DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 26-JUNE 23

BRUSH FIRE CHARS PORTION OF MISSION TRAILS, CLOSES THREE TRAILHEADS

BIRD TALK: THE KINGBIRD

BURGLARY SUSPECT DIES AFTER BEING TASERED BY DEPUTIES IN LEMON GROVE

MISSION TRAILS ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROPOSED MAJOR GAS PIPELINE THROUGH REGIONAL PARK AND SANTEE NEIGHBORHOODS, AGREE WITH SDG&E THAT MIRAMAR ROUTE IS SAFER OPTION

THE EPIC COWLES HIKE

CRIMINAL ARSON PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GATE FIRE

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS HOSTS TOWN HALL MEETING JUNE 19

CHILD POISONINGS PROMPT STATE TO PROPOSE LIMITS ON EDIBLE MARIJUANA PRODUCTS THAT RESEMBLE KIDS’ TREATS

VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS IN DULZURA

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: DAVE MYERS, COMMANDER RUNNING FOR SHERIFF

GATE FIRE NOW 300-400 ACRES: EVACUATIONS ORDERED

News

USDA REMOVES ANIMAL ABUSE INFORMATION OFF WEBSITE; ASPCA THREATENS LEGAL ACTION IF NOT RESTORED

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Information on Animal Welfare Act violations has been taken down off the Department of Agriculture’s website under the Trump administration.  The action has outraged animal rights activists and consumers, who rely on the information to check complaints of animal abuse including puppy mills, horse racing, zoos, circuses, laboratories and other facilities.

NEVADA DAM FAILURE AND HOLE IN OROVILLE DAM SPILLWAY HIGHLIGHT PROBLEMS WITH AGING DAMS

 

Source: American Rivers

Photo: Oroville dam spillway overflows for first time in history: Butte County Sheriff via Twitter

February 11, 2017 (Washington) – The failure of a dam in northern Nevada Thursday and the appearance of a 30-foot deep hole in the spillway of the nation’s tallest dam – Oroville Dam in California – highlight the crumbling of our nation’s water infrastructure and the danger posed by aging dams.

CALIF. ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA JOINS 6 STATES, ASKS SUPREME COURT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR NON-CITIZENS DETAINED BY FEDERAL GOVT.

 

East County News Service

Photo:  Iraqi church leaders and families held prayer vigil in 2015 for Christians detained 6 months or more at ICE facility in Otay Mesa

February 11, 2017 (Sacramento) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the state attorney general from Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Jennings v Rodriguez, a case involving the federal government’s authority to detain non-citizens pending completion of their removal proceedings.

HUNTER BILL WOULD DEFUND SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES AND COLLEGES: HIS ACTION COULD MEAN HUGE LOSS OF FUNDS FOR CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- On Thursday,  San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter issued a press release announced that for Fiscal Year 2018, he will not submit any federal appropriations requests on behalf of states, cities, universities or other entities that have an ordinance, policy or practice in place that undermines the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  

IMMIGRATION RAIDS SPARK FEAR, GO BEYOND DEPORTING CRIMINALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) – Immigration raids in cities across the nation conducted since Friday are striking fear among immigrant communities.  Although the Trump administration has claimed the sweeps are routine, some of those picked up for deportation have no criminal backgrounds, belying President Donald Trump’s post-election promise to focus on criminals.

RATE RELIEF, DROUGHT UPDATE, AND LEAD TESTING WATER IN SCHOOLS ARE ON AGENDA FOR HELIX WATER FEB. 15

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (La Mesa) — On Wednesday, Helix Water District’s Board will be asked to provide staff with direction regarding Director Dan McMillan’s request for an analysis on reducing water rates—and setting a date for a board meeting to discuss those options. 

EL CAJON RESIDENTS SOUND OFF TO KALASHO: BIGGEST ISSUES ARE HOMELESSNESS AND GILLESPIE FIELD

 

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The homeless issue in El Cajon is apparently reaching the boiling point, judging from a Feb. 9 town hall meeting hosted by newly-elected City Councilman Ben Kalasho.

APPEALS COURT RULES 2007 FIRE SURVIVOR CAN RECOVER DAMAGES FROM SDG&E FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2017 (Poway) –Judge O'Rourke on the Fourth District Court of Appeal has issued a decision finding that Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss erred in not allowing 2007 wildfire survivor William Michael Hensley to present evidence of emotional distress damages.

