January 2020 Articles

January 2020 Articles

SDSU MEN'S TENNIS FALLS TO OKLAHOMA STATE IN SPRING OPENER

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 12, 2020 (San Diego) -  Facing a stern test in its spring opener, the San Diego State men’s tennis team fell 7-0 to 15th-ranked Oklahoma State in a non-conference dual match Sunday at Aztec Tennis Center.


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PASSAGES: CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER CARROL WAYMON, 1925-2020

By Miriam Raftery

Memorial service has been moved to Bethel Baptist Church on Jan. 24. See details below.

Photo: Carrol Waymon PhD, watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama during a celebration at the Malcolm X Library in San DIego in January, 2009.

January 12, 2020 (San Diego)--San Diego’s most prominent civil rights leader, Carrol Waymon PhD, passed away in early January at age 94.  As executive director of San Diego’s first human rights agency, the Citizens Interracial Committee, he was a tireless fighter for justice who broke down many barriers for people of color.

Born May 15, 1925, Waymon was the grandson of a slave and son of a Methodist minister.  He was one of seven children, including his sister, the late jazz musician Nina Simone. While working on the Los Angeles Human Relations Agency in 1964, he was asked by San Diego's City Council  to come to San Diego and help address racial issues. He moved here and never left,  leading the Citizens Interracial Committee and devoting his life to attaining equal rights for all.

ECM interviewed Waymon in January 2009, during a local viewing of the inuauguration of Barack Obama, our nation’s first African-American president.  For Waymon, who once served as San Diego’s delegate to the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr., Obama’s election was a major milestone hailed by Waymon.  “It is incredible to me. I couldn’t imagine at that time in 1968 that we’d have a black president 40 years later,” he said.


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL BEATS BOISE STATE 83-65 TO STAY UNDEFEATED

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 11, 2020 (San Diego) -  KJ Feagin scored 16 of his season-high 23 points in the first half and No. 7 San Diego State played its best home game all season, opening with a 23-9 outburst and beating Boise State 83-65 Saturday night.


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FROM IRAQ TO AMERICA FOR SUCCESS AND FREEDOM

 

Only in America: An Immigrant’s Success Story, by Wadie P. Deddeh, as told to Linda E. Sheridan (AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN, 2019, 138 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 11, 2020 (San Diego) - The late Wadie P. Deddeh, as told to Linda E. Sheridan, has written an insightful book that speaks to what America is all about; Only in America: An Immigrant’s Success Story.

Every book and story has to have a beginning and ending, and in the words of the author(s) of this book it states: “As I talk about being born and growing up in Iraq, I think it is important to describe and distinguish who the Chaldean people are and what challenges they have encountered. Chaldeans are an ethnic minority of Iraqi Catholics and one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East. Their native language is Aramaic. Throughout the centuries, Chaldeans faced varying levels of discrimination and persecution, and were compelled to travel to other parts of the world, where they established new communities.”


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL STUMBLES AT BOISE STATE 86-72

Taylor Kalmer led the Aztecs with 21 points

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 11, 2020 (Boise) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (8-10, 3-3) fell at Boise State (12-6, 4-2) 86-72 Saturday afternoon inside ExtraMile Arena. The Aztecs held a lead after the first quarter, but the Broncos put outscored SDSU 29-14 in the second quarter and held a lead for the remainder of the game.


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PASSAGES: “HAWK WATCH” WILDLIFE RESEARCHER JOHN DAVID BITTNER DIES AFTER FALL IN SAN PASQUAL VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2020 (Ramona) – John David "Dave" Bittner, 75, of Julian was known to many for the “Hawk Watch” programs he led for decades at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona that he founded, and later at the Begent Ranch.  On Thursday, Bittner died of a 50-foot fall suffered while rappelling down to replace batteries and memory cards in a camera near a Golden Eagle nest in the Bandy Canyon area in the San Pasqual Valley.

“We will miss him dearly and are so thankful for his work and dedication to saving wildlife and their special habitat,” the Wildlife Research Institute posting on its Facebook page.  The institute, of which Bittner served as director, pledged to continue hosting Hawk Watch and planned an impromptu memorial service this morning at the Begent Ranch.

Bittner and his wife,Leigh, had a passion for protecting wildlife and purchased 3,000 acres that they donated to the county to buy the Ramona Grasslands preserve and sell property to the Nature Conservancy as a wildlife preserve. That is home to many raptors, including bald eagles.


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SAN DIEGO ZOO AND SAFARI PARK TO DONATE ADMISSIONS FROM SUNDAY, JAN. 12 TO HELP AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE AMID FIRES

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2020 (San Diego) – All paid admissions to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park this Sunday, Jan. 12 will be donated to help San Diego Zoo Global’s efforts to save wildlife in Australia amid deadly brush fires.

