15, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Health care in the United States is not “broken”. We need merely address the 15% not currently covered by some form of health insurance. California is both economically and politically “broken”. However its health system currently covers 24 million of its 30 million citizens. This is a remarkable achievement. A new government program need merely address the needs of those 50 million American citizens (6 million of whom reside in California) who are not currently covered by any form of insurance.

OFF AND RUNNING! WINNERS OF LA MESA SOAP BOX DERBY WILL BE SENT TO NATIONAL RACE IN AKRON

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Two East County youngsters, winners of the Drew Ford/Kiwanis Club of La Mesa 7th Annual Soap Box Derby on May 16, will compete in the All-American National Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, in late July.

Bryce Taylor, 11, of Santee emerged as champion of the stock division. Super stock division champion was Hannah Lamb, 10, of El Cajon. The double-elimination derby was run down Junior High Drive next to La Mesa Middle School. Trophies were awarded for the top four finishers in each division:

ARTIST PHEBE BURNHAM ANNOUNCES ART SHOWINGS

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June 15, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--East County artist Phebe Burnham, whose work has previously been profiled in East County Magazine’s Arts & Music section (http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=0809phebeburnham), will have several showings of her works in June and July. Venues include El Cajon, Alpine and Santee.

HEALTHY CROWD ATTTENDS HEALTHCARE FAIR IN LA MESA

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By Marisa Kezirian June 16, 2009 (La Mesa) –“At last year’s fair, I found out that my blood pressure was off the charts, and it saved my life,” said Mike Cully, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer. “This is truly an important event—and if we can help keep one more person alive and in the working world, then we know we have done our job, and we are very satisfied.” Cully shared his insights during the Chamber’s 9th annual summer Healthcare Fair at in La Mesa on Saturday, June 11th, where free health screenings and information were offered to the public. This year’s fair, which featured more than 50 booths, was co-sponsored by Grossmont Healthcare District, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and Grossmont Center, where the event took place.

SUNDAYS AT SIX: FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES AT HARRY GRIFFEN PARK, LA MESA

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June 14, 2009 (La Mesa)--This evening marks the opening of La Mesa's "Sundays at Six" summer concert series, which run June 14 through July 25. Bring a picnic dinner and groove to the sounds of jazz, country, concert bands and variety music at the free concerts, which will be held at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden Street in La Mesa from 6 to 7 p.m.

 

PANCAKE BREAKFAST JUNE 20 TO HELP SAVE LAKE MURRAY’S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS

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June 12, 2009 (San Diego)—Organizers of the Fourth of July Music Fest and Fireworks planned for Lake Murray need public support to save this year’s event. A pancake breakfast June 20th at Casey’s Place, 7375 Jackson Drive, San Diego will help raise funds for this annual East County tradition.

 

A “LEARNING EXPERIENCE” FOR RAMONA SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL APOLOGIZES FOR BANNING 6TH GRADER’S HARVEY MILK REPORT

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Move Comes After ACLU Letter Alleged District Violated Student’s Constitutional Rights

June 13, 2009 (Ramona) – A Ramona school district has apologized to sixth grader Natalie Jones for censoring her classroom presentation about Harvey Milk last month, and school officials promised they won't engage in allegedly unconstitutional restriction of similar free speech in the future.

NEWBORN LEFT AT EL CAJON FIRE STATION IS ADOPTED BY LOCAL COUPLE

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SAFELY SURRENDERED BABY PROGRAM SAVED CHILD’S LIFE

 

June 11, 2009 (El Cajon) – A baby girl left by her mother at an El Cajon Fire station has been adopted by a local family, the City of El Cajon announced today. The infant, just hours old, was left with firefighters at Station 6 on Lexington Avenue under the Safely Surrendered Baby Program. The program provides safe places for parents to bring unwanted infants up to three days old, without penalties, and is designed to save children from being abandoned in dumpsters or other unsafe places. El Cajon Fire Chief Mike Scott says, “The El Cajon Fire Department is honored to make our fire stations available for this valuable program. As a result of this recent event a life was saved, and a couple’s dream to adopt a child came true.”

"OUR PLANET, OUR HOME" ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY CONTEST ANNOUNCED

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June 12, 2009 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Environmental Sustainability Committee invites students in grades K-12 to submit a poem or work of art in which they reflect upon the environment. The new “Our Planet, Our Home” environmental literacy contest is open to youths living or attending schools within the La Mesa-Spring Valley or Grossmont Union High School Districts.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: MAN ARRESTED AFTER ROBBING SAME BANK SECOND TIME

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June 12, 2009 (Escondido) – Police have arrested a 55-year-old Escondido man after he robbed the U.S. Bank on Broadway in Escondido Thursday—for the second time in a month.

