DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 30 - JULY 29

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA’S CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUN LIMITS

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KILLS SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THIS YEAR

ALPINE RESIDENTS SEEK HELP TO FIND SUSPECTS CAUGHT ON TAPE PLANTING FIRECRACKER UNDER CHILD’S WINDOW

FIRE NEAR MESA GRANDE RESERVATION THREATENS HOMES

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MORGAN COOK, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO REP. HUNTER

FIND YOUR INNER COWBOY AT THE COUNTY FAIR

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JUNE 25 - JULY 29

CA GROUPS: SENATE HEALTH BILL "MORE DRACONIAN" THAN HOUSE VERSION

NATIONAL HOUSING EXPERT HIRED AS CEO OF NEW REGIONAL TASK FORCE ON HOMELESS: WALKER LED EFFORTS THAT REDUCED CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS 90% IN UTAH

TRAVEL + LEISURE CHOOSES RAMONA WINERY VINEYARD GRANT JAMES AS #2 WINERY IN U.S. TO VISIT

FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES IN EAST COUNTY

News

COUNTY OFFERS INCENTIVES TO LANDLORDS WHO RENT TO HOMELESS

 

East County News Service

June 4, 2017 (San Diego) – If you’re a landlord looking for tenants, the County is offering bonuses of up to $500 if you’ll rent to a homeless family, veteran or other homeless person who has a rental assistance subsidy from the County of San Diego Housing Authority. 

OTAY WATER SUES CITY OF SAN DIEGO FOR OVERCHARGES ON RECLAIMED WATER SERVICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The Otay Water District filed a lawsuit in Superior Court on May 30th against the City of San Diego alleging breach of contract, overcharges on recycled water rates and lack of transparency.  The suit accuses San Diego of becoming “unjustly enriched at Otay’s expense,” according to Mark Robak, president of the Otay Water District, and asks the court to rescind a January 2016 rate hike and repay that money to the district.

The Otay district provides water for residents in Spring Valley, Jamul, Rancho San Diego, La Prensa, eastern Otay Mesa and eastern Chula Vista.  

TRUMP WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD DRAWS CONDEMNATION FROM WORLD LEADERS; WEST COAST STATES FORM THEIR OWN ALLIANCE TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: NASA satellite:  Arctic ice reached an all-time record low in March, due to record temperatures.

June 2, 2017 (San Diego)—President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord  means the U.S. joins Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as the only other world leader who does not believe climate change is a serious threat to the planet.   Every nation on earth signed the Paris agreement calling for aggressive action to combat climate change, except for Syria and Nicaragua, but Nicaragua wanted even stronger actions to protect planet Earth.

WOMAN STRUCK ON I-8 HAS MULTIPLE SURGERIES; HIT-AND-RUN DRIVERS STILL AT LARGE

 

CHP seeks a lifted F-250 or F-350 diesel pickup similar to one in photo that struck woman and sped off. A motor home that may have witnesses is also sought.

By Jordan Damond and Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2017 (Lakeside) – It’s a mystery how a San Diego woman wound up standing on westbound Interstate 8 just west of the Lake Jennings exit in Lakeside at 4:45 a.m. on Monday, where she was struck by two vehicles that both fled the scene.

BORREGO BIGHORN SHEEP COUNT NEEDS VOLUNTEERS AND HELP RESTORING MAILING LIST AFTER DEATH OF RANGER BIER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Daren Sefcik

June 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The 47th annual Anza Borrego bighorn sheep count is set for  June 29th through July 1st,  with a mandatory orientation on June 17th for all new counters and recommended for those who participated in the past.   The count will go on despite the death of its long-time leader, Ranger Steve Bier. 

“We were unable to find the master sheep count mailing list,”  states a letter from Anza Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Kathy Dice and volunteer Sheep County Coordinator Mark Jorgensen, who are organizing a new sheep counting team. If you know of counters,  please forward their contact information to AB.Sheepcount@parks.ca.gov.

HUNTER AND ISSA VOTE TO SELL YOUR ONLINE PRIVACY AFTER TAKING BIG MONEY FROM TELECOM INDUSTRY; TRUMP SIGNS MEASURE INTO LAW

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2017 (San Diego) – Your Internet provider can now legally sell your browsing history and your email address, without your consent—thanks to legislation signed into law by President Trump.   The measure passed the Senate by just 2 votes and the House by 10 votes. San Diego Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa both voted for the measure – after taking $19,000 and $66,275 from the telecommunications industry respectively. 

