COVID-19 OUTBREAK LINKED TO PHARMACY IN EL CAJON; COUNTY DEATH TOLL RISES TO 15

SCHOOL CLOSINGS DUE TO COVID-19 PRESENT POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED RISK OF CHILD EXPLOITATION

MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

GOVERNOR AND STATE SUPERINTENDENT CALL FOR SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED THROUGH END OF SCHOOL YEAR

UC EASES ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS IN RESPONSE TO EDUCATION DISRUPTIONS; SUSPENDS LETTER GRADE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS

CALIFORNIA ORDERS NURSING HOMES TO ADMIT RESIDENTS WITH COVID-19; EXPERTS CALL DIRECTIVE A “DEATH SENTENCE”

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB WILL HOLD VIRTUAL TOWN HALL ON COVID 19 THURSDAY

STATE SEEKS MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS

SPECIAL EDITION: BREAKING NEWS APRIL 1, 2020

COUNTY LAUNCHES VIRTUAL RECREATION CENTER WITH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR HOME ACTIVITIES

TEACHERS PROTEST PAY RAISE FOR CVUSD SUPERINTENDENT; MIYASHIRO GETS SALARY FAR HIGHER THAN STATE AND NATIONAL AVERAGES FOR SIMILAR-SIZED DISTRICTS

LOCAL COVID-CASES REACH 603: COUNTY RESTRICTS CRUISE SHIPS

SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARNS BUSINESSES, CONSUMERS OF PRICE GOUGING LAW IN WAKE OF CORONAVIRUS

 

Spiking Prices During a State of an Emergency is a Crime

East County News Service

Photo: Cc by ND via Bing

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) – After California and San Diego County each declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 virus, The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has issued a warning to businesses and scammers not to take advantage of consumers by price gouging.

During a declared state of emergency, it is illegal for a business to increase its prices for essential goods or services by more than 10 percent, unless they can show their own costs have been increased. "The statute would theoretically apply to online retailers as well as brick and mortar—as well as individuals who might be selling on an app like Offer Up,"  says Steve Walker, communications specialist at the District Attorney's office.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California on March 4 and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors extended its countywide state of emergency for an additional 30 days on February 19.

“We want county residents to know that we stand ready to protect their consumer rights under the law,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “We will strictly enforce violations related to price gouging.”

UCSD SHIFTS MOST SPRING CLASSES ONLINE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, BANS FANS FROM SPORTING EVENTS

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) – The University of California, San Diego has announced that starting with the spring quarter, all lecture and discussion courses will be conducted online due to concerns over COVID-19, the new coronavirus strain spreading rapidly around the world.  Lab and studio courses for which remote instruction is not possible will continue meet in person.

The campus is also restricting fans from attending most sporting events and urging cancellation or postponement of large events through at least May 10.

PUBLIC COMMENTS NEEDED ON STATE PARKS PLAN TO RESTORE CLOVER FLAT WILDLIFE PRESERVE DAMAGED BY OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

By Patrick Williams, Back Country Land Trust

Photo; Typical Clover Flat OHV trail for closure and restoration:

March 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Mountain Empire residents and others interested in seeing the Clover Flat wildlife preserve near Campo restored can submit comments on the restoration proposal by May 4, 2020.  Below are details on the proposal and how to submit your public comments.

California State Parks  proposes to  restore off-highway vehicle (OHV) including quad and four-wheel drive damaged areas totaling five restoration acres at Clover Flat wildlife preserve. Damaged areas will be secured, then restored with native plant seed, wattles and mulch and signage will be placed to direct riders (mostly accessing the area from the RR access road) to legal OHV Corral Canyon or Lark Canyon riding areas.

State Parks OHV public review and comment instructions:

FREE SANDBAGS FOR THE STORM

Source: County News Service

March 9, 2020 (San Diego) – With heavy rains from an atmospheric river set to douse our region over the next several days, the County is urging residents to be prepared.  Mud, plants an debris washed away can clog storm drains, damage roadways and cause flooding.  

You can stock up on free sandbags at these locations in the unincorporated areas, but call ahead to be sure of availability, and bring a shovel to fill the bags:

TOYOTA RECALLS 1.8 MILLION VEHICLES FOR FUEL PUMP FAILURE RISK

East County News Service

March 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- Last week, Toyota amended a safety recall involving fuel pumps first announced on January 13, 2020.  Approximately 1.8 million vehicles in total are now involved in this recall due to a risk of fuel pumps that may cease operating, calling the vehicle to stall, not restart, and increase the risk of crashes especially following stalls at high speeds. 