HIGH SCHOOL FOR ALPINE GETS UNANIMOUS APPROVAL OF GUHSD BOARD

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By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2009 (Alpine)—Cheers and tears of joy filled the room tonight as the Grossmont Union High School Board unanimously voted to approve construction of a new high school in Alpine. The decision drew a rousing ovation from parents and others who have fought for more than a decade to bring a high school to their community.

Trustee Priscilla Schreiber praised Viejas and Sycuan tribal leaders and other community members for their support, then thanked new Superintendent
Bob Collins for honoring his pledge “to fulfill a promise long overdue.”

SLEEK AND GREEN: ECO-CAR SHOW POWERS UP DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES

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By Miriam Raftery

San Diego (June 12, 2009)—If you thought driving an eco-friendly car meant settling for a small, boxy vehicle, think again. Vehicles powered by alternative fuels on display at last weekend’s Street Smart San Diego show included sleek, sporty new styles, race cars, and electric conversions of prestigious name brand models.

HOW PREPARED IS EAST COUNTY FOR THE NEXT WILDFIRE? BUDGET CUTS BURN SOME LOCAL AGENCIES

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”It’s outrageous and it’s irresponsible. That’s cold, that’s hard, that’s the truth. There are many other areas where life is not at stake.” –Leonard Villareal, San Miguel Fire District spokesman, on state budget cuts' impact on fire protection.

 

An East County Magazine special report

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 11, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Deep cuts in the state’s budget are having an impact across California, forcing many counties and cities to make painful reductions in public services. This week, East County Magazine spoke with fire officials and civic leaders throughout our region to assess where cuts have been made—and what steps are being taken to protect the public before the next major fire strikes. While some expressed confidence, others voice fears that budget slashing has gone too far and could place lives or property at risk.

 

EDITORIAL: WHY A BENEFIT ASSESSMENT FEE? IT DOESN'T GET ANY MORE LOCAL THAN THIS!

By August Ghio, Chief

San Miguel Fire Department

June 11, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--It is a given, the current global economic crisis is or will effect every individual, every household and every organization. The San Miguel Fire Protection District is no different. Maybe a little different, our budget, primarily from property tax dollars, is utilitized to save lives and property. The District’s budget shortfall has hit a critical level. As we forecast fire dangers it is our duty and obligation to make you aware of how our current budget shortfall will affect our ability to respond. Since this is your Fire District we turn to you our property owners for direction. That direction will come in the form of a yes or no vote for a Benefit Assessment Fee. Here are the facts.

IN THE HEART OF AMERICA: WESTERN HERITAGE DAYS FEATURES INCLUDE BUFFALO SOLDIERS

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By Kyle Serzen

Photo by Leon Thompson

June 11, 2009 (El Cajon)--Cowboys and Indians crowded the streets of El Cajon last weekend during the Olaf Wieghorst Museum’s 7th Annual Western Heritage Days, a festival celebrating American history and the expansion of the western frontier. Western Days showcased gun fight reenactments, blacksmiths at work, cowboy storytellers, and Native American dancers. However, a troop of warriors clad in navy and gold stood out from the sea of six shooters and spurs; they were the Buffalo Soldiers.

RIDING HIGH: MAGIC HORSE PROGRAM HELPS INJURED TEEN BRITTANY SABER HEAL IN TIME FOR GRADUATION

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By Marisa Kezirian

June 10, 2009 (Lakeside)—Once again at The Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center in Lakeside, the power of the healing horses and their ability to make life-enhancing differences for disabled people and their families proves successful, as rider Brittany Saber makes huge progress with her strength of mind and determination.

Less than a year after a devastating car accident in which a drunk driver slammed into Brittany’s car on Interstate-15, the 18-year-old was able to graduate with her senior class at Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos. The accident left her on life support for six months. She was not expected to recover, as she had broken both femurs and suffered from traumatic brain injury.

LOCAL LEADERS SHARE REACTIONS TO PREJEAN LOSING MISS CALIFORNIA CROWN

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June 11, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Carrie Prejean, a senior at San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, has been dethroned as Miss California USA. Her turbulent reign, which weathered revelations of topless photos and a controversy over her statements opposing gay marriage, came to an end over the beauty queen’s alleged refusal to honor commitments for public appearances on behalf of the pageant. Her saga sparked controversy both locally and nationally. Here in East County and San Diego, community leaders say the Prejean controversy raises issues not only about her conduct, but about the conduct of pageant officials—and pressures imposed on teen beauty contestants.

