ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SOME LOCAL RACES FLIP OR GROW CLOSER AS COUNTING BALLOTS CONTINUES

EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT RACE FLIPS TO THURMOND AS COUNT CONTINUES

HATE CRIMES UP 17% LAST YEAR; ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE SPIKES 37%

STARS TO SHINE AT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE NOV. 18

GLOBE FOR ALL: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM IN LEMON GROVE NOV. 14

EL CAPITAN STUDENT, 14, ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL THREATS

FIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSE WEDNESDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

LOCAL RESIDENTS RECOUNT FAMILY LOSSES IN PARADISE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 16-DEC. 22

SDG&E OPENS 4 COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTERS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT DURING OUTAGES AND RED FLAG WARNINGS

OUTAGES REPORTED ACROSS EAST COUNTY: STEPS TO TAKE TO PREPARE FOR POWER INTERRUPTIONS

News

EL CAJON MAYOR WELLS AND COUNCILMAN KENDRICK THUMP CHALLENGERS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo by Jesse Kendrick: Mayor  Wells and Councilman Kendrick savor Election Night victories

November 7, 2018 (El Cajon)--El Cajon voters returned Mayor Bill Wells and Councilma/Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick to their positions on the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday night with veritable knockout punches against their challengers.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Mayor Bill Wells maintained his lead all evening with 66% (7799 votes) while his challenger, East County businessman Joel A. Scalzitti garnered only 26% (3064 votes). Robert M. Weaver, Jr., in spite of dropping out of the race early and not mounting a campaign because of federal Hatch Act conflicts with his position with the federal government, garnered 8% of the vote with 905 votes.

With nearly 88% precincts reporting, Councilman Kendrick was successful in staving off a challenge from fellow Councilman Ben Kalasho by a landslide. Kendrick got a whopping 85% (3408 votes) with Kalasho only getting 15% (621 votes). 

DEMOCRAT LEVIN FLIPPING THE 49th; REP. HUNTER HANGING ON IN 50th

Mike Levin and Diane Harkey

 

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

Photos, left to right: Rep. Duncan Hunter, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Mike Levin, Diane Harkey

November 6, 2028 (San Diego)-- Voters warmed to environmental attorney Mike Levin as early state results show the Democrat wresting the coastal 49th Congressional District from longtime GOP control.

The state’s overall tally showed voters in southern Orange County and northern San Diego County favoring Levin over state Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey, a Republican endorsed by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, 53 percent to 47 percent.

INCUMBENTS WIN REELECTION IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (Spring Valley) --- A trio of incumbents backed by the firefighters' union won reelection easily in the San Miguel Fire Protection District.

With 39% of districts counted, Theresa McKenna has 33.2%, Jim Ek 27.4%, and Michael Vaio 26.6%, defeating William A. Kiel II, son of board member William Kiel. The younger Kiel, a  trading card company owner with no fire experience, drew just 12.8% of the vote.

The stakes were high in the race, since the three incumbents who won reelection voted to return the district to independent operation, cancelling a contract with Cal Fire. The action passed by a slim one-vote margin, with Kiel, senior, voting against separating from Cal Fire.

CONSERVATIVES SWEEP IN SANTEE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino and Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfeld await final election results in Santee

November 6, 2018 (Santee) – A grassroots effort to elect slow-growth, progressive candidates to the Santee City Council appears unsuccessful, with a conservative slate leading handily for all three seats and two Republican incumbents headed to reelection.

This was Santee’s first election since dividing the city into districts instead of at-large elections.

INCUMBENTS LEADING IN LEMON GROVE



By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Challenger Teresa Rosiak says even if she doesn't win, she hopes to restart a Chamber of Commerce to help bring new businsses to Lemon Grove and help improve the city's economy.

November 6, 2018 ( Lemon Grove) – With 14% of precincts counted, incumbent Councilmenbers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones appear headed for reelection in Lemon Grove. They are leading with 32.48% and 29% of the votes respectively.

