DEMOCRATS FILE SUIT ALLEGING RACKETEERING AND CONSPIRACY IN 2016 ELECTION

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 21-MAY 30

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

LEMON GROVE REJECTS CLAIMS OVER POTHOLES AND BUCKLED SIDEWALKS

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ACCUSED OF "VALOR THEFT" BY GOP RIVAL, NAVY VETERAN

SAN DIEGO RANKS AN “F” FOR OZONE POLLUTION: CLIMATE CHANGE BLAMED FOR RISING HEALTH HAZARD

CAL FIRE CAPTAIN JEFF GRIFFITH RUNS FOR STATE SENATE TO FIGHT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

HISTORIC HAVEN: JULIAN GOLD RUSH HOTEL

FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH, CHAMPION OF LITERACY CAUSES, DIES AT 92

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD UNDER FIRE FOR RESPONSES TO GUN VIOLENCE PROTESTS

JOIN US AT SWAMI'S! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB APRIL 27

SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

News

LASER-TARGETING OF PLANES A SOARING CONCERN

106 planes struck by lasers in San Diego so far this year

East County News Service

Photo: Federal Aviation Administration, public domain

November 16, 2015 (San Diego) – In the wake of recent terror attacks in France and ISIS threats to target coalition force leaders, security is being beefed up across the U.S.  One area of potential concern is the dramatic increase in laser beams striking commercial airliners, helicopters, private jets and other air traffic.

On November 11th, just two days before the Paris massacres, 20 aircraft were hit by laser beams during flights in the U.S., Reuters reported. Such strikes are potentially lethal, as laser beams could blind pilots, or temporarily distract them during critical take-off or landing times. A laser beam, though a pinpoint of light when transmitted, fans out to become a bright bubble of pulsating light when it reaches the cockpit window. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), nationwide this year through October 2nd there had been 4,966 incidents of lasers striking planes. That includes 106 incidents right here in San Diego through October 2nd this year, 10 news reports – nearly double the 58 incidents locally in all of 2014 and over triple the 29 cases in 2010 of lasers striking planes here.

AFTERMATH OF PARIS BOMBINGS: WORLD MOURNS, FRANCE LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ISIS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: #PrayforParis, Twitter

November 15, 2015 (San Diego) – In the aftermath of the worst bombings in Paris since World War II,  eight coordinated attacks Friday that killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more, France has launched massive air strikes against ISIS in Syria, NBC reports.  The air strikes reportedly destroyed an ISIS command post, arms depot and terrorist training camp.

ISIS, or the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks, calling them the “first of the storm,” according to a New York Times article.  ISIS indicated the attacks were retaliation for French forces supporting a U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  Meanwhile, people around the world have taken to social media to show solidarity with France.

STRONG WINDS, SHOWERS SUNDAY AND MONDAY

 

East County News Service

November 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Strong winds across our region are forecast for Sunday afternoon through Monday, with gusts over 70 miles per hour possible on mountain crests and desert mountain slopes and gusts of 35 to 60 mph in mountain and desert areas. 

Gale force wind gusts of 35 to 40 knots are also forecast over coastal waters, says Stephen Harrison, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Showers are also forecast, with rainfall light in most areas, though mountains could receive a half inch of precipitation.

UPDATE ON LOCAL STUDENTS IN FRANCE

 

Update November 15, 2015: SDSU now confirms that all 34 of its students in France are safe.

East County News Service

November 14, 2015 (San Diego) – San Diego State University confirms that at least 31 of its 34 students in France are safe, including all eight students studying in Paris.  “The other three are in southern France and we are actively reaching out to them, their coordinators and our partner universities,” a press release issued by SDSU today states.

However a student from Long Beach State University is among the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday.  “We are saddened by the tragic events…Our thoughts go out to the victims loved ones and the entire Long Beach community,” the SDSU statement adds.

ANONYMOUS TAKES ON THE KKK

 

East County News Service

November 13, 2015 (San Diego)—For over a century, members of the Ku Klux Klan have terrified and tormented minorities in the U.S.  Now Klan members are getting a taste of  the fear they havge long dished out.  Anonymous, the noted hactivist, has launched a mission of unmasking—or rather unhooding—members of the Ku Klux Klan.

EL CAJON FIRE DISPLACES 3 RESIDENTS, KILLS CAT

 

East County News Service

Photo by El Cajon Fire Marshal Chris Jensen

November 13, 2015 (El Cajon) –Heartland Fire & Rescue crews in El Cajon responded to reports of a structure fire this morning at 9:45 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the second floor of a single-family home at 1715 Eldon Court in El Cajon.

TERROR ATTACKS ACROSS PARIS

 

Updated 11 p.m. with State Dept. contact nunbers for those seeking to locate loved ones in France, along with a link to 24 hour live English-language coverage from France.

