April 2020 Articles

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL TAKES ACTION IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS, SHUTS DOWN GATED PARKS

By Iris Neal

April 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Discussions of park closures and easing of parking restrictions were on the agenda at the La Mesa City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

To maintain social distance, the city planned to stream its first ‘live’ meeting in more than a month on its website and via a Facebook Live feed, as well as simultaneously broadcast on government access channels. Sadly, things didn’t go as expected due to technical difficulties, but officials conducted business anyway.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: TRAFFIC JAM IN CAMPO?

East County News Service
 
April 17, 2020 (Campo, California) – Joseph Carmody sent in this photo taken Monday outside the Campo, Community Center. “Feeding San Diego was there giving out food,” he writes during the COVID-19 emergency shutdown, when many are without jobs or other income. “An hour before scheduled start time, I counted 60 cars waiting,” says Carmody.
 
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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.
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COVID PROMPTS SCHAWARMA SHOP IN ALPINE TO CLOSE: OWNER SEEKS BUYER

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 17, 2020 (Alpine) – Many restaurants are struggling due to the COVID-19 emergency that has forced restaurants to stop offering dine-in services.  While some have been offering take-out or delivery in an effort to stay afloat, the owners of the Schawarma Shop (formerly Greek Village Grill) in Alpine have announced plans to sell their newly remodeled restaurant due to the pandemic’s impacts.
 
Below is their announcement with details:
 
An Urgent Message to All Alpine Entrepreneurs

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ANOTHER "PHOENIX" TRANSFORMATION COMING SOON TO EL CAJON: OLD SALVATION ARMY BUILDING DEMOLISHED FOR MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT

By Robert Gehr
 
April 16, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The former Salvation Army Thrift Store at the corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue (101 East Main St.) in El Cajon is being demolished to make way for a future mixed-use building.
 
This once busy location has been vacant and dilapidated for many years, damaged by an earthquake that occurred on Easter Sunday in 2010.  It is now in the final phase of demolition.
 
This site in the heart of downtown El Cajon is the future home of a mixed use building. Lower floor will be for commercial use of an as yet undetermined business, with about 11,000 feet of space, with 15 residential units above.
 
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Click Read more for a herculean looking bulldozer, and more!
 

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JAMUL MUSICIANS HOST LIVE ONLINE CONCERTS EACH SATURDAY NIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2020 (Jamul, CA)  -- Kymm Civetta and her husband, Andy, owners of NRG productions in Jamul, have provided bands and musical entertainment for celebrities including Jay Leno and Larry King, major charities and corporate events.  Now they are hosting free concerts online each Saturday night at 7 p.m. “out of the goodness of our hearts, to get everybody feeling connected, because there’s so much isolation and everybody’s feeling pretty sad,” she told ECM. 

You can view the concerts live tonight and every Saturday on Kymm Civettta's Facebook page  as well as on the NRG Productions Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Their first concert last weekend drew over 2,000 viewers.  Kymm says viewers called her to say how much they appreciated the musical entertainment.  “It’s become a very cool thing,” she says.


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STAY VIGILANT AND WATCH OUT FOR FINANCIAL SCAMS DURING PANDEMIC

SDCCU® warns: scammers are taking advantage of people’s vulnerability during the current uncertain economic environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
 
East County News Service
 
April 16, 2020 (San Diego) — The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in an uncertain economic environment, which is creating fear and anxiety for many. With that, scammers are out in full force actively pursuing such vulnerability, exploiting heightened anxieties and generating new fraud strains. San Diego County Credit Union® (SDCCU®) wants to remind everyone to stay vigilant during these unprecedented times and to not fall victim to several common financial scams currently being monitored by authorities—such as loan modification and foreclosure scams, lending scams and investment related scams.

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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

April 16, 2020 (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.


