August 2020 Articles

LA MESA OKTOBERFEST GOES VIRTUAL OCT. 2-4 WITH STREAMING OOMPAH BANDS, BREWMASTER TASTINGS AND PARTY PACKS TO GO

Now you can lounge in your lederhosen at home, or shop specials in the village

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 25, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Since 1973, the La Mesa Oktoberfest has been attracting Oktoberfest revelers from across San Diego and Southern California for three free days of festive live music, German food, and steins filled to the brim with German and Craft Beer! In light of  COVID-19 safety protocols, the La Mesa Oktoberfest this year brings you a reimagined weekend of festivities, keeping with this La Mesa tradition with a free La Mesa Oktoberfest Online that you can savor at home—or an optional “Party Pack” upgrade.

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO PARTICIPATE IN FORUM SEPT. 16

 

View video of our Lemon Grove City Council candidates forum:  Click here

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Lemon Grove candidates David Arambula, George Gastil, Liana Lebaron, and Teresa Rosiak

 

August 29, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – All four Lemon Grove City Council candidates have agreed to participate in a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. This is your opportunity to learn more about the candidates looking to represent you, as well as to ask questions on issues of importance community.

The forum will be held on Zoom due to COVID-19 and will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine.  Video will also be posted later at www.EastCountyMagazine.org and audio will be aired on KNSJ radio. You can send in questions before noon on the 16h to editor@eatcountymagazine.org. ECM editor Miriam Raftery will moderate the forum, which is made possible through a Facebook Journalism Project grant.

The four candidates are:

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

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

 

August 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- One of the lessons the past six months have taught us is that stress, trauma, and the environment that we are in can have significant emotional, psychological and physical impacts on us. Adults will often talk about the resiliency of kids in dealing with stress and trauma, but the reality is that certain childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of struggles on a person. For our East County kids to grow up to be healthy adults with long life expectancy, the first thing we need to do is eliminate or at least minimize their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

FLOWERS FROM GUN OWNERS PAC POSTPONED DINNER DONATED TO EAST COUNTY FIRST RESPONDERS

East County News Service

Aug. 31, 2020 (Santee) – The San Diego County Gun Owners PAC (SDCGO), a political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights in San Diego County, was ready with 90 fresh-flower arrangements, including 65 centerpieces and 25 wrapped bouquets, for its Second Amendment Celebration Dinner, an annual fundraiser benefiting Second Amendment advocacy.

QUESTION, PERSUADE, REFER: VIRTUAL SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING HOSTED BY KUMEYAAY FAMILY SERVICES

Source:  Southern Indian Health Council

August 31, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Kumeyaay Family Services PEI (Prevention and Early Intervention) is hosting a virtual suicide prevention training which is open to adults in the community.

HOMEFED YANKS FANITA RANCH PLAN BEFORE COUNCIL VOTE

 

By Mike Allen

 

Cancelling Magnolia extension, as proposed, would remove key evacuation route for wildfires, critic says

August 30, 2020 (Santee) -- Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project planned for Santee’s northwest quadrant, is being delayed by developer HomeFed Corp. to make some significant changes, including removing an extension of a key arterial serving the project.

In a letter posted on the Fanita Ranch Facebook page last week, Jeff O’Connor, the company’s vice president, said HomeFed requested the delay “to remove the extension of Magnolia Avenue from the project in order to direct those funds towards the improvements to SR-52.”

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO APPEAR IN VIRTUAL CANDIDATE FORUM THURSDAY, SEPT. 3

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: La Mesa City Council candidates Allan Durden, Colin Parent, Mark Papenfuss, Kristine Alessio, Jack Shu, and Laura Lothian.  Four of the six candidates have agreed to participate.

August 29, 2020 (La Mesa) – Six candidates are vying for two seats on the La Mesa City Council. East County Magazine invited all candidates to participate in a candidate forum this Thursday, September 3 at 7 p.m. Have a question for the candidates?  You can send it to editor@eastcountymagazine.org by 12 noon on Thursday.

Four of the six candidates have confirmed they will participate.  Shown in the photo above, they are Allan Durden, Mark Papenfuss, Councilman Colin Parent, and Jack Shu.  Councilmember Kristine Alessio and Laura Lothian are not available but agreed to do an interview with ECM via Zoom, which we will post when completed.

The forum, held virtually via Zoom due to COVID-19,  will be live-streamed on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine   Video will also be recorded and posted at www.EastCountyMagazine.org after the forum. We thank the #FacebookJournalismProject for supporting our virtual candidate forums during the pandemic.

Below is information on all candidates running, listed in alphabetical order:

BACK TO BUSINESS: SALONS, SHOPPING MALLS, THEATERS, GYMS, RESTAURANTS, CHURCHES AND MORE CAN REOPEN MONDAY, WITH SOME LIMITATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Roz Oserin, owner of Prete-a-Porter Salon and Spa, says cutting hair outdoors has been "an adventure" but she looks forward to resuming indoor services starting Monday.

