VOEPEL-TEORA ASSEMBLY RACE HEATS UP

LOCAL REPUBLICAN PARTY SNUBS TRUMP, WITHHOLDS ENDORSEMENT; SD DEMOCRATS MAKE DUAL ENDORSEMENT OF CLINTON AND SANDERS

TRUMP SAYS HE WILL CANCEL PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT, CUT POLLUTION REGULATIONS TO BOOST USE OF OIL AND COAL

EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TO OPEN SOON, MAYOR PROMISES

SHERIFF’S WISHBONE THE BEAGLE AND HIS "SMELL AND TELL" BOOK READING JUNE 25 AT EL CAJON LIBRARY

TRUMP TO HOLD RALLY IN SAN DIEGO MAY 27, COUNTER PROTEST PLANNED

NIGHT SKY PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP JUNE 25-26 IN BORREGO SPRINGS

SANTEE STREET FAIR AND CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL MAY 28

EL CAJON POLICE CHARGE FORMER UBER DRIVER WITH 5 MORE SEXUAL ASSAULTS, INCLUDING RAPE OF A 13-YR. OLD

SOLARTE TIES THE GAME, BUT GIANTS SWEEP IN EXTRAS

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

CLINTON BACKS OUT OF CALIF. DEBATE WITH SANDERS

News

SHUT DOWN: FAA CONFIRMS CLOSURE OF CONTROL TOWERS AT RAMONA AIRPORT AND BROWN FIELD

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed closure of 149 air traffic control towers due to sequestration cuts that are mandated due to Congress failing to agree on how to balance the federal budget.  That includes towers at Ramona Airport in East County and Brown Field in Otay Mesa, both slated to shut down starting April 7.

Closure of the Ramona facility had sparked widespread protests from local officials and the public, who had urged the FAA to keep the tower open to assure protection of firefighters at the backcountry airport.

PRIVATE PLANE LANDS SAFELY ON STATE ROUTE 125

 

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

March 22, 2013 (Otay) -- This morning at 11:05, California Highway Patrol communications began receiving reports that a small private plane had been forced to land on the freeway after experiencing mechanical problems.  CHP officers responded to these reports and located the Cessna 150 on the right shoulder of State Route 125, near the Otay River Bridge. 

INSIGHTS AND REACTIONS TO CPUC DECISION ON POWER PLANTS

 

Approval of Escondido power plant restart triggers local generation charge to ratepayers

Story and photos by Nadin Abbott

March 21, 2013 (San Diego)—East County residents savored victory following the California Public Utilities Commission’s unanimous rejection today of Quail Brush, a gas-fired power plant proposed near Mission Trails. Commissioners also rejected the Pio Pico plant in Otay Mesa, but approved refiring an Escondido power plant.

But according to Lane Sharman, co-founder with Bill Powers of the San Diego Energy District Foundation, a grassroots group trying to get community based utilities, this vote did something else. It added one more tax to your utility bill. Not only are rate payers to pay for energy distribution and transmission distribution, but now  a local generation charge as well. Effectively, ratepayers will be subsidizing utilities, according to Sharman.

WANT TO BE ON THE RADIO? KNSJ HOSTS TRAININGS IN DESCANSO STARTING MARCH 28

March 21, 2013 (Descanso) -- Descanso will soon be the home of a new non-commercial community radio station, KNSJ, which will broadcast on 89.1 FM from Monument Peak, Mt. Laguna.  The station aims to begin broadcasting in April, once a transmitter is built.

The station is actively soliciting community members to broadcast their own shows, stories, events listings and items of local information, and to join with and guide the station as it grows into a real 24/7 media outlet by and for the people.

BREAKING NEWS: CPUC REJECTS QUAIL BRUSH AND PIO PICO

Commission allows repowering of Escondido plant

“Today’s rejection of Quail Brush is not only a victory for the environment. It’s a victory for our community. It sends a message that San Diego County shouldn’t rely on old-school, power plant technology and that we can accelerate our efforts to develop renewable, cleaner forms of energy, like rooftop solar and fuel cells.”—Supervisor Dianne Jacob

March 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Before a packed audience in San Diego today, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied SDG&E’s requests to build Quail Brush and Pio Pico, gas-powered peaker plants near Mission Trails Regional Park and in Otay Mesa.  The Commission did, however, authorize repowering of an existing but idle gas plant in Escondido.

MISSING THERAPY DOG, NAPOLEAN, BELIEVED STOLEN

 

Update: A $500 reward is now being offered for Napolean's safe reward.

