ATTORNEY CALLS FOR “JUSTICE” FOR GRANDMOTHER SHOT IN FOREHEAD WITH PROJECTILE DURING PROTEST AT LA MESA POLICE STATION

AFTERMATH OF LA MESA PROTESTS LEAVES RESIDENTS AND PROTESTERS WONDERING WHO IS TO BLAME

CURFEWS IMPOSED AGAIN TONIGHT

EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY ISSUE CURFEW ORDERS

SAVING LA MESA: RESIDENTS RALLIED TO PROTECT AND RESTORE CITY

NIGHT OF TERROR IN LA MESA

PROTEST AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE TURNS FIERY IN LA MESA

PROTESTERS CALL ON MAYOR FAULCONER TO BAN CHOKEHOLDS BY POLICE

REV. SHANE HARRIS BRINGS SUPPORT TO FAMILY OF GEORGE FLOYD IN MINNEAPOLIS AND FIGHTS FOR REFORMS TO HALT POLICE KILLINGS

SANTEE EXTENDS PANDEMIC RENT RELIEF TO JUNE, REVIEWS PLANS FOR COUNCIL CHAMBER RENOVATION

WHERE TO FIND COVID-19 TESTS: NEW RURAL SITES ANNOUNCED FOR JUNE 1-6

BACK TO THE BEACH: COUNTY EASES RESTRICTIONS

News

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE RECEIVES $100,000 GRANT FROM FACEBOOK JOURNALISM PROJECT: COVID-19 LOCAL NEWS RELIEF FUND AIDS OVER 200 NEWSROOMS NATIONWIDE

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine has been selected to receive $100,000 through the Facebook Journalism Project COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program.  Facebook announced that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the program as part of Facebook’s $100 million global investment in news.

“We are deeply grateful to the Facebook Journalism Project for recognizing the importance of local news reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of the award-winning East County Magazine (ECM). “At a time when news publications across the nation are facing extreme challenges, the need for local news reporting in the public interest has never been greater.”


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ATTORNEY CALLS FOR “JUSTICE” FOR GRANDMOTHER SHOT IN FOREHEAD WITH PROJECTILE DURING PROTEST AT LA MESA POLICE STATION

Warning:  contains graphic image
 
By Miriam Raftery, Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Henri Migala
 
View ECM video of press conference: blob:https://www.facebook.com/e539b59a-58f0-45aa-b5ba-a657a7a608eb
 
June 2, 2020 (La Mesa) – Leslie Furcron, 59, a grandmother shot in the forehead with a projectile Saturday night during the George Floyd protest outside the La Mesa Police department headquarters, is now in a medically induced coma and may lose an eye, according to her attorney, Dante T. Pride.  

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HUNDREDS AT BALBOA PARK PROTEST STRIVE TO KEEP THE PEACE

 
Article and Photos by Briana Gomez
 
 
June 2, 2020 (San Diego) – A crowd of about 300 people assembled at Balboa Park yesterday afternoon to peacefully protest.  Protesters laid on the grass, chanting “I can’t breathe” and “George Floyd,” referencing the brutal killing by a white police officer of a black man in Minneapolis that has sparked nationwide protests and civil unrest.
 
After four to five hours of peaceful protests, organizers and supporters took the megaphone and spoke to crowds about the importance of gathering in unity. Most of the speakers were Hispanic; one stated, “We want to hear black voices, too.”
 
Mary Stokedly said she wants to use her privilege to help others even if she has to go to the front line and stand in front of cops. “I want to use my privilege in any way that I can even if I need to go in the front, humble myself, serve, and listen” Stokedly, who is white, stated.  “This has been a huge issue for a very long time and the opportunity to come out and protest recently has been very beautiful.”

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SAN DIEGO POLICE TO END USE OF CONTROVERSIAL CAROTID CHOKEHOLD, BUT SHERIFF WON’T

By Miriam Raftery

June 2, 2020 (San Diego) – In the wake of protests over excessive police use of force that have rocked the nation in recent days, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit (photo, left by Ron Logan) announced yesterday that his department will stop the use of the carotid restraints procedure. 


