VIRTUAL CELEBRATION, REAL FUN — COUNTY’S EARTH DAY 2021

COVID-19 DEATHS REACH 3 MILLION WORLDWIDE

NEARLY HALF OF ALL ADULTS COUNTYWIDE HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE COVID-19 VACCINE

DISTILLERIES HOST COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY APRIL 17 IN SPRING VALLEY

FIREBALLS IN THE SKY: METEOR SHOWERS START TONIGHT, PEAKING ON EARTH DAY

COUNTY PAUSES USE OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINES DUE TO RARE BLOOD CLOTTING COMPLICATION

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ON TRACK TO ADMIT LOWEST NUMBER OF REFUGEES IN U.S. HISTORY, DRAWS CRITICISMS OVER LAG IN REPEALING TRUMP RESTRICTIONS

MUSGROVE’S MOM SERVES GLEEFUL PADRES FANS AT ALPINE COFFEE SHOP AFTER RECORD-SETTING NO-HITTER

PRESIDENT BIDEN ANNOUNCES NEW BILL TARGETING INFRASTRUCTURE AND CREATING NEW JOBS

LEMON GROVE PROPOSES LIMITING COUNCILMEMBERS’ SPEECH

ECM PADRES REPORT: EAST COUNTY KID MAKES HISTORY; GROSSMONT ALUM MUSGROVE BECOMES THE FIRST PADRES PITCHER TO THROW A NO-HITTER AS PADRES WIN 3-0

HEARING APRIL 20 ON PROPOSED RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN EL CAJON NEAR MT. HELIX

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of San Diego Sheriff’s department

 

Public comments accepted through April 9

 

March 30, 2021 (El Cajon) – The state has proposed releasing Douglas Badger, a sexually violent predator, into a supervised home at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive. The site is just east of Avocado Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon, near Mt. Helix.

JURASSIC QUEST DRIVE THRU AT DEL MAR FAIRGROUNDS MARCH 26 – APRIL 4

Guests invited to “feed” new 50-foot Spinosaurus and San Diego Food Bank with nonperishable drop-off donations

 

East County News Service

 

March 28, 2021 (Del Mar) – Jurassic Quest Drive Thru, the nation’s largest touring dinosaur exhibit, opened today for an encore showing at Del Mar Fairgrounds through April 4 following a sold-out visit in January. The traveling dinosaur attraction has welcomed its 2 millionth visitor and today kicks off a food drive benefiting the San Diego Food Bank (donations accepted on site March 26-April 4). 

COVID VACCINES AVAILABLE TO AGE 50 AND UP STARTING APRIL 1, ALL CALIFORNIANS AGE 16 AND UP STARTING APRIL 15

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2021 (San Diego) – With vaccine supplies increasing, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that starting April 1, all Californians age 50 and up will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, starting April 15, the vaccine will be available to all Californians age 16 and up.

The state expects to receive 2.5 million doses a week in early April and over 3 million doses a week by the second half of the month, as a result of actions taken by the Biden administration to dramatically boost supplies including forging a deal to have rival pharmaceutical companies team up to increase production and providing funds to state and local governments to expand vaccinations.

CESAR CHAVEZ HISTORY AT ANZA-BORREGO HONORED ON MARCH 31

East County News Service

March 27, 2021 (Borrego Springs) -- Did you know? Cesar Chavez has important history in Borrego Springs and in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP). To honor this history, bilingual interpretive panels were devised that depict these historic events, a joint project between Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and High School students at Borrego Springs High School. 

EARTHTALK®: BESIDES GENERATING SEASONAL ALLERGENS, DO ANY PLANTS ACTUALLY REDUCE AIR QUALITY OR CAUSE AIR POLLUTION?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

March 27, 2021 (San Diego) -  Dear EarthTalk: Besides generating seasonal allergens, do any plants actually reduce air quality or cause air pollution? -Mike T., San Juan, Puerto Rico

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 27, 2021 (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.

SHERIFF ASKS PUBLIC TO REPORT ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2021 (San Diego) – Unlike licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, illegal marijuana dispensaries have had negative impacts on communities, neighboring businesses and consumers, the Sheriff’s department warns. Recently, several have been involved in shootings and other serious crimes; moreover there is no state oversight to test products being sold and assure they do not contain pesticides, herbicides, or that they are not laced with other drugs.

“Unregulated pot shops attract criminals involved with other illicit drugs and are often the catalyst for violent crime, property crime and financial crime that affect us all.  Products sold at unlicensed cannabis facilities are cultivated and manufactured using processes which may be harmful to consumers and are often marketed toward children,” warns Sgt. Mark Knierim.

