LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORT CONTINUING TO ACCEPT REFUGEES AND FEDERAL FUNDING

FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA’S NEW GIG WORKER LAW IS DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THREATENING ALL PERFORMING ARTS

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ONE-YEAR BAN ON SALES OF VAPING PRODUCTS, ALSO TARGET SMOKELESS TOBACCO

ACTOR ERIK ESTRADA, LOCAL HEROES AMONG HONORED GUESTS AT CHP COMMAND CENTER OPEN HOUSE

WATCH FOR WINDY WEATHER

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOSES TIGHT ONE AT NEVADA 70-69

The Wolf Pack scored the game-winning bucket with three seconds left

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 18, 2020 (Reno) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (8-12, 3-5) lost a tight battle at Nevada 70-69 (8-10, 2-5) Saturday afternoon inside the Lawlor Events Center. After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Aztecs roared back to take the lead in the fourth quarter only to see the Wolf Pack’s Da’Ja Hamilton’s score the game-winning bucket with three seconds left.

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.

GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 16, 2019 (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:

U.S.

WORLD

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

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE NEW HOMES IN FIRE-PRONE AREAS MORE RESISTANT TO WILDFIRES

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today gave preliminary approval to change the county’s building code in order to require fire-resistant construction of all new homes in areas with moderate to high wildfire risk in unincorporated areas. The standards are tougher than those mandated by the state.  A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for January 29.

 

The changes were proposed by East County’s two Supervisors, Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond. Jacob said she hopes the new requirements will serve as a “model for fire protection” statewide, also saving lives during wildfires.

 

San Diego County has been devastated by numerous major wildfires, including the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms which killed 17 people and destroyed thousands of homes, causing billions of dollars in property damage.

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – Authorities yesterday announced a $10,000 reward for information to help find Elijah “Bear” Diaz, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians who vanished under suspicious circumstances in August 2015. 
 
He was 20 years old at the time and ill from diabetes.  “He was about to get his foot amputated. He couldn’t walk. He was in a wheelchair a few days before,” his mother, Lelanie Joe Thompson told ECM in a interview last year, adding that her son weighed only 110 pounds and could not have left on his own. She said Diaz had only two weeks of insulin left when he disappeared.

CACTUS MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS IN SANTEE AND VALLEY CENTER

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications 
Image Credit: shutterstock
 
January 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two cactus mice collected separately in routine monitoring in Santee and Valley Center have tested positive for hantavirus, marking the first appearance in San Diego County in 2020 of the potentially deadly virus.
 
County officials said people should never sweep up or vacuum, but use “wet cleaning” methods instead, to clean up rodent droppings or signs of rodent infestation if they find them in their living spaces — homes, garages, sheds, cabins and outbuildings.
 
Infected rodents shed hantavirus in their urine, feces and saliva. If people stir that dry matter into the air by sweeping or vacuuming, they can inhale the virus and get sick.

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Women’s march is slated in San Diego Jan. 18

By Miriam Raftery

View video of applause after ERA passage in Virginia Legislature today

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – It takes two-thirds approval by 38 states, plus Congress, to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The Virginia Legislature today became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA) long after Congress did so, too. But the action sets the stage for legal challenges, since the deadline for ratification of the amendment granting equal rights to women has long since passed.

Virginia legislator Mark Keam tweeted, “On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 91st birthday, a dream came true in Virginia. A Dream of generations of women who have fought for equality under U.S. Constitution. With this vote, I and 58 of my  @VaHouse colleagues voted on the right side of history.”

Efforts to attain Constitutional rights for women date back to the early days of our nation, when Abigail Adams implored her husband, founding father John Adams, to “remember the ladies” when drafting the Constitution, “for all men would be tyrants if they could.” She warned that if women were not granted rights, they would foment rebellion.  But Adams ignored his wife, and women were omitted from the Constiution, following after the Declaration of Independence which stated that “all men are created equal.”

