DEMOCRATS FILE SUIT ALLEGING RACKETEERING AND CONSPIRACY IN 2016 ELECTION

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 21-MAY 30

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

LEMON GROVE REJECTS CLAIMS OVER POTHOLES AND BUCKLED SIDEWALKS

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ACCUSED OF "VALOR THEFT" BY GOP RIVAL, NAVY VETERAN

SAN DIEGO RANKS AN “F” FOR OZONE POLLUTION: CLIMATE CHANGE BLAMED FOR RISING HEALTH HAZARD

CAL FIRE CAPTAIN JEFF GRIFFITH RUNS FOR STATE SENATE TO FIGHT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

HISTORIC HAVEN: JULIAN GOLD RUSH HOTEL

FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH, CHAMPION OF LITERACY CAUSES, DIES AT 92

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD UNDER FIRE FOR RESPONSES TO GUN VIOLENCE PROTESTS

JOIN US AT SWAMI'S! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB APRIL 27

SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

News

LA MESA GREEN LIGHTS, LEMON GROVE RED LIGHTS DISPENSARY APPLICATIONS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Angeles Nelson (left) opposed the dispensary in Lemon Grove, while Kathleen Harmon (right) supported it

April 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- La Mesa will have its first legal medical marijuana dispensary, after a unanimous vote of approval by the City Council on March 27. An appeal challenging the approval was rejected.

By contrast, the Lemon Grove City Council voted to deny an application for a dispensary due to proximity to a daycare center.  No dispensaries have yet opened in Lemon Grove though at least two have met zoning requirements and are now advancing through the conditional use permit process.

 

Both Councils took the actions recommended by staff in implementing laws established by voter-approved initiatives. At issue in each is the date of completion.

GRANITE HILLS FOOTBALL PLAYER SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ACCIDENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2018 (El Cajon) – A 16-year-old football player from Granite Hills High School was struck by a vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries tonight.

According to Lieutenant Steve Kirk with the El Cajon Police Department, after a preliminary investigation and interviewing witnesses, “It appears the pedestrian was with three other male juveniles running south across East Washington outside of a controlled intersection” when the teen was struck by a white 2016 Toyota Rav4 traveling eastbound.

SEVENTH ANNUAL WYLAND NATIONAL MAYOR’S CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION

 

East County News Service

Residents from 4,800 cities expected to participate in nationwide competition for Most Water-Wise Title in April; annual campaign to focus on clean water and watershed health

April 2, 2018 (Plano, Texas) – The annual month-long Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation has officially kicked off as part of an annual effort to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the nation to ensure a steady, reliable supply of clean water for the future. Presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, the campaign encourages U.S residents, led by mayors across the nation, to spread the word about the benefits of managing water resources.

The annual competition, which takes place each year from April 1-30, rewards residents who heed the call with a chance to win $5,000 toward their home utility bills, home irrigation makeovers, environmentally friendly clean products, and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes. Plus, a deserving charity will receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for its organization. Last year, mayors from 36 states encouraged residents to make over 420,000 pledges to promote drought resiliency, protect watersheds, and ultimately reduce stress on aging water infrastructure.

CELEBRATION PLANNED FOR GRAND OPENING OF POTRERO COMMUNITY CENTER ON APRIL 21

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2018 (Potrero) – The public is invited to the grand opening of the Potrero Community Center on Saturday, April 21st.   Supervisor Dianne Jacob, county leaders and Mountain Empire residents will be on hand for the celebration of this new community asset at 24550 Highway 94, where the old volunteer fire station was located.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO MOVE FARMER’S MARKET TO DOWNTOWN VILLAGE

 

 

 

Updated with revised start date of May 5th for the Farmer's Market

 By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 March 30, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents will soon be able to stroll the heart of the downtown village to shop for fresh produce, crafts and other items on Friday afternoons and evenings.  The  La Mesa City Council voted 4-1 at Tuesday’s meeting to move the Farmer’s Market to the downtown village on a six-month trial basis.  It will be run by the La Mesa Village Association instead of the city as a special event each Friday  from 3 to 7 p.m. starting May 5th, with street closures from 1 to 8 .p.m.

 The change has drawn support from many shoppers and some businesses, but has also engendered opposition from restaurants concerned about losing regular patrons on their busiest night of the week and neighbors with noise and parking concerns.

 The new market is projected to be approximately double in size of the current Friday night farmer’s market near the civic center, which must  ultimately move due to redevelopment plans.

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PROPOSED FOR RELEASE IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Herman Smith, San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.

March 30, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — A hearing is set for April 27 on proposed release of Herman Smith at 42920 Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.  Smith has been convicted of sexually violent crimes including rape by force in 1993, oral copulation with a minor under age 14 by force or fear, and sodomizing a victim under age 14 with force. He has also been convicted of raping a drugged victim.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNING GROUP WORRIED ABOUT TRAFFIC, SEWER LINES AS COUNTY PROPOSES MAJOR HOUSING PROJECT IN PROCTOR VALLEY

 

By Kendra Sitton

March 29, 2018 (Jamul) -- The latest Jamul-Dulzura Planning Meeting on Tues., March 27 was dominated with discussion about a proposed development on Village 14, Planning Areas 15 and 19. The proposal would bring over a thousand new homes into an unincorporated area of 6,163 people, as of the last census.