HIGHWAY 67 LANE CLOSURES MARCH 26-30

East County News Service

March 25, 2021 (Ramona) – Caltrans has announced that due to mowing operations along State Route 67 between Willow Road in Lakeside to Etchevary Street in Ramona, motorists should expect shoulder closures, lane reductions and lane closures with one-way traffic control directed by flaggers and pilot vehicles over the next few days.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR FATAL PEDESTRIAN COLLISION IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident Reeta Mansour, 19,  has been arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run, and reckless driving causing injury or death. The charges stem from a crash on March 12th on South Anza Street in which Mansour allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, also hitting a parked car.

Officers responded shortly before 10 p.m., along with paramedics, to a report of a vehicle striking a parked car.  The officers found a pedestrian in a yard nearby who allegedly had also been hit by the vehicle. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

VIEJAS ARENA AT SDSU BECOMES NEW COVID-19 VACCINATION SITE OPEN TO ALL ELIGIBLE COUNTY RESIDENTS

By Alexa Oslowski and Angela Kurysh

 

March 24, 2021 (San Diego) - As of yesterday, Viejas Arena at San Diego State University became the county’s newest vaccination site, after the university and San Diego County partnered up to establish a more equitable site for communities within the College area. Although this site is open to the public, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher, who issued a press conference Monday morning at the arena, announced that 10% of the vaccines have been reserved for San Diego’s ‘hardest-hit communities.’ 

SDG&E CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE BILL CREDIT IN APRIL, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER

California Climate Credit helps offset bills by a total of $87

Source:  SDG&E

March 24, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) residential customers will receive a break on their utility bills in the coming months, thanks to the California Climate Credit program, which is part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change. In April, natural gas customers will see their bill reduced by $17.86. This summer, SDG&E electricity customers will also see their bills offset by $34.60 in climate credits in both August and September (or a total of $69.20), when energy use typically goes up due to hot weather.

LOSSES AND LESSONS LEARNED: LOCAL RESIDENTS REFLECT ON A YEAR IN QUARANTINE

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – A year ago, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.  All of our lives changed as a result of COVID-19, which has killed over a half million Americans, caused shutdowns of schools and businesses, and forced residents to quarantine at home.

We asked our readers and followers on social media to reflect on what they learned from these historic times. What was the hardest part of the past year?  Were there any silver linings? What changes in your life do you think will be permanent?

Here are their responses.

COUNTY RECAPS A YEAR FIGHTING COVID-19

By Anita Lightfoot, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 24, 2021 (San Diego) - On March 19, 2020, California became the first state in the country to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The months since have been filled with challenges, fear and grief, innovation and historic breakthroughs. Here is a look back at a year that San Diego was seized by a deadly threat and how the County fought back.

MORE MEALS TO BE SERVED TO UNSHELTERED THROUGH SHERIFF, NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIP

By Donnie Ryan, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Image Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department
 
San Diego County Sheriff's Department staff prepare and package meals which are distributed to the unsheltered as part of a partnership with The Lucky Duck Foundation.
 
March 24, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously March 16 to execute a new three-year agreement between the County, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and the local nonprofit Lucky Duck Foundation to help prepare and distribute 1,000 daily meals to unsheltered residents seven days a week.

READER'S EDITORIAL: GETTING HEALTHY IN 2021 SHOULD INCLUDE REDUCING EXPOSURE TO SECONDHAND SMOKE

By Dana Stevens
 
Photo authorized for use to CASA
 
March 24, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- After a long difficult year that forced us all to alter our daily lives just to stay well, our priority for 2021 should be to continue protecting our health. As we look to improve our diets, start exercise routines, wear our masks, and get vaccinated, let’s make sure we also give equal attention to the air we breathe.
 
Tobacco and marijuana smoke and the aerosol expelled from electronic smoking devices damage the lungs and other organs of users as well as everyone around them. 
 
In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that there is  “no safe level of exposure to  secondhand smoke.” That same year, the California Air Resources Board designated secondhand smoke as a  “toxic air contaminant.”

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR SERIES OF VIOLENT ASSAULTS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested 28-year-old Isaiah Ugaitafa for violent assaults in which he broke down the front doors of homes and attacked two residents, says Lt. Randy Soulard. He is charged with three felonies: hot prowl burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse.

On Friday, March 19 at 2:15 p.m., officers responded to a home in the 400 block of South First Street, where a man had been seen by several residents acting strangely and talking to himself. A short time later, the suspect was seen breaking down the door of an elderly man’s home and attacking the senior with a metal pole, striking him in the face before fleeing the scene.

