San Diego

ALL LANES ON SOUTHBOUND I-5 CLOSED SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHTS

 

 

 

East County News Service

November 17, 2017 (San Diego) — Caltrans crews will close all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 (I-5) from the Interstate 805 merge to La Jolla Village Drive Sunday and Monday night from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning for bridge work.

All motorists will be detoured to southbound I-805, to westbound State Route 52, to the SR-52/I-5 interchange.

Crews will be working on two separate bridge projects. One is the construction of the Gilman Drive Bridge project, the other is bridge maintenance at the I-5 Sorrento Valley Viaduct, this pavement work will take place on the main lanes of I-5.

THE STARS HAVE LINED UP FOR PERFECT MOUNTAINTOP CAMPING CLOSE TO HOME IN SAN DIEGO

 

A “Staycation in East County”

By Jack Riordan

Photo, left: The Desert View Trail at the Burnt Rancheria Campground is a very easy and dog-friendly one mile scenic loop through the campground to a rewarding view of the desert floor below.  Photo by Jack Riordan.

November 1, 2017 (Mount Laguna) -- Nestled in the pines, beneath a blanket of starlight, you’ll find Burnt Rancheria.  As part of the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area in the Cleveland National Forest, this lush east county campground sits at 6000 feet above sea level, offering dream-like mountain scenery, as well as an easy escape from the day to day life in the city.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW ZELT, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

October 17, 2017 (San  Diego’s East County) -- Recently we sat down with Andrew Zelt, a Republican challenger running against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional District. He’s a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department, where he’s spent his career, and a resident of Rancho San Diego.

Zelt says he’s running because he can no longer support Hunter, who is under investigation by the Justice Department for  allegedly using campaign donations for personal use. (Hunter has denied wrongdoing but did repay his campaign around $60,000 for vacations, payments to his child's school, oral surgery, jewelry and other expenses.)

“My top priority is listening to the people, finding out what are some of the things that affect you, your day to day lives, and then expand on that to the nation," he says, adding, "What are some of your concerns about the way our nation is going?”

  Hear our in-depth interview at the audio link, which originally aired late this summer on KNSJ radio, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: CHIDA WARREN-DARBY, SAN DIEGO VOICE AND VIEWPOINT EDITOR

 

East County News Service

October 13, 2017 (San Diego) – Recently,  we sat down for a two-part interview with Chida Warren-Darby, co-publisher of the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint newspaper. Chida is one of the youngest  black co-publishers in the U.S.

In part one, she discussed her experience as a survivor of domestic violence and her participation in “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”, a YWCA event to help domestic violence survivors.

In part two, she talked about issues impacting the African-American community in San Diego, from police use of force to the process for choosing a new San Diego Police Chief.

Audio: 

FATAL ELEPHANT TRANQUILIZER FOUND IN COUNTERFEIT PAINKILLER PILLS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2017 (San Diego) – Carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer drug 5,000 times stronger than heroin, is turning up in street drugs marketed as opoid  narcotic painkillers such as Oxycodone, as well as in tainted heroin.  

The drug is so deadly that just a couple of granules the size of salt crystals will cause death, even with medical intervention, authorities warn. It’s turning up in street drugs locally and nationally, including drugs sold by dealers and on the Internet’s dark web—and deaths are skyrocketing as a result.

CALIFORNIA SURVIVORS OF LAS VEGAS MASS SHOOTING CAN APPLY TO STATE FOR HELP

 

 

 Residents Eligible for Mental Health Treatment, Medical Expenses, Funeral and Burial and More

 The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) is encouraging residents impacted by the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Sunday, October 1 in Las Vegas to contact them at 1-800-777- 9229 for assistance, guidance and aid.  

The massacre killed 58 people and injured over 500 victims.  San Diego attorney Jennifer Irvine was among those killed; several other San Diego County residents were injured, NBC 7 reports.

Help is available for survivors of those who were killed, anyone who was injured and those in attendance at the concert, as well as their immediate family members.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING SEPT. 28 LOCALLY ON PROPOSED DECISION REGARDING WILDFIRE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SDG&E

 

Update:  The CPUC has announced it will hold this agenda item slated for the Thursday morning hearing, meaning no vote will be taken on this agenda item.  Public comment will still be accepted before all five commissioners at the start of the mornng hearing .

