Politics

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE FEE FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR BALLOT AS TENSIONS ESCALATE OVER FUTURE OF FIRE DISTRICT

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo: 2011 Angel Fire, burning behind Julian High School

February 3, 2018 (Julian) –  The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, in a letter to Patricia Landis, has advised that a proposed ballot measure to raise fees to $200 in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District had only 191 valid signatures—34 signatures short of the 225 needed to qualify.

WANT TO RUN FOR OFFICE? FILING PERIOD OPENS FEB. 12, CLOSES MARCH 9 FOR MANY KEY RACES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 3, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Although many candidates have said they plan to run for various offices, it’s not official until they submit paperwork and have candidacies approved by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. To appear on the June ballot, the filing period opens February 12 and ends March 9th for the following offices:  Congress, U.S. Senate, State Assembly, State Senate, all statewide offices (such as Governor), San Diego Sheriff, Supervisor, District Attorney, County Clerk, County Board of Education, and school boards for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, San Diego Community College, and San Diego Unified School Districts.

STATE CLOSES CASE FILED BY COUNCILMAN KALASHO AGAINST CITY OF EL CAJON, MAYOR WELLS AND COUNCILMAN KENDRICK

 

Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing finds no violation of laws; Kalasho retains right to sue over alleged discrimination

By Miriam Raftery

February 3, 2018 (El Cajon) – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), in a letter sent to El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho on January 22, advised that following an investigation, the agency has closed a complaint filed by Kalasho against the City of El Cajon, Mayor Bill Wells and Councilman Gary Kendrick.

Kalasho, who is of Iraqi descent, claimed he was harassed and discriminated against based on his national origin. “I was denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation and subjected to differential treatment,” he contended in his complaint.

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR TO DEBATE IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 1, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Democratic Party is hosting its first-ever gubernatorial debate on Thursday, February 22nd at the Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego.

All four leading Democrats running for governor of California are confirmed to participate: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin and State Treasurer John Chiang.

REVITALIZING CASA DE ORO: “TODAY IS A BIG STEP FORWARD,” SAYS DIANNE JACOB AS SUPERVISORS ACCEPT CONSULTANTS’ REPORT, BUT CHANGES WILL TAKE TIME

 

By Paul Kruze

February 1, 2018 (Casa de Oro) – The San Diego County Board of voted in principal to approve a blueprint laid out for the eventual revitalizing of the Campo Road area of Casa de Oro at last Thursday’s meeting.

But don’t expect changes to occur overnight.

TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN ON PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP FOR DREAMERS

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  President Trump applauds Congress curing his State of the Union speech. Image from White House video

January 30, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) - President Trump doubled down on his offer of a path to citizenship for California’s estimated 500,000 eligible “Dreamers” Tuesday night in his first State of the Union speech.

The plan, which has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, would include a 12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to America as children in return for “a great wall on the southern border” and an end to both the visa lottery and chain migration.

LA MESA RESIDENTS INVITED TO TOWNHALLS JAN. 30 AND FEB. 6

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa invites residents to attend two upcoming town hall meetings, where elected officials and city staff will be on hand to answer residents’ questions and hear concerns.  The forums will be held Tuesday, January 30 at the La Mesa Arts Academy (4200 Parks Ave.) and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Northmont Elementary School (9045 Gregory Street), both from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Mayor Mark Arapostathis and City Council members Kristine Alessio, Bill Baber, Guy McWhirter and Colin Parent are expected to participate, as well as Police Chief Walt Vasquez, Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Colin Stowell, City Manager Yvonne Garrett, City Attorney Gleen Sabine, and staffers from La Mesa’s departments of public works, finance, and community development.

CAMPA-NAJJAR WINS KEY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSEMENT IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

 

East County News Service

January 28, 2018 (San Diego) -- The California Democratic Party's Region 18 this week endorsed Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congress in the 50th district at its pre-endorsement conference, which included delegates from East County and San Diego. 

Campa-Najjar received 97% of the delegate vote in a four-way contest with candidate Josh Butner and potential candidates Patrick Malloy and Larry Tract. Since Campa-Najjar exceeded the threshold of 70% of the vote, the party's state convention is expected to ratify the region's recommendation on February 25th, which would give a major boost to Campa-Najjar in his effort to win the June primary and square off against incumbent Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter in November.

