July 2020 Articles

ACLU TAKES BORDER WALL FIGHT TO SUPREME COURT, SEEKS HALT TO DESTRUCTION OF SACRED SITES, WILDLIFE AND PROTECTED SCENIC AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

 

File photo: A section of the old border fence being torn down in San Diego’s East County as work continues on new wall despite lawsuit and pandemic

 

July 23, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall. In a motion filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, the ACLU is urging the court to lift an earlier stay that allowed the Trump administration to divert $2.5 billion from military pay and pension funds for border wall construction that Congress had specifically denied. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NEOWISE COMET OVER EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- Photographer Scott Burnham captured this amazing image of Comet Neowise over Borrego Palm Canyon from the edge of Borrego Springs on Friday evening, July 17.

The icy comet will make its closest approach to Earth tonight, and may be seen through July 25.

Once it’s gone, it won’t return for another 6,800 years. 

HOW SAFE ARE CHILD CARE CENTERS AND SCHOOLS DURING THE PANDEMIC? EDUCATORS AND PARENTS GRAPPLE WITH UNCERTAINTIES

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2020 (San Diego)  - Should you send your child back to school this fall, if facilities are allowed to open? How much risk does in-school learning pose for children, teachers, staff and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Is distance-only learning really an acceptable substittute for in-person instruction?

These are questions every parent and educator is now confronting. A look at childcare facilities, which have remained open throughout the pandemic, as well as checking up on schools around the world in places that have reopened, can provide some lessons learned.

As of today, 90 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in child care facilities in San Diego, according to data updated daily by the California Department of Social Services. Statewide, the number of coronavirus cases reported by childcare facilities rose five-fold in just over a month, Ed Source reported last week. 

CAMPO FAMILY SUFFERS DEADLY CRASH: FUNDRAISER STARTED TO HELP SURVIVORS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via GoFundMe

July 21, 2020 (Campo) – Brad and Crystal Sparks’ family from Campo suffered a devastating rollover accident in New Mexico on July 12 while traveling home after a visit to friends in Texas. Two of their children were killed and five other family members had injuries. Brad works for Symons Fire Protection in Poway.

A GoFundMe Page has thus far raised over $187,000 to help Brad and Crystal Sparks, their surviving children and an unborn baby.

HORSE MISSING FOR TWO MONTHS FOUND BY BORDER PATROL

East County News Service

July 21, 2020 (San Diego) – A horse named “Ollie” reported missing in May has been found by Border Patrol Agents in the Tijuana River Valley area of San Diego.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced Monday that agents found the horse tangled in a thicket on July 15. 

Members of the Imperial Beach Station's All-Terrain Vehicle Unit were tracking a group of people who crossed the border illegally when they discovered the horse tangled in thick brush, according to CBP agent Jeff Stephenson. A K-9 team and horse patrol agents joined the ATV team to clear a path to access the trapped horse, which appeared to be weak and in distress.

COUNTY HIRING HUNDREDS OF CASE INVESTIGATORS AS COVID-19 INFECTIONS SURGE

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

Photo:  San Diego County employee Esma Al Sabag is doing contact tracing in English and Arabic. Photo courtesy County News Center

July 21, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials announced Monday the hiring of hundreds of additional case investigators as COVID-19 continued to surge with 453 new cases.

SURVIVORS OF TORTURE VULNERABLE DURING PANDEMIC

 

By Kendra Sitton

 

July 21, 2020 (San Diego) - An estimated 35,000 torture survivors reside in San Diego County. Only one torture treatment agency is accredited to serve this vulnerable population in our county: Survivors of Torture, International. East County Magazine spoke with Survivors’ Community Relations Manager, Katrina Pimental, about their clients’ experiences during the pandemic. 

 

Many are facing job loss without access to government help. Mental health issues such as PTSD are triggered by lockdown measures which remind them of house arrest.  Many don’t qualify for CARES Act benefits and are struggling financially. Some have gone without food for days. Their asylum claims are in limbo. 

 

Our interview delved into these issues, as well as how the nonprofit is responding. 