Public comment will also be taken during an all parties meeting later in the day, but not all commisioners will be present at the later meeting. See more details at the end of this story.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2017 (San Diego) –The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Chula Vista City Council Chambers  (276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista) on the CPUC’s proposed decision to deny SDG&E’s application to charge ratepayers $379 million for recovery of its uninsured losses related to the 2007 Witch, Rice and Guejito wildfires.  A similar request for $594 million was previously denied in 2012.

SDG&E sought to recover those losses through a Wildfire Expense  Memorandum Account (WEMA).  The proposed decision against SDG&E has drawn praise from some, including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, but concerns from others including a fire survivor and intervener in the case.  Some ratepayer advocates also warn that the CPUC could  change its mind on the proposed denial of SDG&E’s WEMA application or postpone action following ex-parte lobbying efforts by the utility company.

VOTER's WATCHDOG: CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FILES OPPOSITION TO AB-840, SAYS AMENDMENTS WOULD GUT ELECTION AUDITS IN CA

 

Watchdog group that won lawsuit says last-minute amendment inserted by election officials would allow 40 to 70 percent of ballots to be omitted from audits

By Miriam Raftery

September 1, 2017 (San Diego) --- Citizens' Oversight, a nonpartisan group that focuses on election integrity, announced today that it has filed written comments in opposition to CA AB-840, a bill which will make drastic changes to the one-percent manual tally of elections, which would omit 40% or more ballots from the scrutiny of this important audit process. Local Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) is a coauthor of the bill.

ECM asked Vu late Thursday for comments. Vu replied via email, “The amendment came through and is sponsored by the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) and is supported by the Secretary of State and the County."

COUNTY PLAN TO SHORTEN AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES PRESENTED IN CREST TO FEW COMMUNITY MEMBERS

 

 

Improvements proposed after ECM investigative series on ambulance response times in unincorporated areas

 

By Kendra Sitton

 

August 30, 2017 (Crest) — Last week, County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Administrator Andy Parr met with local communities to ask for input on EMS’s plan to improve ambulance service to the rural parts of San Diego because "the status quo of 30 min is no longer acceptable."

 

The updated plan goes before the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 10. If approved, when the contracts of the three ambulance companies expire in the next few years, they will have to comply with the new plan which will shorten response time.

 

The actions follow a five-part special series by East County Magazine published  in 2015, investigating slow ambulance response times in some unincorporated areas and changes in county ambulance providers. (See links to our five-part series at the bottom of this article.)

LOCAL RESCUE PERSONNEL HEAD TO HOUSTON TO ASSIST IN EPIC FLOOD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Texas National Guard,  U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West

August 29, 2017 (San Diego) – Rescue personnel from the San Diego region including East County are heading to Texas, where  Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane since reclassified as a tropical storm,  has dumped the heaviest rainfall ever recorded on the U.S. mainland—50 inches or more in places.

Much of Houston, Texas is submerged beneath a swath of floodwaters 50 miles wide.  so much rain fell that the National Weather Service had to add new color coding to its maps.

At least eight people have died.  An estimated 1.7 million  have evacuated  in Texas and Louisana as the storm continues its destructive path, according to the White House website, with many people still awaiting rescue, trapped amid rising waters. Now, a levee south of Houston in Brazoria County has broken and residents in its path are ordered to get out immediately. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE IS NOT FREE SPEECH

 

 

Statement by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California

 August 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- Our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of its people and the principles of equal dignity and inclusion that unite us all. There are troubling events planned in our state in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly painful and difficult time for millions of Californians. 

For those who are wondering where we stand – the ACLU of California fully supports the freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to peacefully assemble. We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence.

TRUMP SHIFTS STANCE ON KKK AND NEO-NAZIS, HAS CANCELLED FUNDING TO COMBAT THEIR RECRUITING EFFORTS

 

 

Update August 17, 2017 -- President Trump has backed off his words from Monday  in an angry speech to reporters  yesteraday, where he claimed counterprotesters were "very violent" and that there were "good people" on both sides. His appeasement and excusing of those in a march with Nazi flags prominently displayed has appalled many, prompting resignation of numerous CEOs off his business advisory panel which Trump dissolved as more and more quit in protest over his racial views. Watch video on CNN.

By Miriam Raftery

Rally organizer tells HBO Vice reporter on video, "A lot more people are going to die."

