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CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.
December 17, 2018 (Sacramento) - California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the GOP’s direction nationally and in the state.
December 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --“I am proud to report that the State of our City is outstanding,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday to a nearly full council chamber. He added, “I believe that the City is moving in a positive direction. We have relied on innovation and creative thinking to tackle difficult issues and we have maintained the City’s strong fiscal health, at a time when other cities have struggled.”
December 15, 2018 (Washington D.C.) –The U.S. Senate has passed a farm bill that now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature. The final version stripped out efforts by House Republicans, who had sought to imposeharsher work requirements on millions of food stamp recipients. The House version would have dropped about 1.5 million low-income people off the program.
December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce today announced that it has accepted the resignation of chief executive officer Eric J. Lund, effective January 11, 2019. Lund who has servedfive years with the Chamber, Lund has accepted an opportunity with another organization.
December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Residents of El Cajon and the County of San Diego will have to wait awhile longer before the community's theater, shuttered for over a decade, will reopen for performances.
While performing an evaluation of the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), experts have determined that the system will require complete replacement rather than an overall. Further investigation has found more age-related problems with the roof of the 1,140 seat theater.
December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a proposal asking staff to prepare letters to the California Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asking for a review of Southwest Key Programs, Inc, The Texas-based company provides extended care for undocumented immigrant children. Its El Cajon facility, known locally as “Casa San Diego,” contracts with the federal government to provide care to children who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without any parents, as well as some children who were separated from their legal guardians by U.S. immigration officials.
Co-sponsored by Council members Steve Goble and Gary Kendrick, the proposal stems from a November 18, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that revealed discrepancies with Southwest Key reports to the El Cajon Police Department and California Department of Social Services.
Photo: Students from Meridian Elementary arriving at East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon are surprised and delighted to see a playground that they envisioned has come to life at the center, funded by Allstate through the company’s Good Starts Young program.
December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Fourth grade students in Mrs. Lee’s class at Meridian Elementary were asked how they would like to improve their community. The children dreamed up the idea of a playground for families at the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, which helps homeless people transition off the streets, then created the design. But they had no idea that Allstate Insurance had provided funding through its Good Starts Young program to make the playground become a reality.
December 14, 2018 (Ocotillo, California) -- Jim Pelley sent in this spectacular photo of a desert sunrise piercing periwinkle-hued clouds near his home in Ocotilo, near the border of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
December 14, 2018 (San Diego) – A bomb hoax targeted numerous of businesses, schools, newspapers, government facilities and individuals nationwide yesterday including at least a dozen locations in San Diego County. The targets locally ranged from a trucking business in Lakeside to an attorney’s office in Kensington.
Attorney Julie Hamilton told ECM she received an email that included a demand for $20,000 in bitcoins or a hidden bomb would be exploded, similar to a threat reported across the nation. “The email was very similar to other emails shown by other businesses. I didn't have to tell the investigator much, by the time they got to me they were well aware of the emails going to multiple businesses in the area,” Hamilton said.
December 13, 2018 (San Diego)—On Monday, 32 people, mostly faith-based leaders from across the nation, were arrested in a peaceful protest in support of migrants seeking asylum at the international border in San Diego.
While most were charged with not following officers' orders and quickly released, Matthew Leber from the American Friends Service Committee representing Quakers was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a Border Patrol agent and kept overnight. But he was released without charges after a video posted by the AFSC shows agents knocking down Leber and taking his backpack, countering officials’ version of what occurred. View video: https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/videos/338520756967150/
East County resident Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, witnessed the incident. “I was standing only 15 feet from Matt when he was arrested,” Shu told East County Magazine. “The media reported that he was arrested for assault when the truth is, it was the Border Patrol that escalated the situation and used physical force when it was not needed.”
December 13, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nainsook Framing + Art in La Mesa (8130 La Mesa Blvd.) will host several January events including an artist reception, watercolor and mixed media classes, mosaic workshop, and more. Scroll down for full details on these activities and learn more at https://nainsookframing.com.
December 13, 2018 (La Mesa) – Developers of Jefferson La Mesa, a proposed multi-family apartment project proposed at 4949-4999 Baltimore Drive, invite the community to a meeting to hear about project plans. The meeting will be held on Monday, December 17 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the La Mesa Police Department (8085 University Ave.).
The proposed four-story project would include 230 residential rental units, including some designated as affordable housing on-site. Though designated officially as mixed use, only four of the units are designated as work/live apartments. The developer is listed as South Baltimore LLC/The Forties Challenge.
December 13, 2018 (El Cajon) – The Olaf Wieghorst Museum at the Wieghorst Western Heritage Center, 131 Rea Ave., El Cajon, is presenting an exhibit of 25 quilts created by East County residents, including Cheryl Minshew, Daniela Stout and Sylvia Thomas. “Visitors to the Wieghorst will be impressed by the variety and creativity of patterns designed by East County residents,” said Minshew, the show’s curator. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Dec. 29. Admission to the museum is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. For more information, phone (619) 590-3431, or visit www.wieghorstmuseum.org.
