San Diego

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “WE WILL DEGRADE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY ISIL”

 

Watch on YouTube

Read the President's full address here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- President Obama tonight spoke to the nation , laying out a comprehensive strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorist group that has declared an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, massacring thousands of Iraqis and beheading two captured American journalists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” the President said. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The President made clear that the U.S. will lead an international effort to eradicate ISIL. He assured that unlike the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conflict will not include U.S. combat troops on the ground.  Instead, he laid out a four-part strategy. First, air strikes will target ISIL in Iraq, Syria and wherever else ISIL poses a threat.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: RECEPTION & FORUM OCT. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego) –The League of Women Voters invites the public to a “Meet the Candidates Reception and Forum” featuring candidates running in the November 4 election for state legislative offices in San Diego and East County, as well as San Diego City Council, Superior Court Judge, San Diego Unified and San Diego Community College districtsw. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 1st from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. 

Candidates for the following offices are invited to participate:

  •  State Senate, Districts 36, 38 and 40 (District 36 is an open seat; 38 and 40 are held by incumbent Senators Joel Anderson and Ben Hueso)
  •  State Assembly, Districts 71, 77, 78 and 79 (currently held by incumbents Brian Jones, Brian Maienscheim, Toni Atkins, and Shirley Weber)
  •  San Diego City Council, District 6 (open seat)
  •  San Diego Community College, Districts A and E (currently held by incumbents Maria Nieto Senour and Peter Zschiesche
  •  Superior Court Judge, Office 25 (open seat)
  •  San Diego Unified School Board, District B (currently held by incumbent Kevin Beiser)

CASH MOB COMES TO LA MESA SEPT. 13 FOR “REVIVE THE BLOCK PARTY” TO HELP SHOPS IMPACTED BY CONSTRUCTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2014 (La Mesa)—The East County Cash Mob is back – and you’re invited to help several struggling small business owners in La Mesa’s downtown village all day on September 13th.

“Times have been tough with local construction on the city streets. Their business has dropped 80 percent,” says Susan Barron, organizer of the event, said of the impact that torn up streets from a downtown revitalization project is having on local merchants.

Cash mobs organize through social media to draw customers and support small businesses during tough times. To participate, simply come prepared to spend $20 or more at any of the following businesses:

 

  • Act ll                   8321 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Wildflowers          8323 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Amethyst Moon    8329 La Mesa Blvd.
  • O’Dunn Fine Art    8325 La Mesa Blvd.
  • Glamour Girlz    special invited guest inside Amethyst Moon

FLASH FLOOD IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery, photos by Danielle Cook and Wayne Brammer

September 7, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—This high desert town in San Diego’s East County is normally characterized by dry washes.  But tonight around 7:30 p.m., the town’s Centennial Committee chair Danielle Cook reports, “I received a call a half hour ago from another Jacumba resident, Bill Pape, saying to "get down to the bridge right away, there is a flash flood here and about 20 of us are gathering to watch it.”

FAST FOOD WORKERS STRIKE NATIONWIDE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2014 (San Diego)--Fast food workers across America on Thursday put down their burger flippers and picked up picket signs.  Workers went out on strike at an estimated 150 fast food restaurants nationwide. The workers want wages raised to $15 an hour . They point out that it’s not just kids working at fast food chains nowadays;  the economy has forced many adults including parents with families to take jobs in the fast food industry. Many are struggling at minimum wage jobs.

In some places, striking workers engaged in civil disobedience, from New York to San Diego. Locally, workers in City Heights staged a march from McDonalds to Burger King and Jack in the Box outlets.  Several staged a sit-in on the University Bridge over I-15 to draw attention of  motorists, and some protesters were arrested, KPBS reports.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO DISCUSS LAWSUIT, ENERGY ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  The rural planners will be discussing some hot issues, starting with disclosure of a lawsuit filed against the Planning Group, its Chair, the County and other parties over alleged loss of property values to Lansing Industries, which has been unsuccessful in its effort to develop its property as first a housing development and later, an industrial solar facility, amid large-scale community opposition.

