WALKERS SHINE AT SANTEE’S OLYMPIC RACE WALKING EVENT

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

TWO CASES OF WUHAN CORONAVIRUS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; VIRUS ALSO SPREADS TO AUSTRALIA, EUROPE, AND ACROSS ASIA

TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS” FOUND IN WATER SUPPLIES ACROSS U.S., BUT TRUMP THREATENS TO VETO REGULATORY BILL

ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

CHINA CANCELS LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS, TRIES TO QUARANTINE 25 MILLION PEOPLE: WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREADS TO U.S., OTHER NATIONS

THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 25-FEB. 29

News

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT WEDNESDAY TO ALLOW TEMPORARY AGRITOURISM EVENTS

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism.  The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.

PICKUP TRUCK PLUNGES DOWN EMBANKMENT, KILLING DRIVER FROM SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – A Santee man is dead after the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup he was driving crashed down an embankment and struck a boulder last night around 8:46 p.m.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the driver, 46, was traveling east on La Cresta Road in unincorporated El Cajon east of Forester Creek “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and plunged off the side of the roadway.  The vehicle became airborne before overturning down an embankment and striking the boulder.

COUNTY LAUNCHES EVACUATION PLAN FOCUSED ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE

If you needed to evacuate for an emergency, could you just get in your car and go? For some, the answer may be no because they lack transportation, need additional help with medical equipment or gathering items in their home.

Studies have shown that during a disaster, older adults or people with disabilities, or access and functional needs have added challenges when faced with evacuation. This information inspired the County Office of Emergency Services to come up with the Neighborhood Evacuation Team program in partnership with the Community Emergency Response Teams throughout the region. The teams are made up of disaster-trained volunteers who can help in their neighborhoods.

People who reach out for assistance will be teamed up with a CERT member who can guide them through the process of making a plan that suits their needs, including working out transportation needs with a caregiver, neighbor or family member.

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Graham Mitchell Provides Year End Status Report of city’s efforts  

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video: https://youtu.be/LybwvTl7E8Y

Powerpoint presentation: Homeless Program Update (Jan 14, 2020).pdf

January 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell has challenged other East County cities and the County of San Diego to address the current crisis level of homeless individuals, as El Cajon has during the past year.

In an overview of its efforts at the first council session for the year, Mitchell told councilmembers that the city has spent $640,000 on programs directed to people who have made El Cajon streets their home. While the city will be spending that much again this year, Mitchell challenged the smaller cities around El Cajon (Santee, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove) to make similar efforts.

“We are doing far more than what our neighbors have been doing,” Mitchell said.

TWO CASES OF WUHAN CORONAVIRUS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; VIRUS ALSO SPREADS TO AUSTRALIA, EUROPE, AND ACROSS ASIA

By Miriam Raftery

Public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange County have confirmed the first cases of the new Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Both cases in Southern California are in air travelers who recently returned from Wuhan, China.  There are now five U.S. cases of the virus, including cases confirmed in Arizona, Illinois and Washington state.

The California Department of Public Health issued a statement which reads, “The state will continue to monitor the situation, work with partners to identify any possible cases, provide information and consultation to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing, and implement recommendations from the CDC.”

Health authorities are tracking around 100 people nationwide who may have been exposed to the travelers, but risk to the general public is considered low.

The disease has been diagnosed in Australia, France, the U.S. and many Asian countries including Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam and Macao.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends travels avoid CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan.

TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS” FOUND IN WATER SUPPLIES ACROSS U.S., BUT TRUMP THREATENS TO VETO REGULATORY BILL

PFAS chemicals have been used in some fire-fighting foams, cookware, carpets, clothing,  and fast-food wrappers

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

Photo, left: Poster for 2019 Dark Waters movie

January 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The 2019 movie “Dark Waters” alerted the public to health hazards posed by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also know as PFOA and PFOS) that contaminated water and groundwater around manufacturer DuPont’s facility in Parksburg, West Virginia. The chemicals have been linked to deaths, cancer and more--and they are pervasive, found in 97% of Americans tested, PBS reports, citing a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination study in 2015.

Pollution nationwide

Recent tests by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found PFAS in water supplies of major cities across the U.S. – far more than revealed in federal tests.  Yet the federal government has failed to take action to protect public health. A bill seeking to regulate PFAS has passed the House of Representatives and faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Even if it passes,  President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the measure.

California contamination

In California, a 2019 study found drinking water sources for 74 community water systems serving 7.5 million Californians are contaminated with PFAS, according to an EWG review of the latest state data, as the Los Angeles Times reported.

All PFAS found in California water systems’ sources exceeded 1 part per trillion, or ppt, the safe level recommended by the best independent studies.  At the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, a combined concentration of 820 ppt for seven different PFAS chemicals was measured in a single well in 2017.

ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

January 21, 2020 (La Mesa) -- You're invited to support East County Magazine at our most exciting East County Dining Club event yet!  At the Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa on  Thursday, January 30th, take a virtual trip to Spain.

Tapas, dinner and Flamenco music show: This special event begins with happy hour and Spanish-style tapas (appetizers) at 6 p.m., followed by delicious dinner options incuding Paella Valencia and a live Flamenco show at 7 p.m. We will have prize drawings galore, too!

Feast your eyes on our very special menu here, with a range of options in every price range including Paellla Valencia (seafood or meat versions), the national dish of Spain.

RSVP by Monday: The restaurant asks that you pre-order your main dish (entree) when you RSVP to us by Monday Jan. 27 at (619)698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  You can pay at the event, and you can order everything else there including appetizers, deserts, salads, wine, beer, or other beverages.

Prizes:  Our raffle includes whalewatching tickets from Hornblower Cruises, Spacebar Cafe and Wine Bar gift certificate, gift certificate to Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, wine lovers gifts, cuisine of Spain cookbook, leather purse, jewelry, gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, and more!

Benefits: Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro will donate 20% of proceeds to East County Media to benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. In addition, 100% of raffle ticket sales will benefit these nonprofit causes.

DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.)- - As  Democrats wrapped up their arguments for removing President Trump from office during the Senate impeachment trial this week, Republicans controlling the Senate have thus far refused to allow new witnesses to be called. The White house continues to defy requests for public records. 

Now, CBS news reports that a confidant of President Trump told CBS that senators were warned quote: “vote against the president & your head will be on a pike.”

Such a threat, if true, could amount to witness tampering and threatening federal officials with violence.

In addition, MSNBC reports hearing a tape in which Trump demands that Marie Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine, be removed, though whether he was calling for her firing or assassination is unclear.

 “Get rid of her...Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,.” A voice that sounds like  Trump is heard demanding on the tape, ABC News reports. 

The recording was allegedly made during a 2018 dinner party with Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas’ attorney, Joe Bondy, has issued a statement which says of the recording, which he indicated was not released by his client, “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’s version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”

Trump has used the phrase “take out” when he referred to his order to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq.  Trump, who formerly starred in the Apprentice game show, famously used the phrase “You’re fired!” when referring to terminating a job.

CHINA CANCELS LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS, TRIES TO QUARANTINE 25 MILLION PEOPLE: WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREADS TO U.S., OTHER NATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2020 (San Diego) – A new coronavirus first identified in December in Wuhan, China, a city of 11 million people, is rapidly spreading across the globe, including the first U.S. case diagnosed in a traveler in Washington state this week.

China has shut down travel including planes, trains, buses and ferries among several major cities including Beijing and Wuhan, attempting to quarantine 25 million people, the Washington Post reports.

Guan Yi, a virologist who helped identify the sever acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, says the epidemic of this newly discovered virus could be 10 times bigger than the SARS outbreak. Comparing it to past outbreaks of other viruses, Guan said that “this time, I’m petrified,” the Washington Post reports.

To date, the new coronavirus has been confirmed in China, the U.S., Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Macao, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.  Officially, Chinese officials report 835 people infected and at least 26 deaths, though experts indicate the number of cases is likely far higher.

In the U.S., all flights from Wuhan are being routed through five airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Atlanta, where all passengers are being screened for the disease.

The timing could hardly be worse; the Lunar New Year holiday, a week-long celebration when millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns in what the Washington Post reports is the biggest human migration on the planet, begins this Saturday, January 25.

THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

Victims were firefighters from Wyoming, Arizona and Florida

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's office:  C-130 that crashed in Australia today is same one shown in photo at McClellan Air Base during an event last August attended by Newsom.

January 23, 2020 (Ramona) – A plane used to fight California wildfires last year and to train Cal-Fire pilots has crashed while fighting brush fires in Australia, killing three U.S. firefighters. A C-130 was in Ramona last August to train future pilots.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft built by Lockheed Martin and repurposed to fight fires was operated by Coulson Aviation of Canada, which has grounded its fleet to re-assess safety conditions and honor the victims.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the crew from Tanker 134 that wre lost during a tragic crash while battling the devastating Australia fires.  Cal Fire stands with you during this difficult time,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced condolences to families of the crew and Cal Fire for the loss of “three heroic American firefighters”  He adds, “This tragic accident reminds us all of the too-high cost of the scourge of wildfires, as well as the sacrifice of first responders from around the world. California and Australia, already united by the deadly threat of wildfires, now grieve this tragic loss together.”