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ELDERLY WOMAN INJURED BY TROLLEY IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery and Henri MIgala

 

Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Henri Migala

 

June 2, 2020 (La Mesa) – A 78-year-old woman has been transported to a hospital after suffering injuries when a trolley struck her red Toyota car near the trolley station at the intersection of Spring Street and La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa this afternoon.


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AFTERMATH OF LA MESA PROTESTS LEAVES RESIDENTS AND PROTESTERS WONDERING WHO IS TO BLAME

Update: La Mesa curfew extended 7pm 6/2 until 5:30am 6/3
 
By Briana Gomez
 
ECM Editor Miriam Raftery contributed to this report
 
June 2, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The day after the fiery La Mesa protest left the city in shambles, many citizens were suspicious about who really incited the rioting, looting and arson.

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SANDAG AWARDS $95,000 TO CITIES AND COUNTY FOR SHARED STREETS PROGRAM

Pilot projects to create safe spaces for biking and walking amid pandemic

Source: SANDAG

Image via Pixabay

June 2, 2020 (San Diego) - In light of the current public health crisis and in recognition of National Bike Month in May, SANDAG created a new pilot program to support local jurisdictions with providing safe spaces for residents to obtain essential goods, services, and exercise.  


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CURFEWS IMPOSED AGAIN TONIGHT

 

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

Photo by Henri Migala: Police in riot gear Saturday night in La Mesa

June 1, 2020 (San Diego) – Following civil unrest across the region, all East County cities and some unincorporated county areas are under curfew orders tonight. Curfew orders are as follows:

La Mesa: 7 p.m. tonight to 7 a.m. tomorrow

El Cajon 7 p.m. tonight to 5:30 a.m. tomorrow

Lemon Grove 7 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. tomorrow

Santee 8 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. tomorrow

Lakeside and Spring Valley:  8 p.m. tonight to 5:30 a.m. tomorrow


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TRUMP TELLS "WEAK" GOVERNORS TO "DOMINATE" PROTESTERS

By Joe Gandelman, The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

June 1, 2020 (San Diego) - After a weekend when more demonstrations and looting spread in aftermath of the death of Floyd George, CBS News reports that in a teleconference with governors Donald Trump called governors “weak,” said they need to “dominate” protesters.


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SAVING LA MESA: RESIDENTS RALLIED TO PROTECT AND RESTORE CITY

By Miriam Raftery and Kendra Sitton

A Rebuild La Mesa fund has been set up by Phil Ortiz and the East County Chamber of Commerce to  help businesses damaged or destroyed by the riots. You can donate here.

May 31, 2020 (La Mesa) -- With the acrid stench of burning rubble and tear gas still pungent in the air after a night of rioting, looting and destruction, a different kind of mob descended on La Mesa  today. Some 500 to 600 volunteers came armed with brooms, power tools and paint brushes to clean up debris and broken glass, paint over graffiti and board up storefront windows to help protect local businesses if looters return tonight.

Stories of heroism also emerged – business owners, neighbors and strangers who came during the night to drive out looters with baseball bats and makeshift clubs, douse spot fires with fire extinguishers, and help save La Mesa’s historic downtown village.


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NIGHT OF TERROR IN LA MESA

 

Protest dissolves into chaos as rioters burn down Chase and Union banks, loot retail stores and attack La Mesa Police headquarters

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson also contributed to this report

Photo, left: screenshot via ECM news partner NBC 7 shows Chase and Union Banks in flames at the heart of La Mesa's downtown village

May 31, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The cozy bedroom community of La Mesa, long likened to the fictious Mayberry RFD town of TV fame, lost its innocence on Saturday night when rioters  overran the city. Multiple arson fires and widespread looting swiftly overwhelmed local police and firefighters after protests over police violence earlier in the day. Mutual aid proved inadequate, leaving La Mesa without adequate resources to defend the city.


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SILENT PROTEST HELD AT EL CAJON HOME OF LMPD OFFICER IN ALLEGED USE-OF-FORCE INCIDENT

Story and photos by Kendra Sitton

May 30, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Around 100 protesters silently walked through an El Cajon neighborhood where organizers said La Mesa Police Officer Matt Dages lives. The group conducted a “Power Walk” this evening to let the officer know he is not invisible, according to organizer Covu.

