ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE SAN DIEGO AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

JIMMIE JOHNSON AND HIS WIFE TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

WHERE TO FIND FIREWORKS IN EAST COUNTY THIS JULY 4TH

FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL TO OWN OR USE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: HERE ARE SAFE ALTERNATIVES

COUNTY TO BE PLACED ON WATCHLIST DUE TO RISING COVID CASES; IMPACTED BUSINESSES SHOULD PREPARE FOR SHUTDOWNS

LA MESA FARMERS MARKET IS OPEN AGAIN

COUNTY OFFICIALS WARN OF FURTHER RESTRICTIONS AS 474 NEW VIRUS CASES REPORTED

RENEGADES, ROCK HOUSES, AND RESORTS: NEW BOOK CHRONICLES EAST COUNTY HISTORY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

FIRST ROUND OF RELIEF FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO 27 LA MESA BUSINESSES DAMAGED DURING CIVIL UNREST

COUNTY EASES RULES FOR WINERIES, BUT IMPOSES CURFEW FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS

SUMMER PRICING REDUCED FOR SDG&E RESIDENTIAL RATEPAYERS: 5% REDUCTION ON GAS AND ELECTRIC RATES STARTS JULY 1

SUPERVISORS TO VOTE ON ACCELERATED REOPENING PLAN AFTER GOV. NEWSOM ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDELINES

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Today, San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a plan to allow reopening of the local economy at an accelerated pace in conformance with new state rules, the county has announced. The action follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement yesterday of new state guidelines that will allow the vast majority of California counties to move quickly through phase two.

You can watch the meeting online or join via phone to view the discussion on reopening, which is item 5 on the agenda.

If the state approves San Diego’s plans, among the first businesses to benefit could be retailers allowed to have customers inside stores. Dining in at restaurants could also resume in the near future. Both would require social distancing, masks, health and sanitation plans submitted by each business. In addition, Governor Newsom has indicated that hair salons, church gatherings and professional sports without spectators could start up again as early as June.

The Governor estimates that 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria, aimed at allowing those areas with lower levels of COVID-19 and that meet certain requirements to reopen sooner than those with high levels.  Requirements include:

COUNTY AND STATE ADD MORE COVID-19 TESTING SITES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

May 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The region’s COVID-19 testing is expanding this week.  Starting Tuesday, May 19th, the public can get free testing at walk-up sites run by the state at two locations:  The County Assessor’s former office at 200 S. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon and at the Tubman-Chavez Center, 415 Euclid Ave. in southeast San Diego.

SHAPE SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S FUTURE - SERVE ON REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

Prominent East County Democrat calls for appointments to commission to be delayed until new Superrvisors take office

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Black Mountain area in San Diego. Courtesy: Shutterstock

May 18, 2020 (San Diego) - The opportunity only comes once every 10 years – a chance to redraw the boundaries of the County’s five supervisorial districts.

The County is taking applications now for people who can serve on its Independent Redistricting Commission. Members will redraw the district lines to reflect the new numbers in the federal census.

District lines can shape a community’s ability to elect the representative of their choice--and how redistricting commissioners are chosen will impact electoral decisions for the next decade. 

 

BILL TO EXEMPT MANY WRITERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS AND MUSICIANS FROM AB 5 SET FOR HEARING MAY 20 IN SACRAMENTO

By Miriam Raftery

Update: This bill passed the Labor and Employment committee 7-0 and next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

May 18, 2020 (San Diego) – A bill to provide relief for many freelance writers, videographers and musicians negatively impacted by California’s sweeping new labor law, Assembly Bill 5, has been introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D- San Diego).  Assembly Bill 2257, a measure to exempt many in these occupations from requirements of AB 5, is slated for hearing May 20 in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.  Letters can be send to committee members at https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/.

CALIFORNIA TEACHERS FACE LAYOFFS AS PANDEMIC FORCES BIG STATE BUDGET CUTS

By Ricardo Cano | CALmatters

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom visits a second-grade class at Paradise Ridge Elementary School in 2019. Photo by Ricardo Cano for CalMatters

May 17, 2020 (San Diego) - California’s public schools, physically closed since mid-March and strapped for cash, are coming out of a frying pan and into a financial fire.