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

 

Girl Scouts unveil "Lemon Ups," official new city cookie

By Kathleen Connell

January 23, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On January 21st, Lemon Grove leaders kicked off the new year in a well-attended meeting, with many citizens clearly interested in the medical marijuana dispensary item on the agenda.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETING THIS THURS. JAN. 23

 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) --Tonight, the La Mesa City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting. This open-forum session provides an opportunity for citizens to share their concerns, ideas, and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City. The meeting will be held  at Maryland Avenue Elementary, 5400 Maryland Avenue, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
 
The Town Hall Meeting is intended as a means for citizens to learn about City services, state what they like about La Mesa, how they envision the future of their city, and to express concerns. Members of the City Council and City staff will be present. Additionally, information will be available about the City’s Climate Action Plan, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, and recreation classes.

CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Peter Carzis addressing La Mesa City Council i 2016

January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) – The District Attorney’s office has charged Peer Carzis, 76, owner of  Peter’s Mens Apparel in La Mesa, with one count of felony vandalism and three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with members of the media on January 20th.  Videos posted at multiple media sights showed Carzis punching and pushing several photographers, also destroying a $7,000 camera.

An additional misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public on January 18 was also issued against Carzis.A video that went viral on social media appeared to show Carzis reaching under a woman's shirt to fondle her breasts while she was straddling his lap on a sidewalk in front of his store in the La Mesa downtown village.

YEAR OF THE RAT: 40 RATS UP FOR ADOPTION THROUGH HUMANE SOCIETY

Source: County News Service

January 23, 2020 ((San Diego)-- As we enter the Chinese Year of the Rat, San Diego Humane Society still has more than 40 rats available for adoption across its three campuses in Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego.

On Oct. 8, 2019, a woman contacted SDHS for help. Her pet rat population had gotten out of control and she wished to relinquish all of her animals so they could find good homes. SDHS took in more than 300 rats. Many of the rats were pregnant, so the number of rats quickly rose to more than 600. The majority of those rats have been adopted, but there are still dozens waiting to find homes.

RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES

Source:  San Diego County Dept. of Environmental Health
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, however, additional warning signs are not posted for General Rain Advisories. Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.
 
A Beach Closure will remain in place for the Tijuana Slough and Imperial Beach shorelines due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States. The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the International Border to Carnation Avenue. Beach closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet State health standards. Please be advised that some access roads and trails within the Tijuana River valley may also be affected by sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided if flooded.

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 

JULIAN MAN ARRESTED FOR STRIKING, KILLING CYCLIST ON DEHESA ROAD: CHP SEEKS WITNESS WHO FOLLOWED HIT AND RUN DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A bicyclist, 56, has died of injuries suffered yesterday when a Mitsubishi Mirage struck him from behind on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive. The Mitsubishi’s driver, Craig Wendell Nelson, 56, of Julian fled the scene and was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after a helicopter spotted him hiding in brush along Sloane Canyon Rd. south of Dehesa Rd. in unincorporated El Cajon.

The California Highway Patrol wants to locate the driver of a vehicle that turned around at the scene of the collision and followed the Mitsubishi, or anyone else with information on the fatal accident. If you have any information, please call Officer Wilson or Officer Harris at the CHP at 619-401-2000.

According to Officer Travis Garrow, Nelson was traveling eastbound on Dehesa Rd. east of Willow Glen Drive when for reasons still under investigation, his vehicle veered into the marked bike lane and struck the rider, who was ejected onto the roadway. The bicyclist was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego where he later died of his injuries.  Nelson has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.

MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”

REV. SHANE HARRIS LEADS SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO DOCUMENT FOSTER YOUTHS IN HOMELESS COUNT AND CHAMPIONS REFORMS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Rev. Shane Harris, courtesy of the People's Alliance for Justice

January 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Rev. Shane Harris, a former foster care youth, is emerging as a powerful voice for documenting and improving conditions for foster youths and those who have aged out of the foster care system.

He recalls turning 18 and being instantly homeless. “They dropped me off at B Street in downtown San Diego with an emancipation letter and one bag of clothes,” he has stated.” It wasn’t his first bout of homelessness. Harris had entered foster care at age 8, lost both parents, and ran away from one foster home earlier, winding up sleeping on the streets and couches of friends for six months. Now he wants to spare other young people from suffering similar ordeals.

CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
January 19, 2020 (Borrego Springs) - The Under The Sun Foundation is organizing a photography exhibition for the 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival and invites you to submit your works for consideration.
 
They are looking for photographic works that visualize your Borrego Springs - images that capture the essence of this unique community and the special sense of place cultivated in this corner of the Sonoran Desert.
 
The works selected for the exhibition will be put on display in the old library space in The Mall during the upcoming Candlewood Arts Festival, from February 29 - March 29, 2020.

