News

HUD: EL CAJON'S FUNDS TO SECULAR HOMELESS PROGRAM RUN BY RELIGIOUS GROUP IS LEGAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2015 (El Cajon) --  Recently, Citizens Oversight founder Ray Lutz challenged the city of El Cajon’s allocation of community development block grant funds to the East County Transitional Living Center for programs that benefit homeless people seeking to get off the streets. In a complaint sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Lutz argued that the program was illegal due to church-state separation requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

JUDGE RULES SAN ONOFRE SETTLEMENT CASE SHOULD NOT BE HEARD IN FEDERAL COURT

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2015 (San Onofre) - A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by Citizens Oversight on behalf of ratepayers challenging the San Onofre settlement agreement should be heard in state court, not federal.

BYSTANDERS FLIP BURNING CAR, SAVE TEENS

 

 

East County News Service

April 15, 2015 (Spring Valley) – Three young people trapped in a burning car that flipped over after a crash in front of Monte Vista High School on Monday owe their lives to courageous bystanders.

MOVE TO REPLACE SERRA STATUE WITH SALLY RIDE MOVES FORWARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2015 (San Diego) – An effort to remove a statue of Father Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a statue of Sally Ride, the first American woman astronaut, cleared a major legislative hurdle on Monday.

MWD APPROVES 15% CUTS TO SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER SUPPLIES

 

Record-setting drought means everyone in region must increase conservation

Source: MWD

April 15, 2015 (San Diego)--Facing unprecedented drought conditions, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board of directors on Tuesday approved a 15 percent water supply cutback to the San Diego County Water Authority and its other customers starting July 1. That decision is one of several important actions in coming weeks that will impact the San Diego region’s water supplies and conservation targets over the next year.

BLACKWATER GUARDS SENTENCED: 30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MASSACRE IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  East County residents celebrated Blackwater halting plans to build a training camp in Potrero in 2008.

April 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Many in East County recall the successful battle wagered by rural residents here to halt a Blackwater paramilitary training camp from being built in Potrero.   Just months before Blackwater announced plans to cancel the Potrero project in 2008, news broke that Blackwater guards had been accused of massacring innocent civilians in Iraq’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007.

4 FINALISTS CHOSEN FOR WOMEN ON $20 BILL CAMPAIGN

 

April 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Womenon20s.org has been campaigning to have a woman’s image replace the image of former general and president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. The group held a national vote for the public to choose among 15 candidates. Now, the field has been narrowed to four.  Three were chosen by popular vote:  Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

The fourth, Wilma Mankiller, was added by popular demand to include a Native American option to replace Jackson. Jackson ordered the forced relocation of Cherokee Indians off their lands, causing deaths of 4,000 in what became known as the Cherokee Trail of Tears.Mankiller, fittingly, was a Cherokee chief and the first Native American elected to lead a tribe in modern times, noted for her accomplishments to help the Cherokee people.

CLAIMS OF ISIS CAMP ON TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER DEBUNKED

 

ECM investigation identifies photo purported to be training camp dates back to 2009

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – For the second time in recent months, an apparently false claim about ISIS terrorists at our border made by Judicial Watch has been making the rounds, primarily on blogs and right-wing media sites.  But fact checkers at ABC news, Media Matters and Snopes.com say the latest rumor is likely false.

Moreover, an East County Magazine online search found the photo claimed as a terrorist camp in 2015 is actually an AFP/Getty Image of Anapra taken by photographer Jorge Uzon. It was published in 2009 in VQR, a literary journal, in an article about a smuggler in Anapra, including an anecdote in which his father mistakenly thinks men seeking to be smuggled into America are Al Qaeda terrorists. View the 2009 story and photo here (2nd large image, with green structure).

The same photo appears in the latest story by Judicial Watch, a conservative group.Their story published April 14th, 2015 claims that ISIS terrorists have set up a training camp just over the Texas border near El Paso in Anapra or Juarez, Mexico. The article claims its sources are a Mexican army officer and a Mexican federal police inspector, and that documents purportedly from ISIS were found in Anapra.  It further claimed that ISIS terrorists are being smuggled across the border.

