HOUSE PASSES COVID RELIEF BILL; MEASURE ADVANCES TO SENATE

BODY OF CHRISTOPHER PAUL PARKHURST, MISSING SINCE DEC. 23, FOUND IN DULZURA

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO START VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON SATURDAY

BIDEN OPENS NEW FUNDING ROUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WITH UNDER 20 EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS: 2-WEEK APPLICATION PERIOD STARTS FEB. 24

LAW FIRMS SOLICITING FIREFIGHTERS TO JOIN FIREFIGHTING FOAM PFAS/PFOS LAWSUIT

INDEPENDENT REPORT FOUND LA MESA PD LACKED PROPER PREPARATION FOR MAY 2020 RIOTS

NO CAUSE OF DEATH RELEASED YET FOR WOMAN FOUND IN LAKE MURRAY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS COMING TO LEMON GROVE, OTAY MESA

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP, BUT LAWSUIT SEEKS TO HOLD HIM AND MILITIA GROUPS ACCOUNTABLE FOR CAPITOL ATTACK UNDER 1871 STATUTE

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS REBUFF GOV. NEWSOM ON PLAN FOR EARLY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL REOPENING

SANTEE SENIORS GET HELP MAKING APPOINTMENTS FOR COVID VACCINATIONS

HOUSE PASSES COVID RELIEF BILL; MEASURE ADVANCES TO SENATE

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2021(Washington D.C.) – By a 219-212 margin without a single Republican vote, the House of Representative today passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill called the “American Rescue Plan.”    

The bill aims to get money immediately into the hands of those  most in need. It includes stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per individual or $2,800 per married couple, as well as an extra $400 a week in unemployment benefits that Democrats aim to pass before unemployment extensions run out March 14.  Funds are also provided for vaccine distribution, rental assistance, reopening schools, and aid to local governments hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure contains many other forms of relief, ranging from food bank funding to aid for struggling farmers. View full text of the bill.

BODY OF CHRISTOPHER PAUL PARKHURST, MISSING SINCE DEC. 23, FOUND IN DULZURA

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Christopher Paul Parkhurst. Photo via @SDSheriff Twitter

February 27, 2021 (Dulzura) - County authorities on Friday said they have found the remains of Christopher Paul Parkhurst, 47, who was reported missing in early January, sparking an intensive search.

SDSU SOFTBALL DROPS RUBBER GAME OF SERIES AGAINST WASHINGTON 5-0

SDSU falls to 6-3 on the season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 27, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego State dropped the rubber game of its weekend series with No. 5/6 Washington, 5-0, Saturday afternoon at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Aztecs (6-3) split with the Huskies (11-2) on Friday, falling 6-1 in the opener and taking the nightcap by a 4-0 score.

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK INFO TO SOLVE FATAL SHOOTING

East County News Service

February 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police detectives are investigating an apparent homicide which is believed to have occurred yesterday. At approximately 4:11 am, ECPD received a call from a citizen reporting gun shots in the 800 block of S. Magnolia. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate a crime scene at that time. 

Around 11: 34 a.m., the victim’s girlfriend returned home and found the victim deceased inside their apartment. 

“The victim appears to have been shot at least one time. The suspect is unknown at this time,” says Lt. Keith MacArthur.

The victim’s information is being withheld pending notification of family.

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL RALLIES TO WIN AT BOISE STATE 74-72

Aztecs finish the game on a 7-0 run

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

February 26, 2021 (Boise) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (7-15, 5-11) came from behind to beat Boise State (12-8, 9-8) 74-72 on the road Friday afternoon. The Aztecs closed out the game on a 7-0 run highlighted by Mallory Adams’ three-pointer with 11 seconds left, which gave SDSU their first lead of the second half.

WAS DONALD TRUMP A RUSSIAN ASSET?

 

AMERICAN KOMPROMAT: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery, by Craig Unger (Dutton, New York, NY, 2021, 345 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - Craig Unger, author of the New York Times bestselling book, House of Trump, House of Putin, has written an explosive and provocative book that is destined to be another bestseller; American Kompromat. Unger asks; “Was Donald Trump a Russian asset? Just how compromised was he?” There are certain aspects of this book that reminds me of Robert Ludlum’s The Matarese Circle, which was also published by Unger’s publisher.

This is a story of dirty secrets, and the most powerful people in the world. It has been quoted as stating: “Damning in its accumulation of detail, terrifying  in its depiction of the pure evil of those Trump chose to do business with.” I couldn’t put the book down!

UNION BANK WELCOMES FOUR-YEAR-OLD ARTIST TO LA MESA BRANCH TO THANK HER FOR HER MESSAGE OF HOPE AND HEALING

East County News Service

Photo:  from left to right: Andrea Soffa, Aviana Dobesh (Age 4) and Union Bank Branch Manager Carlton Hill at temporary Union Bank branch in La Mesa. Aviana and her family were invited on the morning of Feb. 24 to see Aviana’s “All you need is love” painting on display inside the branch. Aviana was presented with some art supplies and gifts as a thank you for her message of hope enjoyed by Union Bank employees and clients.