March 22, 2013 (Alpine)--On Tuesday afternoon, March 19, Napoleon, a French Bulldog, went missing from the backyard of his home in Alpine. Napoleon is almost 11 years old and has retired from his job as a therapy dog to live out his days with the Storms family and their 5-year-old daughter, Carson. The dog specialized in working with developmentally disabled adults that have violent tendencies. He is a black-brindle French Bulldog with white markings. He weighs around 25 pounds and was wearing a blue plaid collar.

Napoleon has also been the center of a love story. After taking part in his owners' wedding as a 'Groomsdog' he was on a flight from San Diego to Charlotte, N.C. with a close friend of the family who subsequently met his wife, a Delta flight attendant, during the flight when they started talking about the handsome dog.

COALITION BACKS COUNCIL COMMITTEE'S SUPPORT FOR PURIFYING SAN DIEGO'S WATER SUPPLY

Broad coalition urging city leaders to move forward with safe, reliable options for drinking water in San Diego

March 20, 2013 (San Diego) The Water Reliability Coalition (WRC), a broad-based affiliation of environmental, business, consumer, labor, development, taxpayer and technical organizations, has come out in support of the City of San Diego’s Natural Resources & Culture committee’s decision to move forward in implementing water purification in the City of San Diego.

Earlier today, before the council committee voted unanimously to support water purification, WRC members stood beside Mayor Bob Filner, Council President Todd Gloria, and Councilmembers David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf to encourage city leaders to take the steps needed to implement water purification.

PADRE DAM BOARD APPROVES LEASE FOR SANTEE TEEN CENTER; COST IS A DOLLAR A MONTH

 

March 20, 2013 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a $1 per month lease agreement for the Santee Teen Center located at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. The City of Santee requested the $1.00 per month lease payment for the Teen Center building due to funding shortfalls for the Teen Center Program.

ANONYMOUS DONOR PLEDGES TO ERASE $85,000 BUDGET GAP FOR JULIAN FIRE DISTRICT-- BUT BOARD WON'T COMMIT TO SAVE FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Closed-door meeting with county fire officials reported by residents violated Brown Act, legal experts advise ECM

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2013 (Julian)—At a March 14 meeting of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire District Board  to discuss the possibility of joining the County Fire Authority and dissolving the community’s volunteer fire district due to financial shortfalls in the emergency medical services side of the ledger, Fire Captain James Stowers made a surprise announcement.

LED LIGHTS RECALLED DUE TO FIRES CAUSED BY BULBS

 

March 19, 2013 (Washington D.C.) - The Consumer Product Safety Commission announces a voluntary recall of LED light bulbs marketing under the brand names Definitely, EcoSmart, Sylvania and Westingthouse manufactured by Citizens Electric and Lighting Science Group. For details on the specific products, scroll down.

The bulbs can overhead, causing a fire hazard.  At least 68 product failures have occurred, including eight where visible smoke or fire occurred. These incidents damaged light sockets, melted fixtures, burned carpeting/floors and damaged a circuit and lamp.

JUDGE REFUSES TO HALT CLOSED-DOOR CPUC MEETING IN SAN DIEGO; PLAINTIFF FILES APPEAL

 

Public meeting and vote set for March 21 on 3 local power plants, though judge denies public entry to March 20 with energy industry representatives and state regulators

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2013 (San Diego)— Superior Court Judge  Timothy Taylor today denied an injunction sought by Masada Disenhouse, who had asked the court to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door, invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on Wednesday, March 20.

COWLES MOUNTAIN MAIN TRAILHEAD TO CLOSE FOR 7-WEEK RESTORATION; OTHER ROUTES TO THE SUMMIT ARE OPEN

 

March 17, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --  The trail to the top of Cowles Mountain from the Golfcrest Drive/Navajo Road trailhead is slated to be closed from Monday, March 25 through Friday, May 17 due to a trail restoration project.  The restoration is estimated to take seven weeks, though dates are subject to change, Jay Wilson with the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation told ECM.

CALVET CELEBRATES WOMEN VETERANS HISTORY WEEK IN CALIFORNIA MARCH 18-24

March 18, 2013 (Sacramento) –  Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proclaimed Women Veterans History Week in California, March 18-24, 2013 to honor their courage and sacrifice in defense of our nation.