East County News Service

November 13, 2015 (Paris, France) – Multiple explosions, suicide bombings and shootings at major entertainment venues across France today have left at least 140 people dead, many wounded and others held hostage by the attackers, Associated Press reports.

French President Francoise Hollande was evacuated from the Stade de France, the national stadium during a soccer match after explosions erupted outside, Reuters reported.  Calling the attacks “horrific” and of an “unprecedented scale,” Hollande ordered borders sealed and said his government has “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure the region.”

“This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people of France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we shares,” President Barack Obama said at the White House, CNN reports.

SWAT TEAM TRAINING NOV. 13-14 IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

November 12, 2015 (El Cajon) -- On Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, the El Cajon Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team will be conducting training at the vacant buildings located in the 100 block of Rea Avenue at Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon. This is a unique opportunity for a very specific and specialized type of training.

There may be explosions and other loud noises heard in and around the area throughout the day.

FINDING THE BALANCE IN CAREGIVING EDUCATES AND HONORS MILITARY VETERANS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS

By Janis Russell

November 11, 2015 (La Mesa)- On November 6th, the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego with the city of La Mesa had an event for caregivers of military veterans called “Finding the Balance in Caregiving- Caring for Veterans.” The event took place at the La Mesa Community Center with resource booths, free lunch provided by AARP, and a drawing. Respite care was available, provided by Heritage Senior Care.

East County Magazine was there- and below are details on many important programs and services to help our local veterans.

COVERT CANYON APPEAL REQUESTS TO BE HEARD FRIDAY BY PLANNING COMMISSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2015 (Alpine)—An appeal by neighbors and two additional requests for permission to file appeals to the County’s stipulated administrative enforcement order authorizing Covert Canyon to conduct firearms training for military, government and law enforcement at its Alpine property.  The requests for appeals will be heard as item 5 on the Planning Commission agenda Friday, November 13.

The formal appeal was filed on behalf of Clark F. and Robin Williams, neighbors with property adjacent to Covert Canyon.  View the Williams appeal (parts 1, 2, 3)  The requests for permission to file appeals came from Danielle Belliveau on behalf of 15 Alpine residents and from attorney Marco Gonzalez representing Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Save Our Forests and Ranchlands, and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation.

SANTEE STALKER: TEENS FOLLOWED BY MAN IN WHITE PICKUP TRUCK

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 10, 2015 (Santee) – The Sheriff’s department seeks public help to locate a Hispanic man in his late 20s or early 30s reported to have stalked multiple teenage girls in Santee near Santana High School.  The suspect was driving a white 1997-2004 Ford F-150 two-door pickup truck, dented on the passenger side between the front wheel well and passenger door. There was a silver tool box in the truck bed.  When last seen, he was unshaven with short hair and a dark complexion.

In the most recent incidents, the truck was seen driving past the home of a 17-year-old girl near Magnolia Avenue and Tomel Court several times over the weekend, at times honking the horn. On November 9, while in the street near her home, the victim recognized the same truck driving slowly behind her.  She started running and the truck then sped up and passed her. She ran home and later saw the truck pass her residence again, said Sergeant Joe Passalacqua.

In late September, Santana’s principal sent a letter warning parents about a suspect in a white pickup following multiple female students near Mast and Magnolia, as ECM reported. 

HONOR VETERANS AND HAVE A GREAT HIKE

 

Source:  County Parks Department

November 10, 2015 (Lakeside)-- This Veterans Day weekend, you can honor the sacrifice and service that all of our military neighbors, friends and family members make to preserve peace and maintain freedom — and enjoy a great “Warrior Challenge” hike at the same time.

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at El Capitan Preserve in Lakeside, the San Diego County Parks Department will hold the first of what is expected to become an annual event: a hiking event with something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner — or little — hiker to those hardcore warrior-hikers as well.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI PRESIDENT RESIGNS OVER RACIAL STRIFE

 

Students’ hunger strike, athletes’ threatened walk-out led to action

By Liz Alper

November 10, 2015 (Columbia, Mo.) -  Just one year after the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, the nation's collective eyes are again focused on Missouri. This week, students at the University of Missouri successfully pushed for resignation of the campus president following his failure to halt racial slurs on campus.

4 ESSENTIAL FACTS ABOUT THUNDERSTORMS EVERY FAMILY SHOULD KNOW

By Sara Bell

Image via Pixabay by panicci

November 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--In many places throughout the country, thunderstorms—and the rain, wind, hail, and lightning that come with them—are unavoidable. And in fact, according to the National Weather Forecast Office, lightning from thunderstorms causes “several hundred million dollars “ in property damage each year, while hail causes $1 billion in damages each year.

You might think that since there is nothing you can do to prevent thunderstorms, there’s nothing—other than staying indoors—that you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your home from their, sometimes, devastating effects.

