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HUNTER COSPONSORS BILL TO ESTABLISH REGISTRY OF VETS WHO SERVED AT MILITARY BASE LINKED TO ILLNESSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2014 (San Diego)—A growing number of veterans who served at Ft. McClellan in Alabama, where chemical and biological weapons testing and training was done, are now suffering health problems including cancer, autoimmune diseases and birth defects in children that may be linked to exposures to these toxins. Radioactive materials were also used. Sixty Minutes has called it one of the most toxic sites in America.

Now those who served at Ft. McClellan are taking their case to Congress.  House Resolution 411, introduced by Rep. Paul Tonko D-NY] and cosponsored by several other members including Rep. Duncan Hunter [R-El Cajon]  would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a registry of certain veterans who were stationed at Fort McClellan. (Read the Bill).

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER TREATS HOMELESS VETERANS AT STAND DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2014 (San Diego)—Many politicians talk about helping our veterans. But James Kimber, a physician assistant and candidate for California’s 50th Congressional District, actually  donned scrubs and gave medical treatment to homeless veterans during San Diego’s 27th annual Stand Down event on July 18.

As the Senior Medical Officer aboard two combat warships (USS ELLIOT DD-967, USS REID FFG-30), Kimber is all too familiar with Emergency Medicine and treating those who have served.  He spent 20 years in active duty in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Senior Chief Hospital Corspman. Currently he is a Physician Assistant practicing neurosurgery at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Kimber says he is is alarmed at how veteran’s needs are being neglected and feels we as a country owe them more. He worked Stand Down last year as a provider and was shocked at some of the patients he treated.

CRITICISM GROWS OVER ISSA "WATCHDOG" ROLE

 

Campaign opponent Peiser calls Issa “out of touch” with constituents

By Jordan Schaffner

Photos: Rep. Darrell Issa (left) and opponent Dave Peiser (right)

July 13, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa has been touted as a possible Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 election, UT San Diego reported recently.  Issa, who is also seeking reelection this fall, chairs the powerful House Oversight Committee on Waste, Fraud and Abuse.

EXPERT ON MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT TO SPEAK JULY 17 IN EL CAJON

 

July 13, 2014 (La Mesa)—Farouk Al-Nasser, PhD, will speak on the current conflicts in the Middle East at a meeting of the East County Democratic Club on Thursday, July 17.  The event will be held at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon with dinner (available for purchase) and socializing at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.   The meeting is free.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ TOURS FACILITY HOLDING UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE YOUTH FROM CENTRAL AMERICA

 

July 8, 2014 (San Diego's East County)California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, participated with other members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus to tour and observe a facility housing hundreds of unaccompanied  Central American refugee youth at Naval Base Ventura County. Assemblywoman Gonzalez made the following statement in response to her observations:

REP. VARGAS & COMMUNITY LEADER MARK ARABO INTRODUCES H. RES. 663, EXPRESSING COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

July 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County) – Today, Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced House Resolution 663, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution by the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group – the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) – as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEBER HOSTS COFFEE WITH CONSTITUENTS JULY 12

 

July 11, 2014 (San Diego and East County) – Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), whose district includes several East County communities such as La Mesa, Mt. Helix and portions of El Cajon, will host a coffee with constituents this Saturday, July 12. The event will be held from 12-2 p.m. at the  Linda Vista branch library, 2160 Ulric Street in San Diego.

EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO PROCEED WITH MARRIOTT HOTEL DOWNTOWN

 

By Janis Russell

July 9, 2014 (El Cajon)- At yesterday’s city council meeting, with Councilmember Tony Ambrose absent, El Cajon’s City Council voted 4-0 to approve a conditional use permit and exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Marriott El Cajon Courtyard hotel to be built downtown on urban infill property.

“This is special to the city,” City Manager Doug Williford  said, then provided background. In Spring 2012 the Council held a special workshop on two interrelated topics: a hotel and the East Count Performing Arts Center(ECPAC).

LA MESA COUNCIL SNUFFS OUT E-CIGARETTES AS COUNCILWOMAN LIGHTS UP

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2014 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s City Council voted to snuff out electronic cigarettes – prompting one Councilmember to light up in protest.

By a 4-1 vote, the council majority voted to restrict electronic cigarettes in the same manner that cigarettes are already regulated.  The lone no vote came from Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who lit up an e-cigarette and a standard cigarette to compare the vapor and smoke levels that wafted across the Council Chamber.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: THIS WEEK'S HOT HEARING ITEMS ACROSS EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Below are some of the newsworthy items on this week's agendas for boards, commissions and councils in East County. Taxes, electronic cigarettes and land use issues are among the hot topics to be discussed in these public meetings.  You can find full agendas and meeting details at the websites for each local governing body.

