Politics

LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION, PART TWO, AREA 5

By Robin N. Kendall
 
October 8, 2020 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) -- Voters in the southern part of Spring Valley will have a choice of four candidates to fill the open seat for trustee on the La Mesa Spring Valley School District Board. The seat was previously filled by Jim Long, whose term has expired. This part of the district is called Area 5 and includes Avondale, Rancho, and La Presa Elementary Schools, as well as STEAM Academy and Kempton Literacy Academy.

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HOMEFED GIVES NEARLY $300,000 TO DEFEAT MEASURE N, BUT FANITA RANCH OPPONENTS START PETITION TO OVERTURN COUNCIL APPROVAL

By Mike Allen
 
October 7, 2020 (Santee) -- Despite a 4-1 approval of the Fanita Ranch housing development last month by the Santee City Council, the builders are trying to ensure nothing holds up the project.

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GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL TRUSTEE ELECTION: AREA 2

By Robin N. Kendall
 
Photo: GUHSD Area 2 candidates Elva Salinas, Jim Stieringer, and Justin Slagle
 
October 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Voters in East County’s Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Area No. 2 will need to study the candidates carefully to choose their next trustee. Three candidates with divergent views will help chart the course for the area’s teens and next generation of workers and college students. 

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CALIFORNIA PROPOSITIONS NOVEMBER 3, 2020

By Pennell Paugh

October 7, 2020 (San Diego) – California voters will have 11 statewide ballot measures on their ballots for the Nov. 3 election.  They span a range of issues including medical research support, school funding, restoring affirmative action, voting rights for parolees, voting age, property taxes, criminal justice reforms, rent control, employment status of rideshare drivers, kidney dialysis, consumer privacy, and bail reforms.  Below are detailed descriptions on all of the state ballot propositions, along with arguments for and against.

All registered voters should receive ballots in the mail this week, which can be mailed in of dropped off at these drop-off locations.  You can also vote in person Oct. 31 through Nov.3 from 7 a.m. to 8  p.m., though there are fewer locations than in the past.  Find your polling place here.  Not yet registered? You can register through Oct. 30 at https://www.SDVOTE.com.


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PRESIDENT TRUMP RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE, DRAWS CONDEMNATION AS “RECKLESS” FOR EXPOSING OTHERS TO COVID-19 AND DOWNPLAYING SEVERITY OF DISEASE

 

"The behavior of the first family has endangered not only their own health, but that of the staff." -- Megan Ranney, emergency room physician

By Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump returned to the White House late yesterday, still contagious with COVID-19 after his discharge from Walter Reed Medical Center.  

As he entered the White House, he defiantly removed his mask, thus contaminating the air with the coronavirus, potentially exposing White House staff.  He then posed for a campaign video, exposing a film crew to the virus. In direction contradiction to the advice of public health officials, Trump advised American not to be afraid of the virus, claiming “We’re going back to work.” He urged Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19 – apparently tone deaf to the suffering of families of more than 200,000 Americans who have died and many others left debilitated by the disease.

Then in a tweet this morning falsely likened it to the flu – a post so irresponsible that some social media sites have removed it for endangering lives. Trump previously admitted in a taped interview in February with journalism Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was much more deadly than the flu but downplayed its severity to avoid causing panic.

Now, two White House staffers have tested positive for COVID and were reportedly told to "use discretion" in reporting their illnesses.  "This is what I was worried about," tweeted emergency physician Megan Ranney after the housekeepers' diagnoses were first reported by Forbes. "The behavior of the first family has endangered not only their own health, but that of the staff."


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SANTEE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION

By Robin N. Kendall
 
Photo, left to right:  Elena Levens-Craig, Dianne El-Hajj, Sarah Kirk
 
October 6, 2020 (Santee) -- In the growing city of Santee, five candidates are on the ballot for two school board seats (No. 2 and No. 4) in this K-8 grade district. Both incumbents are running for re-election.  Three have completed our candidates’ questionnaire.

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ALPINE UNION SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION

By Robin N. Kendall
 
Photo: John Paul Sullivan, the only candidate who responded to our questionnaire.
 
October 6, 2020 (Alpine) -- Alpine residents may vote for two candidates for school board this year from a slate of three. Two of the candidates are running for reelection and there is one newcomer to learn more about. The trustees serve a four-year term. Unlike other school boards in the region, there are no women on the board or on the ballot this year. 

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LAKESIDE UNION SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION

By Robin N. Kendall

October 6, 2020 (Lakeside) -- A diverse slate of candidates is running for office at the Lakeside Union School Board. There are five candidates on the ballot and residents may vote for two new trustees. The candidates are: Ginny Whitt Bell, Stacy K. Coble, Lara Hoefer Moir, Charles Plante, and Rhonda Taylor.

