March 2020 Articles

THESE RESTAURANTS IN EAST COUNTY NOW OFFERING DINE-IN, TAKE-OUT AND/OR DELIVERY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Tiramisu Trattoria in La Mesa after it reopened for dine-in service.

Update July 7: Due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, dine-in is limited to outdoors only until further notice (except for restaurants on tribal land, many of which are open). Those we've confirmed with outdoor dining have an asterisk*

Many restaurants now offer takeout and/or delivery,  listed below --and there are lots of delicious choices!

If you own a restaurant in East County that's not listed or have a listing that needs updating, please email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

March 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Since yesterday’s county order for restaurants to stop dine-in service through March 31 due to the COVID-19 emergency, many owners are adapting by switching to curbside take-out (curbside) service and a few are also offering home delivery through services such as GrubHub, UberEats, or through their own delivery service.  Those with alcohol permits may also offer take-out bottles of beer or wine, as well as cocktails and other alcoholic drinks to go, depending on their type of liquor license.

While this is by no means a complete list, here are many restaurants confirmed as offering take-out and/or delivery services.

Call or check the restaurant's website for details on hours and how to place orders, which vary at each location; hours may be limited and options and may change.

If you know of any we missed, please post in the comments section below!


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INSURANCE COMPANIES MUST ISSUE REFUNDS TO CALIFORNIANS IMPACTED BY COVID 19 FOR AUTO, BUSINESS, AND OTHER POLICIES

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2020 (Sacramento) --  With many businesses closed or having employees work at home, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has found that risks of losses are reduced. So on April 13, the Commissioner ordered insurance companies to issue refunds or credits within 120 days to policyholders adversely affected by COVID-19 including:

  • Private passenger and commercial automobile insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial liability insurance
  • Commercial multiple peril insurance
  • Medical malpractice insurance
  • Any other lines of coverage where risks have dropped due to the pandemic.

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COUNTY LAUNCHES VIRTUAL RECREATION CENTER WITH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR HOME ACTIVITIES

virtual recreation
DPR_Logo_Square

March 31, 2010 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego's Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has launched a Virtual Recreation Center! This is your one-stop-shop for tips, tricks and tales to help you pass the downtime caused by school closures, quarantines and other County advisories. From virtual hikes to daily home fitness challenges, the site has both indoor and outdoor activities to adults and  kids who are homebound.

"While our standard rallying cry is to encourage people to spend more time outside, we understand that recent realities may not make that feasible. We’re now poised to offer many of our incredible outdoor activities in an online environment, or in a manner that supports social distancing," the site states.

Bookmark this page and check back often for new content. Below are items posted as of March 31:


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TEACHERS PROTEST PAY RAISE FOR CVUSD SUPERINTENDENT; MIYASHIRO GETS SALARY FAR HIGHER THAN STATE AND NATIONAL AVERAGES FOR SIMILAR-SIZED DISTRICTS

 

By Paul Kruze

March 31, 2020 (El Cajon)-- Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD and Board of Trustees have walked into a new controversy after reports by NBC San Diego and the San Diego Union-Tribune on pay raises authorized the district board.

Following a call to action by the Cajon Valley Employees Association (CVEA), some 100 CVUSD teachers wearing red t-shirt and coats gathered in the CVUSD boardroom on March 10, the last board meeting before the district shut down due to COVID-19. In no uncertain terms, employees let the Board of Trustees and district cabinet know of their unhappiness with recent pay raises given to Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdM and others.

Audio: 


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WORKING AT HOME OR OUT OF WORK? YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR LOWER CAR INSURANCE

By Miriam Raftery

March 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re out of work, working from home,  not driving to school due to the COVID-19 crisis, or cancelled a driving vacation, you may be eligible to have your vehicle insurance rates reduced.  I called our insurer and was able to reduce our annual car insurance costs by around $260.


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CHIEF’S CORNER: IMPACT OF COVID-19 AND BRUSH FIRE SEASON

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
March 31, 2020 (San Diego) – It’s important to remember this years brush fire season will be a very active one with so much rain over the winter months. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is putting many at risk as it’s hampering mitigation efforts with local fire agencies.
 
From brush mitigation management, prescribed burns, to multi-agency training for firefighters, local, state and federal fire agencies are trying to adhere to the country’s new social distancing guidelines to slow the spread.
 
