PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPECTACULAR SUNSET IN JAMUL

ALL LANES ON SOUTHBOUND I-5 CLOSED SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHTS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

COUNTY WARNS OF POTENTIAL EBT CARD SCAM

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 17-DEC. 16

HOVERBOARDS RECALLED DUE TO FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

LIVING WITH LIONS: NOV. 18 AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

DID TRUMP TAMPER WITH A WITNESS IN MUELLER INVESTIGATION?

“PROTECT IRAQI CHRISTIANS” DEMONSTRATION THURSDAY IN EL CAJON CALLS FOR PEACE, END TO GENOCIDE

TRUMP NAMES ELI LILLY PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVE TO HEAD HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

PROTESTS, PETITION SEEK TO OVERTURN EL CAJON’S BAN ON FEEDING HOMELESS IN PARKS

TRUMP REMARKS ON PUTIN ELECTION MEDDLING DRAW DENIAL BY PUTIN AIDE AND CRITICISM FROM CIA

News

NEW COUNTY GRAND JURY MEMBERS NAMED

 

Source:  San Diego County Grand Jury

September 27, 2017 (San Diego) - Jeff Bryson, a retired San Diego State University psychology professor, was named chairperson of the 2017-2018 San Diego County Grand Jury, which began service on July 10, 2017.

The jury members, six women and 13 men, were drawn by lot from 90 volunteer applicants.  They serve for one year under a state constitution mandate that counties establish the full-time "watchdog" panels to look into the workings of city and county governmental agencies.

ALPINE SUNRISE POWERLINK MITIGATION OPEN HOUSE SHOWCASES GRANT PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS TO RESIDENTS

 

Concerned raised by Jamul residents who say inequities in fire mitigation grants favor Alpine areas at lesser risk

By Paul Kruze

September 24, 2017 (Alpine) -- Nearly 60 East County residents attended the first open house held by the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group (SPFMG) at the Alpine Community Center on Sept. 19. The purpose of the open house was to educate residents about the fire mitigation grants program and the results of the 2017 grant program.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING SEPT. 28 LOCALLY ON PROPOSED DECISION REGARDING WILDFIRE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SDG&E

 

Update:  The CPUC has announced it will hold this agenda item slated for the Thursday morning hearing, meaning no vote will be taken on this agenda item.  Public comment will still be accepted before all five commissioners at the start of the mornng hearing .

Public comment will also be taken during an all parties meeting later in the day, but not all commisioners will be present at the later meeting. See more details at the end of this story.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2017 (San Diego) –The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Chula Vista City Council Chambers  (276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista) on the CPUC’s proposed decision to deny SDG&E’s application to charge ratepayers $379 million for recovery of its uninsured losses related to the 2007 Witch, Rice and Guejito wildfires.  A similar request for $594 million was previously denied in 2012.

SDG&E sought to recover those losses through a Wildfire Expense  Memorandum Account (WEMA).  The proposed decision against SDG&E has drawn praise from some, including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, but concerns from others including a fire survivor and intervener in the case.  Some ratepayer advocates also warn that the CPUC could  change its mind on the proposed denial of SDG&E’s WEMA application or postpone action following ex-parte lobbying efforts by the utility company.

LA MESA TAKES STEPS TO ADDRESS HEPATITIS OUTBREAK

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap is an important step you can take to prevent spread of Hepatitis A.

September 25, 2017 (La Mesa) – After the County’s emergency declaration over Hepatitis A,  ECM learned that eight cases have been reported in La Mesa and at least six cases in Santee. So we asked both cities what steps they are taking to  address this public health problem.

NORTH KOREAN MINISTER SAYS TRUMP DECLARED WAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Steve Herman, Voice of America (VOA) news, 2013

September 25, 2017 (New York) -- This morning, North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong accused President Donald Trump of declaring war. The top diplomat told media that North Korea reserves the right to shoot down American bomber planes, even if they are outside of North Korean air space, Associated Press reports.

ELEVATED FIRE CONCERNS AS HOT, WINDY WEATHER ARRIVES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2017 (San Diego) – Hot, windy weather is forecast this week, creating elevated fire concerns, the National Weather Service in San Diego advises.

