LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORT CONTINUING TO ACCEPT REFUGEES AND FEDERAL FUNDING

FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA’S NEW GIG WORKER LAW IS DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THREATENING ALL PERFORMING ARTS

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ONE-YEAR BAN ON SALES OF VAPING PRODUCTS, ALSO TARGET SMOKELESS TOBACCO

ACTOR ERIK ESTRADA, LOCAL HEROES AMONG HONORED GUESTS AT CHP COMMAND CENTER OPEN HOUSE

WATCH FOR WINDY WEATHER

LAWSUITS MOUNT AGAINST NEW CALIFORNIA LABOR LAW, AB 5

Judge issues injunction on behalf of independent truckers; freelance journalists and other gig worker groups also file legal challenges
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 6, 2020 (San Diego) – A new law making it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees took effect January 1st. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, the bill’s author, aims to provide more workers with benefits such as healthcare, unemployment insurance and the option to unionize. But a flurry of lawsuits are challenging the measure as unfair and constitutional.  

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 7, 2019 (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.

SDG&E BEGINS UNDERGROUNDING POWER LINES IN JULIAN, PROJECT WILL ALLOW CRITICAL FACILITIES TO REMAIN POWERED DURING SHUTOFFS

East County News Service

January 7, 2020 (Julian) – SDG&E has begun construction to place powerlines underground east of downtown Julian along Banner Road (State Route 78) and Cape Horn Avenue).

The project aims to reduce wildfire risk and allow key facilities to remain open during safety power shutoffs, according to a press release issued by SDG&E.

“Unlike overhead power lines, underground lines do not present a fire risk during high winds and elevated fire danger conditions. Facilities that will benefit from the undergrounding work include: the post office, county branch library, Julian Union High School, Julian Charter School, Julian Elementary School and the CAL FIRE Station, as well as a county public works maintenance yard and a school bus yard,” the utility states. Existing overhead power lines in the area will remain, as they are needed to continue serving some customers.

REP. HUNTER TO RESIGN JANUARY 13: OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN TO HANDLE CONSTITUENT SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery:  Duncan D. Hunter in 2014 debate

Update: There will be no special election due to the timing of Hunter's resignation and the high cost of a special election, given that this race is already on the March primary ballot and November general election.  Federal law requires both primary and run-off elections to fill a Congressional vacancy.

January 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today announced he will resign effective close of business on January 13th.  Hunter made the announcement in letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Hunter’s District Chief of Staff Michael Harrison informed ECM that services for constituents will not be interrupted.  ““The office will remain open throughout a vacancy, no matter how long it may take.  Constituents can continue contacting the office with any of their needs, they also have Senators Feinstein and Harris as resources as well,” he stated in an e-mail today. 

Ten candidates have filed to run for Hunter’s seat in the March primary election. The top two will advance to a run-off election in November, so the seat will be vacant until a new representative is sworn in, in January 2021.

The Republican Congressman’s resignation letters cite his service first as a Marine combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan and later, in Congress, where he was elected in 2008 to fill the seat formerly held by his father. He praised his father, Duncan Hunter, and growing up I East County for instilling values of “liberty, the value of patriotism, and what a strong and secure border can bring to a community.”

TEN CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR MARCH BALLOT IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER

 

Update:  Minutes after publication of this article, Hunter announced plans to resign January 13.

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (San Diego) – Rep. Duncan Hunter has not yet resigned, despite saying he would do so after the holiday following his guilty plea to conspiracy to spend campaign funds for personal use.  But he didn’t file to run for reelection. Instead, voters will have 10 candidates to choose from.

The contenders include two Democrats, four Republicans, three no-party-preference candidates, and a Peace and Freedom party member. They’re vying to finish in the top two spots in the March primary in order to advance to a November run-off election.

Here’s a look at how some of the major candidates’ campaigns are taking shape:

CVUSD FILES COUNTERSUIT AGAINST TRUSTEE JILL BARTO

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

January 3, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has filed a countersuit against Trustee Jill Barto. The suit was filed in response to Barto’s federal lawsuit alleging violations of her civil rights and First Amendment rights. Barto filed her complaint in late November against the District, the other four trustees and Superintendent David Miyashiro, as ECM reported.