HOTEL INDUSTRY REQUIRES MASKS ACROSS U.S., RELEASES TOP 5 TRAVEL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

Face coverings, physical distancing to be standardized at hotels nationwide

 

Source: American Hotel & Lodging Association

 

Photo:  CC-ND via Bing

 

July 20, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released the “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” for guests on how to travel safely, also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide. This checklist is part of AHLA’s Safe Stay guidelines --an industry-wide, enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees. 

THERESA KEMPER NAMED GUHSD SUPERINTENDENT

Kemper assumes new role effective July 1

Source:  GUHSD

July 20, 2020 (El Cajon) - The GUHSD Governing Board unanimously appointed Theresa Kemper as Superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District effective July 1, 2020.

Theresa Kemper began her career in education as an English teacher at El Cajon Valley High School. She was promoted to educational administration in 1995, serving as Assistant Principal for three years at Granite Hills High School, followed by Principal of Grossmont High School for nine years. For most of the past decade, Ms. Kemper served as Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services in the Grossmont Union High School District.

MOTORCYCLE PASSENGER DIES AFTER ROLLOVER IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

July 20, 2020 (El Cajon) – A passenger on a Harley Davidson motorcycle has died following a rollover crash July 18 on Piping Rock Lane around 9:30 p.m. While passing a vehicle parked on the shoulder, the driver of the motorcycle lost control, causing it to roll over and crash into the parked vehicle.

Both the driver and passenger were ejected onto the roadway. They were not wearing helmets and both suffered major injuries. Both were transported to hospitals, but despite lifesaving efforts, the passenger was pronounced dead at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

HOW WILL THE YMCA SURVIVE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

 

 

By Dr. Helen Horvath 

 

July 19, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- In this ongoing series about impacts of COVID-19 to our families and vital community nonprofit services, ECM explores  the pandemic’s effects on operations at the YMCA of East County and San Diego County through an exclusive interview with Courtney Pendleton, Association Director of Public Relations and Communications, San Diego YMCA. 

 

The YMCA of San Diego County has served our region for 138 years with a dedication to strengthening our communities through physical activities that feed the mind, body, and spirit of our communities. The Y, as most people affectionately call the YMCA, has become one of the most diverse organizations serving our areaThrough the years, for many, the 18 YMCAs in San Diego County have become places of diversity and inclusion to meet up, exercise, socialize, and meet new and old friends while potentially learning new skills.  

But shutdowns of facilities, programs and fundraising events have posed daunting challenges for the YMCA to work out.  

LA MESA MAY SEEK BOND TO FUND PARK UPGRADES, CONSIDERS TOWN HALL ON RIOT RESPONSE AND POLICING ISSUES

By Briana Gomez

July 18, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council Meeting on July 14 reflected an air of unresolved tensions, six weeks after rioting, looting and fires ravaged the community. The Council approved a grant application to help the homeless and addressed other issues, but concerns over police controversies and the riot response remained hot button issues with residents. 

FUND ESTABLISHED BY REALTORS WILL HELP SERVICE MEMBERS IMPACTED BY USS BONHOMME RICHARD FIRE: SAILORS SUFFERED INJURIES, DISPLACEMENT, AND LOSS OF BELONGINGS

East County News Service
 
Photo via U.S. Navy, by MC3 Christina Ross
 
July 18, 2020 (San Diego) --  The Ambassadors Foundation of the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) is collecting funds to assist service members impacted by the recent fire onboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard docked at Naval Base San Diego. In addition to the service members who received minor injuries, many others have been displaced and lost personal items as a result of the fire.
 
The Ambassadors Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by SDAR to benefit communities in need, including providing housing tools and resources for military and veterans. Carla Farley, President of the Ambassadors Foundation Board and 2020 SDAR President, announced the initiative to purchase gift cards and related items for service members affected by the disastrous fire.

CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS, ICON OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, DIES OF CANCER

“We’ve got to move all Americans towards that place where we can lay down the burden of race and create one America, one multiracial democratic society.”

