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

SDSU SOFTBALL EDGED AT NEVADA 9-8 IN SERIES FINALE

Aztecs’ late rally comes up short

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 21, 2021 (Reno) - San Diego State scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and loaded the bases in the seventh but was unable to come through in a 9-8 loss to Nevada in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Christina M. Hixson Softball Park.

 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

March 21, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than to hike to one of the most beautiful places in East County, Three Sisters Falls in Cleveland National Forest? 

Scott Lagace made the trip this week with friends. The trail is a steep two-mile hike down and two miles back -- all uphill.

Despite these challenges, Lagace says,"It was a beautiful hike there and back. The falls was flowing beautifully. It was amazing at a distance and close up. I would definitely do this hike again. Just got to remember to take the road from the Julian side, not Descanso!"

PASSAGES: GROCERY INDUSTRY LEADER SHON BONEY DIES OF CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Shon Boney, a leader in the natural grocery store industry with long roots in East County, died March 8, 2021 at age 52 of brain cancer. 

Grandson of Henry Boney, the founder of Boney’s Marketplace, later known as Henry’s Marketplace, Shon worked in all aspects of the San Diego based business until it was sold to Wild Oats. He then moved to Arizona, where he co-founded and served as CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, which grew into one of the nation’s preeminent healthy grocery store chains.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO BUY AND CONSERVE 2,151 ACRE HISTORIC STAR RANCH LAND IN CAMPO

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 20, 2021 (Campo) -- San Diego County supervisors voted Wednesday to buy the 2,151-acre, historic Star Ranch area in Campo, its largest acquisition of sensitive habitat, wetlands, potential passive park land and hiking trails in a decade.

County officials said the land will provide a permanent home for sensitive species and conserve important habitat including 200 acres of wetlands, and it could eventually provide a large park and connections for hikers to nearby trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT TO USE LEGAL SETTLEMENT TO REDUCE FUTURE RATES

District to hold rate hearing on April 28
 
Source: Helix Water District 
 
March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District will use $2.8 million received from the San Diego County Water Authority as part of a legal settlement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to reduce future water rates for the district’s customers.

LA MESA OFFICER'S 'HEART DROPPED' AFTER SHOOTING LESLIE FURCRON; HE'S FAULTED IN NEWLY RELEASED REPORT

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Arrow points to La Mesa police Detective Eric Knudson before he withdrew behind a wall and shot Leslie Furcron with a beanbag shell. LMPD photo

March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) - Eric Knudson, the La Mesa police officer cleared by county and local authorities in his beanbag shooting of Leslie Furcron last May at a George Floyd protest, returned to work last week, but remains under a cloud.

FBI INVESTIGATES ST. PATRICK'S DAY ROBBERY IN POWAY

East County News Service

March 18, 2021 (Poway) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force and San Diego Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a suspect believed to be responsible for a bank robbery in Poway.

On March 17 at approximately 4:15 p.m., a Black man believed to be in his mid-20s entered the Wells Fargo Bank  at 10675 Scripps Poway Parkway. He was wearing a green sweatshirt and a black “beanie type” hat on his head, with the hood of the sweatshirt pulled up.  He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The robber presented a message to the teller demanding money from the bank.  After receiving a sum of cash, he fled on foot.  

The robber’s lower face was covered by a light blue paper COVID-19 face mask.

ACLU FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SHERIFF SEEKING PROTECTION FROM COVID-19 FOR PEOPLE IN JAIL; SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT DEFENDS PROCEDURES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo Credit: This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-ND

March 18, 2021 (San Diego) -- On March 11, the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC); Community Advocates for Just & Moral Governance (MoGo); and Singleton, Schreiber, McKenzie & Scott, LLP (SSMS) filed a class action lawsuit demanding that San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore take steps to protect people incarcerated in local jails from exposure to COVID-19.

Filed in San Diego County Superior Court, the lawsuit demands that Sheriff Gore reduce the population of the jails to levels that allow people to practice and maintain safe social distancing, and to provide widespread vaccinations in the jails at levels that can ensure the safety of everyone incarcerated there

San Diego County jails are in the midst of a months-long COVID-19 outbreak where at least two people, Edel Corrales Loredo and Mark Armendo, died of COVID-19 after apparently contracting the virus while incarcerated in county jail.

In late December 2020, there were 527 people with active COVID-19 infections in custody. There have been more than 1,200 cumulative positive cases in the jails since the start of the pandemic.

PADRE DAM BOARD VOTES TO RETURN MONEY TO CUSTOMERS

Refund Received from San Diego County Water Authority will help offset future rate

East County News Service

Image: CC by SA-NC

 

March 18, 2021 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved using the recently received $1,157,552 rebate from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA) to offset the District’s next pass-through rate increase from the CWA. This action will result in a direct benefit to customers by the reduction or potential elimination of a water pass through rate hike in 2022. 

