SPECIAL EDITION: BREAKING NEWS APRIL 1, 2015

COUNTY SELLS NAMING RIGHTS TO FIRE TRUCKS

LA MESA UNVEILS NEW LANDSCAPING PLAN

PARK STATION REVAMPS PLANS FOR HIGH RISE IN LA MESA

JAMUL INDIANS SCRAP CASINO PLANS, WILL BUILD CHARGERS STADIUM INSTEAD

SAVOR A TASTE OF JULIAN APRIL 11

TAKE OUR POLL: SHOULD AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES IN EAST COUNTY BE IMPROVED?

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ RECEIVES CESAR CHAVEZ FOUNDATION'S LEGACY AWARD

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB TO SPEAK AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST APRIL 14

SANTEE'S MAYOR VOEPEL VIES FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT AGAINST HUNTER AIDE HARRISON

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER DEFENDS DECISION NOT TO FIRE OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT; CITIZENS ASK FOR JUSTICE DEPT. PROBE

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

CUYAMACA COLLEGE PRESIDENT MARK ZACOVIC TO RETIRE

 

March 1, 2015 (El Cajon )--After a career spanning three decades in the California community college system, Cuyamaca College President Mark J. Zacovic has announced his retirement, effective June 30. Zacovic has served as president of Cuyamaca College, with about 9,000 students in Rancho San Diego, since July 2011. He led the college through some of the toughest budgetary challenges in the institution’s 37-year history, ensuring that students continued to receive a quality education while dealing with dramatic spending cuts from Sacramento.

HAVE A BALL FOR THE KIDS: BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY'S 49TH ANNUAL CHILDREN'S BALL MARCH 21

 

March 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County invites you to the 49th Annual Children's Ball, Saturday, March 21 at 6:00pm at the Omni San Diego Hotel.  Guests will enjoy the ambiance of our cocktail lounge complete with a combo, designer drinks, silent auction, grand drawing prizes and the ever famous seafood buffet.  In addition admission includes; dinner, a live auction, dancing and an opportunity to meet some very special Club Members.  This year, guests are invited to have a ball for the kids…with a fun and lively spring sports theme.

SHOOTING ON I-8 ONRAMP: MAN INJURED IN EL CAJON

 

March 2, 2015 (El Cajon) – A dark Toyota Tercel occupied by two Hispanic men in their 20s that left Sycuan Casino shortly after 3:30 a.m. The Toyota reportedly followed a couple in a pickup truck, then opened fire just before the vehicle entered eastbound I-8 from the West Main Street onramp.  The driver of the pickup was struck by a bullet in his shoulder.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUSPECT HITS DEPUTY'S CAR HEAD-ON

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2015 (Santee)—Eddie Martin, a 41-year-old man wanted for a domestic violence incident, is under arrest after fleeing, then crashing head-first into a responding deputy’s patrol car in Santee last night.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT BOARD ANNEXES PEPPER DRIVE AREA

 

By Paul Kruze

March 1, 2015 (Spring Valley)--After a couple of months getting familiar with their responsibilities and getting used to a trio of newly-elected colleagues, the San Miguel Fire District Board began to get down to business at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on February 11 at the district headquarters in Spring Valley.

BIRD TALK: TURKEY VULTURES

 

By Greg Dunne

Photos by Greg Dunne and Norman Banks                                         

February 28, 2015 (Lake Murray)--The Turkey Vulture is one of the largest birds in San Diego’s East County. With their bald red head and a wingspan of up to six feet, these birds stand out in many ways. You can usually see them soaring at low levels looking for food, using the thermals for gliding effortlessly.  You can also see their slivery-colored wings contrasting with the dark colors of the bird’s feathers.

CONSTRUCTION CLOSES 905 SOUTH INTO MEXICO FOR TWO NIGHTS, MARCH 11-12

Construction underway from Feb. 22 through March 27

February 26, 2015 (San Diego)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are notifying travelers of closures due to construction that may affect border crossers planning to use the Otay Mesa border crossing into Mexico during the month of March. 

CBP began construction last week to install a new truss system above the southbound vehicles lanes at the Otay Mesa border crossing that will support signage and technology at the border crossing.  The truss system will be located along State Route 905 south, past the last exit in the U.S. and before the international border with Mexico. Beginning this week, construction will be taking place only during the overnight hours, from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., beginning each week at 9 p.m. on Sunday evening, and finishing 6 a.m. Friday morning. 