"I am humbled to have earned this endorsement by such a wide margin," said Campa-Najjar, who has raised over half a million dollars to date for his campaign.  He adds that during his campaign, he has been meeting people across the district at farms and rodeos, bars and diners, churches, mosques, synagogues, college campuses and senior centers, VFW halls and memorials, libraries, city halls, rallies, backyards, living rooms and dining rooms.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS TOP SANTEE’S PRIORITIES

 

By Mike Allen

January 28, 2018 (Santee) -- In his first state of the city address last week, Santee Mayor John Minto outlined a vision that puts a priority on several capital improvement projects and saving money on the city’s growing pension liabilities.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SHAMUS SAYED, MODERATE REPUBLICAN RUNNING AGAINST REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Hear our full in-depth interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Shamus Sayed, a Republican running in the 50th Congressional District for the seat currently held by Rep. Duncan Hunter, calls himself a fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican.  He says he’s running, “because I want to make a change” and because he wants to bring “integrity and accountability” to the offices.

Rep. Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department for alleged use of campaign funds for lavish personal expenses.  A federal grand jury has recently been convened, raising the potential for an indictment, though Hunter has stated recently that he has no intentional of stepping down.

Audio: 

IN LAST ‘STATE OF THE STATE’ SPEECH, GOV. BROWN REFLECTS ON HIS—AND CALIFORNIA’S—HISTORY

 

By Laurel Rosenhall | CALmatters

Photo:  Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his final State of the State speech. Photo by Max Whittaker for CALmatters.

January 27, 2018 (Sacramento) -- As Gov. Jerry Brown neared the end of his last State of the State speech Thursday, he invoked a name that has become a frequent theme: August Schuckman, his own great-grandfather, who left Germany in 1849 and “sailed to America on a ship named Perseverance.”

SANTEE MOVES AHEAD WITH PLAN FOR DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

January 26, 2018 (Santee) -- Despite having one of the most homogeneous populations in the county and lacking any concentration of minority groups, Santee elected officials say the city’s hands are tied, and Santee is forced to comply with a state law urging cities to adopt district elections.

IF YOU'RE NOT ALARMED, YOU SHOULD BE; WHO'S LEFT TO HOLD CALIFORNIA'S GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE

 

By David Lesher, editor and CEO at Cal Matters, an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government

January 25, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Dear Californians,

If you care about this state, it’s time to sound the alarm about the crisis in media and what it means for the health of democracy in the world’s sixth largest economy.

Media is declining nationally, but unique pressures have made California into America’s laboratory for a dangerous experiment about what happens to the public interest when policy is made without the public’s awareness or accountability.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CONTROL DEVELOPMENT

 

Initiative would require public vote on significant changes to General Plan, to protect backcountry from sprawl-style development and traffic gridlock

East County News Service

Update: Hear our interview with former Supervisor Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson from Save Our San Diego Countryside by clicking the audio link.  Learn more at https://saveoursdcountryside.org/.

January 24, 201 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Registrar of Voters approved the title and summary for the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” Initiative, clearing the way for proponents to gather signatures to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.

Audio: 

COUNTY TO ACCEPT COMPETING BIDS FOR ANIMAL SERVICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to accept bids from outside animal welfare organizations seeking to compete against the County’s Animal Services Department to provide services in the County’s unincorporated areas, including rural, desert and mountain regions in East County as well as neighborhoods such as Spring Valley, Alpine, and Lakeside. In East County, the city of Santee will also be impacted.

GONZALEZ FLETCHER BILL WOULD BAN GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FROM GIVING VOUCHERS TO STORES THAT SELL GUNS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced a bill this week that would prohibit public agencies during gun buy-back events from handing out taxpayer-funded vouchers to any store that sells firearms.

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WOMEN’S MARCH 2018 SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) - An estimated 37,000 people took to the streets of downtown San Diego for the second annual women’s march protesting policies of the Trump administration, according to San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.  Zimmerman tweeted photos of the large crowd, adding, “All of us thank you for saying hello throughout the rally and walk.”

CALIFORNIA MAY BUCK CONGRESS WITH ITS OWN HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

 

By Elizabeth Aguilera, CALmatters

Photo:  A hospital emergency room entrance. Photo by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons

January 20, 2018 (Sacramento) - With Congress ending the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, California leaders are preparing to counter that move by securing health care for as many residents as possible in a fortified state insurance exchange.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN AFTER SENATE FAILS TO PASS SPENDING BILL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Congress failed to pass a short-term spending bill by Friday night’s deadline that would have funded the federal government only until February 16th. As a result, the federal government is starting a shutdown effective today—the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The key sticking point was Republicans’ failure to protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants.  Trump cancelled former President Barack Obama’s executive order protecting Dreamers but gave Congress six months to pass legislation to protect them before deporting them. That timeline is nearly up. The shutdown also means no renewal of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which has expired.

