Politics

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.

BILL SEEKS TO END SOLITARY CONFINEMENT OF YOUTHS IN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

April 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—A measure set for hearing this week in the California  Senate Public Safety Committee aims to end solitary confinement of children in our state.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL AGENDA FOR APRIL 7

 

April 5, 2015 (Lemon Grove) –The Lemon Grove Council will meet on Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. in the Lemon Grove Community Center (3146 School Lane). 

This week, Council will consider  an agreement with San Diego Unified School District to house and staff a mass decontamination unit. Council will also review goals and priorities from its Strategic Planning workshop and hear a motion to reject all bids received on a sewer upsizing project.

SUPERVISORIAL RACE NOW A 3-WAY CONTEST

 

East County News Service

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Democrat Rudy Reyes, a Cedar Fire burn survivor who has run for Supervisor in the past, advised ECM today that he is entering the race in the 2nd Supervisorial district. State Senator Joel Anderson, a Republican, has also announced plans to challenge incumbent Supervisor Dianne Jacob, a Republican who has held the seat for more than two decades.

A three-way race could make it difficult for any candidate to win outright with over 50% of the vote, making a run-off race between the two top vote getters more likely. There is still time for additional candidates to file to run.

If Jacob is reelected in 2016, this would be her final term of office due to term limits approved by voters. She has received over 200 endorsements including Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts, Congressman Darrell Issa, and dozens of elected officials in East County.

10TH ANNUAL DUNCAN L. HUNTER WOUNDED MARINE GOLF CLASSIC MAY 4 AT COTTONWOOD

 

April 3, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)- - For the10th year, golfers will gather to support needs of wounded Army, Navy and Marine Corps  personnel  in the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

WALMART, NASCAR AND NCAA THROW WEIGHT INTO BLOCKING "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County—Religious freedom laws that could allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers are stirring controversy Indiana and Arkansas.  But now some heavyweight opposition has emerged, including Wal-Mart and other corporations as well as sports organizations including NASCAR and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ RECEIVES CESAR CHAVEZ FOUNDATION'S LEGACY AWARD

 

Honored for Long Record Supporting Immigrants and Working Families

East County News Service

March 29, 2015 (San Diego)--  Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, was honored Thursday night with the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Legacy Award for her career supporting immigrants and working families. In commemoration of Cesar Chavez Day, the awards are presented to those who exemplify excellence and unparalleled commitment to community empowerment and advocacy.

HOUSE APPROVES MEDICARE CHANGES

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) - The House of Representatives has passed broad changes to our nation’s Medicare system. The bill would raise premium costs for higher income earners and extend a health insurance program for children, also setting a new formula for paying doctors.

The bill passed by a 392 to 37 vote and now advances to the Senate.

CITY CONSIDERS FEE HIKE FOR LOBBYISTS

 

March 27, 2015 (San Diego) – The City of San Diego’s Ethics Commission will make a presentation at its next meeting on a potential increase in registration fees for lobbying firms and organization lobbyists. Information on this matter can be found in this City Clerk Report.

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

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2015 (Santee) – Randy Voepel, Santee’s Mayor for the past 15 years, has thrown his hat in the ring to run for the 71st State Assembly seat that Brian Jones is vacating due to term limits, SD Rostra reports. He’ll be running against Michael Harrison, who works for Congressman Duncan Hunter and previously worked for Hunter’s father when he served in Congress.

DAVIS INTRODUCES CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT BILL

 

East County News Service

March 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.)– Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation in the House to establish an independent advocate on campus for sexual assault survivors. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Senate bill last week.

SECRETARY OF STATE: MAKE CA VOTER REGISTRATION AUTOMATIC

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2015 (Sacramento)--What if every California citizen could be eligible to vote? 

California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla, wants to register citizens automatically, using Department of Motor Vehicle records and potentially info from other state agencies.

CA BALLOT INITIATIVE SEEKS TO KILL GAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2015 (Sacramento) – A shocking California ballot initiative proposal calls for legalized murder of gay and lesbian people by “bullets to the head” or “any other convenient measure.” If the state does not act on the measure within a year, the measure would further empower the public to take the law into their own hands—effectively sanctioning murder.

RUSSO SET TO REGAIN ALPINE PLANNING GROUP SEAT AFTER ELECTION WINNER LEFT TOWN

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2015 (Alpine) – Lou Russo, an outspoken former member of the Alpine Community Planning Group, may soon be back on the board, the Registrar of Voters office has confirmed.

James Roe defeated Russo on the November ballot, but moved out of the area for a job prior to the election and is thus ineligible to take the seat.

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PLANS WOULD SLASH SPENDING ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS, ELIMINATE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The Republican-controlled House and Senate budget proposals call for $5.5 trillion in spending cuts including deep  cuts in Medicare,  food stamps and other social programs. It also includes tax cuts for the wealthy and $40 million in increasing “emergency” war funding for the military.  It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS IN OPEN GOVERNMENT LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2015 (San Diego)--This week is sunshine week, when media outlets are supposed to report to the public on just how well – or poorly—public officials and agencies have done in responding to public records requests under open government laws.