East County Magazine could not independently verify that Dages lives at the residence.


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PROTEST AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE TURNS FIERY IN LA MESA

 

Update:  Union Bank and Chase Bank in downtown La Mesa have burned, along with the Randall Lamb architectural firm. Many stores have been looted elsewhere in La Mesa including Walmart and Target at Grossmont Center and stores in the La Mesa Springs shopping center. A curfew was issued at 1:30 a.m. May 31 by the City Manager.  

Emergency vehicles in flames; protesters tear gassed after armored vehicle hit with rocks and bottles

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Briana Gomez, Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson also contributed to this story

Photo, left by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson: Vehicle burning in La Mesa

Photo, right by Brianna Gomez:  Protestor outside La Mesa Police station

May 30, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Multiple vehicles at La Mesa's Civic Center are in flames tonight, with looting of businesses across the downtown area.The chaos comes after several thousand  mostly peaceful demonstrators converged outside the La Mesa Police Department headquarters this afternoon to protest the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The protesters also demonstrated over an incident earlier this week in La Mesa when a man was detained near the Grossmont Transit Center.

In that incident, suspect Amaurie Johnson was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. Video on social media shows the Amaurie and the officer arguing when the officer pushes Johnson into a seated position. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The city has also announced plans for an independent investigation. 

The protest  later resulted in confrontations that resulted in tear-gassing of some protesters and declaration of an unlawful assembly. 


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PROTESTERS CALL ON MAYOR FAULCONER TO BAN CHOKEHOLDS BY POLICE

Story and photos by Briana Gomez

The Racial Justice Coalition, in collaboration with the #icantbreathecampaign led a peaceful motorcade protest with many other organizations including the Black Panthers to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s home Saturday morning. The caravan followed the police brutality incident in Minnesota caught on video, in which George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed by a white officer who applied a controversial chokehold for over eight minutes, despite Floyd pleading “I can’t breathe.” The officer has been charged with murder. Three other officers present have been fired,  but have thus far not been charged.  

“This event is in response to the event in Minneapolis with George Floyd, but not only that. We’ve been fighting the neck restraint in San Diego since 2017,” Yusef Miller, one of the event organizers and a community activist, told ECM.

There have been numerous incidents of police choking people in San Diego and Orange County.


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REV. SHANE HARRIS BRINGS SUPPORT TO FAMILY OF GEORGE FLOYD IN MINNEAPOLIS AND FIGHTS FOR REFORMS TO HALT POLICE KILLINGS

“The arrest of George Floyd should not have been a death sentence. What you saw when you looked at the video of the killing was a policeman who was the judge, the jury, and the executioner.” – Rev. Shane Harris, People’s Alliance for Justice, in an exclusive interview with ECM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Rev. Shane Harris, shown on Hennepin Bridge in Minneapolis

May 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- The brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis has sparked protests and civil unrest nationwide. The Washington Post has compiled video from multiple sources, documenting that after a store clerk alleged Floyd used counterfeit payment at a store, Officer Derek Chauvin handcuffed Floyd and later knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, ignoring gasps of “I can’t breathe!” Three other officers failed to intervene.

Four nights of protests  in Minnesota ensued, including rioting and burning a police station.  Minnesota’s Governor has called in the National Guard, declaring that most protesters are outside agitators. Officer Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter; all four officers were fired. But many believe more must be done for justice to be served.

Reverend Shane Harris, a national civil rights leader and founder of the People’s Alliance for Justice (PAJ) based in San Diego, flew to Minneapolis on Friday and provided an exclusive phone interview to ECM on Friday night.


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REGIONAL COLLABORATION ON WATER PURIFICATION PROJECT EXPANDS LOCAL, DROUGHT-PROOF SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER

Source: Helix Water District

May 29, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District’s Board of Directors authorized its General Manager to sign water purchase agreements for the East County Advanced Water Purification (ECAWP) project at a special meeting on May 27.

The project is a collaborative, regional effort that will diversify the district’s water portfolio, provide a drought-proof supply and further enhance reliability by purifying treated wastewater using the district’s Lake Jennings and other facilities.

The $681 million project, led by the ECAWP Joint Powers Authority, will recycle daily wastewater flows from Santee, El Cajon, Lakeside, Winter Gardens and Alpine. Treated water will undergo membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to produce water that is near-distilled in quality.