Chair Donna Tisdale and two other incumbents won reelection to the Boulevard Planning Group unopposed.

VET WARNS OF NEUROTOXIC SNAKES IN SUBURBAN SAN DIEGO NEIGHBORHOODS

 

Photo, left: rattlesnake in Ramona, by Elena Pena

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Neurotoxic snake bites, known as “super bites”, were formerly  rare in our region, found mainly in the Mojave Desert. But 10 News reports these serious bites are occurring now in suburban areas of San Diego and East County.

A dog with a neurotoxin bite in Del Cerro, for example, went into shock and had difficulty walking. The dog was treated at Pet Emergency and Specialty Center in La Mesa, where vets told 10 news that three of the ten snakebites treated in the past week have been neurotoxic bites.

LAKE JENNINGS LOSSES DOWN 56%: HELIX TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING WED. ON LAKE’S FUTURE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Just a few months ago, the future of Lake Jennings, in Lakeside appeared dire, with someHelix Water District board members ready to close it permanently or eliminate campgrounds.  But a special committee was established to come up with solutions to save this resource for the public enjoyment--and the results are promising, based on a dramatic drop in losses and increasing use by the public.

The future of the lake is on the agenda this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at a special meeting of  Helix Water District’s Board at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.  (View full agenda: http://www.hwd.com/board/package090314.pdf

HAVE A BLAST: VIEJAS AIMS TO SET WORLD RECORD FOR FIREWORKS SEPT. 12

 

August 30, 2014 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort will attempt to launch the world’s longest chain of fireworks—more than 10,000 – to celebrates its 23rd anniversary on Friday, September 12th at 8 p.m. You’re invited to the festivities near the Viejas Hotel pool to witness the sky come alive with fireworks during this Guinness Book of World Records setting attempt.

TRANSPORTATION JUSTICE FOR EAST COUNTY: MEETING & COMMUNITY DINNER SEPT. 9 IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2014 (El Cajon)—You and your neighbors are invited to discuss access to safe, efficient and affordable transportation options.  What are your transportation needs and priorities? How can you influence transportation planning decisions?

A community meeting on these issues is planned for Tuesday, September 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Prescott Promenade Park, 201 East Main Street in El Cajon. Dinner will be provided and Spanish translation is available. (View flyer) This event is organized by a coalition that includes the Environmental Health Coalition, Cleveland National Forest Foundation, MAAC,  and City Heights Community Development Corporation. The groups observe that transportation justice increases transportation access, improves public health and safety, and ensures equity for all.

In addition, a petition has been launched calling on local elected officials and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to support transportation justice and adopt a regional transportation plant that:

FUNDRAISER TONIGHT IN EL CAJON TO HELP IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

 

 

East County Chaldean Bishop Jammo to personally deliver donations from Iraqi Christian Relief Fund fundraiser to persecuted Christians in Iraq

East County News Service

August 27, 2014 (El Cajon) Tonight at 7 p.m.,  over 700 San Diegans, including the Chaldean community, will gather in solidarity to raise funds for persecuted Iraqi Christians, at the Iraqi Christian Relief Fund (ICRF) fundraiser at St Peters Chaldean Cathedral in Rancho San Diego.

This is the first major fundraiser in San Diego for persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Speakers at the fundraiser showing unity with Iraqi Christians, will include Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego.

ISIS-LINKED BOMB THREAT AGAINST SONY EXECUTIVE DIVERTS SAN DIEGO-BOUND PLANE

 

 

Group ties take-down of Sony game network to U.S. bombing in Iraq

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2014 (San Diego)—American Airlines diverted its flight 362 from Dallas to San Diego, landing in Phoenix after a group claiming ties to the terrorist group ISIS tweeted a threat stating explosives were on board. 

The tweet from the group calling itself Lizard Squad referenced Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley, who was on board.  Earlier today, Lizard Squad hackers reportedly took down Sony Playstation’s network after tweeting that the group had planted the ISIS flag on Sony’s servers. 

The tweet was sent with the hashtag #ISIS #jihad.