CWA’s Board of Directors announced a plan on February 25, 2021 to distribute a $44.4 million rebate received from Metropolitan Water District (MWD), to its 24 member agencies. Padre Dam’s portion of the rebate is $1,157,552. 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR REPLACEMENT WINDOWS

By Martin Whitmore



March 21, 2021 (San Diego) -- Windows are among the first things people notice on a home’s structure. When you have outstanding and high-quality windows, you can easily turn heads and attract potential and eager buyers. Windows can be a lifetime investment, so you will need to make an informed decision before purchasing. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for replacement windows. 

EAST COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES SPLIT VOTES ON COVID RELIEF BILL SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT BIDEN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, via C-Span: President Joe Biden signs the  American Recovery Act

March 17,2021 (San Diego) – The  American Recovery Act signed into law last week by President Joe Biden will provide $1.9 trillion to aid those impacted by COVID-19 and provide an economic boost. 

The measure includes a new round of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for most Americans, up to $2,800 for couples and additional help for families with children, extension of unemployment benefits just days before benefits would run out, and aid to some business sectors hard-hit by the pandemic. The new law also funds vaccinations, reopening schools, and aid to local, state and tribal governments for COVID-19 related costs.

East County’s Congressional representatives split their votes down party lines, with Democrats Sara Jacobs and Juan Vargas voting in favor, while Republican Darrell Issa voted against the landmark COVID-19 relief bill.

The members each provided statements to justify their votes.

Below are highlights of their remarks, followed by a summary of what the bill includes.

CHEERS! BREWERIES, WINERIES AND DISTILLERIES CAN OPEN OUTDOORS, EVEN WITHOUT FOOD SERVICE

East County News Service
 
March 17, 2021 (San Diego) – Breweries, wineries and distilleries have been hard-hit by state COVID-19 restrictions. But effective March 13, they can now reopen for outdoor service in counties in the state’s most restrictive purple and red tiers – even if they don’t serve food.  

COUNTY MOVES TO RED TIER: MOVIE THEATERS, INDOOR DINING AND MORE CAN REOPEN WITH CAPACITY LIMITS

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County will move from the purple tier into the less restrictive red tier starting tomorrow. The state notified county officials today of the change, which allows many businesses to reopen or expand capacity, though masks and social distancing are still required. Here are some of the changes:

SUPERVISORS APPROVE CREATION OF YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL/RECREATION CORPS TO PROVIDE GREEN JOBS TRAINING

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Creative Commons image by NC-ND

 

March 16, 2021 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 in support of the Youth Environmental/Recreation Corps, a program aimed to provide youth with skills training and opportunities to develop knowledge, practice skills and gain work experience in the growing sector of green economies. Youth Will has been working closely with Supervisor Lawson-Remer and the Invest in San Diego Families coalition to promote this initiative and ensure the youth voice is represented in improving access to green space and green work opportunities.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO ASK STATE TO KEEP SAN PASQUAL ACADEMY FOR FOSTER YOUTHS OPEN

By Briana Gomez

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

Photo, left: Rev Shane Harris held a press conference last week at the San Pasqual Academy

 

March 16, 2021 (Escondido) – In a win for foster youths, San Diego County Supervisors today voted unanimously to approve a motion asking state officials to grant a reprieve to the San Pasqual Academy, a boarding school for foster youths slated to close later this year.

 

The school has been a safe haven for foster youths, who found a home at the academy when they were unable to be placed with families as they aged out of the system.

 

Rev. Shane Harris, president of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, has led efforts to keep the school open. After today's vote, he stated, “I thank the Board of Supervisors for their unanimous support of this motion. Today we have taken a step toward reimagining what foster care can look like in San Diego County and beyond, starting with the nation's first residential educational campus for foster youth, San Pasqual Academy. The fight for a carve out to keep San Pasqual in existence in our nation begins now. Let's reimagine foster care together." 

 

Harris is an alumni of San Pasqual Academy, which he credits with helping him develop leadership skills after years in foster care.

 

79TH DISTRICT CANDIDATES DISCUSS VACCINES, PUBLIC EDUCATION, AND POLICE REFORM IN VOICE OF SAN DIEGO FORUM

By Alexa Oslowski

 

View the complete two-hour candidate forum here.

 

March 16, 2021 (La Mesa) - The five candidates looking to serve as the next 79th District Assembly member came together on February 24 to participate in a candidate forum hosted by Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis. The district includes La Mesa, Del Cerro, Lemon Grove, Otay Ranch and East Chula Vista.

EAST COUNTY WOMAN FINDS LOST DIAMOND FOR NEIGHBOR

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo -left – courtesy of Michelle Marks)

March 16, 2021 (El Cajon) --- It takes a village to find a lost diamond. Such is the case with an El Cajon woman, Michelle Marks, who lost a round, one-carat diamond stone valued at $3,000 while walking her dogs in the Fletcher Hills area.

After Marks posted about the loss on a Nextdoor neighborhood forum,  70 people posted comments, some offering help--and one neighbor found the stone. That gifted hunter was Tiffany Johnson.

Johnson doggedly pursued finding the lost diamond that had become dislodged from Marks’ engagement ring--a ring that Marks’ husband, Eddie, had proposed with 27 years ago.

