January 2020 Articles

January 2020 Articles

STATE ISSUES WARNING ON DANGEROUS VAPING PRODUCTS SEIZED FROM UNLICENSED CANNABIS SHOPS

Officials Urge Californians to Avoid Unlicensed Cannabis Retailers, as More Than 10,000 Illegal Vape Pens Seized

Source: Calif. Bureau of Cannabis Control

Image: Creative Commons

January 29, 2020 (Sacramento)-- A random sampling of the cannabis products seized from unlicensed retailers during a major enforcement operation in Los Angeles last month were found to contain undisclosed additives, some of them potentially dangerous, and significantly lower amounts of THC than claimed on the label.  Vaping pens containing ingredients linked to sudden respiratory illnesses and deaths were among those seized. 


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POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS CASE IN SAN DIEGO; CDC URGES TRAVELERS TO CANCEL VISITS TO CHINA

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (San Diego) – A traveler to San Diego who recently visited China may have contracted a new coronavirus tied to a global outbreak of respiratory illness. County health officials have sent a sample to the Centers for Disease Control for testing.

Today the Centers for Disease Control issued a travel advisory urging travelers to cancel all non-essential travel to anywhere In China, where 25 to 50 million people are now quarantined in multiple cities.  The CDC broadened its warning, which formerly only applied to the Wuhan province where the disease was first identified in December.

Screenings of airline passengers from China are also being expanded to 20 airports with quarantine facilities. 

Hong Kong has announced it will stop issueing permits to travelers from mainland China. Inside China, transportation out of impacted cities is shut down, leaving some Americans stranded  Yahoo News reports.


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SUPERVISORS TAKE NEW STEPS TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS, INCLUDING SHELTERS

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 28, 2020 (San Diego) -- The County Board of Supervisors today voted to adopt several measures, including sheltering options and expanded outreach teams, to deal with homelessness in unincorporated communities.

The measures, brought forward by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond, are expected to help with homelessness in unincorporated areas that have seen a significant increase of people who don’t have a place to live. Recent encampments at Lamar Park, Spring Valley Park and in other outlying areas are the latest reminders that homelessness is a regional crisis.

“Like in the city of San Diego and the rest of California, homelessness has become a huge concern in the suburban and rural parts of our region,” said District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County. “Today’s board vote opens the door to creating a comprehensive approach to homelessness that includes immediate and long-range measures.”


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WALKERS SHINE AT SANTEE’S OLYMPIC RACE WALKING EVENT

By Mike Allen
 
January 27, 2020 (Santee) -- Cool fog gave way to stunning sunshine and higher temps Jan. 25, not exactly the best conditions for walkers traversing some 31 miles or 50 kilometers at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in Santee, but glorious viewing conditions for the event.
 
“This is just fantastic for this city,” said Marlene Best, Santee’s city manager, cheering on the walkers along Town Center Parkway, just below the big clock at Trolley Square. “Only two other cities in the nation have held more Olympic Trials---Eugene, Oregon and Los Angeles.”
 
Besides the Olympic Trials for the 50K race walk, which Santee previously hosted in 2012 and 2016, it’s also hosted the national championships in the same event for seven years. The city of 58,000 can easily lay claim to being the Race Walking Capitol of the country.

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SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT WEDNESDAY TO ALLOW TEMPORARY AGRITOURISM EVENTS

 

Update January 30: Supervisors voted to approve the agritourism items 5-0  as recommended by staff, with no amendments.

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism.  The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.


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PICKUP TRUCK PLUNGES DOWN EMBANKMENT, KILLING DRIVER FROM SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – A Santee man is dead after the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup he was driving crashed down an embankment and struck a boulder last night around 8:46 p.m.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the driver, 46, was traveling east on La Cresta Road in unincorporated El Cajon east of Forester Creek “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and plunged off the side of the roadway.  The vehicle became airborne before overturning down an embankment and striking the boulder.


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COUNTY LAUNCHES EVACUATION PLAN FOCUSED ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE

If you needed to evacuate for an emergency, could you just get in your car and go? For some, the answer may be no because they lack transportation, need additional help with medical equipment or gathering items in their home.

