Communities

DA SPONSORS BILL TO KEEP SEX OFFENDER COURT HEARINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

East County News Service
 
February 26, 2020 (San Diego)-- San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan is sponsoring SB 1023, legislation authored by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) to require that proceedings for the civil commitment of a sexually violent predator and later hearings on a predator’s potential release be in open court and on the record, unless compelling and extraordinary circumstances justify closing the courtroom to the public. 
 
This bill would require a notice to all parties of any proposed closure at least 10 calendar days before a closed court hearing. 
 
“This important legislation supports the principles of democracy and transparency in our justice system by making sure court hearings for sexually-violent predators are open to the public,” DA Stephan said. “As District Attorney, I hear the pain from victims who’ve been terrorized by a sexual predator but are left in the dark and not able to learn pertinent information guaranteed to them by our open courts system.”

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SUPERVISORS TO HOLD HEARING FEB. 26 ON PROPOSED ZONING LANGUAGE FOR FORMER FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE (FCI) PROPERTIES

 

East County News Service

February 25, 2020 (San Diego) – On Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., San Diego County’s Planning & Development Services will present to the Board of Supervisors a Zoning Ordinance amendment to include “Former Forest Conservation Initiative Properties Overlay of Part Five: Special Area Regulations” on former Forest Conservation Initiative lands that lie outside of Village or Rural Village boundaries.

The Forest Conservation initiative passed initially by voters once protected extensive forest lands in the vicinity of Cleveland National Forest, but the measure expired through sunsetting and was not renewed by Supervisors.

The Overlay does not change underlying land use regulations or General Plan densities. However, it requires additional analyses and findings before approval of any proposals that increase residential density on these lands beyond what is currently allowed by the General Plan.

The Supervisors meeting will be held in the County Administration office at 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, Room on the north end of the third floor.


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DANCING WITH THE STARS LIVE TOUR COMING TO SYCUAN ON MARCH 26

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

February 21, 2019 (El Cajon) -- America’s favorite dance show is going back on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars – Live Tour 2020.” The longest tour to date will be dancing through Sycuan Casino Resort on March 26 at 8 p.m. The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars.


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PROTEST AT LEMON GROVE TOYOTA FEB. 29 TARGETS COMPANY’S SUPPORT OF TRUMP LAWSUIT AGAINST CA OVER EMISSION STANDARDS

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Toyota positions itself in marketing as a green company. But the company recently joined the Trump administration in a lawsuit against California seeking to overturn our state’s clean emission laws for vehicles.

On Saturday morning, February 29, protesters are organizing a march through Lemon Grove ending in a rally at Larry Miller Toyota in Lemon grove.  A press release issued by Toyota Loves Trump, an environmental justice campaign organized by Activist San Diego, states, “Toyota management wants to put their profit above our health. We must let them know this is unacceptable."

All who care about clean air, healthy bodies and freedom from fossil fuels are invited to meet at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 29 at 7065 Broadway I Lemon Grove, outside a vacant social services building. The group will march to the Toyota dealership, where they will hold a protest rally and hear from several speakers.


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DO NOT DRINK NOTICE ISSUED FOR JULIAN’S “APPLE WATER IS GOOD” WATER SYSTEM

Potential drinking water contamination due to water system repairs
 
February 20, 2020 (Julian) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH), is advising the public that the Apple Water Is Good water system, located at 4360 Highway 78 in Julian, California, has been directed to immediately issue a Drinking Water Warning. The water system serves drinking water to the Apple Tree Inn, three residences, and a restaurant.
 
The public is advised not to drink tap water supplied by the Apple Water Is Good water system until further notice. The Do Not Drink Notice will remain in effect until laboratory results confirm the absence of contamination in the water supply.

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​PASSAGES: RHONDA BURT, 57, HIKING LEADER

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 20, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Rhonda Burt, 57, died doing what she loved most – hiking.  On Saturday, Feb. 15, the hiking leader was on the trail with the Jacumba Hikers group through rugged terrain in the Anza-Borrego desert when she suffered a fatal heart attack.
 
