October 31,2016 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon Police Department has been awarded a $170,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The El Cajon Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education, according to a release issued today.
“The El Cajon Police Department is looking forward to working with OTS, our partners in Law Enforcement, and our community stakeholders to reduce injury and death related to traffic collisions,” stated El Cajon Police Lieutenant Randy Soulard. “With an emphasis on the prevention of pedestrian and bicycle-related collisions, we will work collaboratively using a multi-pronged approach in addressing education and enforcement aspects of collision reduction.”
October 29, 2016 (El Cajon) — Cliff Diamond, former El Cajon Police Chief and past interim Chairman of the East County Chamber of Commerce, died October 25 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Diamond collapsed while on an RV vacation with his wife, Leslie and despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility.
October 28, 2016 (Spring Valley) — The Federal Aviation Administration is hosting a meeting in Spring Valley Tuesday on a proposal to change flight paths to both Lindbergh Field and Brown Field airports, which could sharply increase airliner traffic over East County. The meeting will be at La Presa Middle School, 1001 Leland Street, on November 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.
October 28, 2016 (El Cajon) — The City of El Cajon is moving forward with plans for a new animal shelter. A public hearing on a proposed conditional use permit for the new facility will be held by the city’s planning commission on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers (200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon).
Attorney for white nationalist group developed computer program to drop minority voters off voting rosters in 30 states
By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left: Miriam Raftery with Greg Palast at film debut in San Diego
Investigative reporter Greg Palast’s Academy Award-nominated documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, pulls back the curtain to expose a dark conspiracy to steal votes from millions of minorities across America. A seasoned gumshoe detective turned award-winning investigative reporter, Palast leaves no room for doubt as he masterfully reveals the powerful players behind this insidious scheme.
East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery sat down for an exclusive interview with Palast, in town for the debut of his film in San Diego on Monday. You can hear our interview by clicking the orange audio link, and scroll down to read our review of this must-see documentary.
October 21, 2016 (La Mesa) -- East County Magazine invites you to our Halloween Eve Masquerade Party!
On Sunday, October 30, 4-8 p.m. our party at a private home in La Mesa will be the “happening haunt” complete with Halloween Eve feast, costume contest, live music with the "Bad Randies" string band & Paul Nichols' variety music (Monster Mash and more!) local ghost stories, a trove of prizes, spooky surprises, & a frightfully good time!
This party is open to our weekly newsletter subscribers, our wildfire alert subscribers, and invited guests age 21 and up. Subscriptions are free! Click here to subscribe.
Cost: $12 and bring a dish to share ($10 for Editor’s Club members/sustaining donors)
October 27, 2016 (Santee) – A 67-year-old woman crossing the 10500 block of Mission Gorge Road this morning at 9:30 a.m. was struck by a Cadillac driven by an 82-year-old woman. Santee Fire Department and Sheriff’s deputies responded.
October 27, 2016 (San Diego) -- Do you own a property with a well in San Diego County? Is it dry due to our prolonged statewide drought? Help is available.
A new emergency water distribution program is offering assistance to residents without access to running water for drinking and sanitation due to a dry well. Residents who qualify can receive low-interest loans to replace individual water well systems and install temporary water tanks. The water assistance is not for landscaping or agricultural needs.
Delays are expected Thursday night during one-way traffic control operations
October 27, 2016 (San Diego) - Caltrans crews have scheduled lane closures at the intersection of State Route 67 (SR-67) and Dye Road/Highland Valley Road near Ramona on Thursday night from 7 until 5 Friday morning.
October 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery picked up three awards in San Diego Press Club’s 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards competition.
Our entry titled “Border Fire Leaves Residents Burned Over Bureaucratic Bungling” won the Wildcard category; this year the wildcard topic was “life on the border.” Our media outlet beat out media in all categories for this prestigious award including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines countywide.
Update October 26, 2016: Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered a halt to this action, so California National Guard members won't have to payback bonuses paid out erroneously years ago. President Barack Obama applauded Carter's decision. Read more.
