PRODUCE PICKS: MELON SEASON IS HERE (CALIFORNIA GROWN)

BRUSH FIRE IN DEHESA: FORWARD SPREAD HALTED

JUDGE TEMPORARILY HALTS DEPORTATIONS OF IRAQIS NATIONWIDE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 30 - JULY 29

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA’S CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUN LIMITS

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KILLS SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THIS YEAR

ALPINE RESIDENTS SEEK HELP TO FIND SUSPECTS CAUGHT ON TAPE PLANTING FIRECRACKER UNDER CHILD’S WINDOW

FIRE NEAR MESA GRANDE RESERVATION THREATENS HOMES

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MORGAN COOK, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO REP. HUNTER

FIND YOUR INNER COWBOY AT THE COUNTY FAIR

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JUNE 25 - JULY 29

CA GROUPS: SENATE HEALTH BILL "MORE DRACONIAN" THAN HOUSE VERSION

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KILLS SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THIS YEAR

 

Cost is key concern, though measure could advance with reforms in 2018

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (Sacramento) – Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has pulled the plug on the Healthy California Act, or Senate Bill 562, which would have provided free universal healthcare to all Californians.

HUESO BILL WOULD HELP PROTECT TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY AFTER SEWAGE SPILLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 507 to help protect the Tijuana River Valley in the wake of repeated severe sewage spills from Mexico, including a spill in February that dumped an estimated 28 to 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the valley.

CO-AUTHOR OF LA MESA’S MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY INITIATIVE NOW FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (La Mesa) – Jessica McElfresh is an attorney who co-authored Measure U, the ballot measure approved by La Mesa voters to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate legally in the city.  Now she’s facing felony charges of conspiring to use flammable, volatile and toxic chemicals to extract hash oil from marijuana and sell it out of state. She is also accused of misleading investigators, helping her client hide illegal operations, and destroying evidence.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER GREG PALAST SPEAKS JUNE 30 IN SAN DIEGO ON “SAVING DEMOCRACY: HOW WE CAN PREVENT THE NEXT ELECTION THEFT”

 

East County News Service

June 26, 2017 (San Diego) –  Investivative reporter Greg Palast, producer of the feature film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, will headline a beneit event for KNSJ radio on  Friday, june30 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front Street in san Diego. His presentation is titled “Saving Democracy: How we can prevent the next election theft.”

ALPINE RESIDENTS SEEK HELP TO FIND SUSPECTS CAUGHT ON TAPE PLANTING FIRECRACKER UNDER CHILD’S WINDOW

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2017 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Network (ACN) reports that on the morning of June 21st,  an Alpine resident found a large “fireworks” placed under a tree beneath a child’s window, where it could have caused major damage, injury or a fire.

Neighbors’ surveillance cameras reveal young men in a sedan got out and planted the lit firecracker intentionally, then sped off in the vehicle with other occupants. View two videos from different angles:  https://www.facebook.com/jill.deprizio/videos/10100949687765259/ https://www.facebook.com/jill.deprizio/videos/10100949687051689/

FIRE NEAR MESA GRANDE RESERVATION THREATENS HOMES

 

Update:  Cal Fire has corrected the size of this fire to 46 acres based on more accurate mapping.  Evacuated residents have been allowed to return home.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

June 25, 2017 2:15 p.m. (Mesa Grande) – A brush fire burning in Cleveland National Forest has scorched 75 acres and is now threatening two homes, Cal Fire reports.  The blaze began on Black Canyon Road near the Mesa Grande Reservation, about a mile north of Lake Sutherland in Ramona.

The fire is burning at a moderate rate of spread and is zero percent contained. Cal Fire is battling the blaze along with U.S. Forest Service firefighters.  #BlackFire.

If you have photos, eyewitness reports or other information please email editor@eastcountymagazine.org and post in comments below.

BORREGO SUN PUBLISHER NOT ON BOARD WHEN HIS PLANE BROKE APART ON LANDING

 

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2017 (Borrego) – A private plane owned by Borrego Sun publisher Patrick Meehan broke apart during what the pilot described as a “nice and soft” landing last week.  The incident forced closure of Palomar Airport for several hours.

Meehan was not on board and there were no injuries.

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE JULY 28 AT JULIAN TOWN HALL

 

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2017 (Julian) – The Julian Triangle Club invites you to help solve a hilarious crime at a murder mystery theater set for July 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the historic Julian town hall ‘s lower level (2129 Main Street, Julian).  Dinner will be catered by Jeremy’s On the Hill.

FIELD DAY FOR LAKESIDE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo:  Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Paul Rios by Anselmo Ruiz-Nevarez

June 25, 2017 (Lakeside) -- “You talk to Martians?”  That’s a question Lakeside Amateur Radio Club chairman KC6QLS said they have been asked. He and the club members were setting up, from antennas to canopies, for Field Day on June 23.   Field day is ham radio’s open house, so to speak, and runs from June 24-25.  KC6QLS followed up with the answer “They’re not answering.” Part and parcel for what they get asked.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MORGAN COOK, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO REP. HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview by clicking the audio link above.

