READER’S EDITORIAL: DON’T BE FOOLED

STORM DAMAGES FACILITIES AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE: SANCTUARY SEEKS FUNDS FOR CRITICAL REPAIRS

KAWASAKI DISEASE CASES INCREASING IN THE COUNTY

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF CAPTAIN MARCO GARMO PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE DURING ATF/FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

OUTAGES AND ROAD CLOSURES

FEDS RAID JEWELER LEO HAMEL’S HOME AND STORES IN GUN TRAFFICKING CASE

BOYS BASKETBALL: NORSEMEN ADVANCE TO CIF QUARTERFINALS AFTER TROUNCING SOUTHWEST EC 82-62

FIVE WAYS GAVIN NEWSOM MADE IT CLEAR HE'S NOT JERRY BROWN

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DUMPING ASYLUM SEEKERS LOCALLY

BOARD VOTES TO REQUEST $125 MILLION TO HELP HOMELESS

PRESCRIBED FIRE BURNS PLANNED AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK IN SAN DIEGO'S EAST COUNTY

DISABLED ACTIVISTS FILE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO AND SCOOTER COMPANIES

News

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE HOME FOR FAMILY OF EIGHT IN EL CJAON

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (El Cajon) – Heartland Fire and Rescue crews extinguished a blaze Monday night in the garage of a home in the 1500 block of Condor Ave. in El Cajon.  Residents were reportedly doing laundry when they smelled smoke and found their garage on fire.

Firefighters cut open the garage door to access the flames and were able to douse the fire within 10 minutes, saving the residence where eight people reside.

COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING FEB. 28 IN BOULEVARD ON NEW SUBSTATION AND POWERLINES FOR PROPOSED CAMPO WIND PROJECT





 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (Boulevard) – The County will be holding a scoping meeting February 28 at 6 p.m. at the Boulevard Fire Station regarding Terra Gen’s Boulder Brush Gen-tie power line and new substation facilities proposed on private land to support the Campo Wind project.

The wind turbines would cover most of the Campo reservation with 60 4-megawatt wind turbines, if approved. The new turbines are twice as powerful and about 100 to 200 feet taller than the existing 25 Kumeyaay Wind and 57 Tule Wind turbines in the area, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  The public is encouraged to come voice your views as part of the official public input process at this meeting.

Public comments are due to the County by March 18

STORM DAMAGES FACILITIES AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE: SANCTUARY SEEKS FUNDS FOR CRITICAL REPAIRS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2019 (Alpine) – “The powerful storm system that swept across our region has taken a toll on our sanctuary grounds - and made a HUGE mess in its wake,” Bobbi Brink, founder of the Lions, Tigers and Bears rescue facility in Alpine writes in an e-mail to supporters.

VALENTINE’S DAY STORM BREAKS RECORDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday’s Valentine’s Day storm dropped 10.10 inches of snow on Palomar Mountain, breaking a record of 9.58 inches set way back in 1901. The storm also brought sweet relief to drought-stricken Borrego Springs, dropping 2.68 inches of rain on the desert community.  Other new records included Ramona with 4.02 inches, Campo with 3.75 inches, and Alpine with 2.94 inches.

Lillian Trautman of El Cajon sent in the video above, showing her El Cajon yard turned into a rushing torrent of water.

KAWASAKI DISEASE CASES INCREASING IN THE COUNTY

 

 

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock.com

February 14, 2019 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency issued a health advisory to area doctors today and is asking parents to be alert about a local increase in Kawasaki disease.

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF CAPTAIN MARCO GARMO PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE DURING ATF/FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Action comes on heels of countywide firearms trafficking investigation

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Capt. Marco Garmo,10 News

February 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Capt. Marco Garmo, who most recently headed up the Rancho San Diego substation of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been placed on an administrative leave until further notice, according to ECM news partner 10News.

On the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted raids throughout San Diego County, including the large sprawling Jamul estate of San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel due to a firearms trafficking investigation, Garmo was put on leave. The Rancho San Diego substation covers the same area of Hamel’s property.