LAWMAKERS PROPOSE SWEEPING RELIEF TO HOMEOWNERS, RENTERS

By Matt Levin | CALmatters

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

Photo:  A for rent sign in front of a cottage in San Diego, Oct. 30, 2018.  Photo by KPBS Staff.

May 17, 2020 (San Diego) - As missed rent payments and delinquent mortgages pile up across the state, California Democratic lawmakers Tuesday introduced a series of sweeping proposals aimed at shielding homeowners, renters and landlords from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LA MESA APPROVES REOPENING SOME PARKS, WAIVING BUSINESS LICENSE FEES, AND RELIEF WITH CARES ACT FUNDS

By Jake Zawlacki

May 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- On May 12th, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved three considerations brought to the Council to aid businesses impacted by COVID-19, reopen some parks, and allocate federal CARES Act funds to help the homeless and others.

ADD LOCAL PARKS TO YOUR NEXT ZOOM VIDEO CONFERENCE

East County News Service
 
Photo: Seven Wild Bighorn Sheep, Credit: County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, at Agua Caliente
 
May 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --Infiltrate a herd of bighorn sheep. Hike to the half-way point of San Diego’s toughest climb. Peruse the grounds outside a cabin, nature center or historic adobe dwelling. Enjoy sunset over Lake Morena, stop to smell the lilacs in Sycamore Canyon, or graze alongside cows on the sprawling hillsides of Santa Ysabel.
 
All of these adventures are possible virtually, with a little creativity and perspective, thanks to San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department’s new collection of photo backgrounds designed especially for video conferencing sites.

COMMISSIONER LARA EXTENDS ORDER FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PARTIALLY REFUND PREMIUMS

East County News Service
Photo: creative commons via Bing
 
May 16, 2020 (Sacramento) – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a Bulletin extending his previous order requiring insurance companies to return partial insurance premiums to consumers and businesses and provide financial relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
The Bulletin now includes the month of May, having already included the months of March and April, covering at least six different insurance lines: private passenger automobile, commercial automobile, workers’ compensation, commercial multi-peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice, and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND REOPENS FOR RVS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Lake Jennings, courtesy of Helix Water District

 

May 16, 2020 (Lakeside) – The Lake Jennings campground will reopen Monday, May 18 – but only for recreational vehicles (RVs).  No tent camping will be allowed yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recreational side of the lake will remain closed.

JAMUL CASINO TO BEGIN PHASED RE-OPENING ON MAY 18, 2020

Opening with enhanced cleaning protocols and technology after COVID-19 closure, casino also offers take-out dinners with phase-in of restaurants planned

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 15, 2020 (Jamul) -- After a two-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamul Casino today announced a phased-in reopening.  On May 18, a soft reopening at 10 a.m. is planned for its Sweetwater Rewards Club VIP guests (amber level and above), followed by a public reopening on May 20. Hours will be limited from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. until May 21, when 24-hour gaming operations are slated to resume.

SANTEE DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER REOPENS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT

May 15, 2020 (Santee) – Eager for entertainment?  It's showtime in Santee--with social distancing.

The Santee Drive-In movie theatre is set to reopen tonight. Theatre 1 will show Trolls World Tour starting at 8:30 p.m. and Onward at 10:10 p.m.; both are rated PG. Theatre 2 will show The Invisible Man at 8:30 p.m. and The Hunt at 9:45 p.m.; both are rated R.

Bring your own FM radio to listen; tune in to 89.3 FM for Theatre 1  or 89.7 FM for Theatre 2 . Loaner radios are available for a $20 deposit refundable on return.