KALASHO CALLS FOR NEW PROVINCE TO BE FORMED IN IRAQ AS SAFE HAVEN FOR PERSECUTED CHALDEANS AND OTHER MINORITIES

 

By Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego

Reporting San Diego sat down on August 22 in Santee with Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community, to discuss genocide in Iraq. Excerpts below are reprinted with permission.

Aug. 24, 2014 (Santee)--“All those people who you see on the mountain side on Sinjar, sleeping on what seems to be the front of churches, those people were homeowners, they owned vehicles, they had jobs or owned businesses and are now homeless,” said Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community and President of the East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce.

According to Kalasho,600,000 people are internally displaced in Iraq. This is an almost incomprehensible number, but we cannot turn away from it.

Our leaders, starting with the President, have mentioned the Yazidis, who are an ancient people that precede Islam and Christianity in Iraq. But the plight of other minorities, including Christian Chaldeans, Siriacs and others has not drawn the same level of national media attention.

WILL HUESO'S ARREST END HIS POLITICAL CAREER? NOT NECESSARILY, BASED ON POLITICIANS BUSTED ON PAST DUI CHARGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2014 (San Diego)--As we reported Friday, State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose 40th district includes the southern portions of San Diego and East County as well as Imperial and Riverside counties, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Sacramento.  The Senator has issued an apology and will appear in court this week.

Adding to Hueso’s woes, the Sacramento Bee has posted a photo showing Hueso partying with the Latino Caucus, shirt tail untucked, shortly before his arrest. It was tweeted by fellow legislator Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who later deleted the image. A reporter at the Sacramento Bee also reportedly received an audio file purporting to be loud singing on a capitol balcony during the evening revelry.

Will Senator Hueso’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol spell the end of his political future? Not necessarily, based on an examination of records of prior legislators faced with similar charges.

TROLLEY BEATING IN LA MESA NOT THE FIRST ALLEGATION OF ABUSE BY TROLLEY SECURITY; RACIAL PROFILING ALSO ALLEGED IN PAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

August  22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Surveillance video of two Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) security officers brutally beating a passenger in La Mesa has prompted suspension of the officers and a police investigation, as ECM reported.  But now an ECM investigation reveals that it may be only the tip of an iceberg.

A Facebook page titled “Stop MTS Harassment and Brutality!” with the logo shown at left was launched back on March 3, 2014 by Bertha Guttierez of Chula Vista.  Posts and links at the site reveal at least three additional excessive use of force cases involving MTS security officers, two of them also involving victims who alleged racial profiling , racial slurs and taunts by the officers.

CA BILLS WOULD BRING LEGAL HELP TO IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2014 (Sacramento)—Over 50,000 unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America have streamed across U.S. borders, seeking help to escape desperate situations. Now some California lawmakers want to assure that kids facing a humanitarian crisis will receive full legal hearings to determine if they may be eligible for asylum, refugee status, or deportation. A new bill would provide $3 million to nonprofit groups to expand legal services for the children.

After visiting a detention center recently, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) told reporters, “I think we all came away with a feeling that these kids really needed our support, that it was about their safety, their due process, the ability to look beyond bigger political considerations and deal with a humanitarian crisis.”

PRESCOTT PROMENADE PARK & OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

 

 

201 East Main St. - El Cajon, California, www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us

 

Article & photographs by: Robert Gehr - Copyright Ó 2014 by Robert Gehr

 

August 21, 2014 (El Cajon)--Renovated from the ground up, this wonderful park is located in downtown El Cajon at Main St. & Sulzfeld and features plenty of seating - from benches to grassy areas - for a break from the hustle of life. Shade trees, such as the blue flowering Jacaranda, give relief from the hot sun while street noise fades into the background. Sit quietly long enough, and you may see a variety of birds, including ducks from the waterscape across the street, ravens, hummingbirds and an occasional hawk.