December 13, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) --- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
December 13, 2018 (San Diego) - “At the urging of ER doctors, first-responders and others, the county has started installing bleeding control kits at its facilities,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced on Facebook. “Medical experts say the kits are critical in boosting survival rates after a traumatic event. I want to thank my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors for supporting this initiative.”
December 13, 2018 (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:
Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
December 12, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Cohesion and excellence are concepts often expressed in threes. The Three Musketeers. The Three Tenors. The Three Wise Men. The Triple Crown. The three Olympic medals. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has a winning trio of its own – the winners of the 2018 Chancellor/Classified Senate Award -- who were lauded Tuesday night by the Governing Board in recognition of their exemplary work. The jobs of the winners – Rochelle Weiser from Grossmont College; Gwen Nix from Cuyamaca College and Gabriella Avila-Garcia from District Services, are varied, representing the broad expanse of tasks performed by non-instructional staff.
“The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or a new thing in an old way.” —Richard Harding Davis, journalist and author (1864-1916)
December 12, 2018 (San Diego) – From a year-end wrap-up at the Book Catapult to book discussions, author signings and a holiday writers’ potluck, here are the upcoming local literary events in late December.
December 12, 2018 (Washington D.C) – President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced today to three years in prison after pleading guilty to crimes and admitting to prosecutors that Trump ordered him to commit felony crimes regarding payoffs to hide affairs. Cohen further provided evidence that the President was actively negotiating with Russia on business dealings during the campaign, contrary to what the president told voters at the time, the New York Times reports.
Cohen pled guilty to crimes filed under two separate cases, one filed by U.S. Justice Department prosecutors in New York and the other by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
While Mueller recommended leniency for Cohen due to his cooperation with the probe into illegal election interference, federal prosecutors in New York indicated Cohen was uncooperative in their investigations. Investigators also seized computer and other records of Cohen.
In court, Cohen said of Trump, “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.” He apologized to the American people and said his loyalty to Trump “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”
Judge William H. Pauley III stated that Cohen’s crimes were serious and implicated “insiduous harm to our democratic institutions.”
Poisonings prompt California to reassess super-toxic rodenticides
East County New Service
Mountain lion photo courtesy USFWS
December 12, 2018 (La Mesa) -- A new state analysis has documented super-toxic rat poisons in more than 85 percent of tested mountain lions, bobcats and protected Pacific fishers, prompting state regulators to open a new evaluation of whether to further restrict or ban the powerful toxins.
December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)-- Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.
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By Liz Alper
Videos courtesy goaztecs.com
For videos of Kyahva Tenzino's, Myles Cheatum's, Ryan Agnew's and John Baron's portion of the press conference, click “read more” and scroll down.
December 11, 2018 (San Diego) - With a bowl game a week away, SDSU football brought in a plethora of players to talk to the media today, including a rare appearance from senior kicker John Baron II. Joining him were obviously Rocky Long, junior linebacker Kyahva Tenzino, junior defensive end Myles Cheatum and junior quarterback Ryan Agnew.
“Seems like a long time since we’ve played a game and we’ve still got over a week before we actually get to play," Long lamented in his opening statement. "The good part about it is we’re practicing and Thursday, we’ll start to game prep... The bad deal is when you have this much time on your hands, you watch more and more film. And the more film I watch, the better they (Ohio) get. I think that one week of preparation before you play most games is probably plenty for a coach. When you have basically three weeks to prepare for a team, you see more and more things that they do well. I don’t know if that’s good on my psyche or not. But obviously we’re getting a lot out of these first two weeks developing our team for next year basically.”
December 11, 2018 (Santee) -- The battle over the Fanita Ranch urban development proposal in Santee entered a new phase once the City of Santee scheduled the scooping meeting at the end of November to gather public input on a revamped proposal.
December 11, 2018 (Alpine) -- Running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group taught me a lot. It was like a crash course on local politics. I’ve been attending the group for over three years and I can tell you this: if you have views that are nota carbon copy of the group majority,don’t expect to be warmly welcomed. When I was campaigning, lies sprouted up like weeds from long term group members, and their friends, on Alpine’s social media sites. Some made little sense. One individual said that I had called Cal Trans and asked them to remove a church banner. This had nothing to do with the election. It was coming from a person grasping at straws, looking to put me in a bad light.
December 11, 2018 (Spring Valley) - Do you believe? If you currently need more holiday spirit or if your holiday spirit abounds and for all you in-betweeners, Elf Jr. brings us the Christmas magic everyone seeks. You will love Buddy the Elf and leave the show with a huge smile. The production continues through December 16th at the Encore Theatre in Spring Valley.