The theatre accepts cash only. You’ll need to bring your own popcorn or other refreshments, since the snack bar will be closed, and follow these new rules:

AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRDS FLYOVER TO SALUTE HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES TODAY

 

Photo by  U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James R. Crow

May 15, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting at noon today, six Fighting Falcons from the U.S. Air Force are slated to fly over San Diego and East County neighborhoods in a salute to health care workers, first responders and other essential workers on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are asked to watch the flyover from home and avoid gathering while watching the six military planes flying in formation.  According to the map below, the Thunderbirds squadron will start the formation flight over San Diego's South Bay, followed by San Diego, Coronado, then cities in East County, north over the coastal cities, and inland to Escondido.

SUPERVISOR JACOB AND BOTH CANDIDATES FOR HER SEAT ASK MAYOR FAULCONER TO REOPEN ALL EAST COUNTY LAKES

City opens Miramar, Murray and Lower Otay reservoirs, but leaves others closed indefinitely

Photo: Lake Murray, by Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Lake Murray, Lower Otay Reservoir and Lake Miramar reopen today for fishing, boating, cycling and walking, the city of San Diego announced. But other lakes remain closed. Four of them – El Capitan, Hodges, San Vicente and Upper Otay, are being evaluated for potential reopening later, but Lakes Barrett and Sutherland are slated to stay closed all year, even if stay-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.

Earlier this week, Joel Anderson, candidate for County Supervisor in the 2nd district, launched a petition he urges the public to sign. It calls on County Supervisors to intervene and  “save our lakes.”

REAL ESTATE REALITY: THE NEW NORM: VIRTUAL HOME SALES

By Maryanne Jackson

Photo via Maryanne Jackson

May 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -

Dear Maryanne,

I was wondering what the status is with home sales now.

Are Realtors still listing properties and conducting business as usual?

--Mureen S., Casa De Oro, Spring Valley

EAST COUNTY REALTORS COLLECTING DONATIONS FOR `RED SHOE DAY’ BENEFITING RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

East County News Service

May 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors with an office in El Cajon, has formed “Team PSAR” to collect donations online until June 4 as part of the annual Red Shoe Day fundraiser benefiting Ronald McDonald House, a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children being treated at San Diego hospitals.

TWO MORE LOCAL CASINOS ANNOUNCE REOPENING PLANS, BUT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER OPPOSES ACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Sycuan Casino

Updated May 14 with additional information from County Public Health Officer Wilima Wooten

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Following Viejas’ announced plans to reopen its casino on May 18, Sycuan and Valley View casinos have unveiled plans to reopen on May 19 and 21. All are on Native American reservations, and each has detailed plans for modifications aimed at protecting safety of the public and guests including face masks, sanitation procedures and social distancing.

However in a press conference today,  San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten voiced concerns and indicated that the county does not agree with the casinos’ reopening plans.  “If. they do open and ignore our request not to open, then we would definitely have to ensure that they put stringent practices in place to help protect the public health. But opening up casinos will cause a risk to our public health. That is very clear; it creates gatherings of individuals,” she stated.

Later she indicated the county has reached out to the federal government to potentially block the casinos from reopening, NPR reports. 

Tribal reservations are considered sovereign nations that make their own laws, however state and federal officials do have some powers to intervene if public health is at risk. It remains to be seen whether authorities will allow the casino openings to proceed, or take steps to require modifications or prevent openings.

RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE FOUND FOR FIRST TIME IN CALIFORNIA

Public, hunters and hikers  asked to take precautions to avoid spreading deadly illness

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons-S.A. via Bing

May 13, 2020 (Palm Springs) – After 10 dead jackrabbits were found dead on a private property near Palm Springs, a carcass has tested positive for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) which is highly contagious and often lethal to both wild and domestic rabbits, as well as hares and pikas. The virus has been confirmed in state and federal lab tests. 

SPRING VALLEY STORAGE FACILITY OFFERS TWO MONTHS FREE STORAGE TO BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AND RESIDENTS WITH CHARITABLE DONATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2020 (Spring Valley) – With many businesses shuttered and charities not accepting donations, one family-owned business has decided to give back to help the community. 