Hottest weather will occur in inland valleys with temperatures up to 100 degrees.  There will also be gusty offshore winds of up to 35 miles per hour starting Sunday night and continue through at least Wednesday. 

FIRE AT SPRING VALLEY HOMELESS CAMP THREATENED CONDOS; HAZMAT CONSULTED AND FIRE CREWS DECONTAMINATED DUE TO HUMAN WASTE

 

East County News Service

 

September 24, 2017 (Spring Valley) – This morning around 1:30 a.m., San Miguel Fire District Engine 16 and Brush 14, along with San Diego and Bonita Fire, responded to a vegetation/trash fire at a homeless encampment near Spring Canyon Drive in Spring Valley.

CRITICS CALL TODAY'S "CELEBRATION" OF SETTLEMENT TO REMOVE NUCLEAR WASTE" A SHAM

 

East County News Service

September 24, 2017 (San Diego)--Critics are calling today's planned rally in Oceanside that "celebrates the removal of nuclear waste at San Onofre" a sham that does not reflect reality, the opinions of nuclear waste experts or the community. These experts say the celebration tricks the media and the public into believing that the nuclear waste problems at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) have been solved.

Local critics say that Citizens Oversight, the group hosting the "celebration" is misleading the public with magical thinking and an irrational belief in "purple unicorns."

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT TO ANNOUNCE TWO MAJOR PROJECTS AT SAN ONOFRE PUBLIC EVENT SUNDAY

 

 

Hear our interview aired earlier this month on KNSJ radio with Ray Lutz, founder of Citizens Oversight, talking about the settlement agreement, by clicking the audio link above.

East County News Service

UPDATE:  Other organizations concerned about San Onofre nuclear waste have issued statements calling today's event as a "sham" and voicing criticisms of the settlement deal. Read more:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/critics-call-todays-celebration-settle...

September 23, 2017 (Oceanside) — Citizens Oversight, an El Cajon-based watchdog group, will be announcing formation of a settlement oversight panel to monitor efforts to move nuclear waste from San Onofre to a safer place pursuant to a settlement agreement with Southern California Edison and the California Coastal Commission.  In addition, founder Ray Lutz will unveil a “1,000-year dry storage challenge” that aims to find a long-term solution to the nation’s lack of storage for nuclear wastes. 

Audio: 

BOULEVARD CONSIDERS IMPACTS OF FUTURE GREEN ENERGY PROJECTS, INCLUDING REVIVAL OF EX-SOITEC SOLAR SITES

 

Two proposed solar projects have been revived under new owners

By Paul Kruze

Photo: Map shows site of Boulevard Solar, one of the two former Soitec projects back in the planning pipeline.

September 22, 2017 (Boulevard) -- Boulevard, CA is a small rural community located about 50 miles east of downtown San Diego on Interstate 8,  nary half-an-hour to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  While residents – a mix of retired people and younger people who work in San Diego but want to experience rural living – are able to experience the best of both worlds, the stark realities of modern life do punctuate the overall quiet and serene quality of this hamlet.

This was apparent at the Sept. 7th meeting of the Boulevard Planning Group, where the dominant topic was the main threat to the area’s rural atmosphere – the development of alternative energy projects, including the revival of two former Soitec Solar projects now moving forward under new ownership.

HUNTER CALLS FOR FIRST STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA: DRAWS BLASTS FROM BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC OPPONENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2017 (San Diego) – In an interview aired on KUSI this week, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) repeatedly called for the U.S. to launch an attack on North Korea in response to nuclear threats.

NEW SAN DIEGO COUNTY LIBRARY KIOSK REMAINS UNOPENED DUE TO HEAT AND DUST IN BOULEVARD

 

Update September 29, 2017 :  Jorgina Soto, San DIego County Library, advises that a soft ribbon cutting is now scheduled for October 16th, with a ribbon cutting slated for early December at a date to be arranged.

By Paul Kruze

Photo:  The San Diego County Library’s new and shiny library kiosk sits in the dark with a heavy cover until further notice.

September 22, 2017 (Boulevard) -- It is back to the drawing board for San Diego County Library officials, who had intended to debut a 24/7 automated library kiosk in front of the old Boulevard fire station at 39923 Ribbonwood in September. But due to unforeseen circumstances, a heavy cover will remain on the kiosk and residents are going to have to wait at least until mid-December before it will be operational.

