March 2020 Articles

COUNTY ASKS RESIDENTS, SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES TO PREPARE FOR COVID-19

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo, courtesy County of San Diego: County Microbiologist Jovan Shepherd prepares a specimen for testing of the novel coronavirus.
 
March 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Be informed. Be prepared.
 
That’s what County and local health officials, business and school leaders want area residents to do should the novel coronavirus be detected in the region.
 
“It’s important for everyone to educate themselves and their family and be prepared in case the new coronavirus makes its way to San Diego County,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “It’s also important for people not to panic as the risk for this new virus and the disease that it causes continues to be low.”

THE HOLLOW REVIEW - AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY

By Kathy Carpenter
 
Photos: Lamplighters Community Theatre
 
March 5, 2020 - (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre presents "The Hollow." Everyone loves a good mystery and Agatha Christie's are some of the best. The house was full which proves my point. Why don't they do more mysteries? 
 
When I think Agatha Christie I don't think of humor, but I had not heard of "The Hollow.”  It was quite funny, peppered with one-liners. Since this play is lesser known, it kept me guessing to the end. The play has  everything a good whodunit needs: humor, a plot that keeps you guessing, and a cast of great characters.

LONG-TIME PUBLISHER SUNBELT MOVING FROM EL CAJON TO PHOENIX

Update March 26:   Sunbelt's move to Arizona has been put on indefinite hold due to the pandemic. The Sunbelt warehouse is temporarily closed in compliance with state mandates to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The company plans to reopen the warehouse on April 13, 2020 if it is safe to do so.
 
 
East County News Service
 
Photo: Lowell and Diana Lindsey at Sunbelt’s warehouse in El Cajon
 
March 5, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Sunbelt Publications, known for its award-winning books about natural and cultural history, outdoor adventure, regional reference, and travel, has been sold to American Traveler Press of Phoenix, Arizona. Sunbelt will be closing its El Cajon warehouse at 1250 Fayette Street on March 31 with all stock moving to Arizona beginning April 1. Sunbelt is offering discounts of 30-50% off on all titles during the month of March and is open during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Sunbelt also has a selection of free books available to shoppers. For more information, call 619-258-4911 or 800-626-6579. Check the website to view books published and distributed by Sunbelt Publications: www.sunbeltpublications.com
 

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 5, 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.  

RAMONA’S CHRIS ANDERSON WINS REALTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD (AGAIN) FROM SAN DIEGO’S LARGEST REALTORS ASSOCIATION

East County News Service

March 5, 2020 (Ramona) – Ramona resident Chris Anderson, a realtor with Coldwell Banker West (CBW), was recently honored by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) with the 2019 Realtor of the Year Award.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL RALLIES PAST AIR FORCE 73-60

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photos courtesy goaztecs.com

March 5, 2020 (Las Vegas) - Jordan Schakel's teammates kept telling him to shoot. San Diego State needed every basket to avoid a major upset.

Schakel scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as the fifth-ranked Aztecs rallied for a 73-60 win over Air Force in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Thursday.

DEMOCRATS DOMINATE IN CITY OF SAN DIEGO ELECTIONS: GLORIA LEADS IN MAYORAL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Assemblyman Todd Gloria

March 5, 2020 (San Diego) – With 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in ballots remaining to be counted, Democratiic party-endorsed candidates are leading in the San Diego mayoral race and three of the five city council races.  A fourth race has a non-endorsed Democrat on top, while a fifth is currently tied.  The top two contender in each of these races will run off in the November general election.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

RAMONA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING MONEY FROM ZOO

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (Ramona) – A Ramona man who worked as a biologist at the San Diego Zoo has pleaded guilty to stealing over $236,000 from the zoo, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Diego.

Investigators found John Anderson, 49, made fake vendor invoices from 2008-2016 for third parties that then made payments to Anderson.  He was charged with theft or conversion concerning programs receiving federal funds. 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS MID-MARCH THROUGH MID-APRIL

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features St. Patrick’s Day fun at Hooley’s Irish Pub, Irish teas in Julian, spring wildflower walks in the Anza-Borrego Desert, Agatha Christie’s the Hollow in La Mesa, and concerts at the Magnolia in El Cajon.

Plus we have a preview of coming attractions including a LatinX Film and Art Festival at San Diego State, Eggstravanza at Santee Lakes and Cajon Classic Cruises in El Cajon.

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

GOVERNOR DECLARES EMERGENCY AS MORE COVID-19 CASES DIAGNOSED, INCLUDING IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency yesterday amid news of 53 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in California and the first COVID-19 death in our state.  New cases include an LAX airport screener, cruise ship passengers, a South Korean flight attendant at LAX, and an AT&T store employee in Otay Mesa here in San Diego County.