LATEST DROUGHT NEWS: DUST BOWL COMPARISON, IMPACTS ON LOCAL GROWERS, AND WATER THEFT CONCERNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – As California’s record-setting drought continues, the bad news just keeps piling on. Here are the latest twists making news around the state.

SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES GET "SEAL" OF APPROVAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2015 (San Diego)—It wasn’t your usual suspect chase for Sheriff’s deputies. 

On Wednesday, a baby seal wandered away from the shoreline and up five blocks to Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. School staff called the Sheriff's Department and the seal pup was 'detained' without incident in the back of the patrol car.

DO YOU OWE USE TAX IN CA?

 

Last-Minute Filers--Lookup Table Simplifies Paying Use Tax on Your California Return

April 11, 2015 (Sacramento)—Many Californians are not aware that they owe a use tax. Last year, an estimated $1 billion went uncollected in California use taxes – enough money to pay salaries of 6,000 firefighters, 7,000 police officers, or 11,000 teachers.

BOIL WATER ORDER IN RAMONA: RANCHO SANTA TERESA MUTUAL WATER COMPANY

 

April 10, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Rancho Santa Teresa Mutual Water Company located at 25056 Rancho Santa Teresa Drive, Ramona, CA 92065 effective immediately.  The water system serves 37 residential connections.

EL CAJON COUNCIL TO CONSIDER BALLOT MEASURE FOR STRICTER ALCOHOL CONTROLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2015 (El Cajon )—At Tuesday's El Cajon City Council meeting, the City Council will discuss a proposal for a ballot initiative to crack down on alcohol sales to minors and chronic drunks, as well as potentially ban sales of powdered alcohol.

“My goal is to make this the strongest law in the United States to stop sales of alcohol to children and serial inebriates,” Vice Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine.

PASSAGES: MANZANITA TRIBAL CHAIRMAN LEROY ELLIOTT

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2015 (Manzanita Reservation)—For the past 18 years, Leroy Joseph Elliott has served as Chairman of the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.  A respected leader and elder in the Native American community who led efforts to revive cultural traditions, Chairman Elliott passed away on March 18, 2015.

Born on April 18, 1943 to John Elliott and Adelina Aswayo at the Soboda Indian Hospital in Riverside County, Elliott was raised on the Manzanita Indian reservation in East County and attended Mountain Empire High School.  He served as a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and as Assistant Fire Chief of the Campo Reservation Fire Department.    

According to California Indian Education, Elliott was the last fluent speaker of the Kumeyaay language at Manzanita.  He dedicated himself to preserving and teaching the Kumeyaay language to his people, advocating for continuance of the language, traditions, cultures and beliefs.   He led efforts to revive bird songs, traditions passed down through thousands of years of Kumeyaay history, preserving them for future generations.

EL CAJON MAN MISSING, VEHICLE FOUND NEAR SUNRISE HIGHWAY

 

April 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—A search is under way for Isac Molina, 27, an El Cajon resident, paramedic and father of two.  Family reported Monday that Molina left home Sunday at 3 p.m. “on his own volition appearing very despondent,” said Lt. Frank La Haye with the El Cajon Police. He is considered a missing person at risk.

HOW DO COUNTY'S RESPONSE TIMES FOR AMBULANCE SERVICE STACK UP TO OTHER AREAS?

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—San Diego County’s contract with its ambulance provider, Mercy,  requires that response times be less than 30 minutes 90% of the time in rural areas and 10 minutes in urban areas.  That’s too long if you’ve had a heart attack or other major trauma.  The county has advised us that in 2014, the County Fire Authority (ie Cal Fire) had a better response time than the requirement, averaging just over 10 minutes, while the former ambulance provider, AMR, average about 14 minutes.

LA MESA A TREE CITY USA FOR A RECORD 35 YEARS

Source: City of La Mesa

April 9, 2015 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa, was named a 2014 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.  La Mesa is the city that holds the highest number of years as Tree City USA in the County of San Diego!  This is the 35th year La Mesa has earned the national designation.