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES TOWARD MORE HELP FOR HOMELESS, APPROVES PUBLIC HEARINGS ON ADDING AGENDA ITEMS AND CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF AMERICA ON MAIN STREET

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

May 30, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council had a packed agenda Wednesday at its 3 p.m. meeting, taking actions including:

  • Voting 5-0 to put an item on an upcoming agenda to have staff prepare a report on feasibility of hiring a Crisis House “homeless navigator” expert to match unique needs of homeless people with private and public programs to help house the homeless;  
  • Voting 4-1 to hold two town hall meetings annually to allow residents to propose agenda items and for Council to set agenda priorities;
  • Heard a report from the County Water Authority claiming Metropolitan Water has been squandering funds and overcharging ratepayers;
  • Honoring participants and supporters of America on Main Street;
  • Presented awards to local youths and Friends of East County Arts contest winners
  • Praised a resident for using a drone to get evidence of an illegal marijuana dispensary.

UBER VEHICLE PLUNGES INTO SINKHOLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

May 30, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – An Uber driver and passenger had an unexpectedly rough ride when a broken water main shortly before dawn caused a sinkhole to open up on Pecan  Park Lane at Olde Highway 80 in unincorporated El Cajon, just east of Lake Jennings Park Road. 

According to 10 News, crews responding to a report of the broken water main found  the vehicle in a huge sink hole that had formed.

A MEMORIAL DAY TO REMEMBER

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Norm Case examines Civil War drum played at the Battle of Shiloh  (photo, left) by his ancestor, Philo L. Case (photo, right)

 

May 28, 2017 (Ramona)--Philo Case, a drummer in the Union Army, played the long roll that called troops to arms during the battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest conflicts in the Civil War.  This Memorial Day weekend, his drum is on display at Hatfield Creek Winery in Ramona at 2 p.m. each day. 

Norm Case, Philo's descendent, shared the amazing history handed down through his family -- a tale that includes not only Civil War stories, but also a mystery involving another branch of his family tree that includes the niece of John Wilkes Booth.  Case says she's told him her family has kept a secret for generations--claiming her uncle came to Yakima, Washington and asked that his presence be kept secret -- after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

BLM BANS TARGET SHOOTING ON PUBLIC LANDS REGION-WIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo of Gate Fire, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

May 28, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Aiming to prevent more wildfires, the federal Bureau of Land Management yesterday announced a ban on target shooting, campfires and other high-fire risk activities by issuing State III fire restrictions for all BLM-managed public lands in San Diego County and other Southern California areas.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: PALEONTOLOGIST TOM DEMÉRÉ SHARES NEW INSIGHTS INTO EARLY HUMAN ACTIVITY SIGNS AT LOCAL MASTADON DISCOVERY SITE

 

 

May 27, 2017 (San Diego) --Dr. Tom Deméré, curator of paleontology and director of PaleoServices at the San Diego Natural History Museum, was our guest recently on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ.   Deméré vigorously defended his team’s conclusions that  bones from an ancient mastodon skeleton found locally were broken and sharpened with stones onsite by early humans 130,000 years ago.  

Click the audio link to hear our full interview, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

NEW REPORT: U.S. NUCLEAR DISASTER COULD “DWARF FUKUSHIMA”

 

New report from Princeton shows failure of Nuclear Regulatory Commission to accurately assess risk

Source:  Public Watchdogs

May 27. 2017 (San Diego) - A new study, which uses an advanced weather modeling program called HYSPLIT, developed by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows that a radiation plume from a spent fuel disaster would affect as many as 18.1 million people who could be harmed and displaced by a nuclear disaster involving spent nuclear fuel. According to the article the NRC uses an inferior predictive model called MACCS2 that fails to  accurately account for changing wind and weather patterns. 

MAY IS DROWNING PREVENTION MONTH

 

Source:  City of La Mesa

May 26, 2017 (La Mesa) - May is Drowning Prevention Month in the City of La Mesa, and as the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the community is reminded to be safe in and around water.  

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury and death worldwide. Children, males, and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.  In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention states that children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rate, with most of those drownings occurring in home swimming pools and during the months of May to August.  

