PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 11: SHIBUTANIS, SIGOURNEY WIN BRONZE; DONATO SCORES TWO GOALS TO LEAD MEN'S HOCKEY TO QUARTERFINALS

STUDENTS LEAD CALL FOR GUN REFORMS, ANNOUNCE NATIONAL “MARCH FOR OUR LIVES” MARCH 24

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 10: WOMEN'S HOCKEY ADVANCES TO GOLD MEDAL GAME; SEVERAL OTHER AMERICAN EVENTS ADVANCE TO FINALS AND SEMIFINALS

PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY NINE: GEOPPER GETS TO SILVER, BOWE FINISHES IN THE TOP FIVE

PADRES SIGN FREE AGENT ERIC HOSMER

PYEONCHANG RECAP: LILLIS WINS AERIALS QUALIFIER; JHK STEALS SILVER; WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SKIING PLACES BEST-EVER FIFTH

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR MARDI GRAS DINNER PARTY FEB. 28!

PYEONCHANG RECAP: NATHAN CHEN CATAPULTS TO FIFTH; HOCKEY BOUNCES BACK

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

RETIRED FIREFIGHTER BECOMES HIGHWAY “HERO” IN EAST COUNTY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 17-APRIL 24

News

GONZALEZ FLETCHER BILL WOULD BAN GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FROM GIVING VOUCHERS TO STORES THAT SELL GUNS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced a bill this week that would prohibit public agencies during gun buy-back events from handing out taxpayer-funded vouchers to any store that sells firearms.

CALIFORNIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WANTS INSURERS TO PASS FEDERAL TAX SAVINGS ON TO CUSTOMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Sacramento) — The federal tax reform measure recently enacted reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.  California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones observes, “That means that nationally insurers will now be able to retain even more of policyholder premiums as profit. However, in California the prior approval process that applies to property and casualty insurance rates limits insurer profits.”

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL DARK SKIES DESIGNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photos credited to ©Dennis Mammana/dennismammana.com

January 22, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Night sky photographer Dennis Mammana made this announcement Friday on Facebook: “Proud to announce that our thousand-square-mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has just received its official designation as an International Dark Sky Park. That means that the Dark Sky Community of Borrego Springs is now completely surrounded by an official Dark Sky Park!”

HEARING ON LAKE JENNINGS MARKETPLACE BEFORE SUPERVISORS ON WEDNESDAY

 

 

Update January 24, 2018:  Supervisors voted 4-0 yesterday to approve this, with Supervisor Horn absent due to leaving early.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Joe Brunetto, owner of Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant and Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, speak out against retail project proposed for land visible in background

January 22, 2018 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing Wednesday on Lake Jennings Marketplace, a proposed retail strip shopping center on Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside.  The project by South Coast Development requires approval of an environmental impact report,  a General Plan amendment and rezoning  of residential land  to commercial.

But opponents say the developer earlier promised to build multi-family housing on the site, not a shopping center.  Cleveland National Forest Association (CNFF) and a local restaurant owner are heading up opposition to the project, saying what the community needs is housing, not more retail. 

HELP SAVE AND RECONSTRUCT THE FORMER ALPINE MINE TRAIN EXHIBIT

 

Source: Campo Railroad Park & Museum

January 22, 2018 (Campo) -- The Campo Railroad Park & Museum has set up a donation page to help offset the costs of relocating and reconstructing the former Alpine train lovingly operated for children of all ages by Roy Athey. 

The Museum is committed to keeping the legacy alive in Campo with a dynamic exhibit of not only the train ride but also to include a faux mine complete with mining equipment to explain San Diego County’s many gold and precious metal mines.  Moving the train and setting it up was an unexpected gift and funds are simply not available today to put it back together. 

USE OF FORCE AGAINST HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT DRAWS PROTESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (La Mesa) – A video showing a La Mesa Police officer  slamming a handcuffed 17-year-old  female student at Helix Charter High School to the ground Friday afternoon has drawn over 17,000 views on social media, with a protest planned Monday morning on campus.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WOMEN’S MARCH 2018 SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) - An estimated 37,000 people took to the streets of downtown San Diego for the second annual women’s march protesting policies of the Trump administration, according to San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.  Zimmerman tweeted photos of the large crowd, adding, “All of us thank you for saying hello throughout the rally and walk.”

6.3 EARTHQUAKE IN GULF OF MEXICO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) -- A 6.3 earthquake struck in the Gulf of California at 8:17 a.m. approximately 48.4 miles North-Northeast of Loreto and 76.5 miles southwest of Pueblo Yaqui in Mexico, according to an alert sent by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The quake is not yet posted on the USGS quake events webpage, perhaps due to the furlough of federal employees during the government shutdown.

There have been several smaller quakes in the past week along the same fault line, including some farther north and one small tremor north of the border in Seeley. 

