FIRE WEATHER CONTINUES, GUSTY WINDS RETURN THIS WEEK

BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS SET LOCAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS, BAN GERRYMANDERING AND ALLOW VOTER REGISTRATION AT POLLING PLACES

WHOA! THIEVES STEAL IRON HORSE STATUE FROM FEED AND TACK STORE IN RURAL EL CAJON

CORTNEY BAYUK CHOOSES AN ADVENTUROUS LIFE

100,000 EVACUATED AS SADDLERIDGE FIRE IN L.A. COUNTY BURNS DOZENS OF HOMES

PRESIDENTIAL FRONT-RUNNER ELIZABETH WARREN, IN SAN DIEGO VISIT, LAYS OUT PLANS TO REBUILD AMERICA FOR WORKING PEOPLE

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

SANTEE BALKS AT JOINING JPA FOR COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY; APPROVES NEW HOUSING PROJECT

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CASA DE ORO DISPLAYS ITS GOLDEN BOUNTY

News

CALIFORNIA CHILD VICTIMS ACT OPENS 3-YEAR WINDOW FOR SEXUAL ABUE SURVIVORS TO FILE SUITS, ALSO RAISING AGE LIMIT

New law will protect kids, help survivors heal and hold institutions accountable

East County News Service

October 14, 2019 (Sacramento) -- California took a gigantic step for child protection last week when Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Child Victims ActAssembly Bill  218.  The bill passed the state Senate unanimously and the Assembly by a 64 to 3 vote, with local Assemblyman Randy Voepel casting one of the few votes against the measure.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2020. The law provides a three-year window for sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits against perpetrators and institutions that protected them in cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations, no matter when the abuse occurred. Aside from the window, the bill also changes the statute of limitations and raises the age limit to file a sexual abuse lawsuit from age 26 to age 40, or within five years of the date a survivor discovers the psychological injury or illness caused by the abuse (whichever comes later).

GOVERNOR SIGNS NEW LAW TO PROTECT IDENTITIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS IN COURT DOCUMENTS

East County News Service

Photo: CC by NC

October 14, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 800, which will protect the identity of survivors of domestic and other violent crimes who participate in the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home Program when filing civil court documents. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) based on a proposal written by Dian Black with Callegislation, a former San Diegan who has written a dozen proposals since 1996 that have become law in California to protect victims’ rights.

FIRE WEATHER CONTINUES, GUSTY WINDS RETURN THIS WEEK

East County News Service

 

October 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Elevated fire concerns continue this week due to low relative humidity and dry vegetation, with gusty winds starting Tuesday and increasing through Friday. Next weekend could see a return of dangerous Santa Ana conditions.

BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Site of the planned Lilac hills housing development in Valley Center

October 13, 2019 (San Diego) – A battle is brewing over the future of San Diego’s backcountry. A countywide initiative called “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” or “SOS” will appear on ballots in the March 3rd  election.  If approved by voters, it would require the county to give the people a vote on large housing developments that require general plan amendments to increase density in rural and semi-rural areas.

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

By Mike Allen

October 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which encompasses about 72 square miles, will see their rates for both water and sewage increase starting Nov. 1--and then go up again, starting on Jan. 1.

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2019 (Valley Center) – Readers of East County Magazine have seen our stories through the years on the beautiful and fragrant fields of lavender blooms and events such as high teas held at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in northeast San Diego County. But now, the farm is up for sale – and owner Alicia Wolff is seeking “the perfect buyer – one who may continue my dream…while living their own dream.”

CALIFORNIA BANS SALE AND MANUFACTURE OF NEW FUR PRODUCTS

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – Before the gold rush of 1849, the fur trade lured trappers and hunters to California.  But times have changed. Now, opponents of animal cruelty have succeeded in passing a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom that makes California the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the sale, trade, gifting or manufacturing of most animal furs and fur products starting in 2023. 
 
The ban does not apply to used furs, nor to leather, cow hides, sheepskins, deer or goat hides. Animals stuffed and preserved through taxidermy are also exempt.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS SET LOCAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS, BAN GERRYMANDERING AND ALLOW VOTER REGISTRATION AT POLLING PLACES

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – A trio of new election reform laws signed by Governor Gavin Newsom set campaign contribution limits for local races, allow voters to register on Election Day at polling places and ban partisan gerrymandering of local districts.

100,000 EVACUATED AS SADDLERIDGE FIRE IN L.A. COUNTY BURNS DOZENS OF HOMES

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo: L.A. County Fire Ops
 
October 11, 2019 (Los Angeles) – The #SaddleridgeFirein Los Angeles has scorched 7,500 acres and forced an estimated 100,000 residents to flee 23,000 homes in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Sylmar areas in Los Angeles County.  The fire has burned at least 25 homes and is 13% contained.  One resident died of a heart attack in the fire and a firefighter suffered an eye injury, the Los Angeles Times reports.