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SARA JACOBS: 'THE GENERALS' WOULD HELP REMOVE TRUMP IF HE LOSES, WON'T LEAVE

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

View the link to the full forum here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQasnog4dBk#action=share 

Photo:  Jodie Lorea (top left) kept Sara Jacobs (below left) and Georgette Gómez to their 2-minute time limits after moderator Chris Jennewein asked the questions.

October 4, 2020 (San Diego) - Congressional candidate Sara Jacobs suggested Saturday that “the generals and the military” would play a role in removing President Trump from office if he loses the election but won’t cede power.


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SUPPLEMENTAL BALLOTS TO GO TO EAST COUNTY VOTERS IN DEHESA, HARBISON CANYON AND GRANITE HILLS

Source:  County of San Diego

October 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Voters in Dehesa, Harbison Canyon and Granite Hills will soon see a supplemental set of election materials in addition to their regular mail ballot from the Registrar of Voters office. The Registrar was misinformed about which voters are eligible to vote on the Crest/Dehesa/Harbison Canyon/Granite Hills Community Planning Area Crest member, planning group contest. As a result, the local contest was not included in the sample ballot and voter information pamphlets or the vote-by-mail ballots set to start arriving in mailboxes Monday.  


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THE FINAL SAY: GOV. NEWSOM HAS DECIDED WHICH OF THESE 2020 BILLS WILL BE CALIFORNIA LAW

By Laurel Rosenhall and CalMatters staff, CalMatters

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom with first partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and their youngest son, Dutch, during the annual Christmas tree lighting at the Capitol on December 15, 2019. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

October 3, 2020 (Sacramento) - In a year when the coronavirus pandemic upended every aspect of normal life, the impact in the California Capitol was also dramatic. Lawmakers took an unprecedented two-month pause in the spring, when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. They returned to the Capitol in May, passed a state budget shrunken by the pandemic-induced recession and began setting aside hundreds of bills that would no longer make the cut in this truncated year. Faced with less time to hold hearings and less money to spend on new initiatives, lawmakers chucked an estimated three-quarters of the bills introduced at the beginning of the year.

Abandoned or rejected along the way were bills requiring police to intervene if they see officers using excessive force, allow homeowners to request a forbearance on their mortgages during the pandemic, and launch a “Green New Deal” to fight climate change. 

But even with their reduced workload, lawmakers tackled numerous thorny issues, passing legislation that could impact life in California for years to come — to allow more workers to take paid family leave, make it easier to get mental health care, and ban flavored tobacco, among others. 

Then it fell to Newsom to either sign or veto the legislation by a Sept. 30 deadline. Here’s the final tally on the fates of 20 key bills.

--Laurel Rosenhall and CalMatters staff


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PRESIDENT TRUMP AND FIRST LADY TEST POSITIVE, HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Update 3 p.m.:  The President has been admitted to Walter Reed Hospital.

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19. The President announced the positive test results last night on Twitter, adding that he and the First Lady, “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately” just 32 days before the election.

This morning, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed that the President has “mild symptoms.” Mrs. Trump has tweeted that she, too, has mild symptoms but is “looking forward to a speedy recovery.” 

The President’s illness follows news that his advisor, Hope Hicks, fell ill with the coronavirus after traveling with the President aboard Air Force One. Diagnosis of COVID-19  throws a monkey wrench into campaign plans.

Both President and Mrs. Trump are reportedly in good spirits according to White House spokespersons. However, at 74 years old, President Trump is in a high risk category due to both age and obesity. 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: MAYOR RACQUEL VASQUEZ MAKING LEMON GROVE THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE

By Chris Ernest Nelson

Retired Mount Miguel High School Teacher

October 1, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove has the “Best Climate on Earth.”  Yes, that’s true enough, but we should not stop there. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is committed to making Lemon Grove also the Best Place to Live.  Since her election in 2016, she has brought to city government a new energy and a commitment to improving the environment for all the residents of Lemon Grove. She is determined to make city government more modern, efficient, fiscally prudent and responsive to public interests.


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LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATE JERRY JONES RELEASES FINANCIAL PLAN FOR CITY’S RECOVERY

East County News Service
 
October 1, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Councilman Jerry Jones, one of four candidates running for Mayor in Lemon Grove, has released a detailed financial plan to address the city’s structural deficit and strive to balance the budget.  While he supports a full cent sales tax increase following community discussion, his budget does not rely on any increased sales tax revenues in a time when sales tax revenues have dropped due to COVID-19. Instead, he is banking on legalization of recreational cannabis and a cannabis tax, as well as digital billboard revenues. He also outlines his priorities for expenditures.
 