FANITA RANCH DEVELOPERS REVAMP DESIGN TO BUILD MORE HOUSES AND OPEN SPACE

 

Traffic impacts remain key concerns

By Mike Allen

January 20, 2018 (Santee) -- HomeFed Corp., the developer of Fanita Ranch in north Santee, says its plan will preserve about three quarters of the 2,600-acre parcel as open space, while nearly doubling the number of houses it seeks to build on the site.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN AFTER SENATE FAILS TO PASS SPENDING BILL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Congress failed to pass a short-term spending bill by Friday night’s deadline that would have funded the federal government only until February 16th. As a result, the federal government is starting a shutdown effective today—the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The key sticking point was Republicans’ failure to protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants.  Trump cancelled former President Barack Obama’s executive order protecting Dreamers but gave Congress six months to pass legislation to protect them before deporting them. That timeline is nearly up. The shutdown also means no renewal of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which has expired.

COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF CHUCK HANSEN, CIVIC LEADER AND FORMER VIEJAS VICE PRESIDENT

 

Update: Services are scheduled for February 8 at 11 a.m. at Foothills Christian Church. 365 West Bradley in El Cajon.

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Charles “Chuck” Hansen passed away suddenly on Monday night, January 15th.  A civic leader active in many organizations for decades, Hansen mentored and befriended many people , leading numerous charitable efforts as well as promoting East County.

He is remembered by San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Eric Lund as a community icon whose “years of knowledge and experience has helped to make San Diego East County a better place to live, work and play.”

LEMON GROVE PLANNING COMMISSION REINSTATEMENT TABLED TO FEBRUARY 20

 

By Jonathan Goetz

January 17, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – On Tuesday, Lemon Grove City Attorney Jim Lough presented to Council Ordinance changes for the Municipal Code that the Council chose to table.  Council wanted more time to review it and compare differences between the new verbiage and the old verbiage.  Lough is expected to bring it back for a vote Tuesday, February 20.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO ARREST LEADERS OF SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Leaders of sanctuary cities and states could be arrested and charged with crimes, Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security told Senators in a committee meeting Tuesday.

UTILIITES MUST PASS TAX BILL SAVINGS ON TO RATEPAYERS, CPUC ORDERS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 17, 2018 (San Diego) - Gas and electric companies in California must lower utility bills so that ratepayers, not shareholders, will receive windfall savings from the federal tax reform bill recently signed into law. 

INTERNATIONAL PRESS REPORTS ON EL CAJON ARRESTS FOR FEEDIING HOMELESS IN PARK; ACTIVISTS THREATEN LAWSUIT AS CITY STANDS BY ITS BAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2018 (El Cajon) – The arrests of a dozen activists at Wells Park in El  Cajon for defying the city’s ban on feeding homeless people on public property over Martin Luther King Jr. birthday weekend has made news around the world.  Headline stories have been reported in the BBC in England and Canada, Britain’s the Guardian newspaper,  MSN,  Huffington Post, and other national and international media.

A national petition on the Care2 site calling on El Cajon to end the ban has been signed by 37,000 people.

Yesterday the city has issued a statement standing behind its actions as appropriate to prevent spread of Hepatitis A during a countywide health emergency. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)has also issued a statement condemning the arrests as “unconstitutional and “cruel.” Activists arrested and their attorneys also held a press conference denouncing the ban and threatening legal action.

LA MESA MAYOR DELIVERS UPBEAT STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS; VIEW FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Mayor Mark Arapostathis Mayor’s State of the City Report, January 9, 2018.  Photo courtesy City of La Mesa

January 15, 2018 (La Mesa) – On Tuesday, La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis delivered an optimistic State of the City, in which he cited low crime, a 2017 survey that said 91% of La Mesa residents rate the quality of life in La Mesa as being excellent or good, and $8.5 million in local infrastructure improvements, plus further investments from SDG&E and San Diego County Water Authority that strengthen the "long-term stability for the infrastructure under our streets."

CONTROLLED BURN NEAR PINE VALLEY STARTS TUESDAY

 
 
East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts
 
January 15, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- If you see smoke  over East County  on this week, be aware that Cal Fire San Diego will conduct its first controlled burn of the year starting on Tuesday. Ignition is set to begin by mid-morning and is expected to take place over several days until complete.
 
The planned 100-acre burn on Corte Madera Ranch south of I-8 near Pine Valley is part of Cal Fire's vegetation management program to help prevent future large wildfires. Smoke will be visible throughout the county.

EL CAJON POLICE ARREST PEOPLE FOR FEEDING HOMELESS IN WELLS PARK ON MLK WEEKEND

 

By Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot from video on James Elia’s Facebook page

 

January 14, 2018 (El Cajon)—Defying a city of El Cajon ban on feeding homeless people in public places,  dozen individuals including a 14-year-old minor were arrested and given misdemeanor citations by El Cajon Police today, then released.

The feeding was one of many held around the country this weekend to carry on the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in a 1964 lecture to Nobel laureates voiced concerns about those who “have no houses or beds to sleep in.“ Rev. King added, “If we feel this as a profound moral fact, we cannot be content to see men hungry, to see men victimized with starvation and ill health, when we have the means to help them.”

El Cajon’s City Council voted to adopt a temporary ban on feeding the homeless in public places during the countywide hepatitis emergency declaration, since there have been many cases among the homeless in the outbreak, which county health officials believe originated in El Cajon.

