A TIDE OF RATEPAYER REVOLT SWEEPS IN NEW BOARD MAJORITY AT HELIX WATER DISTRICT

RESIDENCY COMPLAINT FILED OVER HELIX WATER BOARD ELECTION WINNER LOUIS TEJEDA

NEW YEAR WALK UP MT. HELIX JAN. 7

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY DEC. 8-22

TWO MEMBERS SWORN IN BY HELIX WATER BOARD, THIRD RACE STILL UNDECIDED

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

READER'S EDITORIAL: STOP THE EFFORT TO PRIVATIZE MEDICARE

VICTORY FOR STANDING ROCK SIOUX: GOVERNMENT TO REROUTE PIPELINE

AZTECS WIN REMATCH AGAINST WYOMING 27-24, WIN SECOND CONSECUTIVE MW CHAMPIONSHIP

TEJEDA TAKES LEAD IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT; ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD RACE TIGHTENS

EL CAJON’S HOUSING ELEMENT REZONING PROGRAM: DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AVAILABLE FOR COMMENTS; COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE JAN. 5

A REVOLUTION OF STRUGGLE CONTINUES FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES IN EAST COUNTY

News

DETAILS ON PAST SHOOTINGS BY EL CAJON POLICE EMERGE

 

ECM records document 9 of the 12 ECPD shootings in the past decade

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2016 (El Cajon)—Yesterday,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that El Cajon Police Department had 12 officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years, including five fatal shootings.  According to the U-T,  El Cajon had the highest rate of shooting per 100,000 people of any law enforcement agency in the county.

The U-T story mentioned only two shootings specifically: the recent fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly having a mental health crisis who pointed a vaping device resembling a gun at an officer, and Kelsey Hauser, a white female passenger fatally shot in January 2016 following a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle that had rammed a police car.

East County Magazine searched our records, which date back to late 2008 when we began publishing,  and found details on a total of nine of the 12 shootings.  At least four of those were fatal, including the two listed above.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER TO RECONSIDER ITS ENDORSEMENT OF MARIJUANA INITIATIVES IN LA MESA AND LEMON GROVE AFTER BACKLASH FROM CIVIC LEADERS

 

Update Oct. 12: The Chamber has rescinded its endorsement of Measures U and V after receiving more information from the cities of La Mesa and  Lemon Grove.

By Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) –Community leaders in La Mesa and Lemon Grove are reacting with shock and outrage over endorsement by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce (ECC) of Measures U and V, which would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the two cities.   Voters in both La Mesa and Lemon Grove rejected similar ballot measures in the last general election.

“The City of Lemon Grove is a dues-paying member of the ECC. Our tax dollars pay for those dues,” states an e-mail sent to  Lemon Grove’s mayor and others  from  Helen Ofield,  President of the Lemon Grove  Historical Society, and her husband, Jack.  “We urge the Lemon Grove City Council and City Manager to oppose the ECC’s action in the strongest possible terms and to cancel its membership in the ECC.”

7 EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATES WILL BE AT TONIGHT'S JOURNALISM FORUM AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2016  (El Cajon) –El Cajon residents are invited to attend a Journalism  Forum featuring candidates running for the  El Cajon City Council.  The forum, co-moderated by journalists from four major media outlets, will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grossmont College at Griffin Gate in Griffin Center. (See map.)

Bring your questions, meet the candidates and hear their ideas and goals for El Cajon.

The moderators will be: Miriam Raftery,  editor of East County Magazine, Karen Pearlman, reporter for the San Diego-Union Tribune, Albert  Fulcher,  editor of the East County Californian, and Marya Fani, broadcast journalist at Mega Network. 

