A TSUNAMI OF EVIDENCE: SDPD'S SIX MILLION VIDEOS

CHAIRWOMAN DELIVERS HER SECOND STATE OF THE COUNTY ADDRESS

HELP COUNTY SET BUDGET PRIORITIES

39 VOTE CENTERS OPEN FOR MARCH PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION

COLIN PARENT TALKS TO ECM ABOUT HIS RUN FOR THE 79TH DISTRICT STATE ASSEMBLY SEAT

MAYOR RACQUEL VASQUEZ TALKS TO ECM ABOUT CAMPAIGNING FOR THE 79TH STATE ASSEMBLY RACE

LASHAE SHARP-COLLINS TELLS VOTERS ABOUT HER GOALS AND QUALIFICATIONS FOR 79TH STATE ASSEMBLY RACE, IN ECM INTERVIEW

ECM HOLDS IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH ALL THREE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN 79TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

MIGRANT CENTER CLOSES DESPITE SURGE IN IMMIGRANTS; DROP-OFFS AT TRANSIT STATIONS RESUMES

FAMILY OF TODDLER CRITICALLY INJURED BY WRONG-WAY DRIVER IN EL CAJON NEEDS HELP TO PAY MEDICAL BILLS

DONATE TO ILLUMINATE: HOW YOUR EYEGLASSES CAN LIGHT UP LIVES

SBA OPENS BUSINESS RECOVERY CENTER TO HELP BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS IMPACTED BY SEVERE STORM AND FLOODING

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS FIRST MIXER OF YEAR AT HOOLEY'S JANUARY 17

By Jonathan Goetz

January 10, 2024 (La Mesa)-- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to start 2024 out with a Chamber mixer to mix, mingle and toast to the new year at Hooley's Public House on Wednesday, January 17th for their first mixer of 2024.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will end at 7:00 p.m. at Hooley’s Public House in Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa 91942.

EAST COUNTY AND SANTEE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE JOINT MIXER JANUARY 31

By Jonathan Goetz

January 9, 2024 (Santee) -- Santee Chamber of Commerce and the East County Chamber of Commerce invite you to a joint mixer hosted by Sportsplex USA Santee 9951 Riverwalk Dr, Santee, CA 92071. Make new and strengthen current connections with other local business representatives. 

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 9, 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.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: HEMP PRODUCTS ARE THREATENING YOUTH SAFETY

By David R. Shorey, East County Programs Director, Institute for Public Strategies 

January 8, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) -- As the landscape of cannabis legalization continues to evolve, a new concern is emerging. It’s the proliferation of hemp-derived Delta 8 and Delta 10 products found in hemp. These derivatives of cannabis, purportedly legal, are skirting regulations and putting our youth at risk. It’s time to shine a light on these products and the dangers they pose to our communities, especially our vulnerable younger generation.

 

Delta 8 and Delta 10, often marketed as "hemp-based" products, are synthetic cannabinoids derived from hemp, claiming to offer a legal high. However, their production and distribution operate in a gray area, exploiting loopholes in existing cannabis laws. While some proponents argue their legality due to their source from hemp, these products deliver psychoactive effects similar to traditional THC, leading to intoxication and potential health hazards.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by SA

January 8, 2024 (El Cajon) – Cuyamaca College in El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego community will host the ECHO Chamber Music series at the Samuel M. Cicatti Theatre.  The concerts will be held on select Thursdays at 7 p.m. from January 11 through May 30.

Below is the schedule of performances:

OPEN FARM TOURS JANUARY 13 AND 27 AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

East County News Service

January 8, 2024 (Ramona) -- Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona invites you to open farm tours on Saturday, January 13 and January 27 from 12 to 2 p.m.  Enjoy a bird show and camel show, meet and feed camels and lambradoodles, take a camel ride, and enjoy camel milk products such as artisan soaps, lotions, chocolate and camel milk.

Tickets must be purchased online.

