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EAST COUNTY VOTING GUIDE: NONPARTISAN INFORMATION FROM EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

 

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— East County Magazine has compiled this handy guide for you with links to all of our coverage of local races, as well as some statewide and federal (Congressional) races on your ballot for the election on Tuesday, November 4. 

We invited all candidates running in local races listed below to be interviewed, and include print and/or  radio interviews with those who responded.   We also have links to our coverage of debates, candidate forums, analysis, editorials submitted by our readers (ECM does not editorialize), and other relevant information on candidates and ballot propositions. Also see below for links to additional nonpartisan resources for info on these and other races.

Our nonpartisan guide is arranged in three sections: local, state, and federal (Congressional) races, with  the races alphabetical under each section. To view, click "read more" below and scroll down.

PASSAGES: AUBREY DUNNE, TEACHER AND ACTOR, 1932-2014

 

 

 

November 1, 2014 (La Mesa) – Aubrey “Bud” Dunne, 82, passed away on October 28, 2014 at his home in La Mesa.  Past president of the La Mesa/Spring Valley Teachers Association, he taught math at La Mesa and Parkway Middle Schools. 

He also played a major role in the Associated Community Theatres (ACT) of San Diego County, which named the Aubrey Awards in his honor.  During the 1960s on Lincoln’s birthday, you could find him dressed up as Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address at Grossmont Center. A lifelong stamp collector, he also founded the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors.

SHOULD LA MESA "PASS THE J?"

 

By Leon Thompson

October 29, 2014 (La Mesa) – Medical Marijuana dispensaries are prohibited by code in La Mesa.  Proposition “J” The measure would require that City officials issue an operating permit and business registration to any dispensary applicant who demonstrates compliance with location requirements and presents a plan for compliance with operational requirements.

MCWHIRTER RESPONDS TO CANDIDATE QUESTIONS IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

October 31, 2014 (La Mesa)—Guy McWhirter cancelled his radio interview last week, stating that he needed to assist his daughter, who is expecting a baby soon.  He asked for questions to respond to in writing. 

You can hear the radio interviews with the other four candidates, and read highlights from their interviews here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/la-mesa-candidates-air-depth-views-interviews-east-county-magazine

 

For McWhirter’s written responses to our questions, click “read more” and scroll down.

READERS EDITORIAL: TERM LIMITS: WRONG IDEA. WRONG PLACE.

By Anthony D. Mc Ivor

A term limits ordinance for La Mesa is on our ballots.  This tired, discredited political experiment only survives because deep-pocket activists cleverly disguise its real cost: the recurring damage to a citizen’s freedom of choice at the ballot box.

LA MESA CANDIDATES AIR IN-DEPTH VIEWS IN INTERVIEWS WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

 

Four of the five candidates sat down for in-depth radio interviews with East County Magazine. 

Hear their full interviews here (listed in the order they aired on KNSJ); or to read highlights click "read more" and scroll down:

Patrick Dean: http://kiwi6.com/file/bchwu7qbqx 

Pete Gregorovic: http://kiwi6.com/file/78puh4vuq3

Bill Baber:  http://kiwi6.com/file/t8a9fxd7io

Mary England: http://kiwi6.com/file/qn2jcyft15

Updated 11/1/14: Bill Baber has clarified his position on recusals and raised questions over possible conflicts of interests by Mary England.  See his remarks in the text below.

Update October 31, 2014: Guy McWhirter, who was not available for a radio interview, provided written responses to our candidate questions today, after the story below was published. Read his responses here.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: L. to R.: Bill Baber, Patrick Dean, Mary England, Pete Gregorovic, Guy McWhirter

October 30, 2014 (La Mesa) –La Mesa has two open seats on its City Council, since long-time Councliman Ernie Ewin is retiring and Councliman Mark Arpostathis is running for mayor.  Five candidates are running—and the winners could swing the Council in new directions for the future.   Overall, this year's pack of candidates brings extensive experience and enthusiasm to the contest to represent the citizens of La Mesa.

THANKSGIVING HEALTH FAIRE AND OPEN HOUSE IN LA MESA NOV. 15

 

October 28, 2014 (La Mesa)—The Om Center for Spiritual Living in La Mesa is holding its second Thanksgiving Health Faire and Open House, Saturday, Nov. 15th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The La Mesa community is invited to the Center at 7232 University Ave., just east of Massachusetts. Admission is free.

