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Billy Ortiz




“CQ. CQ STANDING BY FOR A CALL!!” HAM RADIO OPERATORS IN LAKESIDE TAKE PART IN GLOBAL FIELD DAY

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

June 22, 2013 (Lakeside) The airwaves have come alive at the Lakeside Fire Protection District fire station annex this weekend, where the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club is taking part in a two-day Field Day event held worldwide. 

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL ) is a 150,000 + member organization partaking in an annual US, Canada, and Hawaii event. More than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations . ARRL says of the occasion,  “ Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!”

COUNTY PARKS SERVICE TAKES ACTION TO SAVE MIGRATORY BIRDS AT LINDO LAKES

 

 

View a video by Billy Ortiz of water flowing into Lindo Lakes.

View an earlier video of stilts in low water. 

View a Facebook page created by Ortiz with photos of wildlife at Lindo Lakes.

June 22, 2013 (Lakeside) – Migratory shorebirds at risk for nesting areas drying out will be saved, thanks to an inquiry from Lakeside resident Billy Ortiz, a volunteer with the Lakeside River Park Conservancy. 

“I am happy to inform that as of June 21, 2013 San Diego County Parks and Recreation is pumping fresh water into Lindo Park Lake’s East basin,” Ortiz informed ECM today. The decision is a result of a request made in late May by Ortiz, also an ECM photographer and publicity chair of the Lakeside Hisotrical Society.

BEST VIDEOS IN EAST COUNTY: BOBCATS IN EL MONTE VALLEY

By Billy Ortiz

View video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0EPuSgKJOY

November 20, 2012 (Lakeside) --Early in the morning on November 15 in El Monte Valley, I was driving slowly like always, hoping to see a cat. Today was my day--I spotted one close to the road, followed it up the mountain a bit and discovered that there was more than one. Much to my surprise, I saw a second and then a  third bobcat to my right. What I didn't realize was that I had gotten  between the mama and one of her young.

A MAN AND HIS THREE MULES

 

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz    

Video clip

 

 

 

Like the pioneers of old, he packs his mules...walking from town to town searching not for gold or silver or fame, but for the land that connects his three mules and himself.

November 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--A lone drifter, age unknown, rides into Lakeside, California with only his thoughts and his three trusted mules. North and south, east and west, they wander the country. Guided only by the love of the earth and its creatures, the man who goes by the name Mule allows his trusted mules to lead him.

OSPREY NESTING TOWER TAKES WING AT LAKESIDE RIVER PARK

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

View video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Y0hc267sA

November 3, 2012 (Lakeside) -- On a cool, cloudy autumn morning on October 20 in East County a group of teenage Boy Scouts from troop 801 in Coronado arrived at the Lakeside River Park. They brought heavy timbers and other materials to build what they hope will become a nest for the Ospreys that frequent a pond at the River Park. 

LAKESIDE AUTO SPEEDWAY MONUMENT DEDICATION SET FOR SEPT. 29

By Billy Ortiz, Lakeside Historical Society Member

Photos by Billy Ortiz and Lakeside Historical Society

September 26, 2012 (Lakeside) – Founded back in 1907, the Lakeside Auto Speedway is considered the first purpose-built auto racing facility in the United States. When completed, the Lakeside Auto Speedway transformed the nascent motor sports movement by moving races off dangerous public roads and horse race tracks.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUNSET OVER LAKESIDE

September 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--Billy Ortiz snapped this colorful image of the setting sun over Lakeside’s historic downtown district.

To submit a photo of the week, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

DOWN ON THE FARMS: A VIDEO TOUR OF LOCAL AGRICULTURAL IN LAKESIDE

In honor of Harold Hilliker Farm Day at Lakeside Middle School, videographer Billy Ortiz created a video documentary tour of local agricultural sites

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

June 30, 2012 (Lakeside)-- Lakeside Middle School held  its first annual Harold Hilliker Farm Day on May 30.  It  was a day full of information on agriculture, highlighting several Lakeside farms for the 6th and 7th graders. 

View a special video tour of local farms in Lakeside created for the Lakeside Historical Society by clicking  this link.

In addition, view a presentation at Lakeside Middle School by freelance videographer Billy Ortiz here 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BOBCAT IN EL MONTE VALLEY

By Billy Ortiz

March 9, 2012 (Lakeside) – Most every day I like to drive down El Monte Rd in Lakeside. It reminds me of how it used to be in the old days with wide open fields, some farming and the best part is all the wildlife in the area--golden eagles, hawks and falcons, wild turkeys, deer and every once in a while a mountain lion or a bobcat.

