COVID-19

DOMESTIC ABUSE ADVOCATES SEE RISE IN FIRST-TIME VICTIMS

By Kendra Sitton

 

“The quarantine has created a lot of problems…A safety plan is no longer available [for some victims].” – Dilkhwaz Ahmed, License to Freedom

 

May 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) — After weeks of stay-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, two local organizations supporting victims of domestic abuse are seeing a sharp rise in people seeking services for the first time. 


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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UNEMPLOYMENT HITS 30.1% COUNTYWIDE; HIGH RATES IN SEVERAL EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

Nationwide, unemployment rate is 14.7% -- worse than during  the Great Depression -- and San Diego has double the national rate.

By Miriam Raftery

May 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – An Employment Analysis by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) shows unemployment countywide is at 30.1%, an all-time high.  Of the more than half million (510,000) unemployed residents, nearly 460,000 lost their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic began March 7.

That’s far higher than the national average of 14.7% -- and with 39 million Americans out of work as of last week according to the Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate is now the highest it’s ever been, even worse than during the Great Depression.

 


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RADY SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AT UC SAN DIEGO LAUNCHES COVID-19 BUSINESS RECOVERY COALITION

Source:  UCSD

Photo:  The Rady School of Management, photo by Erik Jepsen

May 23, 2020 (San Diego) - The Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego has launched the Rady School Business Recovery Coalition to help businesses in the San Diego region navigate the unprecedented challenges faced by COVID-19. This new initiative draws on expertise from the UC San Diego community to provide immediate pro bono assistance and guidance to San Diego businesses during these extraordinary times. 


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FLAGS FLY AT HALF-STAFF THROUGH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TO HONOR CORONAVIRUS VICTIMS AND MILITARY KILLED SERVING U.S.

By Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2020 (San Diego) – This Memorial Day weekend, the number of Americans killed by COVID-19 is expected to top 100,000--more than the total of lives lost in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.  President Donald Trump has ordered flags flown at half staff from Friday through Sunday at all federal buildings and national monuments “in memory of the Americans we have lost to the coronavirus,” he announced on Twitter. Then on Monday, flags will again be lowered to half-staff to honor military members killed in service to the U.S.


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PANDEMIC STEALS MOST FROM IMMIGRANT WORKING WOMEN

By Jackie Botts | CALmatters

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

Photo:  Nearly one in three non-citizen working women in California have lost their jobs during the pandemic, according to the study by UC Merced researchers. Photo via iStock.

May 23, 2020 (San Diego) - Early estimates indicate that the coronavirus pandemic has stolen jobs from non-citizen workers — including immigrants who have green cards, work visas or are undocumented — in California at higher rates than citizens. And women have suffered greater job loss than men. 


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EL CAJON APPROVES RENT AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE: FUNDS LIMITED TO FIRST 150 APPLICANTS STARTING MAY 26

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

May 22, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Council has approved allocating over $800,000 of its Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus funds for several COVID response programs.  These funds were granted to the City as part of the federal CARES Act.

Per City Council direction, a large portion of the funds will be used for rental and utility assistance to help those most vulnerable to loss of employment.

Due to limited funding, there is a limit to the first 150 eligible applicants. Online and over the phone applications will be accepted through the following service providers beginning Tuesday,May 26, 2020:


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COUNTY TO OFFER COVID-19 TESTING IN RURAL COMMUNITIES, OTHER AREAS

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

Photo:  a nurse administers a COVID-19 test at a drive-up test site.

May 22, 2020 (San Diego) - As part of efforts to expand COVID-19 testing, the County will be opening sites in rural communities and other areas of the region. New locations, starting Tuesday, will be staffed with first responders from CAL FIRE and the San Diego County Fire Authority.


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CASINO PAUMA TO REMAIN TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR SAFETY OF ITS GUESTS, COMMUNITY AND EMPLOYEES

East County News Service

May 22, 2020 (Pauma Valley) – Bucking the trend of several local casinos that reopened this week or have announced upcoming reopening dates, Casino Pauma on Wednesday announced that it will remain closed indefinitely, choosing to following the advice of Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.