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: OPIOID EPIDEMIC – LAKESIDE TOWN HALL MARCH 25

Update: This event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 emergency.  Watch for announcements of rescheduling after the state and county emergency orders banning large gatherings is listed.

 

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

March 9, 2020 (Lakeside) -- Dozens of law enforcement officers, agents and deputies fanned out across Lakeside and the East County in January in the culmination of a 10-month undercover operation aimed at curtailing drug activity in Lindo Lake County Park. More than 20 suspects were arrested during the sweep. Fentanyl was part of the haul.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS MID-MARCH THROUGH APRIL

DUE TO THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION OVER THE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS),  ALL EVENTS BEFORE MARCH 31 HAVE BEEN ORDERED CANCELED.   PLEASE CHECK WITH ORGANIZERS FOR STATUS OF ALL UPCOMING EVENTS.

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features St. Patrick’s Day fun at Hooley’s Irish Pub, Irish teas in Julian, spring wildflower walks in the Anza-Borrego Desert, a Hawk Talk at the Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve, Agatha Christie’s the Hollow in La Mesa, concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon and a LatinX Film and Art Festival at San Diego, all in March.

Plus we have a preview of April attractions including an oysters and white wine pairing at Ramona Ranch Winery, Cajon Classic Cruises in El Cajon, a Literary Arts Festival at Grossmont College, as well as a Garden and Butterfly Festival at Cuyamaca College.

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

STATE DEPARTMENT URGES AMERICANS NOT TO TRAVEL ON CRUISE SHIPS, WARNS OLDER PEOPLE TO AVOID CROWDED PLACES AND NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by NC via Bing

March 9, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory that states, “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” 

The advisory cites the Centers for Disease Control’s warning that a cruise ship environment increases the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The State Department advises that many nations have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking to curb the spread of COVIC-19. Some passengers have been quarantined overseas. Although the U.S. has evacuated some cruise ship passengers recently, the State Department now warms, “repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”

The State Department also urges older adults and travelers with underlying health issues to avoid other situations that put them at risk. This includes avoiding crowded places and avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips or cruises.

SAN DIEGO STATE SOFTBALL SWEPT AT LOUISVILLE SLUGGER CLASSIC

Aztecs drop to 17-11 on the season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 8, 2020 (Long Beach) - San Diego State lost a pair of games on the final day of the Louisville Slugger Classic Sunday afternoon at LBSU Softball Complex. The Aztecs (17-11) rallied late in the opener, but dropped a 5-3 decision to No. 22/22 UCF before falling to host Long Beach State 8-0 in five innings in the nightcap.

SDSU BASEBALL DROPS TOUGH ONE AT OKLAHOMA IN 10 INNINGS

Sooners erase 8-7 Aztec lead with single runs in eighth and 10th

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 8, 2020 (Norman, Okla.) - Oklahoma scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday to escape with a 9-8 victory over visiting San Diego State in the final game of a weekend series at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

LEMON GROVE LIONS CLUB HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL SALSA Y SALSA FUNDRAISER APRIL 18 FOR SERVICE PROJECTS AND LITTLE LEAGUE

UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF A VENUE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS.
 
East County News Service
 
March 8, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Arriba! Lemon Grove Lions Club, the nonprofit organization devoted to service and volunteering, is hosting its Salsa y Salsa Fundraiser on April 18 from 6-9 p.m. The event will feature a salsa tasting and salsa contest, salsa dancing, plus delicious Mexican food, music, silent auction & raffle. 
 
Salsa & Sala will be held at Monte Vista Village auditorium, 2211 Massachusetts Ave, Lemon Grove, 91945.
 
The cost of admission is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. All proceeds will go toward Lions Club Service Projects and support our Lemon Grove Little League.
 

OYSTERS, CHEESES, PAINTING AND MORE AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY IN APRIL

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Ramona) – Ramona Ranch Winery is offering an array of April events to tempt your taste buds, including:
 
  • Wednesday, April 1st - Made to Order Pasta with award winning wines at the Ramona Par Lounge from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 4th - White Wine & Oysters with John Little Catering; reservations available now, wear white to delight in this pairing at the annual "White Party!"
  • Saturday, April 11th - Cheeses from the Cave offers up an array of samples, showcasing locally made cheese and how it pairs with the winery’s wines.
  • Saturday, April 18th - Sommelier Meghan Vergara rounds out the Trifecta, with an afternoon of wine tasting with a sommelier, winery owner and winemaker on how take your wine drinking knowledge and enjoyment to a whole new level as you taste thru Ramona Ranch wines, including some unreleased ones and discuss sustainability.