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POWAY CHAMBER HOSTS MORNING BUZZ MARCH 11

 

March 3, 2015 (Poway)--The Poway Chamber of Commerce presents a new networking event, Morning Buzz, held on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30am at the Hamburger Factory, 14122 Midland Road, Poway. Morning Buzz breakfast meetings will take place on the second Wednesday of every month. There is a $10.00 registration fee that includes breakfast. Breakfast selections must be made when guests register.

OCEANLEAF AWARDS HONORS THOSE HELPING REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS FROM EAST AFRICA AND SOMALIA

 

By Janis Russell

March 1, 2015 (San Diego)- On Wednesday February 25, Somali Family Services held its third annual Oceanleaf awards celebration at the Four Points by Sheraton. Aaron Bruce,  a professor at San Diego State University, was the Master of Ceremonies. The theme this year was Honoring Communities Woven Together by Hope and Resilience.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN GONZALEZ PROPOSES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PUBLIC UTILITY EXECUTIVE BONUSES

 

AB 1266 Would Force Utilities to Receive Public Approval for Bonuses After Ratepayers Hit With Billions in New Costs

March 1, 2015 (Sacramento)--California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced Assembly Bill 1266 on Friday to require public utilities to justify executive bonus compensation at a public hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission following any federal safety violation that results in a cost of $5 million or more to ratepayers.

WILDFLOWERS ARE BLOOMING IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT

 

 

February 28, 2015 (Borrego) - Wildflower season has begun and annual flowers, including purple phacelia and yellow desert dandelion, are blooming at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center.

ISIS SEIZES HUNDREDS OF CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA

 

Trials by ISIS underway as some captives reportedly freed; local Chaldean leaders speak out on crisis

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Open Doors

March 1,2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Fears mount for hundreds of Assyrian Christians taken captive by ISIS last week, amid reports that the self-proclaimed Islamic State militants are putting hostages on trial, though some reports indicate that a handful have been freed. 

The hostages include at least 262 men, women and children taken from villages in northeastern Syria, CNN reports.  Open Doors USA, an organization serving persecuted Christians worldwide, reports the captives include 72 families.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO CHALDEANS, ASSYRIANS AND SYRIACS WORLWIDE

 

By Ben Kalasho, Founder and President, San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

March 1, 2015 (El Cajon)--When news broke six days ago of more than 200 Assyrians kidnapped by (Da’ash) ISIS, I was on a telephone conference with my high profile contacts on the ground in Kurdish Controlled Areas of Northern Iraq discussing the destruction of Iraqi antiquities dating from the 9th Century BC by ISIS thugs. The report came to me that over 200 Assyrians were kidnapped in the town of Tal Tamr in the Hasaka Province, and other villages in Syria including Tal Hurmoz, Tal Shamiram, Tal Rumman, Tal Nasra which are home to many Assyrians and Syriacs.

MEDIA WATCH: INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN CRISIS

 

 

 

New report finds over 500 important stories went unreported in last five years because of a squeeze on investigative reporters, and that freelance investigative journalists are an endangered species. 

Source: Project Word. The report can be downloaded here.

February 28, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--The report, which was conducted by Project Word, under the auspices of Investigative Reporters and Editors, shares the results of a 2014 survey that collected feedback from over 200 freelance investigative journalists. Based in 36 states and 26 countries the respondents represented all ages, media beats, and experience levels.

FEES TO READ NON-SMART METERS TO END AFTER 3 YEARS

 

East Count Magazine News Service

February 28, 2015 (San Diego) – Utility ratepayers who have been paying a monthly fee for opting out of having a smart meter will soon get a reprieve.

PG&E SUGGESTED "PROZAC" FOR THOSE INJURED BY SMART METERS

 

CPUC Chair Peevey complained his own bills went up after smart meter installed;  

Edison pushed higher fees to force smart meters on the poor

Consumer watchdog groups have analyzed 120,000 e-mails and attachments released by the California Public Utilities Commission. The emails suggest smart meter fees were deliberately set high to discourage opting out analog meters, even when those leading the CPUC admitted in e-mails that smart meters emitting pulsed microwave radiation were harming Californians.