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GOOD EARTH PLANT COMPANY AND SAN DIEGO COUNTY GREENHOUSES DONATE PLANTS TO FRONTLINE HEALTHCARE WORKERS

By Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA
 
Photos: Good Earth Plant Company
 
April 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- As a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on San Diego County’s wholesale ornamental plant and flower nursuries, tens of thousands of dollars of indoor plants remaining unsold to clients were destined for the landfill.
 
Instead, the plants are being donated as a small thank you to the frontline healthcare staff at San Diego area hospitals.
 
Jim Mumford, owner and president of Good Earth Plant Company, arranged the donations from Olive Hill Greenhouses, Leucadia Nursery, and FlorAbunda Nursery. All were eager to participate. The three businesses have donated $35,000 worth of plants to date. Other nurseries are expected to participate in the ongoing project, operating under the hashtag #StayPlanted.
 

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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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COALITION OF ARTS FUNDERS LAUNCHES EMERGENCY ARTIST RELIEF FUND

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons via S.A.

April 16, 2020 — A coalition of national arts grantmakers, consisting of Academy of American PoetsArtadiaCreative CapitalFoundation for Contemporary ArtsMAP FundNational YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, announces the launch of Artist Relief, which will provide rapid, unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19; serve as an informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward. 

Grant applications opened April 8 at artistrelief.org. The first round of funding closes April 23; several future rounds are also planned.

An unprecedented national, multidisciplinary partnership between seven arts grantmakers and a consortium of foundations, Artist Relief is an ambitious effort to support the country’s individual artists in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT FILES RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST BOARD TRUSTEE JILL BARTO

 

CVUSD contends Barto interfering at school meal handouts; claim disputed by CVUSD Personnel Commission member

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 16, 2020 (El Cajon) The ongoing legal clashes between embattled longtime Cajon Valley Union School District Board member Jill Barto continued last week when the district lobbed another salvo at her by filing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her.

The injunction enjoins Barto from being present at the district's student food distribution efforts at its schools. Like other districts around the state, Cajon Valley continues to provide meal services to its 17,000 students, although it has shut down regularly scheduled instruction at its schools until further notice. According to a video release produced by the district, it produces 4,000 lunches a day at its child nutrition center.


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SAN DIEGO FAMILY PROTECTING HOSPITAL WORKERS BY MAKING OVER 475 FACE SHIELDS

By Mei Ling Nazar

 April 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- Nick Warner and his family of four are contributing their volunteer efforts to help healthcare workers on the front lines. Warner, who is a part of the Jesus Geeks Computer Services Ministry at the Rock Church in San Diego,  along with his wife Stephanie, and their children Ryley, 10, and Mason, 8, are utilizing their 3D printers to print face shields for local hospital staff that are in desperate need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to guard them from the novel Coronavirus. 


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VAUS LAUNCHES ANGELS WILL HELP: SITE ENABLES VOLUNTEERS TO HELP NEIGHBORS

By Miriam Raftery

 

April 16, 2020 (Poway) – “The question I’ve gotten most often during this pandemic is `How can I help?’” says Steve Vaus, Poway Mayor and candidate for County Supervisor. “My answer is typically `Be there for your neighbors.’“  To facilitate this, Vaus has launched a website, AngelsWillHelp.com to help facilitate neighbors helping neighbors.


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RELIEF FUND FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS ANNOUNCED: MONEY INCLUDES DONATIONS FROM PHILANTHROPISTS AND STATE EMERGENCY FUNDS

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2020 (Sacramento) – Many undocumented workers are risking their lives serving others during the coronavirus pandemic, with jobs in healthcare, as caregivers, in the food industry, and more. Others have lost jobs due to shutdowns, but are not eligible for stimulus funds.  So yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $125 million disaster relief program for undocumented immigrant worker to help their families. 


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START YOUR GARDEN RIGHT

An ounce of preparation while you're sheltering at home can yield a summer of garden bounty

Courtesy of Soil Science Society of America

April 16, 2020 – Gardeners, are you eager for winter to lose its icy grip? There’s no time like the present to improve your garden knowledge! Soils Matter, Soil Science Society of America’s science-based blog, provides insights to starting off the garden season.