She had stopped to rest several times. Another hiker looked back, saw her lying on the ground and rushed to assist her. 911 was called, A Sheriff’s helicopter and ambulance responded, but efforts to resuscitate her failed. Burt, a resident of Imperial, was pronounced dead at the scene, on McCain Valley Road in Boulevard.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUE SANTEE OVER CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

East County News Service
 
February 20, 2020 (Santee) – A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Santee, claiming the city erred in passing its Climate Action Plan and a related environmental impact report without accounting for potential emissions from Fanita Ranch, Home Fed’s proposed project that would add 3,000 homes and increase traffic on already congested roadways.
 
The suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court by three environmental advocacy groups: Preserve Wild Santee, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Climate Action Campaign.

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CHULA VISTA POLICE PROBE SLAYING OF GOOD SAMARITAN HELIX STUDENT, SEEK VIDEO

By Ken Stone
 
Photo: GoFundMe
 
Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
February 20, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Helix Charter High School student who tried to help a friend under attack nearly three weeks ago died Sunday of stab wounds, and police are looking for witnesses and potential assailants.

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YEAR-LONG CLOSURE OF I-8 REST STOP AT BUCKMAN SPRINGS STARTS IN MARCH

Source: Caltrans
Photo: cc via Bing
 
February 19, 2020 (Buckman Springs) -- Crews have begun work on the Interstate 8 (I-8) Buckman Springs Safety Roadside Rest Area (SRRA) Sewer/Water Systems Restoration Project that will require fully closing the rest area for about a year, reported Caltrans officials. 
 
The Buckman Springs SRRA located along I-8 near Pine Valley in eastern San Diego County may be closed as early as March 2 for the duration of the year-long project that will construct a new sewage treatment system. The work is needed to bring the rest area in compliance with state and federal water quality standards.

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LEAP OF KINDNESS IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

February 19, 2020 (Lakeside) – This Leap Year, the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “Leap of  Kindness Day.” The public is encouraged to drop off canned foods, dry goods and school supplies for people in need during the month of February to help people in need.   

Drop-off bins are located at the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce office as well as at Café 67, Mary’s Donuts in Lakeside, the German American Club in El Cajon, and Acai Addiction restaurant in Lakeside.

Donated items can be dropped off now through February 27th, and will distributed to people in need on Leap  Day, February 29th.


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JIMMIE JOHNSON TO RACE AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY, HIS LAST CA EVENT BEFORE RETIRING, AFTER BEING SIDELINED IN DAYTONA 500 CRASH

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo (left) credit: Jimmie Johnson Twitter

February 18, 2020 (El Cajon) - El Cajon native, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, will race March 1 at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway even after being sidelined inadvertently by Ryan Newman’s dramatic car crash at the Daytona 500 race on Feb. 16. This will be his last southern Californian appearance. 

View video of crash: https://www.nascar.com/video/franchise/nascar-cup-highlights/the-big-one-takes-out-the-leaders-at-daytona/ 

Ryan Newman, who was hospitalized after the crash, is ‘awake and speaking’ according to WESH Orlando on Feb. 18.  NASCAR provided an update today indicating Newman is in serious condition in the hospital but is awake and talking with his family.

Johnson tweeted a photo of himself with Newman, noting that they were in the same rookie class with “big dreams in a big sport. Turns out we both have had long successful careers, a lot of laughs together, started families and even won some trophies. Yesterday was a reminder how dangerous racing can be. I’m so thankful he is okay.'"


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SANTEE-BASED SAN DIEGO COUNTY GUN OWNERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE ANNOUNCED ENDORSED CANDIDATES FOR MARCH PRIMARY ELECTION

East County News Service
 
Photo: Michael Schwartz (left). Scott Sherman (right).
 
February 18, 2020 (Santee) – San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), a Santee-based political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights, has announced its endorsement of candidates for the March 3 primary election.
 
Leading SDCGO’s list of endorsed candidates are two candidates for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and one candidate for mayor of San Diego. The Supervisor candidates include Joel Anderson, a former State Assemblyman and State Senator, for the District 2 seat and Alex Galicia for the District 1 seat. The seats are open due to term limits for the incumbents. The top two vote-getters who finish first and second in the primary, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance to a November runoff.
 
