August 2020 Articles

COUNCIL CANDIDATE JACK SHU SHARES HIS VISION AND PRIORITIES FOR LA MESA

 

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Hear audio aired on KNSJ radio

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2020 (La Mesa) – In an exclusive video interview, Jack Shu shares his visions for the future of La Mesa.  Shu has been an active advocate in La Mesa and countywide for over three decades on social justice issues, human rights, homelessness, and protect the environment.

A California State Parks Superintendent for 29 years, he also served as a peace officer within state parks. As past president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, he worked at a state and countywide level to protect open spaces, reduce pollution and build healthier communities. In La Mesa, he helped establish the Citizens Public Safety Oversight Task Force on police issues, as well as a Citizens Task for on Homelessness. He’s served on the city’s wellness committee, on the board of Heartland Human Relations, and as a cultural diversity consultant.

In our interview, Shu laid out his vision for a more "vibrant" and inclusive La Mesa in all areas of the city.  "Let's aim higher. Let's do better," he said. 

Shu shared his thoughts on the key issues in  La Mesa including housing and homelessness, revitalizing neighborhoods across La Mesa and downtown, police and racial equity issues, public safety, and budget priorities.

Audio: 

ECM PADRES REPORT: PADRES MAKE MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY, SWEEP RANGERS

By Liz Alper

 

Photo: Eric Hosmer hit the Padres' fourth grand slam in four consecutive games, an MLB first. Via @padres on Twitter

 

August 20, 2020 (San Diego) - After a huge walk-off win last night thanks to Manny Machado, the Padres looked to sweep the series against the Rangers tonight.  Kyle Gibson started for Texas against Dinelson Lamet.

HEAT WAVE SMASHES RECORDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 20, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Triple digit temperatures are forecast yet again tomorrow across portions of San Diego’s inland region.  This week’s scorching heat wave has shattered some all-time records. On August 17, a temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Campo broke the old record of 103 set in 2001.  

LA MESA APPROVES CARES AID FOR RENTERS AND BUSINESSES, HELP FOR HOMELESS AND A REPORT ON CIVIL UNREST RESPONSE

By Briana Gomez

File photo:  Mike and Linda McWilliams have laid off two-thirds of the staff at their San Pasqual Winery tasting room in the La Mesa Village, according to testimony to the City Council on August 11.

August 20, 2020 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa City Council met on August 11 via teleconference,  on hour after a trying virtual town hall the previous Thursday where notification of  Police Chief Walt Vasquez’s resignation was announced publicly.  The Council approved CARES Act funding to help local renters and businesses. Other highlights included approval to hire a consultant to prepare a report on the May 30-31 protest and riot, as well as moving forward on action to help the homeless.

LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE WORKS TO SAVE ANIMALS AT SUSPENDED ZOO FEATURED ON TIGER KING TV SHOW

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2020 (Alpine) – Bobbi Brink, owner of the Lions, Tigers and Bears animal sanctuary in Alpine, has offered to aid in the rescue and relocation of all animals at G.W. Zoo. The U.S. Department of Agriuclture has suspended the exhibitor license for the facility also known as the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park featured on the Netflix docu-series “Tiger King.”

The owner, Jeff Lowe, “just announced that he has actually relinquished his license and will no longer be exhibiting animals,” Brink says. Lowe will be banned from exhibiting big cats, bears, primates or other USDA-regulated species at any other property as well as at G.W. Zoo.

The USDA suspended the license after inspectors in June found injured and sickly animals with dangerous and dismal living conditions including:

ECM PADRES REPORT: EXTRA INNINGS GRAND SLAM BY MACHADO GIVES PADRES SERIES AGAINST RANGERS

By Liz Alper

 

Photo: Manny Machado's grand slam in the 10th gave the Padres the win. Via @padres on Twitter

 

August 19, 2020 (San Diego) - The Padres have been clobbering the Rangers so far in interleague play.  Tonight, they were back in San Diego on the home-at-home series and looked to take 3 of 4 with Lance Lynn starting for Texas against Chris Paddack.