CALIFORNIA SENIOR LEGISLATURE ANNOUNCES DONATE TO CODE 438 INITIATIVE

 

East County News Service

January 12, 2018 (Sacramento) -- The California Senior Legislature (CSL) announced its Donate to Code 438 initiative this week, whereby Californians can support the work of the CSL this tax season via Code 438, the California Senior Citizen Advocacy Voluntary Contribution Tax Fund, on the California Resident Income Tax Return Form 540.

SANTEE BANS SMOKING ON TRAILS, TAKES FIRST STEP TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

January 12, 2018 (Santee)--Smoking or vaping on Santee’s city trails such as the Walker Preserve and near Mast Park will no longer be legal following the City Council’s amending its code at its Jan. 10 meeting.

The newly amended law, that also bans smoking electronic cigarettes in the same areas, takes effect after the second reading of the measure Jan.24.

With the vote, Santee joins the rest of the 18 cities and San Diego county in prohibiting smoking on public trails, which is an obvious fire hazard. But the change didn’t go far enough for nearly all the speakers who testified before the council took its vote.

STORMS CAUSE DEADLY LANDSLIDES IN SANTA BARBARA, DUMP UP TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN IN SAN DIEGO’S MOUNTAINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Montecito mudslide, courtesy Santa Barbara Fire Dept.

January 11, 2018 (San Diego’s East County)— In Santa Barbara County, heavy rains turned to tragedy when mudslides caused burned hillsides to collapse, killing at least 17 people in Montecito, where 43 more remain missing as a desperate search for survivors continues.

But here in San Diego, this week’s rains brought welcome relief from an unusually dry winter.

THE NEW TAX LAW AND YOU: REP. SUSAN DAVIS TO HOLD INFORMATION FORUM ON JAN. 13 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis will be hosting a tax information forum at Grossmont College on Saturday, January 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Grossmont College (8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon) in the Griffin Gate Auditorium.

Congresswoman Davis will be bringing together experts to discuss the larger implications of the new tax law and how to navigate the changes.  The event is intended to provide information and answer questions.  Following brief remarks, speakers will be available for a Q&A session and resource tables with helpful information will be present throughout the event.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON AIRPLANES

 

By Maridian Broadus

January 10, 2018 (San Diego) -- Flying the friendly skies may not be so friendly after all. Female travelers report instances of sexual harassment and abuse in midair by other passengers. According to an investigative report by CNN, four women gave detailed accounts on how they were touched inappropriately or groped on commercial flights.

CALIF. COURT ISSUES NATIONWIDE INJUNCTION TO PROTECT DREAMERS

 

 

Attorney General Becerra helps secure victory for Dreamers as court blocks implementation of Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA until a final decision is reached in the litigation

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2018 (Sacramento) – A California court has issued a nationwide injunction to temporarily protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, before a Trump administration order forces them to be deported. Trump rolled back DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order issued by Barack Obama.

Congress is grappling with legislation that could permanently protect the Dreamers. But  the clock is ticking. President Trump has indicated he is open to a bill to protect the Dreamers, but only if it also includes funding for a border wall.  While Democrats and some Republicans support protection for dreamers, hard liners in the Republican Party oppose it and its unclear whether Democrats would back billions to build a border wall.

REVITALIZATION OF CASA DE ORO: VALLE DE ORO PLANNING GROUP APPROVES PROPOSAL

 

The advisory group recommends a plan to Supervisors for extensive redevelopment of Campo Road, plus a park on Conrad Drive

by Paul Kruze

Hear audio files of Valle de Oro planning group meeting:

Casa De Oro Revitalization

Estrella County Park

View the Casa de Oro options comparison table

January 9, 2018 (Casa de Oro) -- Before the main freeway arteries of State Highway 94 and Interstate Highway 8 were built, Campo Road in the East County community of Casa de Oro was a center of community and commerce. Even earlier, Campo Road served as a wagon road providing access to eastern San Diego County as well as Imperial County; it was added to the state highway system in 1933. But lack of vision and planning in the last 20 years has caused Campo Road to now be home to empty storefronts, liquor stores, smoke shops, medical marijuana dispensaries, dive bars, massage parlors, hookah lounges, and tattoo parlors interspersed with other businesses. Some of these shops turn a blind eye to local and state laws and regulations.

FLOOD ADVISORY THROUGH 7 PM

January 9, 2018, 4:30 p.m. -- The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued an Areal Flood Advisory for San Diego County until 7:00 PM.

Doppler radar indicated moderate to heavy rain moving through San Diego County, especially the northwestern sections. This will likely cause urban and small stream flooding in the advisory area from the mountains west to the coast. Rainfall rates of up to one-half inch per hour could locally occur.

Some locations that will likely experience flooding include Chula Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista, Encinitas, National City, La Mesa, Poway, portions of the San Diego city limits, North Park, Hillcrest and Midway District Including Lindbergh Field.

RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO COUNTY BEACHES: AVOID SWIMMING OR SURFING NEXT THREE DAYS

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2018 (San Diego) -- The Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for General Advisories. Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain. This includes all coastal beaches and all of Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean and current conditions. 

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