Over 15 million acres have burned in Australia’s deadly wildfires – nearly 10 times the 1.8 million acres scorched in California’s fires last year. A quarter of a million people have been forced to flee, Reuters reports.

Scientists at the University of Sydney have estimated that as many as a billion animals may have perished, putting some species at risk of extinction. The bush fires have killed tens of thousands of marsupials found nowhere else on earth including koalas and kangaroos, as well as birds such as glossy black cockatoos, reptiles and amphibians.


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LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST BEER GARDEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER’S FIRST FRIDAY MARKETS

Celebrate vegan lifestyle with all-vegan eats, drinks, music and more

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has inked a deal with Grossmont Center to host a beer garden at all of the center’s First Friday markets starting February 7th through the end of this year. The beer garden will feature featuring Mike Hess Brewing Company and Local Roots kombucha.

The markets are held on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.in the shopping mall’s parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers. The  market celebrates the vegan lifestyle with all-vegan foods, sweets, drinks, goods for sale and live music. Grossmont Center is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Blvd., La Mesa. 

The beer garden will have a seating area beneath lighted tents for dining and drinking under the stars. 


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ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT WARNS OF STRANGER IN TRUCK APPROACHING STUDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2020 (Alpine)—The Alpine Union School District is warning parents about two separate incidents Tuesday afternoon and again today, both involving a stranger in a truck approaching young students.

"Today, a Joan MacQueen Middle School student reported being approached by a stranger in a white-greyish four-door truck with tinted windows on Victoria Drive and Sneath Way. We have met with the Alpine Sheriff’s Deputies and have requested extra patrols at our schools. Deputies will be present after school today, and the detectives are investigating," a letter posted to the Joan MacQueen Middle School’s Facebook page reads.

In Tuesday’s incident, a vehicle described as a white lifted truck similar to a Toyota Tundra reportedly followed two young girls down a private dead-end road.


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HELP NEEDED FOR 6-YEAR-OLD JAMUL BOY IN COMA AFTER CAR WRECK

By Miriam Raftery 

January 9, 2020 (Jamul)—A 6-year-old Jamul boy is in a medically-induced coma due to serious injuries suffered in a car accident on December 27th with his father and two cousins. His aunt, Britney Judd, has organized a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for Eli Ontiveros' expensive medical care.  The family hopes to locate and thank bystanders who saved Eli from a burning vehicle. 

According to the GoFundMe page, Eli suffered fractures to his clavicle, sternum, and six ribs. He also has damage to his lungs and brain. “Right now the goal is to get him off of ventilation and to get his breathing on his own,” the GoFundMe page states.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE (OUT OF) CONTROL

By David R. Shorey
East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
Photos: Creative Commons
 
January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you are looking for an alcoholic drink in East County, you’re in luck. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local watering hole where you can belly up to a bar and wet your whistle, or a retailer, where you can grab a bottle and take it home. The East County has plenty of options.
 
Perhaps too many.

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LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WINS “BEST OF LEMON GROVE” AWARD

By Helen Ofield
 
January 9, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) has been selected for the 2019 Best of Lemon Grove Award in the Local Business category by the Lemon Grove Award Program. LGHS is a 501(c)(3) non profit educational organization established in 1978 that has honed its outreach and marketing skills in all media for public benefit.
 
Each year, the nationally syndicated award program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success locally and regionally to enhance the positive image of small business through service to their patrons and community. These exceptional companies help make the Lemon Grove area a great place to live, work and play.
 
The award managers work exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and adjacent advertising and marketing groups in order to recognize the contributions to the U. S. economy by businesses and organizations like LGHS. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Lemon Grove Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Lemon Grove Award Program and data provided by third parties. Recognition is given to those companies that use their best practices and implement programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

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DEPUTIES SHOOT REPORTEDLY SUICIDAL SUSPECT IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove)—A man reported by a family member to be threatening suicide at a home in Lemon Grove was shot by multiple Sheriff’s deputies on January 6th.  The shootings occurred after the man removed a revolver from inside his jacket, according to Lt. Michael Blevins, who indicated that the man did not fire the weapon.

Shane Felix, 34, was treated at the scene by deputies for gunshot injuries until paramedics arrived. He was transported to a hospital and underwent successful surgery; he is expected to survive, according to Blevins.

CBS 8 reports that Felix had a prior conviction for arson and is expected to be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, once he is medically cleared.


