Politics

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 (when David Miyashiro became Superintendent) through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

REPUBLICANS DECLINE TO ENDORSE ANY CANDIDATE IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT HELD BY HUNTER, BUT JONES GETS MOST VOTES

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2019 (San Diego) – It’s rare for a political party to withhold endorsement of an incumbent.  But on Monday night, the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee opted against endorsing indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, or any of his three Republican rivals.  

BY 3-2 VOTE, COUNTY SUPERVISORS OK E-SMOKING BAN IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

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

Photo:  A model demonstrates an e-cigarette. Credit:  Michael Dorausch Wikimedia Commons.

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to impose a one-year ban on the sale and distribution of all electronic smoking devices within unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

'HUGE VICTORY FOR CONSUMERS': COUNTY VOTES TO CREATE AGENCY RIVAL TO SDG&E

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

Photo:  County Supervisor Dianne Jacob renewed her call for the program in her State of the County speech early this year. Photo by Ken Stone

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Joining San Diego and cities around the region, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to establish a community choice energy program in the county’s unincorporated areas.

SAN DIEGO GOP DENIES DUNCAN HUNTER ENDORSEMENT FOR SEVENTH TERM IN CONGRESS

 

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

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, under criminal indictment and facing three GOP rivals, took another hit Monday when the San Diego County Republican Party failed to endorse him for a seventh term.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS WEIGH RESTRICTIONS ON SMOKING AND VAPING

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) – Today, County Supervisors will vote on a recommendation by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher that would ask the Chief Administrative Officer to draft a recommended ordinance within 60 days aimed at protecting the public from a “public health crisis” linked to smoking including vaping products and more. The recommendations include restrictions on smoking and e-cigarettes or vaping products that would apply to all unincorporated parts of San Diego County.

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

NEW LAW REQUIRES LATER SCHOOL START TIMES, BUT NOT FOR RURAL KIDS

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)  Middle and high school students in urban and surburban areas will soon get to sleep in later due to Senate Bill 328 signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.  The bill requires that middle schools start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high school at 8:30 a.m. or later, but rural districts are exempted. 

CALIFORNIA CHILD VICTIMS ACT OPENS 3-YEAR WINDOW FOR SEXUAL ABUSE 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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

CHAIRMAN OF CALIF. DEMOCRATIC PARTY RUSTY HICKS VISITS LA MESA

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 10, 2019 (La Mesa) -- California Democratic party chair Rusty Hicks, newly elected in June, headlined the “Catch the next Blue Wave” function on Oct. 3 at La Mesa Community Center.  The San Diego Democratic Party East hosted the event, held on the same night that Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren held a rally at San Diego’s Waterfront Park. Eighty attended the East County event.

Hicks offered up insights into his goals: “Diversity with committee appointments, address misconduct, financial accountability and transparency.”

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.

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.

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.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BRIAN JONES OFFERS TO LEAD NON-RESIDENT RIVALS ISSA AND DEMAIO ON TOUR OF EAST COUNTY

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – In the rough and tumble world of politics, State Senator Brian Jones has found a witty way to drive home a key advantage of his Congressional candidacy: unlike two prominent rivals, former Rep. Darrell Issa and talk show host Carl DeMaio, Jones actually lives in the 50th Congressional district that each hopes to represent.

After Issa and DeMaio held dueling press conferences in downtown El Cajon to draw media attention to their efforts to oust indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Jones posted an open letter via the San Diego Rostra website last Friday inviting  his non-resident rivals on a tour of the district. The tour led by Jones at the wheel would include rugged backcountry terrain and a stop at a shooting range.

SUPERVISORS WEIGH BAN ON VAPING PRODUCTS; MAYO CLINIC FINDS CHEMICAL BURNS IN LUNGS OF PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED OR DEAD AFTER VAPING

East County News Service

October 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher are proposing a ban on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco made for electronic cigarettes, along with a moratorium on the sale and distribution of the e-devices in the county’s unincorporated area. They are encouraging cities in San Diego County to do the same. According to a new report by the Mayo Clinic, lung biopsies reveal damage consistent with chemical burns, leading researchers to suspect chemical additives may be to blame for over 1,000 serious lung injury cases and 18 deaths, all associated with vaping or e-cigarette use.

County public health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are also advising people to stop vaping, as investigators continue looking into what’s causing a nationwide epidemic of respiratory illnesses among those that use the e-cigarettes or vaping products.

BILL TO REQUIRE EXPEDITED TESTING OF RAPE KITS NOW ON GOVERNOR’S DESK

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (Sacramento) - After passing both houses of the California Legislature unanimously, Senate Bill 22 is now awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newsom.  If signed into law, the measure will require law enforcement agencies and forensic labs to expedite the handling, analysis and testing of rape kit evidence.

