PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY NINE: GEOPPER GETS TO SILVER, BOWE FINISHES IN THE TOP FIVE

PADRES SIGN FREE AGENT ERIC HOSMER

PYEONCHANG RECAP: LILLIS WINS AERIALS QUALIFIER; JHK STEALS SILVER; WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SKIING PLACES BEST-EVER FIFTH

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR MARDI GRAS DINNER PARTY FEB. 28!

PYEONCHANG RECAP: NATHAN CHEN CATAPULTS TO FIFTH; HOCKEY BOUNCES BACK

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

RETIRED FIREFIGHTER BECOMES HIGHWAY “HERO” IN EAST COUNTY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 17-APRIL 24

MAN TRIES TO KIDNAP WOMAN AT MAILBOX IN WARNER SPRINGS

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK HELP TO FIND HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO LEFT FATALLY INJURED WOMAN IN ROADWAY

JULIAN FAMILY FIDDLE CAMP RECEIVES IBMA FOUNDATION GRANT

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WALK OUT OF CLASSES TO PROTEST AGGRESSIVE ARREST OF SUSPENDED STUDENT

 

By Paul Kruze

Watch ECM news partner 10News Video of students speaking at Helix

Update January 24, 2018:  La Mesa Police have identified the officer, Scott Wulfing, and indicated he is assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation.

January 23, 2018 (La Mesa) -- A group of some 200 students at Helix Charter High School on Monday morning walked out of their classes and gathered in front of the school chanting “Justice for Bri” to protest the aggressive arrest of an allegedly unruly 17-year-old female student on Friday afternoon.

The officer forced the handcuffed African-American girl, who has not been identified, to the ground. The San Diego Union-Tribune today reports that the La Mesa Police Department's school resources officer for Helix has been reassigned and will not be working in any schools until an investigation is concluded.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE FUNDS FOR MORE CAMERAS TO SPOT WILDFIRES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  HPWREN images of Chariot Fire in 2013

January 23, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Five more cameras will soon be positioned atop mountains in East County to help spot wildfires and help firefighters douse flames early to prevent firestorms.  Supervisors on Tuesday approved funds to expand the UCSD Scripps Institute’s High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network, or HPWREN.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: WOLF PACK EMERGE VICTORIOUS IN LOW-SCORING CLASH OF THE HILLS

 

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

January 23, 2018 (Spring Valley) - ECM traveled to Granite Hills on Tuesday night for a clash between the lady Eagles and the lady Wolf Pack on the court.  Granite Hills has started their season a little lackluster, going 7-10 overall and 1-1 in league.  The Wolf Pack sport the same 7-10 record, but are undefeated so far in league, going 2-0.

SANDAG COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MEETING MOVES TO EAST COUNTY FOR PUBLIC INPUT TONIGHT IN SANTEE

 

Third Session in a Series of Subregional Community Engagement Meetings

January 23, 2018 (Santee) -- The San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors is conducting a nationwide search for a new executive director to lead the agency. As part of that process, the Board is seeking input from the community at a series of public meetings and through an online survey hosted by the firm hired to conduct the recruitment.

COUNTY ENDS HEPATITIS EMERGENCY; EL CAJON BAN ON FEEDING HOMELESS IN PARKS ALSO ENDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

After four weeks with no new cases associated with the local hepatitis A outbreak reported, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday ending the local public health emergency which began September 1st.

El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick advised East County Magazine today that sunset language in its temporary ban on feeding the homeless in public places means the measure has officially expired, effective immediately.  So it’s now legal once again for organizations to feed the homeless in El Cajon’s parks or other public property.

GONZALEZ FLETCHER BILL WOULD BAN GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FROM GIVING VOUCHERS TO STORES THAT SELL GUNS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced a bill this week that would prohibit public agencies during gun buy-back events from handing out taxpayer-funded vouchers to any store that sells firearms.

CALIFORNIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WANTS INSURERS TO PASS FEDERAL TAX SAVINGS ON TO CUSTOMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Sacramento) — The federal tax reform measure recently enacted reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.  California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones observes, “That means that nationally insurers will now be able to retain even more of policyholder premiums as profit. However, in California the prior approval process that applies to property and casualty insurance rates limits insurer profits.”

