April 2020 Articles

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS


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COVID-19 CASES RISE ACROSS EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- El Cajon now has 74 cases of COVID-19 reported, accounting fo 5.3% of the total cases in San Diego County, as of yesterday's figures released by County health officials.

The cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee have 23, 13, and 16 cases respectively.

In the uincorporated communities, 157 cases are reported including 63 in communities not identified, 34 in Spring Valley, 12 in Lakeside, 8 in Ramona, 2 in Jamul, 1 in Alpine, and  a case or two each in even remote area such as Ranchita, Borrego Springs, and Descanso.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS: INCUDING LATEST COVID-19 RESEARCH FINDINGS AND NEWS

April 7, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future—including the latest breakthroughs impacting COVID-19.

HEALTH

SCIENCE

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


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DO YOU NEED A COVID ESSENTIAL WORKER LETTER TO CARRY DURING YOUR COMMUTE?

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Miriam Raftery contributed to this story.

April 7, 2020 (San Diego's East County) Californians are living and working under a stay-at-home edict. But essential workers still commute and move about in the community coming and going from work.

Some companies have taken preemptive moves and emailed letters to their employees stating that they are essential workers, with instructions to show the letter if stopped by law enforcement. Others have lanyards displaying professional ID or company badges pinned to their clothing that may be worn during work times and commutes. 

One corporate worker who spoke off the record stated she was given a plaque to carry in her car. 

ECM reached out to the San Diego Sheriff’s office for its current directive for jurisdictions they cover and received this response:


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COUNTY RELEASES RACIAL BREAKDOWN ON COVID-19 AS TOTAL CASES REACH 1,404

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2020 (San Diego) – Following news reports this about high rates of COVID-19 cases among African-Americans in Chicago, civil rights activists have called on the U.S., cities and counties to release racial data on coronavirus cases. Yesterday, San Diego County health official released available data, which indicates that of the 71% of cases for which racial data was reported, the breakdown is consistent with the County's racial and ethnic demographics.

Of 1,404 confirmed case to date, 405 (29%) did not include an ethnic background.

Of the 999 (71%) of cases that did report ethnic background, 49% are white, 31% Hispanic,10% Asian, 6% African American, and 4% other. 

That tracks closely to the county’s ethnic composition based on the last census, which reported 45% white, 34% Hispanic or Latino, 12% Asian, 5% African-American, with the remainder multiple races or other ethnicities.


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FEDERAL MEDICAL STATION TO OPEN ATOP PALOMAR MEDICAL CENTER IN ESCONDIDO

Article and Picture: County News Service

April 6, 2020 (San Diego) --- On Sunday, April 5, 2020, San Diego County public health and elected officials, joined by leadership of Palomar Health, announced that a 250 bed Federal Medical Station was being loaned to the county and would be installed in two vacant floors of Palomar Medical Center Escondido. The action came in response to a county request on March 21. The equipment is expected to arrive in the next 10 days and will be operational within 48 hours of its installation by a federal team. Announcing the news were County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen, and Palomar Health Board of Directors Chair Dr. Rick Engel.


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EL CAJON ARTIST ELAINE HARVEY WINS AWARD

East County News Service
 
Painting: Award-winning "Cool Frog" by Elaine Harvey
 
April 6, 2020 (El Cajon) - Elaine Harvey, an artist and resident of El Cajon, California, won the second-place award for regular paintings in the highly competitive April Member’s exhibition, “Cheeky Monkey,” at The San Diego Watercolor Society. 
 
Award-winning juror Rikki Reinhoz said of the painting Cool Frog,  “This painting has a wonderful composition. It has a nice circular swirl to it, and in the middle the frog is just suggested, which makes the whole painting make sense. The colors and the brush strokes are what make it so exciting and inspiring.”
 
Elaine Harvey is recognized for her innovative paintings and collages done in acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media.  The winner of more than 75 awards in local and national exhibitions, she also teaches art classes and workshops, juries exhibitions and has been featured in a number of publications and on the cover and editorial page of The Artists Magazine.  She has earned the right of Signature Membership in the National Watercolor Society, San Diego Watercolor Society, and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, among others.  She has won numerous awards all around the United States. 
 

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: U .S. CENSUS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

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

 

April 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- The past few months, as countries around the world have undertaken unprecedented efforts to distribute resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the United States, this was influenced by data collected from the U.S. Census. As we focus on the here and now, coincidentally, the time for conducting the 2020 U.S Census is upon us. 


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ART PRODUCED DURING A PANDEMIC: ARTISTS GIVE BACK WITH ERASECOVID EFFORT

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

April 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- El Cerrito artist Michael Buchmiller, creative director at El Cajon-based Graphic Business Solutions, Inc., created an artist-led effort to provide economic relief for artists and musicians during the world-wide coronavirus pandemic.  The project is titled EraseCOVID, featuring works by local and well-known creative talents.

(Artwork by Michael Buchmiller)   

But EraseCOVID is not only about raising money for artists and musicians, who have also become charity partners with the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The creators also supply artworks that reflect messages, such as washing your hands or staying home, that are informational and aim toward minimizing the spread of covid19.  

