October 2009 Articles
October 7, 2009 (San Diego)--San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore is announcing a unique educational program called “Adopt an SAR Dog.”
In its third year, the San Diego Sheriff's Search and Rescue Detail will participate in a program which offers a local elementary school class the unique opportunity to learn all about the various aspects of training a dog for Search and Rescue (SAR) work. Search and Rescue volunteers and their dogs will make regular visits throughout the year to the classrooms.
October 7, 2009 (La Mesa) – The big beer garden filled to capacity on Friday and Saturday night, when party-goers from around San Diego County gathered in downtown La Mesa to celebrate La Mesa’s Oktoberfest. Entertainment ranged from polka dancing to a rock-and-roll band, plus perennial favorites such as the beer stein hoisting contest (photo, left). La Mesa Police estimate that more than 200,000 people flocked to the three-day event.
By Kristin Kjaero
September 29, 2009 (La Mesa)-- “Be an Eco-Hero! Each person can make a difference and you can too.... Let your voice be heard!” read a sign at the City of La Mesa’s second annual Sustain La Mesa Environmental Festival. A number of young people showed they are well on the way to being eco-heroes and heroines, as they came to share what they know and make a difference.
Story and photos by Kristin Kjaero
October 7, 2009 (Lake Murray)—In honor of this year’s 25th California Cleanup Day on September 19, Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County was bigger than ever. 10,032 volunteers in the county (up from 7,800 last year) covered 163 miles of coast and inland waterways to collect 101,933 pounds of trash and recyclables.
October 7, 2009 (Borrego Springs) – The 44th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival takes place October 22-25. “To help celebrate our recent designation as California's first International Dark Sky Community, our Festival and parade theme this year is Starry Starry Nights, for which yours truly will be the Grand Marshal,” famed night sky photographer and syndicated astronomy columnist Dennis Mammano said in an e-mail to East County Magazine.
Many activities will take place during the Festival weekend, including these "stellar" events (free unless otherwise noted):
Celebrate Borrego Springs' "Starry Starry Nights" and International Dark-Sky Community designation!
October 7, 2009 – You’re bound to feel star struck at the Galactic Gala honoring Dennis Mammana, Borrego Springs’ celebrity astronomer and Borrego Days Parade Grand Marshal. The event will be held on Thursday, October 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park Visitors Bureau; RSVPs are requested by October 9.
A highlight of the evening will be an astronomy program titled “Stroll along the Milky Way” with honored guest Dennis Mammana.
October 6, 2009 (San Diego) -- The first allotment of H1N1 flu vaccine has arrived in San Diego County and will be administered starting today. (View video) According to state guidelines, the initial doses of H1N1 nasal spray vaccine are designated for children 2-18 years of age who are healthy and healthy household contacts of infants younger than 6 months.
26,000 doses of nasal spray vaccine will be available at various primary care physicians’ offices throughout the county. An additional 2,000 doses are being offered at County public health centers. (See locations at the end of this article).
REPORT: FORECLOSURE MEDIATION PROGRAMS’ POTENTIAL TO HELP HOMEOWNERS NOW IN JEOPARDY DUE TO LACK OF INDUSTRY ACCOUNTABILITY
National Consumer Law Center Looks at 25 Programs in 14 States Including California: Mediation Programs Seen as Faltering
October 7, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--A spate of new state and local programs that have emerged over the last year requiring mediations or conferences before foreclosures sales take place have great potential to help homeowners, but are suffering from the same lack of industry accountability that has plagued voluntary federal mortgage modification programs, according to a major new study from the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).
October 7, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Grossmont College guitar instructor Fred Benedetti, chair of the Grossmont College guitar studies department, will perform at a concert benefiting the Grossmont College Guitar Guild starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, at the college’s recital hall, Room 220. The public is invited to attend.
By Congressman Bob Filner
Democratic Representative from the 51st Congressional District
The impacts of the climate crisis are already being seen around the world through increasing hurricane intensity, melting ice caps, and refugees fleeing extreme weather conditions. Here in Southern California, we are particularly vulnerable to a variety of threats posed by unchecked global warming – threats to our environment, our economic stability, and our overall quality of life.
While residents of San Diego are no strangers to drought and emergency water conservation measures, climate change will bring a new generation of drought’s stranglehold on our communities as we see our water supply shrink from increasing average global temperatures. Local Scripps researchers concluded in an April 2009 report that if human-induced global warming continues to reduce runoff from the Colorado River, San Diego will be unable to deliver a regular water supply to the region (The press release can be found online at http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=977).