GUHSD HONORS CIF CHAMPION TEAMS FROM HELIX, STEELE CANYON AND MONTE VISTA

 

Board also names West Hills Gymnasium for David C. Hunter

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Steele Canyon High School 2017 CIF-SDS Football Champions - Division II, 2017 CIF SoCal Regional Football Champions - Division 3-A and 2017 CIF State Champions – Division 3A, January 22, 2018

January 23, 2018 (El Cajon) - At Monday’s Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Board Meeting, recognition was given to top sports teams for their victories and their “sportsmanlike” conduct.

Helix Charter, Monte Vista and Steele Canyon high schools all won CIF-SDS 2017 Champions, and West Hills Gymnasium is named in honor of David C. Hunter after a GUHSD vote, while the Steele Canyon 2017 SoCal Regional Football Champions and “West Hills Way” were accoladed as being “sportsmanlike.”

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

RAMONA PLUMBER-TURNED-AUTHOR DEBUTS NEW BOOK “ALL ABOUT WATER” FEB. 7

 

East County News Service

 

January 22, 2018 (Ramona) -- Ramona Author and local plumber Greg Chick will be at Unicorn Books and Gifts, 845 Main Street, Ramona, CA on Wednesday, February 7th from 4 to 6 p.m.  Chick will be available to sign copies and discuss his new book, All About Water: As Told by The Plumber Who's Seen It All.

COLLEGE DISTRICT'S 14-YEAR RECORD OF SPOTLESS INDEPENDENT AUDITS REMAINS INTACT

 

Source: Grossmont Community College District

Photo:  An architectural rendering of Grossmont College’s new Performing and Visual Arts Center currently under construction

January 23, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Continuing a winning streak that would be envy of any sports franchise, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s excellent fiscal practices have once again received top marks from independent auditors for the 14th straight year.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WHITE PELICANS AND OSPREY AT LAKE JENNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2018 (Lake Jennings) – I went to Lake Jennings today hoping to see bald eagles recently spotted there. Instead, I found an osprey perched atop a eucalyptus tree. Nearby, a migratory white pelican in the lake was quickly joined by another pelican swooping in for a landing; I later saw several more.

ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL DARK SKIES DESIGNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photos credited to ©Dennis Mammana/dennismammana.com

January 22, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Night sky photographer Dennis Mammana made this announcement Friday on Facebook: “Proud to announce that our thousand-square-mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has just received its official designation as an International Dark Sky Park. That means that the Dark Sky Community of Borrego Springs is now completely surrounded by an official Dark Sky Park!”

READER'S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITY OF EL CAJON ON THE FOOD SHARING BAN

 

By Raymond Lutz, Citizens Overnight

January 22, 2018 (El Cajon) - Greetings:

I am writing today about the failed policy to cite or arrest people who are sharing food at parks, and the related Hepatitis A outbreak.

El Cajon is getting a national reputation, and it isn’t a good one. I noticed a recent Facebook video on the subject – https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1778159485607501/ – received more than three million views. We can’t afford to get this type of publicity!

HEARING ON LAKE JENNINGS MARKETPLACE BEFORE SUPERVISORS ON WEDNESDAY

 

 

Update January 24, 2018:  Supervisors voted 4-0 yesterday to approve this, with Supervisor Horn absent due to leaving early.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Joe Brunetto, owner of Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant and Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, speak out against retail project proposed for land visible in background

January 22, 2018 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing Wednesday on Lake Jennings Marketplace, a proposed retail strip shopping center on Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside.  The project by South Coast Development requires approval of an environmental impact report,  a General Plan amendment and rezoning  of residential land  to commercial.

But opponents say the developer earlier promised to build multi-family housing on the site, not a shopping center.  Cleveland National Forest Association (CNFF) and a local restaurant owner are heading up opposition to the project, saying what the community needs is housing, not more retail. 

HELP SAVE AND RECONSTRUCT THE FORMER ALPINE MINE TRAIN EXHIBIT

 

Source: Campo Railroad Park & Museum

January 22, 2018 (Campo) -- The Campo Railroad Park & Museum has set up a donation page to help offset the costs of relocating and reconstructing the former Alpine train lovingly operated for children of all ages by Roy Athey. 

The Museum is committed to keeping the legacy alive in Campo with a dynamic exhibit of not only the train ride but also to include a faux mine complete with mining equipment to explain San Diego County’s many gold and precious metal mines.  Moving the train and setting it up was an unexpected gift and funds are simply not available today to put it back together. 

