Archive for May, 2014


Arab American Festival celebrates diverse Middle Eastern culture

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Photo by Serina Duarte

Nathalie Pert, Belly Dancers by the Sea from Huntington Beach performs at the 2014 Arab American Festival California in El Cajon on May 17. The two-day festival brought hundreds of people together in celebration of the vast cultures of the Middle Eastern population.


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Vocational Training for Generation Y with grand reopening of the Grossmont High School Auto Shop

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blogBy Sohaib Hassan



Grossmont High School celebrated the grand reopening of its auto shop on May 5 in a ceremony held on the school’s La Mesa campus.

Governing Board Member Richard “Dick” Hoy said this is one of the best ways for students to get hands-on experience for what is out there in the real world.

“College is not meant for everyone and not everyone has the desire to attend a college,” he said.

The reopening of the auto shop facility provides real-world experience for the students who are interested in careers within the auto-repair or mechanical industries.

According to one of the students present at the event, “This program is special to me. I’ve been enrolled in the class for three years. I enjoy the hands-on experience.”

Equipment at the new state of the art Auto Shop includes: seven lift stations; a wheel alignment rack; dynamometer; wheel changing station; welding area; bed blasting equipment; standard classroom; and a small engines lab. Each station has power, compressed air water services and exhaust handling systems.

Dan Barnes, Grossmont High School principal, spoke about the ways in which the training provided to students at the new Auto Shop facilities will equip them with the real skills they need to get a job working with today’s vehicles. Working with today’s cars is “not just about wrenches and hammers.” The auto-shop also provides the opportunity to get experience with the complex computer systems that control today’s motor vehicles.

The office of Senator Joel Anderson presented Barnes with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for the occasion.

Anderson said he congratulates the school for its commitment in preparing young people for real-world success.

“I’m proud to support hands-on training programs for students. Career Technical programs provide a tried and true path to success for their students,” said Anderson. “I also want to thank President Rob Shield, and the Grossmont Union High School District Board for the leadership in enhancing CTE opportunities for our students. Many highly lucrative career paths have been opened to our community as a result. By providing a program where students get the opportunity to learn skills that enable them to get jobs right out of high school, they also get a chance to find out what they enjoy.”

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No health hazard from tap water with unpleasant taste and odor in San Diego County

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Earthy, musty taste and smell in drinking water expected to dissipate by end of the week


Consumers in San Diego County may notice a musty taste and odor in their tap water, but it is an aesthetic problem caused by algae blooms and not a health hazard, according to water quality experts.

Officials at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California said the taste-and-odor event may improve by the end of the week after the district isolated the affected facilities and treated supplies over the weekend.  In the meantime, the drinking water impacts will continue to vary as local agencies blend imported Metropolitan water with local supplies.

“The earthy taste and smell stem from an algae bloom in Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County, which is affecting supplies being delivered to the San Diego County Water Authority,” said Jim Green, Metropolitan’s manager of water system operations.

“Consumers, however, can be assured that the taste-and-odor issues they may be experiencing in their tap water do not pose any health risks,” he said “Consumers affected by this situation may consider refrigerating their tap water to help improve its taste until the problem diminishes.”

Over the weekend, Metropolitan isolated Diamond Valley Lake and treated the algae bloom, which also has impacted untreated supplies in nearby Lake Skinner. Diamond Valley Lake and

Lake Skinner are currently providing raw water to SDCWA.  Officials stressed that the treated water is safe for consumers and that fish and wildlife will not be impacted.

Growth of algae in open surface reservoirs is generally a seasonal problem that usually occurs in warm months.  As in previous years, the cause of this year’s taste-and-odor episode has been identified as geosmin, a nuisance compound produced from the growth of certain algae in freshwaters throughout the world.

“Unfortunately, people with sensitive taste and smell can detect the compound in water at levels as low as 5 parts-per-trillion,” Green said. “By comparison, one part-per-trillion is equivalent to just 10 drops of geosmin in enough water to fill the Rose Bowl.”

Consumers interested in receiving additional information about the quality of Metropolitan’s drinking water supplies can visit the district’s website,, for the district’s annual water quality report and other related materials.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

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