Today a bobcat just happened to pop up just off the side of the road in time for a photo and some video!  View it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf0InbHxles.

WOMAN RESCUED FROM ROLLOVER CRASH IN LAKESIDE

 

February 17, 2012 (Lakeside) – Firefighters from El Cajon and Lakeside Fire Departments utilized the jaws of life to free an injured motorist in a rollover accident on Aurora Drive.  The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m. yesterday.  The female driver was traveling west on Aurora when she failed to slow down at a sharp corner and hit a curb, causing her vehicle to flip over, according to the CHP.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FLIGHT OF THE SUNBIRD

February 7, 2012 (Lakeside) -- No, it's not an insect or an invader from outer space. It's an up-close view of the Erickson air crane "Sunbird" erecting the Sunrise Powerlink in Lakeside's Wildcat Canyon/El Monte Valley area.

Billy Ortiz snapped this head-on closeup image of the massive helicopter, which is capable of hoisting heavy loads including transmission towers.

AMERICORPS SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR DEC. 10 HABITAT PROJECT AT LAKESIDE RIVER PARK

 

By Billy Ortiz

 

 

 

December 7, 2011 (Lakeside) – On Saturday, December 10 AmeriCorps invites youths from our communities to join them in creating habitat at the Lakeside River Park Conservancy--and learn about the work AmeriCorps NCCC is doing. Enjoy food and refreshments, the River Park Trail, and the beautiful observation deck overlooking the worksite. View a video interview with Americorps leaders at Lakeside River Park: http://youtu.be/XTK7T7_Yt3Y

ECM SWEEPS PRESS CLUB AWARDS—AGAIN

East County Magazine News Service
 
October 3, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Ten of East County Magazine’s writers, photographers and videographers have won awards in the San Diego Press Club’s 2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards. 
 
“We’re delighted to learn that this year’s list of winners includes not only professional career journalists, but also community volunteers, interns and photographers who receiving training from ECM in citizen-journalism skills,” said Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of the nonprofit publication. “Congratulations to our dedicated team.”
 

FOR “MUSTANG MAN” WHO DARED TO DREAM, A SPIRITED JOURNEY CONTINUES

By Miriam Raftery
Video by Billy Ortiz

 

There comes a time in life when a person may decide to take a chance—to do something wild, so daring that it challenges the spirit and nurtures the soul.

 

September 3, 2011 (Blossom Valley) – When Dale Harker, a Vietnam combat veteran and cancer survivor, decided to train a wild mustang, friends thought he was crazy. “You old fool, don’t you know that horse is gonna kill you?” one roping expert told him.
 

But Harker defied the odds, relying on his faith—and training videos he found online—to gentle a wild horse that he obtained through the Bureau of Land Management. His amazing success was chronicled in a documentary, Mustang Man: How a Wild Horse Tamed a Vietnam Veteran. But his story doesn’t end there.

 

In an ECM Video special report, we reveal how Harker has now found a new calling in life, gentling wild mustangs for other East County residents.  View our video

 

READER’S VIDEO EDITORIAL: SAVE EAST COUNTY’S EAGLES

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.

EAST COUNTY VIDEO ADVENTURES: PARAGLIDING OVER EAST COUNTY

By Billy Ortiz

View our video adventure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBqJStFzQD8&feature=player_profilepage

 

May 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- On any day in this beautiful place in San Diego’s East County, you will find para-gliders--hang-gliders sailing the winds high above the El Monte Valley. Take off point is roughly 1,800 feet above sea level and is located in Blossom Valley, just South of I-8 and Dunbar Lane in El Cajon. I have often seen them soaring as high as 4,000 feet above El Cajon Mountain (known locally as El Capitan for its resemblance to a Yosemite landmark) accompanied by raptors of every kind.

READER’S EDITORIAL: A VIEW WORTH PRESERVING

 

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.

VIDEO ADVENTURES IN EAST COUNTY: WINTER WONDERLAND ON LAGUNA MOUNTAIN

By Billy Ortiz

View our “Winter Wonderland” Video
 

February 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Living in the San Diego area, it’s a rare treat to visit the snow in our local mountains. So on a cold day in January, when the weather report said the storm was over, I packed my cameras and headed east to the Laguna Mountains.