February 25, 2021 (La Mesa) - Earlier this morning, Union Bank La Mesa branch manager, Carlton Hill welcomed Aviana Dobesh (age 4), and her parents Andrea Soffa and Steve Dobesh to the temporary Union Bank branch in La Mesa. Hill, on behalf of Union Bank, wanted to personally thank Aviana for the artwork she created in the days following the fire that destroyed the bank’s branch in May 2020. The bank selected Aviana’s painting to be featured inside its temporary branch and on related marketing collateral. Her message of hope really resonated with the Union Bank team and brings smiles to the faces of employees and clients when they enter the temporary branch which opened on Jan 25.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO START VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON SATURDAY

Photo:  The Sharp vaccination super station at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials announced Wednesday that vaccinations of teachers and other essential workers will begin Saturday because most seniors have received a dose and appointments are opening up.

RAMONA WINERIES OPEN FOR OUTDOOR TASTINGS AND CURBSIDE PICKUP, STRUGGLE AMID PANDEMIC DISPARITIES

By Angela Kurysh

 

February 24, 2021 (Ramona) -- Virtual happy hours are among the innovations that wineries like Vineyard Grant James have rolled out during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted the Ramona wine region in San Diego’s East County. 

With San Diego being in the state’s tier 1, or purple tier, businesses are currently being allowed to slowly re-open while following strict guidelines. Currently, wineries that serve food are allowed to offer outdoor tastings with social distancing, as well as takeout or curbside pickup, but not indoor service.

 

Susanne Sapier, owner of Vineyard Grant James in Ramona, California, and President of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association, said, “I mean, you're open you're closed, you're open you're closed, so that's a really hard way to run a business.” 

 

Early in the pandemic, restaurants were allowed to operate while wineries were shut down which makes owners like Sapier question fairness of the rules. Now both can be open outdoors, but many restaurants are serving customers illegally indoors.  Sapier has been forced to choose to fully open to make a profit and risk the reputation of the business or follow the mandate and suffer financially. 

BIDEN OPENS NEW FUNDING ROUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WITH UNDER 20 EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS: 2-WEEK APPLICATION PERIOD STARTS FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC-NC-ND

February 24, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden has announced major actions and new funding to help bring pandemic relief to small businesses with less than 20 workers,  sole proprietors,  independent contractors and minority-owned enterprises.

Starting today and for the next 14 days, only businesses with less than 20 employees can apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which don’t have to be repaid provided 60% of the loan is spent on payroll and the rest on other qualified expenses. This opportunity will cover 98% of all small businesses in America.

The White House is also revamping guidelines to make more business owners eligible, including those with student loan debts and business owners who are legal residents but not citizens.

LAW FIRMS SOLICITING FIREFIGHTERS TO JOIN FIREFIGHTING FOAM PFAS/PFOS LAWSUIT

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo: Creative Commons image by SA

Feb. 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Law firms are soliciting former and current firefighters to file suits or share in settlements related to health issues caused by exposure to toxic PFAS/PFOS chemicals in the line of duty. Others impacted by these “forever” chemicals in firefighting foam or other products may also be eligible for compensation.  

This solicitation stems out of a settlement the Dupont Company and its spinoff business, Chemours, et al, that have agreed to cover legal disputes for pollution and environmental liabilities from man-made chemicals related to increased risks of cancer and other health problems, according to ABC News. For more information on the settlement visit https://firefoamsettlement.com/ 

PFAS/PFOS continue to be used in firefighting foams used to fight fires at airports, military bases and industrial sites, though not brush fires.  Some firefighting protective gear has also exposed firefighters to these dangerous chemicals. 

INDEPENDENT REPORT FOUND LA MESA PD LACKED PROPER PREPARATION FOR MAY 2020 RIOTS

By Alexa Oslowski 

Photo by Jake Rose:  suspect exits arson fire at Randall Lamb Building during May 30-31 riot in La Mesa

 

February 23, 2021 (La Mesa) - The long-anticipated independent report on the La Mesa Police and city’s responses to the May 30-31, 2020 riots was released and reviewed at the January 26 City Council meeting. The creation of the report included briefings from the City Council, City officials, the La Mesa Police Department (LMPD) Heartland Fire and Rescue Department, the Citizen Public Safety Oversight Task Force as well as community outreach, as ECM previously reported.

NO CAUSE OF DEATH RELEASED YET FOR WOMAN FOUND IN LAKE MURRAY

By Alexa Oslowski

February 23, 2021 (La Mesa) - On February 7, the woman found floating in the water at Lake Murray was identified as Elena Lisowski, a 44-year-old resident of San Diego. The cause and circumstances of her death remain unresolved.