California health officials are now monitoring 9,400 cases in 49 counties statewide.

TWO YOUNG DEMOCRATIC WOMEN EARN SPOTS IN NOVEMBER RUN OFF TO SUCCEED SUSAN DAVIS

By Miriam Raftery and Jonathan Goetz

Photos: East County News Service

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) --Congresswoman Susan Davis is retiring in order to spend more time in San Diego. 

In the 53rd Congressional District, her shoes will be filled by a Democratic woman, as Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gomez, both captured the #1 and #2 slots, respectively to make the November run-off out of a 13-candidate field. The 53rd Congressional district includes the heart of the city of San Diego as well as La Mesa, Lemon Grove, part of El Cajon, Jamul, Chula Vista, and more.

WARREN AND BLOOMBERG END CANDIDACIES IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (San Diego) – After disappointing results on Super Tuesday, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have announced they are suspending their campaigns in the Democratic presidential primary.

Bloomberg has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. Warren she wants to take some time to think over whether to endorse another candidate.  

Both had won delegates (Warren 65, Bloomberg 58) who will now be free to vote for any candidate at the Democratic National Convention.

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX MEASURE S FAILING

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 5, 2020 (San Diego) Measure S, which was designed to raise sales taxes by ¾ of a cent and bring in an estimated $3 million to the financially strapped city of Lemon Grove, is failing.

According to the San Diego Registrar of Voters the primary had a 28% voter turn-out. With 100% precincts reporting, 59%,or 2,069 voted no on the measure and 41%, or 1,421 voted yes. There are 350,000 outstanding ballots to be counted as of early Wednesday.

Without more revenues to fund needed services, Lemon Grov could be pushed to seek disincorporation as a city, reverting back to county control.

ECM obtained reactions to the election outcome from the measure's leading advocate and staunchest opponent.

SAN DIEGO STATE SOFTBALL FALLS TO VILLANOVA 11-4

Six run sixth inning dooms Aztecs in 11-4 loss

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State allowed six runs in the top of the sixth inning of a one-run game in a 11-4 loss to Villanova Wednesday night at SDSU Softball Stadium.

The Wildcats (12-9), who are receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls, were up, 4-3, after five innings before scoring six times off the Aztecs (14-9) on just three hits, but four walks and a crucial error.

REIMAGINING CASA DE ORO: A NEW VISION TAKES SHAPE FOR “A SMALL TOWN WITH A BIG VIEW”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jay Steiger

March 2, 2020 (Casa de Oro) – “This has been an 18-month effort,” Bob Yarris, president of the Casa de Oro Alliance, said at a community visioning workshop held Feb. 25 at the Spring Valley Academy. A half-million dollar grant has been awarded to the Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit, by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to create design guidelines and revitalize the heart of Casa de Oro.

More than 50 community members saw a presentation by county officials, then had an opportunity to share their ideas in breakout sessions, adding a variety of creative visions.

IT'S BOLD, IT'S CONTROVERSIAL, IT'S SCARY!

 

The Sounds Of Silence Are The Loudest, by Cortina Jackson (CoLAB Creative Group, LLC, 2018, 207 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) - Cortina Jackson, with a background in criminal justice and law enforcement, follows up her initial publication; On Earth As It Is In Hell, with her latest fiction novel of a similar genre; The Sounds Of Silence Are The Loudest. As a matter of fact, this latest book borders on the macabre. It is thought provoking and has elements that can have the reader on the edge of their seat.

The Sounds Of Silence Are The Loudest, admittedly by the author, has stories within it that are not scary, but this writer begs to differ! Jackson states that the reality of it is. Jackson says she decided to call the book The Sounds of Silence are the Loudest, because people’s silence about abductions, trafficking, mind-control, and organ-harvesting is deafening. She further states that it is time to make some actual noise, for these issues are no longer a secret for this fiction writer.

PROPOSITION 13 FAILS LOCALLY AND MISSES MAJORITY NEEDED STATEWIDE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) Proposition 13, a $15B bond to fund academic projects that also included funding for a variety of other projects as well, failed locally in yesterday’s state-wide primary. Statewide, 56% voted no and 44% yes, with 100% of precincts reporting but some mail-in ballots remaining to be counted.

The bond would have pumped portions of the $15 billion into pre-K to grade 13 schools and higher education institutions such as community colleges, California State University, and all of the University of California locations.