Sheriff Gore, in a e-mail obtained by 10News yesterday, states that he was made aware of potential criminal conduct by Garmo by a senior member of the Sheriff’s Department, and implies that the removal of Garmo is linked to the broader federal investigation involving Hamel’s properties.

OUTAGES AND ROAD CLOSURES

A flash flood warning is in effect countywide through 1:15 p.m. Flash flooding, heavy rains and high winds .are causing power outages and road closures across our region including:

  • Highway 94 is closed at Honey Springs Rd. due to flooding.
  • Mud/rocks on Lyons Valley Rd. in Jamul.
  • Summit Drive in La Mesa is closed at the 4400 block due to power lines down
  • 13th St. and Maple are closed in Ramona between just north of Hwy 67 and Walnut St. due to flooding.
  • Vallecitos School Rd. is closed due to flooding.
  • Power lines are down on Hwy 78 near San Pasqual cemetery
  • Power lines are down on Hwy 67 near Mt. Woodson.
  • Montezuma Valley Rd. in Borrego is closed from Palm Canyon to the 6 mile marker due to rock slides covering both lanes
  • Pine Valley’s Manzanita Drive from Lilac Dr. to Lakeview Dr. is closed.

FEDS RAID JEWELER LEO HAMEL’S HOME AND STORES IN GUN TRAFFICKING CASE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 13, 2019 (Jamul) – A mansion in Rancho Jamul Estates owned by prominent jeweler Leo Hamel was raided today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Some of his jewelry stores were also searched in connection with a firearms trafficking case, 10 News reports.

In 2016, Hamel ran for the California State Assembly as a Republican, seeking to represent most of East County. Despite announcing that he had dropped out before the primary election, his name remained on the ballot and he advanced to the November run-off, but was defeated by Randy Voepel.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA ANNOUNCES SENTENCING IN $4 MILLION SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

 

 

Source:  California Department of Justice

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the sentencing of Prakashumar ("Kash") Bhakta for operating a mortgage fraud scheme throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire that preyed on homeowners facing foreclosure. Today, Mr. Bhakta was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison. Restitution will be ordered in the amount of $256,000. Co-defendants Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Marcus Robinson, and David Boyd previously pled guilty. They were sentenced to state prison terms ranging from four years to seven years and four months.

IT’S A GUSHER! NEW STORM TO DUMP UP TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN; FLASH FLOODING AND HIGH WINDS ARE LIKELY

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) --  A strong atmospheric river storm system with "pineapple connections" (Hawaii origin) will arrive tonight and bring periods of heavy rain late and thunderstorms tonight through Thursday. Mountains could receive 4 to 10 inches of rain, with 2 to 4 inches in valleys and coastal areas and up to an inch in the desert.

The National Weather Service advises that widespread heavy rainfall is expected across the entire area with potential for significant flooding of low lying, poor drainage, and urbanized areas with debris flows possible near recent burn scars. High winds will also be a concern in the mountains and deserts.

FIVE WAYS GAVIN NEWSOM MADE IT CLEAR HE'S NOT JERRY BROWN

 

 

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

February 13, 2019 (Sacramento) - A month after being inaugurated, Gov. Gavin Newsom used his State of the State speech Tuesday to make his strongest showing yet that Jerry Brown is no longer in charge.

He proposed scaling back two of Brown’s legacy projects—a high-speed train and a pair of tunnels to move water from north to south. He rescinded Brown’s deployment of California National Guard troops to the Mexican border. He voiced support for education and housing policies that Brown stayed away from.

JOGGER KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
 
East County News Service
 
February 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A jogger wearing all dark clothing was struck and killed at 4:25 this morning in Spring Valley.
 
The victim, a 45-year-old man, was running west in the eastbound lane of Jamacha Road west of Darby Street when he was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe.

ACLU FILES MOTION TO COMPEL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO COMPLY WITH NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

 

 

East County News Service

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) on Monday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by several police unions seeking to prevent the release of police misconduct records as required by the state’s new law, the “California Public Records Act” (SB 1421). The ACLU demands that local law enforcement agencies act immediately to comply with the new law.

