By Sholeh Sisson
May 17 2013 (San Diego)-- On May 15, the San Diego Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance waiving building permit and plan review fees for disabled veterans who need home modifications to accommodate their disabilities.
"We are always looking for ways to improve the lives of those who risk their lives to protect our country," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who introduced the measure along with Supervisor Bill Horn.
By Carolyn Ballou, California Department of Veterans Affairs
May 2, 2013 (Sacramento)--U.S. Air Force veteran George Chappell was a fuels specialist in Vietnam. He worked on all kinds of aircraft, including those used to dump the toxic herbicide Agent Orange over the jungles to expose enemy hiding places. At age 60, George was diagnosed with Stage 4 mantel cell lymphoma. He died just 18 months later. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) presumed that George’s disease was the result of his Agent Orange exposure 40 years earlier.
The USDVA presumes that 14 different diseases and disorders are related to Agent Orange exposure when diagnosed in “boots-on-the-ground” veterans and certain other veterans groups. Certain birth defects in the children of Vietnam veterans may also be the result of Agent Orange exposure.
March 17, 2013 (San Diego) – Thomas Jefferson School of Law will open a Veterans Self-Help Legal Clinic on March 20 to help former military service members with their legal needs. The veterans will be assisted by volunteer lawyers from the community working side-by-side with TJSL law students.
The clinic will be appointment-only and will operate the third Wednesday of every month from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at 495 Eleventh Avenue. The clinic is now taking appointments.
HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP BUILDING HOMES FOR TWO DOUBLE AMPUTEE VETERANS IN EL CAJON
"We're here for two of our American heroes." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Army Sergeant Odin Ayala and Marine Corporal Travis Greene each lost both legs serving in combat. But they were all smiles on February 23 at the groundbreakings of their new , specially adapted homes in El Cajon-- thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops.
“Our motto is rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale with Homes for our Troops. The group seeks donations as well as volunteers to help build these homes and more. Local community groups and businesses can also adopt a room, partnering in efforts to help these wounded veterans and others.
January 2, 2013 (San Diego) – What has sadly been lost this week amid all the chatter about the so-called fiscal cliff is the fact that members of Congress are already threatening to throw our veterans under the bus. And it is nothing short of despicable.
Back in September, I reported for Newsweek/The Daily Beast that an unidentified Senator tried to block disabled veterans and their survivors from getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their benefits. The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, which typically passes the House and Senate without opposition, was cleared by Senate Democrats but was unconscionably placed on a “secret hold” by an unidentified Republican senator.
By Lori Abbott, California News Service
November 17, 2012 (San Diego)-Congress returned to Washington, D.C., to begin its lame-duck session, but a veterans' group has not given up the fight for legislation to protect parts of the California desert. A bill by Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) would designate as wilderness more than 21,000 acres of Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia in northern San Diego County.
November 11, 2012 (San Diego) – Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor all American men and women who served our country. But this year, it's also a day to reflect on just what impact last week's election will have on America's 22 million veterans.
In his stirring victory speech late Tuesday night, President Obama passionately reminded the nation how important it is to support our warriors and their families. He reiterated that support today in a speech at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater, saying, "No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home."
By Jamie Reno
Despite the fact that we have been a nation at war for more than a decade, sadly, and surprisingly, the plight of America's veterans has not by any measure been a front-burner issue in this presidential election. But it's not too late for you to make it one.
By Rick Alexander
October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As a vet I’m ticked. This great nation has vowed, rightfully so, to never again treat its veterans the way we were treated during the Vietnam Era. But now it seems that if a special interest group wants anything from government or the electorate they simply attach the “veteran” label to the request, whether it is a significant part of the program or not. As vets, we have gone from being abused to used. Better, but still not good.
October 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- On the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating tribute to America’s past wars, the region’s community college leaders said dwindling budgets are affecting their ability to serve those returning from today’s conflicts and heading back to school.
Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, speaks at Tuesday’s news conference focusing on the needs of student veterans. Behind her are from left, Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District; Justin Dile, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves; Paul McNamara, a Palomar Community College District governing board member; Melinda Nish, superintendent/president of Southwestern College; and Francisco Rodriquez, superintendent/ president of MiraCosta College.
September 27, 2012 -- (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:
- County hires planning director from bankrupt city (UT)
- Census: El Cajon Has Highest Poverty Rates In San Diego County (KPBS)
- Blaze roared through quiet community like a freight train (UT San Diego)
- Turko tackles Alpine Boulevard construction woes (KUSI)
- Judicial race pits establishment against Tea Party (North CountyTimes)
- Will San Onofre outage mean relief for ratepayers? (UT San Diego)
- Pattern Energy: The bad stuff just goes on and on (Hawaii Free Press)
- Prolific disabled access lawyer to be disbarred (UT)
- San Diego’s median income drops (Fox 5)
- Pensions fall well below 80% funding level (UT San Diego)
- Could bullying be behind Ramona boy’s suicide? (10 News)
- Watchdog group faults states’ inspection of oil, gas wells (Los Angeles Times)
- Jerry Brown signs two-year reprieve for state parks (Sacramento Bee)
- Jerry Brown signs bill allowing same-day voter registration (Sacramento Bee)
- Gov. Brown signs 18 bills to help veterans, families (Sacramento Bee)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Jamie Reno
The Reno Dispatch
September 25, 2012 (San Diego) -- I've been openly critical of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its massive backlog of disability claims, entrenched bureaucracy, and other problems. The VA has a long, long way to go.
