August 2009 Articles
“Passport to the Future” brings together La Mesa, Santee and East County Chamber for business showcase on September 23
August 20, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Applications are now available for the East County’s largest Business Showcase and Expo to be held on Thursday, September 23 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Elk’s Lodge, 1400 E. Washington Avenue, El Cajon, 92019.
Shadows & Reflections, By Lori Brookes, (Blurb Creative Publishing Service, 2010, 31 pages.)
Book Review by Dennis Moore
August 15, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, San Diego author and photographer Lori Brookes’ book, Shadows & Reflections, says it all. Her compilation of pictures taken along the River Seine in Paris, sailing around San Francisco Bay, at Spanish Village in San Diego's Balboa Park, and atso many other locations provides a pictorial journey of intrinsic emotions and insight. She calls it a life philosophy through words, imagery and imagination. Her work is a bit of poetry and photography, with a smidgen of self-assessment.
She found her passion for photography, ironically, amid the ashes of the 2003 Cedar Fire.
Event Raises Funds for Special Programs and Projects for Local Youth and Families
September 20, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) – On Saturday, September 26, hundreds of East County residents will shine their belt buckles and don their best pair of jeans for East County Family YMCA’s annual fundraiser, The Urban Branding. The event, now in its sixteenth year, will be held in an “urban” setting at the McGrath Family YMCA in Rancho San Diego.
September 18, 2009 (San Diego)-- During an emergency every second counts, each tick of the clock can reduce survivability; each tick of the clock can allow a small fire to grow into an inferno, each tick can allow a criminal to do more harm. Under the technical restraints of current dispatch systems, getting critical information to First Responders can be delayed by the transfer and retransfer of data, or delayed by department borders. Now, in much of San Diego County the transfer of critical information will get a computerized supercharge.
September 6, 2009 (Dulzura) – A motorcyclist has died from a head-on collision at high speed on Highway 94 at Dulzura, one mile west of the Barrett Junction Café.
Emergency medical personnel attempted CPR, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Identification of the victim is withheld pending notification of kin.
September 3, 2009 (San Diego)—San Diego Gas & Electric Company has announced plans to develop a new ECO Substation and electrical infrastructure in East County that the company says will connect with its existing power network and enable delivery of clean energy to its customers. The move has drawn praise from key alternative energy interests, but some backcountry residents see the move as a ploy to ease the way for SDG&E to bring power up from Mexico and tie into the company’s controversial planned Sunrise Powerlink project.
PERIPHERAL CANAL & DELTA PUMPING AMONG KEY POINTS OF CONTENTION
By Miriam Raftery
It’s being billed as fish vs. farmers—or, in San Diego, where water supplies have been slashed while prices soar—people vs. the Delta smelt. Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta), who represents East County, has even asked the Governor to convene a “God Squad” to ease environmental laws. The stakes are high on all sides--and the issues far more complex than many Southern Californians realize.
Floor votes are expected next week on a major water package before the Legislature adjourns September 11, Capitol Weekly reports. The plan, now in conference committee, is apt to include a peripheral canal to trasnport water from the Sacramento River around the San Joaquin Delta (photo courtesy of www.freelargephotos.com) to Southern California, environmental protections, new reservoirs, and conservation programs. A multi-billion dollar bond package to fund projects may ultimately come before voters.
September 1, 2009 (Sacramento) – Residents, business owners, charities and other organizations from around the state flooded the office of Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) with over 1,500 letters in support of AB 1506. The bill, authored by Anderson, would require California to accept its own IOUs as payment for taxes or fees owed to the state.
Thursday, the bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee by a unanimous vote. It now heads to the Assembly floor, where it is virtually assured of passage with 45 bipartisan coauthors –a majority of Assembly members.
CONSERVATION IS WORKING AS CUSTOMERS CUT WATER USE COUNTYWIDE
By Miriam Raftery
September 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) –If you're going to be a water hog, it's going to cost you. But even those who have already conserved will see a water rise on their next bills. Homeowners and businesses in the Helix Water Distirct will be paying 21% more for water usage starting today. Yet even before the rate hikes took effect, Helix customers were already cutting consumption—saving 13% on water usage in July.
“You’re getting less, but you’re going to pay more,” Helix Water Board President Richard Smith told ratepayers at a public hearing last month, when the Board voted to approve the new rate plan. Helix scrapped an earlier proposal that would have levied much higher price hikes on owners of large properties, after a joint investigative report by East County Magazine and Channel 10 news revealed allegations that the Board violated state open government laws.
by Richard W. Halsey
Second Edition, Revised and Updated
Sunbelt Publications, San Diego. 2008. 232 pages, illustrated, color plates.
Reviewed by Walter Hall
“The Viejas fire in ’01, the Galivan fire in ’02, and then again during the Cedar fire in ’03. It’s always the same damn thing.” -- A weary incident commander back on the fire line
It is fire season. And with it, the specter of a firestorm again hovers over the West. The flames will come – only the where and the when are unknown. For that reason alone, this guide to survival deserves a space on the bookshelf of every Southland family.