Studies have shown that during a disaster, older adults or people with disabilities, or access and functional needs have added challenges when faced with evacuation. This information inspired the County Office of Emergency Services to come up with the Neighborhood Evacuation Team program in partnership with the Community Emergency Response Teams throughout the region. The teams are made up of disaster-trained volunteers who can help in their neighborhoods.

People who reach out for assistance will be teamed up with a CERT member who can guide them through the process of making a plan that suits their needs, including working out transportation needs with a caregiver, neighbor or family member.


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EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Graham Mitchell Provides Year End Status Report of city’s efforts  

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video: https://youtu.be/LybwvTl7E8Y

Powerpoint presentation: Homeless Program Update (Jan 14, 2020).pdf

January 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell has challenged other East County cities and the County of San Diego to address the current crisis level of homeless individuals, as El Cajon has during the past year.

In an overview of its efforts at the first council session for the year, Mitchell told councilmembers that the city has spent $640,000 on programs directed to people who have made El Cajon streets their home. While the city will be spending that much again this year, Mitchell challenged the smaller cities around El Cajon (Santee, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove) to make similar efforts.

“We are doing far more than what our neighbors have been doing,” Mitchell said.


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UMOJA JAZZ AND JOKES FEB. 21 AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

Source: Cuyamaca College
 
January 26, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- Enjoy an evening of laughter and live music with the Cuyamaca College Umoja Scholars community as a scholarship fundraiser, "Jazz & Jokes," 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre.
 
A VIP reception for $25 from 6:30-7:30 includes the price of admission, which is $5 for students and $10 for general admission. Tickets are available online.

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

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 


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TWO CASES OF WUHAN CORONAVIRUS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; VIRUS ALSO SPREADS TO AUSTRALIA, EUROPE, AND ACROSS ASIA

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- Public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange County have confirmed the first cases of the new Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Both cases in Southern California are in air travelers who recently returned from Wuhan, China.  There are now five U.S. cases of the virus, including cases confirmed in Arizona, Illinois and Washington state.

The California Department of Public Health issued a statement which reads, “The state will continue to monitor the situation, work with partners to identify any possible cases, provide information and consultation to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing, and implement recommendations from the CDC.”

Health authorities are tracking around 100 people nationwide who may have been exposed to the travelers, but risk to the general public is considered low.

The disease has been diagnosed in Australia, France, the U.S. and many Asian countries including Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam and Macao.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends travels avoid CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan.


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SDSU MEN'S TENNIS BLANKED BY SAN DIEGO 4-0

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 26, 2020 (Los Angeles) - Playing its second straight ranked opponent and third in four duals this season, the San Diego State men’s tennis team found itself on the wrong side of a 4-0 score against No. 24 San Diego on Sunday in the consolation match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend’s UCLA regional.


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL MOVES TO 21-0

 

Source:  goaztecs.com

Video courtesy goaztecs.com

January 26, 2020 (Las Vegas) -  Malachi Flynn scored 21 points and No. 4 San Diego State staved off UNLV's second-half rally to win 71-67 on Sunday, remaining the country's only unbeaten team.

The Aztecs (21-0, 10-0 Mountain West) broke the school record for best start in the program's 99 seasons. San Diego State's 21st consecutive victory also tops the school record of 20 straight wins, set during the 2010-11 season and matched by the 2013-14 squad that made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.


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TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS” FOUND IN WATER SUPPLIES ACROSS U.S., BUT TRUMP THREATENS TO VETO REGULATORY BILL

PFAS chemicals have been used in some fire-fighting foams, cookware, carpets, clothing,  and fast-food wrappers

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo, left: Poster for 2019 Dark Waters movie

January 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The 2019 movie “Dark Waters” alerted the public to health hazards posed by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also know as PFOA and PFOS) that contaminated water and groundwater around manufacturer DuPont’s facility in Parksburg, West Virginia. The chemicals have been linked to deaths, cancer and more--and they are pervasive, found in 97% of Americans tested, PBS reports, citing a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination study in 2015.

Pollution nationwide

Recent tests by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found PFAS in water supplies of major cities across the U.S. – far more than revealed in federal tests.  Yet the federal government has failed to take action to protect public health. A bill seeking to regulate PFAS has passed the House of Representatives and faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Even if it passes,  President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the measure.

California contamination

In California, a 2019 study found drinking water sources for 74 community water systems serving 7.5 million Californians are contaminated with PFAS, according to an EWG review of the latest state data, as the Los Angeles Times reported.

