FEBRUARY CALFRESH BENEFITS TO BE ISSUED EARLY

JAMUL CASINO TO SPICE UP SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT WEEK

PIANIST YUKO MARUYAMA PERFORMS FEB. 10 AT MISSION TRAILS CHURCH

SEALS WIN HOME-OPENER IN FRONT OF NEAR-CAPACITY CROWD

SIGNUP DEADLINE FOR COVERED CA HEALTH PLANS IS TUESDAY

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET AIMS TO LOWER PREMIUMS, EXPAND MEDI-CAL

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES DOCKLESS VEHICLE REGULATIONS

STORM SYSTEM SWOOPS INTO REGION BRINGING HEAVY RAIN, SNOW AND WAVES UP TO 14 FEET

MAN WANTED FOR TRYING TO LURE BOY, 12, INTO PICKUP TRUCK IN SANTEE

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SANTEE CONSIDERS SHIFT TO COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

FEDERAL SHUTDOWN HALTS CONTROLLED BURNS IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

STATE DROPS PLANS FOR PAROLE OFFICE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nearly 1,800 residents who signed a petition opposing a state parole office in La Mesa got an early Christmas present.

Today, City Manager Yvonne Garrett received a message from Jerry Powers, director of the state’s division of adult parole operations, advising that the agency has determined that “due to functional and logistical issues this site is unworkable for our needs at this time.  We will continue to review other locations in the eastern San Diego County area in our efforts to provide services more directly to the parolee population and the citizens of East County.”

The state had proposed the facility at 9400 Grossmont Summit Drive, next to homes on Mt. Helix and the Brigantine Restaurant and within a quarter mile of Grossmont High School. The closest trolley stop would have been shared by high school and middle school students, with violent parolees and sex offenders walking directly past two schools.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS MIGRANTS TO WAIT IN MEXICO FOR ASYLUM HEARINGS; COURT BLOCKS TRUMP DENIAL OF ASYLUM TO DOMESTIC AND GANG VIOLENCE VICTIMS



By Miriam Raftery

December 20,2018 (San Diego) – Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced that Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. must wait in Mexico until their hearing dates, except for unaccompanied minors. But the action is likely to be challenged in court—and thus far, federal courts have consistently ruled against the Trump administration efforts to restrict the rights of asylum seekers.

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING POWER POLE IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (Lemon Grove)—The driver of a green Kia utility vehicle has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after striking a power pole at 6:47 a.m. at 1750 Madera Street near Massachusetts Avenue in Lemon Grove.

Broken wires resulted in loss of power at San Altos Elementary School. The outage is expected to last until this afternoon.The school has planned a minimum day.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF CO-RESIDENT AT EL CAJON INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY



By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon has been arrested and charged with the murder of a fellow resident at an independent living center located in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue.

”Based upon the investigation at this time, it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other and lived in separate rooms within the facility,” says Lieutenant Walt Miller. “Witnesses told investigators the two were arguing for unknown reasons just prior to the suspect attacking the victim with a blunt object.”

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

December 20, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: ALARMING NEW PAROLE OFFICE INFORMATION REVEALED

 

Update December 20, 2018:  The State has sent a letter to La Mesa's city manager advising that it has dropped plans for a parole office at this location, at this time, but will seek an alternative site elsewhere in East County.



By Susan Nichols, President, Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA)

December 19, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA), along with the greater community, continues to gather information to oppose the leasing of a building by the Department of Corrections for a Parole Operations Center amidst of their residential community. GMIA and the greater community have sought help from elected state officials, who are aware of the community plea to stop the parole office but have yet to provide substantive action.

READER'S EDITORIAL: KEEP THE BOY IN BOY SCOUTS: AN OPINION FROM A 14-YEAR-OLD BOY

 

By Alan W. Cole, San Diego

December 21, 2018 (San Diego) -- It’s hard to have your voice heard when you’re a teenager. I’m a 14-year old boy and it seems no one wants to listen. What I want to say is, “Keep the Boy in Boy Scouts!” Girls want and are now allowed to join Boy Scouts. I’m not against girls, I’m just pro boys in Boy Scouts. In our world today boys have little opportunity to be with other boys. Girls being allowed to join Boy Scouts is resulting in a name change. Girl Scouts is suing Boy Scouts to keep the Boy in! If the suit is not successful, next February the 108-year old tradition will be broken and Boy Scouts of America will be changed to Scouts of America. This change leaves out the boy and our voice.

SEN. ATKINS CALLS FOR UNITED RESPONSE TO MIGRANT CRISIS, RECALLING HEPATITIS A SCANDAL

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  State Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins says she was having “productive conversations” with Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Photo by Chris Stone

December 19, 2018 (San Diego) - Recalling the deadly hepatitis A outbreak, state Senate leader Toni Atkins on Tuesday urged public officials at all levels to coordinate responses to what she called the ongoing humanitarian crisis in San Diego and Tijuana.

