HOW WOULD A VACANCY BE FILLED IF REP. HUNTER IS CONVICTED AND EXPELLED FROM CONGRESS, OR RESIGNS?

NO NEW FLU CASES AMONG ASYLUM-SEEKING MIGRANTS IN SAN DIEGO

AT CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM IN SAN DIEGO, CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR GREEN NEW DEAL

QUESTIONS RAISED OVER LA MESA VILLAGE ASSOCIATION’S NONPROFIT STATUS

NATIVE RUNNERS SAVE 2 WOMEN TRAPPED IN VEHICLE AFTER CRASH NEAR IN-KO-PAH, BUT A THIRD VICTIM DIES

TRUMP SAYS HE’D TAKE DIRT ON AN OPPONENT FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENT; FEC CHAIR CONFIRMS THAT’S ILLEGAL

SANTEE COUNCIL GETS WARNING ON ITS FINANCIAL FUTURE

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER'S WIFE IMPLICATES CONGRESSMAN IN VAST MISUSE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS

SOARING THROUGH HISTORY IN "SAN DIEGO AVIATION THROUGH TIME"

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

REP. HUNTER’S WIFE TO CHANGE PLEA TO GUILTY IN CORRUPTION CASE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 13-JULY 4

News

EL CAJON FIRE WAS CAUSED BY HASH LAB EXPLOSION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Last night’s major fire at 920 El Cajon Blvd. in El Cajon was caused by an explosion at an illegal hash oil extraction lab which caused burn injuries to one victim. The explosion occurred less than two weeks after a hash oil lab exploded in Mira Mesa, seriously injuring three people.

ATTORNEY CORY BRIGGS REPRESENTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE IN ACTION AGAINST CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

“Based on your agency’s history of deleting audio recordings of board meetings, it has become necessary for reporters to record the meetings because your agency cannot be trusted to carry out this basic governance function.Now that all board members are on notice of the fact that the public must perform this function, any member’s participation in a meeting at which the public has been thwarted in its efforts to make a recording will subject the member to criminal prosecution.” – Attorney Cory Briggs, in a letter to the CVUSD.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  ECM's recording device, a cell-phone sized recorder on a small tripod next to the front left seat, is clearly not obstructive or disruptive at the May 7 board workshop.

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – “Despite lawfully occupying open seats in the front  row, reporters have been threatened with arrest, removal, or both if they did not move to the back of the room,” states a letter sent by Attorney Cory Briggs of Briggs Law Corporation to Cajon Valley Union School District yesterday on behalf of ECM. His letter makes clear that such conduct is “flatly illegal.”

On May 7, Ryan Love, safety and security officer for the district, ordered ECM contributing editor Paul Kruze and editor Miriam Raftery to move to the back, where we explained that audio recordings would not turn out due to noise from an air conditioner and the audience. We refused to comply with this illegal request. 

On May 14, Love again demanded that Kruze move from the front row to the back, and Kruze again refused. Kruze says he was told that an El Cajon Police officer would be called to arrest him.

BUSINESSMAN AND PLANNING COMMISSIONER PHIL ORTIZ APPOINTED TO FILL FORMER EL CAJON COUNCILMAN KALASHO’S SEAT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

May 17, 2919 (El Cajon) --In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday approved planning commissioner and businessman David “Phil” Ortiz to fill the seat formerly held by Ben Kalasho. Ortiz edged out three other finalists for the position: Richard Agundez, Anthony Sottile, and Humbert Cabrera.

Other applicants were Gladys “Jo” Alegria, Juan Barajas, Richard Campbell, Margaret Carlson, Estela De Los Rio, James Elia, Mark Jamil, former El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, Amanda McGimpsey, Juan Carlos, Mercado, Michelle Metschel, Abraham Muheize, Nancy Wilson, and Steven Woods. Community activist Stephanie Harper dropped out of the race at Tuesday’s meeting. See our prior coverage for highlights on all 22 candidates.

Owner and CEO of New Earth Energy Specialists Inc. and a pastor of Foothills Church, Ortiz is also an active community volunteer. He serves on the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is founding member of the El Cajon Community Clean Up Group.  He has a B.A. degree in criminal justice administration from SDSU and a master’s in organizational management with emphasis in public administration.