August 29, 2020 (San Diego) –  Yesterday, the state announced new rules to allow many businesses and houses of worship to reopen in counties including San Diego, with streamlined new criteria.

Starting Monday, August 31, the new state tiered system allows the following businesses in our region to reopen, with the following requirements:

EL CAJON COUNCIL BACKS OFF MAYOR’S PROPOSAL TO BAN POLICE FROM ENFORCING COVID-19 RULES

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2020 (El Cajon) – At a special meeting yesterday, El Cajon’s City Council heard a barrage of public comments, nearly all opposed to Mayor Bill Well’s proposal to direct police to stop enforcing state and county COVID-19 laws and regulations including business closures, mask wearing and social distancing 

The Mayor indicated that on his Facebook page, however, he heard from many more people, most in favor if his plan.

 In the end, the Mayor proposed a watered down motion that leaves enforcement up to the police chief and ciy manager, with some council guidance.

GIVE INPUT ON FIXING UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Don Dussault Park in Fallbrook

August 29, 2020 (San Diego) - The County is asking residents and nonprofits working in the unincorporated areas for ideas on how to improve their communities. Three forums are planned Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and 2.

Those ideas may qualify for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The federal entitlement grant program provides annual grants to states, cities and counties. Applications for County CDBG funds are being accepted now through Dec. 1.

DISABILITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS TO END IN 2021 AND 2023 DUE TO TRUMP PAYROLL TAX CUTS, AGENCY’S CHIEF ACTUARY WARNS

It’s bad enough that seniors and people with disabilities are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using it as a subterfuge to undermine their financial security is unconscionable and unacceptable.” -- National Education Action

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Disability payments will end next year and Social Security payments to the elderly will stop in 2023 under President Trump’s executive order to cut payroll taxes, which took effect Friday, unless alternative funding is provided, Market Watch reports. That dire warning was issued August 24 by the program’s Chief Actuary, Stephen Goss, in a letter to key Senators.

Effective Aug. 28, Trump’s executive order temporarily suspends the 6.2% payroll tax collections from employers for employees under $104,000, which is used to fund Social Security and disability payments. (Employers until now have matched a 6.2% deduction paid by workers.)

Trump wants to make that permanent if reelected. On Aug. 8, Trump stated, “If I’m victorious on Nov. 3, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.” He made clear, “In other words, I’ll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax.”

TRUMP ACCEPTS REPUBLICAN NOMINATION AT CONVENTION IN SHARP CONTRAST TO DNC EVENT

Fact-checkers assess candidates' statements, find Trump had most misleading statements

By Miriam Raftery

View video of President Trump's hour-and-a-half long acceptance speech or scroll down for highlights and analysis.

August 28, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump made his case for reelection during his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention last night.  The President delivered his formal acceptance from the south lawn of the White House, but earlier in the week surprised delegates with a live appearance at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Trump touted his record, stating, he was “ proud of the extraordinary progress we have made together over the last four years; and brimming with confidence in the bright future we will build for America over the NEXT four years.” The President also sharply criticized Democrats in general and rival Joe Biden in particular and sought to position his party as the party of law and order.

FEDERAL JUDGE SIDES WITH TRUMP FOR NOW IN TRIBAL SUIT OVER BORDER WALL

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

Photo:  A section of new, steel bollard-style replacement wall goes up near Calexico. CBP photo by Mani Albrecht

August 28, 2020 (Campo) - A federal judge handed the Trump administration a victory Thursday by refusing to halt construction of a section of border wall near Campo.

CAPTAIN MATT NICHOLASS NAMED INTERIM ACTING CHIEF OF LA MESA POLICE: CITY LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE SEARCH FOR ITS NEXT CHIEF

East County News Service

Photo: Captain Matt Nicholass, tomorrow's Interim Chief of Police (left), and soon to be former Chief of Police Walt Vasquez (right). Chopper the Biker Dog, law enforcement mascott wishes Chief Vasquez "all the very best on his retirement during his 'final walk-out."  Photo courtesy of Facebook, Chopper the Biker Dog

August 27, 2020 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa plans to hire an executive recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for its next Chief of Police, according to a  new release earlier today from the City of La Mesa.

There will be a community input component to the selection process. The process is expected to take several months to complete. Once the recruiting firm is hired additional details will be released.

Captain Matt Nicholass will assume the role of Acting Chief of Police tomorrow, August 28, 2020.

EL CAJON AWARDS NEARLY $2.5 MILLION TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSSES IMPACTED BY PANDEMIC

East County News Service
 
Photo: Hacienda Casa Blana restaurant is among the grant recipients. The restaurant moved outdoors after several weeks of closure, then had canopies stolen. 
 