DEB HAALAND CONFIRMED AS FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN TO SERVE AS SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Update: View video of Deb Haaland's swearing in ceremony:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1372571598486695942

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – By a 51-40 vote, The U.S. Senate has confirmed Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the first Native American to lead a federal cabinet agency and only the third woman to head up the Interior Department. Her appointment by President Joe Biden has been hailed by Native American leaders and environmentalists  nationwide. 

MORNING GLORY BRUNCH FROG RACE GOES VIRTUAL TO BENEFIT ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER ON APRIL 17

East County News Service

March 15, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) will host its signature Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race virtually this year.  The Virtual Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021 and will be celebrating the event’s 20th anniversary. All proceeds benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, which educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential. 

The community is encouraged to participate in the frog race by purchasing rubber frogs to be entered in the race. Volunteer “Frogettes” will splash from the end of the pool deck, without touching the frogs, to assist the frogs in reaching the finish line. Winners of the Frog Race will be announced during a live streaming event, and all proceeds from purchased frogs will benefit SMSC’s Garden and Aquatic Programs.   

SDG&E WINS APPROVAL TO ELIMINATE HIGH USAGE CHARGE

Company filed application in 2018 asking regulators to get rid of state-mandated charge and provide bill relief to customers

Source: SDG&E

 

March 15, 2021 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric customers will no longer have to worry about getting hit with the state-mandated High Usage Charge (HUC) – a substantially higher price for electricity that kicks in for customers once their energy usage exceeds a certain threshold.

BIG INNING LIFTS SDSU BASEBALL OVER UNLV IN SERIES FINALE

Aztecs score six runs in seventh inning to overcome 5-2 deficit

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego State scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday to overcome a 5-2 deficit and defeat UNLV 8-6 in the rubber game of a weekend set at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

BIRD TALK: CINNAMON TEAL AT SANTEE LAKES

By Greg Dunne                                           

March 14, 2021 (Santee) - The ducks are out at Santee Lakes. Santee Lakes is a great place to do some bird watching, get a walk in, or of course do some fishing. And, if you are birding, maybe get a chance to see a Cinnamon Teal.

Of all the lakes out in the East County, I think the one with the largest population of ducks is Santee Lakes--from the Mallards, Northern Shoveler and Wood Ducks, to the American Wigeon. Plus you are guaranteed to always find the American Coots hanging out with the ducks. Santee Lakes is one of my favorite places to bird watch because of the wide diversity of species ranging from Osprey and Peregrine Falcons to Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers as well as Western Kingbirds. An estimate of over 200 species can be seen in a calendar year at Santee Lakes.

PASSAGES: MARK GOFFENEY, “BIG TOE” MUSICIAN WITHOUT ARMS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mark Goffeney, Creative Commons image via Wikipedia

March 14, 2021 (El Cajon) – Mark Goffeney, the internationally acclaimed armless musician known as “Big Toe” who inspired people around the world, was found dead on March 2nd in his El Cajon apartment along with his wife, Annmaree. Both were 51. An autopsy will determine their causes of death.

Born without arms in 1969, Goffeney inspired millions with his can-do attitude. He learned to play the guitar and bass with his feet, strumming with his left foot and forming chords with his right.  He was nominated in an Emmy award in 1999 for his role in a Fox commercial, “Feet”, which later aired during the Superbowl in 2000 and 2001.  He’s performed around the world with many top celebrities, also appearing on an array of TV shows.

CALIFORNIA HITS KEY VACCINATION BENCHMARK, MOVING SAN DIEGO COUNTY CLOSER TO 'RED' TIER

By Ana B. Ibarra and Rachel Becker | CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  a woman is vaccinated at the Sharp super station in Chula Vista. Courtesy County News Center

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - California on Friday hit a benchmark of delivering 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to underserved communities, triggering a big change that will transform the state’s reopening map from purple to mostly red.

SAN DIEGO'S LOCAL UMBRELLA MEDIA ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT WITH TOWNE POST NETWORK

Source:  Local Umbrella Media

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego based monthly direct mail publication company Local Umbrella Media (LocalUmbrellaNews.com) announced today they have entered into an agreement with the Towne Post Network (TownePost.com), an Indiana-based cross-platform publishing company.

ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI RILES SDSU

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Graffiti drawn on a residence hall at San Diego State University, March 2021

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Earlier this week, an unidentified resident advisor at South Campus Plaza North, a large dormitory serving hundreds of students at San Diego State University, found scrawled on the exterior of the building three swastikas and coded messages often associated with white supremacist philosophy.  She immediately got some poster board to cover the offensive messaging, and drew hearts upon the poster board along with the message “Spread Love.”  After campus police were called to the scene and photographs taken of the offending material as part of an ongoing investigation, the antisemitic message was eliminated.

SDSU SOFTBALL RALLIES FOR WALK OFF 9-8 WIN OVER ST. MARY'S

Aztecs trailed 8-0 after an inning

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtessy goaztecs.com

March 14, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego State rallied from an 8-0 deficit for a walk-off 9-8 victory over Saint Mary’s in nine innings Sunday afternoon at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Aztecs (12-5) claimed the series with the victory. 

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