ALEGRIA RESIGNS FROM CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

PROTECT SANTEE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO IMPROVE FIRE PROTECTION

PRESIDENT BIDEN CANCELS STUDENT DEBT FOR OVER 150,000 STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

TWO SAN DIEGO REPRESENTATIVES NAMED TO HOUSE TASK FORCE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

BUYING A USED CAR? BEWARE OF FLOOD DAMAGED VEHICLES

PRESIDENT BIDEN ISSUES DISASTER DECLARATION TO BRING FEDERAL AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

VIEW VIDEO OF 79TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT FORUM AND READ CANDIDATE PROFILES

WORLD BOOK DAY: FEBRUARY 23

4TH FRIDAY COMEDY AT SPACEBAR CAFE AND WINE BISTRO

LA MESA SEEKS ARTISTS FOR WALKWAY OF THE STARS: DEADLINE MARCH 8

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SEX OFFENDER FOUND GUILTY OF SEX ACTS WITH MINOR IN EL CAJON MOTEL

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL EARNS 73-63 WIN OVER AIR FORCE

The Aztecs finished the game on a 20-4 run and have won seven of their last nine games

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 21, 2024 (San Diego) - The San Diego State women’s basketball team (18-10, 9-6) beat Air Force (12-16, 5-10) 73-63 inside Viejas Arena Wednesday night for their seventh win in the last nine games.

SANTA YSABEL COLLISION KILLS GIRL, 11

East County News Service

February 21, 2024 (Santa Ysabel, CA) – An 11-year-old girl has died as a result of a two-vehicle collision that occurred in Santa  Ysabel on February 17 around 2:40 p.m.

According to Officer Jared Grieshaber with the California Highway Patrol, an Escondido woman,27, was driving a 2020 Honda Accord with three passengers. She was headed east on State Route 76 and stopped at the intersection with State  Route 79, then pulled out in front of a 2022 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was heading south on  State Route 79.

ALEGRIA RESIGNS FROM CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2024 (El Cajon)— A resignation letter from  Trustee Jo Alegria dated February 15 was read aloud this week at the Cajon Valley Union School District board meeting by board president Jim Miller. 

The County Office of Education has not yet received a formal resignation from  Alegria. However the office’s chief of staff, Music Watson, says that within 60 days of a vacancy occurring, a district’s governing board must either order an election or make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy.  View full procedures here.

Alegria has served on the CVUSD board for nearly a decade.  Elected in November 2014,  she has also served as board president. Her resignation follows her missing the past two board meetings, and comes after critics posted negative remarks on social media.

In her resignation letter, Alegria said it has been an “honor and a privilege to serve on the board, adding that she believes “passionately in the importance of public education and public service...”

PROTECT SANTEE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO IMPROVE FIRE PROTECTION

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2024 (Santee) – The Santee Firefighters Association (SFA) is sponsoring the “Protect Santee” ballot initiative aimed at improving fire protection. The city’s fire department resources have not kept pace with growth in the community, a problem so severe that firefighters and emergency medical first responders are not able to meet national safety response time standards, multiple reports confirm.

“With just 17 on-call firefighters and two outdated fire stations, the fire department’s response times are often DOUBLE the crucial 4-minute National Fire Safety Response Standard, as AP Triton reported in its 2023 Santee Community Risk Assessment,” a press release from  the SFA states.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) was hired by the SFA to provide a report on the fire department’s capabilities. It found that most fire engines are staffed by  three firefighters, not the minimum of four required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Moreover, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that two firefighters cannot enter a burning building or other dangerous situation unless at least two more fighters are outside. So Santee’s three-person crews must wait until another crew arrives before they can enter a burning home, for example.

 

The study also found most area roads are not currently served  within the safe time frames outlined in the report.  “As such, it results in an increased risk of death or injury to firefighters and the citizens of Santee, as well as increased risk for considerable property loss of housing units and businesses throughout the City,” the report concludes.

PRESIDENT BIDEN CANCELS STUDENT DEBT FOR OVER 150,000 STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

East County News Service

February 21, 2024 (Washington D.C.) -- President Joe Biden today announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education, or SAVE, repayment plan.

The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans. Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions.

TWO SAN DIEGO REPRESENTATIVES NAMED TO HOUSE TASK FORCE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via Bing

February 21, 2024 (San Diego)—San Diego will be well represented on the House of Representatives’ new Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The bipartisan task force’s 24 members include two from San Diego—Democrat Sara Jacobs and Republican Darrell Issa.

The goals of the task force are to explore how Congress can drive innovation and maintain American leadership in AI, assure fair usage of the technology across numerous industries, and safeguard against current and emerging threats.

BUYING A USED CAR? BEWARE OF FLOOD DAMAGED VEHICLES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Flooded cars, City of La Mesa, January 22, 2024

February 20, 2024 (San Diego) – Water damaged vehicles may be flooded the market after the severe January storms submerged many vehicles. Flooded vehicles are apt to have permanent damage to electrical systems including airbags, putting lives at risk. But some water damage can take months or even years to appear.