But that doesn't mean I don't recognize that there are many people at VA who are dedicated to veterans, and many programs that help veterans survive and thrive.
September 24, 2012 (Sacramento)--Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, September 21 signed into law three bills by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) aimed at assisting military families and returning veterans.
“I’m thrilled that the governor approved my bills – AB 1904, AB 2202 and AB 2462. They will help California repay the tremendous debt we owe our veterans,” Block said.
RANKING MEMBER OF HOUSE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE AND SAN DIEGO IRAQ VETERAN CHALLENGE ROMNEY’S RECORD ON VETERANS ISSUES
- Almost half of new vets seek disability (AP)
- Romney tells vets dangerous world demands powerful military (Reuters)
- Op-ed by President Obama: Keeping faith with our veterans (White House)
- How Memorial Day glosses over the real horrors of war (AlterNet)
- Iberdrola drops two wind projects (Tribune-Democrat)
- Help wanted, but not for mid-level jobs (NPR)
- More relatives, friends caring for kids (Reuters)
- Democrats to offer a ‘lifeline’ for single payer healthcare (ThinkProgress)
- Romney hits magic number for GOP nomination (CNN)
- Military campaign money favors Obama (USA Today)
- Official: 160 girls poisoned at Afghan school (CNN)
- U.S. officials among the targets of Iran-aimed assassination plots (Washington Post)
- Syria condemned for massacre (BBC)
- Iran hit by new cyber-weapon “Flame” (Jerusalem Post)
- Sudyei dispute, Sudan to ‘withdraw troops’ (BBC)
By E.A. Barrera
May 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- Steve Danon has been active in Republican politics since his days as College Republican president at San Diego State University. He has worked for Republicans ranging from Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts to Congressman Brian Bilbray.
He is one of a new generation of youthful conservative leaders emerging in San Diego that include Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and City Councilman Kevin Faulconer (both of whom have endorsed Danon).
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE LORI SALDAÑA SHARES VIEWS ON JOBS, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICIES, VETERANS AND SENIOR ISSUES, AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
- Forty-nine headless corpses found in Mexico (Reuters)
- Merkel’s conservative party routed in Germany (Reuters)
- France’s “Monsieur Normal” takes office…unmarried (NBC)
- Surfer recognized for riding biggest wave ever (Los Angeles Times-video)
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has explosive family secret (Business Insider)
- One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infections (BBC)
- Gouged by the wind: Renewable fuel mandates are raising electricity costs (Wall Street Journal)
- Court rejects Iraq-Afghanistan veterans demand for better VA care
- Navy to demonstrate great green fleet (10 News)
- Bush convicted of war crimes in absentia (Foreign Policy Journal)
- The unbelievable brutality released on kids in for-profit prison (Alternet)
- Humane Society calls for reform of federal wildlife agency (Sacramento Bee)
- The killing agency: wildlife services’ brutal methods leaves a trail of animal deaths (Sacramento Bee)
- Game over for the climate (New York Times)
March 17, 2012 (Boulevard) -- Veterans and their families are invited to come geocaching on Saturday, April 7th and to enjoy inexpensive camping ($10-$15) at Sacred Rocks Reserve during April. The privately owned campground has set aside the month of April to say thanks for the sacrifices of veterans and their families.
Owner and Staff are extending appreciation for military service by offering their best - the gift of peace and quiet and simply being with family. Sacred Rocks wishes to stand apart from regular Memorial Day deals with a whopping 78% off.
CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS FILES TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION IN NEW 53RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT; POPADITCH TO OPPOSE
- Community meeting discussing Quail Brush Power Plant Feb. 28 (Santee Patch)
- Grossmont expands school enrollment choices for some (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- San Diego Gas & Electric wants you to pay for its negligence (San Diego Reader)
- Nature reclaims local cold war relic (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- Hunter introduces bill to name Ramona Post Office after Mac McWilliams (Ramona Patch)
- Helix claims Hills League title with tiebreaking victory over Grossmont (La Mesa Patch)
- Veterans recover from war wounds on the farm (MSNBC)
- SDPD Oversight Board Faces Favoritism Accusations
- Prop 8 backers seek review of gay marriage case (Sacramento Bee)
- Jerry Brown: California to reopen trade offices in China (Sacramento Bee)
“The official casualty count of Iraq and Afghanistan is 5,000 plus killed and about 45,000 wounded…You know how many men and women have approached the VA for help for war-related injuries from those two wars? Almost a million," said Congressman Bob Filner. "We need to take care of these kids when they get back here…Veterans are THE issue for Democrats.”
By Miriam Raftery and Mia Mykleberg
February 16, 2012 (San Diego) –Thousands of soldiers are returning home to San Diego County as the Iraq war ends and troop draw downs occur in Afghanistan.
At the California Democratic Party’s newly formed Veterans’ Caucus, Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner, former Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, laid out detailed plans to welcome home veterans with respect and hands-on help--including establishing a Veterans' Office for San Diego if he is elected Mayor.
First, and only hospice in California to receive Partner Level 4 designation for “We Honor Veterans” program