August 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon announced Tuesday that it has awarded nearly $2.5 million in grants to 134 small businesses in the city. The Business Grant Program—which was made possible through Federal CARES funds released by the County and State—was open to both non-essential and essential businesses (as defined by the State of California), as well as restaurants. 
 
Small business owners were eligible for various award amounts with maximums ranging from $10,000 for restaurants, $15,000 for essential businesses, and up to $30,000 for non-essential businesses, which were forced to fully close when the stay-at-home orders took effect in March. 
 
“The impact of this grant will provide an economic stimulus to support local small businesses which have suffered the greatest due to the pandemic,” said City Manager Graham Mitchell. 
 
A business grant committee made up of business and community leaders in the City assisted in selecting the recipients, which were all required to meet minimum qualifications set forth by the City Council. 

JOE BIDEN ACCEPTS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, PROMISES TO BRING AMERICA TOGETHER

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2020  -- In the first Democratic National Convention held remotely due to the coronavirus, former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the nomination in a powerful speech in which he promised to unite and heal America.  

He also pledged to provide leadership to address ”four historic crises” facing our nation:  the worst pandemic in over 100 years: the worst economic crisis since the Great Depressing, the strongest calls for racial justice since the ‘60s, and the  accelerating threat of climate change.

“If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw om the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.  It’s time for us, we the people, to come together,” said Biden, speaking from Deleware, his home state.

MAYOR WELLS URGES CITY TO DEFY STATE AND COUNTY COVID-19 LAWS AND REGULATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with comments from Gloria Chadwick and Randy Lenac, members of the Grossmont Healthcare District board

August 27, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells today announced on Facebook that he is convening a special meeting of the city council tomorrow at 3 p.m. to “discuss instructing our police to not enforce Covid-19 laws and or regulations… The state of California and the County of San Diego, of course, may continue to levy fines and criminal charges for violations, but I am proposing that the El Cajon police department not waste their valuable time enforcing mask, non-essential business and social distancing laws.”

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

August 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include: 

LOCAL

STATE

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

STATE SENATOR BRIAN JONES TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, PROMPTING SENATE ADJOURNMENT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Facebook: Senator Brian Jones wearing a mask while speaking on the Senate Floor earlier this month

August 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)—State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) has tested positive for COVID-19. The finding prompted a temporary adjournment of the State Senate just days before the Aug. 31 end of the legislative session, putting the fate of some pending bills in question.

The announcement, made on Senator Jones’ social media sites today, states that he received the news after returning to Sacramento for the end of the legislative session.  The statements indicate he will be taking additional tests to rule out the possibility of a false-positive result.  “In the meantime, he’ll be following CDC and CDPH protocols for those receiving a positive test result,” his Facebook page states.  Those protocols recommend isolating at home while awaiting test results.

The statement does not indicate when or why the Senator was tested, or whether he has had any symptoms. Jones has been wearing a mask when speaking on the Senate floor, including as recently as Monday.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

August 27, 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" or scroll down.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

FIND YOUR NAME ON THE $450K COUNTY REFUND LIST

East County News Service

August 27, 2020 (San Diego) - Many people could use extra cash during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office is doing all it can to reunite $450,324 in county refunds with its rightful owners. See if your name is on the list at sdttc.com.   The deadline to claim this money is Oct. 26.

WHAT TO PLANT IN YOUR SOCAL GARDEN IN LATE SUMMER

By Amy Okafor

Photo:  Showy Penstemon via Tom Hilton on Flickr 

August 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The dead of summer doesn't mean you have to put up with a wilted, drab landscape – even in Southern California where summers are warm and dry. Thanks to SoCal's mild winters, you can have a great yard almost year-round – if you know what to plant in your SoCal garden in late summer.

'THIS CHANGE IN POLICY WILL KILL': SCIENTISTS, MEDICAL EXPERTS WARN OF DANGEROUS LOOSENING IN CDC'S COVID GUIDELINES

"This is a stunning betrayal of public health that will spread the pandemic and lead to more unnecessary deaths." 

By Lisa Newcomb, staff writer, Common Dreams, reprinted under a Creative Commons license

Photo:  Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testifies during a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

August 26, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - As the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States nears six million, and with more than 176,000 Americans dead from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly altered its coronavirus guidelines, worrying public health experts and raising suspicions among healthcare advocates that the moves are politically motivated.

SDG&E SUPPORTS TEACHERS WITH MATCHING FUNDS FOR DISTANCE LEARNING AND STEM PROJECTS; APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED

This is the 3rd year that SDG&E is supporting educators  through DonorsChoose

East County News Service

August 26, 2020 (San Diego) – Through a partnership with DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding platform, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has set aside $250,000 of shareholder funding to match donations that help support local teachers with distance learning and with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects.    

Eligible teachers can visit the DonorsChoose website to apply. The DonorsChoose match program will run from today until funds are exhausted or December 31, 2020. 

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