COYOTE MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE HIKE JANUARY 14 IN ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK

East  County News Service

January 4, 2023 (Anza Borrego) – The Anza Borrego Foundation will lead a hike on Coyote Mountain in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on Sunday, January 14 from 7 a.m.to approximately 4 p.m. Hikers will cljmb Coyote Mountain on an eight-mile route with an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet.

COUNTY SUPPORTS FEDERAL INITIATIVE TO PROTECT IMMIGRANT MILITARY FAMILIES

January 8, 2024 (San Diego) -- The County’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs is promoting a federal immigration program that supports immigrant families of U.S. service members.  

The Military Parole in Place (MPIP) program provides some members of U.S. military families temporary permission to remain in the country while seeking permanent residency.  

The temporary immigration status allows spouses, widow(er)s, parents and children of U.S. service members to stay, work and travel freely in the United States. The Board of Supervisors previously approved promoting the program to reaffirm the County’s support for service members and their families. 

“Families can be divided when a loved one serves in the U.S. armed forces,” said Rick Wanne, Director of County Self Sufficiency Services. “This program allows them to be reunited in our country and recognizes our military men and women for their honorable and selfless service.”

BIDEN’S FIRST CAMPAIGN SPEECH AT VALLEY FORGE WARNS OF THREATS TO DEMOCRACY; TRUMP POSTS MESSIANIC VIDEO

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2023 – A day before the anniversary of the deadly Jan.6,2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden and his likely campaign opponent Donald Trump presented sharply divergent messages.

In a speech near Valley Forge, Biden spoke of General George Washington crossing the Delaware with patriot soldiers in 1777 to defeat the British and win freedom and democracy—the then radical idea that the people could govern themselves, without a king or dictator. “But if democracy fails, we’ll lose that freedom,” the President said.  He warned that Trump has openly announced plans to dismantle our democracy, stating bluntly, “Democracy is on the ballot.  Your freedom is on the ballot.”

Trump meanwhile posted a video on his social media platform that proclaimed “God created Trump” to be a “shepherd to mankind” who would be “willing to go into the den of vipers, call out the fake news for their tongues as sharp as the serpents” as well as “wrestle the deep state” and  “wield a sword.”

PARENTS IDENITIFED IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE

East County News Service

January 7, 2023 (El Cajon)—The parents of three children are dead of in an apparent murder-suicide at their home in the 1600 block of Hilton Head Court in unincorporated El Cajon. The deceased have been identified as Jose Benjamin Lopez Valle, 41, and his wife, Brenda Valle, 38.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting an assault with a deadly weapon and gunshots. Inside the residence, they found the victims with a firearm nearby. Deputies and paramedics provided medical care but could not save the couple. 

“It appears that Jose’s injuries were self-inflicted,” says Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

They were parents to three children, ages 18, 16 and 11.

ORDER YOUR 2024 BEAUTIFUL EAST COUNTY CALENDAR!

 

January 5, 2024 -- We still have a few calendars left! Back by popular demand, our "Beautiful East County" calendar for 2024 showcases our region's scenic attractions and wildlife.

The calendars are available as our thank you gift to you, with any tax-deductible donation of $50 or more this month. To donate, please visit www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate.

Your donation will help sustain our independent reporting for San Diego's East County.

We thank you for your generosity, and thanks to our many readers who have already contributed.  

READER’S EDITORIAL: WE MUST TAKE TRUMP’S THREAT TO DEMOCRACY SERIOUSLY

By C. Jones

 

January 6, 2023 (Spring Valley) -- Three years ago, we all witnessed a violent mob descend on the Capitol, costing people their lives, because one man—Donald Trump—spread lies about a ‘stolen’ election.

 

The January 6 insurrection was an attack on our democracy and our freedom to vote. Our nation came dangerously close to a coup orchestrated from within the Oval Office and the halls of Congress by President Trump and his allies.

But it didn’t end there. Trump and his allies are laying the groundwork for a second presidency even more extreme and authoritarian than the last.

Should he win the 2024 presidential election, Trump is already planning to pardon himself and his allies of crimes committed on January 6th, purge the federal government of officials who disagree with him, use the Department of Justice to exact political revenge, and even unleash the military on civilians exercising their first amendment rights.

