January 2021 Articles

January 2021 Articles

COVID VACCINE SUPER STATION OPEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER IN LA MESA

East County News Service

February 2, 2021 (La Mesa) – A COVID-19 vaccination super station opened today at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Operated by Sharp Healthcare, the The new walk-up clinic is vaccinating people from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Up to 1,000 doses will be administered daily, but the site’s capacity can be expanded to provide up to 5,000 vaccinations every day.

The clinic is located in the shopping mall at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, between Wetzel’s Pretzels and the Ceramic Café.

This location will replace and expand the site Sharp HealthCare had been operating on Wakarusa St. Appointments made for that site transfer to the super station at the mall.


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WOMAN ASSAULTED BY STRANGER IN LA MESA

East County News Service

January 31, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police are warning the public about an assault in the 4300 block of Date Ave. near Acacia around 8 p.m. on January 28.   The female victim described the suspect as a tall white-or light-skinned male around 6 feet 2 inches tall with a thin build. 


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL: MITCHELL'S BIG NIGHT LEADS AZTECS TO SWEEP OVER WYOMING

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 30, 2021 (San Diego) - Senior forward Matt Mitchell has etched his name throughout the San Diego State record book. On Saturday night, the master used a variety of his tools as San Diego State pounded Wyoming, 98-71, at Viejas Arena.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 30, 2021 (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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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 30, 2021  (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:


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TRIPPED UP AT WYOMING

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 30, 2021 (Laramie, Wyo.) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (5-10, 3-6) was knocked off at Wyoming (8-7, 6-6) 62-41 Saturday afternoon.

Mercedes Staples led the Aztecs with 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Mallory Adams added eight off the bench.


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BODY OF MISSING RUNNER, 21, FOUND AT MISSION TRAILS

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2021 (San Diego) – The body of 21-year-old Max Lenail, who went missing while running in Mission Trails Regional Park yesterday, has been found by searchers.

His mother, Laurie Yoder, posted on a Facebook group set up to help find her son, “I’m sad to report that they have found and retrieved Max Lenail’s body from the Mission Trails park. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. The only silver lining is the incredible support that we’ve received over the last day from close friends and family, and from people we’ve never met from around the globe who tried to help. From the bottom of my heart I will never forget all of the people who reached out with kindness.”


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CONGRESSWOMAN SARA JACOBS TO INTRODUCE RESOLUTION TO CENSURE CONGRESSWOMAN MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE, CALL FOR RESIGNATION

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Congresswomen Sara Jacobs (D-San Diego) and Nikema Williams (D-GA) will introduce legislation next week to formally censure Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Williams-Jacobs resolution condemns Greene’s remarks repeatedly supporting the assassination of current and former elected officials. It also calls for her to be censured in the House Chamber, and calls for her resignation from Congress.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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BORREGO PALM CANYON: A WONDERFUL HIKE FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY

Source: Anza-Borrego Foundation

January 30, 2021 (Anza-Borrego) -- With recent rains and even snow in the upper watershed, and thus more creek water flowing down Borrego Palm Canyon, this is the perfect time to head out on the iconic 3-mile roundtrip hike up the Canyon to the first grove. Although you can not enter the palm grove itself, the modified loop trail brings you to a stunning overlook where you can admire how Mother Nature has bounced back and how the native fan palms are recovering.


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SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MISSING RUNNER AT MISSION TRAILS

 

Update:  The body of Max  Lenail has been found in Mission Trails Regional Park, his parents have confirmed on Facebook.  His father indicated that the death was apparently the result of a tragic accident.

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2021 (San Diego) – A search is underway in Mission Trails Regional Park for Maximilian “Max” Lenail. The 21-year-old man left North Park to go for a run in Mission Trails Regional Park on January 29. Heleft his white Subaru Outback parked at the trailhead, but has not been seen since, according to a flyer circulated in a Facebook group set up to help find him.

He was last seen wearing bright orange running shorts and a gray tank top at 10:30 a.m. yesterday. He is 5 feet, eight inches tall and weighs 160 pounds.

 “A land search started at 9 a.m. this morning at the trailhead,” Heath Meyer, a friend of Lenail, told ECM in an email this morning.

 


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TERRA AMERICAN BISTRO OFFERS SUPERBOWL FOUR-PACKS TO GO

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2021 (San Diego)—The NFL Super Bowl is slated for Sunday, Feb.7. If you plan to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup, Terra American Bistro is offering a “Super Bowl Pack for 4” to satisfy your food cravings.

The pack costs $49 and serves four. It comes complete with two pounds of wings with tangy BBQ sauce, 8 brisket sliders, queso fundido with black beans, chicken chorizo and cheddar plus freshly fried chips. You can also opt to order a mixed six-pack of beer.


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SKIERS FLOCK TO SNOW VALLEY AFTER WINTER STORMS

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Snow Valley

January 30, 2021 (San Diego) – Skiing, snowboarding and sledding are classified as outdoor activities during the pandemic, so ski resorts are open.  At Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs, located in the San Bernadino Mountains just north of San Diego, 24 to 30 inches of new snow fell overnight. That’s on top of 29 inches of fresh snow Friday atop the summit at 7,841 feet a 25 inches at the base.