SDSU LIBRARY ARCHIVE DETAILS DETAINEES' PATH TO SEEKING ASYLUM, CONDITIONS INSIDE DETENTION

 

 

A new archive of hundreds of letters between a group of volunteers and asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border has been developed and is being digitized at the SDSU Library.

By La Monica Everett-Haynes

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) - What began as a casual gathering of friends has become a first-of-its-kind living archive of handwritten letters shared by hundreds of asylum seekers detained along the U.S.-Mexico border. Those letters, in the collective correspondence, provide a detailed description of each person’s path to pursuing asylum, and the conditions inside detention centers. 

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DUMPING ASYLUM SEEKERS LOCALLY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 13, 2019 (San Diego) — San Diego’s County Supervisors voted 4-1 in closed session on Tuesday to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its treatment of families seeking asylum in the U.S. The federal government has been dumping migrants including parents with children on the streets of San Diego with no resources to help them while they await asylum hearings to which they are entitled under international law.

BOARD VOTES TO REQUEST $125 MILLION TO HELP HOMELESS

 

 

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

February 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors today voted to allow the Health and Human Services Agency to apply for and receive about $125 million to help people with serious mental illness and who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

DISABLED ACTIVISTS FILE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO AND SCOOTER COMPANIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2019 (San Diego) – Four disabled activists from San Diego and Spring Valley have filed a lawsuit in federal court locallyMontoya et al v. Bird Rides Inc. et. al, against the city of San Diego as well as Bird, Lime, and Razor scooter companies. The suit alleges that the City and private scooter companies are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, and state anti-discrimination laws by allowing electric rental scooters to block public sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks and transit stops.

SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM

 

 

East County News Service

February 11, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has issued a warning about a scam targeting Social Security recipients.

“Our office has been receiving calls from constituents indicating that they are receiving calls with messages indicating their Social Security number has been suspended,”  Michael Harrison, District Chief of Staff/Communications Director for Hunter states in an email sent today. “Please let your groups know that this is a scam and a fraud to obtain private information and can lead to identity theft.  Do not participate in these calls.  Your Social Security number is never suspended and the Social Security Administration does not contact people by phone, only by mail.  The same is true for the IRS. 

WITNESS DISPUTES LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN ARAMBULA’S STATEMENT ON MEETING WHICH ENDED IN PHYSICAL ALTERCATION

 

Update February 13, 2019: Judge Whitney has issued a final ruling keeping the City of Lemon Grove as a defendant in this case.

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A witness has disputed a key claim made by Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula in a civil suit filed by marijuana dispensary applicant Christopher Williams against Arambula and Lemon Grove.  Williams alleges that he Arambula cut his face with a beer bottle, bit, choked and punched him after a meeting at Arambula’s home regarding the dispensary application.

MORE RAIN FORECAST

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Light rain is possible late tonight through the weekend and Monday. While Tuesday should be clear, another “atmospheric river” will arrive Wednesday through Friday, bringing heavy rains, says National Weather Service forecaster James Brotherton.  Moderate to major flooding could occur Wednesday and Thursday, with minor flooding earlier in the week in some areas.

Several inches of snow are possible above 3,500 feet.

JACUMBA MAN DIES AFTER STOPPING TO HELP STRANDED MOTORIST ON PINE VALLEY BRIDGE

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2019 (Pine Valley) – Robert Verlin Bruno Jr., 48, of Jacumba Hot Springs ,stopped to help when he saw a Ford F-150 pickup truck with a baby as a passenger. The truck had struck a guardrail on Pine Valley Bridge on Interstate 8 before dawn yesterday around 5 a.m.

But then a truck swerved to avoid the crash and collided with a Kia. The two vehicles came careening toward him on the icy freeway. Bruno jumped over a guardrail to avoid being struck, not realizing in the darkness that the spot dropped off into a 300 to 400 foot deep ravine.

BMW FIRES RAISE ALARM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ABC news screenshot

February 6, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Despite more than 90 complaints of BMW luxury vehicles bursting into flames while parked with engines turned off, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not actively investigating the causes.