GROSSMONT SUPERINTENDENT SLAMS CAJON VALLEY BOARD OVER PROPOSED CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

"I've heard that it's been communicated that Grossmont High School District was fully aware of this charter petition. I need to say this is simply not true. That communication never took place until yesterday.  In fact, quite the opposite.” --GUHSD Superintendent TIm Glover (photo, left)

January 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Observers of the political hijinks which have become customary at meetings of the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board of trustees were not disappointed at the last regular meeting for the year on December 17th

The meeting started with school board President Tamara Otero advising her fellow board members “to be careful in any contact” with Board Trustee Jill Barto in light of Barto’s recently filed federal civil rights lawsuit.

Then the spotlight shifted to Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Glover. Glover visibly caught the board off guard when he addressed the trustees, raising objections to Cajon Valley’s preliminary plan to expand and start a new charter high school (grades 9 to 12) at the site of the district’s Bostonia Language Academy, which encompasses kindergarten to eighth grade. The new charter school would be called the “Bostonia Global Charter School.”

SKYLINE RETIREMENT CENTER, AVENTINE CONDOS AND GENERAL PLAN CLEANUP TO BE HEARD BY SUPERVISORS JAN. 29

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 18, 2020 (San Diego) – On January 29, County Supervisors’ agenda will include a proposed general plan amendment that includes a general plan clean-up and amendments to allow two developments proposed in East County: the Skyline Retirement Center proposed on Campo Road on undeveloped land near Skyline Church near Rancho San Diego, and the Aventine condominium project with 92 units proposed at Sweetwater Springs Blvd. near Austin in Spring Valley. 
 
The general plan amendment will be heard in the Board Chambers on January 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the County Administration Center (CAC) located in downtown San Diego at 1600 Pacific Highway on the north end of the third floor. 

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE NEW HOMES IN FIRE-PRONE AREAS MORE RESISTANT TO WILDFIRES

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today gave preliminary approval to change the county’s building code in order to require fire-resistant construction of all new homes in areas with moderate to high wildfire risk in unincorporated areas. The standards are tougher than those mandated by the state.  A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for January 29.

 

The changes were proposed by East County’s two Supervisors, Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond. Jacob said she hopes the new requirements will serve as a “model for fire protection” statewide, also saving lives during wildfires.

 

San Diego County has been devastated by numerous major wildfires, including the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms which killed 17 people and destroyed thousands of homes, causing billions of dollars in property damage.

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – Authorities yesterday announced a $10,000 reward for information to help find Elijah “Bear” Diaz, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians who vanished under suspicious circumstances in August 2015. 
 
He was 20 years old at the time and ill from diabetes.  “He was about to get his foot amputated. He couldn’t walk. He was in a wheelchair a few days before,” his mother, Lelanie Joe Thompson told ECM in a interview last year, adding that her son weighed only 110 pounds and could not have left on his own. She said Diaz had only two weeks of insulin left when he disappeared.

VIRGINIA RATIFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, REKINDLING PUSH FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Women’s march is slated in San Diego Jan. 18

By Miriam Raftery

View video of applause after ERA passage in Virginia Legislature today

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – It takes two-thirds approval by 38 states, plus Congress, to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The Virginia Legislature today became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA) long after Congress did so, too. But the action sets the stage for legal challenges, since the deadline for ratification of the amendment granting equal rights to women has long since passed.

Virginia legislator Mark Keam tweeted, “On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 91st birthday, a dream came true in Virginia. A Dream of generations of women who have fought for equality under U.S. Constitution. With this vote, I and 58 of my  @VaHouse colleagues voted on the right side of history.”

Efforts to attain Constitutional rights for women date back to the early days of our nation, when Abigail Adams implored her husband, founding father John Adams, to “remember the ladies” when drafting the Constitution, “for all men would be tyrants if they could.” She warned that if women were not granted rights, they would foment rebellion.  But Adams ignored his wife, and women were omitted from the Constiution, following after the Declaration of Independence which stated that “all men are created equal.”

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

SENATOR BRIAN JONES REQUESTS AUDIT OF STATE’S HOMELESSNESS SPENDING

East County News Service
 
January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) announced today that they have requested a statewide audit of homelessness spending in California. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider the request on February 19, 2020.

SANTEE LIBRARY GETS NEW LAPTOP KIOSK

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- Patrons of the Santee Library can now borrow small laptop computers through a new, high tech dispensing machine that was funded by the Friends of the Santee Library.

The kiosk, available to use for free to anyone with a library card, has been operating for about two weeks but got an official ribbon cutting Jan. 13.

Chris Miller, vice president of the Friends of the Santee Library, said her group provided about $38,000 towards the purchase of the kiosk, while the county of San Diego, which operates the library, put up about $24,000 to pay for the laptop computers made by Hewlett Packard and the maintenance cost.

“The Friends of the Santee Library is committed to doing whatever we can to expand the capabilities of the library regardless of the space we have to work with,” Miller said.

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