CRITICISM MOUNTS OF ARAMBULA AND LEMON GROVE LEADERS AFTER DISCLOSURE OF ASSAULT CLAIM BY DISPENSARY ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Christopher Williams, the medical marijuana dispensary advocate who has filed a claim against Lemon Grove detailed an alleged assault by Councilman David Arambula, is speaking out to dispute Arambula’s self-defense claim.

Williams also contends that city staff stalled his applications for multiple dispensaries by claiming not to have received results of a Department of Justice screening of all applicants, when e-mails from the DOJ indicate the results were sent to the city earlier.

Arambula is also drawing criticism from current and former councilmembers for failing to disclose the scuffle that sent Williams to a hospital for treatment of significant injuries including a fractured rib, gash on his face and bite marks on his arm. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is named as a potential witness in Williams claim, along with Taisha Brown, a Democratic Party activist, but both have declined to speak with media.  Some members of the council contend they were kept in the dark by Arambula and Vasquez about the violent altercation even when voting on dispensary applications submitted by Williams for Pick Axe Holdings, LLC.

12 STATES TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER CENSUS QUESTION ON CITIZENSHIP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (San Diego) – The U.S. Commerce Department has announced that it will ask a question on citizenship status during the 2020 Census. The question was removed from the Census back in 1950, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims that the change will permit “more effective enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act. But critics contend the move will instead diminish minority representation in Congress.

The Constitution, in fact, requires that every resident be counted in the census every 10 years, whether or not they are citizens.  The results are used not only to determine how many Congressional districts each state will have, but also the amount of federal grants and subsidies that will be provided.  If minorities fail to participate for fear of answering a citizenship question, California and areas such as San Diego County with high minority populations and areas with high poverty rates could lose billions of dollars in federal funds.

WAS IT A “MIRACLE MARCH” FOR RAINS? NO, SAYS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (San Diego) –  Did the recent rains produce a “miracle March” to ease drought conditions?  No, says Alex Tardy, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.  The good news is that the March rains did bring our region up to 37 percent of normal, better than the parched conditions earlier in the winter season.  But the forecast through mid-April predicts warmer and dryer conditions than on average – and already, much of Southern California is listed a D-1 or D-2, that’s moderate to severe drought levels.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN SANTEE AREA ON FRIDAY

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2018 (Santee) – The Sheriff’s Santee station will conduct a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint on Friday, March 30th from 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location.

Checkpoints aim to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from alcohol-involved accidents by getting offenders off the streets and by educating the public on dangers of impaired driving, as well as the importance of designating a sober driver. Checkpoints also assure that each motorist has a valid driver’s license.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE TRIPLING SPENDING FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT

 

Thousands more San Diegans will have access to substance abuse treatment thanks to a new delivery system approved today by the County Board of Supervisors.

The decision will triple spending on substance use disorders from $54.6 million to $179.6 million over the next three years to address opioid and other substance abuse that often exacerbate homelessness, mental illness and criminal behavior.

LEMON GROVE SETTLES SUIT ALLEGING RETALIATION AND FREE SPEECH VIOLATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with Councilman Jones' comments.

March 26, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Last week, many Lemon Grove residents were surprised to hear a citizen speaking during public comment at a City Council meeting reveal that the city had settled a case  filed by a former contracted city worker.  The worker alleged that Councilman Jerry Jones and City Manager Lydia Romero violated his free speech rights and retaliated against him for comments he’d posted on social media criticizing Jones.

East County Magazine has obtained a copy of the settlement and release agreement from the city in response to a public records request.

MICHAEL TURKO LEAVES KUSI TO BECOME A 'PRIVATE FIGURE'

 

By Rick Griffin

Originally published in Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

March 26, 2018 (San Diego) - After nearly 20 years in the public eye, Michael Turko has left KUSI-TV to become “a private figure.” The animated, investigative consumer reporter with a ponytail, known for his “Turko Files” reports and the phrase “it ain’t right,” is gone from the station where he had worked since 1999.

COUNTY SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON VILLAGE 14, MAJOR HOUSING PROJECT, AT JAMUL-DULZURA COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP MEETING MARCH 27

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2018 (Jamul) – At the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group meeting this Tuesday, March 27, county officials will make a presentation on a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a major housing and mixed used development in the  Proctor Valley area about a mile south of Jamul and east of Chula Vista.

WHY ARE COUNTY AND SANTEE DELETING EMAIL RECORDS SOONER THAN STATE LAW ALLOWS?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2018 (San Diego’s East County)  East County Magazine has reached out to officials in Santee and the County of San Diego after an investigative report by Voice of San Diego revealed that San Diego County is deleting emails after just 60 days, while the city of Santee retains e-mail records for just 180 days.  State law requires that email public records be retained for at least two years, according to Californians Aware, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving open government and access to public records.