SOAP BOX DERBY RACES INTO HISTORY

 

 

East County News Service

October 27, 2014 (La Mesa) – This weekend’s Soap Box Derby in La Mesa may be the final race for local youngsters.  After 14 years, the event will be terminated unless new sponsors can be found.

 

RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR ARSON FIRE IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2014 (La Mesa) –La Mesa Police have arrested an arson suspect linked to a fire late last night that displaced eight people from a home in the Rolando area.  Brad Bach, 58, of La Mesa has been booked into county jail for arson of an inhabited structure.  Damage to the structure and contents is estimated at $260,000, according to Heartland Fire.

RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE FIRE DISPLACES 7

 

Update: A resident has been arrested for arson in this fire.

October 25, 2014 (La Mesa)--At 11:42 p.m. Friday night, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from La Mesa and Lemon Grove, with assistance from San Diego Fire, were dispatched to reports of a residential structure fire in the 6700 block of Rolando Knolls Dive in La Mesa.  Fire crews arrived within four minutes to discover heavy fire and smoke coming from the garage of a single story, single family residence.

NEGATIVE MAILERS TARGET ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2014 (Alpine) – A negative campaign mailer  targeting Alpine School Board candidate Lou Russo (photo, left) was funded by the Public Safety PAC based in San Carlos.  Russo is, in fact, endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police in San Diego County. 

Among those contributing major funds to the Public Safety PAC is local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek. Kaderabek withdrew his nomination from the Alpine Planning Group after Russo exposed Kaderabek’s string of tax liens, tax delinquencies and lapsed law license.

The Public Safety PAC has also been exposed as being behind mailers targeting La Mesa City Council candidate Mary England, who has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public safety unions.

MT. HELIX DEATH LINKED TO WEST NILE VIRUS

 

 

 

East County News Service

October 23, 2014 (Mt. Helix) – A Mt. Helix resident who died October 10th at Grossmont Hospital is believed to have died of West Nile Virus, 10 News reports. He may have been bitten by a mosquito in Eucalyptus Park in La Mesa, at the base of Mt. Helix, his daughter has said.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BIG MONEY AND HIT PIECES INFLUENCING OUR LA MESA POLITICAL SEASON

 

By Marcia Tolin

Editor’s note:  La Mesa Today reports that Guy McWhirter has admitted to funding the negative mailers targeting his opponent, Mary England, and funneling the money through the non-local “Public Safety Advocates” PAC. England in fact has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public employees’ associations. The same PAC sent a negative mailer on an Alpine candidate.  The mailer was similar in style to a second mailer sent anonymously, which listed endorsements for other candidates by 115 Alpine residents, some of whom have denied making the endorsements.

October 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--For the first time that I can remember, defamatory mailers or “hit pieces” have been delivered in La Mesa from big money and outside interests.  Mary England who has the only endorsement by the La Mesa Police Officers’ Association is being attacked by a “PAC”, or Political Action Committee calling itself “Public Safety Advocates” out of Encinitas.  The PAC is specifically targeting just one candidate, the only woman and the one with the most experience running in a field of five for the two open seats on the La Mesa City Council.  Why now and for this position?  Who is really behind this?

If we follow the money, we don’t have to look very far. Public records (Form 496) shows a contribution from Guy McWhirter, who donated $5,000 on 10/13/2014.  The “Public Safety Advocates” who have thus far put out three hit pieces on Mary have received their money not only from Guy McWhirter, but from many builders and developers, and a local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek from El Cajon.

MUD FLIES IN LA MESA MAYORAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (La Mesa)—The campaign for La Mesa’s Mayoral race has turned negative.  Mayor Art Madrid’s campaign committee has sent a mailer to voters titled “The Real `Dr. A’ regarding his opponent, Councilman Mark Arapostathis. 

Arapostathis has responded with a detailed e-mail to East County Magazine saying the claims are untrue and “intended to deceive.” He added that La Mesa residents are “sick and tired of negative politics; that is why we need to change.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 23-NOV. 2

By Miriam Raftery

Radio show hosted by Rebecca Williamson and Leon Thompson

October 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes some spooky Halloween happenings, a picnic with parrots, and our very own Party with the Press benefit event, all this weekend right here in East County. 

