August 2020 Articles

SWIPE RIGHT TO HELP CLEAR THE SHELTERS

 

By Yvette Urea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by Autumn Endara

August 15, 2020 (San Diego) - Are you looking for unconditional love, companionship and fun? We may have the next big love of your life waiting for you at one of our animal shelters. The County Department of Animal Services is participating in this year’s monthlong Clear the Shelters adoption event being done online to prevent potential spread of coronavirus.

ECM PADRES REPORT: OUTSTANDING PITCHING PERFORMANCE BY LIMET IN VAIN AS PADRES DROP OPENER TO DBACKS

By Liz Alper

 

Photo: despite Dinelson Lamet's incredible pitching performane, a solo homer in the sixth to Kole Calhoun was his demise. Via @padres on Twitter

 

August 14, 2020 (Phoenix) - The Padres had a rough few days in Los Angeles.  They looked to do better in Arizona with Dinelson Lamet starting game one against Merrill Kelly for the Diamondbacks.

ROLLING BLACKOUTS ACROSS COUNTY: BE PREPARED

 

East County News Service

August 14, 2020 (San Diego) -- The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which oversees the statewide electric grid, has directed SDG&E to initiate rotating, one-hour service interruptions (rotating outages) throughout its service territory in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The blackouts are underway and are currently affecting thousands of residences.  View a list of current outages and estimated restoration times at  https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map.

While the rotating outages will be widespread in the region, communities located in high fire threat districts, which experience public safety power shutoffs, will be exempt from the service interruptions, SDG&E announced today.



The local outages are the result of excessive heat driving up electricity use and putting strain on the grid. CASIO has declared a “Stage 3” power emergency because contingency reserves have fallen or are anticipated to fall below requirements and cannot be restored without service interruptions.

TUESDAY PROTEST IN LA MESA STAYS PEACEFUL; MAN BRIEFLY DETAINED AFTER DISPLAYING PEPPER SPRAY AT PROTESTERS

 

By Briana Gomez

Roger Ogden and Tasha Williamson in verbal confrontation

Updated August 16 with additional comments from Ogden.

August 13,  2020 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa police detained but later released a man with alleged ties to a racist group  during a Black Lives Matter protest on Tuesday, following a vocal confrontation with activist Tasha Williamson.  LMPD led Roger Ogden into the police station in handcuffs for reportedly displaying pepper spray during the altercation. On his blog, Ogden called Williamson a “terrorist” and called her a "liar" at the rally. Williamson denounced Ogden at the rally as a “racist clown.”  Each has denied the others claims of racism and inciting terror.  View video.

Despite verbal barbs, at the August 11 rally and an earlier protest on May 1, protesters remained non-violent. Unlike a major protest May 30 that ended in burning of buildings, rioting and looting, the only arrests at the most recent protests were of individuals accused of harassing protesters, both with ties to white nationalist or racist groups. On May 1st, as ECM reported, Ryan McAdams, who has a history of racial clashes, was arrested for battery and pepper spray possession.

CDC DIRECTOR ISSUES DIRE WARNING AFTER SCHOOL OUTBREAKS AND SOARING COVID-19 RATES ACROSS U.S.; COUNTY SEES DIP BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR REOPENINGS

By Miriam Raftery

August 14, 2020 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July nationwide, after schools in some areas reopened, CNN reports.  At least three have died, including two teens and a 7-year-old with no preexisting conditions. Thousands are now quarantined due to school-related outbreaks, putting teachers and staff at risk as well as students.

With cases skyrocketing in states that have ignored CDC guidelines, yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield issued a dire warning.

If recommendations are not followed by all Americans, he told WebMD, this could be the “worst fall from a public health perspective” that the U.S. has ever had, CNN reports.

RISK TO BABIES OF MOTHERS WITH COVID-19 IS LOW, PRELIMINARY EVIDENCE SUGGESTS

By Briana Gomez

Photo: Creative Commmons SA-NC

August 13, 2020 (San Diego) -- The novel coronavirus has swept the nation, leaving many including pregnant and nursing mothers in fear of the unknown.