ABC News first reported the problem back in May of 2017 and called for a federal investigation. Since then, more than 30 new BMW fires have occurred—and still the federal government has failed to take action to protect consumers, Jason Levine, executive director at the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, told ABC this month.

The BMW company has recalled over a million vehicles since that 2017 report ran. But ABC found fires have occurred recently among models not on the recall list.

SNOW BLANKETS EAST COUNTY MOUNTAINS

By East County Magazine

Photos: Laguna Mountain Lodge Faceboko page

February 6, 2019 (Laguna Mountain) – Five days of storms have blanketed local mountains including Mount Laguna with up to a foot of snow, the National Weather Service reports. Julian, Pine Valley and Descanso all received snow.  The storm also doused much of the county with heavy rains, including up to six inches in some locations.

If you’re considering a trip to frolic in the snow, check current road and weather conditions since tire chains may be required, and use caution on icy roads. Also check these resources:

SANTEE WWII VETERAN HONORED AT PRESIDENT'S STATE OF UNION ADDRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2019 (Santee) -- During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump spoke on issues ranging from the economy to immigration, also honoring the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day.  Joseph Reilly of Santee, a D-Day paratrooper, was among three World War II veterans whom Trump praised as “incredible heroes.”

Trump took credit for an improving economy and urged “unity” to avoid a future shutdown. He called for an end to “foolish wars” and what he called “partisan investigations” of his administration amid the special prosecutor’s investigation. 

Despite calls for unity, his speech repeatedly argued for funding for a border wall. He cited San Diego, calling for a ““smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall.” The president has threatened to invoke a national emergency to build the border wall in order to keep out migrant caravans of immigrants seeking asylum.

INCOMING RAMONA COMPLEX BRINGS SERVING SENIORS’ AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS TO MORE THAN 400

 

 

Rents for low-income seniors to range from about $476 to $978 a month; federal vouchers to cover portion

By Paul Downey, President & CEO, Serving Seniors

 

February 5, 2019 (Ramona) -- Serving Seniors may be most well-known for its meal program, which provides 2,500 meals a day to seniors across the county. In 2017, the organization served 600,000 meals, which can greatly assist seniors that may be on fixed incomes, yet their housing expenses continue to increase.

 

In addition to nutritious meals, Serving Seniors helps seniors in poverty live fulfilling and healthy lives by also providing health services and affordable housing. Early this summer, Serving Seniors will open its 62-unit Schmale Family Senior Residence in Ramona. Developed in partnership with Chelsea Investment Corporation, it will be the organization’s Seniors’ first affordable housing complex in east San Diego County.   

WINTER STORM WARNING: SNOW DOWN TO 2500 FEET TONIGHT

East County News Service

February 4, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect now through 4 a.m. Wednesday for heavy snow in the mountains of San Diego’s East County. 

The snow level could dip down to 2500 to 3500 feet, with six to 12 inches of snow above 4500 to 5000 feet.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MT. HELIX ACTIVISTS WHO LED SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO STOP A PAROLE OFFICE FROM OPENING IN COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

The Boethin family with State Senator Brian Jones

February 3, 2019 (Mt. Helix) –  When Daniel and Stephanie Boethin learned that the state planned to open a parole office near their Mt. Helix home in La Mesa, they took action  As government contractors, they knew how to get the attention of bureaucrats and public officials. In just a few short weeks, they organized their community to successfully halt the parole office near homes, schools and businesses in their neighborhood.

We interviewed the Boethins on our East County Magazine Radio Show, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio. The Boethins offered advice for people in other communities on how to successfully organize to stand up against projects with negative impacts on neighborhoods.

Audio: 

Interview with Daniel and Stephanie Boethin

STORM SOAKS REGION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Storm systems driven by atmospheric river, courtesy National Weather Service

 

February 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Three days of storms across San Diego have brought much-needed precipitation.  As of 9 a.m. Sunday morning, with more rain on the way, the National Weather Service reports  many portions of East County received two inches of rain or more.

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