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OUR GUIDE TO LOCAL FARMS AND FARM-FRESH PRODUCTS SOLD DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS

Find farm-fresh meats, eggs, fruits and veggies, flowers, honey, nuts, soaps, wool and fiber goods, pumpkin patches,  nursery plants, trees, wineries and more
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos by Miriam Raftery and creative commons images via Bing
 
May 21, 2020 (San Diego) – East County Magazine has compiled our region’s most comprehensive guide to local farms, ranches, nurseries and wineries offering direct-to-consumer sales through farm visits, u-pick orchards, curbside pickup, deliveries to neighborhood pickup points through community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, shipping directly to homes, sales at farm stands, or at farmer’s markets.  
 
San Diego County is home to more family farms (10 acres or less) than any other county in America—giving consumers here a delicious field of choices. Farm-fresh foods are nutritious and delicious. Many are organic. Plus you can avoid grocery store lines and get specialty items not available in stores. 
 
Our guide includes sources to buy these locally grown products:
 
  • Christmas trees
  • Ciders and apples
  • Eggs
  • Emu products
  • Farmer’s markets 
  • Fiber and wool products
  • Flowers, herbs and herbal products
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Hemp
  • Honey
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Nuts
  • Plants and trees
  • Pumpkin patches
  • Seeds
  • Soaps
  • Wineries and vineyards

 

Scroll down to view our full directory for each of these local farm product categories.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: AIR FORCE SALUTES HEALTHCARE HEROES WITH SPECTACULAR FLY-BY

The view from east county

By Robert Gehr

Photo: Six F-16C/D Falcons

May 20, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The well known U.S. Air force Thunderbirds made a brief, yet impressive flyover in El Cajon on Friday, May 15th just after high noon.

Hearing the powerful jet engines off in the distance signaled their pending arrival, especially when the pilots lit the afterburners as they throttled up more power. Seconds later they were barely within sight, arriving from the East, flying in tight formation as they skimmed the blue sky above. A moment later they were gone, leaving just a fading echo of sound, and perhaps a thought of awe.

I was fortunate to capture this single, fleeting image of these six, F-16C/D Falcons when they made their appearance over the east county of San Diego as they honored first responders, health care workers, military members, law enforcement, and so many other essential service personnel.

I add my gratitude as well. Thank you everyone!


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SANTEE COUNCIL RESPONDS TO RACIST MASK INCIDENTS, SIGNALS CHALLENGE TO TERM LIMIT MEASURE

 

By Mike Allen

Video by Ana Nita: discussion on racial incidents

May 16, 2020 (Santee) -- In the wake of two nationally-publicized racial incidents inside local grocery stores earlier this month, the Santee City Council voted on May 13 to confront the issue by expanding a community police board that will develop strategies for addressing intolerance. The incidents involved shoppers who wore masks with hate symbols during a county health order mandating masks in stores to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Mayor John Minto, who publicly denounced the incidents soon after they occurred, said he spent many hours talking with residents about what happened, and is convinced the city cannot ignore or simply shrug it off.

“We have to understand why and where it’s happening,” Minto said. “We’re going to triage it, find out where most of the worst symptoms are, and bring people together.”


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SUPERVISORS TO VOTE ON ACCELERATED REOPENING PLAN AFTER GOV. NEWSOM ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDELINES

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Today, San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a plan to allow reopening of the local economy at an accelerated pace in conformance with new state rules, the county has announced. The action follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement yesterday of new state guidelines that will allow the vast majority of California counties to move quickly through phase two.

You can watch the meeting online or join via phone to view the discussion on reopening, which is item 5 on the agenda.

If the state approves San Diego’s plans, among the first businesses to benefit could be retailers allowed to have customers inside stores. Dining in at restaurants could also resume in the near future. Both would require social distancing, masks, health and sanitation plans submitted by each business. In addition, Governor Newsom has indicated that hair salons, church gatherings and professional sports without spectators could start up again as early as June.