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES WOMEN WORKERS CAN BE DENIED COVERAGE FOR BIRTH CONTROL IN FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

5 Catholic justices issue ruling, raising question over lack of religious diversity on the high court

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The Supreme Court decision last week in the Hobby Lobby case is drawing strong reactions across the nation and here in San Diego County—and raising questions over whether the Supreme Court lacks adequate religious diversity.

ALPINE PLANNING GROUP VACANCY ANNOUNCED

 

July 4, 2014 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group has announced a vacancy for seat number two.  The position will be appointed by the Board of supervisors.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS TAKES STEPS TO FIGHT SEXUAL ASSAULTS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

 

July 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - WASHINGTON – With recent data showing an increase in sexual assaults on college campuses across the nation, U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) is taking steps to make colleges safer. In the House of Representatives, Davis recently cosponsored the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, which would require institutes of higher education to improve reporting of incidents of crimes on campus as well as report what measures are being implemented to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

POLITICS IN PARADISE AUGUST 7: MEET YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

June 27, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The Chambers of East County are all getting together this year to co-host Politics in Paradise on Thursday, August 7th from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Elected officials at the federal, state and local level are invited to participate in a lively panel discussion and take questions and answers from the audience.

CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS PETERS AND DAVIS HEADLINE INDEPENDENCE DAY BBQ HOSTED BY LA MESA DEMOCRATS AT MISSION TRAILS

 

June 25, 2014 (Mission Trails)--Embroiled in a contentious re-election campaign, Representative Scott Peters (CA 52) will headline the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Clubs’, “Party in the Park.. The event is being held at the Mission Trails Region Park (MTRP) Visitor’s Center (One Father Junipero Serra Tr., San Diego, CA 92119) at 6pm on Wednesday, July 2nd.  Peters will be accompanied by many other local politicians and candidates including Representative Susan Davis (CA 53), County Supervisor Dave Roberts and County Democratic Chair Francine Busby among others.

EL CAJON COUNCIL REJECTS HOMEOWNERS’ PLEAS FOR RELEIF FROM WEED ABATEMENT FEES , BUT GRANTS SALES TAX RELIEF TO CAR DEALER

 

Residents question high cost of weed cutting by private contractor

By Grey Feathers

June 24, 2014 El Cajon – The City Council of El Cajon considered issues from a retired police dog to hookah lounges as Mayor Bill Wells gaveled in Tuesday’s meeting.

Councilmember Star Bales displayed items purchased at the El Cajon ‘America on Main Street’ event that she will proudly wear at the Fourth of July celebration at Kennedy Park (photo, left). The Council then voted to retire and release ownership of El Cajon Police dog “Turbo” to Officer Thompson, Turbo’s experienced and sole handler.  Happy retirement Turbo!

The longest discussion of the meeting concerned filing liens on properties of owners who owe money to the City for weed abatement, mandatory trash service and sidewalk repair. The staff recommendation was to authorize the City Clerk to record the amount owed as a lien on the property  and forward the list to the County Tax Assessor for billing on the owner’s next property tax bill.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS RECEIVES WARM WELCOME AT POLONIA UNITED GATHERING

 

By Sharon Penny

June 18, 2014 (La Mesa)--On June 14, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) spoke to several members of Polonia United (www.poloniaunited.org), a local Polish-American organization that promotes education, understanding and relations between Poland and the United States, and helps to better the lives of Polish-Americans. The organization has become very involved in the local community, providing philanthropy to deserving organizations. They cite both Susan Davis and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) as two key supporters in their efforts.

FEDERAL COURT RULES BALLOT INITIATIVE BACKERS CAN BE ANONYMOUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2014 (San Francisco) – Voters don’t have the right to know who is paying for ballot initiatives before signing a petition to put measures on the ballot, a federal court has ruled. By a slim 2-1 vote, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week overturned a California election law that had required this information be disclosed on petitions presented by signature gatherers.

STATE LEGISLATURE APPROVES BUDGET

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2014 (Sacramento)—The California Legislature approved a $58.3 billion budget shortly before the constitution deadline Sunday night. The measure was a compromise between Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

REPUBLICANS GAIN HOPE IN COUNCIL RACES

 

By Stevon Marshall and Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2014 (San Diego)—Two Democratic Council members, Myrtle Cole and David Alvarez, won their races outright in districts 4 and 8, with over 50% of the vote in recent primary, so they won’t have to vie in a run-off race in November.  Republican Lori Zapf,  a Councilwoman who had to run in a different district due to reapportionment, also won her district 2 race with over 50%.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL SCREENING JUNE 19 IN EL CAJON

 

June 17, 2014 (El Cajon)—A film by Robert Reich, Inequality for all: On behalf of the middle class will be shown June 19 at the East County Democratic Club’s meeting.  The film won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and highlights economic inequality in America.

FIRES, APATHY KEPT VOTERS FROM POLLS, EXPERTS SAY

 

By Stevon Marshall

June 6, 2014 (San Diego County) - The voter turnout in the San Diego County for the June third primary elections surpassed expectations of a low turnout, the results were 20% equalling to 1 in 5 registered voters casting a ballot.