LOCAL KURDS RALLY TO PROTEST ISIS TERRORIST ATTACKS: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH A LOCAL KURDISH-AMERICAN WITH FAMILY IN TURMOIL

 

Update: Hear our interview with  a loca Kurdish-American whose family is caught up in the tragic actions unfolding in Kurdistan under the ISIS assault. Listen online now: http://kiwi6.com/file/toy925ngc9 (This interview originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM)

 

Anguish hits home for local Kurdish residents

By Miriam Raftery

August 11, 2014 (San Diego) – “This is a great humanitarian tragedy, and another genocide against the Kurdish nation,” Kurdish-American Amina (who asked that her last name be withheld) told East County Magazine.  She is horrified at news reports of beheadings, mass graves and the kidnapping of young girls as sex slaves by ISIS terrorists who have laid siege to the city of Shingal and trapped 100,000 refugees atop the Shingal Mountain. She is also frightened by what she is hearing from relatives in the region.

"No one feels safe there. People are hopeless,” she says.

Now the crisis has impacted her own family, like many of the 4,000 to 5,000 Kurdish people in the San Diego region and 15,000 Kurds in the U.S. overall. 

“The Kurdish people know that their dear Pesharga do not have weapons to defend them from these barbarians, and this makes them live and die in fear. We hear that the Kurdish government is asking people (one of them being my brother) to find themselves weapons and join the Peshmarga,” she wrote in an e-mail to East County Magazine. “Sadly, most people do not have weapons, so if they go to war, they will go with bare hands.”

FIRE CHIEFS AND REGIONAL OFFICIALS ASSESS RESPONSE TO MAY FIRES, PREPAREDNESS FOR FUTURE FIRES

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2014 (San Diego) – In the wake of the May wildfires that resulted in a countywide disaster declaration, Fire Chiefs and elected officials from across the region met on July 31 at the Count Operations Center to assess what went right--and what areas have room for improvement.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

AZANO INDICTED ON 26 CHARGES, INCLUDING BRIBING AN UNNAMED PUBLIC OFFICIAL IN EXCHANGE FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2014 (San Diego)--Bribery. Conspiracy. Illegal possession of firearms. Those are among the 26 charges just filed against Jose Susomo Azano, the Mexican businessman alleged to have made illegal campaign donations to local politicians including District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Congressman Juan Vargas, whose district includes the southeast portion of East County as well as San Diego’s border region and portion of Imperial County.

CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO OPPOSE TERM LIMITS IN LA MESA

 

 

“A vote is too precious to limit.” – No Term Limits in La Mesa slogan

East County News Service

August 11, 2014 (La Mesa)--With the slogan “A vote is too precious to limit,” a group of La Mesa residents has joined together to form No Term Limits in La Mesa, to oppose a term limits initiative  in the city of La Mesa that will be on ballots this November. The group asks the public’s help to spread the word through a people-powered grass roots campaign using word of mouth, a website (www.NoTermLimitsInLaMesa.com ), social media and downloadable graphics to print your own flyers, car signs, posters and T-shirts.

The group objects to term limits on principle, Kristin Kjaero explained, saying “The Founding Fathers didn’t give us term limits, they gave us the Bill of Rights which guarantees our right to free expression. The most fundamental form of that expression is our vote, which allows us to put teeth behind our opinions.”

A RASH OF CONTROVERSY OVER DIAPER BILL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Diego)--A local legislator says she has received threats over introducing a bill that would help poor mothers afford diapers for their children, 10 News reports. 

AB 1516 would give $80 for diapers to every family with a child under 2 years old, if the family qualifies for CALWORKS, the state’s program that helps welfare recipients get jobs.  

The high cost of diapers prevents many parents from returning to work, since most child care centers require that children wear disposable diapers, so reusing cloth ones is not an option during working hours.

ROCK CHURCH PLAN TO LEASE EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ART CENTER ON COUNCIL AGENDAY TODAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (El Cajon)—El Cajon’s City Council will vote at today’s 3 p.m. meeting on directing staff to pursue a draft final agreement with Rock Church for establishing a partial lease of the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC).  The deal would also authorize Rock Church to lease land adjacent to the theater to construct a new building for the church that would be partially available for city use.