JAIL, FINES FOR GIVING ALCOHOL TO MINORS

 

2013: 11

2014: 8

2015: 13

2016: 12

2017: 12

Those are the numbers of San Diegans under the age of 21 who had alcohol in their system when they died, according to County Medical Services annual data.

Since those 56 young people were not old enough to legally buy alcohol, you have to ask yourself, where did they get it?

Chances are they got it from adults.

LA MESA’S COUNCIL TO VOTE TUESDAY ON MOVING FARMER’S MARKET

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Farmer's Market at its former location on Allison Avenue may soon come back to its roots in the La Mesa downtown village

March 22, 2018 (La Mesa) – On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider a proposal by the La Mesa Village Association to move and expand the farmer’s market back to the downtown village, with street closures for the event each Friday.  Staff has recommended approval in its report.  

Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 27 at its 6 p.m. meeting in City Council Chambers, 8130 Allison Ave.

The issue has fostered a lively discussion on social media, with some residents and local merchants welcoming the proposed change to invigorate downtown and boost traffic for local businesses. But others vigorously oppose the change, citing concerns over not enough parking, having to carry groceries too far, and dissuading patrons from coming into downtown on Friday night, when restaurants are typically busiest.

11 ARRESTED AT CLOUD 9 WELLNESS, ILLEGAL DISPENSARY IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

March 22, 2018 (El Cajon) – Nine employees and two security guards were arrested today after El Cajon Police Department officers, aided by the San Diego County Integrated Narcotic Task Force, served a search warrant at Cloud 9 Wellness, a non-licensed marijuana dispensary operating illegally in the city of El Cajon.

 A large amount of cash and marijuana was seized as evidence. All of those arrested are adults, according to ECPD.

“This is the second search warrant served on Cloud Nine Wellness for selling marijuana within the City of El Cajon this month,” says Lt. Walt Miller with ECPD’s investigative division. “Prior to these warrants being served, Cloud 9 Wellness was warned repeatedly by the El Cajon City Attorney’s office to cease and desist its sales of marijuana,” he adds.

THERE'S STLL TIME TO RSVP! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB MARCH 29 AT GIARDINO IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

 

March 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- You're invited to join East County Magazine and members of our East County DIning Club at Giardino Neighborhood Cucino (8131 Broadway in Lemon Grove) on Thursday, March 29.  This is a deliciously authentic Italian restaurant with a chef from Sicily who formerly worked in the Gaslamp! 

When:  Thursday, March 29. Dinner starts at 6:30, or arrive early at 5:30 for a no-host cocktail mixer to mingle and meet new friends.

Cost: $42 includes appetizers (eggplant rolls, calamaria ftirri with pomodoro sauce/chipiotle aioli),entree  (see choices below), dessert (limconcello cheesecake or tiramisu), tax and tip

RSVP: March 25 deadline: (619)698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org   Include your entrée choice: Cod Picatta  in lemon/capers/butter sauce, Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, Cheese Ravioli with Pesto Sauce, Lasagna, or Penne Primavera with seasonal vegetables.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS UPDATES ON CRIME AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES, COMPLAINTS OVER CASES AGAINST COUNCILMEMBERS

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

March 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Crime rates, emergency response times, and controversies involving Council members embroiled in multilpe claims against the City were among the issues raised during Tuesday’s Lemon Grove City Council meeting.

SDG&E HEARS FROM DESCANSO RESIDENTS IN PUBLIC FORUM ON FIRE SAFETY AND POWER SHUT-OFF CONCERNS

 

Future community forums planned March 23 in Valley Center, March 30 in Ramona and April 6 in Warner Springs. View schedule here.

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the Descanso Town Hall on March 16th,  SDG&E representatives met with residents to discuss efforts to improve fire safety and hear community concerns, including ideas for reducing impacts of power shut-offs during high fire-risk weather conditions. Representatives from 211 San Diego , the local Red Cross, the Descanso Fire Safe Council and the area’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were also on hand.

Portions of Descanso had a dozen or more outages late last year, much to the frustration of many residents.  But the outskirts of Descanso have also had among the most extreme conditions. 

AS RUSSIAN PROBE WIDENS, SO DO CREDIBILITY GAPS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – In direct conflict to warnings from top U.S. intelligence agency representatives, The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority shut down its investigation and  issued an overview of its report which concluded that Russia’s election hacking and social media attacks were merely intended to cause discord, not help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.  The GOP report also concluded that that it found no “evidence of coordination, collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russians. “

WINTER STORM EXPECTED; FREE SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

 

The National Weather Service is predicting rain around San Diego County this week, potentially heavy rain on Thursday.

People in unincorporated areas can get free sandbags at numerous locations to help them protect their homes, properties and communities.

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