Below is his proposal, in his own words:

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PADRE DAM MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 
 
 
By Mike Allen
 
Photos, top left to bottom right:  Division II candidates Augie Scalzitti, James Sly and Suzanne Till; Division IV candidate Augie Caires
 
 
September 30, 2020 (Santee) - The 2020 election will have two seats on the Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s five-member board of directors up for a vote, but only one is being contested.
 
The Division II seat that has been held by Augie Scalzitti for four terms dating back to 2000 has two other contenders: James Sly and Suzanne Till. In Division IV, Director Augie Caires is unopposed. 
 
Scroll down for our interviews with all four candidates.

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TRUMP’S TAX RECORDS SHOW PRESIDENT MIRED IN DEBT, BEHOLDEN TO FOREIGN INTERESTS AND AVOIDED PAYING TAXES FOR YEARS DUE TO BUSINESS LOSSES

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2020  (New York) – The New York Times has published an explosive exposé on President Donald Trump’s finances after obtaining 15 years of tax records through 2017, which he refused to make public.  Among the top revelations:


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LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION: PART TWO

By Robin N. Kendall

Photo, left to right:  Blanca Brown, Yajaira Preciado and Cheryl Robertson.

September 29, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- Voters in Lemon Grove will fill two full-term seats on the school board from a slate of three candidates. (In a previous story, we reported on the two candidates for the short-term seat.) The three candidates for the full-term seat are Blanca Brown, Yajaira Preciado and Cheryl Robertson. 

In spite of being one of San Diego’s smallest school districts with 4,000 students in grades preschool though middle school, Lemon Grove is a microcosm of what’s happening in schools and homes during the pandemic. Children are trying to study at home with parents instead of qualified teachers, joblessness has taken its toll, and the fight for racial injustice has taken to the streets.

Read on to learn what these three candidates say from the town that claims to have the “best climate on earth” and has a history of combating racial injustice in education. 


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FIVE CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE SEATS ON LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOARD

Part 1 in a 2-part series

By Robin N. Kendall

September 20, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- Voters have many choices this year to fill three open seats on the five-person Lemon Grove School Board. In November of last year, the district was faced with a vacancy when former school board member Katie Dexter resigned. April Leon was appointed to fill the seat until this election, when voters could choose who would serve the remaining two years. Now Leon, the appointed incumbent, is seeking to be elected. Greg Shibley is running against her.

East County Magazine emailed a set of questions to each of the candidates for school board. Below are the responses from April Leon and Greg Shibley, candidates for the short-term seat. In the next story, part 2, we report on the candidates for the full-term seat.


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ECM TO HOST EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS

 

Video of district 2 forum is now posted.  Click here to view video. 

Video of the district 4 forum is now posted. Click here to view video.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top row:  District 2 candidates Humbert Cabrera, Stephanie Harper, Juan Carlos "Charlie" Mercado, Michelle Metschel and Martin Van Dinteren

Second row: District 4 candidates Estela de los Rios, Phil Ortiz, and Dunia Shaba

 

September 19, 2020 (El Cajon) - East County Magazine will host two forums for El Cajon City Council candidates:

District Four:  Monday Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

District Two: Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

The forums will be on Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine.  Video will also be posted later on our website for those unable to watch live.  

 

The public can send questions to editor@eastcountymagazine.org up until noon the day of the forum.

 

Ten candidates are on the ballot in the highly competitive District 2 and 4 races.  (In District 3, Councilman Steve Goble is running unopposed.)

All candidates in District 2 and 4 have been invited. Eight have agreed to participate. In District Two, participants will include Humbert Cabrera, Stephanie Harper, Juan Carlos Mercado, Michelle Metschel and Martin Van Dinteren.  In District Four, participants confirmed are Estela De Los Rios, Councilman Phil Ortiz, and Dania Shaba. The fouth candidate, Billy Thigpen, advised ECM that he is suspending his candicacy and endorsing De Los Rios.

Below is information on all candidates running in Districts 2 and 4. Click each name to view the statement of qualifications submitted to the city of El Cajon.


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VIEW VIDEO OF OUR SUPERVISORS CANDIDATE FORUM

 

September 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On September 21, East County Magazine hosted a candidate forum for San Diego County's District 2 Supervisor race. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson shared their views on hot issues including COVID-19, housing, homelessness, racial justice/public safety, wildfire preparedness and more.

Video is now posted. You can view the full forum video by clicking the image at left, or click here: https://youtu.be/o4KtvVquSV4

The forum, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was moderated by ECM editor Miriam Raftery and supported by a Facebook Journalism Project grant. Scroll down for details on the candidates. 


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SANTEE COUNCIL APPROVES FANITA RANCH BEFORE VOTERS CAN WEIGH IN ON NOVEMBER BALLOT

By Mike Allen
 
September 24, 2020 (Sante) -- By a 4-1 majority, the Santee City Council approved the controversial Fanita Ranch development that will add nearly 3,000 homes and about 8,000 residents to a city that has been fighting over the project for most of its 40-year history.