48 HOMES WITHOUT WATER; SEVERAL ROADS CLOSED
August 31, 2009 (La Mesa) –Three water line breaks have caused flooding in La Mesa, resulting in traffic congestion and leaving 48 homes without water.
“There are several areas cordoned off,” said Helix Water District spokesperson Kate Breece at 4 p.m. this afternoon. “We would expect this hopefully to be all back online with water by sometime in the middle of the night, if all goes well.”
POLICE SEEK DRIVER & PASSENGER OF BLUE PONTIAC VIBE
August 30, 2009 (La Mesa) -- At 2:54 this morning, La Mesa Police officers responded to a report of a pedestrian robbery in the 9500 block of Murray Drive, La Mesa.
According to La Mesa Police, the 25-year-old male victim was walking on the sidewalk west on Murray Drive when a Blue Pontiac Vibe with tinted windows drove up behind him. The front passenger demanded money from the victim, who ignored the demand and continued walking. The suspect vehicle then pulled up in front of the victim and stopped. The passenger and driver exited the vehicle and attacked the victim, punching him numerous times in the head and body.
Check out these hot shots--we've got some real beauties this month!
Deerhorn Valley: photo by Rob Deason
Divine Bovine: Artist Lionel Talaro mugs for the camera alongside his creation, "Elvis Cow", on display at O'Dunn Fine Art Gallery, La Mesa
photographer: Miriam Raftery
View more great shots.....
GUHSD CONSIDERS BUDGET-CUTTING STRATEGIES IN WAKE OF $40 MILLION IN STATE FUNDING CUTS OVER PAST 2 YEARS
By Francine Phillips
August 30, 2009 (El Cajon)--The Grossmont Union High School District School Board convened a special meeting at the East Country Regional Education Center on Wednesday, Aug. 26 starting at 2 p.m. The special meeting included a two-hour closed session that dealt mostly with labor negotiations between the Board and representatives of the Grossmont Education Association, California School Employees Association, and Service Employees International Union. Some administrative appointments and the evaluation of assistant superintendent Mike Lewis were also on the closed session agenda.
SD REGION STILL HAS “SURGE CAPACITY” RESOURCES TO COMBAT FIRE LOCALLY: CHIEF GHIO
August 30, 2009 (San Diego) – Firefighting resources from San Diego County’s region have been dispatched to battle the wildfires that have forced thousands to evacuate in the Los Angeles area. But August Ghio (photo, left), head of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association, expressed confidence today that San Diego still has adequate resources to respond promptly if a wildfire should start here amid the current intense heat and dry, fire-prone weather conditions.
August 30, 2009 (Ramona) - A five-acre brush fire off Steffy Road near Wilson Road in the Ramona area has been contained shortly after it began, CAL-FIRE reports. CAL-FIRE dispatched 12 engines, 2 fire crews, 1 bulldozer, 2 airtankers, 2 helicopter, 2 water tenders, and 2 chief officers for a total of approximately 100 fire fighters.
“BILLIONAIRES FOR WEALTHCARE” GROUP MOCKS OPPONENTS OF HEALTHCARE REFORM AT TOWNHALL FORUM HOSTED BY CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS IN SPRING VALLEY
By Miriam Raftery
August 30, 2009 (Spring Valley) – A rowdy crowd of approximately 1,500 turned out to cheer on and heckle Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) during a town hall meeting in Spring Valley Saturday afternoon. Protests from conservative “teabaggers” and signs with racist overtones were countered by a newly-formed group calling itself “Billionaires for Wealthcare.” (photos)
Dressed in formal attire, members pulled up in a limousine to greet other protesters, thanking them for “standing with billionaires” to oppose real healthcare reform. The group later posted a YouTube slideshow, followed by a humorous video inside the townhall meeting, then forwarded an e-mail that read "Townhall crashed by wealthy Hollywood elite," creating an online sensation.
August 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) -- Whether you've played an active role in improving the state of our political and social environment or wanted to but didn't know how to get involved, joining Run Women Run provides opportunities for you to make a difference.
Discounts for pre-reservation--RSVP now!
WIN PRIZES: A pirate for your next party, Padres tickets, private wine-tasting party & more!
Like fine wine, the most festive event of the year just keeps getting better! Besides wine-tasting, gourmet foods, live music, art show, and book signings by East County authors , a museum tour and a scavenger hunt through one of the finest university-owned museums in the Western U.S., we now have some truly amazing silent auction items and drawing prizes.
The latest “stars” in our lineup? A celebrity pirate impersonator, field-level Padres tickets, a baseball autographed by homerun slugging star Adrian Gonzalez (All Star player, Golden Glove winner, and two-time National League Player of the Week). Other awesome prizes include: private wine-tasting party for 10 at a local winery, dinner for 6 at a fire station, a Kern River vacation in a cabin that sleeps 14 , spa treatments, dinners, art classes, jewelry, wines, Wild Animal Park tickets, original art, a signed print by famed Western artist Olaf Wieghorst, and much more!