The Governor estimates that 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria, aimed at allowing those areas with lower levels of COVID-19 and that meet certain requirements to reopen sooner than those with high levels.  Requirements include:


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COUNTY AND STATE ADD MORE COVID-19 TESTING SITES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

May 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The region’s COVID-19 testing is expanding this week.  Starting Tuesday, May 19th, the public can get free testing at walk-up sites run by the state at two locations:  The County Assessor’s former office at 200 S. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon and at the Tubman-Chavez Center, 415 Euclid Ave. in southeast San Diego.


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LA MESA APPROVES REOPENING SOME PARKS, WAIVING BUSINESS LICENSE FEES, AND RELIEF WITH CARES ACT FUNDS

By Jake Zawlacki

May 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- On May 12th, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved three considerations brought to the Council to aid businesses impacted by COVID-19, reopen some parks, and allocate federal CARES Act funds to help the homeless and others.


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COMMISSIONER LARA EXTENDS ORDER FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PARTIALLY REFUND PREMIUMS

East County News Service
Photo: creative commons via Bing
 
May 16, 2020 (Sacramento) – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a Bulletin extending his previous order requiring insurance companies to return partial insurance premiums to consumers and businesses and provide financial relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
The Bulletin now includes the month of May, having already included the months of March and April, covering at least six different insurance lines: private passenger automobile, commercial automobile, workers’ compensation, commercial multi-peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice, and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND REOPENS FOR RVS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Lake Jennings, courtesy of Helix Water District

 

May 16, 2020 (Lakeside) – The Lake Jennings campground will reopen Monday, May 18 – but only for recreational vehicles (RVs).  No tent camping will be allowed yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recreational side of the lake will remain closed.


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JAMUL CASINO TO BEGIN PHASED RE-OPENING ON MAY 18, 2020

Opening with enhanced cleaning protocols and technology after COVID-19 closure, casino also offers take-out dinners with phase-in of restaurants planned

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 15, 2020 (Jamul) -- After a two-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamul Casino today announced a phased-in reopening.  On May 18, a soft reopening at 10 a.m. is planned for its Sweetwater Rewards Club VIP guests (amber level and above), followed by a public reopening on May 20. Hours will be limited from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. until May 21, when 24-hour gaming operations are slated to resume.


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REAL ESTATE REALITY: THE NEW NORM: VIRTUAL HOME SALES

By Maryanne Jackson

Photo via Maryanne Jackson

May 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -

Dear Maryanne,

I was wondering what the status is with home sales now.

Are Realtors still listing properties and conducting business as usual?

--Mureen S., Casa De Oro, Spring Valley


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SHOPPING MALLS CAN REOPEN FOR PICKUPS: OTHER BUSINESSES TO REOPEN INCLUDE CAR WASHES, PET GROOMERS, GARDENERS AND OFFICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine is among the local malls eligible to reopen for curbside pickups.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County officials yesterday announced several more types of businesses that can reopen, with modifications, ranging from shopping centers to landscapers. All must prepare and post a safe reopening plan to protect employees and customers.

Shopping malls, including outlet malls and strip malls, can offer pickup service with clearly marked curbside outdoor pickup locations, but customers are not allowed inside stores.  In East County, malls eligible to begin offering curbside sales include Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, and the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine as well as smaller retail centers.

Other businesses allowed to reopen are car washes, pet grooming services, landscaping and gardening businesses, outdoor museums and offices, though telework is still strongly encouraged.


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EAST COUNTY RALLIES TO HELP THE NEEDY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By Emmet Pierce

May 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- While East County residents anxiously wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, community groups and concerned citizens are rallying to help those in need.


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

May 12, 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.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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NATIONAL COMEDY THEATRE RELEASES CAST VIDEO "ALL TOGETHER NOW"

Source:  NCT

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) - The National Comedy Theatre, San Diego’s professional improv comedy club and longest running show, has just released a cast video with a positive message.


