THE FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN LA MESA: MAY 25

COBELL BUY-BACK EXTENDED AND EXPANDED TO COUNTY TRIBES

PADRES ERROR DURING GAY MEN’S CHORUS PERFORMANCE OUTRAGES LGBT FANS

CROWDS WELCOME BERNIE SANDERS, BILL CLINTON IN SAN DIEGO

DEPT. OF DEFENSE TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT MILITARY FAMILIES FROM ZIKA

SANDERS VISITS U.S. - MEXICAN BORDER IN SAN DIEGO

SUIT FILED AGAINST CALIFORNIA OVER NONPARTISAN VOTERS ACCESS TO PRESIDENTIAL BALLOTS

CATHOLIC GROUP IN SAN DIEGO SUPPORTS POPE’S MOVE TOWARD INCLUSION OF WOMEN

REP. ISSA, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE BILL TO REIN IN CIVIL FORFEITURE ABUSE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

HUNTER BILL WOULD BAN CHILD RAPE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ON U.S. MILITARY BASES

SANDERS AND BILL CLINTON IN SN DIEGO THIS WEEKEND

SANDERS WINS OREGON; NEAR TIE SPLITS DEMOCRATIC DELEGATES IN KENTUCKY BETWEEN CLINTON AND SANDERS

News

HERO RISKS LIFE TO SAVE NEIGHBORS AND HOMES AMID RISING FLOODWATERS IN CITY HEIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special report by Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego and Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 6, 2016 (San Diego)--With floodwaters rising to the ceiling in several apartments and homes built below-grade on 48th Street in City Heights, residents scrambled frantically to evacuate their children, elderly family members and pets last night.  A dog perished—but it could have been a far worse tragedy, if not for the astonishing courage of Gabriel Duarte.

Duarte, a construction worker, surely knew the hazards of jumping into floodwaters that had submerged lamps and live electrical wiring – waters choked with debris, dirt, and potentially disease.  Yet he risked his life to save others, entering several feet of water to unclog two submerged storm drains. Many of his neighbors credit him, for preventing further damage. He dove into the murky waters to clear two of the three storm drains that had backed up.

APARTMENTS UNDERWATER IN CITY HEIGHTS; DOG DIES IN FLOOD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2016 (City Heights) – Floodwaters from tonight’s deluge have left four apartments underwater, also submerging vehicles at 48th and El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights.

Resident Jonathan Goetz says that “at least six feet of water”  have inundated downstairs units. “Dude, my car is underwater!” he posted on his Facebook page. 

His photos document the drama in real life as a woman rescues her dog, Cha-Cha, cradling her pet in her arms. Another man searched frantically for his missing chihuahua  Nacho, hip-high in the swiftly rising floodwaters. Goetz reports that Nacho was found dead in a bedroom.

MAN’S DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND IN STORM CHANNEL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The naked, partially decomposed body of a man was swept downstream in a storm drainage channel from El Cajon to Santee. 

“His death was definitely not related to today’s rains,” Lee Swanson, public information officer at San Diego Fire and Rescue told East County Magazine.  Swanson said it was evident that the man had died days or more before to the current storm. His identity is unknown.

FLOODING IN EAST COUNTY: AVOID THESE ROADWAYS

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) 6:15 p.m.– A flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning, meaning flooding is occurring in our region. Here are updates on roadways reported flooded within the past hour in El Cajon, La Mesa, Crest,  and San Diego.  If you know of other hazards spots please post in our comments section.

Here are flodoed conditions reported in the last hour or so:

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: THUNDERSTORMS TO BRING HEAVY RAIN, POSSIBLE FLOODING

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for San Diego County’s mountains, valleys and coastal areas in effect now through late Wednesday night. Mud slides and debris flows are possible in recently burned areas and on steep or unstable terrain. Urban flooding, minor flooding of small streams and low water crossings may also occur.

A series of Pacific storms will bring  thunder, lighting, heavy rain and possible hail through Wednesday night, with additional light to moderate rainfall continuing Thursday and Friday.

SHOT BORER BEETLE: NEW PEST ATTACKS 200 SPECIES OF TREES IN REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Damage from polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), courtesy of the University of California, Riverside

January 4, 2016 (San Diego)—A destructive new pest, the tiny polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, has attacked over 200 different species of trees in  Southern California.  Infestations range from avocado groves to ornamental trees in residential yards, entomologists at the University of Riverside report. 

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, that includes thousands of trees in the Tijuana River Valley that have been destroyed suddenly in recent months.

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS ANNOUNCES NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS AND USE OF FORCE

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Los Angeles) -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies outlining new responsibilities under state law to report incidents involving shootings or any use of force that results in serious bodily injury or death of a civilian or a peace officer.