East County News Service
October 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – California National Guard soldiers have been ordered to pay back reenlistment bonuses paid a decade ago, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The bonuses of $15,000 or more were offered to encourage reenlistment. The Pentagon intended those bonuses to retain experts in intelligence and other high in demand services during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
October 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, has received numerous reports around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent CP2000 IRS notice for tax year 2015.
The notice appears to claim a discrepancy between income reported by an employer and the taxpayer’s income tax return.
October 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Yesterday’s storm dropped only minimal rainfall but over 4,000 lightning strikes occurred across southwestern California. But a new storm Thursday evening through Friday could bring heavier rain, hail, thunderstorms and dangerous lightning, the National Weather Service predicts.
October 25, 2016 (El Cajon)—A 14-year-old football player at Grossmont High School was injured by lightning that struck nearby while walking toward the locker room after football practice yesterday around 6:15 p.m.
In 2010, we reported on a coach at El Capitan High School who kept players on a field during a lightning storm in violation of district policy. “The policy of the GUHSD in thunder/lightning storm conditions would be to immediately seek safe shelter at the first sound of thunder and to remain in said shelter until at least ½ hour after the last sound of thunder,” Larry Pear, director of extended and co-curricular activities at the Grossmont Union High School District, told us at the time.
Numerous witnesses report seeing lighting strikes throughout the afternoon in the community, right up until the time the student was struck. So why wasn’t yesterday’s football practice at Grossmont High, in the same school district, cancelled?
October 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – A hearing is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m. in U.S. District Court in downtown San Diego on a restraining order sought by the NAACP and several individuals who claim they were falsely arrested for holding peaceful protests and vigils in the wake of the Alfred Olango shooting by an El Cajon Police officer.
October 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A SIG Alert has been issued for I-8 east due to a two-acre brush fire burning alongside the freeway just east of Greenfield in unincorporated El Cajon. The fire is burning uphill toward the Wal-Mart store, according to the CHP incident page.
ECM has a reporter en route to the scene; check back for details.
Update: KNSD reports Teresa Hudson has been found and is safe. Authorities have not provided further details.
East County News Service
October 23, 2016 (La Mesa)—The family of missing La Mesa woman Teresa Hudson is pleading for help to find her. She left home near Dallas Street and Lubbock Avenue Saturday morning shortly after midnight and is believed to have driven her daughter’s car, a gray Kia Sportage, license plate 6RQX374. She suffers from a psychiatric condition and left without her medication, money, cell phone, food, or water. She was last seen wearing a pink nightgown.
On Sunday, her husband, John, asked people to check back roads in East County. “We’ll be looking in the Dehesa area ourselves, believing she went for a joy ride and got lost and ran out of gas with no way to get help.” The car was low on gas, the family has indicated.
October 20, 2016 (Crest) – The stakes are high in the San Miguel Fire Board race. In July, the board majority voted to axe a contract that outsourced firefighting to Cal Fire, entered into back when property tax revenues had plummeted in the recession and the district had shut down a fire station. Now four candidates want to undo the recent vote and keep the deal with Cal Fire, while four others are running to restore local control. The ninth candidate says he hasn’t made up his mind. There are four seats up for grabs.
All nine appeared at a candidate forum tonight in Crest, a town that burned in the 2003 fires and where residents pay a higher assessment for fire services than any other fire district locally.
October 19, 2016 (Jamul) – The Jamul Action Committee, which opposes the new Hollywood Casino in Jamul, has announced a community meeting on Thursday, October 27 at 7 p.m.in the Jamul Primary multi-use room at 14567 Lyons Valley Road.
Update 2 p.m.: Police this afternoon are blocking access to the site that has been the focus of protests where Alfred Olango was shot on Sept. 27.
East County News Service
October 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested eight protesters last night at 800 Broadway near Mollison, the site where Alfred Olango was shot by police over two weeks ago.