October 6, 2009 (La Mesa) – Two men robbed a transient of his pants and wallet on October 4 at approximately 9:32 p.m. One suspect was located by La Mesa Police officers within minutes after the robbery and assault. The second suspect, a Hispanic man who goes by the name "Alexi," is still outstanding. He is described as approximately 21 years old, weighing 165 pounds.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Leonard Villareal
October 6, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Dale Wojczynski, owner of a home destroyed by fire on September 30, had been fined $10,000 by the County for ignoring numerous orders to clean up the property. A criminal case has been filed and will be heard on October 29.
San Miguel Fire District firefighters battled the two-story house fire in the Granite Hills area of unincorporated El Cajon. Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to neighboring homes, but could not save the home due to a large amount of flammable debris. A 9-1-1 call was made by a resident at 6:07 a.m. Two people inside the home, located on the 2100 block of Valley View Blvd, both got out safely. Residents told fire investigators there were no smoke alarms in the home, but fortunately a resident was awakened by the alarm clock function of her cell phone.
October 6, 2009 (Escondido) – The San Diego County Farm Bureau is hosting a class to teach any interested grower how to sell produce and nursery crops at a certified farmers’ market. The class will be on Thursday, October 22 and will go from 3:00 to 5:00.
HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR CONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY OF A MINOR
By Miriam Raftery
October 6, 2009 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police are conducting an investigation into a Helix Charter High School assistant principal in a case involving a runaway female student.
“We hope to finish our investigation this week and forward to the District Attorney with a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” La Mesa Police Lieutenant David Bond told East County Magazine.
By Assemblymember Dave Jones, Candidate, California Insurance Commissioner
More than 2,300 San Diego County structures were destroyed in the Witch, Harris and Poomacha fires. The California Department of Fire and Forestry, (“CalFire”) spent over half a billion dollars on suppression alone that year.
Increasingly, CalFire has been called upon to fight fires that threaten new residential development built in high risk fire areas. And increasingly, new residential subdivisions are being built in high risk fire areas throughout California.
KIDS FREE DAYS for children 11 years old and younger has been expanded and is now available all during the month of October. Everybody loves our World famous Zoo; now’s the time to enjoy the cooler weather as you learn more about animals and conservation. Come check out two fun, new play areas at the ZOO, and experience “Radical Reptiles” at the Discovery Station in the Wild Animal Park at San Pasqual.
October 6, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) – Are you maximizing your business growth and profitability potential? Michelle S. Butler, president and CEO of the Women’s Business Center of California, will teach you how to utilize the same tools Fortune 500 companies use to help your business profits soar.
Butler will speak at a business roundtable presentation hosted by the Rancho San Diego Chamber of Commerceon Wednesday, October 7th at 11:30 a.m. at Press Box Sports Lounge, 2990 Jamacha Road in Rancho San Diego.
September 13, 2009 (El Cajon) – Learn about becoming a firefighter, police officer or 9-1-1 dispatcher at the El Cajon Fire Safety & Career Expo on Saturday, October 10th. The event will also feature a new Kids’ Fun & Safety Zone with a variety of family-friendly activities.
Kids can enjoy visits with KC the Safety Robot and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, viewing fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, plus playtime in an inflatable house. The kids’ zone also includes safety car seat information, child IDs, a fire safety trailer, Home Depot Kids’ Workshop, free kids’ safety helmets (while supplies last) , injury prevention and safety displays. East County Magazine will be on hand signing people up for our free Viejas wildfire/emergency alerts.
October 5, 2009 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Coroner’s office has identified Ali Shah Wahid, 34, as the man who committed suicide on September 29th by jumping off the Severin Drive overpass in La Mesa.
October 5, 2009 (Spring Valley) -- William D. Gore, Sheriff of San Diego County, announces a presentation regarding domestic violence and resources available to those who find themselves in abusive relationships. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 27th 2009, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the San Miguel Fire Station, located at 2850 Via Orange Way in Spring Valley.
October 5, 2009 (Sacramento) – Last week, the Sacramento Bee published an article stating that Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for Governor, did not register to vote in the past 28 years. Initially, Whitman responded by stating that her voting record was “inexcusable,” adding, “I failed to register and vote on numerous occasions throughout my life. That is simply wrong and I have taken responsibility for my mistake."
Today, however, the Whitman campaign has issued a press release accusing the Sacramento Bee of distorting her voting record and asking the newspaper to correct the record. Whitman “clearly remembers voting on multiple occasions, including the 1984 and 1988 presidential elections,” the release states. The release also asserts that the San Francisco registrar has no records for voters prior to 1992—and that the registrar could not produce voting records before 1992 for Senator Diane Feinstein or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, either.
