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December 2008 Articles




FEMALE CARJACKING SUSPECT ARRESTED BY LA MESA POLICE---THANKS TO TIP RECEIVED THROUGH CRIMESTOPPERS

December
30, 2008 —
(La Mesa) On December 29, a woman was arrested for
charges stemming from a carjacking that occurred at Grossmont Center a week
ago.   

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD OFFICERS NAMED FOR '09

December 26, 2008 (La Mesa) — The five-member board
of directors for the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that
supports health-related community programs and services in San Diego's East
County, has elected its board officers for 2009. Elected unanimously were Jim
Stieringer as president, Gloria Chadwick as vice president and Deborah McElravy
as secretary. Stieringer appointed board member Michael Emerson to serve as
treasurer.

ARMED ROBBERY AT SUPER OSCAR'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN LA MESA; REWARD OFFERED

December
27, 2008 (La Mesa) —
Three armed men robbed the Super Oscar's Restaurant located
at 7102 University Avenue in La Mesa on Saturday, December 27th at 7:52 p.m.  A
customer in the drive-thru reported that armed subjects entered the front doors
of the restaurant with handguns.

TOP 25 EAST COUNTY STORIES OF 2008

By Miriam Raftery

Fire Man December 31, 2008--It's been a tumultuous year for East County and the nation.  Here are our choices for the most important news stories of 2008 that had broad impacts on San Diego's eastern region--from heartwarming to heart-wrenching.  (Note: watch for a separate "East County Newsmakers" feature next week on individuals making a difference in our region, for better or for worse.)

We couldn't resist adding a few snarky comments--and some probing questions.  Starting with this one:  aren't you glad this year is finally over?

OUR GUIDE TO EAST COUNTY'S HOTTEST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES

December 28, 2008 — Looking
to party hearty on December 31st?  Here are our picks for the best places
to ring in the New Year east of I-15.  From a Chinese dragon parade to
a cozy mountain inn, from an alcohol-free celebration to a lavish multi-band
bash, you'll find it all in East County and San Diego's eastern region.  Find
details on these events at
our calendar section

THE WILL POWER REPORT - Nursing Home Problems Classified?

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

Will Power LogoDecember
28, 2008 (San Diego) —
  Another “lame-duck” Federal
rule concerning Nursing homes has been approved by the outgoing Bush Administration.
The rule places State examiners who police Nursing Homes under a Federal Gag
Order which prevents patients and relatives of elderly and infirm patients
from finding out about lapses in patient care.

AMERICAN IDOL STAR JOSH GRACIN'S BENEFIT CONCERT AT BARONA HELPED BRIGHTEN HOLIDAYS FOR THOUSANDS OF NEEDY CHILDREN

American Idol's country music star and former U.S. Marine,
Josh Gracin shows his support for Toys for Tots with fellow U.S. Marines.
From left to right: Corporal Timothy C. Lewis, Sergeant Viviene B. Sussman,
Josh Gracin, Sergeant Suzanne A. Thiele and Staff Sergeant Michael G. Miller.

December 26, 2008 (San Diego) — American Idol favorite
and country music chart topper Josh Gracin recently headlined a benefit concert
for Toys for Tots at Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino. Barona's toy drive collected
more than 6,500 toys for Toys for Tots, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program
that collects new toys for underprivileged children during the holiday season.

FACE-OFF: A BAIL-OUT FOR CALIFORNIA?

Dual views on hot topics

LET’S STAY OFF THE BAILOUT BANDWAGON

By Steve Hunyar

December
26, 2008 (San Diego) —
When former California Governor
Grey Davis first took office in 1999, the California State budget was
$81.3 billion.  By 2003, the budget ballooned to $98.9 billion
when Davis also announced the state was facing a possible $28 billion
shortfall.  The level of fiscal mismanagement was astonishing
to say the least.

 

PARDON ME, CAN YOU SPARE A BAILOUT?

By Jamie Reno

December
19, 2008 (San Diego) —
This morning I’ve been boning
up on our state’s massive budget problems and the unthinkably deep
cuts that loom. It’s not a pretty picture. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's
underlings are reportedly already telling labor unions that the governor
will order two-day-a-month unpaid furloughs for state employees beginning
in February to help the state save money.

CALIFORNIA BUDGET IMPASSE CAUSES PARTISAN DIVIDE:


Governor refuses to sign measure with tax/fee increases to avoid deep cuts in
education

Republicans, Democrats trade sharp criticisms

Senate leader seeks help from federal government to fund public
works projects and jump start California economy

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2008 (San Diego's East County)--Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez
(D-Shafter) has written to Henry Paulson, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
Department, urging him to use the Treasury's investment strength to jump
start planned public works projects in California that would provide the
state with an economic stimulus.