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UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS INCREASED FOR WORKERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AS CLAIMS REACH RECORD LEVELS

East County News Service

April 16, 2020 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that effective last Sunday, California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) initiated by the CARES Act. This comes as record numbers of unemployment claims are being filed on a weekly basis in the state.


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SEVEN MORE COVID-19 DEATHS REPORTED, CASES EXCEED 2,000

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  County Microbiologist Jovan Shepherd prepares a specimen for testing of the novel coronavirus.

April 16, 2020 (San Diego) - The ages of the people who died range from 64 to 100 years. Four are men and three are women and all had underlying medical conditions.

The age, gender and race and ethnic breakdown of the local COVID-19 deaths are:


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HOW TO GET YOUR STIMULUS MONEY –EVEN IF YOU DID NOT FILE A TAX RETURN

By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2020 (Sa Diego’s East County) – The federal government this week has begun distributing stimulus funds to help Americans during the COVID-19 crisis under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Below are details on who qualifies and how to receive your money, as well as additional resources to get information on additional help available if you're economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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EAST COUNTY BUSINESSES HAVEN’T LOST HOPE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By Emmet Pierce
 
Photo, left: La Mesa’s historic downtown village, courtesy of La Mesa Village Association 
 
April 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County businesses are making the best of a challenging situation as they look for ways to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“The people I’m talking to are in pretty good spirits,” said Theresa Favro, who chairs the La Mesa Village Association’s governing board. “We’re looking forward to getting our doors open and our neighborhood back. Each day we are getting closer to the ending.”

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SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY INVITES YOU TO WATCH PUPPIES AND KITTENS GROW UP IN FOSTER HOMES

East County News Service
 
Ready, Set, Grow! gives the public a behind-the-scenes glimpse into caring for foster animals
 
April 16, 2020 (San Diego) --  While families are staying home, San Diego Humane Society is inviting them to watch litters of puppies and kittens grow up in foster care. This baby season, Ready, Set, Grow! will introduce the public to litters of adorable baby animals through regular updates and photos on social media and the Ready, Set, Grow! web page. 
 
SDHS kicked off Ready, Set, Grow! by introducing a puppy each day on Facebook and Instagram from a litter of Chihuahuas currently living in a foster home. Updates on the Chihuahua pups will continue to be posted to the website so the public can follow along and watch their progress. Next week, SDHS will introduce the community to a litter of foster kittens – stay tuned!
 
With springtime upon us, baby season is approaching, and San Diego Humane Society expects to see an influx in animals over the coming weeks, from cats and dogs to wildlife.
 

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MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF TWIN TEEN GIRLS IN LEMON GROVE, BOTHER ALSO INJURED

Update April 16, 2020:  The suspect has been identified as Dwayne Edward Groves Jr., 38.

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2020 (Lemon Grove) –A suspect has been arrested after shooting and killing twin 15-year-old girls and wounding their brother, 23. The mother of the victims was able to save her younger children by fleeing with them after the shooting began around noon today in her residence in the 7400 block of Central Avenue near Buena Vista in Lemon Grove.

The mother told a reporter with OnScene TV that the shooter is her former boyfriend, whom she recently broke up with.

Lt. Thomas Seiver with the San Diego Sheriff’s department confirmed that two female victims were shot and killed, but did not disclose their identities.  He indicated that the third victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: UNDERSTANDING AB5 IN CRISIS

The State that started out saying “we need to protect these workers” is now refusing to send the same workers money that Congress specifically appropriated for independent contractors.

By Barbara Bry, San Diego mayoral candidate

April 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- We all want to protect workers. But, so-called “Gig” workers (independent contractors) are often underpaid and left out of important safety net programs like unemployment insurance. This has always been the case, but historically it was a relatively small portion of the workforce.


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SENATOR BRIAN JONES NAMED TO SPECIAL SENATE COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 RESPONSE

East County News Service
 
April 15, 2020 (Sacramento) -- State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) has been named to the Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response.  Jones and ten other Senators were appointed to the committee earlier today by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).
 