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BULL AND BOURBON STEAKHOUSE AT SYCUAN WINS AAA FOUR-DIAMOND RATING

East County News Service

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – In its first year of operation, the Bull and Bourbon restaurant at the Sycuan Casino Resort has earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Rating, one of three casino steakhouses in the San Diego region with the designation.

The Bull and Bourbon steakhouse features steaks cooked on a wood-fired Santa Maria grill. The restaurant has its ownbeef dry-aging room, complimented by single-barrel and other high-end bourbons.


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LA JOLLA PHYSICIAN PULLS PLUG ON PETITION DRIVE TO RECALL GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM

 

Dr. James Veltmeyer says he’ll try again at some unspecified future date, but first he needs $5 million to hire a signature-gathering firm. File photo

By Ken Stone

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- A La Jolla doctor has ended his long-shot effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Unlike 2003, when Darrell Issa spent nearly $2 million for signature-gathering efforts that led to the ouster of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, Dr. James Veltmeyer said his recall bid against the current Democrat could raise only $90,000.


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JANUARY IS A GREAT MONTH FOR DINING OUT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons image via ND

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – This month, restaurants across our region are offering specials for San Diego Restaurant Week January 19-26, including at least eight eateries in East County. In addition, Julian restaurants have a month-long celebration of California restaurant month with specials of their own.

Feast your eyes on the options below:


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 10-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Hawk Watch in Ramona, concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon, the silent movie Passion of Joan of Arc in Borrego Springs, and Open Farm Day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming events including San Diego restaurant week and Julian’s restaurant month, trivia nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, tapas and a flamenco show at Spacebar Café in La Mesa, and a Lamplighter’s Theater production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play, The Hollow.

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


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REAL ESTATE REALITY: INSPECTION WOES--IT’S GOOD TO KNOW

By Maryanne Jackson Real Estate Broker

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)  

Dear Maryanne,

My wife and I are considering selling our home in Spring Valley and purchasing 

a larger home in the same area. We will need to use the proceeds from the sale to UPSIZE.

Is it recommended to hire a home inspector prior to putting our home up for sale? 

If so, what is the advantage of us putting the 450.00 out to do this. Will the buyer still need to get their own home inspection during the escrow investigation process?

Eric J. Spring Valley, CA


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 9, 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.


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WINS THRILLER OVER WYOMING IN OVERTIME

Taylor Kalmer hit a game-tying three at the buzzer at the end of regulation

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (8-9, 3-2) won an overtime thriller 67-60 over Wyoming (7-7, 3-2) Wednesday evening inside Viejas Arena. Taylor Kalmer hit a three at the buzzer at the end of regulation to force overtime and then the Aztecs outscored the Cowgirls 13-6 in the extra period to improve to 3-2 in conference play.


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL: AZTECS CRUISE PAST COWBOYS

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 8, 2020 (Laramie, Wyo.) - Malachi Flynn scored 19 points, Yanni Wetzell added 17 and No. 7 San Diego State beat Wyoming 72-52 on Wednesday night to remain undefeated.

San Diego State (16-0, 5-0 Mountain West) continued its hottest start since 2010-11, when it opened 20-0 behind Kawhi Leonard and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time, finishing a school-record 34-3.

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BORDER PATROL LAUNCHES PILOT PROGRAM TO COLLECT DNA SAMPLES FROM MIGRANTS

East County News Service

January 8, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has initiated a 90-day pilot program starting yesterday to assess the impact of proposed regulatory changes that would require collection of DNA samples from many individuals in CBP custody, including minors.  The pilot program will be limited to the Detroit area and the Eagle Pass port of entry in Texas. 

DNA will be collected from people ages 14-79 who are apprehended and processed in Detroit.  At the Texas location, the DNA collection will be done on individuals who seek admission to the U.S. and are subject to further detention or proceedings.

According to CBS News  the action is the first phase of a sweeping five-part, three year Department of Homeland Security initiative “to obtain DNA profiles from virtually all migrants in U.S. custody, whether or not they've committed crimes.”


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ROCKY LONG TO RETIRE AS SDSU FOOTBALL COACH; EX-COACH BRADY HOKE TO TAKE HIS PLACE

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) - Rocky Long, the all-time winningest coach in the Mountain West and second-winningest coach in San Diego State history, announced today that he is retiring as the head football coach at SDSU.


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CHP SEEKS MAN ACCUSED OF CAUSING WRECK THAT KILLED WOMAN, INJURED TWO OFFICERS

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Highway Patrol warns that a suspect accused of killing a woman in an accident near Temecula, then fleeing the scene and later escaping from law enforcement may be in the San Diego area. Antone Wayne Bayard, 23, of Anza is also accused of injuring two CHP officers during his escape.

On Twitter, the CHP posted, “Bayard is believed to be in the Temecula/San Diego area with plans to flee to Mexico.”