By Josh Hart, Stop Smart Meters

February 28, 2015 (San Francisco) -- New e-mails brought to light between Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reveal the extent of corruption and backroom dealing that have characterized the state’s smart meter program.

MICKEY CAFAGNA MEMORIAL GOLF CLASSIC TEES OFF MARCH 20 IN POWAY

 

February 28, 2015 (Poway)--The Poway Chamber of Commerce will host the second annual Mickey Cafagna Memorial Golf Classic on Friday, March 20.  The event will be held at Maderas Golf Club in Poway.  The tournament will include lunch, a round of golf (scramble style) and an awards dinner that will pay tribute to the former Poway Mayor, Mickey Cafagna.  Sponsorship opportunities and spaces for players are still available.

BAG BAN BLOCKED

 

February 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) A new state law banning plastic grocery bags won’t be taking effect this summer after all. That’s because opponents led by the plastic industry have obtained enough signatures to qualify a measure to overturn the bag ban for the November ballot, the Secretary of State has announced.

CAREGIVERS HOLD VIGIL AT GOVERNOR'S HOMES

 

East County News Service

February 27, 2015 (San Diego) Caregivers from San Diego are heading to Sacramento this week to join a vigil outside Governor Jerry Brown’s home in Sacramento. The caregivers, who provide in-home support for elderly Californians and people with disabilities, are calling on Gov. Brown to treat their work equally under the law and provide the overtime pay that was promised as part of last year’s budget deal. A similar vigil is also planned at the Governor’s residence in Oakland.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUE EPA TO PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The Natural Resources Defense Council has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claiming the federal agency ignored dangers to Monarch Butterflies posed by glyphosate used in Monsanto’s Roundup and other herbicides.

WHOOPING COUGH CASES SET NEW RECORD: OVER 2,000 CASES LAST YEAR

 

County News Service

February 28, 2015 (San Diego County) - The number of pertussis, or whooping cough, cases reported in San Diego County last year reached a new high, surpassing the previous record by nearly 900 cases, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency has announced.

HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDED FOR ONE WEEK ONLY

 

By Miriam Raftery                                                                 

February 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A shut-down of Homeland Security due to take effect Saturday has been postponed, but only short-term. On Friday, the House and Senate passed a one-week funding bill which the President signed shortly before midnight.

OBAMA VETOES KEYSTONE PIPELINE

 

East County News Service

February 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. In his veto message, he criticized the Congressional attempt to bypass his administration’s environmental review of the project and ““circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN: PHOTO EXHIBIT IN ALPINE HONORS CA VETS

 

East County News Service

February 28, 2015 (Alpine)—“Remembering our Fallen”, a memorial photo exhibit honoring  710 Californians killed in the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan (including 77 local residents) is now on display at the Alpine Wall of Honor. The exhibit, adjacent to the Alpine Community Center at 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine, is open from  8 a.m. to 8 p.m. now through March 7th.

RAINS ARE COMING: NEED SANDBAGS?

 

February 28, 2015 (San Diego)--There could be some unfamiliar stuff falling out of the sky over the next few days in San Diego County.  That’s right — rain, and potentially, lots of it.

RECORD-BREAKING MARIJUANA SEIZURE AT OTAY: 15 TONS HIDDEN IN MATTRESS SHIPMENT

 

February 27, 2015 (Otay)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry Thursday seized more than 15 tons of marijuana hidden in a cargo shipment of mattresses.  The seizure is the largest narcotics seizure ever at the border crossing, and second largest seizure at any border crossing nationwide.

SCIENCE AND HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

BALLPARK TOBACCO BAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Tobacco may soon be snuffed out at all baseball parks in California, if a new bill introduced by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond wins approval in the California Legislature.

CULTURAL TREASURES RETURNED TO ITALY, INCLUDING ITEMS SEIZED IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2015 (San Diego)—Ancient treasures seized in seven U.S. cities, including San Diego, have been returned to the Italian government this week, Homeland Security has announced.

EL CAJON POLICE SOLVE HAIR-RAISING CRIME

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police announce the arrest of a woman accused of posing as a customer at a hair salon at 437 East Main Street on Wednesday, then robbing an employee at gunpoint after receiving treatment at the salon.

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