All PFAS found in California water systems’ sources exceeded 1 part per trillion, or ppt, the safe level recommended by the best independent studies.  At the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, a combined concentration of 820 ppt for seven different PFAS chemicals was measured in a single well in 2017.


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AZTECS WATER POLO EARNS SPLIT IN SEASON-OPENING TOURNAMENT

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 26, 2020 (Long Beach) - No. 19 San Diego State water polo began the 2020 season at the Beach Invitational with a split of its two games on Saturday at Long Beach State’s Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center.  The Aztecs pounded the La Verne Leopards 18-5 but lost to No. 15 Long Beach State 10-9 on a last second goal.


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SDSU TRACK & FIELD WINS 4X400M RELAY AT MLK INVITE

Aztecs team posts third fastest time in school history

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 26, 2020 (Albuquerque) - The Aztec track and field team wrapped up the MLK Collegiate Invitational Saturday afternoon at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The day was highlighted by the Aztecs taking the top two spots in the 4x400m relay with the A squad running the third best time in school history (3:41.20).


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SDSU MEN’S TENNIS TOPPLED AT UCLA 4-1

Source:  goaztecs.con

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 25, 2020 (Los Angeles) - The San Diego State men’s tennis team played well in spots against 10th-ranked UCLA Saturday but could not generate enough momentum before dropping a 4-1 decision in its opening match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Los Angeles Tennis Center.


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SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

 

Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice And Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, New York, NY, 2014, 349 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

“Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”

  • MICHELLE ALEXANDER, author of The New Jim Crow

January 24, 2020 (San Diego) - It is ironic that the aforementioned Michelle Alexander would give praise for this book by Bryan Stevenson, as both authors and their books are winners of the NAACP Image Award for their similar takes on justice and redemption. Actually, Michelle Alexander won the NAACP Image Award in Literature shortly after this writer interviewed her in San Diego for my review of her book The New Jim Crow.

Another author giving praise to Bryan Stevenson and Just Mercy is Susan Neiman, author of Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, who was recently interviewed on our “East County Magazine Live!” radio show and references Stevenson in the interview here.


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOCKS DOWN UNLV 48-39

Aztecs held UNLV to season-low 39 points on 24% shooting

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 25, 2020 (San Diego) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (9-13, 4-6) knocked off UNLV (10-10, 6-3) 48-39 behind their best defensive performance of the season. SDSU held UNLV to a season-low 39 points, including just 12 in the first half, on 24 percent shooting to snap their losing streak.


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SDSU WOMEN'S TENNIS SWEEPS UC RIVERSIDE

Aztecs earn first win of spring 2020 season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 25, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State women’s tennis started their Spring 2020 season off strong with a 7-0 victory over the UC Riverside Highlanders at Aztec Tennis Center Saturday. The victory over the Highlanders is the Aztecs’ second-straight season-opening sweep, last besting Sacramento State 7-0 to open the 2019 season.


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ECHO CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE OFFERS FEBRUARY CONCERTS TO LOVE

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- The ECHO Chamber Music Series offers internationally-acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe. All performances are at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College.
 

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HOT TOPICS: EL CAJON REALTORS GROUP DISCUSSING MEASURES A, B AND FIRE INSURANCE JAN. 31

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (East County) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors with an office in El Cajon, will host a presentation on Measures A and B, two March primary ballot measures that address housing development in semi-rural and rural, unincorporated areas of San Diego County, starting at 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at its PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The public is invited to attend.
 
PSAR is recommending a no vote on Measure A and yes vote on Measure B for the March California Primary Election. Speaking on Measures A and B will be Tony Manolatos, a political consultant and principal with Manolatos Nelson Murphy.
 
Voting by mail begins Feb. 3 and Election Day is a month later.

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SDSU TRACK & FIELD'S SAKURA ROBERSON SETS SCHOOL RECORD IN THE 600M

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 24, 2020 (Albuquerque) - The Aztec track and field team kicked off their 2020 indoor season Friday evening at the MLK Collegiate Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Sakura Roberson highlighted the day by taking first and setting a school record in the 600-meter run.