NEW EAST COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER OPENS; HELPS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

The East County Family Justice Center , opened in mid-December, will
offer a broad cross-section of services in one location for victims of domestic
violence and their children.

Assemblyman Joel Anderson, a supporter of efforts to assist victims of domestic
violence, announced the opening in a newsletter to constituents. ''Over 3,000
domestic violence incidents are reported in San Diego 's East County annually,''
said Anderson. ''Research shows that for every reported case there are two
more that go un-reported.''

SANDBAGS AVAILABLE AT THESE LOCATIONS

With wet weather expected throughout the week, CAL FIRE-San
Diego County Fire Authority has sandbags available throughout the County.  The
sand and sand bags were graciously provided by the County of San Diego-Flood
Control Engineering Group.

COUNTY ANNOUNCES PLAN TO KEEP FIRE STATIONS OPEN

State Budget Cuts Threaten Fire Stations; County Offers to Shift
Staff to Protect Region

December 23, 2008 (San Diego) —Acting
swiftly to counteract California's latest budget crisis, the County of San
Diego has proposed to temporarily shift some firefighters from County-contracted
stations to ensure that all 18 CAL FIRE stations remain open this year, according
to a press release issued jointly by San Diego County and CAL FIRE.

RECESSION IN CALIFORNIA:  SENATOR BOXER RELEASES REPORT

1 in 18 San Diego households face foreclosure; food bank demand up
50%

December
23, 2008 (Washington, D.C.) —
California Senator Barbara Boxer has prepared
a report detailing impacts of the nation's recession on California counties
and cities.  The report, based on interviews conducted with officials
in 20 cities and all 58 counties, paints a stark picture of the economic strains
felt across California.  The analysis includes unemployment figures, home
foreclosure rates, budget deficits, and first-hand accounts.

$1,000 REWARD FOR FEMALE SUSPECT IN CARJACKING AT GROSSMONT CENTER

December
23, 2008 (La Mesa) —
On December 22, 2008, at about 5:30 PM, a woman was carjacked,
robbed and driven into El Cajon by a female suspect as the woman was parking
at Grossmont Center.

The victim, a 20 year old female from La Mesa, told police that she had just
parked at Grossmont Center near Wal-Mart when a white female knocked on
her window. When the victim rolled her window down, the female suspect
indicated she had a gun and directed the victim to move to the passenger
seat. The suspect was described as a white female, 35 years old, blond hair,
5 foot 5 inches tall, heavy build, wearing a pink Chargers beanie, a grey
sweatshirt, and knit gloves.

SNOW DAY PHOTO GALLERY

Families frolick in snow near Mt. Laguna

(Miriam Raftery)

 

Julian historic building

(Miriam Raftery)

SNOW DAY! WINTER WONDERLAND IN EAST COUNTY MOUNTAINS

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery
View our fun-in-the-snow videos | View our "snow day" photo gallery

(Miriam Raftery)

December 21, 2008 — Something about snow brings out my inner child.  So on Thursday, the first clear day after last week's storm descended on East County, I couldn't resist taking a "snow day" and heading up to our beautiful mountain areas.  The snowfall was the heaviest I'd seen in this region, transforming dry brushy hills and even fire-ravaged areas into a winter wonderland.

SNOW VIDEOS

»

December Capitol Report

Capitol Report Logo(Note: Since Congress and the Legislature were in recess and took no major actions in November, there is no November Capitol Report)

How did your elected officials vote on the most important bills in Congress and the California Legislature? Find out here!

GENERAL CONTRACTOR RON ASBURY APPOINTED TO PROP R OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

December 20, 2008 (El Cajon) —  La Mesa resident Ron
Asbury, a general contractor and active volunteer for East County schools,
is the newest appointee to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

The CBOC is charged with ensuring that revenues from Proposition R, the $207
million local bond measure passed in 2002, will be spent solely as promised
to voters. The committee's role is to review and report on district spending
of taxpayers' money for construction and to provide a public accounting of
the district's compliance with legal requirements.

2 Grossmont High School Teachers Named Winners in Inaugural "I'm Thankful For My Teacher" Award

San Diego County teachers recognized with thousands of "thank yous" from
grateful parents, schoolchildren in contest sponsored by Mission Federal Credit
Union, Junior Achievement, Cox Communications and Channel 4

December 18,2008 (San Diego, CA) Campaign organizers are
proud to announce the winners of the first-ever "I'm Thankful For My Teacher"
Contest, hosted by Mission Federal Credit Union, Junior Achievement of San
Diego, and Cox Communications and Channel 4 San Diego. Throughout the month
of November, thousands of students throughout San Diego County took the opportunity
to thank a teacher for all of the special things they do in their mission to
educate local students and future generations. More than 3,850 postcards were
turned in to recognize hundreds of teachers at 136 schools throughout San Diego
County.

