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DROUGHT DECLARED IN 41 CALIFORNIA COUNTIES; ALL CALIFORNIANS ASKED TO CONSERVE WATER

FDA APPROVES COVID-19 VACCINES FOR KIDS AGES 12-15 ON EMERGENCY BASIS

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR WAKEFIELD PLACEMENT DENIED BY JUDGE HARUTUNIAN

SUBSTANCE USE INCREASES RISK OF SEVERE COVID-19 ILLNESS, CDC REPORTS; USERS ADVISED TO GET VACCINATED

BIDEN RAISES CAPS ON REFUGEE ADMISSIONS; SAN DIEGO REFUGEE ADVOCATES VOICE RELIEF AT DECISION

EAST COUNTY PEOPLE’S FORUM CITES DISPARITIES IN VACCINE ACCESS, CONCERNS OVER REDISTRICTING

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ANDERSON MEASURE TO IMPROVE NOTIFICATIONS TO COMMUNITIES REGARDING SEX OFFENDERS

SUPERVISORS SPLIT ON SUPPORT OF GEORGE FLOYD POLICE REFORM BILL

FUNDRAISERS PLANNED TO HELP VALENZUELA FAMLY THAT LOST HOME IN SOUTHERN FIRE

SUPERVISORS VOTE 4-1 TO REPEAL “RACIST” LAW AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR TRIBES TO BUY BACK ANCESTRAL LANDS

JOHN COX, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, SLAMMED FOR BRINGING LIVE BEAR ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL

DROUGHT DECLARED IN 41 CALIFORNIA COUNTIES; ALL CALIFORNIANS ASKED TO CONSERVE WATER

By Miriam Raftery

Image, left: Dept. of Water Resources  map shows precipitation is far below average statewide

May 11, 2021 (Sacramento) – Following months of below normal rainfall in one of the driest years on record, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday expanded his  April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include a total of 41 counties. San Diego is not included in the proclamation, which covers primarily Northern and Central California, areas representing about 30 percent of the state’s population. However all state residents are asked to help conserve water, a criitical resource.

Extraordinarily warm temperatures in April and early May separate this critically dry year from all others on California record. Climate change-induced early warm temperatures and extremely dry soils have further depleted runoff water from the Sierra-Cascade snowpack, resulting in historic and unanticipated reductions in water flowing to major reservoirs. The drastic reduction in water supplies means these reservoirs are extremely low for water users including farmers, also threatening fish and wildlife in the counties the drought proclamation covers.

Newsom announced $5.1 billion in funding for a menu of measures to address the drought and related water challenges. His proposal takes timely advantage of a massive $75.7 billion budget surplus, a surplus due largely to wealthy Californians who profited during the pandemic.

READER'S EDITORIAL: LEGISLATORS MUST FUND 988 CRISIS HELP LINE

By Emily Miller, Alpine

Photo: cc via Bing

May 10, 2021 (Alpine) -- May is Mental Health Month. By urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention, mental health, and crisis care, I am hoping to influence collective change to support #MentalHealth4All.

Right now, individuals in crisis are able to call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and those that care for them. Soon, it will be much easier to remember how to reach the Lifeline as the number will be changing to "988" nationwide by July 2022.

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR WAKEFIELD PLACEMENT DENIED BY JUDGE HARUTUNIAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Merle Wakefield, via San Diego Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force

May 10, 2021 (Mt. Helix) -- A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled today that a home in unincorporated El Cajon near Mt. Helix house is not an appropriate location to place a sexually violent predator (SVP).

Superior Court Judge Albert T. Harutunian III said that the house at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive is not appropriate to place sexually violent predator Merle Wade Wakefield. The judge indicated he will deny the placement because the neighborhood is too dense, and the house is too close to other homes with children, according to a press release issued by the Grossmont-Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA).

“It is not a safe placement for the community,” Harutunian said.

FDA APPROVES COVID-19 VACCINES FOR KIDS AGES 12-15 ON EMERGENCY BASIS

East County News Service

May 10, 2021 (Washington d.C.) -- Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 through 15, Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was approved only for people age 16 and up.

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., says the action is “a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding, “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES SALVAGE LAST GAME OF SERIES AGAINST GIANTS

UPDATE 5/10/21 10:29 AM:  tonight's Padres-Rockies game postponed due to weather.  Will be played as part of doubleheader on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. MT/12:10 p.m. PT
 
By Liz Alper
 
Photo:  Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a two-run homer today.  Via @padres on Twitter
 
May 9, 2021 (San Francisco) - The Giants have taken the series, so today’s game was just a freebie to see if the Padres could get one.  Chris Paddack started against Johnny Cueto for San Francisco.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH DURING COVID

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

May 10, 2021 (San Diego) -- The past 13 months have been a rollercoaster of emotion, stress, and anxiety for many folks. As East County and the rest of the state finally move out of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it’s important to remember that our mental and emotional health may need more time to adjust. The stay-at-home orders and pandemic lifestyle may have made some of us stronger and more resilient, but some may have become more vulnerable. These are important considerations, year-round and when we observe May is Mental Health Month.