CITY OF EL CAJON TAKES STEPS TO COMBAT SPREAD OF HEPATITIS A

 

Source:  City of El Cajon

September 20, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon has been working closely with the County of San Diego and other partners since the announcement of the recent Hepatitis A outbreak.  The City is taking an aggressive and proactive role in protecting the safety of the City’s residents and visitors. 

SPRING VALLEY MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OWNER ARRESTED

 

Update September 22, 2017:  Tooma has pleaded not guilty, claiming he only owns a smoke shop next door, not Spring Valley Greens, Patch.com reports.

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2017 (Spring Valley) – The owner of Spring Valley Greens, an illegal marijuana dispensary also known as the Wax Room, has been arrested.  Steve Tooma, 35, has been charged with opening a drug house, criminal conspiracy, and possession of marijuana for sale at the dispensary located at 9925 Campo Road in the Casa de Oro neighborhood of Spring Valley.

PUERTO RICO HIT HARD BY HURRICANE MARIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: NASA/NSR

September 20, 2017 (San Diego) — The eye of Hurricane Maria passed almost directly over San Juan, the capitol of Puerto Rico.  The powerful storm made landfall with 155 mile per hour winds—just 2 miles per hour short of Category 5 status.  It’s believed to be the strongest hurricane in at least 80 years to hit Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory home to 3.5 million people.

OVER 200 DEAD IN MEXICO CITY EARTHQUAKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Policia Federal Mexico via Twitter

September 20, 2017 (San Diego) – A powerful 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City yesterday, 32 years to the day that a 1985 quake killed 9,500 people and destroyed 100,000 homes in Mexico City.  Since then, the city has made major efforts to improve earthquake safety standards.

FIRST AMENDMENT LAWYERS CRITICIZE COUNCILMAN KALASHO FOR LAWSUIT THREATS AND INSULTS MADE TO UNION-TRIBUNE REPORTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

“His behavior is extraordinarily irresponsible. A public official should not be in the business of threatening groundless litigation over acts that are things that reporters do every day.”  -- David Snyder, executive director, First Amendment Coalition

September 19, 2017 (San Diego) – El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho sent emails to San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Jeff McDonald repeatedly calling the award-winning journalist a “troll” and threatening legal action after McDonald asked tough questions about Kalasho’s business dealings and apparent conflicts of interests.

FIREFIGHTERS RAISE AND DISASSEMBLE LEXUS TO SAVE KITTEN TRAPPED UNDER ENGINE FOR 3 DAYS

 

Source: Stephen Moran, San Miguel Fire District

September 19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) --  Adrienne Koroly had his Lexus parked outside his home in Morena Valley. On Saturday morning , he drove from Morena Valley to his parents home on San Vicente Blvd in the Casa De Oro area of Spring Valley. When he stepped out, he heard meowing—not a typical engine purr.

TWO DRIVERS INJURED IN 3-CAR COLLISION NEAR GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2017 (El Cajon) – A Hyundai driver traveling 40 miles an hour rear-ended a Toyota Camry stopped ahead of her as she exited southbound State Route 125 at Grossmont College Drive at 9:10 this morning. The impact pushed the Toyota across SR-125, directly into the path of a Chevy Impala traveling 65 miles an hour.

TASTE SICILIAN & LOCAL WINES, SAVOR AN ITALIAN FEAST SEPT. 21 WITH THE EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB

 

Limited space still available! RSVP deadline extended.

September 12, 2017 (La Mesa) – Our next East County Dining Club event on September 21st at 6:30 p.m. just got even better! Sicilian Excellence will be offering tastes of Anticatindari and Buone Sergio Sicilian wines -- along with a delicious Italian special menu feast at Tiramisu Trattoria (8273 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa) plus local wine tasting  with the award-winning San Pasqual Winery,  Italian popular songs and arias performed by talented vocalist Valerie Watts, a wealth of prize drawings, and more are all part of the fun! 

We have a few seats left, so you can pay at the door ($28) but please call 619-698-7617 to RSVP or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

Cost  includes plated four-course special menu dinner, wine tasting, tax, tip, entertainment, opportunities to meet neighbors and make new friends.

