LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORT CONTINUING TO ACCEPT REFUGEES AND FEDERAL FUNDING

FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA’S NEW GIG WORKER LAW IS DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THREATENING ALL PERFORMING ARTS

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ONE-YEAR BAN ON SALES OF VAPING PRODUCTS, ALSO TARGET SMOKELESS TOBACCO

ACTOR ERIK ESTRADA, LOCAL HEROES AMONG HONORED GUESTS AT CHP COMMAND CENTER OPEN HOUSE

WATCH FOR WINDY WEATHER

SEN. ATKINS SAYS NEW TRUMP RULE COULD CUT FOOD STAMPS FOR 700,000 CALIFORNIANS

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  An applicant signs up for food stamps, known as CalFresh in California, at a low-income health clinic in Contra Costa County. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) - Senate President Toni G. Atkins warned Wednesday that a tightening of work rules by the Trump administration could end food assistance for 700,000 people in California.

HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE STRIPS HUNTER OF VOTING IN BIPARTISAN ACTION AFTER GUILTY PLEA

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) – In a bipartisan action, today leaders of the House Ethics Committee sent Congressman Duncan D. Hunter a letter notifying him that he should no longer cast any votes in the House, due to his guilty plea on conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal expenditures.

While the order is not mandatory, the letter threatens disciplinary action if he fails to comply, which could include expulsion from the House. The letter was signed by Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida, a Democrat, and ranking member Kenny Marchant, a Republican.

Hunter has previously been stripped by Republicans in the House of serving on any committees. His 50th Congresional district is thus left without representation on all voting matters, though his staff can continue to provide constituent services. 

He could resume voting if reelected, but if he chooses to run for reelection in 2020, he could be in prison and unable to serve. Hunter is slated for sentencing in March and could face up to five years in prison plus a quarter of a million dollar fine – the same amount he was accused of embezzling from his campaign.

PRESCRIBED FIRE BURNS PLANNED AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Source:  CA Department of Parks and Recreation

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) - The California Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection (CAL FIRE) and other agencies are planning to conduct prescribed burns and pile burns in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park between Dec. 16, 2019 and April 30, 2020.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS FIND AND RESCUE DESERTED MIGRANT WITH HELP FROM VOLUNTEERS

Source: Border Patrol 

December 5, 2019 (Dulzura) -- On Thanksgiving Day, a 34-year-old Mexican national with life threatening injuries was left behind by a criminal organization that tried smuggling him into the country.  

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DECEMBER IS NATIONAL IMPAIRED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH

By David R. Shorey

East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

December 5, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) -- Holiday time in the East County is marked with tree lightings, trips to the snowcapped peaks, and the sound of holiday music floating in the air. It is also the most popular time of year for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this time of year has the highest rate of driving under the influence incidents, injuries and deaths. In fact, preventable alcohol-related deaths account for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to NHTSA.

That’s why each year, December is declared National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Law enforcement officials in the East County participate by annually increasing patrols and DUI checkpoints in the region. We observe Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight steps we can take to improve safety on our streets and raise awareness of these preventable dangers.

MASKED SUSPECTS WANTED AFTER ATTACKING RESIDENT DURING HOT PROWL BURGLARY IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – Three masked men forced their way into a home in the 1400 block of 5 D Drive in unincorporated El Cajon shortly before 9 p.m. last night.  The homeowner told police that her adult son heard a knock at the front door and opened it to find the three intruders, all armed. One of the intruders struck the son in the head, injuring him.

RAMONA HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS INCLUDES HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MUSIC, AND WINE TASTING

East County News Service

December 4, 2019 (Ramona) -- This year’s Ramona Holiday Wine Trail runs four weekends to make sure you have time to cover all 18 participating wine-tasting venues and take advantage of all that the Holiday Wine Trail has to offer. The event includes holiday shopping at wineries as well as live music, special events and promotions plus of course, wine tasting.  This year, the wine trail runs each Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HOLDS OFF COLORADO STATE 59-49

Sophia Ramos, Taylor Kalmer and Tea Adams all had 15 points
 
Source:  goaztecs.com
 
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
 
December 4, 2019 (San Diego) - Fueled by a red hot first quarter, the Aztec women’s basketball team (4-5, 1-0) knocked off Colorado State (5-4, 0-1) 59-49 in their Mountain West opener Wednesday evening.
 
The Aztecs began the game on a 10-0 run and never relinquished the lead. They scored a season-

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

December 4, 2019 (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.