PRESIDENTIAL FRONT-RUNNER ELIZABETH WARREN, IN SAN DIEGO VISIT, LAYS OUT PLANS TO REBUILD AMERICA FOR WORKING PEOPLE

By Miriam Raftery

Videos by Henri Migala

October 11, 2019 (San Diego) – Speaking to a crowd of some 8,500 at San Diego’s Waterfront Park on October 3, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren called  upon Americans to “dream big, fight hard, and win.” She laid out plans to rebuild America’s middle class by ending government corruption and corporate influence in Washington, making structural changes to increase the power of working people, and protecting our democracy.

Warren is polling in the top two among all major national polls taken recently, with some placing her above former Vice President Joe Biden, and others putting her in second place. Those polls were taken before the announcement that Senator Bernie Sanders had a heart attack and has cut back some campaign activiites, a fact that could move some Sanders supporters with concerns over his health into the Warren camp. 

View our videos (four parts) for full coverage of her San Diego town hall, or scroll down for highlights.

Part 1: Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher endorses Warren, who talks about her background:

Part 2: Warren talks about why she is running, the need to reduce corporate influence on government and increase power of working people   

Part 3:  Warren details her three big goals: stop corruption, make structural changes to the economy, and protect our democracy. She also takes audience questions

Part 4:  Warren fields final questions from audience members

GOVERNOR NEWSOM SIGNS ASSEMBLY BILL 1730, GIVING SANDAG MORE TIME TO DEVELOP REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN

East County News Service

October 11, 2019 (San Diego) -- Late Tuesday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1730, which allows SANDAG additional time to develop a “visionary Regional Plan that provides real transportation choices that will enhance connectivity, increase safety and sustainability, and improve quality of life,” according to a SANDAG press release. The agency earlier unveiled ambitious plans to increase mass transit with a long-term vision of adding high speed rail, but has received pushback from some East County and North County officials over SANDAG’s previously announced plans to cut funding for some long-awaited freeway improvement projects such as widening State Routes 52 and improving safety on State Route 67.

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

 

Update: A second resource center has been opened at the Golden Acorn Casino in Campo.

395 customers of SDG&E are currently without power; outages could impact up to 17,771, the utility warns

October 11, 2019 (Descanso) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open a Community Resource Center today, Friday, October 11 at 8:00 a.m. in Descanso, CA due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available and residents can charge devices, as well as get up-to-date information about power outages at the Center.

Community Resource Center location: Descanso Public Library (9545 River Drive, Descanso, CA 91916) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Additional resouce centers may open if the outage area is extended.

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

SANTEE BALKS AT JOINING JPA FOR COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY; APPROVES NEW HOUSING PROJECT

By Mike Allen

Photo: Renewable  energy sources; Creative commons via N.A.

October 10, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee is having second thoughts about joining a joint powers authority with several North County cities to obtain more electrical power from renewable sources.

The proposed entity is a community choice aggregation program for the cities, giving them the ability to buy more power from sources such as solar and wind. Local utility San Diego Gas & Electric would continue to deliver and maintain transmission lines and billing operations, but the CCA would be responsible for buying all power.

LIONS TIGERS & BEARS RESCUES TWO AFRICAN SERVALS

Nonprofit Sanctuary Asks Animal Lovers to Help Provide Habitat Improvements and Lifelong Care for Junior and Miss Kitty

Source: Lions, Tigers and Bears

October 10, 2019 (Alpine)  - Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego's only accredited, nonprofit big cat and exotic animal sanctuary, rescued two servals, wildcats originally from Africa, in Arizona this week after the sanctuary's founder, Bobbi Brink received a call pleading for help.  

Junior and Miss Kitty are settling into their quarantine habitat and getting to know their new keepers at LTB, says Brinks.  Now the sanctuary is asking for help to fund habitat improvements and lifelong care for the former privately-owned animals.

Help the rescued servals get the care and forever home they need with a donation to www.lionstigersandbears.org.

CITY OF LA MESA RELEASES ACTION PLAN TO BUILD A MORE AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

Source:  City of La Mesa

October 9, 2019 (La Mesa) - On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the La Mesa City Council approved the Livable La Mesa Action Plan to promote programs and systems-level change that will strengthen the quality of life for older adults in the community.

TEEN MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN JULIAN CRASH

East County News Service

October 9, 2019 (Julian) – A 19-year-old Julian man has died after a solo motorcycle crash that occurred at 5:15 p.m. on State Route 78 west of Pine Hills Road in Julian.

According to Officer Jeff Christy from the California Highway Patrol, the victim was riding a 2007 Yamaha R6 motorcycle westbound when he lost control in a curve and struck a utility pole on the north shoulder.

Paramedics performed potentially life-saving efforts on the teen, who sustained serious injuries. He was transported by ground to Santa Ysabel for transport by Mercy Air to a local hospital, but died during the flight.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER DIES AFTER FALL AT MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOL

East County News Service

Photo: 10 News

October 9, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A construction worker has died after an industrial accident this afternoon at Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, says Sergeant Matt Cook with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.  According to ECM news partner 10 News, the accident occurred just hours after the topping off of the new multi-use facility at the school.