How much of a risk does COVID-19 pose for expectant mothers, unborn infants and newborns?

MOST JULIAN BUSINESSES ARE OPEN FOR VISITORS, BUT JULIAN CARRIAGE COMPANY FALLS VICTIM TO PANDEMIC

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2020 (Julian) – Tourists are returning to Julian, the historic gold-mining town nestled in the mountains of San Diego's East County.  According to Robin Boland at the Julian Chamber of Commerce, nearly all businesses that are allowed to be open under state and county health mandates are now open, including shops, outdoor and takeout restaurants, breweries and wineries serving food. Though a few have limited hours, Boland assures, “There is still plenty to do and plenty of places to eat.”

One long-time town fixture, however, has fallen victim to the pandemic. Julian Carriage Company posted on Facebook July 31, "I'm sorry to hhave to inform you that due to COVID-19 and other extenuating circumstances we are no longer in business. Brett and I will sure miss everyone that came to Julian and rode our carriage. Life has taken us on another journey now and we are no longer in Julian. We love all of you!!!!!!! Thank you for an amazing 7 years!!!!!!! I will never forget this chapter of our lives."

LA MESA POLICE CHIEF VASQUEZ TALKS RETIREMENT AS TOWN HALL EYES MAY 30 RIOT

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

Photo:  La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez speaks at June press conference. Photo by Chris Stone

August 13, 2020 (La Mesa) - Minutes after a virtual Town Hall began Thursday on La Mesa’s protest and riot events, Police Chief Walt Vasquez announced his retirement from the force after five years “as the city’s top cop.”

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

August 13, 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.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

August 13, 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 links to read full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

FIRE BREAKS OUT IN ALPINE

By Rebeca Jefferis Williamson

 

August 13, 2020 (Alpine) A vegetation fire broke out late afternoon today near I-8 and Victoria Drive in Alpine according to Cal Fire.

Multiple spots along the freeway were impacted. The fire was labelled the  #VictoriaFire.

According to Cal Fire, with an update, the fire has been stopped. Crews are mopping up the fires as of 6:00 p.m.

Traffic in the area has been heavily impacted.

EAST COUNTY VIRTUAL CANDIDATES FORUM AUG. 13: ASK QUESTIONS OF THOSE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS AND COUNTY SUPERVISOR

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time in over two decades, East County has open seats with no incumbents running in the 50th Congressional District and the County Board of Supervisors 2nd district.

East County Magazine is proud to serve as media partner for a virtual candidate forum moderated by the League of Women Voters and presented in collaboration with a coalition of community organizations . The forum will take place on Thursday, August 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.  You can watch and ask questions by registering through Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_goZoodK_TdC5GNjjhZo5xw .

All candidates running are confirmed to participate.  Supervisor candidates Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson will square off at 6 p.m., followed by Congressional Candidates Darrell Issa and Ammar Campa Najjar at 7 p.m.

Community Action Service & Advocacy (CASA) is hosting the event in collaboration with the East Region Collaborative Network, East County Homeless Task Force, Ninth District PTA, and media partner East County Magazine.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON MURDER OF SECURITY GUARD JUNE 2 AT DISPENSARY IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service 

August 12, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A $3,000 reward is being offered by the family of Kenneth Love II for information that leads to the arrest of his killer. The family’s reward is in addition to a $1,000 reward offered by Crime Stoppers. 

COUNTY OFFICIALS WARN OF RISE IN FENTANYL FATALITIES, USE OF COUNTERFEIT DRUGS AMID PANDEMIC

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2020 (San Diego) – District Attorney Summer Stephan is warning of an “alarming uptick” in overdose deaths caused by fentanyl.  Stephan says dealers are lacing various illegal drugs with fentanyl in what she calls “a recipe for death.”

At least 119 deaths so far this year are confirmed to be related to fentanyl in San Diego County, with another 84 deaths in which the drug is suspected to be a factor.  Isolation during the pandemic is believed to be a key factor contributing to the increase in addiction and fatalities.