SUBSTANCE USE INCREASES RISK OF SEVERE COVID-19 ILLNESS, CDC REPORTS; USERS ADVISED TO GET VACCINATED

Sources: Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts and Addiction Policy Forum

 

May 10, 2021 (New York and Bethesda) -Health officials have released an update that individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) are at a heightened risk for serious complications from COVID-19 and underscored the importance for individuals with SUD and their caregivers to get vaccinated.   

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ROLLOVER SANTEE CRASH

East County News Service
 
May 10, 2021 (Santee) – The driver of a white Jeep SUV was seriously injured yesterday around 11:30 p.m. when the vehicle rolled over near the Santee Costco on Town Center Parkway, just north of Mission Gorge Road, trapping the motorist inside.

BIDEN RAISES CAPS ON REFUGEE ADMISSIONS; SAN DIEGO REFUGEE ADVOCATES VOICE RELIEF AT DECISION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons image of refugee children via Bing

May 9, 2021 (San Diego) – President Joe Biden announced Monday that the U.S. will raise the cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 for this fiscal year – up from a historic low of 15,000 under the Trump administration “which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees,” President Biden said. 

EAST COUNTY PEOPLE’S FORUM CITES DISPARITIES IN VACCINE ACCESS, CONCERNS OVER REDISTRICTING

By Briana Gomez

May 9, 2021 (El Cajon) - The East County People’s Forum launched by the East County Justice Coalition took place over Zoom on May 4, 2020. The Coalition launched a call for transparent & inclusive city planning in El Cajon.

SDSU BASEBALL POSTS 8-3 VICTORY OVER SAN JOSE STATE ON SENIOR DAY

Aztecs complete third weekend sweep of the season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego State completed a weekend sweep of San José State on Sunday with an 8-3 victory in the series finale on Sunday at Tony Gwynn Stadium to highlight Senior Day festivities.

THE CLIMATE SOLUTION ACTUALLY ADDING MILLIONS OF TONS OF CO2 INTO THE ATMOSPHERE

New research shows that California’s climate policy created up to 39 million carbon credits that aren’t achieving real carbon savings. But companies can buy these forest offsets to justify polluting more anyway.

By Lisa Song, ProPublica, and James Temple, MIT Technology Review

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Image via Pixabay

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
 
This story was co-published with MIT Technology Review.
 
May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - Along the coast of Northern California near the Oregon border, the cool, moist air off the Pacific sustains a strip of temperate rainforests. Soaring redwoods and Douglas firs dominate these thick, wet woodlands, creating a canopy hundreds of feet high.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BIRDS NEST THISTLES

May 9, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Birds' nest thistles are among the more unusual wildflowers now in bloom in meadows along Sunrise Highway en route to Mount Laguna from Rancho Cuyamaca State Park. Miriam Raftery snapped these images.

The first photo, left, shows the characteristic nest-snaped plant before it's bloomed. The spiny appendages have a cactus-like appearance and are sharp to the touch.

HE BOUGHT HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMERGENCIES, THEN HE FELL INTO A $33,601 TRAP

Since the Trump administration deregulated the health insurance industry, there’s been an explosion of short-term plans that leave patients with surprise bills and providers with huge revenue.

By Jenny Deam, ProPublica

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Image via Pixabay

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
 
May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - In the spring of 2019, Cory Dowd suddenly found himself without health insurance for the first time. A self-employed event planner, he had just finished a Peace Corps stint that provided health benefits, but he was still more than a year away from starting a graduate program that would provide coverage through his university.

BATTERED, BURNED BUT ALIVE; TIME WILL HEAL PARK'S WOUNDS, BUT IT NEEDS BIG MONEY TOO

By Julie Cart, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  A view of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek on April 22, 2021. Most of the park burned in 2020's CZU Complex wildfire. Photo by Max Whittaker, courtesy of Save the Redwoods League

May 9, 2021 (Boulder Creek, Calif.) - In the annals of California history, no one has ever had to put a broken state park back together. There’s no guidebook, no rules. So now state officials and conservationists are attempting a complex and extraordinary Humpty Dumpty project: The reawakening of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE TREE TRIMMER TRAPPED ATOP PALM IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo via San Miguel Fire on Instagram

 

May 9, 2021 (Spring Valley) - Crews from San Miguel and Heartland Fire Rescue rescued a tree trimmer Friday.  “Units arrived on scene to find the worker pinned to the tree approximately 75 feet up. His rigging, harness, and legs were compressed by the weight of the heavy skirt of dead fronds which had given way,” San Miguel posted on Instagram.