SPREAD OF ZIKA VIRUS AND OTHER MOSQUITO-BORNE TROPICAL ILLNESSES WORRIES PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Centers for Disease Control

January 2, 2016 (San Diego)—Though threats of terror attacks have captured headlines, fast-spreading diseases carried by tiny mosquitoes may pose serious danger to far more people in the western hemisphere. These include Zika virus, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus.

Before May 2015, Zika virus had occurred only in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. But the virus has spread rapidly and has now been contracted in 13 countries or territories in the Americas. In Brazil, where over a million cases of Zika have occurred,  the virus has been linked to 3,000 babies born with brain damage known as microcephaly.  Ominously, new research now suggests Zika virus can now be sexually transmitted from a patient bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus to a partner.

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER JOINT JURISDICTION OF BORREGO GROUNDWATER

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2016 (Borrego) -On Wednesday January 6th,  San Diego Supervisors’ agenda  includes a public hearing on authorizing the County to become a groundwater sustainability agency, giving it jurisdiction over the Borrego Valley groundwater basin—the sole source of water for the Borrego region, jointly with the Borrego Water District.

The Borrego Valley area uses four times more groundwater than is replenished annually, on average.  As a result, groundwater levels have declined over 100 feet in some parts of the Borrego Valley, due to heavy water use for irrigated agriculture, residential, and commercial users including golf courses and resorts that draw tourists to the region, as well as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, according to a  U.S. Geological Survey study on the Borrego Valley groundwater basin from 1945-2010, done in cooperation with the Borrego Water District. View study  here.

A WET START TO 2016: STORMS TO SWEEP IN, STARTING SUNDAY

East County News Service

January 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--“What could be better than the Rose Parade? How about a parade of storms!” The National Weather Service website in San Diego states on New Year’s morning. Starting late Sunday, the first in a series of storms will move in, bringing light rain across Southern California, with the heaviest rainfall forecast for southern San Diego County.  More storms will bring additional rain throughout the week, with heavy downpours  at times.  Snow is forecast for 4,500 feet elevation and higher.

Watch for blowing snow and dust in the mountain and desert areas.

SNOWPACK IN SIERRAS NOW ABOVE NORMAL –WITH EL NIÑO YET TO COME

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 31, 2015 (Sacramento)—Yesterday the California Department of Water Resources held the first snow survey of the season in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After four years of drought, the snowpack is above normal and state officials are cautiously optimistic, though reservoir levels remain below normal.

The survey found snow depth of 54.7 inches – 16 inches more than the average since 1965.  The water content is 136 percent of average for this time of year at the station ( 90 miles east of Sacramento at an elevation of 6,800 feet).  In addition, electronic readings of 99 stations throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains found water content of the snowpack is 108 percent of average for the date over multiple decades.

ATTORNEY GENERAL PROBE WEIGHS POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST EX-CPUC PRESIDENT PEEVEY

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2015 (San Diego) –California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office may file criminal charges against Michael Peevey,  former president of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), over back-room dealings concerning a settlement deal over the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear facility.

A sworn affidavit by Specia Agent Reye Diaz with the Attorney General’s office in late September and recently unsealed reveals  that Diaz found “probable cause to believe” that Peevey and Southern California Edison vice president Stephen Pickett  “conspired to obstruct justice” by knowingly engaging in illegal private communications to craft a shut-down deal advantageous to Edison, but  disadvantageous to other interested parties.

MORE SNOW MAY FALL ON MOUNT LAGUNA

 

East County News Service

Photo: Mt. Laguna on December 29, 2015, courtesy UCSD's HP WRen webcam

December 30, 2015 (Mt. Laguna)--Visitors flocked to Mount Laguna yesterday after a light snowfall left just enough for sledders to enjoy some winter fun.  A frost advisory is in effect for much of our region tonight through Thursday, with clear skies forecast for New Year’s Eve.

Though warmer weather this weekend is expected to melt away those patches of snow remaining, a new storm expected to hit Wednesday and Thursday of next week could bring more snow to the region, including Julian as well as Mt. Laguna—so keep those snow boots and sleds handy.

COUNTY PLANNERS TO VISIT JULIAN TOWN HALL MEETING JAN. 12 TO DISCUSS HOSKINGS RANCH HOUSING PROPOSAL

 

 

By  Kiki Skagen Munshi

December 30, 2015 (Julian)--The Hoskings Ranch development will be discussed with staff from the Country Planning Commission and the developers at the Julian Town Hall on January 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.  The public is encouraged to attend.

Development plans for the Hoskings Ranch, which extends south and west from the junction of Pine Hills Road and Highways 78/79, include 24 lots each of which may have up to two houses and various other buildings and facilities.  Local residents are concerned about the impact of this upscale subdivision on water resources, local roads, and the rural character of the area.  Plans were originally scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission for approval on December 11, 2015, but the hearing was postponed to February 5 to allow time for the public to review the planning documents.