“Currently, women make up 14% of the active duty U.S. Armed Forces and 18% of the Guard and Reserves.  Women also make up 8 percent of the total U.S. veterans population and 10 percent of the veterans population in California,” said Peter J. Gravett, CalVet Secretary.  “Nationally and statewide, the women veteran population will continue to grow. Therefore, it is imperative that we remember to recognize and honor their service and contributions, as they often face unique challenges when transitioning out of the military and back into our communities.”

MEDIA WATCH: OPPOSE PROPAGANDISTS AS MEDIA OWNERS; SIGN A PETITION ASKING THE L.A. TIMES NOT TO SELL TO THE KOCH BROTHERS

Sign petition:  http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/latimeskoch/#1

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2013 (San Diego) – For weeks, rumors have abounded that the respected Los Angeles Times newspaper and its parent Tribune Company may sell to would-be buyers whose goal is not journalism, but propaganda. On March 17, U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester told MSNBC news that the billionaire Koch Brothers, major financial backers of the TEA Party, are interested in buying the Times empire, which includes the Chicago Tribune as well as the L.A. Times

MOTORCYCLIST STRUCK BY CAR ON HIGHWAY 78 SUSTAINS MAJOR INJURIES

 

March 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Shirley Frantum, 51, of Upland was riding her Harley Davidson east on Highway 78 on March 16 when she entered a curve east of San Felipe Road. She was struck by a Hyundai Sonata driven by Matthew Hon, 20, from Murrieta.

“According to witness statements, the Hyundai and the motorcycle entered the curve at approximately the same time.  The driver of the motorcycle was traveling on the double yellow lines," said Officer Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol. “ The Hyundai was driving close to the yellow lines, but still within the westbound lane.”

SANTEE MAN KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH ON HIGHWAY 52; SPRING VALLEY WOMAN AND CHILDREN INJURED BY SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER

 

March 18, 2013 (Santee) –  Matthew T. Leonardo, 30, of Santee has been identified by the Medical Examiner as the driver killed last night in a head-on collision on State Route 52 near Santo Road at 9:08 p.m..  The crash also seriously injured a Spring Valley woman, Alisa Cunningham, and her three children in the vehicle struck by Leonardo.

According to California Highway Patrol, he was driving a 2012 Ford Focus when he entered the freeway heading the wrong way, traveling west in the eastbound lane at a reported speed of 65-70 mph.

SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS TO HONOR FIRST AMENDMENT FIGHTER TERRY FRANCKE OF CALAWARE ON MARCH 27 IN SAN DIEGO

Terry Francke

March 20, 2013 (San Diego) – The Society of Professional Journalists will honor Terry Francke of Californians Aware (CalAware) with SPJ’s Sunshine Award for his efforts over many years. The  award will be presented on March 27 at 6:30 at the 501 West Broadway office of Sheppard Mullin on the buildings 19th floor.

Francke, currently general counsel for Californians Aware, has a 31-year history of helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment and open government rights.

SAN DIEGO TO BE TARGET OF NATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST DRONES APRIL 4-7

 

March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--A coalition of local and national organizations will hold four days of action in San Diego to protest the U.S. government’s use of drones, from April 4-7, 2013.  The host group, Drone Diego, has invited participants from across the nation to call attention to the threats from increasing unmanned robotic warfare by the United States.  Drone Diego will host varied events over a half-week-long series of actions.  

SD COUNCIL VOTES TO IMPROVE EMERGENCY DISPATCH COMMUNICATIONS

March 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- On March 11,  San Diego’s City Council unanimously approved funding for a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The CAD system is used for dispatching emergency 9-1-1 calls and is of critical importance to emergency response times. In an emergency, seconds can make every difference, including that of a life or death situation. The current software was originally written in the mid-1970s and the existing CAD system was installed in 1991.  The council’s action approved $6.9 million in one- time revenue toward the long overdue CAD system replacement.

The new CAD system will improve response times and modernize the tools available for the efficient dispatching of 9-1-1 calls. By committing the necessary funding to upgrade the CAD system, we increase public safety for all San Diegans and give our first responders the tools necessary to serve our residents. It is estimated that the CAD system replacement will take three to five years, depending on the scope of work.

CITY OF EL CAJON WINS SPECIAL AWARD FOR CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

March 17, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon Recreation Department is the recipient of California Park and Recreation Society’s (CPRS) Achievement Award for the City’s Centennial Celebration Event held on November 12, 2012. The award was announced in February, and formally presented at the March 12, 2013, City Council Meeting by CPRS Board President Susan Richardson.