MAN SHOT, KILLED IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
Photo by Della Elliott:Community members have set up a memorial tribute to the victim, whose identity has not yet been released
 
August 19, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police officers dispatched after a 911 caller reported gunshots near 1549 East Main Street found a man suffering from several gunshot wounds around 1:30 a.m yesterday. The victim was transported by ambulance to a hospital, but died before arrival, says Lt. K. MacArthur.
 
The identity of the victim, who is from San Diego, will be released by the County Medical Examiner after family is notified. 

PLEASE DON’T EAT THE OLEANDERS: TOXIC PLANT IS NOT A COVID CURE

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Health experts are warning the public to steer clear of deadly plant extract, Oleandrin, being touted by financial backers of President Donald Trump as a potential “cure” for COVID-19.  There is zero proof that it works beyond a test tube (in a single non-peer reviewed study) and it has never been tested on humans.  

SHOTS FIRED AT VEHICLE ON HIGHWAY 94 NEAR COLLEGE AVE.

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 19, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Around 3:30 this morning, the driver of a Cadillac was shot by someone in a dark sedan that followed him for several miles, then pulled up next to the driver’s side, firing through the window. The incident occurred on State Route 94 east, just west of the College Avenue exit.

AMAZON ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 200 NEW JOBS IN SAN DIEGO TECH EXPANSION

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

Photo: Entrance to Amazon’s San Diego tech hub in University City. Courtesy Amazon

August 19, 2020 (San Diego) -- Amazon announced Tuesday it will create 200 new jobs in San Diego as part of a plan to expand technology hubs in six major cities.

COUNTY IS OFF STATE WATCH LIST, BUT NOT OUT OF THE WOODS FOR COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County reached an important milestone yesterday, when the state removed the county from California’ monitoring list. The County Public Health office announced the change was made after the county’s rate of new COVID-19 cases dropped below 100 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive days. San Diego has been on the watch list since July 3, 2020.

So what does that mean?  First, if the case rate stays under 100 per 100,000 people in the population for another 14 days (until Aug. 31), K-12 schools will be allowed to reopen. Districts will have a choice and may opt for in-class instruction, continue virtual learning, or a combination of both.

Businesses, however, will not be able to resume normal activities until the county receives further guidance on the state. So for now, closed businesses must remain shut-down and those operating outdoors cannot go back inside.

SIX MEN DETAINED AFTER SHOOTOUT IN LA MESA; THREE “ARMED AND DANGEROUS” SUSPECTS IN DARK SUV REMAIN AT LARGE

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 19, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police Department seeks witnesses to shootings at a strip mall last night in the 7400 block of El Cajon Blvd, La Mesa. Despite multiple shots fired at a business and vehicle, there are no known injuries.  

NO PRISON TIME FOR MARGARET HUNTER, GOVERNMENT URGES AHEAD OF SENTENCING

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

Photo:  former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, are seen in La Mesa at 2014 Polonia United event for Polish-Americans in the San Diego region. Photo by Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2020 (San Diego) - Margaret Hunter faced as much as 37 months in prison for taking part in her ex-congressman husband’s spending crimes, the government said Monday, but it urged leniency in a sentencing memo to a federal judge.

LEMON GROVE TEEN, MISSING SINCE JULY 31, LAST SEEN GETTING INTO CAR WITH MAN

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff seeks public help to locate Alonna Wintland. The 15-year-old was last seen leaving her home in the 8000 block of Lemon Grove Way and getting into the car of an unknown man on July 31.

She has blonde/purple hair, blue eyes, stands 5 ft. 2 inches tall and weighs around 235 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, beige shorts and sandals.

She has a history of running away, but left without her cell phone or debit card.

