TRUMP’S TAX RECORDS SHOW PRESIDENT MIRED IN DEBT, BEHOLDEN TO FOREIGN INTERESTS AND AVOIDED PAYING TAXES FOR YEARS DUE TO BUSINESS LOSSES

LA MESA POLICE RELEASE NUMEROUS PHOTOS OF SUSPECTS WHO LOOTED PIERRE’S JEWELERS ON MAY 30-31

LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION: PART TWO

FIVE CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE SEATS ON LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD

ECM TO HOST EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS

FAST-MOVING FIRES THREATEN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES

RED FLAG WARNNG: HIGH FIRE DANGER TODAY

CREST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S NEW OUTDOOR EDUCATION PROGRAM SHINES IN THE ERA OF COVID

SDG&E NOTIFIES APPROXIMATELY 700 BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS DUE TO SANTA ANA WINDS AND FIRE WEATHER WATCH

VIEW VIDEO OF OUR SUPERVISORS CANDIDATE FORUM

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DINNG AL FRESCO AT GIARDINO’S IN LEMON GROVE

FIRM INVESTIGATING LA MESA CIVIL UNREST HOSTS COMMUNITY LISTENING SESSION OCT. 6

GIVE INPUT ON FIXING UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Don Dussault Park in Fallbrook

August 29, 2020 (San Diego) - The County is asking residents and nonprofits working in the unincorporated areas for ideas on how to improve their communities. Three forums are planned Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and 2.

Those ideas may qualify for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The federal entitlement grant program provides annual grants to states, cities and counties. Applications for County CDBG funds are being accepted now through Dec. 1.

DISABILITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS TO END IN 2021 AND 2023 DUE TO TRUMP PAYROLL TAX CUTS, AGENCY’S CHIEF ACTUARY WARNS

It’s bad enough that seniors and people with disabilities are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using it as a subterfuge to undermine their financial security is unconscionable and unacceptable.” -- National Education Action

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Disability payments will end next year and Social Security payments to the elderly will stop in 2023 under President Trump’s executive order to cut payroll taxes, which took effect Friday, unless alternative funding is provided, Market Watch reports. That dire warning was issued August 24 by the program’s Chief Actuary, Stephen Goss, in a letter to key Senators.

Effective Aug. 28, Trump’s executive order temporarily suspends the 6.2% payroll tax collections from employers for employees under $104,000, which is used to fund Social Security and disability payments. (Employers until now have matched a 6.2% deduction paid by workers.)

Trump wants to make that permanent if reelected. On Aug. 8, Trump stated, “If I’m victorious on Nov. 3, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.” He made clear, “In other words, I’ll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax.”

TRUMP ACCEPTS REPUBLICAN NOMINATION AT CONVENTION IN SHARP CONTRAST TO DNC EVENT

Fact-checkers assess candidates' statements, find Trump had most misleading statements

By Miriam Raftery

View video of President Trump's hour-and-a-half long acceptance speech or scroll down for highlights and analysis.

August 28, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump made his case for reelection during his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention last night.  The President delivered his formal acceptance from the south lawn of the White House, but earlier in the week surprised delegates with a live appearance at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Trump touted his record, stating, he was “ proud of the extraordinary progress we have made together over the last four years; and brimming with confidence in the bright future we will build for America over the NEXT four years.” The President also sharply criticized Democrats in general and rival Joe Biden in particular and sought to position his party as the party of law and order.

FEDERAL JUDGE SIDES WITH TRUMP FOR NOW IN TRIBAL SUIT OVER BORDER WALL

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

Photo:  A section of new, steel bollard-style replacement wall goes up near Calexico. CBP photo by Mani Albrecht

August 28, 2020 (Campo) - A federal judge handed the Trump administration a victory Thursday by refusing to halt construction of a section of border wall near Campo.

CAPTAIN MATT NICHOLASS NAMED INTERIM ACTING CHIEF OF LA MESA POLICE: CITY LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE SEARCH FOR ITS NEXT CHIEF

East County News Service

Photo: Captain Matt Nicholass, tomorrow's Interim Chief of Police (left), and soon to be former Chief of Police Walt Vasquez (right). Chopper the Biker Dog, law enforcement mascott wishes Chief Vasquez "all the very best on his retirement during his 'final walk-out."  Photo courtesy of Facebook, Chopper the Biker Dog

August 27, 2020 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa plans to hire an executive recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for its next Chief of Police, according to a  new release earlier today from the City of La Mesa.

There will be a community input component to the selection process. The process is expected to take several months to complete. Once the recruiting firm is hired additional details will be released.

Captain Matt Nicholass will assume the role of Acting Chief of Police tomorrow, August 28, 2020.