HELIX WATER BOARD CANDIDATES CLASH IN LIVELY CANDIDATE FORUM

 

Listen now: click button above left to hear the candidate forum aired on KNSJ radio.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mark Gracyk,  Dan McMillan, Lou Tejeda and John Linden

October 5, 2016 (Lemon Grove)—Four contenders vying for two seats on the Helix Water District Board shared their goals at East County Magazine’s candidate forum  at the Lemon Grove Library on September 21st.  Incumbent John Linden defended repeated  rate hikes as necessary, while challengers  Mark Gracyk, Dan McMillan, and Louis Tejeda pledged to fight for holding the line against future rate hikes and/or trying to reduce water rates.

Candidates fielded questions from  the audience and from East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery on a wide range of issues including water quality, the future of Lake Jennings, the  land deal for sand mining El Monte Valley, their financial backgrounds and more.

Audio: 

BEWARE OF EXPLODING SAMSUNG WASHING MACHINES

 

Photo: exploded washer, via SaferProducts.gov.

By Miriam Raftery

East County News Service

October 2, 2016 (Washington D.C.) –The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning about Samsung top-loading washing machines made between March 2011 and April 2016.  Some have exploded and others jolted violently, smashing holes into walls and hurling out chunks of metal and plastic, ABC news reports.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN EL CAJON; LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERTS OFFER OPINIONS ON SHOOTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2016 (El Cajon)—No arrests were made overnight as protests continued for a fourth night and into today, following the shooting of Alfred Olango by El Cajon Police on Tuesday.

Tensions remain despite video released yesterday and a photo showing Olango in a shooting stance, aiming a vaping device at Officer Richard Gonsalves, who has said he believed it to be a gun. 

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO ADD ALERTS FOR MISSING PEOPLE WITH MENTAL OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

 

East County News Service

 

October 1, 2016 (Sacramento) -- Governor Brown has signed Senate Bill 1330 into law. The bill, which was sponsored by the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW) and authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), updates the “Be On the Lookout” bulletin to include individuals who are cognitively impaired or developmentally disabled.

COUNTY URGES VOTERS TO CHECK REGISTRATION AFTER MAILING SCAM EXPOSED

 

The Registrar of Voters is urging voters to double-check their registration status on its website after some residents got letters from an organization called the Voter Participation Center claiming the residents aren’t registered to vote.



The organization’s letters offer a pre-filled voter registration form that may include incorrect or outdated information or information for persons who don’t live at the address. The letters are causing some confusion because in many instances, the voter is properly registered to vote.

SDG&E RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ON PLANNED OUTAGES

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Recently, a reader in Julian asked us why a planned power outage announced did not occur, as well as how to tell what circuit powers their location. Since planned outages have occurred in other communities as well, we reached out to SDG&E for details.

Allison Torres, communications manager at SDG&E, indicated that SDG&E makes every effort to notify customers in advance of a planned outage or cancellation of an outage planned. She also provided details on why planned outages are needed, why they are sometimes cancelled, and how to find your circuit number. Here is her response:

7.0 EARTHQUAKE POSSIBLE IN NEXT FEW DAYS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

September 30,2016 (San Diego) –Following a swarm of recent small magnitude earthquakes that began on Monday near the Salton Sea in Southern California, the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) has issued an advisory that there is a small chance that an earthquake measuring 7.0 or  more on the Richter scale could occur on the San Andreas fault before October 4.

The advisory warning includes San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Kern , Imperial and Ventura counties.

STRONG WINDS FORECAST FOR SUNDAY AND MONDAY

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Windy conditions are forecast Sunday through Monday across the County, with strongest winds in the mountains, deserts, and over coastal waters. Gusts could reach 55 miles per hour in the mountain and desert areas, the National Weather Service predicts.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE OVERNIGHT IN EL CAJON: TEAR GAS DEPLOYED AS PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT

 

2 men wanted for stealing photojournalist’s $15,000 camera Wednesday night

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)--Demonstrations continued overnight in El Cajon over the killing of Alfred Olango Tuesday by police.

  After receiving several 911 calls of 50-70 protesters blocking cars and breaking car windows, police declared an unlawful assembly. 10 News reports that tear gas and pepper balls were deployed by police. The station posted video of the incident and reported that protesters also knocked a motorcyclist off a motorcycle. Glass bottles were also thrown at officers. Two arrests were made, according to police.