Ironically, during sunshine week, the White House announced that it’s Office of Administration will no longer be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, continuing a policy begun by the Bush administration to reject all information requests to that office.  

BIPARTISAN SENATE BILL WOULD REFORM MARIJUANA LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –Legislation introduced this week in the Senate would protect patients, doctors and clinics from federal prosecution in states where medical marijuana is legal.  The bill would also allow Veterans Affairs physicians to recommend medical cannabis in those states.

BOEHNER SEEKS CONGRESSONAL PROBE OF CLINTON EMAILS

 

East County News Service

March 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Speaker John Boehner plans to launch a Congressional investigation into the controversies surrounding former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s e-mails, ABC news reports.

LA MESA SELECTS A NEW POLICE CHIEF

 

East County News Service

March 13, 2015 (La Mesa)--La Mesa City Manager Dave Witt has announced the selection of 28 ½ year City of San Diego Police Department veteran Walter (Walt) Vasquez, as the City’s new Chief of Police.

Witt said that Vasquez competed against candidates from outside the organization and proved that he has exceptional qualities that will help him succeed in his new position. Vasquez is currently serving as Assistant Chief of Police with the City of San Diego overseeing the Canine Unit, SWAT, Communications Division, Information Services, Property Room, and the Chief’s Community Advisory Boards. Vasquez will replace La Mesa Chief of Police Ed Aceves, who retired in December 2014 after 30 years of service.

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LA MESA COUNCIL TAKES ACTION ON SENIOR LIVING FACILITY AND VILLAGE PARKING

By Janis Russell

March 12, 2015 (La Mesa) -- On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council voted to move forward on negotiations with Westmont Companies for development of a senior living facility adjacent to Briercrest Park. The Council also set an optional $25,000/parking space fee for a space in a conceptual parking building, for expanding Village businesses in lieu of providing additional on-site parking.

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EL CAJON WINS LEGAL BATTLE OVER ALCOHOL CONTROL ORDINANCE

 

Source: City of El Cajon

March 11, 2015 (El Cajon)--In August of 2013, the El Cajon City Council adopted, via unanimous vote the Deemed Approved Ordinance (DAO).  The DAO strengthened the City’s abilities to address establishments that sold off-premise alcohol within the City. This included placing specific restrictions on the sale of alcohol, when warranted. This Ordinance was viewed by the City Council as a necessary action in order to protect the community’s youth and businesses from illegal or inappropriate alcohol sales.

WOMEN ASK EL CAJON COUNCIL FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO POLICE SERGEANT ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

In lively meeting, Council also hears ideas from the public ranging from creating a city-owned utility district to bringing the Chargers to East County

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2015 (El Cajon ) – At Tuesday’s El Cajon Council meeting, two women  spoke out to voice outrage that an El Cajon Police sergeant accused of sending naked photos of himself to women officers remains on the force.   The Sergeant. Richard Gonsalves, was demoted to officer and the city now faces a lawsuit filed by a female officer who alleges sexual harassment and discrimination.

PRESIDENT ISSUES STUDENT AID BILL OF RIGHTS

 

East County News Service

March 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the Student Aid Bill of Rights, a presidential memorandum aimed at making it easier for graduates to pay off student loans.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: MARCH 9-11

 

East County News Service

March 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The Crest/Dehesa/Granite Hills/Harbison Canyon planning group meets Monday, March 9th at 7 p.m. The community of Crest currently has only one way in and one way out, a serious danger during a major wildfire.  This week, the planning group will consider a proposal to create an emergency egress route from Crest through an avocado grove north to Interstate 8.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN GONZALEZ AND LOCAL LEADERS CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN LOCAL PLANNING, ZONING AND PERMITTING

 

AB 504 Clarifies Role Local Government and Non-Profits Like Civic San Diego Play in Guiding Neighborhood Development

March 6, 2015 (San Diego) California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) joined leaders from local community planning, labor, environmental justice and economic development organizations today to propose Assembly Bill 504, which would create more oversight at local governments that rely on the planning, zoning or permitting expertise of non-profit organizations or private individuals.

HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER

 

San Diego delegation splits on vote

March 4, 2015 (Washington DC)--The Department of Homeland Security won’t be shutting down.  Both houses of Congress have now passed legislation to fund the agency through September.

LEGISLATORS GRILL CPUC OVER HIRING OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Michael Picker, CPUC Chairman

March 4, 2015 (Sacramento)--The California Public Utilities Commission needs criminal defense lawyers amid state and federal investigations of corruption allegations, the Commissions new chairman, Michael Picker told a legislative panel this week.

CONTROVERSY OVER CLINTON'S E-MAILS THROUGH PRIVATE ACCOUNT

 

Photo: Hillary Rodham Clinton at 2007 California Democratic Convention

By Miriam Raftery

March 2, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A controversy has arisen involving Hillary Rodham Clinton over revelations that while serving as Secretary of State, she did not have an official government e-mail address and used only a personal e-mail address for all of her official government business.

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