According to a press release, the trouble started last night around 5 p.m. when two people arrived and became angry that a makeshift memorial had been removed. Police say the strip mall’s owner hired a security company to help return to business as usual. Earlier in the day, the release states, ”participants in the memorial, who had been asked to leave the property returned and asked to collect their items. They removed the tents, grills and other memorial and personal items. Neither the property owners nor the police department removed memorial items.
October 16, 2016 (San Diego) – Effective immediately, all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smart phones are banned on all flights to, in, or from the United States due to the risk of explosions. The ban includes carry-ons, checked baggage, and shipping as air freight.
Judge Kreep has 20 days from the date of service (October 7, 2016) to file a written response to the charges, which include conduct while serving as a judge as well as ethical violations during his campaign. California’s constitution provides remedies that could include removal from the bench, censure, public or private admonishment.
October 13, 2016 (La Mesa) – By a 3-1 vote, with Councilwoman Ruth Sterling opposed and Councilman Guy McWhirter absent, La Mesa’s City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a measure that requires signatures of two council members to place any measure on the ballot.
Councilmember Ruth Sterling blasted the action in an e-mail to ECM. “They diminished the people’s right to know, the government’s transparency, “ she said of the Council majority.”This is the people’s government. That fact was ignored.”
Sterling said City Attorney Glenn Sabine indicated there are conflicting writings on whether such action might violate the Brown Act, making it a “gray area.”
October 14, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – After the release of a videotape last week on which Republican nominee Donald Trump boasted in crude terms about grabbing women’s genitals and forcing kisses on them in the workplace, Trump dismissed those claims “as locker room talk” in a presidential debate. When pressed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper on whether he did those things, he claimed he didn’t. Six women have since come forward to state he did sexually assault them, including a journalist and others. In addition, a hearing on alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl by Trump heads to court in December. Dozens of past coworkers of Trump have also corroborated sexually demeaning remarks in the workplace that amount to sexual harassment.
Many top Republicans have yanked support of Trump as a result. GOP Chair Rance Priebus ordered the Republican National Party to cut off all cash to the Trump campaign. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he is done defending Trump. Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State under Republican George W. Bush, stated,”Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.” Former GOP nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney have said they will not support Trump’s candidacy. Conservative commentator Glen Beck called opposing Trump the “moral choice” even if Hillary Clinton is elected.
October 13,2016 (Lemon Grove)—The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to rescind its prior endorsement of Measures U and V, which would legalize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Lemon Grove and La Mesa.
The Chamber website states, “The Board considered additional information and supports both cities’ rights to ban marijuana dispensaries.”
Photos courtesy of E. Rullet and Deerhorn Valley Antler
October 13, 2016 (Jamul)—Monday’s grand opening of the Hollywood Casino in Jamul caused traffic backups of several hours. On Tuesday, residents report delays were reduced to 15-30 minutes for those seeking to run errands in the rural town of Jamul, still a hassle for residents who long opposed the casino. Illegal parking along State Route 94 and side roads continue to pose problems, though authorities have begun ticketing vehicles.
Parents have voiced concerns over safety of students at Steele Canyon High School’s homecoming football game and dance this weekend, the first weekend the casino will be in operation. The traffic and parking issues could also negatively impact JamulFest Sunday, where Lyons Valley Road closes for a parade and parking is tight even in prior years.
October 12, 2016 (El Cajon) — A man walking along Interstate 8 between the first two lanes Sunday night was struck and killed by a motorist. The victim is unidentified, said Officer Kevin Pearlstein with the California Highway Patrol.
The deadly accident occurred shortly before midnight near the Greenfield onramp.
October 12, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Bring you friends, family or favorite team to East County Magazine's "Good Sports" night out at the Hills Local Pub in La Mesa (8753 La Mesa Blvd., near Jackson Drive and La Mesa Blvd) this Wednesday, October 12 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.! There's no cover charge, but the Hills wil donate a percentage of all food and drinks sold to benefit East CountyMagazine and our coverage of East County youth and high school sports, as well as Aztecs and pro sports.