August 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President  Donald Trump on Monday issued a strong statement denouncing groups by name  that participated in the Charlottesville, Virginia gathering of radical racist hate organizations, at which a Nazi sympathizer plowed a vehicle into a crowd of protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

the president's announced came two days after the attack – and following a barrage of criticism including leaders in both parties who faulted Trump for not specifically denouncing white supremacism earlier.

"Racism is evil -- and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said Monday."Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America," he added.  View the President’s full statement: http://www.10news.com/news/national/trump-expected-to-condemn-hate-group... .

TRANSGENDERS OUT OF MILITARY? NOT SO FAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Congressman Scott Peters

July 27, 2017 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump’s tweets yesterday stating that he is reinstating a ban on transgender people in the U.S. military do not have the force of law.

Now, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff says the military won’t take action until Trump sends directives to the Pentagon. In addition, San Diego Congressman Scott Peters has proposed an amendment to a major defense appropriations bill that would block discrimination against transgender people in the military--and even many staunch conservatives are voicing support for transgender troops.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN IN SAN DIEGO JULY 20

 

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2017 (San Diego)—Gayle McLaughlin, former mayor of Richmond, California, says she’s running a corporate-free progressive campaign for Lieutenant Governor of California.  She will hold a town hall meeting to discuss her campaign on Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at the IBEW 569 hall, 4545 Viewridge Avenue, Suite 100 in San Diego.

SHERIFF'S BODY CAMERAS APPROVED BY SUPERVISORS

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2017 (San Diego) — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors this week unanimously approved more than a million dollars to equip Sheriff's Deputies with body-worn cameras.

The Sheriff's Department will officially roll out its body-worn camera program next month at the Alpine Sheriff's Station and Ramona Sheriff's Substation. From there, deputies countywide will receive the cameras within four to five months.

TWO DOZEN RUNAWAY 4TH OF JULY DOGS REMAIN UNCLAIMED

HOMELESS SAN DIEGANS FILE CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST CITY OF SAN DIEGO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2017 (San Diego) – Ten homeless San Diegans have filed a class action against the city of San Diego, challenging citations targeting the homeless as unconstitutional.

Homelessness in the city spiked 10% over the past year, according to the January 2017 Point in Time homeless count. Most of those—5,612—were unsheltered. There are not enough beds and local shelters have long waits. San Diego is also the fourth least affordable city in the nation for housing, making the situation even more bleak for homeless people here.

COUNTY TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON OUTSOURCING ANIMAL SERVICES

 

 

Only meeting in East County is tomorrow, July 19 in Ramona; cities and unincorporated areas affected since County will stop providing Animal Services to six contract cities

East County News Service

July 18, 2017 (San Diego)-- Residents in unincorporated areas can give their input on what animal services they’d like to see during three upcoming community meetings. The County is considering outsourcing work done by the Department of Animal Services to another entity by next July, but wants residents’ feedback first on what services they expect and any suggestions.

An independent external consultant will run the three meetings in Ramona, Fallbrook and Bonita. The first one is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19 at the Ramona Library. Note: East County Magazine has asked the county to provide a second meeting in East County since this  is inadequate notice to meet deadlines for our  weekly newsletter and radio show, as well as for the print weekly newspapers in East County. 

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

July 18, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

ARE YOU OWED A REFUND? COUNTY HAS HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED MONEY

 



By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2017 (San Diego) – Over a half-million dollars in tax refunds has gone unclaimed by more than 1,360 residents and businesses in San Diego County. That includes property tax refunds,  Superior court money, and funds from county departments. View the list.

 If unclaimed by September 8, some of those funds will be lost to the owners and by law, will be transferred into the County’s general fund, according to County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said.  Others on the refund list still have several years to claim their refunds.

"We've been trying to reach people who have had refunds for two years or more, and this is their last chance to claim the money before it's returned to the County of San Diego,” says McAllister. “If you've done business with the Superior Court, any county department, or with our office, you may have money in your name."

FIND YOUR INNER COWBOY AT THE COUNTY FAIR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2017 (Del Mar) – Whether you’re hankering to watch a Wild West shootout, taste a bacon-wrapped cactus or sip a glass of Screamin’ Chief 4th Alarm grand cuvee wine, you’ll find plenty to  hold your attention at the 2017 San Diego County Fair at Del Mar.

This year’s theme is “How the West was won.”   So we started our visit by moseying through a tunnel to Frontier Town, which is here until July 2. The fair itself runs through the 4th of July.