SHARP HEALTHCARE TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT PATIENTS, VISITORS AND CAREGIVERS FROM COVID-19, OFFERS TIPS FOR PUBLIC

East County News Service
 
March 7, 2020 (La Mesa)--Sharp Healthcare, which operates Sharp Grossmont Hospital and other medical facilities in our region, has set up a webpage on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) with information on steps Sharp is taking to protect against the virus and what the public should know.
 
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, which is spreading around the world.  Here are tips to help stop spread of the respiratory virus:
 

GONZALEZ-FLETCHER ADDS $20 MILLION TO BUDGET TO PARTIALLY OFFSET AB 5 IMPACTS ON NONPROFIT ARTS GROUPS, BUT FALLS FAR SHORT OF HELP NEEDED

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Sacramento)-- Musicians, artists and nonprofit arts groups are among the hardest hit by AB 5, the new law authored by Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) requiring that many freelancers be reclassified as employees – a prohibitively costly mandate for many small nonprofits. Now Gonzalez-Fletcher is offering some help, though it amounts to a Bandaid approach to the wounds inflicted on the arts and music industries by the new law.
 
Last month, Gonzalez-Fletcher  along with Assemblymember Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) asked for $20 million to be added to the state budget for the California Arts Council to help small community nonprofit arts groups comply with AB 5, but only in the first year. But there is no guarantee of funding for applicants, nor any help to meet ongoing enormous costs of complying in future years--such as paying unemployment insurance, workman’s compensation and other annual costs for all employees, as well as added payroll deduction and accounting costs. 
 
Moreover, the measure only helps nonprofits able to win grants and show good-faith effort to comply with AB 5. Even then, the measure offers no help to meet ongoing high costs, nor does it offer any assistance to for-profit companies nor to individual artists or musicians losing work due to the new law.

EAST COUNTY REALTORS WILL PROTEST EL CAJON PROPOSAL TO HIKE PROPERTY TAXES WITH SEWER BILL

East County News Service

March 7, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), one of San Diego’s largest real estate trade associations for realtors, has announced it is planning to protest a proposal by the El Cajon City Council to add sewer charges to property taxes paid by El Cajon homeowners. PSAR members say they will voice their opposition at the next city council meeting at 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, at city hall, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon.

GLADLY COFFEE IN SPRING VALLEY SHOWCASES WOMEN MUSICIANS SUNDAY MARCH 8

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Spring Valley) – In honor of international women’s day, Gladly Coffee in Spring Valley (formerly Butler’s) presents “Center Stage,”  an all-female musical showcase this Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m.

“ATMOSPHERIC RIVER” TO DRENCH REGION MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

By Miriam Raftery

March 7, 2020 (San Diego) – Following light showers on Sunday, an “atmospheric river” is on track to drop heavy rainfall across our region Monday through Thursday including mountains, valleys, deserts and coastal regions of San Diego County.  There is also a chance of thunderstorms and risk of flash flooding.

Heaviest rains are forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Weather Service predicts.

SENATOR BRIAN JONES COAUTHORS BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO ASSIST VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

"Human Trafficking is a heartbreaking crime that can destroy lives, families, and communities." – Brian Jones

East County News Service
 
March 6, 2020 (Sacramento) - State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced he is coauthoring two bipartisan measures by Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), aimed at assisting the victims of human trafficking.
 
Human trafficking is defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as: "the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act."  The victims are often children and frequently are runaways or missing youth.  All-too-often, these vulnerable young people, whose average age is 15 years old, are away from home for the first time. They can become easy prey for dangerous pedophiles, pimps, recruiters, and enforcers. Sadly, one in seven runaways are likely to become a sex trafficking victim.

FREE ART WORKSHOPS IN BORREGO SPRINGS FOR ALL AGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 6, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery is hosting free art workshops for all ages each Sunday in March from 1 to 5 p.m. Aspiring artists are invited to make new projects with different artists each week:
 
Drop in anytime and stay as long as you wish at Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery, 587 Palm Canyon Drive, #125, at the mall in Borrego Springs.
 