BALLOT INITIATIVE WOULD END PRIVATE UTILITIES, CREATE STATEWIDE PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT

 

East County News Service

November 8, 2015 (Sacramento) – California’s Secretary of State has approved signature gathering for a ballot initiative that if approved by voters, would end private utility corporations such as San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.

Under the measure, the state would buy out the companies and operate a publicly owned California Electrical Utility District that would set electricity rates, build infrastructure and provide power. Bonds or taxes could be levied to fund costs. The measure’s backer, Ben Davis Jr., contends the state can provide power at lower rates for California customers and notes that nationwide, public utilities have 15% lower rates on average than privately owned utilities.

BODY FOUND BY HIKERS IN JAPATUL VALLEY

 

 

East County News Service

November 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Hikers in the Japatul Valley area east of Alpine found human remains this morning, the Sheriff's department confirms.

Deputies from the Pine Valley sub-station responded at 9:30 to a call in the 24000 block of Japatul Valley Road and confirmed the grisly finding in a nearby canyon. The Sheriff’s Homicide detail is investigating the death, said Lieutenant Kenn Nelson.

BRIGHT LIGHT, BLUE FLASH IN SKY WAS NAVY MISSILE TEST

 

East County News Service

Photo, left:  Missile launch viewed from Anza-Borrego Desert, by Dennis Mammana/@dennismammana.com

November 8, 2015 (San Diego) – People across southern California were startled last night by a bright blue light streaking through the sky with an explosive burst. Videos posted on YouTube and Twitter revealed the sight created fear in some, with one viewer speculating “this could be the end” as the object hurtled closer. Others thought the celestial sight was a U.F.O. or a meteor, since the Taurid meteor shower is slated to be visible in early to mid-November.

But according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the U.S. Navy has confirmed that the object was a Trident II (D-5) missile being tested offshore. While the Navy does not announce missile tests ahead of time, it did ask for airspace offshore to be cleared near Los Angeles International airport last night and flights diverted, the Los Angeles Times reported.

WINERY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT: PUBLIC REVIEW ENDS NOVEMBER 23

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The 45-day review period for public comments on proposed changes to the County’s Tiered Winery Ordinance ends November 23rd

In 2010, Supervisors established a Tiered Winery Ordinance. A key component of it was creation of a Boutique Winery tier, which allowed for tasting rooms in conjunction with ongoing agricultural vineyard operations. Since its adoption, a number of issues have arisen that affect implementation of the ordinance. Planning & Development Services (PDS) held workshops on January 17, 2014 and July 1, 2015  to gather information and comments to utilize in formulating the proposed amendments to the Tiered Winery Ordinance. See our prior coverage of the July hearing here, when some wineries voiced alarm over proposals they feared could put some wineries out of business, while others voiced support for suggestions such as limiting food offerings and sharply restricting entertaining at smaller wineries. 

One set of stakeholders whose voices have been largely ignored thus far have been consumers--the wine tasting public who may want to weigh in on whether they want to hear music at weekend wine tastings or be able to savor food along with wine when visiting local wineries. 

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF BLIGHT: NOV. 12 MEETING IN CASA DE ORO

 

 

Casa de Oro Youth and Residents Seek Answers

November 6, 2015 (Casa do Oro) -- Efforts of local teens with the East County Youth Coalition have spurred action with residents and business owners in Casa de Oro. What started as a neighborhood assessment of 12 of the19 licensed alcohol businesses  on Campo Road by the teens has led to questions by community members. They want to know why businesses and property owners are not meeting business standards related to advertising, trash, graffiti and loitering.

The diverse group met for the first time late September. Now they are closely examining options for improving their community’s quality of life. Another meeting is planned for Thursday, November 12 at 6 p.m in the Casa de Oro Library.

SAN DIEGO ATTORNEYS FIGHT "MOST IRRESPONSIBLE NUCLEAR DUMP EVER" IN FEDERAL COURT

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (San Diego) – On November 3rd, the  utility fraud attorneys at Aguirre & Severson  filed an action in Superior Court seeking to prevent construction of  the world’s first beach-front nuclear waste dump at San Onofre, or what critics call the “most irresponsible nuclear dump ever,” according to a press release issued by the attorneys, who filed the suit on behalf of Citizens Oversight.

The California Coastal Commission is chartered to protect our state’s coastal resources. But on October 6 approved the dump just 100 feet from the beach near San Onofre State Park in San Diego County to hold nuclear waste that remains toxic for thousands of years. Wastes would be stored in thin-walled steel casks guaranteed by the manufacturer to last only 10 years, though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved them for up to 20 years of use. Salt water spray soaking casks could result in even earlier corrosion, yet there is no plan to remove casks even after 20 years. By then, the casks, each weighing 400,000 pounds, are apt to have degraded to the point where moving them safely would be nearly impossible, a press release issued by plantiff's attorneys contends.