SUPERVISOR JACOB HOSTS COFFEE WITH CONSTITUENTS JUNE 26 IN LAKESIDE

 

June 6, 2014 (Lakeside) – You’re invited to share ideas, problems or concerns regarding County Government at a “Coffee with Constituents” hosted by Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors.

REPUBLICANS GAIN HOPE IN COUNCIL RACES

 

 

By Stevon Marshall and Trevor Hill

June 6, 2014 (San Diego) — Results of Tuesday’s primary races for City Council have raised hopes among Republicans of reducing the power of San Diego’s Democratic majority.

Two Democratic Council members, Myrtle Cole and David Alvarez, won their races outright in districts 4 and 8, with over 50% of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, so they won’t have to vie in a run-off race in November. Republican Lori Zapf, a Councilwoman who had to run in a different district due to reapportionment, also won her district 2 race with over 50%.

But in district 6, Republican Chris Cate will face off against Democrat Carol Kim in the fall. If Cate wins, Republicans would narrow Democrats’ balance of power on the Council to a slim one-vote majority.

DRONENBURG WINS REELECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2014 (San Diego)--The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk, Ernest Dronenburg, will retain his seat without a run-off election.

INCUMBENTS ON TOP HANDILY IN 4 LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL RACES, BUT PETERS FACES BATTLE IN NOVEMBER TO HOLD SEAT

 

Photo:  James Kimber(D) will square off against Duncan D. Hunter (R) in November.

By Trevor Hill

June 4, 2014 (San Diego)--This Tuesday’s primary election yielded unsurprising results as far as Congressional districts are concerned. All five incumbent representatives on the ballot in San Diego County were the top vote-getters—but challengers will get a second chance in run-off races slated for November’s general election.

In East County races, November will pit two veterans, Democrat James Kimber (25%) and Republican Congressman Duncan  Hunter(70%), against each other in the 50th district, which includes most areas north of I-8 in the inland region and other communities. Libertarian Michael Benoit actively campaigned and participated in debates, but received only 5% of the vote. Kimber, a career medical professional, has made expanding and improving healthcare coverage a cornerstone of his campaign against fiscally conservative Hunter, who has sought to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act.

HORN HANGS ONTO NARROW LEAD OVER WOOD IN SUPERVISORIAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2014 (San Diego)--In the hotly contested County supervisorial race in District 5, Supervisor Bill Horn appears to have narrowly edged out Oceanside Mayor and fellow Republican Bill Wood.  Horn is up by approximately 51% to 49%, with all precincts counting but many absentee ballots yet to be tallied.

Horn drew controversy during the campaign amid revelations that he misused a religious charity to shelter his income from real estate deals – actions that five tax experts have said were illegal.

VERDICTS ARE IN ON JUDICIAL RACES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2014 (San Diego)—Voters have rendered their verdicts in five contested Superior Court Judicial races, with all precincts counted but absentee and provisional ballots remaining. 

Career prosecutor Brad Weinreb leads with over 38% of the vote in one of the most contentious judicial races. At Election Central, Weinreb said he was pleased to into the run-off on top , vying against Hagan—or so he thought. Overnight however, the results flipped  to show Ken Gosselin narrowly edging out Miichele Hagan to vie in November’s run-off race against Weinreb.  Gosselin drew controversy after a court required him to change his ballot statement due to inflated education and experience claims.  Hagan, who has prosecution experience as well as advocating for consumers on legal issues, had been critical of the County Bar rating system.

DEMOCRATS WIN MOST LOCAL EDUCATION SEATS

 

Two Democrats to vie in run-off in State Superintendent of Public Instruction race

 

Photo: Michael McQuary (right) , with supporter (left) is the new face on San Diego Unified's school board

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2014 (San Diego) – Candidates endorsed by the County Democratic Party scored strong wins in local education races during the June primary election.  Though school board races officially are nonpartisan, political parties weighed in with slate mailers advising voters on the parties’ preferences.

Incumbent Kevin Beiser trounced challenger Amy Redding 68% to 32% in San Diego Unified School District seat B. In addition, Michael McQuary, PhD, a retired teacher, won the District C seat unopposed.

EAST COUNTY LEGISLATORS AHEAD BY COMFORTABLE MARGINS

 

Democrats regain supermajority in Congress

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Statewide, Democrats won a supermajority of two-thirds in both houses of the state Legislature, meaning enough to pass budgets and override a Governor’s veto on legislation. But it’s not as liberal a group as in the past, the Sacramento Bee reports, due to business interests backing more moderate Democrats over liberal-leaning opponents.

Locally, incumbent state legislators representing East County cruised to easy victories in the June primary, with 100% of precincts counted and only absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be tallied.  With the new top-two primary system, some races in November will leave voters with a choice only among two candidates in the same party.

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