For more information, visit www.CandlewoodArtsFestival.org 

TEN-FOLD DECREASE IN JOB GAINS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Barely 29,000 new jobs for people with disabilities in 2018, compared to over 343,000 new jobs for the disabled two years ago.  California had the most job losses for disabled workers.
 
Source: RespectAbility
 
March 6, 2020 (Washington D..C) -- New statistics show that job gains among Americans with disabilities have dramatically fallen compared to previous years of sustain growth. 
 
California saw the biggest job losses among people with disabilities, with more than 21,000 workers with disabilities leaving the labor force. 

CHIEF’S CORNER: ARE YOU READY FOR AN EARLY WILDFIRE SEASON?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- We’ve had the driest January and February for quite some time. Usually its our wettest months of the year. We’ve had some rain, but not much. We did experience more than normal wind events and more are expected through this week with warm temperatures promoting fuel growth and drying out vegetation faster than normal!

The National Interagency Fire Center Issued this alert for Southern California: Significant large fire potential is expected across the region during the outlook into late March, April and May. 

REAL ESTATE REALITY: PROTECTING THE NEST FROM UNCOOPERATIVE NEIGHBOR

By Maryanne Jackson real estate Broker CNE, CPRES.

Photo: Cooper's hawk, Freestock creative commons

March 6, 2020 (San Diego's East County)

 Dear Maryanne,

I woke up to a commotion in my driveway. I looked out and noticed tree trimmers trimming a large tree on our property with branches that grow over to the neighboring side. This tree is providing privacy and shade to me! Most important of all the tree is home for a hawk; she has a nest and babies currently in the tree.

I ran out and yelled for the tree trimmers to stop as they were climbing the tree on our side. My concern is we had not discussed this with our neighbors. Shouldn’t we have a voice in the company selected and the time of the service? We want to protect the hawks and we also want to make sure the company is licensed and bonded. What can we do now?

 R.M.

La Mesa, Ca.

COUNTY ASKS RESIDENTS, SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES TO PREPARE FOR COVID-19

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo, courtesy County of San Diego: County Microbiologist Jovan Shepherd prepares a specimen for testing of the novel coronavirus.
 
March 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Be informed. Be prepared.
 
That’s what County and local health officials, business and school leaders want area residents to do should the novel coronavirus be detected in the region.
 
“It’s important for everyone to educate themselves and their family and be prepared in case the new coronavirus makes its way to San Diego County,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “It’s also important for people not to panic as the risk for this new virus and the disease that it causes continues to be low.”

THE HOLLOW REVIEW - AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY

By Kathy Carpenter
 
Photos: Lamplighters Community Theatre
 
March 5, 2020 - (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre presents "The Hollow." Everyone loves a good mystery and Agatha Christie's are some of the best. The house was full which proves my point. Why don't they do more mysteries? 
 
When I think Agatha Christie I don't think of humor, but I had not heard of "The Hollow.”  It was quite funny, peppered with one-liners. Since this play is lesser known, it kept me guessing to the end. The play has  everything a good whodunit needs: humor, a plot that keeps you guessing, and a cast of great characters.

LONG-TIME PUBLISHER SUNBELT MOVING FROM EL CAJON TO PHOENIX

Update March 26:   Sunbelt's move to Arizona has been put on indefinite hold due to the pandemic. The Sunbelt warehouse is temporarily closed in compliance with state mandates to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The company plans to reopen the warehouse on April 13, 2020 if it is safe to do so.
 
 
East County News Service
 
Photo: Lowell and Diana Lindsey at Sunbelt’s warehouse in El Cajon
 
March 5, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Sunbelt Publications, known for its award-winning books about natural and cultural history, outdoor adventure, regional reference, and travel, has been sold to American Traveler Press of Phoenix, Arizona. Sunbelt will be closing its El Cajon warehouse at 1250 Fayette Street on March 31 with all stock moving to Arizona beginning April 1. Sunbelt is offering discounts of 30-50% off on all titles during the month of March and is open during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Sunbelt also has a selection of free books available to shoppers. For more information, call 619-258-4911 or 800-626-6579. Check the website to view books published and distributed by Sunbelt Publications: www.sunbeltpublications.com
 

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 5, 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” and scroll down.  

RAMONA’S CHRIS ANDERSON WINS REALTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD (AGAIN) FROM SAN DIEGO’S LARGEST REALTORS ASSOCIATION

East County News Service

March 5, 2020 (Ramona) – Ramona resident Chris Anderson, a realtor with Coldwell Banker West (CBW), was recently honored by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) with the 2019 Realtor of the Year Award.

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