August 28, 2009 (Santee)--After striking another vehicle near I-125 and SR-52 in Santee at 3:47 p.m. this afternoon, a car plunged into the San Diego River in Santee. The car burst into flames, igniting a brush fire. A call to 911 reported a stuck accelerator pedal.
August 28, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Power outages have been reported in multiple locations through San Diego County. A map of affected areas can be viewed here: http://www.sdge.com/outages/outageMap.shtml
August 28, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – A brush fire in Jamul has caused a power outage in the vicinity. The fire, caused by a traffic accident, has been contained at ¾ an acre, CAL-FIRE spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik reports.
OFFICIALCITE FIRE DANGER, DEPLOYMENT OF LOCAL FIREFIGHTING RESOURCES TO BATTLE BLAZES ELSEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA
August 27, 2009 (San Diego County) – No roasting marshmallows in your backyard BBQ pit--for now. Mike Bratton, division chief of CAL-FIRE’s San Diego union, yesterday issued orders to suspend burning permits and other uses of open fire in all areas within San Diego and Imperial Counties for which Cal-Fire is responsible. Incorporated cities are exempted from the order.
Agreement between State of California and VA Will Result in Dramatic Increase in Benefits for Yellow Ribbon Program
August 27, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) – A recent agreement between the State of California and the Veterans Administration will result in a dramatic increase in benefits for the Yellow Ribbon program, which helps veterans afford tuition and fee costs at colleges and universities.
“The new G.I. Bill provides tuition to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars based on the cost of the most expensive four year public university in the state,” announced Cogressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “ In California, public schools traditionally do not charge tuition, but have relatively high fees. As a result, veterans attending private school in California would receive much less of a basic tuition benefit, he noted.
August 27, 2009 (Camp Pendleton) –If you’re driving north and see smoke, don’t panic. A slow moving brush fire in the Whiskey Impact Area is currently burning on Camp Pendleton. The brush fire started at approximately 1 p.m., Aug. 26 and has burned approximately 100 acres. The Whiskey Impact Area is located in the Northeastern portion of the Base. The fire poses no threat at this time, according to fire authorities at the base, and traffic on I-5 is not impacted.
VIEJAS BOWL continues Viejas Outlet Center’s transformation into “lifestyle center”
August 27, 2009 (Alpine) – Viejas announced plans today for a new, boutique bowling center, to be called Viejas Bowl, at the Viejas Outlet Center, across from the award winning Viejas Casino.
The new development boasts 15,667 square feet of space and will include 12 United States Bowling Congress certified lanes, plus numerous flat screen TVs for sporting and other events. Other features will be announced at the opening of the center slated for late fall.
GARAMENDI OFFERS SOLUTIONS TO ATTAIN A SUSTAINABLE CALIFORNIA
By Jackie Hanson
August 26, 2009 (San Diego) – What would it take for California to become energy self-sustaining? As surfers caught waves just a few yards away, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi spoke at the new Scripps Seaside Forum in La Jolla on August 5th, offering ideas to help fix California’s environment, economy, and educational system by linking research, production and sustainability. The event was organized by United Green, a division of the nonprofit Heartland Coalition, East County Magazine’s publisher.
By Miriam Raftery
August 27, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Two girls missing since Friday have returned home, police now report. The teens left home voluntarily and no charges have been filed, according to police.
YO-HO! A PIRATE’S LIFE: EAST COUNTY RESIDENT SAM SPARROW FINDS LUCRATIVE CAREER AS “CAPTAIN JACK” CELEBRITY IMPERSONATOR
“Stay the course to your dreams.” – Sam Mejia Sparrow
Editor’s Note: Want a pirate for your next corporate event, motivational meeting or private party? We’ll be auctioning off swashbuckling Sam Sparrow at our “Celebrate East County” event Saturday! Register here.
Story and inside photos by Miriam Raftery
August 25, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – “I was a rebel growing up,” recalls Sam Mejia, a.k.a. Sam Sparrow, who spent his childhood in Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego and Bonita. He later traveled to Florida before returning home and finding his true calling as a celebrity impersonator who bears an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
A former investigator who once aspired to a Miami Vice lifestyle in Florida, he gained an insider’s perspective on corporate piracy and helped put scoundrels behind bars. Now he makes his living providing lively motivational business presentations and entertaining guests at private parties. Despite his charming rogue’s demeanor, however, this pirate has a heart of gold ---devoting countless hours raising funds for charities.
ATTEMPTED MURDER BELIEVED TO BE GANG-RELATED
August 25, 2009 (La Mesa) -- Surveillance photos and video of a shooting suspect and his vehicle have been released today by the La Mesa Police. The suspect is wanted for alleged attempted murder at the Heritage Inn, 7851 Fletcher Parkway that occurred on August 23, 2009.
A photo shows the suspect, who wore a horizontal striped shirt. Witnesses reported seeing the shooting suspect, a black male, possibly in his 20s, with dreadlocks or braided hair, run into a room at the motel after the shooting, which police believe is gang-related. The vehicle is believed to be a white SUV with a sunroof and roof racks.