Anderson is hoping to succeed Dianne Jacob, who has served for the past 28 years. Jacob, first elected as Supervisor in 1992, is termed out after six terms. The Second Supervisorial District, the largest of the county’s five districts, features more than 2,000 square miles and more than 50 communities and cities in the East County, including the unincorporated communities of Lakeside, Alpine, Ramona and Julian along with the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee and Poway, as well as the city of San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, College Area, Del Cerro, Grantville, Navajo, Rolando and San Carlos.

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WITNESSES SOUGHT TO SHOOTINGS ON I-8 AND HIGHWAY 125 IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
February 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – California Highway Patrol seeks witnesses to two separate shootings of a motorist Saturday night. The victim was driving on I-8 east near Waring Rd. around 9:30 p.m. when the driver of an unknown vehicle behind began firing a gun.  The victim turned onto State Route 125 north and the suspect followed, firing multiple rounds and striking the victim in the arm, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Salvador Castro.
 
The suspect fled and not been found. No vehicle description has been provided. The victim drove to his home in Grantville, where someone called for help. 

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DRIVER DEAD AFTER HITTING TREE IN EL CAJON

 

 

East County News Service

February 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – A man in his 30s was found dead this afternoon in a black 1998 Ford Explorer that struck a tree in the 1200 block of North Second Street. 

El Cajon Police officers and Heartland Fire personnel responded at 1:49 p.m., where  witnesses and an investigation indicated the Ford was traveling northbound when it drifted onto the center divider and hit a tree. The driver’s identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

“It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this collision and no other vehicles or persons were involved,” says Lt. Jason Taub with Ell Cajon Police.


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MEET CANDIDATES FOR SUPERVISORS IN DISTRICT 2 FEB. 25 IN ALPINE

East County News Service 
 
February 15, 2020 (Alpine) – The Alpine Chamber of Commerce will host a business townhall and candidate forum for those running in the San Diego 2nd Supervisorial District to fill the vacancy to be left by Dianne Jacob’s retirement. The forum will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 5-7 p.m. at the Alpine library, 1752 Alpine Blvd., Alpine CA 91901.
 
All four candidates running have confirmed that they will attend. They are former State Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/rancher Brian Sesko.  

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CURVE REALIGNMENT ON HIGHWAY 94 IN DULZURA NEARS COMPLETION

East County News Service
 
February 15, 2020 (Dulzura) – “I am happy to report that work on the State Route 94 (SR-94) Curve Realignment Project in Dulzura is nearing completion and is expected to be finished by the end of March,” says Cathryne Bruce-Johnson, public information officer for Caltrans in San Diego County. 
 
Construction activities will typically continue Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will require reducing SR-94 to one lane as needed so that crews can safely work on the closed side of the road. Motorists may be delayed for short periods as they are directed through the single open lane one direction at a time. 

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FANITA RANCH GENERATES WORRIES ABOUT WILDFIRES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo: Theresa McCarthy, speaking against Fanita Ranch
 
February 15, 2020 (Santee) -- In a third public workshop Feb. 12 about Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project proposed in northwestern Santee, developer HomeFed Corp. presented an extensive fire prevention plan--including construction of a new fire station and three roadway extensions from the site to main city thoroughfares in case of an emergency evacuation.
 
While the plans looked nice to some, others remained skeptical that the addition of all those houses will make the city safer during a wildfire.
 

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FREAKY FRIDAY REVIEW - JUST ONE DAY

By Kathy Carpenter
 
February 15, 2020 (Spring Valley) -- Remember the saying be careful what you wish for? Freaky Friday is a possible result from the quote. Over-the-top-family-fun. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side.
 
In Freaky Friday a daughter wants just one day of peace—a hassle-free day from her mom. Her mom wants just one day together with her family under her expectations. When they argue over an hour glass, their lives are changed for a day. But not what they wished for. They are transformed into each other: the daughter now in the mom’s body, the mom is in the daughter's body. Since neither can live their lives looking like the other, they are forced to exchange places. The mom goes to school. The daughter takes on the day before the wedding preparations for a perfectionist mom planning her own wedding.