Barto’s suit accused the district, Superintendent and trustees of retaliating against her after she pursued an outspoken agenda of questioning questioning fellow board members and the Superintendent over hefty expenditures, including global travel by the Superintendent and promotional videos.  In her campaign materials she said, “My belief is that a school board should be answerable to taxpayers. The board should not simply be a rubber stamp committee, which it often times is.”

The district’s countersuit alleges that in 2019, the District received a complaint from an employee alleging that Barto was harassing her and “created a hostile work environment.” It also states that the Board of Trustees formed an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the employee’s complaint. The countersuit does not directly identify any district employees by name and does not directly the names of the ad hoc committee.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION AND INDIGENOUS REGENERATION ON EFFORTS TO OPEN THE OUTDOORS TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS OUR REGION

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2019 (San Diego)-- San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors recently presented over $450,000 in grants for 13 programs that increase access to the outdoors for thousands of young people and local residents, also improving 17,000 acres of natural land and four miles of trails in San Diego County.

Recently, we interviewed Lydia Van Note, director of environmental initiatives for San Diego Foundation and Lacey Cannon, executive director of indigenous regeneration, a grant recipient working on tribal projects ranging from eco-building to creation of a food foraging forest. The tribe is also embarking on an ambitious project to plant a trillion trees using drones, helping to combat climate change.

The interview originally aired in October on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ, 89.1 FM. Listen to the full interview by clicking this audio link, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

100 MPH CHASE ENDS IN CRASH, ARREST IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
January 6, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A driver pulled over for an equipment violation in Chula Vista at 3:45 a.m. fled from officers, resulting in a pursuit at speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour on State Route 125 
 
The drive exited at Jamacha Road in Spring Valley, where he lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over and struck a power pole, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
 
The driver, 42, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.  He was arrested for felony evasion and for two outstanding felony warrants.

BALLOT MEASURE PROPOSES MANDATORY TREATMENT AND HELP FOR HOMELESS WHO COMMIT CERTAIN CRIMES

neighbor without a homeBy Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Dave Myers: A homeless person sleeping outside City Hall in La Mesa.
 
January 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- A proposed ballot measure titled California’s Compassionate Intervention aims to strike a balance between criminalizing homelessness, deemed by many including some courts, as too harsh, and ignoring the impacts of crimes committed by homeless people on communities – an approach the author sees as too lenient. 
 
Mike Gatto, a Los Angeles attorney and former Democratic Assemblyman, believes his initiative “radically changes the state’s approach to homelessness.”

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

January 6, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE AND TECH

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

LAWSUITS NAME DECEASED EAST COUNTY PRIESTS AS ALLEGED CHILD ABUSERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Multiple lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of San Diego and many local parishes allege past childhood sexual abuse by several local priests, including at least three who served in East County.
 
The litigation was filed on behalf of alleged victims previously unable to sue due to the statue of limitations, but a new law, AB 218, allows victims of child sexual abuse to file a suit up to age 40; the previous limit was age 26. Victims have three years from January 1st of this year to take legal action.
 
The alleged abuse occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.  All of the accused priests have since died.  According to Irwin Zalkin, attorney for the plaintiffs, the diocese routinely moved priests accused of abuse, often to desert communities where “they thought that the people there – mostly Hispanic – would not speak up.”  

READER’S EDITORIAL: TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS, CALIFORNIANS MUST TREAT CERTAIN CRIMES AS CRIES FOR HELP

By Mike Gatto, Special to CalMatters 

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

January 6, 2020 (Los Angeles) -- Those of us who have watched a friend or family member wrestle with addiction or cope with mental illness recognize that certain acts are a cry for help. 

For one of my friends, it was getting into a car accident while under the influence, with her young children inside.

TWO FLU DEATHS AND NEARLY 1,400 LOCAL CASES REPORTED IN PAST WEEK

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Influenza cases reported last week in San Diego County rose to a season high of 1,390 cases, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced on January 2nd.

Two additional flu deaths were identified in the region, bringing this season’s total to 10.  A 77-year-old man died Dec. 24, and a 75-year-old man died Dec. 21. Both died from influenza A, and both had underlying medical conditions.

HEARING FEB. 3 ON PROPOSAL TO RELEASE YET ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS; COMMENTS DEADLINE IS JAN. 17

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Despite recent protests over the highly disproportionate percentage of sexually violent predators placed in rural East County, the Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place yet another in Jacumba Hot Springs.  A hearing will be held Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court (1100 Union St., Dept. 2202) to determine whether Michael Poulsom should be placed at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, a community of just 561 residents, according to the 2010 Census.