WEBER, BABER LEAD IN TIGHT RACE IN LA MESA

 

Update November 7, 2018:  With 39% of precincts tallied, Weber and Baber maintain the lead with 27.43% and 25.94% respectively over McWhirter at 24.79% and Myers at 21.84%. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Akilah Weber and her sons at Democratic Party celebration downtown

November 6, 2018 (La Mesa) — One of the closest races in East County is unfolding in La Mesa, where incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter face tough challenges from physician Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers.  Weber is currently in first place with 27.06% of the vote, narrowly leading over Baber at 26.22% and McWhirter at 25.03%, with Myers at 21.68%.  But only five of 33 precincts have been counted as of midnight.

The offices are officially nonpartisan, but Weber and Myers are endorsed by Democrats while Baber and McWhirter are backed by Republicans.  The “blue wave” that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives thus far appears to have split in La Mesa.

FOLLOW EASTCOUNTYMAG ON TWITTER FOR TONIGHT'S EAST COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

November 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Our reporting team will be at Election Central tonight and on the road where our local candidates will be congregating.  Internect connectivity may be spotty; we will be reporting results first @EastCountyMag on Twitter and then posting on our site later on tonight.

May the best candidates win, and congratulations to all who ran!

REP. HUNTER AND TRUMP WANT TO ELIMINATE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES, BUT SUPREME COURT RULED THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, declared his intention to eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order – a move that reputable legal scholars on both the left and right agree would be unconstitutional.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has previously supported a bill in Congress to similarly end granting citizenship to most children of immigrants born here.

Trump stated,  "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order." 

But the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. is crystal clear that everyone born in the U.S. must be granted citizenship.  It states: "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld that the amendment does cover children of immigrants, regardless of their parents' legal status.

FALSE AND MISLEADING HIT PIECES TARGET DEMOCRATS IN LA MESA

Updated with comments from Councilmembers Baber and McWhirter, plus additional information on the Public Safety Advocates PAC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – A flurry of deceptive mailers have been sent to Democrats in La Mesa, where two Democratic candidates, Dr. Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff commander Dave Myers are challenge Republican incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter.  

One mailer paid for by the Baber-McWhirter campaign urged Democrats to vote – on the wrong date. (The election is Tuesday, November 6th.) The flyer had photos endorsing Republicans McWhirter and Baber as well as Mayor Mark Arapostathis, who is running unopposed. Baber says this was his mistake. "It was a typo. I wish I had Miriam as my editor!" he quipped. His campaign later sent a corrected copy, which he forwarded to ECM.

Two other mailers were sent by the “Public Safety Advocates” PAC in Encinitas and include negative information on the two Democrats, including false statements about Weber

THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON UTILITIES’ WILDFIRE MITIGATION PLANS BEFORE NOV. 14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (San Francisco) – “We want to hear from you about wildfires!” states a message from Agatha Wein at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  “The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is examining how well California's electric utilities are prepared for wildfires and we want input from community leaders.”

SDG&E, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and several other utilities are required to develop wildfire mitigation plans that will include details on:

  • wildfire prevention strategies for electric utilities,
  • maintenance and inspection of lines,
  • outreach to first responders and customers, including low-income, elderly, disabled, and those with limited English,
  • restoration of service after a wildfire

MOTORCYLIST IN FATAL RAMONA CRASH IDENTIFIED

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (Ramona) – Erinn Clarke Edens, 48, of Ramona has been identified by the County Medical Examiner as the motorcyclist killed on October 20th in a solo vehicle accident.

He lost control of the motorcycle in the 15000 block of Wildcat Canyon Road in Ramona and was ejected into the path of an oncoming vehicle, which ran over him and dragged him a short distance until the vehicle was able to stop.

MOTORCYCLIST IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER EL CAJON CRASH

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (El Cajon) – A 55-year-old rider on a Harley Davidson was traveling with a group of motorcyclists this morning in the 900 block of East Main Street in El Cajon when according to witnesses, he began passing vehicles in the inside left turn lane.  When the lane ended, the rider struck a raised center median and was ejected on the roadway, suffering severe head injuries.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: RUDY REYES, FIRE SURVIVOR RUNNING FOR SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) –  The race for Santee City Council District 1 pits incumbent Councilman Ronn Hall,  an insurance company owner and former Chamber of Commerce president, against Rudy Reyes, a San Diego State University program director, Cedar Fire survivor and advocate for burn victims.

We invited both candidates onto our radio show at KNSJ 89.1 FM.  Reyes accepted; you can listen to his full interview at the audio link and view highlights below. 

