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

ALL LANES OF WESTBOUND I-8 TO CLOSE AT I-5 INTERCHANGE THIS SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT

 

Source: Caltrans

May 22, 2017 (San Diego) - All lanes of westbound Interstate 8 (I-8) at the Interstate 5 (I-5)/Rosecrans Street interchange will close Sunday and Monday night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for pavement work, according to Caltrans. All of the connector ramps to northbound and southbound I-5, as well as access to Rosecrans Street, will remain open.  

CRIMINAL ARSON PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GATE FIRE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Cynthia Wharton, taken yesterday from Otay Lakes Road just before it was shut down.

May 21, 2017 – A criminal arson investigation has been launched into the cause of the Gate Fire, which has charred 2,056 acres and is now 70% contained.

Captain Isaac Sanchez with Cal Fire told ECM news partner 10 News that a video shot by a target shooter and posted on social media shows a group of people starting the fire. The video may be this one posted by a user named Vandalsworld on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BUVtlvSBN0r/?hl=en.   The poster claims the people started the fire, but it is unclear whether the fire was started by shooting or some other way. After the fire started, the people could be seen walking away from the scene.

Earlier, some neighbors had blamed the fire on shooters at a target range near where the fire began, in an area where shooting is believed to have started several prior brush fires. But now a shooter may have captured evidence to catch possible arsonists or careless individuals whose actions ignited the Gate Fire.

Firefighters continue to make progress towards full containment, Cal Fire reports.  State Route 94 has been reopened, as well as Otay Lakes Road.  Please drive with caution, however, in this area.

CHILD POISONINGS PROMPT STATE TO PROPOSE LIMITS ON EDIBLE MARIJUANA PRODUCTS THAT RESEMBLE KIDS’ TREATS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 21, 2017 (Sacramento) – California’s Public Health Department wants to limit the potency of edible marijuana products.  That’s because since recreational marijuana became legal after last year’s ballot initiative, emergency rooms are reporting children have been accidentally overdosing on cannabis-laced products such as cookies and candies, including gummy bears, lollipops and other items that look appealing to youngsters, CBS news in Sacramento reports.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: DAVE MYERS, COMMANDER RUNNING FOR SHERIFF

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- Dave Myers wants to be the new Sheriff in town.  He says he’s running to restore accountability, transparency, and community trust to policing.  He’s worked in law enforcement for 32 years and is currently a Commander with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

A native of San Diego, he’s always had a “passion for law enforcement” and to “treat everyone who’s calling for help as if my mother was calling for help.”

Recently, East County Magazine sat down with Myers for an in-depth interview on our show on KNSJ radio. Hear the full broadcast by clicking the audio link above, and view highlights below.

Audio: 

GATE FIRE NOW 300-400 ACRES: EVACUATIONS ORDERED

 

Update 5:55 p.m.:  The Gate Fire is 800 acres and is now 10% contained.  Road closures remain in effect on Highway 94 from Honey Springs Rd. to State Route 188, and on Otay Lakes Road.

Update 4:50 p.m.:   Fire is now 500 acres and still only 5% contained. A Chula Vista policeman directing traffic was struck by a vehicle and has been taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Update 3:20 p.m. :  The Gate Fire is now 425 acres and 5% contained, per Cal Fire. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo left, by Dan Cassidy

May 20, 2017 (Jamul/Otay) – The Gate Fire has scorched 300 to 400 acres,  according to Cal-Fire.  Thus far no structures have been damaged.  The fire is burning  near Highway 94 and Otay Lakes Road, toward the Rancho Jamul Reserve with winds at 10-15 miles per hour.  The fire is zero percent contained and still spreading rapidly. 

BRUSH FIRE SOUTH OF JAMUL

 

East County News Service

Photo: View from atop Lyons Peak,  via UCSD HP Wren webcam

Upate 1:20 p.m. :  Brush fire is now 300 acres. Pio Pico campground has been shut down. There is  a hard closure of  highway 94 from the Dulzura Cafe to State Route 188, per CHP site. Take alternate routes and avoid this area.

May 20, 2017 (Jamul/Otay) --  A brush fire that started on Otay Lakes Mountain south of Jamul has burned 100 acres, per Cal Fire, and is spreading at a dangerous rate of speed in the vicinity of State Route 94 and Otay Lakes Road.

California Highway Patrol has ordered Otay Lakes Road shut down due to the fast-moving fire.

ANIMAL SERVICES FACES PEAK "KITTEN SEASON"

 

 

By James Kecskes, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 19, 2017 (San Diego) - Kitten season is upon us and the County’s Department of Animal Services is getting flooded with kittens. The department is offering spay and neuter coupons to help lower the cat population: $100 for females and $50 for males.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL DROPS OPPOSITION TO GONZALEZ-FLETCHER’S AB 805, SHIFTING BALANCE OF POWER AT SANDAG, DESPITE ASKING FOR FURTHER AMENDMENTS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

May 19, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove City Council voted 3-2 to support, with additional amendments, Assembly Bill 805 authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, which gives San Diego and Chula Vista more power on SANDAG, the regional transportation body in San Diego County.   The key change sought would allow chairs and vice chairs of SANDAG to include leaders from any city in the region, not just San Diego and Chula Vista. 