Attorney Mike Aguirre called the Coastal Commission’s unanimous vote “an outrageous departure from its chartered responsibilities and the California Coastal Act,” adding, “We want the court to revoke Southern California Edison’s permit to pollute, and force Edison to find a safer location.”  The suit seeks revocation of the permit for the dump.

ASSISTED CARE FACILITY ON AGENDA AT SPRING VALLEY PLANNING GROUP

 

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (Spring Valley) – A proposed assisted care facility on South Barcelona Street will be on the agenda at the Spring Valley Community Planning Group and Design Review Board, which meets Tuesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. in the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District headquarters at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley.

For the full agenda, click “read more” and scroll down.

FREE STATE PARKS ACCESS FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY NOV. 11

 

Source: State Park Service

November 6, 2015 (San Diego)--Veterans, Active Duty and Reserve Military Personnel have free access to state parks on Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11.

In San Diego, state parks offering free admission include Border Field State Park, Cardiff State Beach, Carlsbad State Beach, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park,  Palomar Mountain State Park, San Elijo State Beach, San Onofre State Beach, Silver Strand State Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Torrey Pines State Beach.

Participating state parks include 134 parks that are accessible with the “California Explorer” Annual Pass, plus the California State Railroad Museum and eight State Vehicular Recreation Areas. Veterans, active duty and reserve military personnel must show a valid military ID at the park in order to receive free admission.

TISDALE FIRES BACK, DEFENDS NONPROFIT B.A.D.’S EFFORTS TO BATTLE BIG ENERGY PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine has twice named Donna Tisdale our “Newsmaker of the Year” for her tireless efforts to battle massive energy projects and stand up for rural residents.  She also received the People’s Mic Award from KNSJ  Radio for her advocacy as a backcountry warrior.

But now the warrior is under attack by a series of articles (1) (2) (3) published by Voice of San Diego.  The articles criticize Tisdale and her nonprofit, Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD) for suits filed in Imperial County over desert solar projects. In essence, the series faults cash settlements paid to farmers and claims eight suits yielded no environmental benefits.

But now Tisdale is firing back in a detailed response that contends VOSD’s stories contain false statements  in a “misinformation campaign” she likens to Big Tobacco and Big Oil’s efforts to mislead the public.  “It is no coincidence that San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E’s) Mitch Mitchell is on the VOSD Board of Directors,” she observes, noting that BAD has challenged numerous SDG&E projects.  She denies personal financial gain alleged by VOSD (which presented zero evidence of such).  While the VOSD article addresses issues in 8 lawsuits not in San Diego County, BAD has filed three times that many (24), many of which did result in big wins for the environment in our region-- or developers backing off projects completely, facts that VOSD failed to report. 

Below is Tisdale’s rebuttal in full:

FULL HOUSE TURNS OUT TO HEAR MAYOR AT LA MESA CONVERSATIONS

Next events: The town library – Nov. 18, holiday mixer Dec. 3

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2015 (La Mesa) – A packed crowd turned out at Johnny B’s restaurant in La Mesa last month for a mixer hosted by La Mesa Conversations.

Mayor Mark Arapostathis spoke on Oktoberfest,  which this year was scaled back to two days with fewer vendors but more emphasis on the festival’s German roots.  This Oktoberfest was run by the La Mesa Village Merchants Association, without the Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor addressed how Oktoberfest has changed through the years, reminiscing about past festivals and how the changes have impacted the community and local merchants.

A representantative from the merchants' group also have a preview of upcoming events including Christmas in the Village, a grand reopening of the downtown streets and the centennial legacy project unveiling.

FREEWAY SHOOTING IN EAST COUNTY INJURES 2: CHP SEEKS SUSPECTS WHO FIRED FROM DARK SUV

 

East County News Service

November 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Shots fired from a dark SUV that pulled alongside a Lexus traveling east on I-8 at Los Coches Road in unincorporated El Cajon at 12:57 a.m., injuring the driver and passenger.   

The driver of the Lexus, a 43-year-old woman from Alpine, and her passenger, a 31-year-old man, were transported by ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

RESTAURANT PROPERTY APPROVED FOR CONDOS IN SANTEE

By Mike Allen

November 4, 2015 (Santee)--Bowing to a clear change in traffic patterns along Mission Gorge Road, the Santee City Council unanimously approved changing the zoning and granting development of a 113-unit condominium project at the 3.78 acre site previously occupied by Pinnacle Peak restaurant (which moved to Lakeside), and still the location of the Omelet Factory last month.

The Council heard from about a dozen residents of nearby homes who raised concerns of overwhelming traffic delays and parking problems that could result from the new project, but Council members declined to set any new conditions or changes to the developer’s plan.

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