EAST COUNTY VOTERS REJECT CAJON VALLEY AND LAKESIDE SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOND MEASURES

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Creative Commons NC-ND via Bing

March 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- El Cajon and Lakeside voters gave solid thumbs down on Tuesday night to school bond measures put on the ballot by the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) and by the Lakeside Union School District.

Cajon Valley

Cajon Valley’s ballot measure, which would have issued $220 million dollars in school bonds went down in a major defeat with 100 percent of precinct votes counted and only late mail-in ballots remaining. 12,301 votes were cast against the bond measure (55.65%) with 9,803 (44.35%) votes cast for it. The bond measure required 55% in favor to pass, but throughout the evening, never came close to gaining traction needed for passage.

The district said that the new bond issue was necessary to finance basic infrastructure improvements and to implement installation of advanced security technology at its schools as recommended last year by a County of San Diego Grand Jury report.

SDSU BASEBALL DEFEATS LONG BEACH STATE 7-2

Four Aztecs finish with two hits each

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State won its third straight with a 7-2 triumph over No. 17/17 Long Beach State in a non-conference game Tuesday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Mike Jarvis (two RBI), Casey Schmitt (two runs), Anthony Walters and Brian Leonhardt finished with two hits apiece for the Aztecs, who also utilized four pitchers on the night, giving up just two unearned runs to raise their record to 9-4 overall. 

JOEL ANDERSON AND STEVE VAUS ADVANCE TO NOVEMBER RUN OFF TO FILL DIANNE JACOB'S SEAT ON SUPERVISORS IN DISTRICT 2

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos by Miriam Raftery:  Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson

March 4, 2020 (San Diego's East County) – Two Republicans will face off against each other in the 2nd Supervisorial District, after Democrat Kenya Taylor failed to make the run-off.

Former State Senator Joel Anderson says fixing roads and providing attainable housing for the next generation are his top priorities. He touts his legislative experience working across the aisle on many bills and says he’ll lobby Sacramento for more funds for the region.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who is also president of SANDAG, wants to focus on public safety, infrastructure, building housing and preserving open spaces, touting his record in Poway of having more open space than any other city in the county. He urges voters to look at his record in Poway, which ranks high in public safety, open spaces, and meeting housing needs.

JUDICIAL RACE OUTCOMES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: C.J. Mody at Golden Hall, was pleased with his victory.

March 4, 2020 (San Diego) -- Three contested Superior Court judicial races were won outright in yesterday's election, while a fourth will head for a run-off in November in one of the night's closest races.

Michelle Ialeggio trounced Shawn McMillan  76% to 24%, with 100% of precincts reported but mail-in ballots remaining to be counted. McMillan was rated lacking qualifications by the San Diego County Bar Association.

C.J. Mody won his race outright ovre Roberta Winston, 57% to 43%.  

Alan Wong Robinson (52%) defeated Mark Skeels (32%)  and Steve Miller (15%); Miller was also ranked lacking quaifications by the Bar Association.

REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE DOWNTOWN TUESDAY NIGHT

By Miriam Raftery, Rebecca Jefferis Williamson, and Jonathan Goetz

Photos, left by Miriam Raftery: Democratic Party Chair Will Rodriguez Kennedy and Republican Party Chair Tony Krvaric

The gathering of Republicans, Democrats and others, at Golden Hall  election nights, is a long-standing tradition in San Diego. Democrats and republicans alike hosted parties within walking distance, the same venues as 2018. Republicans returned to the Grant, and democrats to the Westin, for more partisan celebrations among the like-minded.

Both the Republican and Democratic County Chairs were upbeat with East County Magazine.

MEASURES A AND B FAILING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two land use intiiatives on the countywide ballot could influence the future of major housing developments in our region.

Measure B, a developer-backed proposal to affirm a 3-2 vote by Supervisors to build the controversial Newland Sierra housing project at  far higher density than the county general plan allows, is going down in a resounding defeat, with 58.34% voting no and 41.66% voting yes.

Measure A, which would give voters countywide the right to vote on any major housing project that would require a waiver of the general plan, is losing 51% to 49% with 100%of precincts counted by mail-in ballots still to be tallied.  

CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ISSA HEAD TO RUN-OFF IN NOVEMBER IN RACE TO FILL HUNTER’S SEAT

County's four other Congressional seats appear likely to stay in Democratic control

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2020 (San Diego) – With 42.5% of precincts reporting in the 50th Congressional district seat vacated by the resignation of disgraced Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is leading with 34.4% of the vote and appears headed for a run-off in November against former Congressman Darrell Issa, who has 24.7% of the road.

Republicans Carl DeMaio, a conservative radio host, and State Senator Brian Jones, have 21.1% and 10.7% respectively. Marissa Calderon, a Democrat who dropped out of the race, still received 5.2%. Four other candidates scored in low single digits.