Sheriff’s deputies and the school’s resource office responded at 2 p.m. to the accident at a construction site on campus, where the 30-year-old man had fallen from a beam attached to a 30-foot-high platform.

SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola

NEW CALIFORNIA LAW RESTRICTS RENT HIKES ON MANY PROPERTIES

Law applies to apartments over 15 years old, but mobile homes are not included. Many condos and single family homes are also exempt

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 1482 into law, which he says will provide “the nation’s strongest statewide renter protections.”

Starting January 1st, it will be illegal for many landlords in California to raise rents by more than five percent a year plus the local inflation rate (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).  San Diego’s inflation rate was 2.8 percent from January to June.  

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED RAMONA WOMAN

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Ramona) – California Highway Patrol today announced the arrest of Chase E. Richard, 34, of Ramona. He is accused of striking a bicyclist while driving a black Ford SUV with stolen license plates, then fleeing the scene and leaving Michelle Scott critically injured.

TRUMP WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS FROM SYRIA RAISES FEARS OF KURDISH GENOCIDE, DRAWS REBUKES FROM TOP REPUBLICAN LEADERS

Update September 10, 2019:  As feared, Turkey has launched an offensive against Kurdish troops who are U.S. allies, the Washington Post reports along with other major media, causing deaths, mass evacuations and a humanitarian crisis.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Kurdish rally in San Diego in 2014, when Kurdish Americans called for more protections for Kurds being massacred by ISIS, as ECM reported. 

 

October 8, 2019 (Washington D.C.)  President Donald Trump shocked top national security experts and military leaders, drawing condemnation from leaders of both parties in Congress after announcing on Sunday that he has ordered withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria.  The move jeopardizes the lives of Kurdish fighters who helped the U.S. combat ISIS.

DUNCAN HUNTER'S CRIMINAL TRIAL PUSHED EIGHT DAYS CLOSER TO MARCH 2020 ELECTION

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

Photo:  Trailed by news cameras but no protesters, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter leaves federal court after agreeing to new trial date. Photo by Ken Stone

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) - Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s criminal trial on campaign spending misconduct was reset Monday for Jan. 22, 2020, at his legal team’s request — an eight-day delay to accommodate a 9th Circuit appeal.

SUPREME COURT DENIES SDG&E APPEAL, ENDING UTILITY’S EFFORT TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 FIRESTORM DAMAGES

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it has denied San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for the high court to hear an appeal of a California Supreme Court decision. The California court denied the utility company’s request to charge utility ratepayers for $379 million in liabilities for the firestorm damages beyond the $1.1 billion in insurance coverage.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR EXPANDS RECALL DUE TO E. COLI

East County News Service

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) – King Arthur Flour last week broadened an earlier recall in June due to e-coli contamination found at the ADM milling facility in Buffalo, New York.  The 5-pound and 25-pound bags of unbleached all-purpose flower were distributed nationwide and online. 

VEHICLE FIRE SPARKS BRUSH BLAZE NEAR GREEN VALLEY FALLS CAMPGROUND

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Rancho Cuyamaca State Park) – A motorcycle crash off State Route 79 near Green Valley Campground charred approximately six acres of brush today.  Around 70 firefighters from multiple agencies battled the #GreenFire by land and air, extinguishing it several hours after it began.

FIRE WEATHER FORECAST

East County News Service
 
October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service predicts moderate Santa Ana winds this week, combined with low humidity for elevated fire danger.
 
While Orange County is forecast to have the most severe conditions,  relative humidity is expected to fall into low double digits in San Diego’s mountain areas and single digits in the desert.  West to northwest winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are anticipated starting Tuesday. By Thursday and Friday, falling humidity is expected to create critical fire weather conditions.  

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS PLAN FOR CAMERAS TO AID LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- A San Diego Sheriff pilot project introducing a video federation program, election sign regulations for Lemon Grove City Council candidates and other matters were discussed by the Council at their meeting Oct. 1st at the Lemon Grove Community Center.

The video federation project was introduced by San Diego Sheriff Lt. Mike Rand. 

Lt. Rand said the department has begun the process of community awareness of a video sharing platform named “SafeSanDiego.” The first community forum in Lemon Grove was held on Oct. 3.  Businesses, government agencies and residents will be allowed to share video with law enforcement to help authorities investigate and solve criminal cases.

PASSAGES: BORREGO SPRINGS PHILANTHROPIST BILL WRIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Borrego wildflowers, CC by SA

October 6, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Since moving to Borrego Springs from Santa Barbara in 1980, Bill Wright has been a “champion of all things good in Borrego Springs,” according to the Borrego Sun.  The newspaper announced that Wright passed away on October 1 at age 88.

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