Poulsom is diagnosed with Pedophilia Disorder. In 1985, he was convicted in Georgia of child molestation with two victims. In 1989, he was convicted in San Diego County of a lewd act on a child under 14. In 1995, he was convicted again locally for a lewd act with a fourth victim, also under 14 and served 15 years in prison. Prior to his release, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office filed a petition to have Poulsom civilly committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator . He was committed, underwent treatment and petitioned for conditional release, which was opposed by the San Diego D.A. and the hospital. A year later he filed for release into the conditional release program for sex offenders, which the Dept. of State Hospitals supported over the objections of D.A. Summer Stephan.

The public may submit comments between Jan. 3 and Jan. 17 to be considered by the court. You can email comments to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org, or call (858)495-3619. Comments may also be mailed tol the SVP Release/Safe Task Force at 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 02123.  Comments will also be accepted at the hearing.

CHIEF’S CORNER: GAS LEAKS IN THE HOME

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

January 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Got Gas?  As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. Additionally firefighters respond to more reports of gas inside a structure call. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.

If you smell gas in your home or your carbon monoxide detector goes off, immediately evacuate the house and call 911.

BEST OF EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 4-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery,
 
January 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features live music at San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa, a full moon walk in Anza-Borrego, and concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon. 
 
Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including the silent movie Passion of Joan of Arc in Borrego, Open Farm Weekend at Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, trivia nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, tapas and a flamenco show at Spacebar Café in La Mesa, and a Lamplighter’s Theater production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play, The Hollow.
 
So click Read More for all of these events and many more!

LEMON GROVE’S “HISTORY ALIVE” GOES TO SPAIN

By Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Historical Society

January 3, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Jesus Benayas, president, The House of Spain (Balboa Park), is back by popular demand on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, with the riveting story of Spain's crucial involvement in the American Revolution--and our long association with the nation that has decisively influenced the culture of California, the Southwestern U. S., and the Western Hemisphere. This will be "History Alive" at its most essential.

The free, popular lecture series from the Lemon Grove Historical Society serves lifelong learning, is suitable for ages 18 and over, and never fails to delight our wide-ranging audience. Our new president, Roberta Bulling, will update you on our exciting, free upcoming events calendar.

CHP SEEKS IDENTITY OF WOMAN HIT AND KILLED ON HIGHWAY 94 IN JAMUL

Update: The victim has been identified as Tiffany Rose King, 22, of San Diego.

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2020 (Jamul) – A woman who has not been identified was hit and killed last night at 9:30 p.m. while attempting to cross State Route 94 at the intersection of Peaceful Valley Ranch Road in Jamul, just north of the casino driveway.  She was struck by a Chevrolet Astro van driven by a 67-year-old man.

The driver of the Chevrolet remained on scene until California Highway Patrol Officers arrived,” says Officer Travis Garrow.  “Once the identity of the deceased is learned, her identity will only be released through the Medical Examiner once the family notification has been made. 

CORONER: JAIL INMATE KILLED SELF BY CHOKING ON SOCK

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2020 (San Diego) – Don Ralph, 52, was found unresponsive on October 26 by deputies doing a security check at the San Diego Central Jail. Deputies found a sock lodged in his throat, removed it and performed first aid until relieved by paramedics, but despite lifesaving efforts, Ralph was declared dead a half hour later at 4:05 a.m.

Ralph shared a cell with another inmate, however the Sheriff’s department concluded there was no preliminary evidence of foul play.

Now the Medical Examiner has concluded that the cause of death was asphyxia due to occlusion of Ralph’s air way with the sock, and determined that the manner of death was suicide.

NEW PRESIDENT OF LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY BRINGS AN OUTSTANDING SKILL SET

By Helen Ofield, Newsletter Editor and Historian, Lemon Grove Historical Society 

Jan. 2, 2020 (Lemon Grove) --The Lemon Grove Historical Society takes pleasure in announcing the election of its new president, Roberta Bulling, whose wide-ranging interests and professional skills bode well for the growth of Lemon Grove's leading cultural institution. Mrs. Bulling will hold office through May 31, 2020 when elections of new board members will be held.

Roberta Ford Bulling was born in Pasadena and grew up in Arcadia, California, where seeing the Rose Parade in person was an annual New Year’s day event for her family. Her parents instilled a love of music and reading in all four of their children.