According to his application with the city, his top priorities are public safety, including making retention of officers a priority, homelessness, including partnering with local organizations and having metrics to determine programs effectiveness, and having a balanced budget plus revitalization and incentivization to build on vacant lots.

Watch a streaming video of Tuesday’s evening's council session here and scroll down for details.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NAMES RICK WILSON AS NEW PRESIDENT & CEO

 

 

East County News Service

May 17, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of San Diego native Rick Wilson as its new president and CEO.

Wilson succeeds Joe Mackey, the most recent El Cajon Citizen of the Year recipient who served as the Chamber’s interim CEO following the departure this past January of Eric Lund, who had served as the Chamber’s top executive since 2014. Lund relocated to Colorado for a job as CEO of Visit Estes Park, a local tourism bureau.

D-DAY VETERAN HONORED AT TRUMP’ S STATE OF UNION ADDRESS ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR FOR CONGRESS IN RACE AGANST HUNTER, A VETERAN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Retired Pvt. First Class Joseph Reilly, courtesy of the White House website

May 17, 2019 (San Diego) – Joseph Reilly, a D-Day veteran who parachuted behind enemy lines in Britain and fought other battles to help liberate Eastern Europe during World War II, has made his first political endorsement at age 97.  Reilly, whose courageous actions were honored by Donald Trump at the President’s State of the Union Address, has endorsed Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrat running against indicted Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional district.

Hunter has been a strong supporter of Trump on the  campaign and during Trump’s presidency. But Reilly, a former Army private, said in a statement that he is “proud” to support Campa-Najjar because Hunter “has now crossed the line twice. First when he betrayed the public in order to enrich himself, and now again when he  makes such shameful and false attacks in order to hold onto his power.”

Hunter, a combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan, is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges. He and his wife are accusing of taking over $250,000 from his campaign and spending it on lavish personal expenditures including family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, jewelry, oral surgery bills, tuition at his children’s private school, and airfare for his son’s pet rabbit.

AUTO DEALERSHIP FIRE DOUSED IN EL CAJON; BURN VICTIM TRANSPORTED TO UCSD MEDICAL CENTER



Updated at 11:02 with information on burn victim and estimated damge.

May 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A major fire has caused an estimated $100,000 of damage to a  structure at the New 2 You Autos used vehicle dealership at 930 El Cajon Blvd. near Washington in El Cajon tonight.  The fire is now extinguished.

The fire was reported at 9:13 p.m. by a caller from a nearby Walmart who was involved in the fire. He has been transported to the UCSD Medical Center burn unit.

Division Chief Mike Chasin told the press that this is the second fire at a car dealership recently, following a fire at a Mercedes Benz dealership last week.

Chemicals were found at the scene tonight and an arson investigation will be done, Chief Chasen confirms.. ECM reporter Paul Kruze reports at least eight fire engines were present to battle the blaze. A Hazmat unit arrived at 10:45 p.m. 

CAJON VALLEY BOARD ATTACKS MEDIA, DECLINES TO RECONSIDER OTERO CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT DESPITE CONFLICT OF INTEREST QUESTIONS

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

May 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Cajon Valley Union School District stepped up its war on the media during its May 7th board workshop.  A guard demanded that East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery and contributing editor Paul Kruze move from the front row to the back, in a clear effort to prevent the investigative journalists from recording an audible copy of the meeting. Both refused, citing First Amendment freedom of the press and the district’s continued non-compliance with California public records act requests to receive audios of past meetings.

 At a subsequent meeting May 14, the guard repeated this demand for Kruze to move out of a front row seat, even threatening to the El Cajon Police for “disruption” if he would not comply. Kruze’s recording device is inobtrusive, about the size of a cell phone. There is nothing inherently disruptive about a journalist quietly recording a meeting, which is a right guaranteed to any citizen by the California Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s public records act.

These intimidation tactics come after the board admitted destroying recordings of public meetings despite our requests for the recordings.  After receiving a cease and desist letter from an attorney at CalAware, the board on March 29 responded with a letter agreeing to comply with the law, as we reported, but has not done so. The board also voted to retain recordings for a year and make copies available on request. But the  district’s lawyer claims our more records request, along with other emails sent to multiple  people at the district, all went to a spam folder.