COMMUNITY LEADERS REACT TO CPUC'S APPROVAL OF SUNRISE POWERLINK SOUTHERN ROUTE

By Miriam Raftery

Click photo for larger image.

December 19, 2008 (San Diego's East County) —  The California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled to allow construction of Sunrise Powerlink
across the southern portion of East County.   The decision drew a
mixture of praise and criticism from local community leaders. 

LA MESA POLICE SERVE SEARCH WARRANT AT CHOP SHOP IN LA MESA; ARREST MADE ON DRUG, WEAPON AND STOLEN VEHICLE CHARGES

December
19, 2008 (La Mesa) —
Officers from the La Mesa Police Department's
Special Enforcement Detail, and detectives from the Regional Auto Theft Task
Force (R.A.T.T.), served a search warrant at a home in the 6000 block of Amaya
Dr. in La Mesa. The search warrant stemmed from an investigation into stolen
vehicles in the area.

EL CAJON MAN ARRESTED FOR ROBBING HOLIDAY SHOPPER IN TOYS R US PARKING LOT

December 18, 2008 (La Mesa) — La Mesa Police Officers responded
to a robbery that occurred at 11:47 a.m. in the parking lot of Toys R Us on
Grossmont Boulevard in La Mesa. 

When officers arrived, they found that security officers had chased the suspect
on foot northbound on Jackson Drive.  The security officers lost the suspect
under the I-8 over pass.  Responding officers set up a perimeter and found
the suspect running through a parking lot at 5232 Jackson Drive.  After
a short foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. 

RAMONA FIREFIGHTERS AND SHERIFF OFFICERS TEAM UP FOR HOLIDAY BIKE GIVEAWAY

December 18, 2008 (Ramona) — Local firefighters and sheriff
officers presented 24 lucky children with bicycles for the holidays at Ramona's
annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 13th. "Kelly Marline Crime
Prevention Specialist with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and Audine
Morytko with the Ramona Fire Department worked extremely hard coordinating this
extremely important event," Captain Nick Schuler of CAL FIRE reported.

THE RENO REPORT - PARDON ME, CAN YOU SPARE A BAILOUT?

Jamie Reno suggests a novel approach to California's state budget
crisis

December
19, 2008 (San Diego) —
This morning I've been boning up on our
state's massive budget problems and the unthinkably deep cuts that loom. It's
not a pretty picture. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's underlings are reportedly
already telling labor unions that the governor will order two-day-a-month unpaid
furloughs for state employees beginning in February to help the state save
money. And that's just the beginning. I'm sure more painful mandates and sacrifices
are coming.

Good Money - Madoff''s Ponzi Scheme: How you can protect yourself and your investments

Your guide to profitable and socially responsible investing

By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®

By now you've probably heard about the $50 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, a New York City broker, former head of the NASDAQ stock exchange. 

 

What did he do?  He allegedly collected money to invest from clients, made up false statements to show that they were doing well, and used new clients' money to pay interest and withdrawals to existing clients.  This is known as a Ponzi scheme and is estimated to involve more than a $50 billion loss for his investors.  This is one of several recent high-profile cases of advisors and/or managers absconding with funds entrusted to them by their clients.  Maddof held his clients' assets, managed them, and priced them, too.  See the conflicts of interest?  Investment performance can look better if the prices reported to clients are manipulated, which is allegedly how Madoff showed winning year after winning year despite market turmoil. 

WILD WINTER WEATHER

Snow blanketed westbound Interstate 8 near the Tecate
divide

A tree limb collapsed onto a CAL FIRE vehicle at White Star Station off
Tierra Del Sol in Boulevard. The engine company had just returned from
battling a structure fire on the Campo Indian reservation.

December 17, 2008 (San Diego’s East County) — Cal Fire
Captain Nick Schuler forwarded these photos taken 12-16-08 in one of the heaviest
snowstorms to hit East County in recent memory.

Armed Subject at Helix High School Determined to be a Hoax

December 17, 2008 (La Mesa) — A report of an armed man on the Helix High School campus yesterday has now been determined to be a hoax.  Further investigation by Helix staff and the La Mesa Police Department confirmed that the student who reported seeing a man with a gun had fabricated the incident.  It is not known why the student lied at this time.    

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT PASSES AUDITS; BUDGET FOCUSES ON COST-CUTTING STRATEGIES

December 17, 2008 (El Cajon ) — Grossmont Cuyamca Community College District
today announced it has passed five separate 2007-2008 audits.  The audits
presented to the governing board cover the district's general audit, its part-time
employees' pension plan, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges foundations, and the
district's auxiliary. Two more audits relating to the district's Prop.

Bill Garrett to lead Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board in 2009

December 17, 2008 (El Cajon) — The Grossmont-Cuyamaca
Community College District Governing Board has unanimously re-elected Bill
Garrett board president, Deanna Weeks board vice president, and Greg Barr board
clerk for 2009.

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