Impeachment

Other national news

WORLD

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

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

December 4, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE & TECH

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

SEVEN SAN DIEGANS DIED FROM INFECTION LINKED TO BLACK TAR HEROIN

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 4, 2019 (San Diego) - Seven San Diegans died in the last two months from the bacterial infection myonecrosis, which is associated with black tar heroin use, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

GOLDEN SPIKE CEREMONY CROWNS RAILWAY’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION IN CAMPO

Video of golden spike driven in by actor Jake Schaible portraying John D. Spreckels at centennial  https://youtu.be/n2MQr565uq4 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2019 (Campo) – Four days after Armistice Day in 1919 ended World War I, John D. Spreckels drove in a golden spike to complete the San Diego & Arizona Railway in Carrizo Gorge.  That historic event was recreated on November 16, 2019 at the centennial of the historic occasion celebrated at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum.

Spreckels originally “missed the spike, they reset it, he bent it, and then nailed it,” said Allen Semelsberger, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s archivist in a previously published report. True to historical detail, actor Jake Schaible portrayed Spreckels at the centennial, swinging and missing a replica of the spike before ultimately driving it in before a large crowd, including members of the Spreckels family in the front row. 

TOUR SANTA’S TREEHOUSE DEC. 7-8 FEATURED ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “TREEHOUSE MASTERS” & MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 4, 2019 (Jamul) Want your picture with a Santa that is registered with FORBS (fraternal order of the real bearded santas)? And, not only that, but have your picture in a Christmas-themed treehouse built by Treehouse Masters of Animal Planet fame?

Your chance to do that is here.  Kathie Wellington, of Jamul, is offering that opportunity and more this weekend, Dec. 7 -8th, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m.  The cost is $50 per family but is a fundraiser for families in need. Originally, Santa’s Treehouse opened Christmas 2013.

REP. HUNTER TELLS KUSI HE WILL PLEAD GUILTY

 East County News Service

Photo by Ken Stone, Times of San Diego

December 2, 2019 (San Diego) – In an interview on KUSI television today,  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) announced that he plans to plead guilty in federal court tomorrow to one count of misuse of campaign funds. 

A change of hearing notice filed by his attorney, Devin Burstein, confirms the plea change, stating, “Change of Plea Hearing set for 12/3/2019 10:00 AM in Courtroom 3C before Judge Thomas J. Whelan. (Change in type of hearing only)," Times of San Diego reports.

STORM WEDNESDAY TO BRING HEAVY RAINS AND LIGHTNING: FLOODING AND WATERSPOUTS POSSIBLE

Waterspouts possible in coastal areas

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons via N.A.

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Thunderstorms Wednesday is expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall and lightning strikes to our region. Bursts of moderate to heavy rain will raise the threat for street flooding in areas with poor drainage or low lying areas prone to flooding. Rain falling on snow covered or frozen ground could also lead to enhanced runoff and localized flooding in the mountains.

Waterspouts are possible over coastal waters and the National Weather Service’s Skywarn activation may be requested on Wednesday. Surf could reach nine feet along San Diego’s coastline.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 6-31

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features two Christmas plays at Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa, upcoming concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, North Pole Limited holiday train rides in Campo, a Holiday Gift Shoppe at the Water Conservation Garden, Alpine's Parade of Lights and Snow Festival, a Brotherhood of Man dance program in La Mesa, and Lakeside’s Spirit of Christmas on Maine.

Plus we’ll have a preview of events later on this month including East County Magazine’s Feasting & Merrymaking Holiday Party, Ramona’s Christmas tree lighting, a European Christmas market and caroling atop Mt. Helix, Santa at Santee Lakes, Julian Victorian Christmas teas,  La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village, Carols by Candlelight in Escondido, and a Paris Holiday Tea in El Cajon, a Boogie Woogie New Year’s Party at the Courtyard Marriott in El Cajon, and a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve bash at Viejas.

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

COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT WILL HAVE A SECOND DEBRIEFING TONIGHT WITH VALLE DE ORO COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Valle de Oro Community Planning Group will have a second public meeting tonight to receive community input about the proposal to turn Cottonwood Golf Course into a sand mine for the next decade. The golf course is located on Willow Glen Drive in a residential area in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon and on federally protected land that’s part of the South County Multiple Species Conservation program. 

The public meeting tonight is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Otay Water District Headquarters, 2554 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley.

HUNTER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO MISUSE CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR PERSONAL USE; TELLS MEDIA HE WILL RESIGN FROM CONGRESS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret

December 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Congressman Duncan D. Hunter pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use.  His admission of guilt  comes after months of claiming he was innocent and a target of a political witch hunt. 

