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

TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS REMIXED REVIEW - A HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA DEC. 20-22

By Kathy Carpenter

December 19, 2019 (San Diego) - Traditions are important, especially at Christmas. Families need rituals, routines and things that bring them together; bonding and memories they can pass on. Perhaps The Traditions of Christmas show is already on your radar. If not, it’s a great family tradition or one-time outing, encompassing everything you would want to see in a Christmas production. The show is colorful, festive, fun, full of joy and infectious holiday spirit.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WE MUST NOT EQUATE SEXUAL HEALTH TO DEVIANT SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

By Daniel Smiechowski, Bay Ho  

December 20, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The recent hearing in a San Diego courtroom to release another sexual predator in Jacumba Hot Springs is another bridge too far. Eleven of fourteen county sexual predators are already in rural East County. It’s clear that demographics play a role in further stigmatizing this dusty ramshackle outpost in San Diego’s high desert.

AREA HOSPITALS WORK TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY SAN DIEGO'S TOP HEALTH NEEDS

Aging, behavioral health, and chronic conditions among greatest priorities

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

Photo:  seven area hospitals brought together more than 100 regional healthcare and social service stakeholders at National University’s central campus to release the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment findings earlier this month.

December 19, 2019 (San Diego) – How well does your local hospital know the everyday health needs of your community? Seven area hospitals and health systems are taking significant strides to do just that, with the release of a report Wednesday detailing San Diego County’s top health and social needs.

BOGGELN NAMED ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT'S NEW FIRE CHIEF

East County News Service

December 19, 2019 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District Board of Directors today announced selection of Brian Boggeln as the District’s next Fire Chief.  He will be filling the position vacated by Fire Chief Bill Paskle, who will be retiring on December 30.  Chief Boggeln’s first official day as Fire Chief will be December 31.

Board President Jim Easterling stated, “It is with great pleasure that the Board announces that Brian Boggeln will assume the role of Fire Chief. The choice was easy due to Mr. Boggeln’s education and background with over 22 years in the fire service. The Board looks forward to working with him on all the District’s future endeavors.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 21-FEB. 4

East County News Service

December 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County features North Pole Limited train rides in Campo, Julian Victorian Christmas teas, and the Waits live at  San Pasqual Winery’s tasting room in La Mesa. 

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, a Boogie Woogie New Year’s Party at the Courtyard Marriott in El Cajon, a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve bash at Viejas, and open farm weekend at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona,

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

NEW MURAL UNVEILED IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
December 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil a new mural in historic Downtown El Cajon on Tuesday.
 
The mural, a whimsical depiction of east county flora and fauna is located on the east side of 181 East Rea Avenue (facing Suzfeld Way.) 
 
The mural was painted by Kline Swonger and is one of several colorful murals along what has become known as Alley Cat Alley, home to the annual Alley Cat Art Walk.

EL CAJON DESIGNATES HALL FAMILY RANCH HOUSE AS LOCAL HISTORIC RESOURCE

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- On Tuesday, December 10th, the El Cajon City Council approved designation of the Hall Family Ranch House, built in 1886, as a local historic resource. The property includes a single-family residence with a detached garage located on Provo Street in El Cajon. The 133-year-old home features a Folk Victorian architectural style. 

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL POT SHOPS?

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) – Although personal use of cannabis is legal in California, each city and county has the right to ban or restrict sales.  But closing down illegal pot shops has become a challenge for law enforcement and a headache for neighbors, since the process often takes months and once closed, illegal dispensaries often pop up again nearby or even in the same building repeatedly.

How concerned should residents be about an illegal marijuana operation in their neighborhood?

Unlike licensed dispensaries that are subject to inspections, state and local regulations, illegal dispensaries may sell marijuana that is adulterated with contaminants and is dangerous to customers. Some illicit dispensaries locally have also been caught selling other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines.  They may sell drugs to minors. The operators may create hazards to neighbors by tapping illegally into electricity, overloading circuits, and if manufacturing hash oil extracted from marijuana, utilize drums filled with flammable chemicals that can and have exploded, causing fires locally.

At times, illegal dispensaries  have engendered other crimes. Robberies and shootings have occurred; illegal operators tend not to report these crimes to police.  Corruption has also allegedly happened locally. Former Rancho San Diego Sheriff Captain Marco Garmo has been indicted for allegedly tipping off his cousin, an illegal dispensary owner, on raids by law enforcement, among other federal charges that he faces.