Councilman Hall declined, citing dental surgery, but did answer written questions earlier in the campaign which you can read here.

Audio: 

Rudy Reyes interview - District 1, Santee

DEVELOPMENT IS KEY ISSUE IN SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 RACE: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS



 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first election in which Santee residents cast votes by district. In District 1, Councilman Rob NcNelis, a market leader with a mortgage banking company and former Chamber of Commerce president, is running against Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield, a software engineer and business owner who worked at U.C. Berkeley’s school of public health as a program manager and chair of the staff advisory council.

Key issues are development vs. quality of life, as well as how to address the city’s budget deficit. Andrade-Heymsfield claims her opponent puts developers’ interests over those of residents; she pledges to oppose Fanita Ranch. McNelis says he’s voted against some developer donors’ projects and votes for what's best for Santee. He pledges to keep government small and out of people’s pockets; Andrade-Heymsfield says she has ideas for new revenue sources to address the city’s deficit without raising taxes. 

We interviewed both candidates on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. Hear the full interviews by clicking the audio links (Evlyn Andrade Heymsfield audio and Rob McNelis audio) plus read highlights below.

Audio: 

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield interview
Rob McNelis interview

BOULEVARD MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF BROTHER

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2018 (Boulevard) – David Smith, 52, has been arrested for the murder of his brother, Danny Smith, 63.  Rural Sheriff’s deputies responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls yesterday at 4:17 p.m. reporting  a shooting at the large rural property at 38326 Highway 94 in Boulevard, where the brothers lived in separate residences.

Deputies found the victim inside the home, dead, with a traumatic gunshot wound, says Lt. Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

ECM EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON COUNCILMEMBER BEN KALASHO SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL USE OF CITY RESOURCES

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 1, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho today signed a settlement to end his latest legal battle with the city he represents, after his fellow Councilmembers voted unanimously on Monday to sue Kalasho for illegal use of city resources in his campaign to unseat incumbent Gary Kendrick.

The City had intended to bring the matter to the attention of the County of San Diego District Attorney, the California State Attorney General, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE PICKS UP MORE AWARDS

 



By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Three East County Magazine writers received honors in San Diego Press Club’s 2018 Awards of Excellence presented this week.  All were entered in the online and daily newspapers category, bringing our total to 112 journalism awards as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTINGS DENOUNCED LOCALLY AND AROUND THE WORLD

East County News Service

Photos: Pittsburgh memorial to slain synagogue victims, White House flag at half mast, Eifel Tower in Paris dark in commemoration, Pittsburgh Steelers logo with star of David.

November 1, 2018 (San Diego) – Around the world and locally, the world grieves the slaughter of 11 Jewish people during a worship service and baby-naming ceremony at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week.   

In San Diego, people of all faiths came together to show solidarity in the face of the attack by an avowed anti-Semitic mass shooter.  Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego), who is Jewish,  posted on social media, “An overflowing and diverse crowd of thousands brought love and resolve to Temple Beth Israel - demonstrating how strongly San Diegans reject hate and division. So proud of everyone who stood up and said: Not Here! Not Anywhere!”

Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has been silent on the issue on his social media. 

His opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, issued this statement: “I am horrified by the heinous attack,” adding, “There are no words to fully convey our sadness and horror at the murder of Jewish people who were worshipping with their community on Shabbat."

MANY FAITHS JOIN AS ONE AT BETH ISRAEL VIGIL FOR PITTSBURGH MASSACRE VICTIMS

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

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

Photo:  Members of different faiths and communities united in solidarity against hate. Photo by Chris Stone

November 1, 2018 (San Diego) - San Diego is 2,450 miles from Pittsburgh, but the psychological distance Monday was zero as representatives of many faiths filled Congregation Beth Israel’s sanctuary and social hall to overflowing.

LAKESIDE PLANNERS VOTE AGAINST SAND MINE EIR AS OPPOSITION GROWS, SHADY PAST OF DEVELOPER RAISED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Lakeside Planning Group members unanimously cast votes to reject EIR on sand mine

November 1, 2018 (Lakeside) --The Lakeside Community Planning Group has voted unanimously to oppose the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a massive sand mining project proposed by El Monte Nature Preserve LLC, the deceptively named company that wants to mine sand on the 479 acre site for the next 12 years in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley. The decision drew applause, cheers and hugs from the large crowd present.  View video of the LPCG meeting by Billy Ortiz.