 “A large group of demonstrators marched through the streets throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,”said Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler.

Police are also investigating theft of a $15,000 camera taken forcibly from a photojournalist.   A video viewed by 250,000 people on social media has led to identification one suspect, San Diego News Video reports.  Public help is requested to identify a second subject shown at the end of a video here: https://www.facebook.com/SDNVtv/videos/918156954956981/

OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?

By Miriam Raftery

September 29,2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shots in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was  Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year. 

Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy, before Olango pulled out a vaping device mistaken for a gun?

Multiple studies over 40 years have shown  that women police officers  are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers,  the Washington Post recently reported.

For example, A 2002 study by the National Center for Women & Policing of excessive force incidents in seven major city police departments found that “the average male officer is over eight and a half times more likely than his female counterpart to have an allegation of excessive force sustained against him … [and] two to three times more likely than the average female officer to have a citizen name him in a complaint of excessive force.”

But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment  and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.

EL CAJON’S WILD WEEK: OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING, NUDITY BAN, PROTESTS AND PARKWAY PLAZA CLOSURE

 

Did lack of mental healthcare “PERT” team response contribute to Olango’s death? 

Suicide Help Resources included below

By Jonathan Goetz

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon) – East San Diego County’s El Cajon was rocked Tuesday with an officer involved shooting of an unarmed black man, Alfred Okwera Olango. The city has remained in the spotlight all week.  Lost amid the blitz of media coverage has been other news, including a nudity ban targeting homeless people.

In chronological order, here are the highlights and lowlights:

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SHARE DIVERSE VIEWS FOR CITY’S FUTURE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear full audio of the one-hour candidate forum by clicking the  orange link.

September 29,2016 (Lemon Grove)—At a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine and the Lemon Grove Library on September 21st ,  three mayoral hopefuls shared their visions for the future of Lemon Grove. 

Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez, along with former Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Rosiak, fielded questions from moderator Miriam Raftery, editor of ECM, ,as well  as audience questions.

Audio: 

UNREST GROWS IN EL CAJON: MAN KILLED POINTED VAPING DEVICE AT OFFICERS,HAD CRIMINAL RECORD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Rebecca Williamson, during vigil at shooting sight this evening

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) –Amid mounting tensions and protests this evening,  El Cajon Police released updates in yesterday’s fatal shooting of Alfred Okwera Olango.  

The updated information reveals the Olango, an El Cajon resident, drew a vape smoking device from his pocket and pointed it at officers. The release also indicates a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team was unavailable due to being dispatched to another call.

A 10 News investigation found  Olango had a criminal record including  a 2005 arrest in Colorado as a felon in possession of a firearm—a semi-automatic pistol in the vehicle he was driving. He also pled guilty to receiving stolen property and driving under the influence in 1999, as well as selling cocain in 2001.

In this confrontation, however, Olango was unarmed.  The Ugandan refugee who came to America  after death threats to his famliy was shot and killed after his sister called officers for help due to her brother's erratic actions.

Tonight, crowds clashed with police.  While organizers of a march and vigil sought to keep the peace, some protesters reportedly threw bottles at police and chased a counter-protester wearing a Trump hat after he shouted racial slurs.

MAN AT EL CAJON PROTESTS ATTACKED FOR TAUNTING PROTESTERS, WEARING TRUMP HAT

 

East County News Service

Photo via CW6 San Diego Twitter

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon protests after Alfred Olango was gunned down by police continue peacefully, but things escalated a bit tonight after a man was attacked for wearing a Donald Trump hat and taunting protesters with racial slurs, ECM has learned.