EL CAJON CRISIS HOUSE TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE FOR HOMELESS CITIZENS ON JUNE 2 AT ROCK CHURCH

Volunteers needed to assist at event to help the homeless

By Paul Kruze

May 26, 2017 (El Cajon) --As the sun sets in the west behind surrounding mountains, some 700 people get ready to bed down every night on the asphalt streets of El Cajon. The roof over their heads is the night sky glowing with pillars of street lights and neon signs. They end up living on the streets for a dozen of reasons, including, bad life decisions, abusive relationships, drugs and alcohol, mental illness, and unemployment.

But for four hours on Friday, June 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. things might look a little brighter.

EL CAJON APPROVES REDISTRICTING MAP; COUNCILMAN KALASHO THREATENS LAWSUIT

 

By Jonathan Goetz; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

May 26, 2017 (El Cajon) – Following a lively public hearing on drawing up city council district lines to comply with Voting Rights Act requirements aimed at increasing minority representation,  El Cajon’s City council voted 3-2 to adopt  Paul Circo’s map PCirco1 for council district elections. 

Councilman Ben Kalasho,  a Chaldean-American and the only minority on the Council,  earlier sent a letter threatening to sue his city if that map was approved and request public records to determine if gerrymandering laws or the Brown Act were violated. 

Mayor Bill Wells, Councilmen Gary Kendrick and Bob McClellan voted to approve the map drawn by Circo, a Republican who ran for Council in 2016.  Councilmembers Steve Goble and Kalasho voted against it.  The district election map  chosen squares Kalasho off against fellow Councilman Kendrick, who also lives in Fletcher Hills, on the opposite side of Parkway Plaza. It also pairs Councilmembers Steve Goble and Bob McClellan, leaving two other districts that will be open seats. The Mayor will continue to be elected at-large by all voters in the city.

The plan chosen creates three majority minority districts.  The minority definition used is broad, including language minorities such as Arabic speakers as well as all classes protected under state and federal  Voting Rights Acts.

HUNTER SUGGESTS ASSAULTING A REPORTER COULD BE JUSTIFIABLE IF REPORTER ‘DESERVED IT’

 

Photo:  Suggested attire for reporters asking tough questions of government officials

Media Watch column by Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan Hunter, asked by capitol reporters what he thought about Montana Congressional Candidate Greg Gianforte bodyslamming a reporter, replied that is’ “not appropriate behavior” then clarified, “unless the reporter deserved it,” the Hill reports.

Gianforte was charged with assault against a reporter from the Guardian last night who asked his views on a Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP healthcare bill.  

The violent assault was caught on tape by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The attack was also witnessed by a Fox News crew, who confirmed that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground,” then began punching him. Three newspapers revoked their endorsements of Gianforte over the brutal incident, which broke the reporter’s glasses. On tape, Gianforte can be heard shouting at Jacobs to "get the hell out" after smashing him to the ground.

DRONE REVEALS HAZARDS AT POT SHOP IN EL CAJON

 

By: Jordan Damond and Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (El Cajon) –  Andre Zeehandelaar told El Cajon’s City Council at Wednesday’s meeting that he has evidence of dangerous conditions at an illegal marijuana dispensary obtained through drone footage. 

Zeehandelaar stated he was a licensed pilot. The FAA website confirms his license here:  https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/Main.aspx

After hearing noise from a generator Friday night at 1308 Bradway,  Zeehandelaar says he flew a drone overhead that revealed an estimated 25 gallons of gasoline on the roof. “That makes me afraid,” he said, citing risk of an explosion and fire.

REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PLAN WOULD LOWER DEFICIT BUT AT HIGH COST: 23 MILLION LOSING HEALTHCARE, AND SOME SENIORS WOULD PAY 850% MORE FOR PREMIUMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – House Republicans passed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and  passage of their own American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) without waiting for a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Now the CBO’s report is published—and shows mostly negative consequences of the Republican plan now before the Senate. 

GATE FIRE RENEWS CALLS FOR BAN ON SHOOTING ON BLM LANDS IN DULZURA AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 24, 2017 (Dulzura) – Back on in early April, Supervisor Dianne Jacob wrote to three officials at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management urging them to close down public shooting in and around Donohoe mountain in Dulzura.  Her requests were ignored, and last weekend, the Gate Fire that starting by a shooting range in the area charred over 2,000 acres, caused evacuations of residents and an exhaustive response by fire officials and first responders to keep the public safe. 