Their website bills it in part as “Public Safety Art You’ll Want To Own.” 

Art patrons get pandemic artwork for their money, including some by prominent artists. 


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

STORMS TO IMPACT REGION

East County News Service
 
April 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Two storms are forecast to hit our region this week, bringing rain, gusty wind, mountain snow and possible thunderstorms Sunday through Friday, the National Weather Service predicts.
 
The heaviest rain from the first storm is expected Monday and Tuesday, with snow levels dipping as low as 5,000 feet. No impacts on interstate freeways such as 8 or 15 are expected, however. 

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LOCAL FARMS OFFER FRESH MEATS, EGGS, FRUITS, VEGGIES AND MORE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR – OR PICKUP CURBSIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Creative commons via Bing

April 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - If you’re looking to avoid grocery store lines and support local farmers while enjoying fresh, locally grown foods, there are now dozens of local farms and ranches eager to meet your needs.

The San Diego Sustainable Living Institute has a website listing dozens of local farms, including locations, that provide curbside service,shipping, and/or delivery during the COVID-19 shutdown.  View their site here: https://www.sdsustainable.org/san-diego-farms 


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COUNTY ASKS RESIDENTS TO TAKE “STAY HOME, SAVE LIVES” PLEDGE: LOCAL CASES REACH 1,209

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County health officials yesterday encouraged area residents to take an online pledge and commit to helping stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The Stay Home, Save Lives pledge asks San Diegans to stay home, use a face covering and physically distance when leaving the house for essential reasons, and pledge to help stop the spread of the virus.


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MISSING WOMAN WITH DEMENTIA,86, LAST SEEN IN MIRAMAR, TRYING TO GET TO PALM SPRINGS

 

Update: Barbara "Betty" Wells has been found safe in Cathedral City in Riverside County.

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2020 (San Diego) – The Sheriff seeks public help to find Barbara “Betty” Welt, 86, reported missing yesterday by her daughter. She has dementia and speaks with a German accent. She was last seen yesterday getting off a bus in Miramar in a blue sweatshirt, maroon pants, black shoes and carrying a black purse. She was asking for directions to Palm Springs and may be trying to get a ride to her former home there.  

After going missing from her daughter’s home in Rancho Santa Fe, she got a ride to the Escondido Transit station before taking the bus to Miramar yesterday morning. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weights about 150 pounds, has hazel eyes and white hair.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

LA MESA FARMER’S MARKET IS BACK – WITH “ON THE GO” SERVICE

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s Certified Farmer’s Market has returned with an “On the Go” model to comply with county rules barring crowds. Now you can place your order online by 3 p.m. Thursday and choose a drive-through pick up time for Friday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Allison Avenue parking lot (between Palm and 4th).

Visit the On the Go Farmers' Market website for complete details!


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FLABBY OR FIT? YOUR QUARANTINE EXERCISE OPTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

Images: Public domain via Bing

April 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On the Next Door discussion forum, a resident asked others staying home due to COVID-19.  “Anyone else getting fat?”  He opined that watching movies while eating Doritos and guzzling root beer was taking a toll on his waistline.


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LOCAL LAVENDER FARM HAS SCENTED HAND-SANITIZERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 4, 2020 (Valley Center) – Keys Creek Lavender Farm is now producing hand sanitizer sprays and gels that are ethanol alcohol based with citrus extracts and essential oils.
 
Products are available in multiple sizes and can be shipped directly to customers.
 
The company also offers lavender-based home and beauty care products such as bath salts, moisturizers, hand soaps, sugar scrubs and candles.

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U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL NOW URGES ALL AMERICANS TO WEAR FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 4, 2020 (Washington D.C.) --  On Friday, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance around the wearing of face coverings, such as cloth masks, in community settings. 
 

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

BOATING, WATER SPORTS, SURFING AND SWIMMING BANNED: CITATIONS NOW BEING ISSUED FOR VIOLATING ALL COUNTY HEALTH ORDERS INCLUDING GATHERINGS AND NON-ESSENTIAL OUTINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos: Creative Commons images via Bing
 
April 4, 2020 (San Diego) – The County has amended its health order to prohibit recreational boating, outdoor water sports, swimming and surfing in public waterways. All county and state beaches are closed. 

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VIRTUAL DESERT WILDFLOWERS TOUR

East County News Service

April 4, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- The COVID-19 stay-home order and parking lot closures at all state parks has prevented many San Diegans from traveling to see desert wildflowers. Fortunately, the Anza-Borrego Foundation has put up a video tour of this year's blossoms, with this note:  "Since so  many of you cannot visit Anza-Borrego right now, we wanted to bring our spring bloom to you. Enjoy!

Take the virtual wildflowers tour here:  https://www.facebook.com/AnzaBorregoFoundation/videos/1112381709122228/


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4.9 QUAKE NEAR ANZA ROCKS SAN DIEGO REGION

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2020 (San Diego's East County) --  A quake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred this evening at 6:53 p.m. near Anza, at the boundary of San Diego and Riverside counties.  The U.S. Geological  Survey earlier ranked the quake a 4.6 but later upgraded its intensity.