MENDOZA ORDERED TO PAY $32,000 IN LEGAL FEES AFTER LOSING ANTI-SLAPP SUIT AWARDED TO LEBARON

By Jessyka Heredia

 

January 5, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – Tuesday during a hearing over Zoom, Superior Court Judge Peter A. Lynch ruled that Lemon Grove Councilmember Jennifer Mendoza must pay fellow Councilmember Liana LeBaron’s $32,000 in legal fees from an anti SLAPP suit filed by LeBaron.

BODY OF ELDERLY WOMAN FOUND IN FREEZER AT ALLIED GARDENS HOME WAS FORMER KAISER WORKER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

January 5, 2024 (San Diego) – The body of an elderly woman found Dec. 22 in a chest freezer at an Allied Gardens home has been identified as Mary Margaret Haxby-Jones, who formerly lived there. According to Lt. Jud Campbell with San Diego Police, she may have been missing or  dead for as long as nine years and would have been 81 years old if she had survived.

STAY SAFE! SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE EAST COUNTY WILDFIRE & EMERGENCY ALERTS

Sign up here to receive our free East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts via email.  Our alerts can reach you even if phone lines or cell towers burn down.  We cover wildfires, flash floods, major highway shutdowns, severe weather alerts, gas leaks, and other hazards in our region.  We suggest signing up on all of your emails –home, work, school, and encourage  friends, family members and coworkers to do the same. These alerts save lives!

You can also follow East County Alerts on Twitter.

You can also sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter, with top local news and events in East County.  You can choose alerts, or newsletter, or both.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TRUMP MUST BE STOPPED

By Jeanne Fleetwood

 

Photo: C-Span screenshot of Donald Trump rallying supporters at the Capitol ellipse, moments before they marched to attack the Capitol.

 

January 6, 2023 (El Cajon) -- As we mark the third anniversary of the January 6th insurrection, it’s important to remember how we got to that moment and who was responsible for it. Donald Trump and his allies engaged in a months-long criminal conspiracy after the 2020 election. They spread lies about voter fraud and used those lies to put pressure on state officials to illegally overturn election results. When their scheme to interfere with Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results failed, Trump and his co-conspirators incited a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

 

MAGA Republicans nationwide have continued this assault on our democracy by introducing radical voter suppression bills in Congress and state legislatures, spreading false election conspiracy theories, and threatening to overturn election results they disagree with.

 

Now, Trump is running for president again and he and his allies are planning for a second term that is even more extreme and authoritarian than the last one. If he is re-elected, he plans to pardon himself and his supporters, use the Department of Justice to exact revenge on his enemies, and purge the federal government of anyone who doesn’t agree with him until there’s no one left to say no.

SDSU FEELS THE FALLOUT FROM ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Adela de la Torre. Photo by SDSU

January 4, 2024 (San Diego) - San Diego State University is under investigation for alleged “Islamophobia” in the wake of SDSU President Adela de la Torre’s condemnation of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and statement of support for impacted members of the campus community.  The U.S. Department of Education has not discussed the merits of the complaint from unidentified complainants, only that the complaint has come under its jurisdiction.

Here, in full, is what President De La Torre said:

SING, DANCE AND LEARN WITH KATHRYN THE GRAPE JAN. 12 AT GROSSMONT CENTER

East County News Service

January 4, 2024 (La Mesa) -- Families are invited to come sing, dance and learn with Kathryn the Grape for a Fun Friday morning January 12 from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the Grossmont Center Courtyard in La Mesa. Enjoy positive, upbeat, award-winning children’s music at this interactive concert. Your little ones will love singing and grooving along at this live music experience.

CA FARM ANIMAL CRUELTY LAW TAKES FULL EFFECT

 

By Suzanne Potter, California News Servic

 

January 3, 2024 (Sacramento)-- Pork sold in California will now have to comply with Proposition 12.