According to a joint statement issued by state and federal prosecutors, law enforcement and county health officials, the number of deaths in 2020 is expected to exceed last year’s total of 152. 

DEATH UNDER INVESTIGATION IN UNINCORPORATED LA MESA

East County News Service

August 12, 2020 (La Mesa) – In response to a call requesting a welfare check on a resident in the 4400 block of Carmen Drive in unincorporated La Mesa, Chula Vista Police officers found the body of a man shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday.  The Sheriff’s homicide unit is investigating.

The street was temporarily blocked off for an investigation overnight.

Lt. Thomas Seiver with the Sheriff’s homicide unit asks that anyone with information on this incident call (858) 285-6330/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

WHAT CALIFORNIA KNOWS ABOUT KAMALA HARRIS

By Ben Christopher, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at the 2019 Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Aug. 9, 2019. Today, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden announced Sen. Harris as his pick for Vice President. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

August 11, 2020 (San Diego) - More than any other vice presidential contender in a generation, Kamala Harris’ biography is singularly Californian. 

THE VEEPSTAKES ARE OVER - NOW WHOM MIGHT NEWSOM PICK TO REPLACE KAMALA HARRIS IN SENATE?

By Ben Christopher, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Then Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris walks on stage during a gun safety forum, Oct. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. Today, Joe Biden announced Sen. Harris as his running mate. Photo by John Locher, AP Photo

August 11, 2020 (San Diego) - Joe Biden’s choice of California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris, as his running mate brings to a close the presidential campaign’s most frenetic guessing game. It also opens up a relatively rare thing in the Golden State: the prospect of an open Senate seat.

INDEX OF FACEBOOK JOURNALISM PROJECT GRANT-FUNDED ARTICLES, PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES

Updated August 11, 2020

Our Facebook Project grant has so far enabled East County Magazine to create over 150 original local news articles on COVID-19 local impacts and innovations, as well as emergency and crisis reporting. We also created and/or expanded community resource sections and guides, converted our radio show to virtual broadcasts, and launched our virtual community "Movers, Shakers and Events" series, with more virtual events including candidate forums coming soon. Our first virtual candidate forum is set for August 13 featuring Congressional and Supervisorial candidates.

Below is an index of these grant projects:

  • COVID-19 local journalism
  • Emergencies and crisis reporting
  • Community resources in the COVID-19 era
  • Virtual community forums

BANK ROBBER FOILED IN LEMON GROVE: FBI SEEKS TIPS

East County News Service

August 11, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Yesterday at 1:34 p.m., a woman presented a note demanding money to the teller at Wells Fargo Bank, 7080 Broadway in Lemon Grove. The teller did not comply, so the would-be robber left on foot without any cash, says FBI special agent Davene Butler.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks public help to identify the woman, who is described as black, thin, and approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall. She wore a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark  pants, white gloves, sunglasses, and a face mask.

The robber is described as a black female, thin build, standing approximately 5’8” wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. The robber covered her face and head with the hooded sweatshirt, face mask, and sunglasses. In addition, the woman wore white gloves.

ONIONS AND ONION PRODUCTS RECALLED AFTER HUNDREDS SICKENED WITH SALMONELLA

East County News Service

August 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that hundreds of people have been sickened nationwide including 76 in California due to tainted red, yellow and white onions.  Around 86 cases resulted in hospitalization. In addition to fresh onions sold at major retailers, the onions have also been sold in pre-packaged foods such as pizzas, macaroni salad and fajita kits as well as in freshly prepared food items such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas and dips.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT SUPPORTING ALS ASSOCIATION’S ALS FIESTA, A VIRTUAL FUNDRAISER, AUG. 12

East County News Service

August 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has been named a supporter of the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter’s 2020 ALS Fiesta, the chapter’s annual major fundraiser. This year’s ALS Fiesta, the fifth annual, will be held as a virtual online event from 7 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 12. Participation in this year’s ALS Fiesta is free and open to the public. Proceed will benefit the chapter’s services provided to local families living with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

WATCH NOW: EAST COUNTY NEWSMAKERS, SHAKERS AND NEWSMAKERS FIRST VIRTUAL PROGRAM ON COVID-19 AND WILDFIRE SAFETY ISSUES

 

August 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On Friday, August 7, East County Magazine took our “Newsmakers, Shakers and Newsmakers” community forum/webinar series virtual.  Thanks to the #FacebookJournalismProject for supporting our community news reporting and virtual events in the COVID-19 era.