Most insurers will declare a flooded vehicle a total loss, which means it should be issued a salvage or flood title. It is then sent to auction, where it may be stripped for parts, or sold to unscrupulous buyers who may resell it.

 So how can you protect yourself from buying a flood-damaged vehicle? Here are some tips,compiled from Consumer Reports and NBC news.

PRESIDENT BIDEN ISSUES DISASTER DECLARATION TO BRING FEDERAL AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

February 20, 2024 (San Diego) President Joe Biden yesterday declared a major disaster in California, making federal funding available to help those who suffered flood damages from January 21-23 in San Diego County, including residents and businesses. 

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service. 

The President ordered federal assistance to supplement state tribal, and local recovery efforts from the severe storm.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

The federal disaster declaration comes three weeks after it was requested by both Governor Gavin Newsom and San Diego Congresswoman Sara Jacob.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

VIEW VIDEO OF 79TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT FORUM AND READ CANDIDATE PROFILES

 

Update February 19, 2024-- Video of this candidate forum is now posted.  View the forum here:  79th State Assembly Forum 2/3/2024 (youtube.com)

By Jessyka Heredia 

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Photo, left to right:  Mayor Racquel Vasquez, Councilman Colin Parent, and County Office of Education Community Engagement Specialist LaShea Sharp-Collins.

January 31, 2024 (East County) --Three Democrats are running for the 79th District State Assembly seat on March 5th . Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez, La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent and Dr. LaShae Sharp- Collins. There are no Republicans in this race.

All three candidates will be attending a public forum being held Saturday February 3rd, 2024 at the Lemon Grove Library at  2 p.m. The library is located at 3001 School Ln, Lemon Grove, CA 91945

With three strong names in the same party competing, it may be hard for voters to decipher the differences. ECM breaks down their experience, accomplishments, the goals they have outlined in their campaigned, and key endorsements.

WORLD BOOK DAY: FEBRUARY 23

By Jonathan Goetz

February 19, 2024 (La Mesa) -- World Book Day is an annual event organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. The main purpose of World Book Day is to encourage people of all ages to discover the joy of books and reading. It also aims to support authors and publishers by raising awareness of their work and protecting their rights, according to Bing's Copilot. It is celebrated on February 23 in many countries around the world, including the United States.

The San Diego County Library offers a wide variety of books, as well as e-books and Kindle books, all free to readers.  Or find a list of top-rated San Diego County bookstores here:  visitcalifornia.com/bookstores-san-diego/
 

EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY JUNIOR FAIR AND BBQ MARCH 17 IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

February 19, 2024 (Lakeside) — Here’s an event to squeal about! A tradition since 1947, the Eastern San Diego County Junior Fair will be held on Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds (12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside). 

4TH FRIDAY COMEDY AT SPACEBAR CAFE AND WINE BISTRO

By Jonathan Goetz

February 19, 2024 (La Mesa) -- Comedians Gene Levin and Carol Johnson are the dynamic duo behind the 4th Friday Comedy show, held every month at SpaceBar Cafe & Wine Bistro. This delightful event has become one of the longest-running free comedy shows in our region, drawing laughter-loving audiences from near and far.

Event Details:

Venue: SpaceBar Cafe & Wine Bistro

Address: 7454 University Avenue, Suite A, La Mesa, CA 91942

Date: February 23, 2024

Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

February 19, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

February 19, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LA MESA SEEKS ARTISTS FOR WALKWAY OF THE STARS: DEADLINE MARCH 8

East County News Service

February 19, 2024 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa is seeking proposals for the La Mesa “Walkway of the Stars” Mural Project in downtown La Mesa. The “Walkway of the Stars” is a pedestrian walkway located between the Allison Avenue municipal parking lot and La Mesa Boulevard that was transformed into an urban park in downtown La Mesa in 2003.

The walkway features decorative stone stars with the names of volunteers who have given 10,000 hours or more of service to the City of La Mesa and eight (8) community murals painted in 2003 depicting volunteerism in the City. This project will create up to eight new murals along the walls of the walkway. 

DOG PARK OPENS IN ALLIED GARDENS

East County News Service

 

Photo: New Allied Gardens Off-Leash Dog Park; screen shot, @AGGCcouncil via Facebook 

February 19, 2024 (Allied Gardens) – A new dog park opened last weekend in San Diego’s Allied Gardens neighborhood for pet owners to bring their dogs to frolic off-leash. The new park, next to the Allied Gardens Pool at 6707 Glenroy Street in San Diego, is larger than most other local dog parks.

SEX OFFENDER FOUND GUILTY OF SEX ACTS WITH MINOR IN EL CAJON MOTEL

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2024 (El Cajon) – A convicted sex offender, Michael Inman, was convicted Wednesday on four felony sex offenses including sex with a 16-year-old girl at a Motel 6 on Montrose Court in El Cajon. His co-defendant, Larry Cantrell, pleaded guilty last month to several sexual offenses.