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CAMPO TRIBAL MEMBERS PLEAD FOR LEGAL HELP, ALLEGE RIGHTS VIOLATED IN WIND PROJECT APPROVAL: PETITION SEEKS REVOTE ON CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT

“Our reservation is in dire financial condition. We have really nothing to give our youth…All we have are false promises.” – Denis Largo, tribal elder who delivered a petition calling for a vote to overturn wind project approval

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Tribal elder Dennis Largo

February 14, 2020 (Campo)—Whistleblowers in the Campo band of Mission Indians claim that their tribal leadership pushed through approval of a massive wind project during an improperly noticed meeting. They have now collected enough signatures to overturn that approval with a revote.  But despite the Feb. 13th deadline to notify tribal members of a meeting to revote on the controversial project, several tribal members say they have not received any such notice.   

The proposed Campo Wind project would allow 60 turbines built by Terra-Gen on the reservation. Each would be 586 tall, the tallest wind turbines ever built on land, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group, which also opposes the project.


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PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED ON I-8 IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 14, 2020 (Alpine) –A 24-year-old man who had pulled over to adjust loose items in the bed of his pickup truck on I-8 west near West Willows Road in Alpine yesterday at 1:30 p.m. was fatally inured by another motorist.
 
A white Lincoln MKZ driven by a Lemon Grove man, 70, crossed over the white line separating the right lane from the shoulder. The Lincoln struck the pickup and the impact caused the pickup’s driver to be thrown forward, landing on the shoulder and sustaining major injuries.  

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MICROCHIP CLINIC FOR PETS: SUNDAY, MARCH 1 IN SANTEE

East County News Service
 
February 14, 2020 (Santee) -- The San Diego Humane Society will host a microchip clinic for pets on Sunday, March 1 in Santee from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for dogs, cats and bunnies.  The cost is $15, cash only.  (You must be signed up by 12:15 p.m.)
 
The event will take place at 8917 Carlton Hills Blvd. Santee (near the GTM Store/Mary’s Donuts), hosted by Andy Popka from State Farm.  Phone: 619-698-2333 

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BUDGET MONITORING SHOWS LA MESA ON STEADY FINANCIAL COURSE GOING INTO 2020; CITY COMMISSIONS REPORT ON STATUS OF THEIR WORK

By Kathleen Connell

February 13, 2020 (La Mesa)  On February 11th, La Mesa’s Mayor and City Council heard from Director of Finance Sarah Waller-Bullock (photo, left) on the state of the City’s finances and metrics versus the budget for the quarter ending December 31, 2019.  Ms. Waller-Bullock also provided information on state and regional financial data.  In general, with the exception of housing, La Mesa is “flat” without extreme fluctuations in income or expenditures in the period; most departments are “at or slightly below expectations.”


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EL CAJON POLICE SHOOT UNARMED MAN IN STOLEN VEHICLE WHO REPORTEDLY TOLD OFFICERS “KILL ME, PLEASE”

 

Update February 14, 2020:  ECPC has identified the suspect who was shot as Keith Crenshaw, 21, of Arizona. The name of the officer has sitll not been  released.

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspected car thief is hospitalized after being shot twice in the torso by an El Cajon Police officer this morning shortly before 9 a.m.  

According to Lt. Randy Soulard, an out-of-state law enforcement agency informed El Cajon Police Dept. that a stolen tan Kia Amanti sedan from their jurisdiction was in El Cajon.  The reported agency directed officers, who located the stolen vehicle parked in the 500 block of South Johnson.

The officers found a man asleep in the driver’s seat.  “As they planned their approach to arrest the suspect and prevent his escape, he woke up. The officers identified themselves as police officers and immediately began giving repeated commands for the suspect to show them his hands. The suspect refused to show his hands and repeatedly reached under his clothing and into his waistband,” says Lt. Soulard.

He reports that the suspect continued to ignore the officer’s commands and stated something similar to “Shoot me before I do it!” while reaching into his waistband.