The measure is on the consent calendar, however ECM has received several e-mails from community members who are concerned  about separation of church state issues and about the long-term loss of the theater for public use during a significant number of hours each year.  They want to see any leasing decisions halted until the city follows up on its promises to hire a professional theater management company.

SOITEC BARS COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP CHAIR FROM “COMMUNITY” MEETING

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 8, 2014 (Boulevard)—Donna Tisdale is the elected chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group and has long been a champion fighting for rights of rural residents against an onslaught of industrial-scale development proposals.  So why did Soitec Solar snub Tisdale in three invitation-only meetings with residents on Soitec’s controversial industrial-scale solar projects in Boulevard, held at a private ranch?

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS Q & A SESSION WITH LOCAL POLITICIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Politics in Paradise" showcases hot issues--and partisan divide in East County

Story and photos by Sharon Penny

Hear an audio report by Janis Russell: http://kiwi6.com/file/t3ud7qryhp

 

Photo, left to right:  CA Senator Joel Anderson, County Treasurer Dan McAllister, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Assemblyman Brian Jones, Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom, and Congressman Duncan Hunter

August 8, 2014 (El Cajon)--Six East County politicians participated in a lively question and answer session under the stars at Cuyamaca College's Water Conservation Garden during a mild summer evening on August 7.

The location for the annual event hosted by the joint Chambers ofCommerce in East County was apropos because the state’s water issue was a hot topic discussed by local leaders. The site exemplified ways that constituents could help with the current drought. Other issues debated at the event were welfare, immigration, the local craft beer industry, using public pension funds to invest in affordable housing, providing incentives to private developers, Proposition 13, high-speed rail, and even Shamu.

OUR MAY RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN HERE

 

We're catching up on our archiving, after getting through the primary elections and moving our office/studio. Our May podcasts are now online, including many candidates who will be on the November ballot, as well as interviews on issues ranging from firefighting job opportunities to legal tips for surviving disasters.

To listen to our May radio shows online now, plus see a complete list of interviewees and other content on each show in May,  click here.

HELIX WATER DECLARES DROUGHT LEVEL 2 ALERT: MANDATORY CONSERVATION MEASURES IMPOSED

 

Source: Helix Water District

August 7, 2014 (La Mesa)--Helix Water District’s board of directors voted yesterday to put Drought Level 2 into effect in response to the State Water Resources Control Board’s passage of mandatory water conservation measures to deal with the current drought.

Since February, the district had been in Drought Level 1, which called for numerous voluntary actions to eliminate water waste. Drought Level 2 makes them mandatory.  Residents and businesses are required to take the following conservation steps:

LOCAL CHURCH HOSTS BORDER CHILDREN FORUM: AUGUST 17 IN LA MESA

 

Church launches drive to save lives, help children fleeing violence

"Jesus himself was a refugee, who with his family fled to a foreign as an infant." --Rev. Kaji Dousa

Hear our interview with Doug Brunson from UCCLM: http://www.kiwi6.com/file/gvviv3lgb6

View or sign a petition to help the children: http://tableucc.com/witness/sign-the-petition-central-american-refugee-crisis/

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 7, 2014 (La Mesa)—United Church of Christ in La Mesa has stepped forward to help children from Central America who have sought refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, drug trafficking and threats of death.   The public is invited to a Border Children panel discussion on Sunday, August 17 at 3 p.m.  at the church, located at 5940 Kelton Avenue, La Mesa.

 “We need to welcome the strangers. We need to help those in need,” Doug Brunson with UCCLM told East County Magazine in a recent radio interview, quoting Jesus.  “This is a crisis…something that needs to be addressed now,” he said of the 50,000 children.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO CREATE MAJOR AGRICULTURAL PROMOTION PROGRAM

 

County News Service

August 7, 2014 (San Diego) -- San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously directed County staff Wednesday to start working on a program to promote agriculture. Ultimately, the program could open up nearly one-third of the unincorporated county to wineries.

The proposed Agriculture Promotion Program would also streamline County planning and land use regulations to expand and promote other agricultural pursuits. Those include microbreweries, “agritourism,” cheese-making, beekeeping and onsite retail horticultural sales.

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