Thanks to all of you who sent in questions via email and social media for Dr. William Tseng, one of San Diego’s top COVID-19 experts, who shared the latest facts on COVID-19 trends and what the medical community has learned since the pandemic beganWhy does San Diego have a lower death rate than the nation?  What are the facts and myths about this disease?  How accurate are tests?  How can you help save lives if you’ve survived COVID-19?  What will it take to end the pandemic and return life to normal in our region?  Listen in to hear Dr. Tseng's fascinating responses.

Robyn Herrick, community resiliency advisor with SDG&E, discussed their upcoming drive-through Wildfire Safety Fairs coming up in Alpine, Pine Valley and Valley Center. Get details here

Hear what you need to know to stay safe this fire season – and how you get free devices to help you stay in communication even while you’re evacuated.

MOUNTAIN WEST POSTPONES 2020 FALL SPORTS

Source:  Mountain West

August 10, 2020 (San Diego) – The Mountain West conference, which houses the majority of San Diego State athletics, has announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and MW championship events in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition. The MW Board of Directors prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the Conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities in its decision – as it has done throughout the course of the pandemic.

LA MESA COUNCIL WEIGHS CARE ACT RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES AND RENTERS, PLUS POSSIBLE SALE OF PARKING LOT NEAR RESTAURANTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Some businesses have been hard hit by both the pandemic shutdowns and business disruptions from looting, fires and vandalism

August 10, 2020 (La Mesa) -- On Tuesday, August 11, the La Mesa City Council will consider topics of major public interest at a 5 p.m. closed session followed by a 6 p.m. public meeting. 

At the closed session, for which the public can email comments by 4 p.m., includes potential sale of a public parking lot with meters behind the burned Randall Lamb building and behind many restaurants and businesses on La Mesa Blvd.  

Also on the closed session, council will hear details of housing planned for the former police station site being leased for development, including affordable housing units.  

At 6 p.m., Council will consider how to spend CARES Act relief funds due to the pandemic.  Staff has proposed renter relief as well as grants for small businesses and city costs. The Council majority previously voted against aid to businesses, so Councilman Kristine Alessio is urging the public to speak out if they want to see help provided for struggling small businesses in La Mesa, as other East County cities have already provided.

Below are details.

VIRTUAL COUNTY BUDGET HEARINGS BEGIN MONDAY

The recommended budget plan is part of a two-year operational plan that will help determine how the County spends its resources.

Following Monday’s budget hearing, an evening hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Budget deliberations and formal adoption of the first year of the budget plan are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Aug. 25.

LMPD OFFICER IN TROLLEY STOP INCIDENT LEAVES FORCE: QUESTONS OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY REMAIN

By Miriam Raftery

Screenshot from video via Instagram: Officer Matt Dages and Amaurie Johnson in controversial stop

August 8, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police officer involved in the controversial stop of a  young Black man near the Grossmont trolley stop on May 28, is “not employed by the City of La Mesa in any capacity,” the city announced yesterday.

The terse statement provided no details on whether Officer Matt Dages resigned or was terminated, nor whether any wrongdoing was found in an investigation. He was placed on administrative leave pending an external investigation, the results of which have not been made public.

An assault charge against Amaurie Johnson, 23, was dropped after body camera footage failed to substantiate Officer  Dages' version of the incident.

The announcement of Dages' departure has drawn reactions ranging from relief to calls for greater accountability and transparency.

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