REAL ESTATE REALITY: WHO PAYS WHAT ON A REAL ESTATE PURCHASE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

By Maryanne Jackson Real Estate Broker

December 10, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)

Dear Maryanne,

Can you clarify for us whom pays for what on a property purchase/sale in Southern California?

Joel B and Jessica M.

HOUSE IMPEACHES TRUMP, BUT SPEAKER MAY DELAY SENDING IMPEACHMENT TO SENATE DUE TO FAIR TRIAL CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

December 18, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Today, Donald Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached. The House of Representatives voted 230-197 in favor of Article I (abuse of power) and 229-198 on Article II (obstruction of Congress) with one member, Tulsi Gabbard, voting present.

San Diego's four Democratic reprsentatives voted in favor of impeachment. Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) stated, "Make no mistake. We are not impeaching the President. He is impeaching himself. If you are the President, and you obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign leader and threaten national security, you’re going to get impeached. End of story.”  Congressman Duncan Hunter, our county's only Republican representative, could not vote because he has been banned from voting by the House Ethics Committee after pleading guilty to conspiracy to spend campaign funds on personal uses.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began the session by stating, “I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”

In a surprise move, Speaker Pelosi announced after the vote that the House will not transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate or name impeachment managers to present the House case to the Senate until Senators determine a process for a trial.

Her action came after Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is in charge of setting rules for a Senate trial, stated, “I’m not an impartial juror,” raising concerns over a biased process. McConnell has further stated that he is "in total coordination with the White House counsel's office" and is "taking my cues from the president's lawyers."

That violates the U.S. Constitution, which requires that Senators must take an oath pledging to act as an "impartial justice" before engaging in an impeachment trial.

SENATE LEADER ADMITS BIAS AND DEFIES CONSTITUTION; DOZENS OF MAJOR NEWSPAPERS CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT WHILE VOTE LOOMS IN HOUSE

By Miriam Raftery

December 18, 2019 – The House prepares to vote today on impeaching President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  If impeachment passes the House, the Senate must hold a trial and set the rules. 

But  Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is in charge of setting rules for a Senate trial, has brazenly stated, “I’m not an impartial juror.” That violates the U.S. Constitution, which requires that Senators must take an oath pledging to act as an "impartial justice" before engaging in an impeachment trial. McConnell has further stated that he is "in total coordination with the White House counsel's office" and is "taking my cues from the president's lawyers."

Journalists, whose obligation is to report truth and provide readers with facts instead of propaganda, have taken a far different view.  Dozens of  major newspapers including virtually all of the nation’s top newspapers have published editorials calling for impeachment--including such respected national news sources as USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, the conservative-leaning Salt Lake City Tribune and Houston Chronicle, and newspapers spanning the nation geographically including the San Diego Union-Tribune, Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times, Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Portland Oregonian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Detroit Free Press, Connecticut Post, the Atlantic, San Jose Mercury News, York Dispatch in Pennsylvania, and the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

USA Today’s editorial board wrote, “In his thuggish effort to trade American arms for foreign dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump resembles not so much Clinton as he does Richard Nixon, another corrupt president who tried to cheat his way to reelection. This isn’t partisan politics as usual. It is precisely the type of misconduct the framers had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton supported a robust presidency but worried about “a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper” coming to power. Impeachment, Hamilton wrote, was a mechanism to protect the nation “from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

SAPS AT SEA PRESENTS 'CHEESE IT, FELLAS! THE COPS!' DEC. 28

East County News Service

December 18, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, will host its last program of 2019, “Cheese It Fellas, the Cops!” on Saturday, December 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spring Valley.

FOSTER FAMILIES RECEIVE FREE COMPUTERS DURING COUNTY GIVEAWAY

 

More than 150 local foster families are setting up computers in their homes this holiday season thanks to a collaboration between the County of San Diego and the San Diego County Futures Foundation. The families and children received free computers as part of the 20th annual Computers for Foster Families Program.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WE’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY – OR HAVE WE? EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: A 100 YEAR WALK IN THE LEGAL BONEYARD

By Helen Horvath

Isn’t it time we made the system work for women instead of the women work for the system?

December 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Two of my favorite songs in the fight for equal rights for women include V-Day’s “Break the Chain” and Andra Day’s “Rise Up”.  These songs touch my heartstrings in different ways. I often raise my hands to the sky as I pray for improvements and opportunities for the women in our communities.  Women are not possessions and should not be held back from future success based upon relationship status, religion, or beliefs of others.  Women in our community are professional athletes, mothers, teachers, doctors, attorneys, fast food workers, and a sundry of other occupations.  Many times, women are paid less than their male colleagues. 