June 25, 2017 (San Diego) – East County Magazine sat down for an interview with Morgan,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reporter who has been named “Journalist of the Year” by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in San Diego. 

In our exclusive interview, aired earlier this month on KNSJ radio, we asked what led her to investigate Congressman Duncan D. Hunter’s campaign finances, how his office responded, and what challenges she faced in her investigation.  Cook’s findings helped lead to an ongoing U.S. Justice Department criminal probe of allegations that Hunter spent lavish sums on personal expenditures and charged them to his campaign, including a family vacation to Italy , expensive jewelry, resort visits, money paid to his children’s school, first-class airfare for his son’s pet rabbit, and more. 

Audio: 

LISTEN NOW: OUR APRIL 2017 RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE

 

 

 June 25, 2017 (San Diego's East County)-- Our April 2017 radio shows are now online. For links to listen to the shows plus a full list of topics an interviews, click here, or click "read more" and scroll down. (Sound files may take a few moments to load).

Our newsmaker interviews included Dave Myers, who is running for Sheriff, 50th Congressional district candidates Pete Beauregard and Gloria Chadwick, and former homeless veteran John Ford, who now runs a pool safety company. We also covered top local, state and national news, from Earth Day activities to Women’s History Month to the border wall and immigration reforms.

 The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.  Read more and listen to our April shows:

FIND YOUR INNER COWBOY AT THE COUNTY FAIR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2017 (Del Mar) – Whether you’re hankering to watch a Wild West shootout, taste a bacon-wrapped cactus or sip a glass of Screamin’ Chief 4th Alarm grand cuvee wine, you’ll find plenty to  hold your attention at the 2017 San Diego County Fair at Del Mar.

This year’s theme is “How the West was won.”   So we started our visit by moseying through a tunnel to Frontier Town, which is here until July 2. The fair itself runs through the 4th of July.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CHANGE THE CHEMISTRY ON THE ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

 

By M. Harris

Photo: Creative commons image by Amin Eshaiker, via Wikipedia

June 24, 2017 (Alpine) -- I am an Alpine resident who attended the Alpine Community Planning Group meetings in September 2016 and again in May 2017. What follows are some of my thoughts about both meetings.

ROBERT BRANCH, WHO VIDEOTAPED CHOKEHOLD AND FILED SUIT AGAINST SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, IS ACQUITTED ON ALL CHARGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2017 (San Diego) – Robert Branch, a security officer charged with criminal offenses after he filed a civil rights lawsuit against the San Diego Sheriff’s Department alleging excessive use of force has been acquitted of all charges.  Branch’s evidence included a cell phone video he took as off-duty Sheriff’s detective Paul Ward choked him into unconsciousness in Del Cerro.

Branch, who is African-American, has said Ward swerved to block him from passing on an onramp, forcing him onto the shoulder, then pursued him for 10 miles before Branch pulled off I-8 in Del Cerro, where the confrontation occurred. Ward claimed Branch passed him on I-8 and nearly struck his vehicle.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY WINES GET "BETTER AND BETTER"

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 23, 2017 (Ramona) - San Diego County winemakers picked up a record number of 22 gold awards, including 5 double gold, for outstanding wine at the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) Awards Dinner for the 2017 Lum Eisenman Wine Competition held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at the San Vicente Resort in Ramona, Calif.

PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT UNITES PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE

 

 

By Rachel Williams

Video:  interview with homeless woman Lorraine Leighton

June 23, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Lorraine Leighton was among hundreds of homeless people who connected at Rock Church in El Cajon on June 2nd. More than 30 organizations offered health care and legal services for rebuilding a healthy, safe life.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES PLANNED OVERNIGHT OUTAGE MONDAY IN SHELTER VALLEY AND PORTIONS OF JULIAN

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

June 23, 2017 (Julian-Shelter Valley) –  A planned power outage is scheduled  starting at 9 p.m. on Monday night,  June 26 through  6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 27 in the Shelter Valley area and the outskirts of Julian; a majority of the customers are in the eastern Julian area surrounding Banner Grade, SDG&E has announced.  Julian’s downtown historic district will not be affected.

The outage is needed to replace older power lines and equipment to make the system more weather- and fire-resilient. 

Below is the notice from SDG&E with full details for customers in the affected areas:

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JUNE 25 - JULY 29

 

East County News Service

June 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the return of caboose rides at the Campo railway depot, the Broadway Tenors onstage at Sycuan, a flea market in Alpine, and Elvis tribute artist Scott Bruce in El Cajon.

Plus, we have a preview coming attractions including Fourth of July fireworks, parades and picnics, Descanso Days, the Pine Valley Parade, astronomy on Mt. Helix, and music superstars Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey coming to the Viejas Arena at San Diego State.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

OLD POWAY PARK HOSTS OLD-FASHIONED INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION—TURN-OF-THE CENTURY STYLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2017 (Poway) – Experience an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration complete much as people at the end of the 1900s would have done.  The fun includes patriotic entertainment, gun fighting reenactments and rides on a historic railway train—as well as tasty treats, crafts, old-fashioned games and entertainment at Old Poway Park (14134 Midland Road, Poway) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CA GROUPS: SENATE HEALTH BILL "MORE DRACONIAN" THAN HOUSE VERSION

 

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

June 23, 2017 (Sacramento) --  Health advocates warn the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare would cause millions of Californians to lose their healthcare - by phasing out the Medicaid expansion and then capping the program altogether.