FLEX ALERT: ALL CALIF. RESIDENTS ASKED TO CONSERVE POWER TODAY FROM 2 TO 9 PM

Twitter

 

East County News Service

June 20, 2017 (San Diego)—California residents are asked to save power from 2 to 9 p.m. by turning off unnecessary lights and appliances and setting air conditioning to turn on at 78 degrees or higher. The Flex Alert, issued by the Califiornia Independent Systems Operator that manages the power grid, aims to prevent blackouts during high power demand periods.

VOTE FOR WINNERS IN OUR PHOTO CONTEST!

 

East County Magazine

June 3, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Thanks to all who entered our East County photo contest!    There were many great entries , making it tough to narrow it down to semi-finalists. We added extra categories to give more people a chance to be winners!  Please vote for your favorites in each category/

For directions click "read more" and scroll down:

THREE ARRESTED FOR IMPERSONATING FEDERAL AGENTS, SCAMMING IMMIGRANTS OUT OF $6 MILLION

 

 

By Jordan Damond

June 9, 2017 (San Diego) -- Three individuals, including one from East County,  were arrested July 7th for impersonating Homeland Security officers and trying to charge immigrants substantial  amounts of money in exchange for legal immigration documents that they never provided.

Two of the scam artists were ex-employees who had not worked in the Department of Homeland Security since at least 2014. They stole approximately $6,000,000 in total from over 150 victims through this scheme according to The United States Attorney’s office in San Diego.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

May 18, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

FIRST AMENDMENT WATCHDOG GROUP OBJECTS TO MAYORS PARTICIPATING IN PRAYER BREAKFAST WITH DAVID BARTON: TWO MAYORS CANCEL AFTER ECM REPORT

 

Part II of our special investigative report on the East County Mayors Prayer Breakfast speaker.

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (El Cajon) – On Monday, an East County Magazine special report  revealed objections raised by some local residents to the controversial “Christian nation” advocate David Barton chosen to speak at the annual East County Mayors prayer luncheon this Thursday, May 4th at the Crystal Palace in El Cajon.  

Now the controversy has intensified, with a First Amendment watchdog group sending a letter to mayors of  El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee objecting to their participation and asking them to disassociate themselves from the event. The letter was signed by Andrew Seidel , staff attorney with the Freedom from Religion Foundation. At least two of those mayors have since cancelled their plans to attend the prayer luncheon.

 In addition,  local residents are asking why alternate versions of the flyer were circulated to religious and secular groups – the latter omitting all mention of Barton and presenting the event as "progressive" oriented.

A FIDDLING REVIVAL IN JULIAN: ANNUAL CONTEST MAY 20 OPENS WITH FIDDLING WORKSHOP MAY 19 LED BY DUAL NATIONAL CHAMPION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Video, above: Open fiddling competition 2016 champion Shira Ellison in her winning performance

May 2, 2017 (Julian) -- Each year,  the town of Julian comes alive with the sounds  of music—fiddle music, along with banjos, guitars, mandolins and mountain dulcimers at the annual Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest. 

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the Julian Town Hall, plus on Friday night a Texas-style fiddle workshop will be led by two-time national grand fiddle champion Matthew Hartz.  (For details and a schedule visit www.SanDiegoFiddler.org)

Recently we’re seeing a revival of interest in the art of fiddling and more broadly, a Renaissance in traditional music both regionally and nationally.

EDITORIAL: STOP THE SANDAG POWER GRAB! EAST COUNTY LEADERS URGE OPPOSITION TO AB 805

 

 

 

By Jerry Jones, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Jennifer Mendoza, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Bill Baber, Council Member,  La Mesa; Kristine Alessio, Council Member,  La Mesa;  Bill Wells, Mayor , El Cajon, and Ben Kalasho, El Cajon Council Member

May 2, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)--Assembly Bill AB 805 is moving through the legislature and threatens our quality of life, self-determination and identity in East County.  Among other things this bill would restructure the voting system at SANDAG and give a weighted super majority veto, as well as the Chair, to the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista.

“So what does that mean to me,” you say?

FLOWING FALLS AND FLOWERS: EARTH DAY IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2017 (Cuyamaca) –From flowing water falls to blooming wildflowers, nature put on a spectacular show in San Diego’s East County. On Saturday,  I headed out to the mountains, taking the Highway 79 exit north off I-8 to start with a visit to Green Valley Falls in Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, followed by stops at Lake Cuyamaca  and picturesque Julian.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 April 18, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

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