–Congressman John Lewis, 2013 interview with East County Magazine in San Diego. Hear the full interview.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  President Barack Obama presented Medal of Freedom to John Lewis in 2011.

July 18, 2020 (San Diego) – Congressman John Lewis, famed civil rights leader, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 80. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis drew inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to become a courageous champion in the civil rights movement for more than 60 years.

Calling him the “conscience of the Congress” where he served as a representative from Georgia for over 40 years,  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his death yesterday and ordered the flag over our nation’s capitol flown at half-mast.

Lewis denounced violence and was arrested more than 40 times for peaceful protests against injustice. In 1965, TV coverage of  a trooper fracturing his skull with a bully club in what became known as Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama outraged the nation, leading to swift passage of the Voting Rights Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.

Audio: 

TO END 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL NIGHTMARE,' ACLU SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER USE OF SECRET POLICE IN PORTLAND

"This is a fight to save our democracy."

By Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Photo:  Police confront demonstrators in Portland, Oregon on July 4, 2020. (Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

July 18, 2020 (Portland, Ore.) - The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon sued the Trump administration late Friday over its deployment of federal agents to Portland, where unidentified officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service have been detaining Black Lives Matter protesters without explanation and using indiscriminate force to crush demonstrations.

COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES OFFERS PET ADOPTION SPECIALS IN JULY

 

By County News Center, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by Autumn Endara:  Now's the time to rescue an animal and make a lifelong buddy.

July 18, 2020 (San Diego) - Look at these adorable furry and reptilian faces that are available for adoption now at the County Department of Animal Services. In July, the County is offering an adoption special too! All adoptions are also “touchless” to better protect you and our Animal Services staff. Visit County Animal Services to get started.

CAMPA-NAJJAR REPORTS RECORD FUNDRAISING, $1 MILLION FOR BATTLE AGAINST ISSA

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

Photo:  Ammar Campa-Najjar speaks at a debate in February before the primary election. Photo by Chris Stone

July 17, 2020 (San Diego) - Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar reported his best fundraising quarter to date, adding $703,000 to build a $1 million war chest for his battle with former Rep. Darrell Issa in November.

SCHOOLS IN SAN DIEGO AND OTHER COUNTIES ON WATCH LIST CANNOT REOPEN UNTIL VIRUS RATES DROP FOR TWO WEEKS, STATE ORDERS

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2020 (Sacramento)  -- Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a five-point plan for reopening public and private schools. But 30 counties currently on the state’s COVID-19 are prohibited from reopening schools this fall – including San Diego County, unless major changes happen fast to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

A five-point plan issued by the state’s Department of Public Health will allow a district to reopen for live classes only after its county has a two week decline in COVID-19 cases.

The news deals a blow to districts such as Cajon Valley Union School District, which just resumed some summer school classes and had announced a blended learning model that gave parents options for in school, online, or a combination of learning options for students. Some other districts, however, such as San Diego Unified had already rolled back reopening plans due to high numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks locally.

LOOK IN NORTHWESTERN SKY ONE HOUR AFTER SUNSET THROUGH JULY 22

Source: Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF)

Photo: Trajection of Comet Neowise in NW evening sky in next few days, Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium, as found on Earthsky.org

July 17, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- Perhaps you felt like some ABF staff members and found it challenging to rise during the wee hours of the morning, by 4 am, to view comet Neowise with binoculars in the pre-dawn sky during this past week.

Don't despair! It is not too late to catch a glimpse in our northern hemisphere, and viewing opportunities are getting better as the comet is moving closer to earth during the coming days, at a rate of 40 miles per second, to within 64 million miles by July 22-23!

Best viewing has now shifted to the more reasonable hours shortly after sunset, best between 9:00 and 9:30 pm, depending on your vantage point.

SECOND WOMAN FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST LA MESA, ALLEGES OFFICER SHOT HER IN BREAST WITH RUBBER BULLET AT GAS STATION AFTER SHE LEFT PROTEST

By Miriam Raftery

Photo of Horton's injuries, courtesy of Singleton Law Firm

July 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – A woman who claims she was shot one the side of her breast with a rubber bullet or other projectile by a law enforcement officer while waiting at the Chevron gas station for her daughter, after leaving the May 30 protest, has filed a claim against the city of La Mesa seeking unspecified damages for her injuries.