A Storage Space has served our region for over 30 years. Now, the company is offering two months of free storage space at its newest location in Spring Valley near Rancho San Diego for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for individuals who need a place to store items for charitable donations until charities reopen.

“While we are certainly feeling the strain of the current situation, we are fortunate to remain open and in business. We know a number of the business in the community are struggling right now,” says owner Bryan Grissinger, who works with many essential businesses and other companies. “We want to help our neighbors in these uncertain times. If businesses need a secure place to store their belongings while in a time of transition, this is one way we can assist.” The offer also includes waiving move-in fees.

STATE SETS GUIDELINES FOR RESTAURANTS TO REOPEN, ALLOWS DINE-IN SERVICE TO RESUME IN SOME COUNTIES WITH LOW RATES OF COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Anthony's Fish Grotto in La Mesa has reversed plans to close down, rehiring some employees after an outpouring of public support.  Owner Craig Ghio has expanded the take-out menu and hopes to survive--with social distancing--once the lakefront restaurant  with seafood market is allowed to reopen for dine-in customers.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday released guidelines for restaurants in areas with low rates of COVID-19 to reopen their dining rooms, with changes to protect diners and staff.

But bars, brew pubs, wineries and craft distilleries must remain closed, unless they offer sit-down meals with any alcohol served.

Once the state allows a region’s restaurants to reopen, the County must also grant approval. Each restaurant must submit a COVID-19 prevention plan that includes requirements for cleaning and disinfecting, keeping six feet between tables, using disposable menus and partitionsa at cash registers and host stands. Windows and doors to outside should be kept open and patio seating can be expanded.

SHOPPING MALLS CAN REOPEN FOR PICKUPS: OTHER BUSINESSES TO REOPEN INCLUDE CAR WASHES, PET GROOMERS, GARDENERS AND OFFICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine is among the local malls eligible to reopen for curbside pickups.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County officials yesterday announced several more types of businesses that can reopen, with modifications, ranging from shopping centers to landscapers. All must prepare and post a safe reopening plan to protect employees and customers.

Shopping malls, including outlet malls and strip malls, can offer pickup service with clearly marked curbside outdoor pickup locations, but customers are not allowed inside stores.  In East County, malls eligible to begin offering curbside sales include Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, and the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine as well as smaller retail centers.

Other businesses allowed to reopen are car washes, pet grooming services, landscaping and gardening businesses, outdoor museums and offices, though telework is still strongly encouraged.

DISTILLERY PARTNERS TO PROTECT CALIFORNIA’S SHORELINES, SHARES “TOAST TO THE COAST” RECIPE

East County News Service

May 13, 2020 (San Diego) - Humboldt Distillery has partnered with the California Coastkeeper Alliance as a part of their new program 'Toast to the Coast'. With coastlines and waterways experiencing a natural resurgence during the pandemic's stay-at-home orders, Humboldt Distillery is thrilled to be helping preserve and protect the nature that has sprung back to life and to aid in CCKA's fight for swimmable, fishable and drinkable water for all Californians. 

CALLING ALL HEROES: LOCAL RED CROSS SEEKS PUBLIC'S NOMINATION FOR ANNUAL AWARDS

18th annual Real Heroes Breakfast to be held Sept. 25, 2020

Source:  American Red Cross

May 13, 2020 (San Diego) - Do you know an “ordinary” person with extraordinary courage? Someone who has saved a life, helped a neighbor in need or made a difference in their community? If you know a local hero, the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties asks you to nominate them for the 18th Annual Real Heroes Awards.

EAST COUNTY RALLIES TO HELP THE NEEDY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By Emmet Pierce

May 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- While East County residents anxiously wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, community groups and concerned citizens are rallying to help those in need.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

May 11, 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.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

May 12, 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.

SOME ADVICE IF YOU SEE A NAZI OR A KLANSMAN

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor, San Diego Jewish World
 
Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
May 11, 2020 (Santee) — So, imagine you are shopping and into the store comes someone who is wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, or a face mask with a swastika on it, as happened respectively at a Vons and a Food4Less outlet in Santee recently.  What should you do?

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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