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STORIES OF THE DECADE: 2009-2019

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our site was in its infancy when the past decade began in 2009, just three months after our launch. What a difference a decade makes! 

We've been there through it all, covering the burning issues impacting our region:  fire protection, energy projects, housing, homelessness, immigration, healthcare, actions of local city councils, school boards, and more. 

Our coverage has led to expansion of veteran's services in rural East County, saved local state parks from closing, stopped community planning groups from being abolished, and got fire stations closed during fire season reopened.  We've documented major social movements of the era, from the Tea Party to Occupy, from gay rights to gun rights. We've covered the issues of refugees from around the world, Native American tribes, immigrants at the border, Iraqi and Syrian immigrants in our local communities. We've covered national issues felt locally, such as healthcare reform controversies, government  shutdowns, climate change and impeachment. 

We've also had in-depth coverage of local land use issues, such as sand mines, major housing projects, and industrial-scale wind and solar.  ECM chronicled the achievements of local sports stars with East County ties, from Tony Gwynn to Jimmie Johnson.

We've covered election campaigns and political candidates, education issues, natural disasters from earthquakes to wildfires, power outages, extreme weather, shocking crimes, reform movements, our growing wine industry, historical milestones such as centennials celebrated by local cities, and so much more. 

We took a trip down memory lane, and invite you to join us.

Here are the top stories we covered in the past 10 years:


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LA MESA POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER: INJURED PEDESTRIAN UNIDENTIFIED; DRIVER ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek witnesses to a serious injury accident that occurred at 6:16 p.m. at the intersection of Grossmont Center Drive and Center Drive.  Police also seek the identity of the victim, a white male pedestrian in his 50s who was struck while crossing the street by a 2004 Nissan SUV.

The victim suffered a compound fracture to his lower right leg and a fractured left hip, according to Lt. Brian Stoney. “Unfortunately he did not have any identification on him and we have not been able to positively identify him at this time,” he said.


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LAWSUITS MOUNT AGAINST NEW CALIFORNIA LABOR LAW, AB 5

Judge issues injunction on behalf of independent truckers; freelance journalists and other gig worker groups also file legal challenges
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 6, 2020 (San Diego) – A new law making it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees took effect January 1st. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, the bill’s author, aims to provide more workers with benefits such as healthcare, unemployment insurance and the option to unionize. But a flurry of lawsuits are challenging the measure as unfair and constitutional.  

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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 7, 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.

WORLD

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


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SDG&E BEGINS UNDERGROUNDING POWER LINES IN JULIAN, PROJECT WILL ALLOW CRITICAL FACILITIES TO REMAIN POWERED DURING SHUTOFFS

East County News Service

January 7, 2020 (Julian) – SDG&E has begun construction to place powerlines underground east of downtown Julian along Banner Road (State Route 78) and Cape Horn Avenue).

The project aims to reduce wildfire risk and allow key facilities to remain open during safety power shutoffs, according to a press release issued by SDG&E.

“Unlike overhead power lines, underground lines do not present a fire risk during high winds and elevated fire danger conditions. Facilities that will benefit from the undergrounding work include: the post office, county branch library, Julian Union High School, Julian Charter School, Julian Elementary School and the CAL FIRE Station, as well as a county public works maintenance yard and a school bus yard,” the utility states. Existing overhead power lines in the area will remain, as they are needed to continue serving some customers.


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REP. HUNTER TO RESIGN JANUARY 13: OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN TO HANDLE CONSTITUENT SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery:  Duncan D. Hunter in 2014 debate

Update: There will be no special election due to the timing of Hunter's resignation and the high cost of a special election, given that this race is already on the March primary ballot and November general election.  Federal law requires both primary and run-off elections to fill a Congressional vacancy.

January 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today announced he will resign effective close of business on January 13th.  Hunter made the announcement in letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Hunter’s District Chief of Staff Michael Harrison informed ECM that services for constituents will not be interrupted.  ““The office will remain open throughout a vacancy, no matter how long it may take.  Constituents can continue contacting the office with any of their needs, they also have Senators Feinstein and Harris as resources as well,” he stated in an e-mail today. 

Ten candidates have filed to run for Hunter’s seat in the March primary election. The top two will advance to a run-off election in November, so the seat will be vacant until a new representative is sworn in, in January 2021.

The Republican Congressman’s resignation letters cite his service first as a Marine combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan and later, in Congress, where he was elected in 2008 to fill the seat formerly held by his father. He praised his father, Duncan Hunter, and growing up I East County for instilling values of “liberty, the value of patriotism, and what a strong and secure border can bring to a community.”


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