EL CAJON AWARDS NEARLY $2.5 MILLION TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSSES IMPACTED BY PANDEMIC

East County News Service
 
Photo: Hacienda Casa Blana restaurant is among the grant recipients. The restaurant moved outdoors after several weeks of closure, then had canopies stolen. 
 
August 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon announced Tuesday that it has awarded nearly $2.5 million in grants to 134 small businesses in the city. The Business Grant Program—which was made possible through Federal CARES funds released by the County and State—was open to both non-essential and essential businesses (as defined by the State of California), as well as restaurants. 
 
Small business owners were eligible for various award amounts with maximums ranging from $10,000 for restaurants, $15,000 for essential businesses, and up to $30,000 for non-essential businesses, which were forced to fully close when the stay-at-home orders took effect in March. 
 
“The impact of this grant will provide an economic stimulus to support local small businesses which have suffered the greatest due to the pandemic,” said City Manager Graham Mitchell. 
 
A business grant committee made up of business and community leaders in the City assisted in selecting the recipients, which were all required to meet minimum qualifications set forth by the City Council. 

JOE BIDEN ACCEPTS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, PROMISES TO BRING AMERICA TOGETHER

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2020  -- In the first Democratic National Convention held remotely due to the coronavirus, former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the nomination in a powerful speech in which he promised to unite and heal America.  

He also pledged to provide leadership to address ”four historic crises” facing our nation:  the worst pandemic in over 100 years: the worst economic crisis since the Great Depressing, the strongest calls for racial justice since the ‘60s, and the  accelerating threat of climate change.

“If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw om the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.  It’s time for us, we the people, to come together,” said Biden, speaking from Deleware, his home state.

MAYOR WELLS URGES CITY TO DEFY STATE AND COUNTY COVID-19 LAWS AND REGULATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with comments from Gloria Chadwick and Randy Lenac, members of the Grossmont Healthcare District board

August 27, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells today announced on Facebook that he is convening a special meeting of the city council tomorrow at 3 p.m. to “discuss instructing our police to not enforce Covid-19 laws and or regulations… The state of California and the County of San Diego, of course, may continue to levy fines and criminal charges for violations, but I am proposing that the El Cajon police department not waste their valuable time enforcing mask, non-essential business and social distancing laws.”

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

August 27, 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.

STATE SENATOR BRIAN JONES TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, PROMPTING SENATE ADJOURNMENT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Facebook: Senator Brian Jones wearing a mask while speaking on the Senate Floor earlier this month

August 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)—State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) has tested positive for COVID-19. The finding prompted a temporary adjournment of the State Senate just days before the Aug. 31 end of the legislative session, putting the fate of some pending bills in question.

The announcement, made on Senator Jones’ social media sites today, states that he received the news after returning to Sacramento for the end of the legislative session.  The statements indicate he will be taking additional tests to rule out the possibility of a false-positive result.  “In the meantime, he’ll be following CDC and CDPH protocols for those receiving a positive test result,” his Facebook page states.  Those protocols recommend isolating at home while awaiting test results.

The statement does not indicate when or why the Senator was tested, or whether he has had any symptoms. Jones has been wearing a mask when speaking on the Senate floor, including as recently as Monday.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

August 27, 2020 (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" or scroll down.

FIND YOUR NAME ON THE $450K COUNTY REFUND LIST

East County News Service

August 27, 2020 (San Diego) - Many people could use extra cash during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office is doing all it can to reunite $450,324 in county refunds with its rightful owners. See if your name is on the list at sdttc.com.   The deadline to claim this money is Oct. 26.

WHAT TO PLANT IN YOUR SOCAL GARDEN IN LATE SUMMER

By Amy Okafor

Photo:  Showy Penstemon via Tom Hilton on Flickr 

August 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The dead of summer doesn't mean you have to put up with a wilted, drab landscape – even in Southern California where summers are warm and dry. Thanks to SoCal's mild winters, you can have a great yard almost year-round – if you know what to plant in your SoCal garden in late summer.

'THIS CHANGE IN POLICY WILL KILL': SCIENTISTS, MEDICAL EXPERTS WARN OF DANGEROUS LOOSENING IN CDC'S COVID GUIDELINES

"This is a stunning betrayal of public health that will spread the pandemic and lead to more unnecessary deaths." 

By Lisa Newcomb, staff writer, Common Dreams, reprinted under a Creative Commons license

Photo:  Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testifies during a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

August 26, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - As the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States nears six million, and with more than 176,000 Americans dead from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly altered its coronavirus guidelines, worrying public health experts and raising suspicions among healthcare advocates that the moves are politically motivated.

SDG&E SUPPORTS TEACHERS WITH MATCHING FUNDS FOR DISTANCE LEARNING AND STEM PROJECTS; APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED

This is the 3rd year that SDG&E is supporting educators  through DonorsChoose

East County News Service

August 26, 2020 (San Diego) – Through a partnership with DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding platform, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has set aside $250,000 of shareholder funding to match donations that help support local teachers with distance learning and with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects.    