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TWO NEW LAWS AID MOMS IN CALIFORNIA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit:  CC by SA

September 24, 2020 (Sacramento) – Two new laws have been signed into law by California Governor Newsom that expand maternity care options and protection for paid family leave. 


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ECM TO HOST SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES FORUM MONDAY, SEPT. 21 ON ZOOM; SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With Supervisor Dianne Jacob retiring due to term limits after 25 years, the race to fill her seat is one of the most important elections in years for voters in the 2nd district including East County. Two candidates, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson are in the November runoff.  


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U.S SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG, 'ADVOCATE FOR EQUALITY AND REASON,' DEAD AT 87

On her deathbed, she told her granddaughter: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Photo credit:  Supreme Court

September 20, 2020 (San Diego) - Sparking a swift flood of condolences along with fear for what the future holds, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in her home Friday evening, surrounded by family, due to "complications of metastatic pancreas cancer" at the age of 87.


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FANITA RANCH VOTE, HELP FOR HOMELESS TOP AGENDAS IN SANTEE AND LA MESA THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Will Santee Councilmembers keep campaign promises made to voters when the controversial Fanita Ranch development comes up for a vote this week?  

What actions will La Mesa’s City Council take to address housing and homelessness?

These are the hottest issues on agendas in East County this week. Scroll down for details


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ATTORNEY GENERAL: TRUMP SENT FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT CALIFORNIA MAIL-IN BALLOTS TO VOTERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 17, 2020 (Sacramento) – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warns that voters in California have been sent a mailer by the Trump administration stating that mail-in ballots must “be requested” and that voters must “add postage to the return envelope if needed.” Both statements are false.
 
“Both statements could lead to voter confusion. In California, mail-in ballots will be sent automatically to registered voters starting October 5th — and postage is not needed to return your ballot in our state,” Attorney General Becerra says.

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SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT SEEKS CANDIDATE TO FILL VACANCY ON BOARD

East County News Service
 
September 17, 2020 (Spring Valley) -- The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors is accepting resumes through October 6 to fill a vacant seat in Division 6.  (see map)

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SANTEE MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND A COUNCIL CONTENDER AGREE CITY FACES RACIAL CRISIS, BUT CLASH OVER DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

 

 

View full video of ECM’s Santee Mayoral and City Council candidates forum

By Mike Allen

Photo: Santee Mayor John Minto and his opponent, Councilman Stephen Houlahan, City Council candidates Samm Hurst and Dustin Trotter

Sept. 13, 2021 (Santee) -- Both candidates for Santee mayor and one candidate for District 4 have varying opinions on issues but to one question about the biggest crisis besides traffic facing the city, the three agreed it’s racial intolerance. But the three voiced divergent views on housing and development issues, including controversies involving Fanita Ranch.

The candidates responded to questions at a forum held Sept. 10 via Zoom hosted by East County Magazine. Mayor John Minto and Councilman Stephen Houlahan, who is vying to become Santee’s mayor, along with City Council candidate Samm Hurst appeared at the hour and a half forum moderated by ECM Editor Miriam Raftery.

Dustin Trotter, a construction contractor running against Hurst, declined to appear, saying he had a prior scheduled meeting. He also did not respond to a request for a one-on-one interview via Zoom with ECM’s editor, but has responded to questions from ECM reporter Mike Allen, which will be published soon along with in-depth interviews with all Santee candidates.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO PARTICIPATE IN FORUM SEPT. 16

 

View video of our Lemon Grove City Council candidates forum:  Click here

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Lemon Grove candidates David Arambula, George Gastil, Liana Lebaron, and Teresa Rosiak

 

August 29, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – All four Lemon Grove City Council candidates have agreed to participate in a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. This is your opportunity to learn more about the candidates looking to represent you, as well as to ask questions on issues of importance community.

The forum will be held on Zoom due to COVID-19 and will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine.  Video will also be posted later at www.EastCountyMagazine.org and audio will be aired on KNSJ radio. You can send in questions before noon on the 16h to editor@eatcountymagazine.org. ECM editor Miriam Raftery will moderate the forum, which is made possible through a Facebook Journalism Project grant.

The four candidates are:


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LEMON GROVE DRIVE THRU 2020 CENSUS EVENT SEPT. 18

East County News Service

September 16, 2020 (Lemon Grove) - The city of Lemon Grove and U.S. Census Bureau will be present to help you complete the 2020 census survey, answer any questions you have about the census, and will be giving away census swag to those that complete the survey at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center.

The Lemon Grove drive-through census event wil take place this Friday, September 18 from 1-4 p.m.


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