The Republican Congressman from Alpine could face up to five years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine – ironically, the same amount that he and his wife were accused of embezzling from their campaign and spending on a lavish personal lifestyle.  He is slated for sentencing on March 17th and could received a lesser sentence, such as a shorter prison term, probation or community service.  His wife, Margaret, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and will be sentenced in April.

Hunter, a former Marine combat veteran, could have faced decades in prison if found guilty in a trial on 60 federal charges that included wire fraud and falsifying campaign reports to hide theft of funds spent on family vacations overseas, overnight trysts with five mistresses, oral surgery bills and airfare for a pet rabbit, among other illegal uses of campaign donors’ money.

KAMALA HARRIS ENDS PRESIDENTIAL BID, BUT VOWS TO HELP DEFEAT TRUMP

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo: Senator Kamala Harris. Courtesy of the campaign

December 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Sen. Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that she is ending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The junior Senator and former Attorney General of California was one of the first to announce a candidacy, but has been lagging in the polls and fundraising in recent months.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SNOW

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: Mount Laguna (Miriam Raftery)
 
December 3, 2019 (San Diego) - The following are tips and considerations for you if you plan to drive up to the snow:
  • Be prepared for significant traffic delays in both directions due to both road conditions and the sheer volume of motorists. Prior snowfalls have left drivers in up to five-hour waits on the roads.
  • You should have a full tank of gas. Don’t count on filling up along the way.

LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.

COUNTY SETS DEFINITIVE DATE TO BREAK GROUND FOR LONG AWAITED LAKESIDE EQUESTRIAN PARK

By Ana Nita

December 3, 2019 (Lakeside) -- County representatives met with the East County Equestrian Foundation last month to announce that construction for the park will finally start in March of 2020. The initial plan prognosticated a groundbreaking ceremony for late 2018 or early 2019, but as the locals said, better late than never. 

The next stage is organizing a bid for construction that is estimated to take 18 months. The county predicts the equestrian park would attract as many as 300 attendees for large events that “are anticipated to take place a few times each year,” per the County’s website for this project. 

EL CAPITAN HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES OPENING OF EVENTS CENTER

East County News Service

Photo courtesy GUHSD

December 2, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Grossmont Union High School District celebrated the grand opening of the El Capitan High School’s new Event Center (@ECHSVaqueros) in November. The new 15,886 SF multi-purpose facility at the Lakeside campus will support the instrumental, choral and dramatic arts programs.

POWAY ISOLATES WATER PROBLEM, AWAITS STATE APPROVAL TO LIFT BOIL WATER ADVISORY

 

Mayor Vaus responds to Anderson smear effort over water quality question

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via City of Poway on Twitter: City provides bottled water for residents

December 2, 2019 (Poway) – One day after the city of Poway issued a boil-water advisory for tap water due to stormwater runoff contamination, the city issued a statement late yesterday indicating city tests have found chlorine residulals meet standards, “but that “The city is not able to rescind the precautionary boil-water advisory until the state is satisfied with testing results.”

In an interview this morning with East County Magazine, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus revealed, “We have isolated the source of the rain water. We have repaired it.” Though still awaiting test results from the state expected soon, Mayor Vaus says the water has been safe throughout the incident. 

“I’m drinking it now. I’m giving it to my pets,” he told ECM.

FBI AND PROSECUTORS IN SAN DIEGO OFFER $5 MILLION REWARD TO FIND “HIGHEST RANKING” AMERICAN FIGHTING WITH FOREIGN TERRORISTS

VIEW FBI VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/NJMZ1D0R98E 

East County News Service

December 3, 2019 (San Diego) --  The San Diego FBI and federal prosecutors yesterday announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest  or conviction of Jehad Serwan Mostafa, 37, in any country. Mostafa is a U.S. citizen who grew up in San Diego. He reportedly joined the al-Shabaab terrorist organization and has been named by the FBI as “the “highest ranking American fighting overseas.”

An indictment unsealed in federal court this week reveals that Mostafa is charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, as well as conspiracy to provide material to terrorists and to a foreign terrorist group. Mostafa was charged in 2009 on similar counts. Now authorities believe he continued providing support to terrorists until at least February 2017. 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THANKFUL AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
Photos courtesy of Kelly Massey at Lions, Tigers and Bears
 
December 1, 2019 (Alpine) – At the Lions, Tigers and Bears sanctuary in Alpine earlier this week, exotic big cats and bears enjoyed some special Thanksgiving enrichment.  In addition to savoring raw turkey dinners, the animals also enjoying romping and frolicking in the newfallen snow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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