'AN EXPLICIT ACT OF WAR': U.S. KILLS SENIOR IRANIAN MILITARY OFFICIAL QASEM SOLEIMANI IN BAGHDAD DRONE STRIKE

 

"It's like Iran killing the head of the CIA or the Mossad on foreign soil."

Major General Qasem Soleimani, pictured here on April 11, 2016, was reportedly killed Friday in Iraq.

Major General Qasem Soleimani, pictured here on April 11, 2016, was reportedly killed Friday in Iraq. (Photo: Khamenei.ir/cc)

This is a developing story... check back for updates...

by Eoin Higgins,

January 2, 2019 (Baghdad) -- A drone strike believed to be from the U.S. military at or near the Baghdad airport reportedly killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani, an act that observers warned could mark a significant step toward a hot war in the region.

SUPREME COURT LETS STAND RULING THAT ALLOWS HOMELESS TO SLEEP IN PARKS AND ON SIDEWALKS IF THERE IS NO LOCAL SHELTER SPACE

By Miriam Raftery

January 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) –The U.S. Supreme Court declined last month to hear an appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit U.S. District Court of Appeals, which held that cities and counties cannot arrest homeless people for sleeping in outdoor public spaces if a jurisdiction has failed to provide space in shelters.

San Diego County and dozens of other local governments had joined together to argue that the case should be overturned, arguing that the decision limits cities’ abilities to maintain public health and safety. In San Diego, a 2017 hepatitis-A outbreak was tied to homelessness.

But the 9th circuit held that a city ordinance banning camping in public places by the homeless “violates the 8th Amendment insofar as it imposes criminal sanctions against homeless individuals for sleeping outdoors on public property, when no alternative is available to them.”

San Diego had more than 8,100 people homeless countywide as of a January 1, 2019 count, but 27,850 people used homeless services countywide last year, Voice of San Diego reports. California, which has one of the best year-round climates, is home to around half of the nation’s homeless population.

BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LEMON GROVE AFTER STAND-OFF

East County News Service
 
December 31, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Deputies responding to a call reporting a burglary in progress in the 1600 block of Colfax Drive in Lemon Grove shortly before 9 a.m. arrived and saw a man run into the house. Deputies established a perimeter around the home, with help from the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter. 

LESSONS FROM PUERTO RICO TO CALIFORNIA: OFF-GRID LIVING OPTIONS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 Dec. 31, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Emergency energy and electrical storage expert Eric Lobdell with Humless, a Utah-based company that provides universal energy management, has worked in disaster areas affected by wildfires and hurricanes, where he has helped some residents go off-grid. 

 

In the past couple of years, Lobdell has worked in the U.S. including territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, setting up systems to provide power. Humless recently landed a contract for installations to take communities 100% off-grid in Oregon, including 600 homes over a span of three years.

 

"After Hurricane Maria, I was part of a team that donated and installed off-grid systems in Puerto Rico," said Lobdell in a phone interview. “Our systems were able to provide lights and refrigeration to two different communities, both heavily affected by the hurricane. Being able to provide electricity for these communities reminded me of the reason I work so hard at what I do. I love being able to provide essential energy and storage systems to families, communities, and regions where grid power is not available or stable."

TYPE O BLOOD DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED

December 31, 2019 (San Diego) – The San Diego Blood Bank has put out an urgent plea for both Type O positive and O negative blood donors due to a shortage.

"Coming out of the holiday season, we typically see a decrease in donations of all types at this time due to schools being out of session for the holidays and seasonal illnesses like the flu," said David Wellis, the San Diego Blood Bank's CEO.  "The need for type O blood has hit a critically low level and we need the community to help us keep a safe supply for local hospital patients."

Type O positive, the most common blood type, is often needed for hospital patients. Type O negative, the universal donor blood type, can be given to any patient and is often used in emergency rooms when there is no time to test a patient’s blood type. 

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS WILL HAVE BROAD IMPACTS

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2019 (Sacramento) – New state laws taking effect in 2020 will have far-reaching impacts.  Among those likely to be affected are business owners, employees, independent contractors, people without health insurance, Medicaid patients, renters, landlords, homebuyers, gun owners and buyers, prisons, inmates, ex-felons, immigrants, students, school districts, charter schools, loan applicants, immigrants,  disabled people, residents impacted by power outages, veterans, doctors, parents seeking vaccine exemptions, consumers concerned about privacy of data, food handlers, police, crime victims, drone operators, people victimized by fake sex videos or images, smokers, hunters, beauty product makers, circuses, politicians, and voters. 