Meanwhile, opposition to the project is growing – and serious questions over the property owner’s ethics are being raised.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVE NEW IMPROVED BIKE PLAN

 

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Bicyclists trekking along Old Highway 80 in bike lanes.

October 31, 2018 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a new plan Wednesday that could eventually add several hundred miles of safer, more convenient bicycle lanes to roads in and around unincorporated communities.

EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON MAYOR CANDIDATE JOEL SCALZITTI’S TRAIL OF TAX LIENS AND LAWSUITS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 27, 2018 (El Cajon) -- An extensive background check on Joel Anthony Scalzitti, the challenger running against El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, shows that the local politician and businessman has had his share of legal problems and tax liens.

HUNTER LEAD DWINDLES TO JUST 3 POINTS OVER CAMPA-NAJJAR, POLL BY KGTV AND SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE FINDS

 

East County News Service

October 31, 2018 (San Diego) – Every vote counts in the 50th Congressional District, where an upset win by Democrats is looking increasingly possible depending on voter turnout.

Under felony indictment, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter’s lead over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar has slipped to a slim three points, 48% to 45%, according to a new poll conducted by Survey USA for KGTV 10 News and the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. 

Among voters who say they already turned in ballots, the margin shrinks to just 1 percent, 49% to 48%.

SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB TO PRESENT MORE THAN 525 JOURNALISM AWARDS ON OCTOBER 30TH

 

 

East County News Service

October 29, 2018 (San Diego) – The San Diego Press Club will celebrate its 45th annual Excellence in Journalism awards program on Tuesday evening, Oct. 30. More than 525 awards in more than 180 categories will be presented to print and broadcast journalists and photographers. East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery, Contributing Editor Paul Kruze and reporter Jonathan Goetz are among this year’s winners. 

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL SAYS “NO” TO KALASHO

 

Council votes against reimbursing Kalasho for settlement with activist Mark Lane

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho did not get the answer he wanted to hear from his colleagues on Tuesday.

The El Cajon City Council voted 3-0 this week that it would not fork over $1,500 to reimburse Kalasho for his legal settlement with San Diego activist Mark Lane. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was not present due to illness, leaving the decision up to Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick and Councilmembers Bob McLellan and Steve Goble. Kalasho was required to recuse himself.

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY! OCT. 28 AT OUR EDITOR'S "HIDEAWAY HAVEN"

 

October 18, 2018  (La Mesa/Mt. Helix) -- You're invited to East County Magazine's Halloween party at our editor's "haunting Hideaway haven"  in the La Mesa/Mt. Helix area (4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa).  The fun begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 28th.

Costume contest for best individual and best couples costumes

Costumes are optional but recommended for those with the holiday "spirit!"

Music by Paul Nichols and Tim Luranc: guitar/harmonica/vocal: folks, blues, pop and of course, Monster Mash!

Cost: Just $10 and bring a dish to share.

RSVP  Call 619-698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org and please let us know if you'll bring an appetizer, side dish, main dish or dessert.

Over $1,000 in prizes!

Special thanks to our major sponsor:

Prize sponsors:  Granite Lion Cellars, EMed Spa, Giardino's, Mountain Mike's, Ranch Feed & Supply, Barnes and Noble, Maxwell's  House of Books, Club Pilates, Prete a Porte Salon, Maldini's Pizzeria, San Diego Festival Chorus & Orchestra, Filippi's Pizza Grotto, Gypsy Treasures, authors Joyce Strand & Teresa Burrell, Visionary Dance Theatre, & more.

Proceeds benefit:   East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts and East County Magazine community news published by the nonprofit 501c3 Heartland Coalition.

(actual photos of our past Halloween parties at our editor's Hideaway haven)

COUNTY PROBATION WINS STATE GRANT TO CONTINUE MONITORING HABITUAL DUI OFFENDERS

 

 

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 26, 2018 (San Diego) - The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded San Diego County Probation a $382,000 grant to help ensure that high-risk, repeat drunk or drugged driving offenders with suspended or revoked licenses are complying with all court orders.

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