Women must always remember that we are beautiful creatures who guide and teach our children, family members, and communities how to break the chain to create opportunities to “be the change” to be impactful.

Let’s face facts: women are often the hearts of our communities. Together women do move mountains. 

IMPEACHMENT EVE PROTEST HELD IN EL CAJON

 

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 17, 2019 (El Cajon) “I’m not a never-Trumper," said Trish F., of La Mesa, “I’m a never-narcissist. This has nothing to do with party lines." 

Trish, who wished to not disclose her full name, was one of many who showed up at an impeachment eve, impeach now protest held in El Cajon on Dec. 17.

She is a psychiatrist and says she is treating many for a variety of issues relating to Trump.

“I’ve been treating a rise in PTSD, anxiety and depression in the last three years,” she said. “There is no hope for some.” Trish, according to her patients, attributes it to the Trump presidency and campaign.

The El Cajon protest, held at the northwest street crossing of Johnson and Fletcher Parkway, was just one of many held across the country.

The line of protestors ran along the street corner, all the way to the north driveway entrances, northwest of Crunch, on the sidewalks of Westfield’s Parkway Plaza Shopping Center.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN EL CAJON TONIGHT, EXTRA HOLIDAY PATROLS NOW THROUGH JAN. 1

By Sgt. Steve Paz, El Cajon Police Department
 
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This Holiday Season: National Enforcement Campaign Through New Year’s
 
December 20, 2019 (El Cajon ) -- El Cajon Police Department encourages everyone attending holiday parties and gatherings where alcohol may be involved to use a designated sober driver. 
 
This holiday season, from now until New Year’s, El Cajon Police Department will have more officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
In addition, El Cajon Police Department will hold a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint tonight, December 20, 2019 from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the 1400 block of east Washington Avenue in El Cajon.
 

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN EL CAJON; VICTIM LEFT WITH BROKEN ARM

East County News Service

December 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested Ammar Hassan, 19, of San Diego for an attempted robbery that left the victim with a broken arm, ECPD announced on Dec.10.  The attempted robbery happened in the 500 block of North Mollison on Friday, December 6. 

According to Lt. Walt Miller, the victim, 44, was walking on the sidewalk when he was approached from behind and punched numerous times. He was knocked to the ground and the suspect demanded money.  The victim told the suspect he did not have any money and the suspect fled on foot.

HIGH WIND WARNING TONIGHT

East County News Service

December 17, 2019 (San Diego's East County)--A high wind warning is in effect for local mountains through 10 p.m. tonight. Gusts of up to 70 miles an hour in mountain areas.  A wind advisory is also in effect for inland valleys, where gusts up to 50 mph are forecast due to strong Santa Ana winds blowing east/northeast.

Driving may be hazardous, especially for high profile vehicles and blowing dust may reduce visibility. Area residents are advised to secure loose objects around homes.

SANTEE GETS ITS NEW BRAND AND LOGO

Council also votes to sell library parcel and change meeting schedule

By Mike Allen

December 17, 2019 (Santee) -- It’s simple, has the key elements that distinguish the city, and features some nice colors, advocates say. They indicate that the strapline---that’s the tag line that goes below the new logo--is catchy: Do More, Due East.

Santee’s brand, logo and ideas for how it can be used were unveiled last week in a presentation before a City Council that gave the effort mostly a thumbs up, although a majority weren’t gushing about the results of a nine-month process that will end up costing nearly $100,000, and thousands more when replacement cost are factored in.

The logo change ties in with the city's 40th anniversary coming up in 2020.

LEMON GROVE DROPS COMPLAINT AGAINST ROSIAK

By Miriam Raftery

December 17, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The City of Lemon Grove has dropped its complaint against Teresa Rosiak alleging misdemeanor campaign finance and disclosure violations. Rosiak, a fiscal conservative, ran unsuccessfully for the Council in 2018. She has been a vocal critic of the Council on financial matters and had called the charges politically motivated.

As ECM previously reported, the FPPC had earlier closed its investigation into Rosiak with no disciplinary action before Lemon Grove filed its complaint in court. The city has acknowledged in response to an ECM records request that it has not filed any similar charges against any other candidate in at least the last ten years.