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF WATER IN EAST COUNTY ON JANUARY 25

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Dignitaries rode boats to celebrate opening day of the San Diego Flume in 1889, which brought water from Lake Cuyamaca to meet the needs of East County residents.

 January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At the next Helix Water Talks, on Saturday, January 25, Helix Water District will take customers through 130 years of local history including how the need for a robust water infrastructure played into development of East County and how Helix Water District was formed to meet that need.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. at Helix’s administration office in La Mesa. The free event includes coffee and bagels, a presentation and an hour-long, 3-floor tour of the district’s collection of historical photos.

“The history of Helix Water District and our role in developing and providing water for East County over the last century is fascinating,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Our customers really enjoy this event.”

MISSION TRAILS ANNOUNCES WORKSHOPS ON BIRD IDENTIFICATION AND MOUNTAIN LIONS

East County News Service
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego)—Mission Trails Regional Park announces a series of bird identification workshops on Saturdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 1-3 p.m. at a cost of $15 per session. 
 
In addition, on Thursday Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. a program on “Mystery cat: Southern Caifornia’s elusive mountain lion” will be presented in the visitors’ center at a $10 cost.
 
Bird identification: The bird identification workshops will be led by Millie Basden and include a guided in-field walk the following morning.  Learn to identify 50 common birds found in Mission Trails Regional Park as year-round residents or winter visitors.

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

SENATOR BRIAN JONES REQUESTS AUDIT OF STATE’S HOMELESSNESS SPENDING

East County News Service
 
January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) announced today that they have requested a statewide audit of homelessness spending in California. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider the request on February 19, 2020.

FEBRUARY CONCERT TO FEATURE UNUSUAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT: THE CHAPMAN STICK

By Chuck Carter
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- The February 9th concert presented by Second Sunday Community Concerts at Mission Trails Church (4880 Zion Ave., San Diego) will be local musician Tom Griesgraber, a graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music, playing the Chapman Stick. The free concert will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The Chapman Stick looks like  a wide guitar neck--without the guitar body.  The Chapman Stick usually has 12 strings, six guitar strings and six bass strings.  The strings are "tapped" rather than plucked. Griesgraber was proficient on electric guitar before deciding to master the Chapman Stick.  He also uses some of the electronics favored by musicians playing the electric guitar including the "looper" and synth pedals that give him more sonic choices.

SANTEE LIBRARY GETS NEW LAPTOP KIOSK

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- Patrons of the Santee Library can now borrow small laptop computers through a new, high tech dispensing machine that was funded by the Friends of the Santee Library.

The kiosk, available to use for free to anyone with a library card, has been operating for about two weeks but got an official ribbon cutting Jan. 13.

Chris Miller, vice president of the Friends of the Santee Library, said her group provided about $38,000 towards the purchase of the kiosk, while the county of San Diego, which operates the library, put up about $24,000 to pay for the laptop computers made by Hewlett Packard and the maintenance cost.

“The Friends of the Santee Library is committed to doing whatever we can to expand the capabilities of the library regardless of the space we have to work with,” Miller said.

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORT CONTINUING TO ACCEPT REFUGEES AND FEDERAL FUNDING

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – An executive order issued in September by President Donald Trump requires approval from states, counties and cities to continue to accept refugees and federal funds to help these newcomers coming to America, fleeing war, persecution, natural disasters or violence in their homelands.

San Diego has been an official federal refugee resettlement site since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The city is now one  of the largest resettlement sites in the nation, taking in over 24,000 refugees in the past decade including many families with children. The region receives $7.6 million a year in federal funding to help refugees, including $4 million to the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

Four of the nine national refugee resettlement agencies are located in San Diego County providing help for the newcomers to become productive members of society.  The support includes medical care, English language skills, help with housing, job training, small business development and aid to school districts with large refugee student populations, including districts in East County.

All of that could have screeched to a halt, if Supervisors had voted against a proposal to approve continuing refugee resettlement in our region and acceptance of future federal funds for that purpose.

FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

 

Update January 17:  Eli is now awake and eating on his own, his aunt has informed ECM, but still faces a long recovery.

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (Jamul) – Brody’s Burgers in Jamul will host a benefit on January 26 rom 11 a.m. to 4 p.m for Eli Oliveros, a 6-year-old Jamul boy who was seriously injured in a car accident. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to help Eli’s family pay his medical bills.

Eli was in a medically-induced coma and on a respirator after the Dec. 27 accident in Los Angeles, as ECM reported.  As of yesterday, he is now breathing on his own. But he also suffered multiple broken bones as well as damages to his lungs and brain. His vision is crossed, but doctors are hoping the condition will self-correct.

PAIR WANTED FOR ROBBING CITI BANK IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks public help to locate two men responsible for robbing the Citi Bank at 402 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon on December 27th at 1:20 p.m.
 
According to special agent Davene Butler, one of the men approached a teller and made a verbal demand for money.  He was described as white, in his late 40s to 50s, approximately 5'9” tall, slender build, with dark (possibly dyed) hair and a dark handlebar mustache. This robber was wearing reading glasses, a camouflaged colored baseball cap, a long sleeve blue shirt with a short sleeve red shirt over top, and boots. 
 
The second robber stayed in the lobby of the bank.  Witnesses described the second man as a Caucasian male, in his late 30s, approximately 5'10"tall, with a slender build and was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a San Diego Chargers logo, a dark colored zip-up jacket, jeans, and sunglasses.

FATALITY CRASH ON I-8 AT JACUMBA

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs)- - Alejandro Jiminez Mendoza, 46, of Heber died January 12 after an accident that occurred on westbound I-8 at Carrizo Gorge in Jacumba Hot Springs.
 
Heber was a passenger in a vehicle that struck the left shoulder media and plunged down to the base of the embankment. 911 was called and paramedics responded, but he was pronounced dead of traumatic injuries.  

BUTTERFLY DECIMATED BY SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES IS PROPOSED FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION

Photo by Michael W. Klein Sr. via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Hermes copper butterfly is found primarily in San Diego County, as well as northwestern Baja, Mexico. 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (San Diego) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week announced a proposal to add the Hermes Copper Butterfly as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.  
 
The butterfly is found only in San Diego County and northwest Baja California, Mexico, but wildfires including the 2003 Cedar and 2007 firestorms have decimated most of its habitat, as have development. 
 
Now, the USF&W wants to designate 35,000 acres of protected critical habitat in San Diego County  The plan also calls for a captive breeding program and reintroduction into the wild.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA’S NEW GIG WORKER LAW IS DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THREATENING ALL PERFORMING ARTS

 
By Brendan Rawson
Originally published by CalMatters
 
Musician Alphonso Horne performing with the band, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, at San Jose Jazz in 2019. (Photo, Robert Birnbach, courtesy San Jose Jazz.)
 
January 14, 2020 (Sacramento) -- California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today’s tech platform gig-work economy. 
 
The live music sector, the progenitor of the term “gig” work, is being swept up by this law. The irony would be comical if it were not such a serious problem.
 
There are some worthy arguments to be made for Assembly Bill 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, San Diego Democrat. It could improve the lot of workers trying to piece together a living in this expensive state. It should help capture unemployment taxes from unscrupulous employers misclassifying workers as independent contractors. 
 
However, the law has created a tangle of red-tape and administrative expense for large portions of California’s cultural sector.

READER’S EDITORIAL: OPEN LETTER TO SANTEE COUNCIL MEMBER LAURA KOVAL - PUBLIC INTEREST MOTIVATES PRESERVE WILD SANTEE

By Van Collinsworth, Director, Preserve Wild Santee
 
January 14, 2020 (Santee) -- At the last meeting, the new Vice-Mayor Laura Koval waited until after I had addressed the council and returned to my seat to suggest that Preserve Wild Santee and/or other environmental organizations work is financially motivated. To be clear, and as has always been the case, I will engage with any council member at the podium to address their directed remarks, as I did with the mayor. From my perspective, waiting until I cannot respond to make this suggestion of financial motivation, demonstrates the weakness of your position.
 