“Winter is definitely back!” John Brice at SnowSports.com says, adding that in addition to heavy snowfall, “We’ve been making snow nightly to help build up our base of snow!  With the natural snow, more terrain is now open including Bubble Gum, Surprise Run, Race Peak and more.  Check out the open trails report below for more information.”


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PRIVATE IMMIGRATION PRISONS NOT INCLUDED IN BIDEN BAN

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Otay Mesa Detention Center, where immigrants and refugees are housed

January 28, 2021 (Tacoma, Wash.) -- President Joe Biden signed an executive order this week ending the federal use of private prisons, but the order does not include privately run immigration facilities, like the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma and the Otay Mesa Detention Center San Diego County.


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30 JOHNS AND A PIMP ARRESTED IN PROSTITUTION STING TO STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING

East County News Service

January 29, 2021 (San Diego) -- As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (SDHTTF) conducted a three-day operation (January 26-28) throughout San Diego County targeting sex buyers and traffickers. The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and allied local law enforcement agencies arrested a total of 30 men for solicitation and one man for pimping, pandering, and possession of a concealed firearm, after he recruited an undercover detective into prostitution online.  These cases will be referred to local prosecutors.


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AZTECS SWIM & DIVE TOPS WAVES ON SENIOR DAY

Aztecs record 26th consecutive dual meet win

Source  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 29, 2021 (San Diego) - The San Diego State swimming and diving team concluded their regular-season home dual meet slate with a 140-111 win over Pepperdine on Friday, Jan. 29. The senior-day victory is the Aztecs’ 26th consecutive dual meet victory dating back to 2018.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FLOCKING TO DESCANSO’S SNOW

East County News Service

January 29, 2021 (Descanso) -- Richard Edwords sent this photo of his flock of chickens experience a blanket of newly fallen snow at his home in Descanso.


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SANTEE PLANS FOR 1,219 NEW HOUSES OVER NEXT EIGHT YEARS

By Mike Allen
 
January 29, 2021 (Santee) -- It’s called a housing element, a document that every city in California must update every eight years. It outlines how a city plans to expand its housing inventory, especially its low income housing numbers.

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EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS HELP FEED SHERMAN HEIGHTS DURING THE PANDEMIC

By Mimi Pollack 
 
January 29, 2021 (La Mesa) -- 2020 was the year of the pandemic that brought shock, tragedy, and a big change to life as we knew it. It was also the year that proved to be a catalyst for those who started second careers or were moved to donate time and money to help others as many communities were hit hard by COVID-19.

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SUSPECTED THIEF ARRESTED AFTER CHASE FROM LEMON GROVE TO SAN DIEGO

East County News Service

January 29, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – John Deangelo Johnson, 18, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 27 after a law enforcement pursuit that began in Lemon Grove and ended in Balboa Park.

A call shortly around 2:50 a.m. to the Sheriff’s dispatch reported a dirt bike theft on Loma Drive in Lemon Grove, according to Lt. Jim Emig. Deputies spotted a “suspicious vehicle,” a Dodge Durango SUV, leaving the area.The driver refused to stop for law enforcement and instead, fled onto State Route 84 and Interstate 805.


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RELIGIOUS CONCERT IN EL CAJON WITH UNMASKED CROWD, MAYOR WELLS AS SPEAKER, DRAWS REBUKES FROM HEALTH OFFICIALS AND RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Erik Herrara

Updated 9:30 p.m. with clarification from El Cajon Police that a counterprotester who alleged assault did later file a police report.

January 29, 2021 (El Cajon) – The County’s public health officer and many local residents are speaking out critically of El Cajon’s leadership after Mayor Bill Wells gave the opening prayer at a religious gathering January 17th that drew hundreds of outdoor worshippers at Prescott Promenade, nearly all without masks.

The “Let Us Worship” Christian service and concert was organized by evangelical musician Sean Feucht, who exhorted the crowd to yell as loudly as they could despite medical evidence that singing and shouting at worship services has led to super-spreader events and deaths elsewhere. He also invited people to come onstage for a “born again” ritual in which they were prayed over and hugged by faith leaders.

The event was in direct violation of the state and county COVID-19 regulations, held at a time when regional ICU capacity is zero and a stay-home order was in place due to surging COVID cases, including new, rapidly spreading variants.


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL: AZTECS POST THIRD STRAIGHT 30 POINT WIN

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) -  Jordan Schakel posted 16 points and six rebounds as San Diego State easily defeated Wyoming 87-57 on Thursday night. It marked the 13th consecutive time the Aztecs have defeated the Cowboys at home.


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WYOMING

Aztecs held Cowgirls to 1 for 21 shooting from three

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 28, 2021 (Laramie, Wyo.) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (5-9, 3-5) fell at Wyoming (7-7, 5-6) 54-36 Thursday evening.