EAST COUNTY STORIES OF THE YEAR IN 2018





By Miriam Raftery, Editor

December 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s been a turbulent year across East County.  Some of our top stories were purely local issues – a fire that ravaged Alpine, battles to stop sand mines in Lakeside and Rancho San Diego, debate over the future of Julian’s fire department, the controversies embroiling El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho, the indictment of Congressman Duncan Hunter, growing pains in Santee, and protests over a proposed parole office in La Mesa, to name a few. 

Other top stories reflect local impacts of national  and statewide actions, such as  impacts of marijuana legalization, concerns over a child migrant detention center in El Cajon, protests over gun violence in schools, the e-scooter craze, homelessness, and new faces swept into office during the election.

Here are the issues and events with the biggest impacts across East County that East County Magazine has covered in 2018, from January 1st through year's end.

LAS VEGAS-BASED CIRCO OSORIO BRINGS DAZZLING CIRCUS ACTS TO OTAY RANCH JANUARY 10-14





Click here for  free circus pass for children age 10 and under

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Oray Ranch, Chula Vista) -- American Crown Circus is bringing its Circo Osorio to the Otay Ranch Town Center January 10th through 14th.  A family tradition for over 90 years, the show includes aerial acrobats, trapeze flyers, illusions, a wheel of death, daredevils, creative costumes and theatrical showmanship. 

You're invited to "runaway to the circus."  The Las Vegas-based show promises spellbinding performances as aerial artists swing, acrobats tumble and artists defy the laws of gravity just inches from the audience.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man was shot in the head last night around 10:30 p.m. but fortunately is expected to survive.  Shots were fired from a white four-door vehicle near Jamacha Blvd. and Grand Avenue in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, Patch.com reports, citing Lt. Karla Menzies.

EL CAJON RECEIVES $4.8 MILLION TO IMPROVE STREET SAFETY

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon has been awarded $4.8 million in grant funding from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration. The grants will fund a number of improvements along two busy El Cajon roads—Jamacha Road (which turns into North Second Street) and Madison Avenue. The grant awards aim to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at these two locations in El Cajon, which has had a high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in recent years.

EXPERTS OUTLINE ALTERNATIVES FOR BACKING UP ELECTRICAL POWER

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Jenne Bergstrom, Alpine Library

December 19, 2018 (Alpine) -- A raging thunderstorm overhead added emphasis to the importance of having a backup electrical source during a free public forum at the Alpine Library.

Four experts provided information to homeowners and others during the Dec. 6 session, hosted by the library at 1752 Alpine Blvd.

TRUMP FOUNDATION TO SHUT DOWN UNDER COURT ORDER; PROSECUTOR FINDS “SHOCKING PATTERN OF ILLEGALITY” DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via New York Attorney General's website: Trump Foundation raised funds for veterans but failed to deliver the money to veterans' charities, a Washington Post report found.

December 18, 2018 (New York) –President Donald Trump has agreed to close down  his Donald J. Trump Foundation after New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed suit over “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more,” Underwood announced today. 

Her office’s investigation into Trump and his three oldest children, all officers on the Foundation, will continue.  According to the NY Attorney General, “none of the foundation’s expenditures or activities were approved by its Board of Directors” which had not met since 1991.  “Mr Trump alone made all decisions related to the foundation.”

Trump has agreed to have the charities’ remaining $1.75 million in assets dispersed under court supervision to legitimate charities.  Underwood is also asking the court to order Trump to pay over $2.8 million in restitution and to ban the President and his children from serving on boards of any other charities in New York.

ARCO CLERK ALLEGEDLY THREATENS CUSTOMERS, ASSAULTS DEPUTY

East County News Service

December 18, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A clerk at the Arco convenience store in the 9000 block of Campo Road assaulted a deputy who responded to a call reporting that the clerk was threatening customers with a knife. The caller reported that the clerk appeared to be under the influence of a drug and chased a customer with a knife.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SAFE HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 18, 2018 (San Diego) --  Millions of people will be hitting the road the next couple of weeks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s important you are properly prepared to get to your destination safely reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT LEAVES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, CITING KAVANAUGH

 

 

By Dan Morain, CALmatters

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

December 17, 2018 (Sacramento) - California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the GOP’s direction nationally and in the state.

RE-ELECTED MAYOR WELLS REPORTS “OUTSTANDING” STATE OF THE CITY

 

 

Cites accomplishments, addresses city's homeless problem and criticizes Sacramento for governing mandates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Watch video 

 

See Powerpoint presentation

 

December 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --I am proud to report that the State of our City is outstanding,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday to a nearly full council chamber. He added, I believe that the City is moving in a positive directionWe have relied on innovation and creative thinking to tackle difficult issues and we have maintained the City’s strong fiscal health, at a time when other cities have struggled.” 