Thousands enjoyed free concert, car show and kids fun zone
Story and Photos by Leon Thompson
Viejas (September 26, 2009) Thousands of enthusiastic rock music fans of all ages convened in the parking lot of Viejas Casino to hear a free concert co-sponsored by radio station Magic 92.5 on Saturday, October 3. The event, new this year, was clearly a success—as evidenced by a line of cars backed up to the freeway exit by mid-afternoon.
The event featured attractions for the whole family including free rides in the fun zone for the young and young at heart, a vintage and custom car show. A troop of young spray-can outlaws fascinated the crowd by transforming a blank wall into living art that seemed to jump from the wall. (The artists, who declined to have their faces photographed, honed their skills from years of practice in places not so welcoming as here.)
October 5, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently designated San Diego and Imperial counties as part of a contiguous natural disaster area due to drought that began January 1, 2009, and continues. Farmers have eight months from the date of the USDA declaration – September 17, 2009 – to apply for assistance to help cover their losses.
“I am pleased that the USDA is acknowledging the hardship and heavy financial burden suffered by our farmers and ranchers due to water scarcity,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego). “This declaration is a starting point to provide assistance, as the state and federal authorities work to ensure stable water supply.”
By Miriam Raftery
October 5, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) issued a press release announcing that the House of Representatives passed a conference report on H.R. 3183, the fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. The legislation includes $120,000—funding secured by Congressman Hunter, according to the release, to perform a feasibility study of the water system in San Diego County and determine an approach to connect under-utilized reservoirs.
There’s just one problem: Hunter voted “no” on adoption of that conference report on October 1st, according to the roll call vote published in the Washington Post.
Many politicians and pundits claim that efforts to reform our health system are moving too quickly. Yet for millions of small business owners like me, health reform cannot happen soon enough.
By Vince Mudd
For 15 years, I have not only provided access to health insurance for my 45 employees and their family members, but also paid 100 percent of their premiums. I do this because I believe that when employees do not have to spend time dealing with the “problem” of health insurance they are more productive in the workplace. My employees live healthier lives. This benefits them, their families, and ultimately my business and society.
Despite these mutual gains, providing health insurance to my employees is simply unsustainable. Last year my small business premiums skyrocketed 18 percent. I wish this were surprising. But the truth is my premiums have risen significantly every one of the 15 years I have been buying coverage for my workers. Unfortunately, my health-care-related stress does not end there. Every year I pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical riders on other business-related policies like liability and property insurance, adding further to my health care costs. I want to focus on my business, not health care. The status quo makes this impossible.
By Enrique Morones
October 1, 2009 (San Diego) – Today marks the 15th anniversary of the wall of death—the border wall of shame. Since October 1st 1994 and the launching of Operation Gatekeeper here in San Diego, thousands have died. Nobody knows the exact number: 5,000, 6,000, 10,000. How many more?
October 5, 2009 (Alpine) – On Thursday, over 250 school children will join firefighters, tribal representatives, Smokey the Bear and Sparky the firedog from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for hands-on learning about the importance of fire safety. The event, held at Viejas Recreation Center in Alpine, is being held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week.
October 5, 2009 (El Cajon)--The Grossmont College Jazz Ensemble, featuring jazz saxophonist soloist Christopher Hollyday, will perform starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Cuyamaca College Arts Center auditorium, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, in El Cajon. The performance is open to the public. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
Assembly Ethics Committee Drops Its Investigation
By Miriam Raftery
October 5, 2009 (Sacramento) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation info former Assemblyman Michael Duvall’s claims of having a sexual affair with a female lobbyist, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman has been identified as a lobbyist for Sempra Energy/SDG&E by an Orange County newspaper. Duvall was a member of the utility company overseeing public utilities.
TWO CANDIDATES FOR STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION SHARE VIEWS ON STRENGTHENING EDUCATION SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA
By Miriam Raftery
October 5,2009 (San Diego)—“Our schools have been left to fall to the bottom of rankings in the nation,” Tom Torlakson told delegates at the San Diego Grassroots Convention in San Diego on September 26th. “In the early ‘70s, we were the best in the nation.”
Gloria Romero, also running for the state’s top education spot, also issued a call to turn around California’s underperforming schools. “It’s shameful that California leads the nation in drop-outs,” she said. “Let’s put education at the top of the Democratic agenda.” She called education “the civil rights issue of our time.” She added, “My mother had a sixth grade education. I have a PhD. That’s the power of education to turn around a life…We spend more on prisons to locok up people than we do on educating our students.”