Audio: 

Board Workshop Public Comments
Board Workshop complete

LOCAL DIOCESE TO COMPENSATE VICTIMS OF SEX ABUSE BY PRIESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2019 (San Diego) -- Victims who were sexually abused as children by priests in California may soon be eligible for compensation by the Roman Catholic Church – but only if they agree not to sue.

Anyone who previously settled a lawsuit will also be excluded, but those barred from suing due to statutes of limitations can apply for compensation. Victims would be eligible regardless of their immigration status.

LA MESA ACTIVIST ORGANIZES “STOP 5G CALIFORNIA” RALLY MAY 15

 

 

East County News Service

May 13, 2019 (San Diego) – As 5G small-cell antennas to improve wireless communications roll out in neighborhoods, the Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa is raising concerns about potential health and safety impacts of the microwave-emitting devices. The nonprofit group is organizing a “Stop 5G California” rally on Wednesday, May 15 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Waterfront Park on Harbor Drive (on the harbor side of the County Administration building at 1600 Pacific Highway).

SAN DIEGO’S PROPOSED NEW VEHICLE HABITATION ORDINANCE DRAWS OPPOSITION; PROTEST PLANNED TUESDAY

 

Update May 15, 2019: The San Diego City Council has voted to approve the new vehicle habitation ordinance.

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2019 (San Diego) – After a federal judge found San Diego’s vehicle habitation ordinance unconstitutional and issued an injunction to halt its enforcement of the ban on sleeping in vehicles, a new ordinance backed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been passed 3-1 by a committee and forwarded to the full city council, where a vote is expected on Tuesday, May 14 at 2 p.m.  

 

SDG&E ASKS SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON CONSTITUTIONALITY OF WILDFIRE COST RECOVERY LIMITS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 12, 2019 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional for states to make utilities strictly liability for wildfire damages without allowing companies to recover costs by charging ratepayers.

CALFRESH ELIGIBILITY EXPANDS, INCLUDING COVERAGE FOR MANY SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES STARTING IN JUNE

 

 

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 12, 2019 (San Diego) - Starting in June 2019, the CalFresh program will allow many seniors and people with disabilities receiving SSI/SSP to participate and have access to nutritious food.

CalFresh is designed to reduce food insecurity and increase food budgets, improving participants’ access to fresh and healthy food.

COUNTY RESCHEDULES HEARING TO JUNE 26 ON GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT FOR MAJOR HOUSING PROJECT IN OTAY-JAMUL AREAS

 

 

East County News Service

May 10, 2019 (San Diego) – On June 26 at 9 a.m., County Supervisors will hold a hearing on a proposed General Plan Amendment for the proposed Otay Ranch Village 14 and Planning Areas 16/19. This is rescheduled from the original May 22 date.

The project proposes to develop 1,119 homes on approximately 1,284 total acres within an approximately 860 acre development footprint that lies within Otay Ranch Village 14 and Planning Areas 16 & 19 (PAs 16 & 19).  The project includes property in the Otay Ranch area as well as land between Jamul and Chula Vista.

TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 2019 GOLDEN WATCHDOG & FLEECE AWARDS

 

 

Source:  San Diego County Taxpayers Association

 

Annual dinner recognizes best and worst use of public funds in San Diego County; this year’s 1970’s-themed event takes place on May 16

 

May 10, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) hasreleased the list of finalists for its 24th annual Golden Watchdog & Fleece Awards. The annual awards dinner recognizes the best and worst in local government spending and decision-making in San Diego County. Winners will be announced at the awards dinner on Thursday, May 16. The theme: a 1970’s extravaganza, “Thursday Night Fever.”

