POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS CASE IN SAN DIEGO; CDC URGES TRAVELERS TO CANCEL VISITS TO CHINA

SUPERVISORS TAKE NEW STEPS TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS, INCLUDING SHELTERS

WALKERS SHINE AT SANTEE’S OLYMPIC RACE WALKING EVENT

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

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

TWO CASES OF WUHAN CORONAVIRUS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; VIRUS ALSO SPREADS TO AUSTRALIA, EUROPE, AND ACROSS ASIA

TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS” FOUND IN WATER SUPPLIES ACROSS U.S., BUT TRUMP THREATENS TO VETO REGULATORY BILL

ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

CHINA CANCELS LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS, TRIES TO QUARANTINE 25 MILLION PEOPLE: WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREADS TO U.S., OTHER NATIONS

THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

LA JOLLA PHYSICIAN PULLS PLUG ON PETITION DRIVE TO RECALL GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM

 

Dr. James Veltmeyer says he’ll try again at some unspecified future date, but first he needs $5 million to hire a signature-gathering firm. File photo

By Ken Stone

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- A La Jolla doctor has ended his long-shot effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Unlike 2003, when Darrell Issa spent nearly $2 million for signature-gathering efforts that led to the ouster of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, Dr. James Veltmeyer said his recall bid against the current Democrat could raise only $90,000.

JANUARY IS A GREAT MONTH FOR DINING OUT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons image via ND

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – This month, restaurants across our region are offering specials for San Diego Restaurant Week January 19-26, including at least eight eateries in East County. In addition, Julian restaurants have a month-long celebration of California restaurant month with specials of their own.

Feast your eyes on the options below:

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 10-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Hawk Watch in Ramona, concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, the silent movie Passion of Joan of Arc in Borrego Springs, and Open Farm Day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including San Diego restaurant week and Julian’s restaurant month, 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 scroll down for all of these events and many more!

REAL ESTATE REALITY: INSPECTION WOES--IT’S GOOD TO KNOW

By Maryanne Jackson Real Estate Broker

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)  

Dear Maryanne,

My wife and I are considering selling our home in Spring Valley and purchasing 

a larger home in the same area. We will need to use the proceeds from the sale to UPSIZE.

Is it recommended to hire a home inspector prior to putting our home up for sale? 

If so, what is the advantage of us putting the 450.00 out to do this. Will the buyer still need to get their own home inspection during the escrow investigation process?

Eric J. Spring Valley, CA

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 9, 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 excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

BORDER PATROL LAUNCHES PILOT PROGRAM TO COLLECT DNA SAMPLES FROM MIGRANTS

East County News Service

January 8, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has initiated a 90-day pilot program starting yesterday to assess the impact of proposed regulatory changes that would require collection of DNA samples from many individuals in CBP custody, including minors.  The pilot program will be limited to the Detroit area and the Eagle Pass port of entry in Texas. 

DNA will be collected from people ages 14-79 who are apprehended and processed in Detroit.  At the Texas location, the DNA collection will be done on individuals who seek admission to the U.S. and are subject to further detention or proceedings.

According to CBS News  the action is the first phase of a sweeping five-part, three year Department of Homeland Security initiative “to obtain DNA profiles from virtually all migrants in U.S. custody, whether or not they've committed crimes.”

ROCKY LONG TO RETIRE AS SDSU FOOTBALL COACH; EX-COACH BRADY HOKE TO TAKE HIS PLACE

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) - Rocky Long, the all-time winningest coach in the Mountain West and second-winningest coach in San Diego State history, announced today that he is retiring as the head football coach at SDSU.

CHP SEEKS MAN ACCUSED OF CAUSING WRECK THAT KILLED WOMAN, INJURED TWO OFFICERS

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Highway Patrol warns that a suspect accused of killing a woman in an accident near Temecula, then fleeing the scene and later escaping from law enforcement may be in the San Diego area. Antone Wayne Bayard, 23, of Anza is also accused of injuring two CHP officers during his escape.

On Twitter, the CHP posted, “Bayard is believed to be in the Temecula/San Diego area with plans to flee to Mexico.”

STORIES OF THE DECADE: 2009-2019

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our site was in its infancy when the past decade began in 2009, just three months after our launch. What a difference a decade makes! 

We've been there through it all, covering the burning issues impacting our region:  fire protection, energy projects, housing, homelessness, immigration, healthcare, actions of local city councils, school boards, and more. 

Our coverage has led to expansion of veteran's services in rural East County, saved local state parks from closing, stopped community planning groups from being abolished, and got fire stations closed during fire season reopened.  We've documented major social movements of the era, from the Tea Party to Occupy, from gay rights to gun rights. We've covered the issues of refugees from around the world, Native American tribes, immigrants at the border, Iraqi and Syrian immigrants in our local communities. We've covered national issues felt locally, such as healthcare reform controversies, government  shutdowns, climate change and impeachment. 

We've also had in-depth coverage of local land use issues, such as sand mines, major housing projects, and industrial-scale wind and solar.  ECM chronicled the achievements of local sports stars with East County ties, from Tony Gwynn to Jimmie Johnson.

We've covered election campaigns and political candidates, education issues, natural disasters from earthquakes to wildfires, power outages, extreme weather, shocking crimes, reform movements, our growing wine industry, historical milestones such as centennials celebrated by local cities, and so much more. 

We took a trip down memory lane, and invite you to join us.

Here are the top stories we covered in the past 10 years:

LA MESA POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER: INJURED PEDESTRIAN UNIDENTIFIED; DRIVER ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek witnesses to a serious injury accident that occurred at 6:16 p.m. at the intersection of Grossmont Center Drive and Center Drive.  Police also seek the identity of the victim, a white male pedestrian in his 50s who was struck while crossing the street by a 2004 Nissan SUV.

The victim suffered a compound fracture to his lower right leg and a fractured left hip, according to Lt. Brian Stoney. “Unfortunately he did not have any identification on him and we have not been able to positively identify him at this time,” he said.

IRAN ATTACKS U.S. MILITARY BASES IN IRAQ IN RETALATION FOR KILLING OF GENERAL SULEIMANI

 

By Miriam Raftery

Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson contributed to this report

January 7, 2020 (San Diego) – The U.S. Department of Defense confirms that Iran has launched air attacks on two U.S. military bases in Iraq housing American and coalition forces. Over a dozen missiles launched from Iran targeted the Al Assad air base in Baghdad and a second base in Irbil.

ECM has obtained video sent by a source in Iraq who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. The source indicated the video was taken by an Iraqi national inside the Al Assad base during the attack. The same video appears on international media including Canada and England. A local translator in El Cajon told ECM panicked voices heard on the video are shouting “Watch out!” and “One God, one Allah,” a phrase spoken by Muslims when they believe death may be imminent.

There is no official word yet on casualties.

The attacks were in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani last week in Iraq, whom Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said was in Baghdad to coordinate attacks on U.S. forces and coalition partners. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Suleimani posed a “imminent threat” to Americans, but neither Esper nor Pompeo provided specific evidence of the threat.

Critics have said the killing of the Iranian commander via a drone strike violated international law by targeting a sovereign nation’s military leadership.

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. 

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