TRIBE'S CONNECTION WITH GROSSMONT COLLEGE BENEFITS STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont College

March 23, 2021 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College students who are awarded a scholarship from an East County tribe get much more than the $500 to help them pay for books and supplies. They also get a connection with the tribe’s casino that can help them land a job.

COUNTY COVID-19 OUTLOOK CONTINUES TO IMPROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: cc via Bing
 
March 23, 2021 (San Diego) – Over a half million San Diego County residents, or 18.8% of the population age 16 and up, are now fully vaccinated – and 30.6% of those eligible have received at least one vaccine, as of yesterday. As the number of people vaccinated ramps up, the number of cases, outbreaks, and testing positivity rates are continuing to drop.

SAN DIEGO STILL DOESN'T HAVE EQUITABLE INTERNET ACCESS ONE YEAR INTO PANDEMIC

Community activists have long underscored the impacts of the gaps of access to high speed, reliable internet to non-White and poorer communities and they’ve critiqued public leaders for not taking quicker action to bridge the divide.

By Kayla Jimenez, Voice of San Diego

This post has been updated.

Image via Pixabay

March 23, 2021 (San Diego) - A year after the pandemic made having a reliable internet connection a requisite for countless families, professionals, school children and others, the number of people without it has not changed and cities across the San Diego region have either no plan to address it or no money to fund their plans.

CONGRESSMAN ISSA INTRODUCES BILL TO TRANSFER SACRED LANDS TO PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS RESERVATION

Source: Pala Band of Mission Indians

 

March 23, 2021 (Pala) --  On March 17, 2021, Congressman Darrell Issa introduced the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act (H.R. 1975), a bill that will transfer approximately 721 acres of land adjacent to the Pala Reservation into federal trust status. This land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in 2016 in order to prevent the construction of a landfill on sacred Chokla (Gregory Mountain), a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala’s people.

 

“The Pala Band is grateful to Congressman Issa for his partnership and willingness to introduce this bill. Transferring the Gregory Mountain cultural property into trust ensures that it will be forever protected as a part of the Pala Reservation. The Pala Band also wishes to acknowledge Congressman Juan Vargas, who has worked with the tribe since 2016 to facilitate this land transfer, according to a press release issued by the tribe.

MISSING LA MESA WOMAN FOUND IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service
 
March 23, 2021 (La Mesa) – A missing elderly woman with early onset dementia was found safe and injured in Lemon Grove overnight.
 
“The La Mesa Police Department would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance,” says Lt. Greg Runge.

MILITARY MAN RECEIVES A CAR AT SPRING VALLEY’S WOLF RANCH TOWN CENTER

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo-left Renz Michael Palaylay and wife Harvey, daughter Luna. Photos courtesy of Caliber Collision)

March 22, 2021 (Spring Valley) – As a part of the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) “Recycled Rides” program, an active-duty Navy sailor, Renz Michael Palaylay, received a 2015 Hyundai Elantra on Wednesday, March 3.

The Armed Services YMCA San Diego worked in conjunction with Caliber Collision - Spring Valley, Farmers Insurance and NABC.

Caliber Collision auto technicians donated their own personal time to refurbish the vehicle provided by Farmers Insurance.

“They, the technicians, jumped at the chance to give back to our military,” said the general manger of Caliber Collision, Chuck Cruz, during a phone interview. “We also donated a car a few months ago to a first responder.”

RAILWAY MUSEUM SEEKS DONATIONS TO REPAIR DAMAGE TO LA MESA DEPOT

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRMA) is asking for public help to repair extensive damage caused by an allegedly drunk driver last week. 

The La Mesa Depot Museum is La Mesa, California’s oldest building in its original form and is the sole surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station in existence.

The driver struck the portico and main entryway of the historic structure, also damaging parked cars nearby. 
 
According to a Facebook Post by PSRMA, “Volunteers have boarded up and temporarily secured the structure from collapsing. We are waiting to receive damage and repair estimates and at the moment the museum has spent $1,700 just to remediate any further damage. At a time when the museum is already financially stretched, we need to ask the public for help with restoration costs.”

PETS AND PET SPENDING DURING THE PANDEMIC

A Money.com-Morning Consult Report
 
March 22, 2021 (San Diego) -- The COVID-19 crisis deepened the bond between Americans and their pets, and a majority of those who acquired new pets during the pandemic did so in part from loneliness. And most pet owners by far would go to the mat to save their pets, regardless of the medical cost of doing so. 

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