The U.S. Forest Service, announced last week that it was suspending prescribed burns. This is an effective way to reduce hazardous vegetation from hillsides.
 
Fire Chiefs’ concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive. We need the publics help more than ever. We’ll do our part, but the public has to do their part!
 

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SENTENCING DELAY SOUGHT FOR WIFE OF EX-REP. DUNCAN HUNTER IN CORRUPTION CASE

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Duncan and Margaret Hunter are shown during November 2015 Italian trip the government says was a family vacation financed by his campaign fund.

March 31, 2020 (San Diego) - Margaret Hunter’s sentencing for her part in the corruption case that forced her congressman husband from office may be delayed a month.

On Monday, government and defense lawyers jointly requested a continuance, or postponement, in the sentencing hearing of former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s wife from April 6 to May 4 “or as soon thereafter as is convenient for the court.”


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

March 31, 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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LOCAL COVID-CASES REACH 603: COUNTY RESTRICTS CRUISE SHIPS

Source: County News Service

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

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Through March 30, a total of 603 COVID-19 cases have been reported in San Diego County, including 84 new cases today.

Of San Diego County’s cases, 345 (57%) were men and 256 (43%) were women. Of the known cases, 118 (19%) have required hospitalization, 51 (8%) had to be placed in intensive care and 7 (1.2%) have died.

Health officials today announced the County is restricting the acceptance of cruise ships with COVID-19 cases and has instituted new rules for the unloading of passengers and crew members off cruise ships arriving in San Diego.


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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.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 30, 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.

Coronavirus

Other national news

WORLD

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


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EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS HOLDS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING

Answers Wide Variety of Questions Submitted By Local Residents     

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video

March 30, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday evening held a first-of-a-kind virtual town hall meeting via the city’s website answering a wide variety of questions submitted by local residents on a live basis through the city’s website and social media sites.

The hour-long webcast addressed such subjects as the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how the city is addressing the needs of the area’s homeless population during the crisis, the city’s refusal to shutter local gun shops, resident evictions and foreclosures, law enforcement response, and other topics.


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AMAZON SHUTS DOWN ACCOUNTS OVER PRICE-GOUGING, BUT HOW DO YOU FILE A COMPLAINT?

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Earlier this month, Amazon.com announced that it had pulled over a million products off its online site for price gouging during the pandemic and/or false advertising regarding effectiveness of products against the COVID-19 virus. Now the company has suspended over 4,000 vendors for price gouging, CNN reports.

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REZ RADIO LOL: 91.3 FM GOES ALL FUN FOR APRIL FOOL’S DAY

Source: Pala Rez Radio

March 30, 2020 (Pala) -- With the “new normal” and the gravity of current events beginning to sink in, it’s time to lighten the mood.  Towards that end, Rez Radio 91.3 will suspend all regular programming for one full day and replace it with nothing but novelty songs, stand-up comedy and other classic funny, funny bits that we call “Rez Radio LOL”.  It begins at 1 a.m. Wednesday, April 1 and continues all day and night ending with Wednesday night’s Old Time Radio Hour at midnight featuring “Fibber McGee & Molly” and “The Red Skelton Show."  As always, we’re ready to break in with any urgent news.  But this Wednesday is designed to be a much needed day off for everyone. 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: HERE LIES STAND UP COMEDY (1966-2020)

 

By Darryl Littleton

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- Stand Up Comedy is dead!   Official cause of death – Coronavirus with Trump complications.  After a lengthy illness due to the politically correct sanctions, and despite recent signs of resurgence (thanks to Netflix), Stand Up finally succumbed this month from the prescription of no public gatherings over 10 people.  That dose was barely enough for a club staff, much less a show.   Not a Stand Up show, anyway.   Not a real one.


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COX TAKES STEPS TO EXPAND INTERNET ACCESS TO HELP THOSE WORKING OR SCHOOLING KIDS AT HOME, ALSO AIDS CUSTOMERS WITH FINANCIAL STRESS DUE TO COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Cox Communications recently announced steps to keep people and communities connected  during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many are working at home, educating children at home, or facing financial stress.  Those steps include increasing customer bandwidth free, suspending data usage overage fees, not cutting off phone or internet services for people who can’t pay bills due to the pandemic, and waiving late fees. Cox is also offering low-cost fees for new customers including families with children, opening outdoor WiFi hotspots, and more.

Cox assures that its network has capacity to handle a surge in usage trends from business to residential areas, allow quick emergency repairs, and protect employees and customers through social distance.