“I am ready to serve on this committee to review how we responded as a state to the COVID-19 pandemic and, more importantly, work to better prepare ourselves for any similar emergency we may face in the future,” stated Jones. He adds, “We’ve lost over 750 Californians, another 23,000 have been diagnosed with Coronavirus, thousands of businesses have been decimated, and hundreds of thousands of Californians have lost their jobs." Jones continued,

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MAN DIES, OTHERS INJURED AFTER FIGHT IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
Update April 17, 2020:  The victim has been identified as Alejandro Hernandez Meza, 30, of Spring Valey. Imara Khalil Jones, 19, of San Diego was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail for murder. A male juvenile, 17, from Spring Valley was arrested and booked into the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility for assault with a deadly weapon.
 
April 15, 2020 (Spring Valley) -  Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a fight yesterday morning at 10:30 a.m. at 900 Grand Avenue, near the intersection with Jamacha Road in Spring Valley.
 
According to Lieutenant Thomas Siever, “When they arrived, deputies located several adults who are suspected to be involved in the fight. Several people were transported by ambulance to local hospitals with various traumatic injuries sustained in the fight. Unfortunately, one adult male was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital.”
 

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ECEDC HOSTS PROGRAMS TO HELP LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES

East County News Service 

April 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The East County Economic Development Council held a webinar on disaster funding options for small businesses, including the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, disaster loans and more  The webinar can be viewed now on Facebook at this link.


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PUBLIC RELATIONS PROS OFFER FREE STRATEGY SESSIONS TO HELP BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

San Diego-based Falcon Valley Group joins Gray Public Relations in launching “Back to Business” initiative with complimentary strategy sessions

East County News Service

April 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- The disruption to businesses from the coronavirus pandemic is staggering. According to a Goldman Sachs survey of 1,500 business owners, 96 percent say they have been impacted by the outbreak. Only 13 percent feel confident about their contingency plans to maintain business. Fifty-three percent say their employees do not have the ability to telecommute, and 51 percent say their business cannot operate beyond three months.

Public relations and communications professionals from across the U.S. including San Diego have joined forces to offer support through a new initiative, “Back to Business.” Business owners will be matched with an agency volunteering a complimentary strategy session to assist them in addressing their most pressing challenges both during and after the pandemic.

Among the participants is San Diego base strategic communication consultant Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA, owner of Falcon Valley Group. “This is not the time for businesses and organizations to run silent,” said Falkenthal. “This is the time to work on new ways to communicate with customers and reposition their organization for a comeback in the post COVID-19 era. Only the prepared will survive. A smart communication strategy is a must.”


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: A VOLCANO IN EAST COUNTY?

East County News Service
 
April 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Paul Kruze shot this optical illusion photo that appears to be an erupting volcano, but is actually Mt. San Miguel south of Spring Valley.  The peak is obscured by wind-blown clouds, tinged pink in the early evening sun.

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GOV NEWSOM LISTS 6 STEPS NECESSARY BEFORE ENDING STAY AT HOME ORDERS

By Chris JenneweinTimes of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
Photo: East County Magazine news partner 10News 
 
April 14, 2020 (Sacramento) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday California is “bending the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic and outlined six indicators to be met before stay-at-home orders can be eased.
 
Newsom offered no specifics on when any of the orders will be lifted or softened, only saying the six indicators provide a framework for how the decision will be made.
 
“I know you want a timeline but we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Newsom said in a live-streamed press conference. “Let’s not make a mistake by pulling the plug too early.”
 
The six indicators Newsom cited were:
 

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PROPERTY OWNERS WITH RAIN DAMAGE ASKED TO COMPLETE SURVEY

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Flooding around Quarry Road in Spring Valley during a previous storm.

April 14, 2020 (San Diego) - A heavy week-long storm April 5-10 resulted in flooding and water damage for many homes and businesses. If your property or small business sustained damage from the rain, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.


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