TAXES DUE APRIL 15, BUT HELP FROM THE IRS IS SCARCE DUE TO FUNDING CUTS

 

East County News Service

April 8, 2015 (San Diego)—Federal income taxes are due on April 15th. But millions of taxpayers trying to get questions answered from the Internal Revenue Service are finding frustration instead.

CONGRESS PASSES MEASURE TO ALLOW SELLING OFF NATIONAL FORESTS AND OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cleveland National Forest, courtesy National Forest Service

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—The Republican-controlled House and Senate have passed measures that would allow the sale or outright giveaway of most public lands –including national forests, federal wildernesses and  wildlife preserves and Bureau of Land Management properties.  Only Republicans voted for the language slipped into a non-binding budget resolution—which passed without a single Democratic vote. 

The shocking news is revealed in a New York Times editorial by Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Lands, titled “Our Land, Up for Grabs.”  

While it’s unlikely that President Barack Obama would support such an extreme measure, if a Republican president is elected in 2016 and Republicans maintains control of both houses of Congress, losing our cherished public lands such could be a very real possibility.

Here in San Diego County alone, that could mean the demise of:  Cleveland National Forest,  Otay Mountain Wildnerness, Hauser Wilderness, Pine Creek , Carrizo Gorge, Sawtooth Mountains Wilderness , Agua Tibia Wilderness, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge , Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, McCain Valley National Recreation Area and more.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBER CONVICTED ON ALL COUNTS

 

Bomber was "radicalized"watching videos by a San Diego imam

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --A jury has found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts related to the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Tsarnev could face the death penalty for the crimes, which killed three and wounded 264 other victims, the Boston Globe reports.

FRANCE BANS ANOREXIC MODELS

 

East County News Service

April 4, 2015 (San Diego) – Super-skinny models will no longer be strutting the fashion runways in Paris. On Friday, France, a leader in the fashion industry, passed a new law that bans anorexic models. The measure also imposes fines and prison time for fashion houses or agents who employ underweight models.

EL CAJON CLARIFIES POLICIES ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT POLICE DEPT.

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2015 (El Cajon) – In response to reports of multiple sexual harassment  and sexual misconduct claims against the El Cajon Police department through the years, we asked City Manager Doug Williford how many women are on the police force, including management. We also asked what policies have been put in place that aim to prevent sexual harassment.

Williford sent our request to Jim Lynch, director of human resources for the City of El Cajon. Lynch provided this response:

COUNTY RESPONDS TO AMBULANCE SERVICE QUESTIONS

 

April 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – AS we reported, effective April 1st the County has shifted to Mercy as its new ambulance provider for rural East County.  After residents raised concerns over coverage, response times and mutual aid, we asked Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office for a response.

GOVERNOR TO CITIES AND COUNTIES: CUT WATER 25%

 

East County News Service

April 1, 2015 (Sacramento)--Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, prevent water waste and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.  The mandatory order requires all cities and counties to cut water use by 25 percent.

PASSAGES: ACCLAIMED POTRERO POET STEVE KOWIT

 

April 3, 2015 (Potrero) – Steve Kowit, well-known poet, author, teacher and Potrero resident, passed away this morning following heart surgery  Kowit taught at Southwestern College and San Diego State University, mentored many, and inspired a generation of local writers through his teaching, readings and writings.

He was distinguished by his many awards for poetry, which include the National Endowment Fellowship in Poetry, two Pushcart Prizes, the Atlanta Review Poetry Prize, the Ouroboros Book Award, the 2006 Tampa Review Poetry Prize, and most recently the San Diego Theodore Geisel Award.

CALIFORNIA'S WATER SITUATION IS BEYOND AN EMERGENCY

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

Photos courtesy of Dave Howard

By Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl

April 3, 2015 (San Diego)--California’s water situation is beyond an emergency, according to Healdsburg resident Dave Howard. He and his sons returned from a “ski trip” in Northern California.

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