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SANTEE EXTENDS PANDEMIC RENT RELIEF TO JUNE, REVIEWS PLANS FOR COUNCIL CHAMBER RENOVATION

By Mike Allen

May 29, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council voted unanimously May 27 to extend a moratorium on evictions of both residential and commercial tenants impacted by the coronavirus to the end of June.

The Council enacted an urgency ordinance installing a moratorium on evictions April 8 that was set to expire May 31. The city took the action despite the fact that the state of California already has executive orders in place barring evictions of tenants who can show they have been negatively impacted by the lockdown of all non-essential businesses starting March 19.

Councilwoman Laura Koval said given the fact that so many residents are unemployed, and have yet to receive their first check from the state, it’s necessary that the city provide them with some safety net.


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WHERE TO FIND COVID-19 TESTS: NEW RURAL SITES ANNOUNCED FOR JUNE 1-6

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Drive-up testing, courtesy of San Diego County News Service

May 29, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – COVID-19 tests are now widely available to everyone. There are several options for testing across our region.  

People who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider and arrange for testing, or call 2-1-1 if you don’t have a doctor. 

For those without symptoms, call 2-1-1 for a referral to one of the many testing sites countywide, including drive-up test sites. All require an appointment through 2-1-1.  

Or you can get a free test by signing up on the state website (in East County, free state testing is available at Grossmont College).


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PLASMA FROM RECOVERED COVID-19 PATIENTS NEEDED TO TREAT OTHERS LOCALLY

Source: By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by NA - SC

May 29, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Blood Bank is partnering with the County to encourage San Diegans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma, the liquid part of blood which contains antibodies. This plasma could help treat people who are hospitalized or seriously ill from the novel coronavirus.

While currently there is no vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19, “convalescent plasma may help patients fighting the virus because the plasma has antibodies against it,” the County’s top health official announced yesterday.

“This partnership helps us to achieve one of the indicators at the federal level for treatment of COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We’re very excited about this partnership.”


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BACK TO THE BEACH: COUNTY EASES RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2020 (San Diego) –  Just in time for summertime weather, beach towels and chairs can be brought to local beaches for lounging on the sand starting Tuesday, June 2nd. But some restrictions remain under the new rules announced yesterday by the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

Sitting or sunbathing together is only allowed with people in your own household. You must maintain six feet of social distancing from others, and wear a mask if you come within six feet of anyone such as when passing someone while walking or jogging.  Parking lots and piers are still closed, so plan on walking to reach those sandy shores. Group activities such as volleyball or football remain prohibited.

All beach communities have agreed to these eased restrictions, however cities have the power to determine how to enforce the guidelines and whether to reimpose limits if people don’t follow the rules.


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LOCAL RELIGIOUS GROUPS REACT TO NEWS THAT WORSHIP SERVICES CAN RESUME, WITH CHANGES

 

Update May 29, 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit appellate court's ruling against a Chula Vista church. By a 5-4 vote, the majority of justices found that California's llimits on attendance size at in-person woship services during a pandemic did not violate the First Amendment or discriminate against churches, noting that simlar or more severe restrictions apply to concerts, movie theaters and other venues with gatherings.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Bishop Robert McElroy, during 2018 bicentennial celebration at the Santa Ysabel Mission, has called for Catholic masses to resume in June, but parishioners could opt to continue online services if they choose.

May 27, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County Health officials yesterday announced that houses of worship can resume services, with limited numbers of people and other changes. The action follows Governor Gavin Newsom rolling out new state guidelines allow in-person worship services and ceremonies, though officials are encouraging alternatives such as online worshipping or outdoor services to help protect parishioners and staff from COVID-19.

Under the county health rules, churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship must limit attendance to 25 percent of capacity or 100 people, whichever is smallest. Worshippers not in the same household must sit or stand six feet apart.


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WHY ARE LATINOS DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED BY COVID-19 IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY?

By Briana Gomez

Photo, left: Briana Gomez and her daughter, Aya, with masks from Chicanista Boutique, a Chicana-owned San Diego business

May 28, 2020 (San Diego) -- COVID-19 has plagued millions globally, hitting San Diego at over 5,000 cases according to recent CDC data. The virus has disproportionately impacted San Diego County’s Latino population.