SDSU BASEBALL POWERS PAST PORTLAND 7-1

Aztec head coach Shaun Cole earns first career victory

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 18, 2024 (San Diego) - Fine pitching and timely hitting were on display for the San Diego State baseball team Sunday as the Aztecs salvaged the finale of a three-game weekend series with a 7-1 triumph over Portland at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

SDSU SOFTBALL RALLIES PAST LMU 8-5 IN CAMPBELL/CARTIER CLASSIC FINALE

SDSU scores seven runs over final two innings for comeback victory

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 18, 2024 (San Diego) - San Diego State scored the final seven runs to rally for an 8-5 victory over LMU in the final game of the 33rd annual Campbell/Cartier Classic Sunday at SDSU Softball Stadium.

FLOOD WATCH ISSUED SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

February 18, 2024 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for  San Diego County’s mountains, valleys, and coasts,  as well as portions of Orange, Riverside,  San Bernadino ,Los Angeles and Oxnard counties. The watch is in effect tonight through Wednesday morning due to a Pacific storm moving into our region expected to bring up to 1.5 inches of rain locally.

A low pressure system from the north is forecast to bring widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms, with moderate to heavy rains capable of flooding in urban and low-lying areas.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SIGN A PETITION TO SAVE SAN DIEGO RODEOS

By Shiloh Ireland

February 18, 2024 (San Diego) --The San Diego City Council is examining the termination of rodeos in the city limits of San Diego after one horse had a mild injury in a performance in last week's first rodeo at Petco Park. Veterinarian care was immediate and on site. Follow up care determined a full recovery. The incident was a Native American custom. The rider suffered no lasting injuries.

 Activists have exacerbated the incident and are applying pressure to the San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and the San Diego City Council. At this time, at least one council member has proposed a ban on rodeos in city limits. The attack is on our Western Tradition with many safeguards in place and with many rodeos in the State of California with few incidents and adequate safeguards.

RAINS RETURN MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2024 (San Diego)—After a dry weekend, a Pacific storm is forecast to move through Southern California starting with light rain Monday, with the heaviest rainfall Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Counties to the north of San Diego are slated to get the worst impacts of this storm. However, a flood watch is possible for northern areas of  San Diego County Monday through Wednesday. San Diego’s mountains, valleys and coastal areas could get up to 1.5 inches of rain, while deserts will have between a trace and a half inch of rain.

NY ATTORNEY GENERAL WINS HUGE FRAUD VERDICT AGAINST TRUMP: JUDGE ORDERS FORMER PRESIDENT TO PAY $355 MILLION PENALTY

“We are holding him accountable for lying, cheating, and a lack of contrition...because there cannot be different rules for different people in this country, and former presidents are no exception.” – New York Attorney General Letitia James (photo, left)

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2024 (New York, NY) – Donald Trump has been ordered to pay a $354.1 million penalty for fraudulently inflating his net worth a the value of his real estate holdings in order to obtain bank loans. In the New York civil trial, Judge Arthur Engoron also barred Trump from running a business in New York for two years and ordered that a monitor oversee Trump Organization’s business dealings. Two of his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., were each fined $4 million and prohibited from running the company for three more years.

This is not the first time that Trump has been found to have committed fraud.  His family charity and Trump University both shut down after separate courts found them to have engaged in fraud.

JANUARY SEES SHARP DROP IN BORDER CROSSINGS AFTER A RECORD-SETTING DECEMBER

 
 
February 18, 2024 (Washington, D.C.) -- Border encounters plunged from record highs of more than 300,000 in December to 176,205 in January, a 42% drop that Customs and Border Protection attributed to enforcement efforts and a traditional seasonal drop.

THREE CANDIDATES FACE OFF IN THE 76TH ASSEMBLY RACE

By Michael Howard

 

Photos courtesy of the candidates' campaigns, left to right: Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane and Democrats Darshana Patel and Joseph Rocha

February 17, 2024 (San Diego, CA) – Three candidates in the upcoming March 5 primaries are vying for the open California 76th Assembly seat vacated by Brian Maienschein (D), who announced he was running for the city of San Diego’s City Attorney this election cycle.

A former Republican, Maienschein switched to the Democratic party in 2019 before running against Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane in the 2022 general election for the seat, where he won by a 6% margin, 78,895 votes to Bruce-Lane’s 73,944.

Bruce-Lane will be the sole Republican in the race this year, facing two Democratic candidates, Joseph Rocha and Darshana Patel. All three candidates look to represent a mostly inland North County district with a population of around 471,000.

THESE PARENTS FOUGHT CALIFORNIA'S PANDEMIC SCHOOLING AND WON. NOW WHAT?

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo: Mario Ramirez Garcia, 10, attends online class in the bedroom he shares with his sister on April 23, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

February 17, 2024 (Sacramento) -- At the height of the pandemic, in spring 2020, Maria O. her husband and four children were quarantined in their one-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles, each vying for privacy, quiet and adequate technology to work and attend school remotely.

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CRUISES TO 90-62 WIN OVER UTAH STATE

The Aztecs' 90 points was a season-high

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 17, 2024 (San Diego) - The San Diego State women’s basketball team (17-10, 8-6) cruised to a 90-62 win over Utah State (4-21, 1-13) inside Viejas Arena Saturday afternoon. SDSU had five players score in double-digits and their 90 points was a season-high.

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