El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Ana Nita


Numerous voices have been claiming lately the sand mining project in El Monte Valley is a done deal and the sand permit will get approved at the county level by the planning commission and the board of supervisors, despite community protest.

In August, the county planning department published the subsequent Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that requires the government to study the impact of every proposed project on the environment and to identify ways to mitigate potential impact.

Third annual edition of the East County Junk Trail came and went this month and it was better than the previous years, according to both the organizers and customers.

With 14 stops listed on a printable treasure hunting map, raffle prizes and gifts at each stop, the event succeeded in bringing together established antique and vintage stores along with traveling pop-up vendors at each major stop.

“This is f---ing gnarly,” exclaimed Zach Decker, 25, while driving his vehicle on I-8 West on Friday, Oct. 19 before noon and watching live as an airplane from the Gillespile Field Airport landed in front of his car on the freeway.

His wife, Keri, 26, started recording right away and the video posted on Facebook reached almost a million views.

The couple lives in Boulevard, Calif. and Keri Decker said they were taking their son, Mason, to the dentist when this “once in a lifetime” event happened.

Mountain lions are leaving footprints all over East County.

Crest Library was the place to find out about mountain lions last week when Robin Park with the Mountain Lion Foundation came to talk about these elusive animals with the Crest residents.

The Santee Chamber of Commerce organized a forum on Oct. 4 to introduce the current candidates for the city council to the public. Seven candidates from three city districts answered questions from the public vying for people’s vote on Nov. 6. 

In the upcoming elections, only the seat held by Council Member Stephen Houlahan in District 4 in Santee is safe until 2020.

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield and current Vice Mayor Rob McNelis are both running for one seat in District 1.

More than 500 residents filled up a 250-seat room at the Lakeside Community Center to attend the public meeting organized on Sept. 25 by the San Diego County to discuss the subsequent Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to a sand mining plant proposed in El Monte Valley (EMV).

The locals stood up along the walls, chanting and holding up signs, despite the specific request for “no applause and no booing” voiced by Ben Nelson, Project Manager of the Planning and Development Services.

There were only two notorious harmonica musicians in San Diego back in the late 1970s, many times playing together in different country bands, and both established in East County.

One of them, Rusty Faulk, died last summer of prostate cancer, while the other, Wayne Markus, brought his band to play at Faulk’s memorial organized recently at Casino Inn in Alpine by his family to raise funds and awareness about prostate cancer.

Susie Faulk was motivated to organize a fundraiser to keep a promise she made to her late husband.

Bobby “Walking Stick” Wallace, National Chief of the Longest Walk with the Barona Band of Mission Indians, announced last week that his tribe is stepping in to join the local community against a sand mining project in El Monte Valley, Lakeside. The Viejas Band is joining as well, along with other bands from afar that packed the room on Tuesday, Sept. 25 when the county held a public meeting to discuss the plan to dig on almost 500 acres of land for the next 19 years.

The West Fire that started on July 6 of this year took the community of Alpine by surprise just before noon and with a speed aroused by strong winds it doubled in size in record time, burning more than 500 acres of land and destroying almost 75 buildings before being contained.

Two months since the disaster, dozens of people are still without permanent housing, living in hotels or in their cars.

San Diego County continued its effort to get community input on its affordable housing plan with a stop in Lakeside last week. The tour started in August with a regional workshop at the Planning & Development Services’ (PDS) headquarters in Overland, had a previous session in Valley Center and will have another one scheduled for Sept. 13 in El Cajon.