PADRE DAM RECEIVES CONCEPTUAL APPROVALS AND $116.2 MILLION FOR EAST COUNTY ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM

 

 

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

May 18, 2017 (Santee) - Padre Dam Municipal Water District received regulatory conceptual approvals for the East County Advanced Water Purification Program from the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water. Additionally, the State Water Resources Control Board awarded Padre Dam $116.2 million as part of the Proposition 1 (Prop 1) Water Recycling Funding Program. 

INVESTIGATION OF DUNCAN HUNTER WINS “JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR” AWARD FOR MORGAN COOK

 

East County News Service

May 18, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) will present its 2017 Journalist of the Year award to Morgan Cook, an investigative reporter at The San Diego Union-Tribune, for her investigative reporting that revealed campaign finance scandals involving Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine).

“San Diego has seen its share of big stories this past year, but our board believes no local journalist did better work than Cook in her relentless accountability reporting on Congressman Duncan Hunter’s use of campaign funds for personal expenses. She broke the story last year and continues to follow it after the Department of Justice made clear in March that it is investigating Hunter, whose district covers Alpine, Escondido and Temecula,” a press release from SPJ states.

HUNTER INTRODUCES BILL TO EASE REGULATIONS ON E-CIGARETTES, HAS BIG CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM TOBACCO INDUSTRY

 

By Jordan Damond

May 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act, which eases regulations on vaping and electronic cigarettes.

PADRE DAM CUSTOMERS WILL PAY MORE AGAIN OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS

 

 

By Mike Allen

May 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - Padre Dam Municipal Water District, already charging among the highest water rates in the nation, is proposing yet another five-year rate increase that officials say is necessary to maintain the agency’s services.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING AND TIES TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN: ACTION COULD BE FIRST STEP TOWARD IMPEACHMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

An East County Magazine Special report

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In a bombshell announcement, the U.S. Justice Department has  issued an order to appoint a special prosecutor  to investigate Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.  Far more broadly, the order allows investigation of any matters that arise from the investigation and all other matters within a special prosecutor’s jurisdiction under federal law – including authorization to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation.   

Acting Attorney General  Rod. J. Rosenstein issued the order to appoint Robert Mueller, a former federal prosecutor who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013 under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama.

HOW SAN DIEGO’S REPRESENTATIVES RESPONDED TO FIRING OF FBI DIRECTOR AND REPORTS THAT TRUMP PUSHED COMEY TO BACK OFF INVESTIGATION INTO FLYNN’S RUSSIA TIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s Congressional delegate and California’s Senators are voicing diverse views – and in one case, a crude response to  the firing of FBI director James Comey and a startling report by the New York Times indicating that notes by fired FBI Director James Comey reveal that President Donald Trump  first asked Comey to shut down a federal investigation into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn over his Russian connections, but Comey refused to do so.  (See ECM special report.)

TRUMP PRESSURED FBI DIRECTOR TO HALT FBI INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN RUSSIAN TIES, NY TIMES REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Gage Skidmore

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) –President Donald Trump pressured FBI director James Comey to halt the FBI investigation into former National Security Director Michael Flynn’s Russian connections, but Comey refused, according to a memo written by Comey at the time,  the New York Times reports.  Comey also refused Trump’s demand to jail journalists for publishing leaked materials—shortly before the President fired Comey.   The revelation has top Republican and Democratic Senators preparing to subpoena records that could, potentially, lead to impeachment.

“Obstruction of justice is what it looks like to anybody who’s looking at it,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat working with Republican  Senator Lindsey Graham to investigate the FBI’s role in the federal Russia investigation,  Politico reports. “This is about as lay down a case…as a prosecutor could imagine,” he added.

Republican Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee who has said he won’t seek reelection,  today announced on Twitter that his committee will “get the Comey memo, if it exists,” adding, “I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready.”

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER NEAR VIEJAS RESERVATION

 

East County News Service

May 17, 2017 (Alpine) -- Detectives from the Sheriff's Homicide Detail and the Alpine Sheriff's Station are investigating the apparent murder of a 42-year-old man in Alpine.

Last night at approximately 6:35 pm, the Sheriff's Communications Center received a call of a suicidal man at 31 Viejas Grade in Alpine. Deputies from the Sheriff's Alpine Station responded to the area and found the man unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound. Paramedics began life saving measures but the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

TRUMP LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFO TO RUSSIANS, MULTIPLE SOURCES REPORT: MAY HAVE PUT LIVES AND INTELLIGENCE SOURCES FROM ALLIES AT RISK

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – After the Washington Post reported yesterday that President Donald Trump leaked classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s Ambassador Sergey Kisylyak, multiple major media outlets now report that they have independently confirmation this through their own sources, including the New York Times,  Politico, Buzzfeed and CNN.