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CHURCHES, GUN SHOPS AND IRATE BRIDES; ALL THE SHUTDOWN LAWSUITS AGAINST NEWSOM, EXPLAINED

By Ben Christopher | CALmatters 

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

Photo:  CalMatters is tracking lawsuits against California's shelter-in-place order and other pandemic responses. Photography by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters; elements via iStockkkkkkk

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) - Alongside the beach-goers denied, the indignant gun shop owners and the house-bound pastors, Gov. Gavin Newsom now has yet another ticked off challenger to face in court: an extremely disappointed bride-to-be.


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PANDEMIC FOOD BENEFITS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via SA-Bing

May 10, 2020 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has provided the following information on new food benefits approved by Congress and the state of California to assist recipients of EBT, WIC and CalFresh programs during the pandemic. She also provides details on a new state program to enable restaurants to deliver meals to seniors, aid to food banks and more, with links to helpful resources.

Below is the information provided by her office:

As COVID-19 began to disrupt life in America, Congress moved swiftly and passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help families impacted by the pandemic.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: LIVES LOST AMID PANDEMIC AREN’T ALL DUE TO COVID-19: SUICIDES RISE DURING QUARANTINE

By Bettie Wells 
 
Photo: Creative Commons by S.A. via Bing
 
May 10, 2020 (El Cajon) -- I am a mental health care professional. I have worked in the field in many arenas for 25 years. I have worked mainly in trauma-not something I picked for myself, it just worked out that way. I thought I had seen it all in my career until about three weeks ago...Suicide. 
 
As a therapist, I hear about suicide fairly often. It's an important question in a psycho-social interview. I have helped countless people work through their suicidal ideation. It's safe to say that I am not flustered by my clients needing to work though such a dark time in their lives. This last three weeks though, I have been hearing about someone suiciding on average about three times a day now. 
 
Think about that--on average three times a day, I hear about someone killing themselves. In my 25 years working in this field, I have never once experienced this much suicide happening all at once.

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COUNTY ALLOWS CAMPING AND SOME SPORTS GEAR RENTALS, CLARIFIES NEW RULES FOR BUSINESSES AND CHILDCARE FACILITIES

Toasty Campfire by Jack RiordanBusinesses must take temperatures, check for symptoms

Photo: Toasty Campfire by Jack Riordan

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2020 (San Diego) – Yesterday the county announced easing of more restrictions.  Effective today, campgrounds can reopen at 50 percent capacity, though campsites can be rented only to members of the same household and play equipment must stay closed.

Companies that rent recreational equipment such as bicycles, surfboards, boats, kayaks and other watercraft can also reopen after submitting a Safe Reopening Plan that includes sanitization with a disinfectant effective against COVID-19. Equipment for use by multiple people can only be rented to people in the same household.


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A WINNING BET? VIEJAS CASINO PREPARES TO REOPEN WITH CHANGES TO PROTECT GUESTS

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With casinos, hotels and other tribal enterprises shut down since March due to COVID-19 as stay-home orders remain in effect statweide, San Diego’s Native American tribes have been hard-hit economically. In addition to losing gaming revenues, many tribal members also lost their jobs. For non-gaming tribes that depend largely on shared revenues from tribes with casinos, some tribal members still live below the poverty level, so the consequences of the shut-down have been severe.


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EL CAJON AND SANTEE MAYORS DISCUSSES LONG TERM SOCIAL COSTS AND IMPACTS OF COVID-19 IN GOP ONLINE TOWN HALL

Pandemic’s impacts on Live Nation, operator of The Magnolia performing arts center, also discussed

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells Video

 

Santee Mayor John Minto Video

 

May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- “When people are bored and feel trapped, they often resort to using drugs and alcohol. We’re going to see a huge increase in drug and alcohol abuse that’s going to have a corresponding effect on domestic violence and other problems like that,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells (R) as a part of an hour-long question and answer webcast presented and moderated by San Diego County Republican Central Committee Chairman Tony Krvaric last Tuesday. 


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