Eligible teachers can visit the DonorsChoose website to apply. The DonorsChoose match program will run from today until funds are exhausted or December 31, 2020. 

HIGH PRICES, LOW INVENTORY PUT SQUEEZE ON LOW-INCOME AND FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS AMID PANDEMIC

 

By Helen Horvath

 

August 22, 2020 (San Diego) - You might think that amid the pandemic’s economic uncertainties, when many people are unemployed or living on reduced revenues, people would be hesitant to invest in buying a home. Yet real estate experts interviewed by ECM report the opposite – a frenzy of competitive bidding pushing up prices of local homes for sale. While a shortage of inventory is benefitting home sellers, the pandemic pandemonium in San Diego County’s real estate market poses daunting challenges for first-time homebuyers and those with low or moderate incomes.  

VALHALLA STUDENT HONORED AS ONE OF SAN DIEGO’S MOST REMARKABLE TEENS

East County News Service
 
August 25, 2020 (El Cajon, CA) — Amelie Simpson, a junior at Valhalla High School, has been named one of San Diego’s most remarkable teens. The award, presented annually by the San Diego Public Defender’s Office and the San Diego Public Defender Youth Council, honors teen accomplishments in a wide range of categories, including civic involvement, leadership, and the arts.
 
Nominated by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, Simpson is one of 25 teens recognized this year for their achievements. Beth Thorp, founder and executive director of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, recommended Simpson for the award saying, “While Amelie’s musical abilities standout publicly, the majority of her other accomplishments, especially her dedication to community service and academic excellence go unnoticed because of her humility.”           
 
The East County teen is a singer and songwriter, who performs at venues throughout San Diego, including the House of Blues, the San Diego County Fair, Grossmont Center, and the Helix Brewing Company. Ron Troyano, founder of Alchemy San Diego, who manages events for Seaport Village said, ”We feature music from many local performers and one of our favorites is Amelie Simpson, a true talent.”

GIVE TO SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM

During the protests and riots that rocked  La Mesa recently, East County Magazine was the only media outlet with a team of reporters, photographers and videographers on the ground all night to bring you this crucial coverage. Our courageous reporters endured pepper spray and tear gas, threats and intimidation to bring you in-depth, independent coverage of this story and others across our region. In La Mesa, we also covered the aftermath -- interviewing the Mayor and Chief of police, as well as views of protesters, counterprotesters, residents, merchants, and the many who came out to clean up and rebuild La Mesa.

But what if we weren't here? Local news matters--and it's in danger.

Due to the pandemic, the Local Media Association reports some newspapers have lost 90% or more of their ad revenues.  Nonprofit outlets including ours have lost revenues from hosting events, that are not allowed here due to COVID-19. Gannett, the biggest newspaper owner in the U.S., lost 94% of its value since last year.  McClatchy, another large news publisher, filed for bankruptcy. Penny Abernathy, Knight hair of journalism and digital media economics at te University of North Carolina, predicts COVID-19 will be an "extinction level event" for many local media outlets, large and small.

The good news is that readership is up 23% at news sites nationwide since mid-March -- and here at East County Magazine, our readership has doubled to 12 mllion hits a month.  During quarantine, people are rediscovering and appreciating the importance of local news coverage, whether it's reporting on emergencies such as wildfires or shining a light on actions of local governing boards at a time when the public is not allowed in many public meetings. We're also investing in bringing events online -- so you can hear directly from newsmakers and candidates in all parties running for local offices.

But we need your support to continue to be here to reflect your interests--the public interest, not special interests. With normal revenue sources gone due to the pandemic yet demand for local news higher than ever before, will you please make a donation to support our community reporting?

WHILE MAJOR EVENT PLANNERS RALLY TO REQUEST AID AS SHUTDOWNS CONTINUE, TRIBES RESUME EVENTS, EXEMPT FROM STATE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2020 (San Diego) – Due to state and county restrictions on gatherings of any size, most theaters, concert halls and other large event sites remained closed to prevent spread of COVID-19.  On Aug. 13, the San Diego Event Coalition held an “empty venue” rally to call not for reopening due to safety concerns, but for aid to assist the industry.  

ALL SCHOOLS CAN REOPEN SEPT. 1, COUNTY ANNOUNCES, PROVIDED SAFETY PLANS ARE APPROVED

By Miriam Raftery

August 25, 2020 (San Diego) – All local schools can reopen for in-person instruction starting September 1st, San Diego County public health officials announced today.  The decision does not require schools to reopen, however. Each district will determine whether it wishes to resume in-classroom instruction, continue with online learning, or a combination of both.

The action, announced in a telebriefing with school administrators, comes after the county was removed from the state’s monitoring list on Tuesday, setting in motion a 14-day timeframe after which the state will allow in-class education to reopen.