According to the court decision, William Hensley was out of town when the wildfire forced his wife, Linda, and their daughter to evacuate.  Worried about their safety, he came home early and drove with Linda to a nearby location where they watched the fire burn houses close to theirs, fearing  that everything  had been lost.  Their house was damaged and a large grove of avocado trees burned down.

LIVE NATION SEEKS TO MANAGE A RESTORED EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dancers performed in front of ECPAC in its heydey.

February 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – The long-shuttered East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) may finally be reopened under management of Live Nation, which claims to be the global leader in live entertainment. According to the company’s website,  Live Nation operates in 7 nations, has produce shows in nearly 40 countries, and has a concert somewhere in the world every 20 minutes.

The El Cajon City Council will vote Tuesday, February 14th at its 3 p.m. meeting on authorizing the City manager to negotiate a draft management agreement with Live Nation .  View agenda and attachments. 

9TH CIRCUIT PANEL OF 3 JUDGES UNANIMOUSLY RULES AGAINST TRUMP ON TRAVEL BAN, AFFIRMS THAT REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS FROM 7 BANNED NATIONS AND GREEN CARD HOLDERS SHALL BE ADMITTED TO U.S.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 9, 2017 (Seattle) – In a unanimous verdict in State of Washington v. Trump, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against President Donald Trump and refused to reinstate a travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim nations.  That means admission to the U.S. will resume for refugees  and for immigrants who are citizens of of Iran, Iraq, Libya Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as green card holders with permanent residency in the U.S.

In their decision, the judges wrote, “The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States. Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree…”

EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION REJECTS CREMATORIUM; OWNER WILL APPEAL TO CITY COUNCIL

 

 

By Mike Allen

Photo: Wadie Deddeh

February 8, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The owner of East County Mortuary says he will appeal the Planning Commission’s denial of his application to open a crematorium in an El Cajon industrial park.

On Feb. 7, the Commission voted 3-1 to deny the crematorium and approve findings by the city’s planning staff that the crematorium wasn’t compatible with the manufacturing uses in the zone.

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST TRUMP OVER ORDER BANNING NEW SAFETY, HEALTH AND WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Today, the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump.  The suit challenges Trump’s executive order banning federal agencies from issuing any new regulations unless they eliminate two others.

DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER FLEEING SCENE OF FATAL HIT AND RUN IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 8, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A 75-year-old man who was crossing Sweetwater Road north of Tyler Street in Spring Valley at 10 p.m. last night outside of a marked crosswalk was struck by a Mercedes. He died at the scene of his injuries.

9TH CIRCUIT TO HEAR ARGUMENTS ON TRUMP TRAVEL BAN: HIGH TECH COMPANIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS WEIGH IN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday refused to halt refugees and citizens from 7 Muslim nations from entering the U.S., CNN reports.  The action follows a decision Friday by federal judge James Robart in Washington State that blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

EL CAJON ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER MOVING TO TEXAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry has accepted a position as Assistant City Manager for Dallas, Texas.  A Syrian immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child, Al-Ghafry previously worked in Texas and has over 28 years of experience in municipal government.

 “He’s been a real asset to this city,”  El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, adding that Al-Ghafry speaks Arabic and has been helpful in translating and explaining city ordinances to immigrants from the Middle East. 

CAJON AIR CENTER COULD BE JOBS DRIVER SAYS EDC OFFICIAL

 

By Mike Allen

February 4, 2017 (El Cajon) -- While many residents near El Cajon’s Gillespie Field decry an increase in activity from flight schools, proponents of a long-planned airport expansion say the project could generate thousands of high-paying, high tech jobs, and be a boon to East County.

COUNTY PROCLAIMS LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO RECENT STORMS

 

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

Residents asked to report all storm damage: County has not reached level yet to get help for individuals or businesses

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) --The County of San Diego proclaimed a local emergency Friday, due to damage caused by the severe winter storms that hit the region late last month.

SAN CARLOS WOMAN KILLS DISABLED HUSBAND AND SELF

 

East County News Service

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) – Candace Smith, 69, has taken care of her disabled husband, James, 68, since he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident a quarter century ago.  But now San Diego Police detectives report that she fatally shot her husband, then killed herself.