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TODOS IGUALES (ALL EQUAL): LEMON GROVE RECALLS HISTORIC LATINX VICTORY-- FIRST U.S. COMMUNITY TO DESEGREGATE SCHOOLS

Treganza Heritage Park renaming also honors history of humanitarian Lemon Grove doctor
 
Photo: Roberto Alvarez at the far right in the third row
Courtesy: California State Library (1928)
 
By Kathleen Connell
 
February 10, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- A City Council discussion and unanimous resolution to rename City Center Park to Treganza Heritage Park opened an unexpected floodgate of memories about the diverse history of Lemon Grove, and a too-often-forgotten national Latinx farmworker landmark legal victory. 
 
Desegregation of US schools is usually attributed to the landmark 1954 legislation, Brown vs. The Board of Education.  In fact, the first successful desegregation challenge occurred at Lemon Grove in San Diego’s East County. Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, a legal challenge known as the Lemon Grove Incident, occurred in 1931, in the agricultural town of Lemon Grove.  Helen Ofield, past President of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, mentioned the historic win in passing to the City Council, in support of the park’s name change. 

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD

 
February 10, 2020 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr spotted this Northern Mockingbird on a thorny perch enjoying some warm sun on a chilly morning outside the Wieghorst Museum in El Cajon. A talented mimic, the Northern Mockingbird can imitate hundreds of songs from other birds. Mockingbirds have been known to imitate sounds of car alarms!

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HOULAHAN DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR SANTEE MAYOR

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee Councilman Stephen Houlahan wants a larger say in molding the city’s future and has declared his intention to run for mayor, opposing incumbent Mayor John Minto.

Houlahan says the main issue motivating him to throw his hat into the ring is the disturbing trend by a majority of his Council colleagues to consistently undermine Santee’s General Plan and approve higher density projects.


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CASA DE ORO ALLIANCE GROUP REVEALS SURVEY REPORT AT MEETING: MANY SUPPORT FORMING A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

By Jake Christie
 
February 8, 2020 (Casa de Oro)--During a January 16 meeting, the Casa de Oro Alliance revealed the results of its September 2019 community survey, which had 490 respondents from the regular populace of Casa de Oro and the business community, who were contacted through mailers, emails, the CdO website and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 
 
The subject of the survey was the business district on Campo Road between Kenwood Drive and Sweetwater Springs Boulevard; the average age of the respondents was 49 and they had lived in Casa de Oro 25 years.

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RAIN BARREL DISTRIBUTION FEB. 22 IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
February 8, 2020 (Spring Valley) – If you would like to capture rainwater to use in your garden, a rain barrel distribution event will be held Feb. 22 at Mt.Miguel High School In Spring Valley. Rebates are available and  pre-orders should be made by Feb. 16.  See details below. 
 
Event Name: Rain Barrel Distribution Event - Spring Valley
 
When: Saturday, February 22, 9 am - 1 pm
 
Where: Mt. Miguel High School, 8585 Blossom Ln, Spring Valley, CA 91977
 
Contact: (760)436-7986 x700 or compost@solanacenter.org
 
 
Event Description: 

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WYNONNA AND THE BIG NOISE LIVE AT THE MAGNOLIA FEB. 8

East County News Service
 
Photo source: Magnolia Center
 
February 6, 2020 (El Cajon)—Wynonna Judd and her band, The Big Noise, will be live in concert at the Magnolia in downtown El Cajon on February 8th.
 
Judd has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. As half of the mother daughter duo “The Judds”, she was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline." This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”

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HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND HEALTH AMONG HOT TOPICS AT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES' FORUM

View video of full debate here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daR2Gmad0g4





By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Candidates Joel Anderson, Brian Sesko, Kenya Taylor, and Steve Vaus

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) – Four candidates running to represent East County in the San Diego County Supervisors 2nd district seat participated in a lively forum on Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary, hosted by the Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association and sponsored by East County Magazine.

Candidates fielded a broad range of in-depth questions provided by the public during the forum moderated by the League of Women Voters before a capacity crowd. 

The four candidates are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, former State Senator Joel Anderson, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/cattle rancher  Brian Sesko.  They are running to fill the vacancy soon to be left when long-serving Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves office next January due to term limits.


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