NO BULL: ESCAPED CATTLE CAUSE HAVOC IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

May 16, 2017 (Lakeside) – Cattle escaped from a pen in Lakeside on Sunday night, including a bull that wandered onto State Route 67.   Motorist Vicki Coles struck the bull near Willow Road, causing major damage to her Ford pickup truck.

MOTHER’S DAY CRASH IN RAMONA KILLS MOM EXPECTING THIRD CHILD; DRIVER FACES FELONY DUI AND MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES

 

East County News Service

May 15, 2017 (Ramona) –  A Mother’s Day crash last night in Ramona killed a San Diego woman, 29, who was eight months pregnant, along with her unborn child, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT, TAXPAYERS FILE APPEALS

 

By Julie Pendray

May 15, 2017 (Alpine) -- In the latest move to get Grossmont Unified High School District (GUHSD) to build a high school in Alpine, appeals have been filed in the Fourth Appellate Court in San Diego, with oral arguments expected late summer to early next year.

Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability (ATBA) are disputing a 2016 decision by a trial judge who found that Grossmont is not mandated to construct the Alpine school because an enrollment trigger of 23,245 students in the Grossmont district had not been reached “at the time of release of request for construction bids.”

UNIFICATION PROCESS FOR ALPINE TO SPLIT FROM GROSSMONT SCHOOL DISTRICT DRAGS ON; FUTURE OF HIGH SCHOOL HANGS IN THE BALANCE

 

By Julie Pendray 

May 15, 2017 (Alpine) -- When construction of a high school in Alpine was delayed indefinitely following passage of bond measures in 2004 and 2008, Alpine Union School District (AUSD) decided to seek unification. Reorganizing the district would enable it to operate K-12 schools and build the high school without waiting on Grossmont Unified High School District (GUSD), which is responsible for the school’s construction under Props. H and U. Alpine’s proposal was given the green light by the County Office of Education, which forwarded its recommendation to the state Board of Education (Board) in 2014.

UTILITY CUSTOMERS WHO OPTED OUT OF SMART METERS ADVISED TO CHECK READINGS

 

East County News Service

May 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Some utility customers who opted out of having smart meters installed are complaining that they have received inflated estimated bills for their analog meter, says Susan Brinchman, director of the Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa, a group opposed to smart meters.

SR-67 LANE CLOSURES MAY 14 TO 19 IN RAMONA

 

East County News Service

Ramona's Dye & Highland Valley Intersection to be Impacted

May 13, 2017 (Ramona) -- Lane closures with one-way traffic will impact State Route 67 at the Dye Road/Highland Valley Road intersection in Ramona on Sunday, May 14, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and next week during overnight hours from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. rom Monday night, May 15, to Friday morning, May 19.

FREE HANDS-ON ATV SAFETY TRAINING OFFERED AT THE GOLDEN ACORN TRAINING SITE DURING ATV SAFETY WEEK JUNE 2-11

 

Source: ATV Safety Institute

May 12, 2017 (Campo) -- This summer, June 2 - 11, the ATV Safety Institute will be hosting ATV Safety Week throughout the country. ASI is working with certified Instructor Jim Rue who has volunteered to provide free hands-on ATV RiderCourse training in Campo at the Golden Acorn Training Site on June 3 & 10 beginning at 8:00 a.m. at 1800 Golden Acorn Way in Campo.

LA MESA RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ON CITY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

 

Source: City of La Mesa

May 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Applications are now being accepted for volunteer positions on the City’s boards and commissions. The deadline for submission of applications is 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 22, 2017, in the City Clerk’s office at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue. Applications may be obtained at City Hall or from the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.us.

GET IN GEAR FOR COUNTY'S VEHICLE AUCTION

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 12, 2017 (San Diego) - Bidding begins Monday, May 15 for the County’s next vehicle auction but you can jump online now to see what’s going up on the block.

Dozens of vehicles ranging from Ford Crown Victorias, Ford Escapes, Ford trucks and a Toyota Tundra are available. Some not-so-typical vehicles are up for bid, too. Need a remote-controlled car? Parts for a ’65 Ford Mustang? An off-road vehicle perhaps? A sweeper, box trucks and school buses are also up for grabs.

EL CAJON SELECTS TOP FIVE MAPS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

May 12, 2017 (El Cajon) – After inviting the public to submit redistricting maps and hiring a consultant to advise the city as it moves toward district elections instead of citywide elections for all council members, the options have been narrowed to five maps.  Three of the five maps square Councilman Ben Kalasho off against Councilman Gary Kendrick by putting them in the same City Council District.  Four of the five maps put Councilman Bob McClellan and Councilman Steve Goble in the same district.  Below are the maps and descriptions of each proposal.

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