BERNIE SANDERS HOSPITALIZED FOR STENTS TO CLEAR BLOCKED ARTERY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sanders during 2016 campaign stop in San Diego

Update Oct. 4:  Sanders has been released from the hospital. His doctors released a statement, along with the Sanders campaign, confirming the Senator had a heart attack but has "good expected progress."  Senator Sanders issued a statement indicating "I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work.”

Update Oct. 3:  Jane Sanders released a statement which reads in part: "Bernie is up and about. Yesterday, he spent much of the day talking with staff about policies, cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors, and speaking with his family on the phone. His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures. We expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend. He'll take a few days to rest, but he's ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate.”

 

October 2, 2019 (San Diego) – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has consistently polled among the top three Democratic presidential contenders, has been hospitalized after experiencing chest pain Tuesday evening at a campaign event. Testing revealed a blocked artery and Sanders underwent surgery to insert two stents.

TRUMP SOUGHT ALLIGATOR-FILLED MOAT, SPIKES TO SHRED FLESH, AND SHOOTING OF IMMIGRANTS: NEW YORK TIMES REPORT

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – A New York Times report based on interviews with a dozen White House officials describe disturbing statements by President Donald Trump last March, when he repeatedly pressed aides to take illegal actions toward migrants before ultimately ordering the border shut down. 

“Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that would pierce human flesh,” the Times reports. “After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told hm that was illegal But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.”

Trump attacked the Times report in a Tweet, calling it “fake news” and misspelling “moat” as “moot.”

CA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR HEADLINES “CATCH THE NEXT BLUE WAVE” EVENT IN LA MESA OCT. 3

East County News Service
 
October 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – Rusty Hicks, Chair of the California Democratic Party, will offer insights into the state party and its future in 2020 at “Catch the Next Blue Wave,” hosted by the San Diego Democratic Party East on Thursday, October 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Drive).

TRUMP THREATENS WHISTLEBLOWERS, ACCUSES CONGRESSMAN OF TREASON OVER IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AND EVOKES “CIVIL WAR” IN TWITTER STORM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  President Trump and Congressman Adam Schiff, whom Trump accused of “treason” for chairing an impeachment inquiry

September 30, 2019 – Attorneys for the whistleblower whose complaint launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have sent letters to the Acting Director of National Intelligence and to Chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees requesting federal protection for their client.  The letter cites overt threats made by the President calling for the death of whistleblowers and leakers. On Sept. 26, Trump stated during a meeting with United Nations leaders caught on tape by the Los Angeles Times:

ARMY VETERAN AND FEDERAL CONTRACTOR HELEN HORVATH, INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS, TAKES AIM AT HUNTER’S SEAT

 

"I believe we need more independents in Congress because  parties are so mired in their fighting…they’re not representing the country. I value our community, and I want to serve the country.”  -- Helen Horvath, mliitary veteran, federal consultant and Alpine resident

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2019 (San Diego) – Like many voters, Helen Horvath is an independent whose views on key issues cross political aisles. She’s a fiscal conservative who wants to use her expertise to cut the national debt, but also believes we need to move toward a clean energy future and protect women’s rights, while taking a moderate stance on gun issues. She supports strong border security while also showing compassion for refugees fleeing violence, and pledges to be a strong voice for military families and veterans.

Now she’s entered the 50th Congressional district race, vying against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter,  Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, former Rep. Darrell Issa and State Senator Brian Jones. (Note: the latter two entered the race this week, after our interview).

Hear our interview: In an interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio last month, Horvath shared her thoughts in depth. Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

LA MESA COUNCIL APPROVES CANNABIS ORDINANCE AND GRANTS TO IMPROVE WEST LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 28, 2019 (La Mesa) – A citizens-led effort to clean up their blighted West La Mesa neighborhood has borne fruit. On Tuesday, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved two pilot programs offering grants to businesses in the area to improve the streetscape. 

FOUR RIVALS DROP OUT AND ENDORSE ISSA IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER; DEMAIO DISRUPTS WITH COMPETING RALLY

 

CA Senator Brian Jones, also running, chides non-resident candidates for holding press conference in “wrong district”  

Video excerpt: Darrell Issa

Video excerpt: Carl DeMaio

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The weather in El Cajon Thursday morning was cloudy and drizzly in front of City Hall. But the political rhetoric was sweltering. In the race for San Diego’s 50th Congressional District, four Republican candidates for the seat bowed out and swung their support to former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa.

Another candidate, former San Diego City Councilman and conservative radio host Carl DeMaio, held a rival press conference some 100 feet away to attack Issa. State Senator Brian Jones, who is also running, chose to remain above the fray by staying away.

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