PARK SERVICE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS RESIGN OVER DEPT. OF INTERIOR NEGLECT

 

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo:  National Park Service Advisory Board members are concerned Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is not focused on the protection of national parks. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

January 18, 2018 (Helena, Mont.) - After nine of the twelve members of the National Park Service Advisory Board resigned this week, public lands supporters are noticing what they say is a pattern of indifference from Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department.

REPORT: TIPPING RULE CHANGE WOULD COST WOMEN $4.6 BILLION

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  Workers could be forced to turn over tips to their employers under a rule proposed by the Trump administration. (SRandCo/Morguefile)

January 18, 2018 (Sacramento) - As women's marches take place across the country this Saturday, time is running out to put in your two cents about a rule proposed by the Trump administration that a new report says could cost female workers $4.6 billion in tips a year.

LEMON GROVE PLANNING COMMISSION REINSTATEMENT TABLED TO FEBRUARY 20

 

By Jonathan Goetz

January 17, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – On Tuesday, Lemon Grove City Attorney Jim Lough presented to Council Ordinance changes for the Municipal Code that the Council chose to table.  Council wanted more time to review it and compare differences between the new verbiage and the old verbiage.  Lough is expected to bring it back for a vote Tuesday, February 20.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO ARREST LEADERS OF SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Leaders of sanctuary cities and states could be arrested and charged with crimes, Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security told Senators in a committee meeting Tuesday.

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB IS GUEST SPEAKER AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST FEBRUARY 21

 

East County News Service

January 15, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend its first breakfast meeting of the new year on Wednesday, February 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Marie Callender’s, 6950 Alvarado Road San Diego. The speaker for this first breakfast in 2018 is Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

LA MESA MAYOR DELIVERS UPBEAT STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS; VIEW FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Mayor Mark Arapostathis Mayor’s State of the City Report, January 9, 2018.  Photo courtesy City of La Mesa

January 15, 2018 (La Mesa) – On Tuesday, La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis delivered an optimistic State of the City, in which he cited low crime, a 2017 survey that said 91% of La Mesa residents rate the quality of life in La Mesa as being excellent or good, and $8.5 million in local infrastructure improvements, plus further investments from SDG&E and San Diego County Water Authority that strengthen the "long-term stability for the infrastructure under our streets."

LEADERS FROM SAN DIEGO TO UNITED NATIONS DENOUNCE TRUMP’S SLUR AGAINST IMMIGRANTS FROM NATIONS OF COLOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

This is a moment of truth, a moment to reflect on our values -- values of decency, respect, and compassion -- and call this president to account for his treatment of others.” – Andrea Guerrero, Alliance San Diego

January 13, 2018 (San Diego) – The Washington Post, citing multiple sources, reported  Friday that during a meeting with several Senators meant to hammer out bipartisan immigration legislation, President Donald Trump made a vulgar racial remark. “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” the President reportedly said of immigrants from Africa, Haiti, and El Salvador.

THE NEW TAX LAW AND YOU: REP. SUSAN DAVIS TO HOLD INFORMATION FORUM ON JAN. 13 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis will be hosting a tax information forum at Grossmont College on Saturday, January 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Grossmont College (8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon) in the Griffin Gate Auditorium.

Congresswoman Davis will be bringing together experts to discuss the larger implications of the new tax law and how to navigate the changes.  The event is intended to provide information and answer questions.  Following brief remarks, speakers will be available for a Q&A session and resource tables with helpful information will be present throughout the event.

GRAND JURY ISSUES SUBPOENA IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF CONGRESSMAN HUNTER, UNION-TRIBUNE REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (San Diego) – A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from a local business as part of a criminal investigation into Congressman Duncan Hunter’s campaign finances, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday.

The newspaper’s award-winning journalist Morgan  Cook reports that the grand jury will hear evidence and testimony from a witness also ordered to appear in San Diego later this month.  Potentially, the grand jury could issue one or more criminal indictments, casting a pall over Hunter’s effort to win a primary race in June and reelection to Congress in November.

Pages