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AZTECS SWIM AND DIVE DOMINATES TOREROS ON SENIOR DAY

SDSU took home the top three finishes in all the meet's events; Lechuga sets new school/pool record in three-meter dive

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 24, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State’s swimming and diving team closed their 2019-20 home competition slate when they welcomed the University of San Diego Toreros to Aztec Aquaplex Friday. The Aztecs collected first place in all of the meet’s events, topping USD 153-128. Additionally, all seven Aztec divers earned scores on both the 1 and 3-meter dives to qualify them for the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships, scheduled for March 9-13 in Seattle, Wash.


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DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.)- - As  Democrats wrapped up their arguments for removing President Trump from office during the Senate impeachment trial this week, Republicans controlling the Senate have thus far refused to allow new witnesses to be called. The White house continues to defy requests for public records. 

Now, CBS news reports that a confidant of President Trump told CBS that senators were warned quote: “vote against the president & your head will be on a pike.”

Such a threat, if true, could amount to witness tampering and threatening federal officials with violence.

In addition, MSNBC reports hearing a tape in which Trump demands that Marie Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine, be removed, though whether he was calling for her firing or assassination is unclear.

 “Get rid of her...Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,.” A voice that sounds like  Trump is heard demanding on the tape, ABC News reports. 

The recording was allegedly made during a 2018 dinner party with Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas’ attorney, Joe Bondy, has issued a statement which says of the recording, which he indicated was not released by his client, “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’s version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”

Trump has used the phrase “take out” when he referred to his order to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq.  Trump, who formerly starred in the Apprentice game show, famously used the phrase “You’re fired!” when referring to terminating a job.


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 24, 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 trial

Other national news

WORLD

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


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: RED TAIL HAWK

 

January 24, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Debbie Merrill sent us this action photo of a red-tailed hawk capturing a rabbit, taken in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.


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CHINA CANCELS LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS, TRIES TO QUARANTINE 25 MILLION PEOPLE: WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREADS TO U.S., OTHER NATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2020 (San Diego) – A new coronavirus first identified in December in Wuhan, China, a city of 11 million people, is rapidly spreading across the globe, including the first U.S. case diagnosed in a traveler in Washington state this week.

China has shut down travel including planes, trains, buses and ferries among several major cities including Beijing and Wuhan, attempting to quarantine 25 million people, the Washington Post reports.

Guan Yi, a virologist who helped identify the sever acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, says the epidemic of this newly discovered virus could be 10 times bigger than the SARS outbreak. Comparing it to past outbreaks of other viruses, Guan said that “this time, I’m petrified,” the Washington Post reports.

To date, the new coronavirus has been confirmed in China, the U.S., Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Macao, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.  Officially, Chinese officials report 835 people infected and at least 26 deaths, though experts indicate the number of cases is likely far higher.

In the U.S., all flights from Wuhan are being routed through five airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Atlanta, where all passengers are being screened for the disease.

The timing could hardly be worse; the Lunar New Year holiday, a week-long celebration when millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns in what the Washington Post reports is the biggest human migration on the planet, begins this Saturday, January 25.


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THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

Victims were firefighters from Wyoming, Arizona and Florida

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's office:  C-130 that crashed in Australia today is same one shown in photo at McClellan Air Base during an event last August attended by Newsom.

January 23, 2020 (Ramona) – A plane used to fight California wildfires last year and to train Cal-Fire pilots has crashed while fighting brush fires in Australia, killing three U.S. firefighters. A C-130 was in Ramona last August to train future pilots.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft built by Lockheed Martin and repurposed to fight fires was operated by Coulson Aviation of Canada, which has grounded its fleet to re-assess safety conditions and honor the victims.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the crew from Tanker 134 that wre lost during a tragic crash while battling the devastating Australia fires.  Cal Fire stands with you during this difficult time,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced condolences to families of the crew and Cal Fire for the loss of “three heroic American firefighters”  He adds, “This tragic accident reminds us all of the too-high cost of the scourge of wildfires, as well as the sacrifice of first responders from around the world. California and Australia, already united by the deadly threat of wildfires, now grieve this tragic loss together.”


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

 

Girl Scouts unveil "Lemon Ups," official new city cookie

By Kathleen Connell

January 23, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On January 21st, Lemon Grove leaders kicked off the new year in a well-attended meeting, with many citizens clearly interested in the medical marijuana dispensary item on the agenda.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

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