Below is Cox’s statement on keeping communities connected and helping those who most need connectivity:


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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REAL I.D. DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL OCTOBER 2021

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for Americans to obtain a REAL ID has been extended by a year. The new deadline is October 1, 2021, avoiding the need for people to visit crowded DMV facilities during the pandemic in order to meet the prior deadline.

After that date, a REAL ID or a valid passport will be required for all airline flights in the U.S., as well as to enter federal facilities such as military bases.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf made the announcement on the agency’s website, which states:


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NEW FUND SUPPORTS SAN DIEGO’S IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

 

 

Source: San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a project of Alliance San Diego, has launched the SDIRC Immigrant Relief Fund to provide grants of up to $500 to immigrant families in San Diego who have lost part or all of their income due to the coronavirus pandemic, or other disasters. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes county and statewide shelter-in-place orders, many workers in San Diego County have had their hours reduced, are temporarily not working, or have lost their jobs altogether. Some immigrant workers are not eligible for certain federal and state benefits such as unemployment and food stamps. 

The fund will launch with $10,000 thanks  to a generous donation from Oxfam America, a confederation of 19 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, and a donation from SDIRC, a coalition of over 50 organizations serving the immigrant community. The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is asking those who can to consider donating to the fund.

For more information on the fund, click here

To apply for the fund, click here

To donate to the fund, click here


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COUNTY PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE; RENEWALS, STATUS REPORTS DEFERRED

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo courtesy: County of San Diego
 
Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, CalFresh and General Relief benefit payments for current customers will continue uninterrupted through April, May and June and certain paperwork is deferred until further notice.
 
The County began sending texts and calls Wednesday to San Diegans who receive the benefits to let them know about the change and confirm that benefits will continue through June.

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TRUMP SIGNS STIMULUS BILL; U.S. NOW HAS MOST COVID-19 CASES IN WORLD

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- President Trump has signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, the largest in American history, stating, “I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first.”  The package includes direct payments, loans and grants.

The action comes after the U.S. surpassed China and Italy with the most COVID-19 coronavirus cases of any nation on earth. Worldwide over half a billion people have been infected with the virus. In the US there are over 95,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,450 people have died.

The Senate coronavirus bill will include help for:


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VEHICLE ACCESS CLOSED AT ALL 280 STATE PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Lake Cuyamaca in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is among sites now closed to vehicle access.

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – California State Parks announced today that vehicle access is shut down to all 280 state parks due to visitors not following social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. In San Diego County, state parks include Cuyamaca Rancho, Anza Borrego Desert, and San Pasqual Battlefield state parks as well as state beaches at Cardiff, Carlsbad and Torrey Pines.


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TONIGHT ON TV: ELTON JOHN AND OTHER STARS PERFORM IN “FOR AMERICA” CONCERT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Elton John in concert in San Diego

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – Viewers around the world can tune in on their TVs tonight (Sunday 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Fox) to watch “Living Room Concert For America.” The free concert, organized by Elton, will feature music superstars and will encourage viewers/listeners to donate to benefit Feeding America and First Responder Cihldren’s Foundation.

The musicians will be performing in their own living rooms, since large gatherings such as concerts in arenas or stadiums are banned.  Participating musicians including Mariah Carey, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw and Billie Joe Armstrong as well as Elton John and many other performers.

Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Ken Jeong, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone will also be special guests during the “Living Room Concert.”


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GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM ANNOUNCES MAJOR FINANCIAL RELIEF PACKAGE: 90-DAY MORTGAGE PAYMENT RELIEF DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

Newsom announces financial institutions will provide relief for vast majority of Californians; financial institutions agree not to negatively impact credit reports as a result of accepting payment relief

By Miriam Raftery

File photo during rally in Ramona to stop foreclosures during prior mortgage foreclosure crisis

March 29, 2020 (Sacramento) -- Governor Gavin Newsom announced on March 25 that financial institutions will provide major financial relief for millions of Californians suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Newsom secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to protect homeowners. (The order does not apply to commercial mortgages, however some cities have adopted broader protections.)

“Millions of California families will be able to take a sigh of relief,” said Governor Newsom. “These new financial protections will provide relief to California families and serve as a model for the rest of the nation. I thank each of the financial institutions that will provide this relief to millions of Californians who have been hurt financially from COVID-19.”

