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Drink Coffee and Chat With Rancho San Diego Sheriffs! – June 29, 2017

Community outreach is a top priority of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Members of the community should feel comfortable bringing problems related to safety and security to our staff.

The Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station is holding a Coffee with the Community on:

Thursday, June 29th
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rancho San Diego Branch Library
11555 Via Rancho San Diego

This gives the public a chance to chat with the Station’s command staff, deputies and Crime Prevention Specialist in a casual setting and exchange ideas and concerns over a free cup of coffee.

Come out and make a positive difference in your community.

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Specialist Jose Ortiz at (619) 660-7011.




Local Resident Kirk Raeber Publishes Novel “Forgotten Letters”

Local resident Kirk Raeber is an emergency room physician. He has always had a strong interest in World War II history and especially in the war in the Pacific. He served in the US Navy and was stationed in Japan for one year. Kirk just published his first noval, a World War II saga called Forgotten Letters. He lives in Jamul with his wife and raises an Anatolian Shepherd.



About the novel, Forgotten Letters:

A trove of forgotten letters reveals a love that defied a world war.

In 1924, eight-year old Robert Campbell accompanies his missionary parents to Japan where he befriends a young Makiko Asakawa. Robert enjoys his life there, but the dark tides of war are rising, and it won’t be long before foreigners are forced to leave Japan.

Torn from the people Robert has come to think of as family, he stays in contact by exchanging letters with Makiko, letters that soon show their relationship is blossoming into something much more than friendship.

The outbreak of total war sweeps all before it, and when correspondence ends with no explanation, Robert fears the worst. He will do anything to find Makiko, even launch himself headfirst into a conflict that is consuming the world. Turmoil and tragedy threaten his every step, but no risk is too great to prove that love conquers all.



Author’s Note:

The inspiration for this book came to me ten years ago in the form of a dream so vivid that I began to see it as the starting point for the story portrayed in Forgotten Letters. The dream began with an earthquake in the early 1900’s somewhere in Japan. My most vivid memory from the dream was not so much the destruction, which was devastating, but the strength and courage of the Japanese people in resurrecting their lives in the face of such tragedy.

Over the years, I researched the many earthquakes that are such a regular occurrence across the Japanese Islands and decided that the “Great Kanto” of 1923 seemed to best mimic the one from my dream, in particular the unstoppable fires that destroyed most of Tokyo and Yokohama. This is where the book begins.

Ironically, the two cities were again destroyed during World War II and, as they were after the “Great Kanto,” have been rebuilt by the dedicated, hard working people of that amazing country.

My hope is that you will find the book a very enjoyable read.

Forgotten Letters is available on amazon here.
To view the trailer, war photos, and contact the author, click here.



Two Local Female Veterans Have Published Books – Book Signing in Coronado

Two female veterans from El Cajon who served in the U.S. Navy, AMANDA MATTI AND MEGAN WESTFIELD, have both published books! Come to this book signing and book discussion in Coronado to honor these special women!

Thursday, February 16th, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Bay Books – 1029 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA. 92118

Author Amanda Matti will be discussing and signing her recently released Iraq War memoir “A Foreign Affair”. She’ll also be joined by fellow Navy veteran-turned-author Megan Westfield who will be discussing and offering signed copies of her romance novel “Lessons in Gravity.”

“A Foreign Affair” by Amanda Matti is a memoir, a story of a forbidden romance between a female U.S. Navy Analyst, Amanda Matti and her Iraqi translator, Fahdi. She was deployed to Baghdad in the Summer of 2005 and had done her best to prepare mentally and physically to the horrors of War. But she had not prepared to fall in love with her translator, a former college student who had been recruited to be a translator for the U.S. forces. The relationship meant big choices and ended up being the center of international criminal investigations by the NSA, CIA and NCIS, compiling a list of offenses Amanda may have committed. It is a fascinating story about life in war-torn Iraq and the perseverance in the fight for justice and love. Amanda is now happily married, lives in El Cajon with her husband Fahdi and two children

“Lessons In Gravity” is romance-fiction and the author Megan Westfield is writing about a subject she knows a lot about – rock and mountain climbing. Megan is a former U.S. Navy navigator specialist officer on a destroyer, and ended up in Baghdad in 2007 with the U.S. Army as more personnel was needed.

Since her deployment she has concentrated on her true passion, writing books with a unique, real-world setting and, of course, a love story. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two young children.

Do come along and meet these two very special women!

A Foreign Affair  Lessons In Gravity


Ragtime: The Musical – A Benefit Concert!

Please join us at the Ragtime Benefit Concert!

February 9th-12th, 2017

About Ragtime: Ragtime is a very timely piece of art that covers immigration, racial discrimination  and social injustice. It’s told with powerful music by a stellar cast.

At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing… and anything is possible. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together — that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician — united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America.



The Young Actors’ Theatre is located at 9620 Campo Road, Spring Valley, CA  91977.

Ragtime Benefit Concert

Rally for Riley – Local Boy Diagnosed With Ewing’s Sarcoma

Rally for RileyDear Friends, Neighbors and Rancho San Diego Community Members,

Local boy, Riley Ransdall, has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at 11 years old. Ewing’s is an extremely rare cancer that metastasizes in the bones and soft tissues around bones. Riley must undergo 13 weeks of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor and then radiation. He must brave a total of 52 weeks ( an entire year) of treatment.

Riley is an active and bright boy. Until recently, he played little league in Alpine. He now plays Granite Hills Youth Football and is a Sweetwater Warrior at East County Warriors Youth Lacrosse Club. He currently attends Spring Valley Academy an International Baccalaureate Middle Years School, and is on the honor roll. Riley’s family has been in Alpine and San Diego County for over 40 years. [From Kristin Benson] Until recently, he lived down the street from my family and even though he is older than my children, he was always willing to play with them and include them. Not many 5th graders are willing to play with 6 and 7-year-olds. He is a kind and generous boy. My family is honored and blessed to know Riley and his family.

You can Help us Rally for Riley and support him and his family as he begins his treatment. Please read below to find information about donations, fundraisers, and other ways to help. There are 2 fundraisers coming up, one of which needs donations for auction items, monetary donations to buy supplies, and party supply rentals.



Greek Village Grill Fundraiser – February 6, 2017
Come rally for Riley from 11 am – 9 pm at Greek Village Grill in Alpine! Greek Village Grill will donate 20% of sales that day to Riley. You MUST print out bring in the flyer below in order for Riley to get 20%. (click to enlarge)

Greek Village Fundraiser











Fashion Show Fundraiser – February 26, 2017
We will be hosting a fashion show, silent auction, and raffle at the Alpine Community Center to benefit Riley Ransdell and his family. We will live auction different looks from our local boutiques, as well as many other great auction items! There will also be an emcee!

**DONATIONS NEEDED: auction items, monetary donations to buy supplies, and party supply rentals. To arrange pick up contact Kristin at 619-277-8537.



A Bank Account has been established to receive donations. Donations can be mailed to:

In Care of Kristin Benson
14860 Old Highway 80
El Cajon, CA. 92021

If you are donating an item for the Fashion Show fundraiser, please contact Kristin at 619-277-8537.

GoFundMe Link:

Rally for Riley Bracelets: $3 or a donation

Rally bracelets are here! $3 or a donation. The bracelets are available at the W Salon and Spa on Old Hwy 80.

Rally for Riley Keychains: $5

Rally for Riley keychains are available at W Salon and Spa, and online here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/503146385/rally-for-riley-key-chain-pediatric

Rally For Riley Bracelets  Keychains