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including a wine festival at a castle in Ramona and a hot chili cook-off in Lemon Grove.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine!

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL SHARES EBOLA READINESS DETAILS

 

 

 

A joint report by East County Magazine and Reporting San Diego

By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott

October 21, 2014 (La Mesa) – How prepared is East County's major hospital to handle an Ebola patient?

We contacted Grossmont Hospital to find out.  Although the risk of this occurring here is considered low by experts, errors in a Dallas hospital's handling of an Ebola patient pointed out the importance of proper planning.  Moreover, a survey published last week by National Nurses United revealed that 85 percent of hospitals had reportedly not provided any training for nurses on Ebola and most are short on equipment for handling a patient with the infectious disease that kills 70% of victims.

We sent a detailed list of questions to Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s director of marketing and communications, Bruce Hartman, on topics such as training and protective equipment for healthcare workers, whether patients are asked about their travel histories, and plans for sanitizing areas where an Ebola patient might have been waiting or treated. He responded with this detailed statement, followed by answers to our questions below.

The Hospital's responses include changes in procedures being made to reflect new guidelines just issued by the federal government, such as providing full protective suits with no skin exposed and training in how to safely remove such gear. Below is the full text of Hartman's response:

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

 

Updated October 22, 2014 - CAL FIRE Chief Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority, has written to dispute statements made by two candidates in this race, which he says are "factually false."  You can read details of the Chief's statements here

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over firefighting operations. The board voted unanimously for the five-year contract because the agency was deep in a hole economically and had already closed a fire station. Those in favor argued that this decision would allow the board to continue operations, recover financially, reopen the closed station and keep service at comparable levels. But critics including at least one challenger running for the board have sharply criticized the deal with Cal-Fire,  citing loss of local control and potential delays in response times, also faulting other board actions.

East County Magazine e-mailed questions to all candidates, including inquiries about the CAL FIRE arrangement and a letter the district received from the State Comptroller raising questions over the board’s finances.

The six candidates include two incumbents (Chris Winter and Rick Augustine) seeking reelection and four challengers. Three of the challengers are running together as a slate (Theresa McKenna, Jim Ek, and Mike Vacio). The other challenger is Cindy Croucher. Bios for incumbents Winter and Augustine are available on the San Miguel Fire district website

Three candidates, challengers Theresa McKenna and Jim Ek, along with incumbent Chris Winter, have responded.  Below are the questions, and their answers, posted in full in the order received.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Part IV in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 4:  Downtown Café (El Cajon) and Anthony’s Seafood Grotto (La Mesa)

October 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –In our fourth week of savoring great happy hours across our region, we stopped in at two establishments with deep roots in the community: Downtown Café, located in a historic brick that dates back to El  Cajon’s pioneer past, and Anthony’s Fish Grotto, a landmark restaurant serving up fresh seafood in La Mesa since 1946.

WHO WILL BE LA MESA’S MAYOR?

 

Key issue: Does the city need a full-time mayor, or can the job be done part-time?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mayor Art Madrid (left) and Councilman Mark Arapostathis (right)

October 15, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the hottest political contests in East County this election season, with two long-time community leaders vying for the city’s top job.  Both are long-time La Mesa residents with extensive experience in politics and community service. East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with both candidates to talk about their records, their views on leadership, and their visions for La Mesa.

MARK ARAPOSTATHIS, “DR. A” AIMS TO BRING “POSITIVE” ATTITUDE TO MAYORAL JOB IN LA MESA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15,2014 (La Mesa) – Councilman Mark Arapostathis, twice named Teacher of the Year (by the County and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District), says a lesson he’s taught his students for 23 years is to always “be positive.”  He’s running against long-serving Mayor Art Madrid and says that if elected, he wants to bring “greater unity to the Council, which has been a bit divided.”  He holds a PhD degree and also heads up the Peter Pan Jr. Theater and C. Hook Theatre programs. 

He’s served on the La Mesa City Council for eight years.  Now with a term limits initiative on the ballot, he observes, “My window of opportunity may close” to run for mayor, since passage of the measure would limit the ability of long-serving council members to later run for mayor.

FROM KABOOM TO PBID AT THE LA MESA CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

By Janis Russell

October 15. 2014 (La Mesa)- At yesterday’s La Mesa City Council meeting, Council unanimously approved submitting an application to the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant Program through KaBoom! to support a playground upgrade at Vista La Mesa Park.