USE OF FORCE AGAINST HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT DRAWS PROTESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (La Mesa) – A video showing a La Mesa Police officer  slamming a handcuffed 17-year-old  female student at Helix Charter High School to the ground Friday afternoon has drawn over 17,000 views on social media, with a protest planned Monday morning on campus.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO GILLESPIE FIELD NEIGHBORS: A DAUNTING YEAR AHEAD WITH AIRPORT EXPANSION AND MORE

 

By Sue Strom, Advocates of Safe Airport Policies (ASAP)

January 21, 2018 (El Cajon) -- We hope your year is off to a happy and healthy start.  However, for those of us concerned about heavy local traffic, safety, noise, toxic air and lead overhead, with protections for homeowners few and far between, the new year is already daunting.

FAA approval for an increase in air traffic... a state of the art flight training center... the lengthening of the 27L training runway...the redesign and enlargement of the Bradley Street interchange off hwy 67... and the development of 9 five acre parcels of land for aviation usage called the Cajon Air Center are all coming together step by step over the next several years to form the perfect storm.

READER’S EDITORIAL: KEEP ALPINE’S SMALL TOWN CHARM

 

An open letter to County Planning and Development Services by Mary Harris

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- I don't want future development projects in Alpine to include designs that are not consistent with keeping the small town charm of Alpine. We have already seen many developments in Alpine that make our town resemble our nearest city, El Cajon. I do not want to see conformity in designs that lack character. Examples of this that we have already been forced to accept are the Albertson's shopping center.Albertson's design shows no attempt to fit in to our towns historic rural feel, but instead looks like a typical store one would see in El Cajon. No effort was made to include creative facades, water features, or shade bearing trees.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WOMEN’S MARCH 2018 SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) - An estimated 37,000 people took to the streets of downtown San Diego for the second annual women’s march protesting policies of the Trump administration, according to San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.  Zimmerman tweeted photos of the large crowd, adding, “All of us thank you for saying hello throughout the rally and walk.”

6.3 EARTHQUAKE IN GULF OF MEXICO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) -- A 6.3 earthquake struck in the Gulf of California at 8:17 a.m. approximately 48.4 miles North-Northeast of Loreto and 76.5 miles southwest of Pueblo Yaqui in Mexico, according to an alert sent by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The quake is not yet posted on the USGS quake events webpage, perhaps due to the furlough of federal employees during the government shutdown.

There have been several smaller quakes in the past week along the same fault line, including some farther north and one small tremor north of the border in Seeley. 

SONORA STRIKES QUICK IN OVERTIME TO EDGE SOCKERS 12-11

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.

CALIFORNIA MAY BUCK CONGRESS WITH ITS OWN HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

 

By Elizabeth Aguilera, CALmatters

Photo:  A hospital emergency room entrance. Photo by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons

January 20, 2018 (Sacramento) - With Congress ending the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, California leaders are preparing to counter that move by securing health care for as many residents as possible in a fortified state insurance exchange.

FANITA RANCH DEVELOPERS REVAMP DESIGN TO BUILD MORE HOUSES AND OPEN SPACE

 

Traffic impacts remain key concerns

By Mike Allen

January 20, 2018 (Santee) -- HomeFed Corp., the developer of Fanita Ranch in north Santee, says its plan will preserve about three quarters of the 2,600-acre parcel as open space, while nearly doubling the number of houses it seeks to build on the site.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR OF EVENTS JAN. 21 - FEB. 4, 2018

 

Copyright 2018 by Sam Warren

"Every man's life ends the same way and it is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguishes one man from another." — Ernest Hemingway

January 20, 2018 (San Diego) – Find the latest literary happenings across our region, from book signings to lectures and writers’ chats. 

CLICK TO SCROLL DOWN FOR A LIST OF BOOK EVENTS

SDSU WOMEN'S HOOPS OUTLASTS NEW MEXICO 97-89

 

Fort, Murray finish with career-high point totals

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo:  McKynzie Fort scored 23 of her career-high 32 points in the second half on Saturday vs. UNM.  Courtesy goaztecs.com

January 20, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego State women’s basketball team stormed back from an early 10-point deficit to produce its highest point total of the season in a wild 97-89 victory over New Mexico on Saturday in a Mountain West showdown at Steve Fisher Court.

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