SDSU struggled on offense but was able to hold the Cowgirls to 37 percent shooting and just five percent from three (1-21).


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SUPERVISORS MOVE TOWARD LEGAL CANNABIS FARMNG AND SALES; ANDERSON ADDS FUNDS TO SHUTDOWN ILLEGAL OPERATORS IMMEDIATELY

By Miriam Raftery

View video of hearing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-LEUgTBhFw

January 28, 2021(San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors yesterday voted 4-1 to have staff bring back a plan within 90 days for reform the County’s policies on marijuana (cannabis), after obtaining input from community planners and other stakeholders.

The plan would create a framework to legalize and regulate sales, manufacturing and farming of cannabis whlie creating jobs in unincorporated areas, also beefing up code compliance to shut down illegal operations. Supervisors are expected to vote on the new regulations by July 1.The proposal was brought forward by Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas.

Newly elected Supervisor Joel Anderson, aware that the measure had a clear majority for passage, successfully added an amendment to provide $500,000 for aggressive enforcement to shut down illegal pot shops, labs or other unlicensed marijuana facilities – starting immediately, even before any new regulations are adopted.


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SAN DIEGO DISTRICT ATTORNEY RENEWS EFFORT TO KEEP SEX OFFENDER COURT HEARINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

East County News Service

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) - Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has reintroduced legislation in partnership with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan to extend the presumption of openness that exists in California courtrooms to proceedings under the Sexually Violent Predator Act. They initiated a similar effort last year but had to put it on hold due to the Legislature’s focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 248 would require that proceedings for the civil commitment of a sexually violent predator (SVP) and subsequent hearings regarding his/her potential release be in open court and on the record, unless compelling and extraordinary circumstances justify closing the courtroom to the public. This bill would require a notice to all parties of the proposed closure and that it be made at least 10 calendar days prior to the closed court hearing.


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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.

KIDS STUDYING ONLINE? BEWARE OF TRAFFICKERS, DA WARNS

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – District Attorney Summer Stephan warns that students spending more time online due to distance learning and COVID-19 are a captive audience for would-be human traffickers making contact on social media.  So it’s important to educate children to prevent them from falling victim to predators. 

These red flags are common with some adolescents that should be taken seriously:


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CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA NAMED TO HOUSE COMMITTEES ON JUDICIARY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Source: Office of Congressman Darrell Issa

January 28, 2021 (Washington, DC) — The House Republican Steering Committee yesterday selected Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to serve on the powerful House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Issa released the following statement: 

“I am honored to return to service as a Senior Member of the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees this Congress. These committees stand at the forefront of our nation’s great challenges: protecting free speech, securing our border, reforming immigration, combating global terrorism and limiting government overreach. On behalf of the 50th District of California, I can’t wait to get to work and craft lasting solutions. 

“I look forward to the leadership of Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX). They are outstanding colleagues, and work tirelessly on behalf of our nation’s families, workers and small businesses.” 


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SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT TO RESUME JURY TRIALS IN FEBRUARY

Source: Superior Court of California, County of San Diego

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego Superior Court jury trials were suspended throughout most of 2020, though a few trials were held in October and November. Jury trials were again suspended in December and January; however, the Court now aims to resume jury trials in February 2021.

Jury duty summonses were mailed to members of the public starting in September 2020. Beginning in late November summonsed individuals were advised they did not need to report for duty when they called the telephone standby phone number while trials were paused. Individuals with summons for dates in February and beyond should follow the instructions on their summons to call in for telephone standby jury duty. Small groups will be instructed to report in person for jury duty. Those not called in on the first day of their telephone standby service will need to call in the next day for further instructions until their service is complete.


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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.

EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO OUST PLANNING COMMISSIONER HUMBERT CABRERA

By Briana Gomez

January 28, 2021 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, the El Cajon City Council voted 4-1 to remove Humbert Cabrera from his position as a Planning Commissioner.

The meeting also included other items impacting the community, including an update on COVID-19, a proposal to outlaw protests at individual homes, and a proposal to limit the city’s investment in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

Removal of Planning Commissioner Cabrera

The proposal to oust Cabrera was made by Mayor Bill Wells and Vice Mayor Gary Kendrick. A staff report cited conflicts of interest by Cabrera  in violation of the city’s ethics policy, since his company has numerous clients seeking city permits. Other reasons included his allegedly demeaning treatment of applicants before the planning commission and questions over his integrity based on conflicting residency statements that he made during a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine. (See our prior coverage.)


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FDA PUTS ALL MEXICAN-MADE HAND SANITIZERS ON IMPORT ALERT DUE TO DANGEROUS INGREDIENT

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – Over half of all hand sanitizers from Mexico have been found to contain toxic ingredients, many at dangerous levels, and 84% of samples tested failed to comply with FDA regulations. So on January 26, the FDA announced a nationwide import alert on all hand sanitizers made in Mexico to prevent them from entering the US. Until the agency can review products’ safety.


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