NEWSOM ORDERS INVESTIGATION OF ROLLING BLACKOUTS; GRID OPERATOR BLAMES PUC

SDG&E thanks customers for reducing power usage, averting need for outages yesterday, but brief outages are possible over next several days during heat wave

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

August 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As triple-digit heat scorches the West, California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), which manages California’s power grid, ordered utilities to implement rolling power outages last weekend – but only notified the Governor on Friday. Outages are particularly disruptive during the pandemic, with miilions of Californians working from home and educating children at home. Many have nowhere to go to escape the heat during an outage, with libraries and other public facilities closed due to COVID-19.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced outrage and ordered an investigation, also signing an emergency proclamation that temporarily allows some energy users and utilities to use backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times in the energy emergency. Meanwhile CAISO is pointing the finger at the Public Utilities Commission, claiming it has been warning the PUC to take preventive steps for years to make utility companies assure they had emergency back-up energy sources lined up, but that the PUC ignored those warnings.

CALIFORNIA EXPECTED TO REMOVE SAN DIEGO COUNTY FROM COVID WATCH LIST TODAY

  • Aug. 17: 89.8
  • Aug. 16: 91.8
  • Aug. 15: 94.7

DEFAULTED BILLS MAILED TO OVER 28K PROPERTY TAXPAYERS, BUT PENALTIES MAY BE WAIVED FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Source: San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector

August 17, 2020 (San Diego) -- San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister announced on Aug. 11 that his office is offering penalty relief for small business owners and homeowners who are among those receiving more than 28,000 defaulted bills. 

“We know many of the late bills are due to COVID-19, and we want our taxpayers to know there could be relief,” said McAllister. “They may qualify to have their penalties waived if they file for a COVID-19 cancellation request. Our customers must provide documentation as evidence to show how the pandemic impacted their ability to pay their second installment by April 10.”

ECM WINS AWARDS FOR COVERAGE OF CAJON VALLEY FINANCES AND KALASHO RESIGNATION

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine has won first and second place awards in the Society of Professional Journalism San Diego Pro Chapter’s 2020 Journalism Awards.  A list of awards was released today, except for special awards, which will be announced on August 24.

ECM PADRES REPORT: BIG SECOND INNING, GRAND SLAM BY TATIS JR. GIVES PADRES DOUBLE-DIGIT WIN

By Liz Alper

 

Photo: Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a monster grand slam in the eighth inning. Via @padres on Twitter

 

August 17, 2020 (Arlington, Texas) - After a lackluster series against the Diamondbacks, the Padres traveled to Texas for their first interleague series of the season against the Rangers.  Zach Davies started against former Padre Jordan Lyles for the Rangers.

THUNDERSTORMS POSE RISK OF LIGHTNING FIRES AS DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE CONTINUES THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Over 1,600 lightning strikes have sparked at least 76 fires in northern California in the past 24 hours.  Now thunderstorms are forecast for our region this week, amid a scorching heat wave described as “dangerous” by the National Weather Service. “Record breaking” temperatures may occur, as well as gusty winds, rain, and dangerous lightning Tuesday and Wednesday.

JACUMBA HIKERS GROUP BECOMES PART OF IMPERIAL VALLEY DESERT MUSEUM PROGRAMS

By Miriam Raftery

 
August 17, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – After multiple requests seeking new hiking leaders following the loss of several long-time leaders, the Jacumba Hikers group will now be administered by the Imperial Valley Desert Museum (IVDM).  The museum’s board voted on August 13 to accept the proposal.

LAST-CHANCE BILL TO PREVENT FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS SET FOR HEARING TOMORROW

UPDATE AUGUST 20, 2020:  AB 1436 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 6-3 vote and will next be heard by the full Senate.

“There is an urgency to this.”—Assemblymember Monique Limon, who fears many Californians may lose their homes or become homeless if AB 1436, which she coauthored, is not approved

By Miriam Raftery

File photo:  Protest to stop foreclosures during the last recession

August 17, 2020 (San Diego) – To date, efforts to save homeowners and landlords from foreclosure, as well as extend eviction protections for renters in California have failed.  With the Legislature poised to adjourn soon and federal benefits expiring, a bill being heard tomorrow morning may be the last chance to prevent a wave of evictions and foreclosures. At 9:00 a.m. Aug. 18, Assembly Bill 1436 will be heard in the state Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The bill’s coauthor, Assemblymember Monique Limon, says the banking industry has been heavily lobbying members to oppose the measure. Assemblymember Limon previously introduced AB 2501 to prevent foreclosures, but the measure was defeated due to financial industry lobbyists.

DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES AIR VIEWS ON COVID-19 RELIEF, POLICE REFORMS, HEALTHCARE, IMMIGRATION, THE ECONOMY AND MORE

 

Click video at right to watch debate

By Miriam Raftery and Briana Gomez

August 16, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With pandemic relief stalled in Congress, economic uncertainties, healthcare concerns rising, racial justice protests across the nation, and climate change fueling wildfires and water shortages, candidates running for the 50th Congressional district debated these and other hot topics on August 13tth.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 31, a Democrat from Jamul who formerly worked for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and at the U.S. Labor Dept., faced off against Darrell Issa, 66. a Republican who formerly represented the 49th Congressional district in North County and south Riverside.  The winner will fill the seat left vacant for months due to the resignation of Duncan Hunter who pled guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds and has been sentenced to 11 months in prison. The district includes most of East County as well as portions of North County and Temecula in Riverside County.

The forum was moderated by Donna Bartlett-May the League of Women Voters and hosted by Community Action Service & Advocacy (CASA)  in collaboration with the East Region Collaborative Network, East County Homeless Task Force, Ninth District PTA, and media partner East County Magazine.   

COOL ZONES OPEN ACROSS EAST COUNTY DUE TO HIGH HEAT

East County News Service

August 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Cool zones adapted to COVID-19 public health protections have been opened at eight county libraries across San Diego’s inland region during the current extreme heat conditions.  The locations are open from 12 noon to 5 p.m.Mondays through Friday (except the Borrego Springs location, which is also open weekends). 

Masks and social distancing are required by all visitors and staff.  Temperature checks are also required before entering a cool zone and time limits may be imposed due to limited capacity. No animals are permitted, except for service animals. Below is the full list of county cool zones:

FLEX ALERT ISSUED FOR NEXT FOUR DAYS: ROLLING OUTAGES AS RESIDENTS ASKED TO CONSERVE POWER STATEWIDE

Consumers should prepare for the likelihood of rotating electric outages

Source:  California ISO

August 16, 2020 (Folsom) - The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning today and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

PANDEMIC ART PROJECT ADDS WHIMSICAL FLAIR TO LEMON GROVE RESTAURANT

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – “What have we been up to the last few months? Oh, just a pretty incredible art  project - adding a massive mural to the side of our building, as well as our very own art gallery inside,” Karina Kravalis, co-owner of Giardino Neighborhood Cucina posted on Facebook this week. “Gallery chalk art pieces include classics with a COVID twist to keep things as upbeat as possible.”

EL CAJON COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES EMERGENCY SLEEPING CABINS FOR HOMELESS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit:  Amikas

August 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council on Tuesday approved a pilot program to allow emergency sleeping cabins as temporary housing for the homeless. Homelessness is anticipated to rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, after federal unemployment benefits ran out July 31, putting more people at risk of eviction in the future.

The first village of six cabins, similar to structures known as “tiny homes,”  will provide short-term shelter for homeless women, especially women veterans, and their children at Meridian Baptist Church on South Third Street. 

PROSECUTION SOUGHT AGAINST DRIVER WHO INJURED MOTORCYCLIST IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have recommended that the District Attorney prosecute the driver of a Camry that struck and seriously injured a motorcyclist on Jamacha Blvd. May 13tth around 10:13 a.m.

The motorcyclist was traveling south on Jamacha approaching Washington when a silver Toyota Camry turned left in front of the motorcyclist, violating his right of way and causing a collision, says Lt. Will Guerin with the El Cajon Police Dept. 

The motorcyclist, 65, was treated on scene by Heartland Fire Dept. paramedics and transported to a hospital, where he remains hospitalized with major injuries.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING

East County News Service

August 14, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning in effect this weekend through Monday at 8 p.m. Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures from 98 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit are forecast across San Diego County’s mountains, valleys and desert areas as well as much of Riverside and San Bernadino counties.

Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those  working or participating in outdoor activities.

Follow these precautions:

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