The law bans some types of extreme confinement of farm animals, specifically gestation crates -- which are metal cages, often so small sows cannot turn around. Some provisions of the 2018 law have already gone into effect, concerning egg-laying hens and calves raised for veal.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEX IN DOWNTOWN LA MESA STARTS LIST FOR LEASING

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2024 (La Mesa) — An affordable housing development on city-owned land at the site of the former police  station in downtown La Mesa is expected to be completed later this year.  You can now sign up on an interest list to received leasing events information this summer.

Renters must have a household income between $29,200 and $67,200, which is 30% to 70% of the area’s $97,000 median income. Rents will range from $685 to $1,591 per month.

COLD FRONT BRINGS SNOW TO LOCAL MOUNTAINS, FROST TO VALLEYS AND DESERTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Mt. Laguna Lodge webcam

January 3, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – The first snowfall of the year is blanketing Mount Laguna, with snow showers forecast through this evening.  Scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast elsewhere in the region, along with gusty winds in mountain and desert areas.

Frost is forecast tonight in San Diego’s mountains and deserts.Use caution when driving, as icy roads will occur.

PASSAGES: ERNEST EWIN, FORMER LA MESA COUNCILMAN AND CIVIC LEADER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Councilman Ernie Ewin  at the La Mesa railway depot, during kickoff of the city's 2012  Centennial.

January 3, 2024 (La Mesa) -- Former La Mesa City Councilman Ernest “Ernie” Ewin died December 28, 2023 at age 76 in Utah from complications of vascular dementia.  Ewin served 18 years on the City Council, previously serving on the city’s planning commission, and held many other civic leadership positions, contributing to East County communities in the fields of education, healthcare, and more.

Ewin represents the City on the Metropolitan Transit Board (MTS), where he has chaired the audit committee. He chaired the Metro Waste Water Joint Powers Authority and served as Executive Director of the Grossmont College Foundation’ board of directors and as donor relations specialist for the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges. In addition, he was Chairman of the Prop G Grossmont Healthcare District's Independent Oversight Committee and served on the board of the East County Visitors’ Bureau.

 He was also  a founding member of the San Diego Trolley Board of Directors, past member of the County of San Diego Finance Review Panel, past Chairman of the San Diego County Organization Assessment Panel, and past Chairman of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca District's Prop R Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee. He also chaired a volunteer finance committee for the city’s 2012 Centennial celebration.

PASSAGES: ROB DEASON, RETIRED TEACHER

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2024  (Jamul)—Rob Deason, a retired teacher in the San Diego Unified School District and husband of Deerhorn Valley Antler publisher Kim Hamilton, died last night after a long illness and several months in home hospice care.

Originally from  Los Angeles, Deason studied liberal arts at California Western University.  A talented woodworker, he also studied woodworking and electronics at San Diego Sate University California. He married Hamilton in 1987.

His articles and photos on backcountry life appeared in the Deerhorn Valley Antler.

ODYSSEY'S END

By  Pennell Paugh

January 3, 2024 (San Diego) – Odyssey's End  is the tenth book in the Rick Cahill series by local author Matt Coyle.  Private investigator Rick Cahill lives in the San Diego region and as in the series’ other books, he takes the reader on real streets and neighborhoods.in  He accepts a lost-person assignment from a man he knows is a killer. The murderer is also connected to others from Rick’s dark past. Immediately, Rick’s life and those of his family members are threatened.

Here’s a sample of writing from the book:

I hadn’t seen Peter Stone in five years. Not since the night he saved my life. When he’d wielded a shotgun with deadly efficiency. Five years before that, he’d tried to kill me with a handgun. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so lucky the first time if he’d had a shotgun.

Stone had changed a lot since the night he’d blown away two assassins in his lair up in the hills above La Jolla.

THE NEW CA LAWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Lynn La, CalMatters

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

Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters; iStock

January 2, 2024 (Sacramento) - Monday marked the day many new California laws went into effect, including the state’s new concealed firearm restrictions that, until Saturday, had been blocked by a federal judge. 

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