“CASH FOR CLUNKERS” VOUCHER BILL PASSES HOUSE; MEASURE AIMS TO REDUCE POLLUTION, SAVE JOBS AND FUEL

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Local Representatives Split Votes By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--Three local representatives have voted in favor of a “cash for clunkers” program that will allow consumers to trade in their old, gas-guzzling cars for vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help people buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act (HR 2751) aims to spur sale of up to one million more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, while stimulating the ailing auto industry and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 298 to 119 margin. Among San Diego County representatives, Brian Bilbray, Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted for the measure, while Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted against it.

 

EAST COUNTY'S LARGEST FREE HEALTHCARE FAIR SATURDAY JUNE 13

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June 11, 2009 (La Mesa)--The public is invited to attend the 9th annual Summer Healthcare Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 13, at the Grossmont Center shopping mall, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa. Free health screenings will include diabetes, blood pressure and stroke prevention.

VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER ANNOUNCES "TUESDAYS IN THE PARK" FREE MOVIES N THE PARK--ALPINE'S FIRST FARMERS' MARKET

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June 10, 2009 (Alpine) — Viejas Outlet Center will host “Tuesdays in the Park” featuring the 2009 Movies in the Park Season with free, family-friendly movies starting June 16. In addition, the center will host "Market in the Park", Alpine’s first farmers' market, beginning June 23. Both events are free to the public.

DARING MEN AND WOMEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES: WINGS OVER GILLESPIE DAZZLES CROWD

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By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2009 (El Cajon) – A daredevil performance by famed stunt pilot Martin Kennedy thrilled spectators at Wings Over Gillespie, a three-day air show held June 5-7. Kennedy maneuvered a Staudacher S600, considered one of the world’s top aerobatic planes, through a series of tumbles, spins and heart-stopping freefalls that seemingly defied the laws of gravity. Kennedy, a geochemistry professor at the University of California, Riverside, also demonstrated moves he invented including the “barber pole” and the “boomerang.”

To view his performance at Gillespie, watch our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHVSYEqlHQ

EDITORIAL: LET SCHOOLS SELL OLD BOOKS TO ENSURE EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

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By Assemblymembers Joel Anderson and Julia Brownley

June 9, 2009 (Sacramento)--Our local libraries often hold book sales to generate funds for new books, or other needed materials or supplies. It makes sense: Sell old or out of date resources and use those funds to purchase new items. A no-brainer.

PEOPLE MAGAZINE AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CHOOSE LA MESA DENTIST JEFF GRAY A FINALIST FOR “ALL STARS AMONG US”

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La Mesa Dentist Jeff Gray has been chosen by PEOPLE Magazine and Major League Baseball as one of three finalists for the “All-Stars Among Us” campaign to represent the Padres at the All Star Game in July. To win, Gray has to receive your vote.

To qualify, Gray has demonstrated a commitment to public service. He is the founder of “Smiles for Life,” an annual campaign supported by more than 800 participating dentists across North America. In Peoria, Arizona, to watch Padres spring practice about six years ago, Gray took the opportunity to meet Super Star Entertainer Garth Brooks. Subsequently Gray partnered Smiles for Life with Brooks’ Teammates for Kids. Together over the past decade more than $25 million has been distributed to children’s charities in the US, Canada and around the world.

CALIFORNIA-FRIENDLY® LANDSCAPES WIN BIG PRIZES

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June 1, 2009 (El Cajon) - Winners of the sixth annual California-Friendly® Landscape Contest gathered to collect their prizes at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College on May 16th. Twenty homeowners from across the county received honors for outstanding examples of beautiful, drought-tolerant landscapes.

EQUALITY TORCH RELAY SPARKS ARREST IN LEMON GROVE; GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATES CARRY TORCH TO RALLIES AT 4 EAST COUNTY CITY HALLS

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June 9, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—A protester was arrested in Lemon Grove Saturday for assaulting San Diego Pride director Ron DeHarte during an equality relay for gay rights. (View a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E91X_cD-tqk&feature=related). Overall, however, the relay through four East County cities was peaceful, organizer Eve Parker reported. “We had such a wonderful and supportive day in East County,” she added.

Countywide, about 2,000 people turned out to commemorate the anniversary of the stonewall riots in New York, an event many view as the start of the gay rights movement. In East County, 23 torchbearers carried a torch to rallies at city halls in El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa and Lemon Grove.

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