BERNIE SANDERS WINS CALIFORNIA, JOE BIDEN SWEEPS THE SOUTH

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
 
By: Jonathan Goetz
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report.
 
Bernie Sanders wins California, according to CBS and the Los Angeles Times. California is the most delegate rich state voting today. Sanders also won Colorado, Utah and Vermont, according to CNN.
 
Joe Biden swept the south, projected to win Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia, according to CNN, and Texas, according to NBC.
 
Biden is leading the total pledged delegate count with 453 delegates to Sanders' 382 delegates, 50 for Elizabeth Warren and 44 delegates for Michael Bloomberg, according to the Associated Press.
 
According to the Secretary of State's office, with 72% of precincts reporting, Sanders has 31.4% of the vote, Biden 22.2%, Bloomberg 16%, and Warren at 12.1%, all four receiving delegates. 
 
In an impassioned speech tonight, Sanders took on Biden head-on, faulting Biden for voting to support the Iraq War and cut Social Security benefits, while Sanders led the fight to expand Social Security and opposed the Iraq War.  View speech.

HOW TO ANALYZE TONIGHT'S RESULTS IN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- ECM will be tweeting live results on the presidential campaign and all local races in East County and later posting full articles on our news site. You can follow us at EastCountyMag on Twitter. 

As media outlets declare "winners" in the Democratic primary elections held this Super Tuesday, it's important to understand these key facts: 

  • Primary races are not winner-takes-all. So a second, third or fourth place candidate might still get significant delegates, especially in large states like Texas and California.
  • However, only candidates with 15% or more of the vote will get any delegates in a given Congressional district.  So even a high placement may not count, if the candidate has below 15%.
  • Fourteen states vote this Super Tuesday, awarding about a third of all the Democratic delegates.
  • The first four states to vote before today awarded a total of  just 155 delegates.
  • California has 415 delegates and Texas has 225, so if a candidate wins big there, they could overtake a candidate with many wins in smaller states. 
  • Super Tuesday states voting today are:  Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, and American Samoa
  • A candidate needs 1,991 pledged delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the national Democratic convention.  If no candidate has that many (i.e., over 50% of all delegates) then it becomes a contested convention and goes to a second ballot, at which "superdelegates" -- establishment Democrats including many elected officials, will also cast ballots. This could result in someone other than the candidate with the most delegates being chosen as the nominee.
  • Votes cast for candidates who later suspended their campaigns will mean their delegates will go to the convention but can vote for other candidates.
  • If a candidate dropped out, rather than suspend their candidacy, their delegates are split proportionately among the winners in each state where they received 15% or more.
  • Only four remaining Democratic candidates have drawn over 15% or appear likely to do so in order to remain potentially viable: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
  • All others have either dropped out of the race, suspended their candidacy, or are polling in low single digits.

MUMPS CASES AT SDSU

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 2, 2020 (San Diego) -- Six San Diego State University students were diagnosed with confirmed or probable mumps in late February, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported last week. The six students live off campus at BLVD63, a large apartment community that is not affiliated with the university and is located at 6345 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego.
 
“These six mumps cases represent a small outbreak of this highly contagious viral disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR vaccine.”
 
HHSA conducted free vaccination clinics at BLVD63 from 3 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28. The clinics were held for BLVD63 residents and SDSU students who wish to be immunized and vaccines were given on a first come, first served basis.

KLOBUCHER ENDS CAMPAIGN, ENDORSES BIDEN. NEW CA POLL SHOWS WARREN GAINING GROUND

New CBS poll shows Warren drawing even with Biden, Sanders ahead in Calif. on Election Eve:  Biden and Warren could see boosts after Klobucher withdrawal

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Amy Klobucher, cc by SA via Bing

March 2, 2020 (San Diego) – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobucher plans to suspend her presidential campaign and endorse moderate Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden, CNN reports.

The news follows disappointing finishes for Klobucher in four early primary states including sixth places finishes in South Carolina and Nevada.  Tomorrow, her home state of Minnesota is among those voting on Super Tuesday. However a rally by Vermont Senator Bernie slated there tonight raises the prospect that Klobucher could lose her home state, since Sanders has been drawing rock-star crowds numbering over 10,000 in other recent appearances.

She is expected to appear with Biden at a rally tonight to announce her formal endorsement.

Klobucher is the third prominent candidate to suspend or end a campaign after the South Carolina primary, following the withdrawals of Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer.

Despite her endorsement of Biden, some pundits speculate that a substantial number of Klobucher’s supporters could shift to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the only remaining woman in the race who has earned delegates to date.

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