Here’s our rundown on the most important laws you should know about:

MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: A MAGICAL PLACE

By Jake Zawlacki

December 30, 2019 (Santee) -- As we are all in the thick of holiday magic, I‘d like to write about the most magical place in East County: The Santee Swap Meet. I’ve been swap-meeting since my youth, and I’ve never spent a dull morning walking the wide aisles of other people’s junk. For the uninitiated, the Santee Swap Meet is located on the same premises as the Santee Drive In. Cost of entry for buyers is $2 and the cost for a space to sell is $28 on Saturday and $35 on Sunday. 

The Swap Meet is a relic of a forgotten era. Sure, there’s still Spring Valley and Kobey’s going strong, but most sellers there are vendors importing crap from China or India or Mexico and selling it for profit. It’s a full-time job. The Santee Swap Meet is not that place.

It’s the only time in East County I heard a gunshot, but wasn’t worried. Somebody was just testing it out. It’s the only public place where I’ve seen Nazi regalia for sale without hearing a single protest. And it’s the only place I’ve ever seen ancient Chinese erotic paraphernalia made of jade and serpentine. It’s an unusual kind of place.

PASSAGES: LOCAL LEADERS LOST IN 2019

By Miriam Raftery 
December 29, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) –  These local leaders who passed on in 2019 left their indelible marks on our communities, gone but never forgotten.
 
GEORGE BAILEY  -- Shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday, former La Mesa Mayor and San Diego County Supervisor died at his home on March 11th of congestive heart failure.  He served on the San Diego Association of Regional Governments (SANDAG), chaired the California Councils of Government and was director of the National Association of Regional Councils.. The George Bailey Detention Center was named in his honor, due to his support for winning voter approval to fund  construction.  He was also instrumental in preserving the cross atop Mt. Helix and improving traffic in our region. He is remembered as a leader who left behind an indelible stamp on East County and the San Diego region, drawing respect from colleagues on both sides of the political aisle. 
 
JIM BELL -- Jim Bell, ecological designer and internationally recognized expert on sustainable development who twice ran for mayor of San Diego, was a graduate of El Capitan High School in Lakeside. His vision was vast:  to transform the San Diego/Tijuana Regional economy” from one that relied almost entirely on imported water and energy into an economy that would be prosperous and 100% renewable--energy, water and food self-sufficient--creating a model for others to emulate around the world. He died at age 77 of complications from a stroke. 
 

PASSAGES: FRANK READ, 108, EARLY LA MESA PHARMACIST

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 26, 2019 (La Mesa) – Frank Read, former owner of Read Pharmacy and pharmacist at Grossmont Hospital, passed away today at his home in La Mesa’s Windsor Hill neighborhood.  He was 108—older than the city of La Mesa.  Back in 2012, when the city celebrated its centennial, Read provided an exclusive interview to East County Magazine, reflecting back on his carefree childhood days of riding a bike to the bay, swimming at local watering holes and watching helium dirigibles. He shared many memories of early La Mesa, also recalling hardships in World War I, Prohibition and the Great Depression as well as his pharmacy career and travels later in life.

 

Below is our original article, reprinted in full:

ROLLOVER CRASH ON SNOWY HIGHWAY IN RANCHITA KILLS WOMAN; DRIVER FACES CHARGES

East County News Service

Update: The victim has been identified as Alberta Fernandez De Zuniga, 61, of Borrego Springs.

December 26, 2019 (Ranchita) – A 61-year-old woman riding in the backseat of a 2019 Toyota Camry died this morning when the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled over, landing on its roof. The crash occurred around 6:50 a.m. on San Filipe Road (S2) south of Montezuma Valley Road. 

There was fresh snow on the roadway, and the Toyota was traveling at a speed that prevented the driver from maintaining control of the Toyota,” Officer Jeff Christy with the California Highway Patrol reports. “The Toyota traveled off the roadway onto the west shoulder where it collided with a dirt embankment. The female passenger, who was not wearing her seatbelt, was subsequently thrown forward from the rear seat into the front dash and windshield of the vehicle. At the same time, the Toyota rolled over onto its roof where it came to rest within the traffic lanes.”

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