The "Better Care Reconciliation Act" or BCRA, lifts the government mandate for people to have insurance, and lets states allow insurance policies that exclude services like maternity and mental-health care.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit Health Access California, says the bill would harm many different groups.  "It still eliminates the Medicaid expansion that 4 million Californians depend on," he says. "But it also has a harsher cap on the entire program, which 14 million Californians depend on - including a third of the state, half of all children, and two-thirds of all nursing-home residents."

The Senate bill also lets insurance companies charge Americans ages 50 to 64 five times what younger people pay, compared to the current limit of three times. And it lifts a ban on charging much higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions.

FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Updated with more special Independence Day events.

East County News Service

June19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Julian’s Fourth of July Parade, El Cajon’ Independence Day picnic with fireworks and the  Santee Salutes patriot celebration are cherished annual traditions in East County.  Below are details. If you know of an East County Fourth of July activity we’ve missed, please email editor@eastcountymagazine.rog and post details in our comments section below.

LUAU IN LA MESA: NEXT BOULEVARD STROLL JULY 11

 

East County News Service

June 22, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Village Association invite you to the next Boulevard Stroll, which features a luau theme on July 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.  In addition to leis, music, art and specials at local merchants, participating restaurants are encouraged to serve up Hawaiian drinks or Happy Hour themed specials.

Activities confirmed so far include:

SOMETIMES IT TAKES COURAGE TO CALL FOR HELP

 

 

When Angela and her husband were facing difficulties, they did not know where to turn for help. But one organization stepped up and gave them all the support they needed, and more.

Courage to Call is a free, confidential, veteran-staffed 24/7 helpline dedicated to assisting active duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, guard members, and their families, regardless of discharge status, through information, guidance, and referrals.

NATIONAL HOUSING EXPERT HIRED AS CEO OF NEW REGIONAL TASK FORCE ON HOMELESS: WALKER LED EFFORTS THAT REDUCED CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS 90% IN UTAH

 

Gordon D. Walker will direct agency charged with overseeing regional homeless planning and local distribution of federal homeless and affordable housing dollars       

Source: County News Service

June 22, 2017 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) has selected Gordon D. Walker as its new chief executive officer. Walker most recently served as director of Utah’s Division of Housing and Community Development where he gained national attention for his efforts to reduce homelessness.

The Los Angeles Times reports in an article today that Utah has reduced its chronic homeless population by 91 percent.  From 2oo5, when Utah state officials began placing people in permanent housing, there were 1,932 chronically homeless people. Today, nearly all of those are housed, with only 178 chronically homeless people in the entire state of Utah – and officials have their sights set on soon bringing that number down to zero through an approach that is compassionate, not punitive.

TRAVEL + LEISURE CHOOSES RAMONA WINERY VINEYARD GRANT JAMES AS #2 WINERY IN U.S. TO VISIT

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 22, 2017 (Ramona) --Travel + Leisure, a leading travel publication, recently named Vineyard Grant James, located in San Diego County’s Ramona Valley wine region, the number two winery in the United States in its list of “a few select vineyards around the country that go above and beyond to astound visitors.”

RVVA WINES RECEIVE TOP AWARDS AT THE TOAST OF THE COAST WINE COMPETITION

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 22, 2017 (Ramona) -- The Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) announced that a total of thirteen wines from six of its winery members received top awards from the sixth annual The Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. The competition is produced by the 22nd District Agricultural Association in conjunction with the San Diego County Fair. 

CHA CHA’S SNAKE PIT CHALLENGE TO HELP THE HUNGRY: JUNE 24 AT GROSSMONT CENTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2017 (La Mesa)  -- Radio personality Cha Cha from106.7 FM will scale new heights –and slither in new depths—all to help the hungry. She’ll be broadcasting from inside an exotic jungle snake pit  at Grossmont Center’s courtyard on Saturday, June 24 starting at noon – and she won’t come out until at least 1,057 canned goods or dry food items are donated to help the Jacob and Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

You’re invited to face your fears and help fight hunger in our community. Bring canned or dry food items and hold a snake from the San Diego Reptile Association.  Post a picture of you overcoming your fears on Twitter or Instagram, and challenge others to do it too! Use the hashtag #SnakePitChallenge and tag 105.7 MAX FM. (Or skip the snake and just donate.)

LAKE MURRAY MUSIC FEST AND FIREWORKS RETURNS JULY 4

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2017 (La Mesa) -- After several years on hiatus, the beloved San Diego Lake Murray Music Fest and Fireworks show is coming back on July 4th from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the fireworks show at 9 p.m. The music fest is held at Lake Murray Community Park in San Carlos (5540 Kiowa Drive, La Mesa, off Lake Murray Blvd.). 

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