EAST COUNTY EATER: LE BON BO-BEAU REOPENS IN LA MESA

 

By Henri Migala

 

August 23, 2020 (La Mesa) - After being closed for several months, BO-beau in La Mesa has re-opened with reconfigured sitting areas that not only conform to mandated social distancing guidelines, but in an elegant way actually enhances the sense of intimacy for diners and patrons.

 

A member of the Cohen restaurant group, BO-beau is located in the historic downtown village in La Mesa.  The website describes the restaurant as where “Bohemian-chic meets industrial elegance.”  That is probably an accurate description when all sections of the restaurant are open, but with only the outdoor seating areas being available, the full experience of ‘Bohemian-chic and industrial elegance’ is replaced more by a comfortable, delightful and stylish experience of open-air garden dining.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ROAD MAP FOR LA MESA

An open letter to La Mesa’s Mayor and City Council

By Dave Myers

August 24, 2020 (La Mesa) --  I am a 27-year resident of La Mesa and also a retired San Diego County Sheriff’s Commander with 35 years in local law enforcement. In May of this year, all of us saw and experienced the horrific scenario that started out as a peaceful BLM demonstration taken over by criminals without police intervention and rapidly devolved into a nightmare of looting, violence, and the burning of downtown La Mesa.

79TH DISTRICT BACK TO SCHOOL BACKPACK AND SUPPLY GIVEAWAY

 
East County News Service
 
August 27, 2020 (San Diego) – Assemblymember Shirley Weber will host the 8th Annual 79th District Back to School Backpack and Supply Giveaway. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be a drive-thru event held on Saturday August 29, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m in the parking lot at Second Chance, 6145 Imperial Ave., San Diego, CA 92114.
 
This year, instead of physically attending school, some children will be at home learning virtually as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.
 
“Our goal as a community is to make sure our future leaders are prepared academically and have the right tools to succeed,” says Dr. Weber.

CHIEF’S CORNER: HAVE A DRINK ON ME

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
August 25, 2020 (San Diego) -- It’s hot outside, so make sure you stay hydrated. Give the yard a break, but don’t cut back on yourself. Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on how much of your body's fluid is lost or not replaced. Severe dehydration is a life-threatening emergency!
 
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty until you drink water. Stay one step ahead of the thirst and drink water throughout the day. Don’t rely exclusively on thirst to tell you when you need to grab something to drink. Sometimes thirst is not a reliable gauge, especially when you’re exercising, on a working incident, training or if you’re taking medications or have a health condition.
 
Keep a water within reach — at all times. Do you take regularly rehab breaks during an incident? Make sure you do! Keep water at moderate temperatures. You drink more fluid when it’s just the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. Beware of certain energy drinks. Popular energy drinks are very different from sports drinks. They are full of caffeine and sugar, and can be dehydrating instead of thirst-quenching.

MARGARET HUNTER ESCAPES PRISON TERM; PROSECUTORS DEFEND LIGHT SENTENCE

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

Photo:  Margaret Hunter, wife of former Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, walks past the federal courthouse on Broadway with her attorney Logan Smith after her sentencing on corruption charges. Photo by Chris Stone

August 24, 2020 (San Diego) - Former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter is going to prison. His wife and co-conspirator will not.

Thanks to her “extraordinary” cooperation with federal prosecutors, Margaret Hunter will serve just eight months of “punitive home detention” starting immediately.* Her estranged husband will begin 11 months behind bars in January.

'GREAT PLATES’ TO CONTINUE, EXPAND MEAL DELIVERY TO HELP MORE ADULTS WITH HEALTH CONDITIONS

Source: County of San Diego

August 25, 2020 (San Diego) - More than 2,000 older adults in the “Great Plates Delivered” program will continue to receive three free and healthy meals a day. Launched in mid-May, the program is a collaboration between the County and 31 local restaurants. Now the County is expanding the service, originally for seniors with health conditions, to include all adults with a disability or health condition that puts them at higher risk from COVID-19.

VICTIM IDENTIFIED, SUSPECT CAPTURED IN MAIN STREET KILLING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left by Della Elliott:  A shrine to commemorate 21-year-old shooting victim Fabian Cerda has been created by community members at the site where he was fatally shot. 

May 24, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of George Louis Garcia, 42, following a tense standoff in La Mesa with police from multiple law enforcement agencies. Garcia is charged in the shooting death of Fabian Esteban Cerda, 21, on August 18 in El Cajon.

According to Lt. K. MacArthur with El Cajon Police, Cerda became involved in an argument with Garcia, the former boyfriend of Cerda’s mother around 1:30 a.m. on August 18 in front of 1548 East Main Street in El Cajon. “He was shot several times and later died as a result of the shooting,” Lt. MacArthur says. The victim succumbed to his injuries in an ambulance en route to a hospital.  

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