PARKWAY PLAZA EVACUATED, CAR SHOW SHUTDOWN AMID UNREST AFTER POLICE SHOOTING

 

 

By Rebecca Williamson and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left,by Rebecca Williamson: Marchers at Mollison near Broadway

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza regional shopping center is shut down for tonight after protests spilled into the mall over yesterday’s fatal police shooting of Alfred  Olango, 38, an unarmed African-American man with mental health issues.  Marketing director Ken Gray told  ECM the mall shut down for the night on advice of police.

“ Where I work, a lot of people were crying and screaming,” Gage Miller told  East County Magazine shortly after police evacuated the Walmart store where he works and escorted everyone outside. He said around 3 p.m., “lots of people were marching in the mall and going into the movie theatre…Walmart had to put its gates down. Protesters were spraying water from water bottles all around.”

PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: El Cajon Police

Photos (rest) by Robert Gehr (c)

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon)—A shooting of a mentally ill African-American man by El Cajon Police yesterday  has sparked anger among some community members, though police have released a photo suggesting the man assumed a “shooter’s stance” before he was shot and killed.

Following a press conference this morning by police, civil rights leaders spoke at a press conference calling for a federal investigation.  Marches were held downtown and a candlelight vigil is planned tonight at 6 p.m. the El Cajon Police Station forAlfred Olango, 38.

SDSU’S HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM DEVELOPS PROGRAM TO STOP ACTIVE SHOOTERS

 

Source:  Press release, SDSU Homeland Security graduate program

September 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- What can be done to stop active shooter incidents such as the one at the Washington Mall this week?  Two San Diegans who recently graduated from San Diego State University’s Homeland Security Program, have developed an innovative mobile app solution for preventing, mitigating and responding to active shooter situations. The Active Shooter Identification (ASI) application has the ability to detect a gunshot that supersedes 125 decibels.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL APPROVES “CONNECT MAIN STREET” CONCEPT FOR CITY’S HISTORIC HEART

 

Council also advises public that Prop A transportation initiative would double road repairs in Lemon Grove

By Jonathan Goetz

Pictured: Karen Beth Pearlman, UT Reporter, taking pictures of a Connect Main Street Powerpoint 9/20/16

View the Powerpoint here

September 22, 2016 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove’s City Council approved a theme for the Connect Main Street concept to commemorate the city’s historical heritage, limit traffic and create a walkable heart for the city between Broadway and Central Avenue.  Council members also informed the public that Proposition A, the regional transportation initiative, would double street repairs in Lemon Grove as well as funding freeways and bringing the trolley to UCSD.

CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED TO HALT DEPORTATION OF VETERANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2016 (San Diego) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants, with no exceptions.

But now a San Diego based coalition is calling for protection to stop deportations of hundreds, or potentially thousands of U.S. military veterans who served our country with honor.

MEDIA WATCHDOG: UNION – TRIBUNE’S EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH SDG&E RAISES QUESTIONS

 

Updated to include clarification from  SDG&E that its sponsorship was short-term,  not long-term.

East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2016 (San Diego) — Last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune rolled out a much-touted revamp of its website featuring San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy, as its only sponsor.  The deal allows SDG&E to reach news readers directly with messages such as energy saving tips, but also poses potential conflicts of interests for San Diego’s largest newspaper.

SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan has clarified that the sponsorship was only for two days, not an ongoing sponsorship. She added thiis perspective on the sponsorship:

ZONING HISTORY OF SAND MINING SITE EXPLAINED

 

 

Updated with document links

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2016 (Lakeside) – Some residents of Lakeside’s El Monte Valley have voiced surprise to learn after a sand mining project was proposed that the scenic area has zoning that allows for such use.  Now Robert Hintgen, a planner with the County of San Diego, has provided a history on the zoning designation.

DRIVER WHO INJURED HIS CHILDREN AND KILLED WOMAN, 21, SUSPECTED OF DRUNK DRIVING

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2016 (Ramona) — A Ramona father who crashed his pick-up truck head-on into a car on Vista Ramona Road Monday afternoon near Old Julian Highway appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, said Officer Kevin Pearlstein with the California Highway Patrol.

Pages