SANTA YSABEL NATURE CENTER RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

Ribbon cutting at Santa Ysabel Nature CenterImage Credit: Jessica Geiszler

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications OfficeDec. 16, 2019 | 1:34 PM

County Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, environmental groups, tribal representatives, Parks officials and hundreds of visitors celebrated the opening of the $9.5 million Santa Ysabel Nature Center Saturday with a ribbon-cutting featuring tours, animal encounters, junior ranger activities, and crafts and games for kids.

The celebration began with music, art, information tables, nature crafts and animals including alpacas and a rosy boa snake. It then moved to the formal ribbon-cutting that featured a bird song sung by tribal performance troupe Ashaa Takook and words from several speakers. The event ended with tours, a demonstration of hawks and other birds of prey and hiking.

LEMON GROVE COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS DEC. 20

East County News Service

December 17, 2019 (Lemon Grove) - Lemon Grove Community Christmas will be held on Friday, December 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  This family-fun event includes a community meal, Christmas carols, tree lighting and more.

The community Christmas even is hosted by Engage Community Church, Thrive Lemon Grove, HealZone, House Gone Wild and others. For questions, visit http://engagesd.cc/eventbrite-event/lemon-grove-community-christmas/.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS REVIEW: STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL DOES SHAKESPEARE

By Kathy Carpenter 

December 16, 2019 (El Cajon) - Steele Canyon Players and Orchestra presented A Midsummer Night's Dream last week, directed by Nicole Labella and based on the play by William Shakespeare. On the back of winning the National Youth Arts Award for their spring 2019 production of Les Misérables, San Diego/La Mesa Chapter and their award winning production of The Sounds of Music in spring 2018, it's obvious the players can do musicals. Can they do Shakespeare? Shakespeare can be hard. Old English is hard to understand. But besides a few rushed lines the production was well acted and funny.

EL CAJON STAKE CHOIR TO PRESENT CHRISTMAS CHORAL CONCERT ON SUNDAY, DEC. 15

East County News Service

December 14, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Stake Choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present its annual evening of choral Christmas music on Sunday evening, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. The El Cajon Stake Center is located at 1270 So. Orange Avenue (off Chase Avenue) in El Cajon.

There is no admission charge for the event.

Directed by Marilyn Harris-White, the concert will feature traditional Christmas carols including Harris-White’s own work, “The Greatest Gift.” The concert will also include John Rutter’s “Gloria.” and community sing along of holiday favorites.

THE FABULOUS BACKSTORY OF ALPINE RESIDENT JUNE KNAUFMAN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 13, 2019 (Alpine) The textured, marbled backstory of Alpine resident, June Kaufman, includes social outings with Jacques Cousteau, answering musician Bob Dylan’s fan mail, and wearing Jaclyn Smith’s clothes, not from her clothing line but from her donated outfits, given to a thrift store, after she wore them while working on the tv show, Charlie’s Angels.

Kaufman, born in 1940 in Oakpark, Illinois, moved with her parents to Coronado at age 2.  The family moved and she  grew up in Pacific Beach and La Jolla and even attended La Jolla High School with actress Raquel Welch.  “She was in my class,” said Kaufman.  But Kaufman, maiden name Snyder back then, got antsy; she skipped out of high school to move to Hollywood.

THE HOLIDAYS CAN BRING ADDED RISKS FOR HOMEOWNERS: HERE’S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

 

By Michael Evans

Reprinted with permission from Bankrate.

Photo:  Fazeful/Getty Images 

December 2019 (San Diego) -- We all love classic holiday comedies in which characters tumble down staircases, battle wildlife intruders and fight tooth and nail against burglars. But in the real world, holiday disasters can leave homes in ruins and families in mourning.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one in 32 holiday tree fires result in fatalities. Between 2013 and 2017, holiday tree fires caused around $10 million in property damage each year. During the same period, fire departments across the country responded to nearly 800 fires per year caused by holiday decorations other than trees.

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more. If you wish, bring a dish to share.

Special thanks to Smart & Final for donating delicious foods for our holiday feast!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

READER’S EDITORIAL: COMMUTERS FED UP WITH GRIDLOCK IN SANTEE

By Eid Fakhouri, CPA, CGMA, Commuter and Family Advocate

December 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Look at these photos!  (Inverness Rd. and Carlton Oaks Dr. in Santee taken Dec. 12 at 7:40 a.m.).  Happens ALL the time. 

As you can see from the photos, traffic is backed up all the way down Carlton Oaks Drive almost to Wethersfield.

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