According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, 60 percent of COVID-19 positive tests in San Diego County are among Hispanic or Latinos. Equally troubling, CBS 8 reports that 41.1% of deaths locally are among Latinos.


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CALLS FOR PEACE--BUT MOSTLY JUSTICE--AS MINNEAPOLIS ERUPTS IN ANGER OVER POLICE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD

"We share these painful emotions and demand justice, but we also urge everyone who wishes to raise their voice to engage in peaceful protests and observe social distancing," Floyd's family and attorney said in a statement.

Photo:  People look on as a construction site burns in a large fire near the Third Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams under a Creative Commons license

May 28, 2020 (Minneapolis) - Protests over the police killing of George Floyd erupted across Minneapolis Wednesday night as thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets and demanded that the officers responsible be arrested and charged with murder.


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SANTEE LOVES: RESIDENTS RALLY IN VEHICLES TO STAND AGAINST HATE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

May 27, 2020 (Santee) -- A Santee community group known as Santee Loves organized “Demonstrate Love,” a vehicle rally held today to counter the two racially charged incidents at a Santee Vons store on May 2 and at  Food 4 Less five days later. 

(Left: a participant standing next to his car.)

Those incidents, which went viral on social media and made international headlines, involved a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and a couple, who live in unincorporated El Cajon, with Nazi swastikas on their COVID-19 face masks. 

The vehicle rally was designed to promote tolerance and inclusiveness. Though planned over the past two weeks, the event ironically occurred on the same night that national protests erupted over the brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, by a Minneapolis police officer. 


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BEHIND THE TROLL MASK: SANTEE'S SWASTIKA MAN AND HIS EXPERT TRANSLATOR

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

Photo:  A screen shot of “ubeartron” video of Dustin Hart at Santee Food 4 Less includes a BitChute ID of “1488,” references to Hitler or neo-Nazi views. He says he just Googled the Nazi flag and printed it out. His body camera “came from Amazon.”

May 27, 2020 (Santee) - Dustin Levi Hart says he and his wife wore small swastikas on their faces for almost an hour while shopping May 7 at Food 4 Less in Santee. It was a protest against state lockdown orders, he said.


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

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Tiramisu Trattoria is now reopened for dine-in service in La Mesa.

Update May 25:  With restaurants now allowed to reopen for dine-in services, we are posting those now open again for dine-in in red lettering.  Call or visit websites for hours and whether reservations are required. 

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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DON PARENT, LONGTIME SDG&E SPOKESMAN, DIES OF CANCER



 

East County News Service

 

May 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Donald “Don” Parent, long-time Public Affairs Manager for SDG&E and an active participant in many local business and community organizations, died May 25 after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.

“Everyone who knew Don loved him.  He was unfailingly kind, ever ready to help, and could always make you laugh,” his family posted on his Facebook page, voicing gratitude for many heartfelt messages received.  “They are testament to the man he was, and of how many people he touched.”


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DOMESTIC ABUSE ADVOCATES SEE RISE IN FIRST-TIME VICTIMS

By Kendra Sitton

 

“The quarantine has created a lot of problems…A safety plan is no longer available [for some victims].” – Dilkhwaz Ahmed, License to Freedom

 

May 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) — After weeks of stay-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, two local organizations supporting victims of domestic abuse are seeing a sharp rise in people seeking services for the first time. 


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BAD HAIR DAYS ARE OVER: COUNTY AND STATE APPROVE REOPENING OF BARBER SHOPS AND HAIR SALONS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo by Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --Today in a televised update on COVID-19, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that hair salons and barbershops in most counties will now be able to reopen their doors. The businesses must meet the state’s reopening guidelines .

 Late today, San Diego County approved allowing local salons and barbershops to reopen as soon as they implement and post a safe reopening plan. 

Supervisor Dianne Jacob called the Governor’s action “another welcome step in getting our businesses back into business."

The order does not apply to nail salons, however, and certain close-contact services remain prohibited including facials, shaves, eyebrow waxing and threading, and eyelash treatments.


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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.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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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.

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