STATE DEPT. ISSUES TRAVEL WARNING FOR ISRAEL, GAZA AND WEST BANK

East County News Service

December 30, 2015 (Washington D.C.) — The U .S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Israel, Gaza and the West Bank due to heightened political tensions and violence that has resulted in injuries and deaths of U.S. citizens. 

 

SOON YOU MAY BE BARRED FROM FLYING WITH A CA DRIVER’S LICENSE

 

 

Update December 30, 2015 - Homeland Security has granted California an extension until Oct. 10, 2016 to fully comply with the Real ID law, recognizing progress made in making driver's licenses more secure.

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re planning to fly in 2016, you find yourself grounded.  The Department of Homeland Security is cracking down on states that have failed to comply with the Real ID law passed 10 years ago by Congress. That could mean denying boarding on airplanes to anyone with driver’s licenses from states that haven’t complied, including California, unless you have another valid form of ID.

 

EAST COUNTY NEWSMAKERS OF THE YEAR

 

 

East County News Service

December 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A diverse group of people and organizations topped our headlines this year.  Some made a positive difference in our communities. Others sparked controversy.  Still others have been fighting for changes in our East County region.

These are our top newsmakers of the year in categories that include animal protection, business, the Chaldean community, education, elected officials and candidates, the environment, health, land use controversies, law enforcement, music, Native Americans, philanthropy, and watchdogs of democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISSING MAN : LAST KNOWN TO BE IN DULZURA-CAMPO-JAMUL AREA

 

East County News Service

Update:  John "Arias" Harrington has been found in Tecate, Mexico and is now back in the U.S. in a hospital receiving medical treatment, a family friend informed ECM today.

View or print missing flyer

December 29, 2015 (Dulzura)—John Sebastian “Arias” Harrington, 25, has been missing since Christmas Eve.   His family is very concerned for his safety.  He was last seen driving a friend’s red F-150 truck with CA license 7U32923. He was last seen wearing a red windbreaker jacket, jeans and a black watch.

Harrington dropped off friends  at the San Diego Airport on on Dec. 24.  He is from Oceanside, but GPS indicates his last known location was in the Campo-Dulzura area at 10 p.m. that night.  A caretaker for disabled individuals, most recently he was working for a person in Jamul. His mother, Deb Meacham, told ECM that police  said his employer received a text message from him a day or so later. He has not been heard from since then.  There are indications he may be confused due to missing medication, his mother said.

EAST COUNTY STORIES OF THE YEAR 2015

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor

December 24, 2015 (San Diego's East County) --It’s been a tumultuous year around the world and also here in San Diego’s East County. 

These ranged from water woes to lawsuits over education and transportation.  East County residents rallied for refugees and protested land use projects ranging from a sand mine to a shooting range, as well as a casino, solar farms, a hotel highrise, and safety concerns after a plane crash near Gillespie Field.  Our coverage helped clean up illegal dumping in Cleveland National Forest and save free speech outside Supervisors' meeting place.  Other hot stories touched on fire safety, terrorism, police scandals, and winery regulations,  There was also some good news--Lake Jennings was spared, a new habitat for bears opened, local police stepped up efforts to protect pedestrians, and Supervisor Dianne Jacob led efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer's. 

Here are the stories and issues that captured the attention of our East County readers in 2015:

SNOW, ICY ROADWAYS IN MOUNTAINS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Snow in Cuyamacas by Grace Schleiser

December 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm is bringing snow, ice and fog to our mountain regions.

Chains are required due to icy/snowy conditions on the Julian-Sunrise Highway from State Route 79 to Old Highway 80, according to the County Department of Public Works. Caltrans reports icy conditions on I-8 at Mountain Pass as well as on State Route 76 at Palomar Mountain.

The Laguna Mountain Lodge reports on its Facebook page that snow is falling on Mt.Laguna.  Residents across East County report snow in the Lake Cuyamaca area, an iced over pond in Descanso and cold conditions across our inland region.

YOUNG TEACHER DIES IN FIRE AT HOME OWNED BY FOR ASSEMBLYWOMAN HORTON

East County News Service

December 28, 2015 (Bonita) - Vanessa DeLaCruz, a preschool teacher, died inside a burned home in Bonita that is owned by former Assemblywoman Shirley Horton.  Four other people were taken to UCSD Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation.

 

TAX THE RICH TO HELP THE POOR: BALLOT INITIATIVE GAINS GROUND

 Photo credit:  Sanfranman59 on Wikipedia

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2015 (Sacramento) – Nonprofit groups that help the poor are working to qualify the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act for the November 2016 ballot.  The Legislative Analyst has estimated that the measure could raise up to $7 billion by adding a property tax surcharge on properties worth $3 million or more.

 

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