The shallow quake, at a depth of about 6.6 miles, occurred along the San Jacinto fault which seismologists have previously indicated is capable of generating a powerful quake up to 7.5 in magnitude. There is a 5 percent chance that this quake could be a precurser to a large quake within the next 48 hours, seismologist Tom Rockwell with San Diego State University told the San Diego Union Tribune.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

INMATE AND FOUR SHERIFF EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

East County News Service
Photo: Creative commons via Bing
 
April 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Sheriff’s department announced that yesterday, an inmate tested positive for COVID-19.  Four Sheriff employees have also tested positive.
 
The Sheriff’s department declined to release details on which facilities the inmate and employees were in, citing privacy laws, but says that the employees are thus far “doing fine.”  However, news reports indicate one of the cases is a nurse who works at the Las Colinas detention facility in Santee. 

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

LOCAL WINERIES JUICE UP MARKETING EFFORTS AMID COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The statewide COVID-19 order shutting down non-essential businesses has forced wineries to close their tasting rooms.  But customers can still order wine to pick up at their favorite local winery, or have wine shipped to them. Many are offering specials, making this a good time to stock up your wine cellar, indulge in a few bottles of locally produced vintages, or mix up your own wine cocktail version of a “quarantini.”


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BEAUTIFUL AMALFI, IN BETTER TIMES

East County News Service
 
April 3, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove artist Jack Ofield’s painting of fabled Amalfi on the Italian Mediterranean coast recalls that ancient enclave in happier times, before the COVID-19 pandemic devastating Italy and much of the world.
 
“It was January years ago when we stayed in a tiny B & B with a view of the sea, run by a mother and daughter,” Jack and his wife, Helen, recall in an email sent to ECM and others. “While at breakfast (delicious coffee, eggs, toast, preserves), with the  windows open to let in brilliant sunshine, a local band marched across the square followed by a priest, who blessed the sardine fleet setting sail for the day's catch.”

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WORKERS ON BORDER WALL AT TECATE NOT WEARING MASKS OR MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2020 (Tecate) – Along the California-Mexico border at Tecate in San Diego’s East County, construction of the border wall is being done by workers not maintaining social distancing or wearing masks—despite national, state and county emergency declarations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction is deemed an essential business under California’s emergency order and the Trump administration has specifically deemed building the border wall essential.  But why are no precautions being taken to protect the health of workers and the public?


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

GROUPS SLAM TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S ROLLBACK OF AUTO EMISSION STANDARDS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

April 3, 2020 (Los Angeles) - Groups that promote public health and clean air and that advocate for consumers all are vowing to fight the Trump administration's new rollback of vehicle-emission standards. The new rule was finalized on Tuesday.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW I COPE DURING THESE UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

By Daniel J. Smiechowski, San Diego
 
Photo:  Invasion and bombing of Normandy, France, which the author’s mother survived during World War II (CC by SA image)
 
April 3, 2020 (San Diego) -- I understand the gravity of our situation in maintaining personal health, finances and a host of other considerations during this unprecedented time of national and global catastrophe. I have not changed one single behavior except for perhaps understanding more acutely the folly of mankind.
 
My entire life has been devoted to personal philosophical reflection, social psychology and participating in athletics, the past forty years traveling the earth in search of triathlon. A couple of weeks ago, I was at my second home in France just exiting the country before all hell broke loose. I ran in an event and placed first in my age group. It was a happy time being among friends and family, respected by the French nation. 
 

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL'S STACIE TERRY-HUTSON INKS FOUR YEAR EXTENSION

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

April 2, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State women's basketball head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson has signed a contract extension that will keep her on The Mesa through the 2023-24 season.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: A MID-FLIGHT TRANSFER

East County News Service
 
April 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Debbie Merrill sent in these photos of a white-tailed kite bringing a vole (similar to a mouse) to his mate in a mid-air food exchange that is “typical behavior for these raptors,” according to Merrill.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

SAN DIEGANS URGED TO COVER MOUTH AND NOSE IN PUBLIC; ESSENTIAL WORKERS REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS

 

 

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

Photo: San Diegans are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering while in public.

April 2, 2020 (San Diego) - A woman in her late 90s is the 16th COVID-19 death reported in the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

To prevent the spread of the virus and potential future deaths, San Diegans who are out in public are strongly encouraged to cover their nose and mouth to flatten the curve, County health officials recommended. Businesses, including grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants, are required to have employees wear face coverings.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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.

FDA RECALLS ALL ZANTAC AND RANITIDINE PRODUCTS

East County News Service
 
April 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced it is asking manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. This is the latest step in an ongoing investigation of the contaminant N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications (commonly known by the brand name Zantac). NDMA is a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer).  
 
Low levels would not be expected to lead to an increase in the risk of cancer. However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans. The FDA determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity. 
 

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, 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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