Richardson stated that El Cajon is one of the leaders in the State of California in recognizing that recreation programs and parks are essential to the quality of life within a community.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECT IN FATAL HIT-AND-RUN

March 17, 2013 (San Diego) – A 50-year-old man was struck and killed while attempting to cross Interstate 15 north of the Landis Street overcrossing near University at 6:55 p.m Wednesday night. 

According to the CHP,  the victim was hit by a Mercedes traveling 50 to 60 mph in the number one lane.  The driver was not injured. The victim’s name has not yet been released, pending notification of  family.  The collision remains under investigation.

If you have information on this accident, call Officer Jake Sanchez at the San Diego CHP office at (619) 220-5492.

MISSING SANTEE MAN, 77, NOT SEEN SINCE MARCH 10

 

March 16, 2013 (Santee) –The Sheriff’s office seeks public help to locate James Robert Albright, 77.  He was reported missing yesterday by his caretaker, but has not been seen since March 10 at Albright’s residence in the 10100 block of Kerrigan Street, Santee. 

Albright has  a full beard and mustache, brown and grey hair, and blue eyes. He stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  It is unknown what type of clothing he was wearing when he disappeared.

“His family is extremely concerned for his welfare,” a press release issued by the Sheriff’s office states. Albright may be in need of medical care for a medical condition.  

MAYOR BOB FILNER LAUNCHES OPEN GOVERNMENT WEB PAGES

 

March 16, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner has launched the City’s first ever Open Government web pages. The newly created web pages are another step by Mayor Filner to provide easier access to documents the public has a right to and need to know.

“The public has a right to know what their government is doing, and why,” said Mayor Filner. “This information will help make it easier for the public to participate and find documents.”

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE GIVES PREVIEW OF FARMERS’ MARKET OPENING MARCH 21 IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

January 30, 2013 (El Cajon) Updated March 15, 2013- Last week, Troy McKinney, Fresh Fund coordinator from the International Rescue committee (IRC), participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine. He gave more details of the future farmers’ market that will be set up on the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon each Thursday starting March 21.

Like the IRC’s farmer’s market started four years ago in City Heights, the El Cajon farmer’s market will help both local refugees and the broader community.

8 POWER POLES COLLAPSE IN EL CAJON: OVERNIGHT ROAD CLOSURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos courtesy of Heartland Fire

March 14, 2013 (El Cajon) – Mollison Avenue is closed between Washington and East Main Streets due to eight power poles that toppled over.

“It might be a good 24 hours,” Monica Zech, spokesperson for the City of El Cajon, told ECM late tonight. Earlier an estimated 1500 residences were without power, though all but about 300 have now been restored. 

“Some residents are trapped in parking lots and can’t get out of their homes. Others parked on side streets and went in,” she said, adding that there were no evacuations and El Cajon Police have been escorting pedestrians back into the area.

FIRST PEDIATRIC INFLUENZA DEATH REPORTED IN SAN DIEGO

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--Three additional deaths were reported for this flu season, including the first child’s death, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced yesterday.

A 10-month old child who had underlying health conditions died in February and was referred to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death. In past flu seasons, San Diego has reported zero or one pediatric death each year due to influenza. Last year there was one pediatric death.  The total number of overall deaths for this flu season is 51.

RESTAURANT MEALS PROGRAM INCREASES HOT-FOOD OPTIONS

Certain CalFresh Recipients Eligible to Participate

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has launched a new program to help seniors, disabled individuals and homeless gain more opportunities to buy hot, prepared meals with their CalFresh benefits.

The Restaurant Meals Program allows certain CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) recipients who have difficulty preparing meals for themselves or do not have a place to store and cook food, to use their benefits at participating restaurants.

DISASTER FUND CREATED FOR GERRY FOWLER, SURVIVOR OF 35-FOOT FALL INTO WELL IN POTRERO

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

March 13, 2013 (Potrero)—Community members in Potrero are rallying to raise funds to help pay for the medical expenses of Gerry Fowler, who was critically injured on Sunday March 10 when he fell into the family's well, as ECM reported. Fowler, an independent truck driver, does not have medical insurance. 

Walena Arnold, owner of the Potrero General Store told ECM that the community is very close knit and that a fund has been created to help defray the medical costs.  Blood donations are also needed and can be made in Gerry Fowler’s name at the San Diego Blood Bank.

SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list. 

“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and  all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states.  The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120  requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”

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