“Elena Lisowski was not reported as a missing person,” San Diego Police Lieutenant and Public Information Officer Shawn Takeuchi said in  response to an inquiry from East County Magazine. “This death case is not under the purview of the San Diego Police Department. Responsibility over this case was transferred to the Medical Examiner’s Office on the day the body was recovered.”

Lisowski worked in the restaurant business for nearly two decades and previously worked at Antica Trattoria in La Mesa and spent 15 years at Princess Pub in Little Italy. According to an online profile, she graduated from CSU San Marcos in 2006.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

February 23, 2021  (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

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

SECURITY BREACH AT ADDRESS VERIFICATION COMPANY MAY COMPROMISE DMV INFORMATION

Potentially impacts vehicle registration records, no driver’s license information; DMV working with law enforcement and assessing additional privacy protections

Source:  California DMV

February 22, 2021 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), out of an abundance of caution, is notifying customers that a company it uses to verify vehicle registration addresses has had a security breach. DMV systems have not been compromised and it is unknown if DMV data shared with the company has been compromised. An investigation is under way.

RAMONA GUN STORE WELCOMES DEDICATED GUNSMITH TO THE TEAM

East County News Service

 

February 21, 2021 (Ramona) -- Ramona Shootists’ Emporium, located at 649 Main St., Ste. C,  announced that the addition of Kaleb Weakley to the team as the new on-site, dedicated gunsmith. 

 

Weakley is a retired U.S. Marine Sergeant who moved with his family to Ramona to focus on his role as program coordinator and outdoor guide for the Special Liberty Project (which helps veterans and Gold Star families connect with nature) and to build his new firearms training company.

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP, BUT LAWSUIT SEEKS TO HOLD HIM AND MILITIA GROUPS ACCOUNTABLE FOR CAPITOL ATTACK UNDER 1871 STATUTE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Capitol under heavy security at nightfall on Jan. 6, after the attack

February 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – On February 13, 57 Senators including seven Republicans voted to convict Donald Trump of inciting the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.  But the action fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds margin needed for conviction. 

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS REBUFF GOV. NEWSOM ON PLAN FOR EARLY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL REOPENING

By Ricardo Cano, CalMatters

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

Photo:  Gavin Newsom briefs the press in late December on his plan for reopening schools. Image from livestream

February 21, 2021 (Sacramento) - Disagreements between California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and its Democratic governor over a plan to reopen schools came to a head this week as lawmakers introduced a bill they say would safely bring students back to campus this spring.

SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS ON “SUSPICIOUS” LIVESTOCK DEATHS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 20, 2021(Alpine) – The Sheriff’s department seeks help from the public to solve a felony animal cruelty case. Deputies responded to a call reporting suspicious circumstances in the 400 block of Peutz Valley Road in Alpine shortly after 8 a.m. on Feb. 19 found ten animals dead in a pen including lambs, goats and a ram.

 

According to Lt. Anthony O’Boyle, the property owners are victims who are out of state when the deaths occurred.  “A relative was coming by to check up on and feed the animals. When the relative arrived yesterday morning, she found the animals deceased,” he said.

GOVERNOR CALLS FOR 10% OF VACCINES TO BE EARMARKED FOR TEACHERS TO OPEN SCHOOLS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as a teacher is vaccinated in Oakland. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

February 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California health officials plan to set aside 10% of new first doses of COVID-19 vaccine for teachers starting March 1 to help schools reopen.

NEWLYWED, 21, KILLED BY DRIVER FLEEING SHERIFF IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 19, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Isabella “Bella” Calhoun-Chipress, 21, had just gotten married last June and was preparing to head off to Marine Corps boot camp when her life was tragically ended by a suspected car thief trying to evade arrest.  Now her grieving family has started a fundraiser to help her husband, Miguel Chipress, pay for his beautiful bride’s funeral.

VACCINE DELIVERY DELAYS PROMPT RESCHEDULING AT SOME VACCINATION SITES, WHILE OTHERS REMAIN OPEN

East County News Service

February 19, 2021 (San Diego) - Some local vaccination sites are postponing appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine due to not receiving vaccine shipments, in part due to shipping delays caused by severe winter storms in several states, and in part due to delays in shipments of Moderna’s vaccine.

The vaccine super-station at Petco Park is pausing all appointments through at least Saturday; the closure may be extended through Monday depending on when more vaccine doses arrive.

The North County Super Station in San Marcos and some other county-run sites are offering only appointments for second doses of the vaccine currently. Cancelled appointments for first doses will be rescheduled over the next week, so be sure to check your email.

However the Grossmont Center and Chula Vista sites run by Sharp are still offering first and second dose appointments with the Pfizer vaccine.

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