LEGENDS OF LAKESIDE VIDEO: THE LAST DAIRY IN LAKESIDE


View our Ommering Dairy video tour, including exclusive interviews, at http://www.facebook.com/v/1269855082851

By Billy Ortiz
Photos by Pam Wilmers and Ommering Dairy

 

January 20, 2011 (Lakeside) -- There is something special about visiting a dairy. The sights and sounds, and the people that run the dairies, are very unique. You can't help but think you have taken a trip back in time to an era of a more simpler life. 

 

Since the Ommering Dairy is open to the public with tours and seasonal attractions,  you can now step back into the past and enjoy this moo-ving experience. 

LAKESIDE SADDLE TRAMPS RAISE $6K TO HELP OCEANSIDE TOT HURT BY DRUNK DRIVER

 

By Billy Ortiz and Miriam Raftery
Photos by Billy Ortiz
Videos by Billy Ortiz and Ron Cook

January 10, 2011(Lakeside) –You could hear the rumble of big bikes for miles around yesterday in Lakeside, where the Saddle Tramps motorcycle club assembled a ride with other clubs from as far away as Phoenix, Arizona. The event was held to benefit  Izaiah Wallis and his family.  Izaiah, an Oceanside toddler, who was struck along with his grandfather, Abraham Verde, by a teen drunk driver on October 18th at 9 a.m.  Yesterday's event raised $6,000 to help Izaiah and his family.

View two videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW51KUlMHYU by Billy Ortiz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wiif8NrhPs by Ron Cook

ECM VIDEOGRAPHER BILLY ORTIZ INJURED IN ROCKSLIDE ON EL CAPITAN

 

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.

MUSIC VIDEO: STORMY WEATHER SWELLS LOS COCHES CREEK

 

 

December 23, 2010 (San Diego's East County)-- Videographer Billy Ortiz traveled to Flinn Springs Park yesterday, capturing storm-swelled headwaters of Los Coches Creek.  He spliced yesterday's shots together with some October images of areas further downstream, including a spectacular waterfall at the long forgotten Los Coches dam in Lakeside.  Then he added a soundtrack to create this one-of-a-kind music video.  Enjoy!

VIDEO ADVENTURES IN EAST COUNTY: LAKESIDE RIVER PARK

By Billy Ortiz

View our video adventure on Lakeside River Park, where an East County community has reclaimed a former sand mine site to create trails, habitat, and a place of beauty to enjoy the riverfront--and scroll down to learn more about this unique environment.

December 5, 2010 (Lakeside) --Growing up in Lakeside, California, the San Diego River has been a big part of my life. Although I’ve only experienced the full force of the river two times in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it has always fascinated me and captured my imagination.

VIDEO ADVENTURES IN EAST COUNTY: SKY HUNTERS’ RAPTOR HAVEN PROVES A RAPTUROUS EXPERIENCE

 

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

 

November 17, 2010 (Alpine)—Far off the beaten path in the back country of east San Diego County, nestled in a hidden glen, is a special rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned birds of prey. Sky Hunters is a raptor education facility geared toward public information, preservation and rehabilitation of birds of prey. Scroll down for details and to view our video.  

VETERAN’S DAY TRIBUTE: NAVAL PILOT HONORED AT CRASH SITE IN LAKESIDE

 

On a dark, cloudy night in 1961, Lt. J.G. Thomas Allen Ryan, 23, crashed a Navy jet fighter plane onto a mountainside in Lakeside. Four decades later, a group of Lakeside residents hiked to the crash site to pay homage to the military pilot’s memory.

 

By Betty McMillen

 

November 11, 2010 (Lakeside)--A Lakeside hiking group celebrated Veterans Day in an unique way recently. Dennis Richardson led his hiking group over rocks, through brush, over boulders and up, up a mountain to the site of an old military airplane crash site.  Scroll down for the full story, plus view a video of the event by Billy Ortiz. 

EAST COUNTY VIDEO ADVENTURE: REDISCOVERING LOS COCHES CREEK DAM--AND A TOWERING HIDDEN WATERFALL

 By Billy Ortiz
Adventurist/Historian

November 11, 2010 (Lakeside) – This  video adventure  reveals an exciting discovery in my search for East County history. Reading about the history of the Lakeside Inn, I discovered that the innkeepers needed a water source, so a dam was built on Los Coches Creek back during pioneering days in the 1800s. An old black and white photograph of the dam captured my imagination.

 

I’d assumed that when the flood channel was built in the 1880s, the dam may have been destroyed. So I was excited when Pam Wilmers, a friend, told me a story of riding her horse to a waterfall back in the 1970's. I just had to take a look.

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