Under the Governor’s proposal, Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution:


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GOVERNOR NEWSOM TAKES EXECUTIVE ACTION TO ESTABLISH A STATEWIDE MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS THROUGH MAY 31

Renter must notify landlord within a week of when rent is due, if they can’t pay due to COVID-19, to be eligible for the eviction freeze

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2020 (Sacramento)--Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters in California affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020.

The order prohibits landlords from evicting residential tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts.  It does not protect commercial tenants, however.

It also requires residential renters to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19 such as because of job layoff, cuts in hours, business closures, medical expenses, childcare due to school closures for parents still working in critical jobs, or other impacts related to the pandemic.

The tenant would be required to retain documentation that their inability to pay rent is due to COVID-19, such as termination notices, pay stubs, bank notices, medical bills, or other proof.


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COUNTY’S STAY-HOME ORDER EXTENDED INDEFINITELY

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – As local COVID-19 cases climb to 488, including seven deaths, the County has extended its existing public health order indefinitely. The order was originally issued only until March 31.

The newest deaths include a man in his 20s who died in Riverside County and a man in his 80s with underlying medical conditions.

 “Just these two deaths reflect the sober reality that we are facing, that COVID-19 can affect individuals of all ages,” said Nick Yphantides, County chief medical officer. Locally, the death rate is 1.4%, or 14 times higher than the death rate from flu.

In just the past 24 hours before yesterday’s press conference, 71 new cases were diagnosed locally.  Most, 57.4%, are in men and nearly 20% required hospitalization, with 8.6% in intensive are.

The public health order will require that non-essential business stay closed including bars, restaurants for dining in services, gyms, fitness centers and more. Schools must also stay homes.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY REFUGEE FAMILIES EMERGENCY FUND SEEKS DONATIONS TO HELP LOCAL FAMILIES DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

East County News Service

Photo by Rachel Williams: Syrian refugee children in El Cajon

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – Refugees are among the hardest hit among our local residents impacted by COVID-19 shutdown orders. These are immigrants legally admitted to the U.S. after suffering war, famine, or other life-threatening hardships, primarily from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

To help these new Americans, Partnership for Advancement of New Americans, in partnership with other refugee assistance organizations, has launched the San Diego County Refugee Assistance Fund.  Every penny will be donated directly to help a local refugee family.

You can donate here:  https://www.panasd.org/covidfund?fbclid=IwAR0sorX-O-fc-5H3hDa6fvN9TbmJqJ1fCEE3gPWR3_GRfDhyPl4mC8uB3-s

Their goal is to raise $100,000 so that they can support 100 families with grants of $1,000 each. In the first three days, over $80,000 has been raised.

According to their website:

"COVID-19 presents tremendous challenges for already struggling refugee families.

"The majority of San Diego’s refugee workers are in the restaurant, hotel, and transportation industries hardest hit by the pandemic. Even with the City of San Diego taking action to halt evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs, people already struggling to make ends meet are now managing reduced work hours or furloughs, school closures, childcare challenges, and food scarcity. Community members have lost their jobs, drivers are facing major disruption with Uber and Lyft, and families have children that need to complete school assignments online, but don't have internet connectivity at home.


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FIRE DESTROYS SPRING VALLEY HOME AFTER LIKELY LIGHTNING STRIKE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: San Miguel Fire on Instagram
 
March 28, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley couple has been treated for smoke inhalation after escaping their Spring Valley home during a fire around 3:45 a.m. on Friday. The couple reported hearing a loud noise believed to be a lightning strike, followed by smelling smoke. 

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WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED IN BORREGO SPRINGS

Borrego Springs Wildflowers Mountains Sky

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce has sent an e-mail with information for Borrego-area residents on what’s open and closed.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SKY BUNNY

ECM Sky Bunny 2020 Robert Gehr
East County News Service
 
March 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – Cloud-gazing is one way to pass the time during the stay-home order.  Just in time for Easter, Robert Gehr sent in this shot of a fluffy cloud shaped like a bunny in the sky.

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A HAIRY PROBLEM: WHAT TO DO WITH BARBER SHOPS AND SALONS SHUT DOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Creative Commons via Bing 

 

March 28, 2020 (San Diego) – As the COVID-19 stay-home order drags on, with barber shops and hair salons shut down, you may feel ready to pull a paper bag over your head and cut eyeholes to hide bad-hair-days that are now every day.  

Here are a few other options.


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