MOTEL ROBBED IN LA MESA

 

October 11, 2014 (La Mesa)—A masked man armed with a handgun robbed the Motel 6 at 7621 Alvarado Road in La Mesa at gunpoint last night at 9:10, La Mesa Police report. The suspect remains at large.

ECO-FRIENDLY AUTO CARE CENTER OPENS IN LA MESA

 

October 12, 2014 (La Mesa) - San Diego resident John Sterne, will be opening the first Honest-1 Auto Care to serve the La Mesa community at the end of October. The shop will be located at 7375 Jackson Drive.

"POOCH IN THE PARK" FUND DOG SHOW TO FEATURE DOGS (AND OWNERS) IN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

 

October 11 Event to Benefit Canine Corners Dog Park in La Mesa

October 9, 2014 (La Mesa)--Dog owners: Dress yourself and canine companion(s) in Halloween costume and come to the second annual “Pooch in the Park” Fun Dog Show to be held Saturday, October 11, from 9 am to noon at Canine Corners Dog Park in Harry Griffen Regional Park, located at 9550 Milden Street, in La Mesa.  Entrance to the event is free; the contest entrance fee is $20 for up to two dogs.

LA MESA PLANNERS RECOMMEND DENIAL OF PARK STATION HIGHRISE PLAN

 

 

By Janis Russell

October 2, 2014 (La Mesa)- At yesterday’s La Mesa Planning Commission meeting, where a hearing on the Park Station specific plan was discussed, the planning commission voted 6-1 to recommend that the La Mesa City Council deny the proposed plan because the commission found the 10-story height inconsistent with the city’s general plan.

Before the hearing began, Chair Noah Alvey welcomed Jim Newland, who replaced Harold Bailey as commissioner.

This hearing drew a crowd that spilled out the doors. Co-applicant South Baltimore LLC replaced the American Legion, which withdrew its support.

PARK STATION HIGHRISE PROPOSAL RETURNS TO PLANNING COMMISSION OCT. 1

 

New simulations show 10-story project viewed from downtown village and neighboring streets, obscuring and dominating views. To view them, click here

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top left:  High-rise viewed from La Mesa Village intersection by Por Favor

September 29, 2014 (La Mesa) – On October 1st, a revamped version of the Park Station high rise project will be presented at the La Mesa Planning Commission at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

CANDIDATE FORUMS SET FOR LA MESA AND LAKESIDE RACES, LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES AND MORE

 

East County News Service

September 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--There are several candidate forums coming up this week featuring East County Candidates.

INSURANCE WON'T PAY TO REMOVE MASSIVE TREE THAT FELL IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2014 (La Mesa)—An enormous eucalyptus tree stood 80 to 100 feet tall in front of Korey Mulvey’s home in La Mesa. But during the recent storm, the goliath tree came crashing down into his backyard and onto his swimming pool.

LA MESANS MEET CANDIDATES AT CHAMBER DEBATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Mayoral candidate Mark Arapostathis and Mayor Art Madrid (top); City Council candidates (left to right) Bill Baber, Patrick Dean, Mary England, Pete Gregorovic, Guy McWhirter

September 25, 2014 (La Mesa)—Candidates  for La Mesa’s mayoral and city council races made their cases to voters at a forum held by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce last week, tackling issues ranging from future development to public safety, pensions, and homelessness. 

Art Madrid, who has served as La Mesa’s Mayor for over 24 years, faces a challenge from Councilmember/teacher Mark Arapostathis.  Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the La Mesa Council. They are Bill Baber, an attorney and La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member; Patrick Dean, a chef and member of  La Mesa’s Community Services Commission; Mary England, president of La Mesa Chamber of Commerce;  Pete Gregorovic, a business attorney and youth sports leader; and Guy McWhirter, an insurance agent.

For key points made by each candidate, as well as links to video opening statements and raw audio of the debate, click "read more" and scroll down.

READER'S EDITORIAL: A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

 

The first in a series of essays from No Term Limits in La Mesa to examine the underlying assumptions and principles around term limits, whether they are “needed” or work as claimed, and just what side effects they may bring with  them.

By No Term Limits in La Mesa

September 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--Proponents of term limits claim that term limits are needed because incumbent advantage makes it impossible for a challenger to win. But is this assumption really the case?

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