Michelle Horton, 51, a former Navy officer and healthcare administrator, is white. Her attorney, Gerald Singleton, told ECM in an interview that Horton had left the protest after a dispersal order was given. He indicated that according to Horton, the shooting occurred before dark, between 8 and 9 p.m., by an officer who pulled up in a vehicle at the gas station and shot her in the chest with a projectile, without warning.

ANTHONY'S EXPANDS OUTDOOR DINING AMID TROPICAL MOTIF

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Just a few weeks ago, Anthony's Fish Grotto had announced its intent to close permanently due to the COVID-19 shutdown's devastating impact on restaurants. Then an outpouring of support from customers persuaded owner Craig Ghio to keep the doors open until dine-in resumed.  The state reopened dine-in only briefly. Now, with only outdoor dining allowed, Anthony's has substantially expanded its socially-distanced seating alongside a private lake, provided probably the most delightful outdoor dining experience in East County.

Tropical music added ambience when I visited this week, sipping a signature Tropical Cruise with rum, pineapple juice and peach Schnapps.  Homemade clam chowder in a sourdough breadbowl provided a hearty and affordable meal. My dining companion, an ECM reporter, chose a  healthy salad topped with fresh fruits; you can opt to top it off with shrimp, salmon, or chicken. The menu also includes an array of fresh seafoods, sandwiches and more.

Lush landscaping and fountains with the sound of running water, creating an illusion evocative of beaches in some far-away enclave.

PLAY BALL! PADRES RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR SEASON STARTING JULY 24, ADD LEFTY PITCHER TIM HILL TO ROSTER

East County News Service

July 17, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Padres have released a schedule for an abbreviated 60-game 2020 baesball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The  Padres' home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks is slated for July 24, with the season's final game September 27.  View schedule

Seeking to beef up the bullpen, the Padres recently acquired left-handed pitcher Tim Hill from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Franchy Cordero and right-handed pitcher Ronald Bolaños.

TRUMP DROPS THREAT TO DEPORT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STUDYING ONLNE DURING PANDEMIC

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: International flags: Creative Commons via S.A.

July 17, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After the state of California joined a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and others against the Trump administration, the White House has dropped its plan announced July 6 to deport international students not enrolled in in-person classes this fall. 

Instead, the government has reinstated a policy initiated at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, which allows foreign students to study online and remain in the U.S. on student visas under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, the New York Times reports.

LATINO CONSERVATION GROUPS URGE ACTION ON PANDEMIC, CLIMATE CHANGE

By Suzanne Potter

Reprinted from California News Service, originally published in June

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

July 17, 2020 (Sacramento) --  Latino conservation groups say battling the pandemic goes hand in hand with fighting climate change, because poor air quality exacerbated by climate change makes people more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Juanita Mora, CEO of the Chicago Allergy Center, said Latino communities are disproportionately affected by both the pandemic and poor air quality.

EMERGENCY SLEEPING CABINS ON AGENDA FOR EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION JULY 21

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Screenshots, NBC7: an emergency sleeping cabin in City Heights built by Amikas

July 15, 2020 (El Cajon) – Last year, the nonprofit Amikas built an emergency sleeping cabin as a demonstration project at a church in El Cajon. The group hopes to win city approval to allow similar units to be used to temporarily house homeless people, particularly women, including women veterans, amid the COVID-19 pandemic when local shelter space in East County is insufficient.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

WHAT DID THE WHITE HOUSE KNOW ABOUT RABBI GOLDSTEIN'S CRIMINALITY?

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

July 16, 2020 (San Diego) - I have more than a few questions about the conduct of the tax fraud case in which Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is being recommended for probation, rather than a prison sentence, notwithstanding the fact that his pattern of illegal conduct reaches back several decades.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

July 16, 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.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Pages