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ONE-YEAR BAN ON SALES OF VAPING PRODUCTS, ALSO TARGET SMOKELESS TOBACCO

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2020 (San Diego) – By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors today tentatively approved a moratorium on sales and distribution of electronic cigarette or vaping devices, flavored and smokeless tobacco products. but exempted hookahs.  The board majority also voted to ban outdoor smoking at restaurants. 

If final approval is made on Feb. 28, the regulations will take effect July 1 and run through Feb. 28, 2021. The ban on vaping items could be lifted sooner if the U.S. Center for Disease Control changes its directives, which currently advise consumers to avoid all vaping/e-cigarette use due to sudden and severe lung illnesses.

TWO TEENS KILLED IN LAKESIDE CRASH

Update:  The deceased have been identified as Justin Kyte of El Cajon and Isaac Culkin of Lakeside.

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (Lakeside) – A teen driver in a Chevrolet Silverado with three teenage passengers struck a tree in Lakeside on January 11, killing the driver and one of the passengers.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the 16-year-old driver was traveling at a high rate of speed at 10:45 p.m. on Willow Road westbound, east of Ashwood Street, when he lost control and struck a large tree.

Kyte, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. Culkin, a passenger, was transported to a hospital, but has been taken off life support after sustaining irreversible brain damage; his family decided to donate his organs to save others. A GoFundMe site has been set up to assist Culkin' family.

MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: AN ASTRAL NEW YEAR

By Jake Zawlacki
 
January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- You may have spent your New Year’s Eve getting drinks, watching a big plastic ball drop, or looking at fireworks. I didn’t. I brought my New Year in a little early, on December 29th. And it arrived in three steps, in a separate dimension.
 
First, my astral body walked through blue flames, my many negative life experiences burning like kindling.
 
Next, my body walked through yellow flames, the many positive attributes cultivated over a millennia of past lives rejoining my earthly self.

ACTOR ERIK ESTRADA, LOCAL HEROES AMONG HONORED GUESTS AT CHP COMMAND CENTER OPEN HOUSE

Spring Valley resident Cassie Wells hailed for saving motorist’s life

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Jan. 14, 2020 (San Diego) Actor and real-life cop, Henry Enrique “Erik” Estrada, who played the California Highway Patrol officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello in the 1977-1983 tv show CHiPS, made an appearance at the CHP’s open house of their command center facility in Kearny Mesa on Jan. 10. 

(Pictured: CHP Chief Omar Watson with Erik Estrada - photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

 “I can get you out of a ticket,” quipped Estrada during his appearance. His humor matched with the celebratory spirit of the day and debut of the facility to the public.

LANE-SPLITTING MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN LA MESA

East County News Service

Update: The deceased has been identified as Everett Burgess, 31, of Lemon Grove

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A Lemon Grove motorcyclist who was “splitting lanes at a high rate of speed in stop and go traffic” on State Route 125 northbound near Spring Street in La Mesa died after a multi-vehicle collision this morning, says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

The victim, a 31-year-old Lemon Grove man, was riding a 2013 Suzuki GW250 motorcycle at 7:22 a.m. when he sideswiped a Dodge Challenger driven by a Coronado man, 46.  The motorcyclist then veered left and struck the rear of a 2014 Toyota Corolla driven by an El Cajon man, 39.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SHOULD WE LIMIT FREEDOM OF PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO BE HOMELESS?

By Steve Goble, El Cajon Councilman

January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) -- This has lots of good information. Thank you for this article, “Cities Should Act on Homelessness or Face Lawsuits, Newsom Task Force Says.”   

What I don't see the state officials addressing yet is, "What about a person's freedom to not live under a roof?"

The Council meeting today will have a comprehensive discussion on our efforts and results to-date on programs addressing homelessness.

Pages