EAST COUNTY CONCERTS, FESTIVALS AND CAR SHOWS COME ROARING BACK

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – As COVID-19 restrictions ease, some East County cities and organizations have announced plans to restart community events after a year of shutdowns.

SDSU SOFTBALL FALLS AT COLORADO STATE 3-2

SDSU has six-game winning streak snapped in Fort Collins

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

May 8, 2021 (Fort Collins, Colo.) - The San Diego State softball team had its six-game winning streak snapped in a 2-0 loss at Colorado State Sunday afternoon at Ram Field. The Aztecs (27-14, 12-9 MW) have still won 13 of its last 16 games.

FIGHT OUTSIDE ALIBI BAR IN LA MESA LEADS TO SHOOTINGS

East County News Service
 
May 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police officers responded to reports of gunshots heard at 1:32 a.m. near the Alibi Bar at 5286 Baltimore Drive. Officers found a man in the parking lot who had been shot in the buttocks and rendered aid until paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ANDERSON MEASURE TO IMPROVE NOTIFICATIONS TO COMMUNITIES REGARDING SEX OFFENDERS

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure to increase public notification regarding locations of registered sex offenders and proposed placements of sexually violent predators in communities. Supervisor Joel Anderson introduced the measure, which was amended at the request of Supervisor Jim Desmond to also include Native American communities.

Anderson says that existing notifications “do not provide adequate notice to communities where sex offenders will be located.” In a written statement to the board, Anderson indicated that after sending questions to the District Attorney and Sheriff regarding the placement process and notification procedures, “there are inconsistencies and omissions in the answers we received.”

SUPERVISORS SPLIT ON SUPPORT OF GEORGE FLOYD POLICE REFORM BILL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Henri Migala:  protest in La Mesa on May 30 called for justice for George Floyd

May 7, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to endorse the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a federal police reform measure aimed at improving law enforcement accountability and addressing racial disparities. Supervisors split 3-2 on the issue, with East County Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson opposed while Supervisors Nathan Fletcher, Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas supported the action.

FUNDRAISERS PLANNED TO HELP VALENZUELA FAMLY THAT LOST HOME IN SOUTHERN FIRE

East County News Service

May 7, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - The Southern Fire burned some 5200 acres May 1st through 3rd, forcing evacuations and destroying three structures, including Eduardo (Eddie) and Priscilla Valenzuela’s ranch home near Butterfield Ranch

VALLEY CENTER TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED SEX CRIMES WITH MINORS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Image via Valley Center Elementary School website
 
May 6, 2021 (Valley Center) – Kyle Puette, 37, a third and fifth grade teacher at Valley Center Elementary School, has been arrested on charges of sending harmful matter to seduce minors and communicating with minors to commit a sexual offense.
 
The alleged criminal offenses offered in Bakersfield, where Puette was formerly employed as a fifth grade teacher at Louse Sandrini Elementary School from 2013 to 2017. Two juvenile teenage victims have been identified thus far, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. 

JOHN COX, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, SLAMMED FOR BRINGING LIVE BEAR ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos via Cox campaign
Updated May 10 with statement/action alert from Bobbi Brinks, founder of Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine
 
May 6, 2021 (San Diego) – California gubernatorial recalls have long been likened to circuses. Now Republican candidate John Cox from San Diego’s north county has added to the circus-like atmosphere and drawn criticism from animal rights activists for hauling a Kodiak brown bear along on his campaign trail.

SUPERVISORS VOTE 4-1 TO REPEAL “RACIST” LAW AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR TRIBES TO BUY BACK ANCESTRAL LANDS

“It is time to get rid of this racist law against Indians in San Diego.” – Bo Mazzetti, Chair, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians (photo, left)
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors voted 4-1 yesterday to repeal a 1994 board resolution which required blanket opposition to all tribal requests to add land to their reservations under the federal fee-to-trust process.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES IN THE ER

By Ariana Longley, chief operating officer at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation

 

Image via Pixabay

 

May 6, 2021 (San Diego) - The emergency room (ER) can be a stressful place – whether it’s you or a loved one seeking care. While most visits to the ER are unexpected, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.

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