FARM BILL HEADS TO TRUMP FOR SIGNATURE; INCLUDES HEMP LEGALIZATION, WITH LIMITS

 

Update December 20, 2018:  President Trump has signed the Farm Bill into law.

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2018 (Washington D.C.)  The U.S. Senate has passed a farm bill that now heads to President Donald Trumps desk for signature.  The final version stripped out efforts by House Republicans, who had sought to imposeharsher work requirements on millions of food stamp recipients. The House version would have dropped about 1.5 million low-income people off the program.

CEO/PRESIDENT ERIC J. LUND ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION AFTER FIVE YEARS WITH EAST COUNTY CHAMBER

 

 

East County News Service

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce today announced that it has accepted the resignation of chief executive officer Eric J. Lund, effective January 11, 2019.  Lund who has servedfive years with the Chamber, Lund has accepted an opportunity with another organization.  

EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPENING DELAYED

By Paul Kruz, Contributing Editor

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Residents of El Cajon and the County of San Diego will have to wait awhile longer before the community's theater, shuttered for over a decade, will reopen for performances.

While performing an evaluation of the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), experts have determined that the system will require complete replacement rather than an overall. Further investigation has found more age-related problems with the roof of the 1,140 seat theater.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DIRECTS STAFF TO DRAFT LETTER OF CONCERN OVER SOUTHWEST KEY MIGRANT CHILDREN FACILITY

Action comes after Union-Tribune reports seven children missing from Southwest Key facility

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Ana Babudar, Southwest Key Programs Inc., addresses City Council

Watch video testimony here

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a proposal asking staff to prepare letters to the California Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asking for a review of Southwest Key Programs, Inc, The Texas-based company provides extended care for undocumented immigrant children. Its El Cajon facility, known locally as “Casa San Diego,” contracts with the federal government to provide care to children who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without any parents, as well as some children who were separated from their legal guardians by U.S. immigration officials.

Co-sponsored by Council members Steve Goble and Gary Kendrick, the proposal stems from a November 18, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that revealed discrepancies with Southwest Key reports to the El Cajon Police Department and California Department of Social Services.

SCHOOL CHILDREN AND ALLSTATE HELP BRING NEW PLAYGROUND TO SHELTER IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Students from Meridian Elementary arriving at East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon are surprised and delighted to see a playground that they envisioned has come to life at the center, funded by Allstate through the company’s Good Starts Young program.

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon)  --  Fourth grade students in Mrs. Lee’s class at Meridian Elementary were asked how they would like to improve their community. The children dreamed up the idea of a playground for families at the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, which helps homeless people transition off the streets, then created the design.  But they had no idea that Allstate Insurance had provided funding through its Good Starts Young program to make the playground become a reality.  

NATIONWIDE BOMB HOAXES REACH EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2018 (San Diego) – A bomb hoax targeted numerous of businesses, schools, newspapers, government facilities and individuals nationwide yesterday including at least a dozen locations in San Diego County.  The targets locally ranged from a trucking business in Lakeside to an attorney’s office in Kensington.

Attorney Julie Hamilton told ECM she received an email that included a demand for $20,000 in bitcoins or a hidden bomb would be exploded, similar to a threat reported across the nation.  “The email was very similar to other emails shown by other businesses. I didn't have to tell the investigator much, by the time they got to me they were well aware of the emails going to multiple businesses in the area,” Hamilton said.

31 ARRESTED IN BORDER PROTEST; LOCAL FAITH LEADER RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGES AFTER VIDEO DEBUNKS ASSAULT CLAIM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via American Friends Service Committee




December 13, 2018 (San Diego)—On Monday, 32 people, mostly faith-based leaders from across the nation, were arrested in a peaceful protest in support of migrants seeking asylum at the international border in San Diego.

While most were charged with not following officers' orders and quickly released, Matthew Leber from the American Friends Service Committee representing Quakers was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a Border Patrol agent and kept overnight. But he was released without charges after a video posted by the AFSC shows agents knocking down Leber and taking his backpack, countering officials’ version of what occurred.  View video:  https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/videos/338520756967150/

East County resident Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, witnessed the incident. “I was standing only 15 feet from Matt when he was arrested,” Shu told East County Magazine. “The media reported that he was arrested for assault when the truth is, it was the Border Patrol that escalated the situation and used physical force when it was not needed.”

NAINSOOK FRAMING + ART ANNOUNCES JANUARY EVENTS

 

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nainsook Framing + Art in La Mesa (8130 La Mesa Blvd.) will host several January events including an artist reception, watercolor and mixed media classes, mosaic workshop, and more. Scroll down for full details on these activities and learn more at https://nainsookframing.com

Pages