MORE RAIN ON THE WAY, WITH STRONG WINDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Wet weather is returning Sunday through Tuesday,  but showers are expected to be light, with no significant flooding or winter weather expected, according to the National Weather Services. There will also be gusty winds up to 55 mph along mountain ridges with isolated gusts up to 80 mph possible on desert slopes. Windy conditions will begin Sunday night and continue into Tuesday.

JUDGE HALTS TRAVEL BAN NATIONWIDE; REFUGEES AND OTHERS WITH VISAS CAN NOW ENTER U.S.

 

By Miraim Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News :  Among the first to gain entry was an Iranian infant in need of heart surgery.

February 4, 2017 (San Diego) –  Travelers barred from entering the U.S. due to President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order issued on January 27th must now be admitted due to a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Robard on Friday.  

The court issued a nationwide halt to the entire executive order, though the Trump administration has said it will appeal the ruling. The ruling applies to refugees previously approved for admission to the U.S., as well as citizens of seven Muslim nations including Syrians.  It also requires admission of green card holders with visas.

3 YOUNG PEOPLE KILLED, 2 OTHERS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN LEMON GROVE CRASH

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

February 4, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Three young people and several dogs died of injuries in a collision in Lemon Grove Wednesday evening.  A woman and a 4-year-old girl also sustained major injuries.  All of the victims are in the same family and funds have been set up to help the surviving relatives.

BANNON ROLE ON NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, BOTCHED YEMEN RAID DRAW FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 3, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Decisions made this week are drawing criticisms over President Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive foreign policy and military decisions—and who is involved in making those decisions.

Top officials for past Republican and Democratic presidents have spoken out against Trump’s executive order giving political advisor Steve Bannon a full seat on the principals committee of the National Security Council, while limiting the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from attending National Security Council meetings except when it considers issues in their direct areas of responsibilities, the New York Times reports.

Bannon’s last job was publishing Brietbart news, a mouthpiece for alt-right, white supremacist, anti-immigrant and conspiracy theory stories as well as conservative news.  Bannon is also an ex-Navy surface warfare officer who has  worked as an investment banker and Hollywood producer.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MOVE TOWARD BANNING ALL MARIJUANA SALES AND GROWING, INCLUDING CLOSING EXISTING MEDICAL MJ DISPENSARIES

Planning Commission meeting Feb. 10  to draft changes to zoning ordinance; next Supervisor hearing is Feb. 14 with final vote March 15

By Thea Skinner

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors moved on  Jan. 25th to have staff draft a ban prohibiting medical and non-medical marijuana facilities in unincorporated areas by April 15.  Existing and previously approved medical marijuana dispensaries would be phased out and shut down after five years.

A draft to repeal and replace the zoning ordinance regulating marijuana facilities will be on the Planning Commission agenda Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. in the County Operations Center Campus Chamber (5520 Overland Ave, San Diego. See map).  View the Planning Commission report.

The packed room gathered 31 individuals wishing to speak, 12 in favor and 19 in opposition, with two requests for group presentations. Eleven individuals registered their opinion with two in favor and nine in opposition.

EXCLUSIVE : IRC AND SURVIVORS OF TORTURE DIRECTORS SPEAK OUT ON REFUGEE RESTRICTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

Hear our interview for KNSJ Radio by clicking the audio link

February 1, 2017(San Diego) – To learn the impacts of President Donald Trump’s executive action restricting refugee s’ entry into the United States,  we interviewed International Rescue Committee Executive Director David Murphy and Kathi Anderson, Executive Director at Survivors of Torture.

The order has created “fear for a lot of people” in San Diego, long a welcoming haven for refugees starting with the airlifts of Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s, says Murphy.  San Diego County takes in 3 to 4 percent of  all the refugees accepted into the U.S. each year.

Audio: 

ISSA BILL WOULD EASE TAX BURDEN ON MILITARY FAMILIES

 

Military Residency Choice Act allows families to establish consistent residency

January 27, 2017 (San Diego) — San Diego Congressmen Darrell Issa (CA-49) and Rob Wittman (VA-01) have introduced legislation aimed at easing the tax burden on military families by allowing them to establish one consistent state of residency.

HOMELAND SECURITY SEEKS TO CLARIFY RULE ON TRAVEL FOR GREEN CARD HOLDERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 31, 2017 (San Diego) — On Sunday, following a weekend of chaos at airports around the world due to President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from 11 nations that led to detention of even legal U.S. permanent residents, the Department of Homeland Security and its Secretary issued statements that seek to clarify the policy.

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