Special menu:  Bruschetta, choice of soup or salad and choice of entrée:  Ravioli Ricotta, Spinaci or Zucca, Melanzana Alla Parmigiana, Pollo Marsala or Picata, Fettucine Bolognsee, Rigotoni Alla Norcina, Cavatelli di Ricotta, and delicious dessert: Tiramisu (plain or strawberry)

NO INJURIES AFTER SMALL PLANE CRASHES IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: San Miguel Fire Department

 

Update  6 p.m. -- FAA records indicate the plane was registered to Brian T. Fink of Ramona. His Linked In site indicates he is an engineer with Qualcomm. Epoch Times reports the plane was heading from GIllespie Field to Warner Springs when an engine failed, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

September 18, 2017 (El Cajon) – A pilot and his passenger escaped without serious injury after the Piper single-engine plane in which they were traveling crashed onto Second Street at El Rey in front of a church in El Cajon yesterday afternoon.

HEPATITIS OUTBREAK INCLUDES 8 CASES IN LA MESA, OTHER CASES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- According to a California Health Alert Network bulletin, San Diego County’s outbreak of hepatitis A now includes  cases in La Mesa, El Cajon and Santee as well as unincorporated areas of the County, though cases have now been confirmed “in all parts of the County,” the report states.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL PLANNED SUNDAY FOR MISSING SAN DIEGO WOMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 16, 2017 (San Diego) - Julia Jacobson, a 37-year-old Army veteran and San Diego resident, has been missing since September 2nd, along with her dog.  Family and friends are holding a candlelight vigil on Sunday, September 17 at Ventura Cover Park, 3209 Gleason Road in San Diego at 7:30 p.m.

NIGHT WORK ON SR-67 IN RAMONA BEGINS SUNDAY FOR ONGOING TREE MAINTENANCE

 

Source: Caltrans

September 16, 2017 (Ramona) - Caltrans Maintenance crews will close a two-block portion of Maine Street/State Route 67 (SR-67) from Wynola Street to Rotanzi Street in Ramona, Sunday from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. for tree pruning and removing dead wood. Signs will be posted directing motorist around the closure.

PASSAGES: LA TORTA RESTAURANT OWNER MIGUEL ANGEL ROJAS

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2017 (La Mesa) – Miguel Angel Rojas, 54, owner of the La Torta restaurant in La Mesa, died on September 10th.

“ A husband, father, brother and friend, Miguel, was beloved by many,” states  a GoFundMe page set up by Rojas’ stepdaughter to help his wife, Felicia, and daughters.  “Many people came to know Miguel through his food and friendship.  Unfortunately, Miguel was taken from the Rojas/Reed family very suddenly and without preparation. Any donations received will be used for funeral services, hospital bills and to support Miguel's wife and daughters. Prayers and condolences are appreciated.”

PROTECT YOURSELF AFTER EQUIFAX HACK

 

The San Diego District Attorney’s Office warned consumers today to consider taking steps to protect their personal identifying information in the wake of a recent data breach at one of the large credit bureaus in the United States, Equifax.   Cybercriminals stole 143 million credit records in the recent hacking scandal at the big-three credit bureau.

LA MESA GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO SILVERGATE’S LITTLE FLOWER HAVEN DEVELOPMENT, FATE OF DESIGN REVIEW BOARD IN QUESTION

 

By Jonathan Goetz

September 14, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council gave the green light to Silvergate’s 130-unit apartment development at the site of the former Little Flower Haven Convent on La Mesa Blvd., reversing their earlier 2-2 deadlock.  The item passed 4-0 with Councilman Colin Parent recused because he lives near the site.

The development sparked mass opposition from neighbors, primarily due to a parking variance that allowed 193 parking spaces under a  State "density bonus" law as opposed to 260 spaces under La Mesa municipal code, because 10% of the project will be affordable housing units.

Council insisted their hands were tied and that they risked jail time if they didn’t approve the development.  The reversal comes after the developer’s lawyer sent a letter threatening to sue the city if Council would not approve the project.

SUPREME COURT REINSTATES TRAVEL BAN ON SOME REFUGEES UNTIL HIGH COURT HEARS CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court today blocked an Appeals Court order that would have allowed refugees who already have contractual agreements from resettlement agencies to enter the U.S.  The ban could be temporary, put in place until the justices issue a final ruling after deliberations on the case begin in mid-October.

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