Now, Jacob has fired off a new letter – this one to Ryan Zinke, the new Secretary of the Interior, which oversees the BLM.

LA MESA VOTES TO APPROVE CAR SHOW RUN BY NEW MERCHANT GROUP, BUT WITHOUT LONG-TIME DJ

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 24, 2017 (La Mesa) – The 25th anniversary season of the La Mesa Classic Car Show will go on.  Council voted 3-0 last night to authorize a permit for the show to be managed by the new La Mesa Village Association, despite concerns over the LMVA’s decision to drop long-time popular  DJ Jack Leary, aka “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” 

LAKESIDE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP APPROVES SAND MINE IN INDUSTRIAL AREA AT HIGHWAY 67 AND VIGILANTE RD.

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: The project is bordered by existing sand projects to the north and east

May 23, 2017 (Lakeside) -- The Lakeside Community Planning Group  on May 17 approved by a 10-0 vote a major use permit for East County Sand LLC to extract sand from 19.23 of 27.39 acres in the heavy industrial portion of Hwy-67 and Vigilante Road. The project still needs to go before the County Planning Commission. Upon conclusion, it will host 8.8 acres of wetland in Slaughterhouse Creek and San Vicente Creekbed at the north end of Moreno Valley in Lakeside.

BRUSH FIRE CHARS PORTION OF MISSION TRAILS, CLOSES THREE TRAILHEADS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Bryan Snow, taken from State Route 52 in Santee

May 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – A brush fire yesterday afternoon scorched approximately 13 acres in Mission Trails Regional Park.  The blaze began  at Big Rock and was burning toward Cowles Mountain, Jay Wilson with Mission Trails Regional Park’s Foundation told ECM.

As a result of the wildland fire, three trail heads are temporarily closed:   The trail heads at Big Rock Park, Big Rock Road and Shantaung Drive are temporarily closed.  The trail heads from Mesa Road, Lake Murray Blvd. and Barker Way are open.

GILLESPIE FIELD AIR SHOW A NO SHOW AGAIN

 

Popular event could fly off into sunset without more sponsors and donors

By Mike Allen

Photo credit John Ford Photography and Air Group One

May 22, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Organizers of the biggest annual air show in East County say they cannot afford to put it on because of rising costs and an inability to raise sufficient funds.

LA MESA COUNCIL TO CONSIDER EXPANDING CAR SHOW AT TUESDAY MEETING

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2017 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council will consider a proposal at its Tuesday meeting to issue a special permit to expand the La Mesa Classic Car Show from eight weeks to 14 weeks.  The shows would be held Thursday nights from June 7 through August 25 and would be run by the newly formed La Mesa Village Association (LMVA).

FIRE DAMAGES MOBILE HOME IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2017 (El Cajon) – Crews from Heartland Fire & Rescue, Cal Fire and San Miguel Fire responded to a  call reporting a shed fire.at the Safari Mobile Home Park, located in the 1100 block of East Main Street in El Cajon at 5:30 p.m. Crews arrived within four minutes, but found the fire had spread to the interior of a mobile home.

MISSION TRAILS ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROPOSED MAJOR GAS PIPELINE THROUGH REGIONAL PARK AND SANTEE NEIGHBORHOODS, AGREE WITH SDG&E THAT MIRAMAR ROUTE IS SAFER OPTION

 

Public comments accepted through June 12; three public hearings set this week in San Diego region

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2017 (San Diego) – SDG&E and SoCalGas have applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to build a new natural gas pipeline from Rainbow through the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar to Mission Valley to replace an aging and potentially dangerous line, also boosting capacity and reliability for the region.  (View application.  View all project documents .)

NORTHBOUND SR-15 CONNECTOR RAMP TO I-8 CLOSED SUNDAY NIGHT

 

Source: Caltrans

May 22, 2017 (San Diego) - Construction crews will close the northbound State Route 15 (SR-15) connector ramp to eastbound and westbound Interstate 8 (I-8) on Sunday from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, according to Caltrans. The closure is needed for construction on the SR-15 Commuter Bikeway Project.

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