COME TALK ABOUT LAKESIDE LIFE: TOWN HALL MAY 29

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 10, 2019 (Lakeside) – You’re invited to join in a conversation on the quality of life in Lakeside along with representatives of Lakeside Fire,  the San Diego Sheriff, District Attorney, health and safety organizations.  A “Lakeside Life” town hall will be held on May 29 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center (12244 Lakeshore Drive).  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

OWN A JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE OR RAM? YOU MAY BE OWED MONEY IN FIAT-CHRYSLER SETTLEMENT OVER CHEATING ON EMISSIONS TESTS

 

 

Source: Calif. Attorney General

 

May 9, 2019 (Sacramento) – Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that consumers may begin to apply for relief as part of the coordinated government and private class action settlements with Fiat Chrysler. The settlements, announced in January 2019 and approved on May 3, 2019, resolved allegations that the company violated environmental and consumer protection laws by using “defeat device software” to circumvent emissions testing.

 

Fiat Chrysler is accused of installing the defeat device software in approximately 100,000 vehicles nationwide and about 13,500 vehicles in California. The affected vehicles are 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s equipped with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines.

EAST COUNTY FATALITY ACCIDENT VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Medical Examiner has identified victims killed in several recent East County accidents in Ramona, Spring Valley, Jamul and Santee.
 
Blake Cameron Jennings, 30, of Ramona died at the scene of a motorcycle accident on May 1st after striking a vehicle making a turn on San Vicente Road at Vista Vicente Drive.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CHARGES POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER WITH 109 HATE CRIMES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Department of Justice today filed 109 hate crime charges against John T. Earnest,19. The Rancho Penasquitos teen is charged with murder and 53 counts of attempted murder for shootings at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on April 27. Prosecutors may seek the death penalty for crimes believed to be motivated by hatred toward the Jewish community.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNING GROUP TO HEAR PROPOSED GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENTS FOR MASSIVE HOUSING PROJECTS AND CASINO UPDATE MAY 14

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 8, 2019 (Jamul) – On Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m., the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group agenda includes a proposed general plan amendment for Otay Ranch Village 14 and Planning Areas 16 and 19, prior to County Supervisors upcoming June 26 hearing. (Note, the county rescheduled its May 22 hearing to June 26.)

 

The project would include homes, a school, recreational facilities and more on property in the Otay Ranch area as well as land between Jamul and Chula Vista. Concerns have been raised by school districts, tribes, environmentalists and the Jamul-Dulzura Planning Group.  

 

The Jamul-Dulzura Planning Group’s agenda also includes an update on the Jamul Casino, a General Plan clean-up process and officers’ reports.  

 

See the full agenda below.

UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS ON STRIKE TODAY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by SA

May 8, 2019 (San Diego) – If you need a ride today, you may need to call a taxi or catch a trolley. Uber and Lyft drivers across San Diego County are taking part in a nationwide strike for higher wages and more transparency from the ride-sharing companies.

Some 5,000  southern California drivers plan to turn off their apps today, according to Rideshare Drivers United. Picketing and a rally are also planned at Lindbergh Field’s Terminal 1 today.

The drivers are protesting Uber’s announced pan to slash per-mile compensation from 80 cents to 60 cents. They also want both companies to guarantee a $28 minimum wage to drivers, who use and maintain their own vehicles, paying for gas themselves. 

HEAVY RAINS FORECAST FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 7, 2019 (San Diego) –  Get ready for a wet weekend.  A storm system could bring heavy rains and thunderstorms to San Diego County Friday through Sunday, the National Weather Service predicts.
 
The storm could result in minor flooding of roads and creeks in urban and rural areas.
 
There is a small chance for showers today and tomorrow, with the heaviest rains expected to begin Friday as a low-pressure system reaches Southern California.

SUPERINTENDENT MIYASHIRO BLASTS STORY ON OTERO CONTRACTING CONTROVERSY, DECLINES TO TAKE ANY ACTION TO ADDRESS DISCLOSURE OR CONFLICT OF INTEREST ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

 

May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – Cajon Valley Union School District Superintendent David Miyashiro, Ed.D., sent a blistering editorial in an e-mail to East County Magazine, board members and others blasting our article on board President Tamara Otero’s failure to disclose that her son owned a company that received a $665,000 contract.   He did not list any actions planned to address Otero’s lack of disclosure and transparency.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING INJURES VICTIM IN EAST COUNTY; AUTHORITIES SEEK WHITE SUV

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – The driver of a white Ford Explorer or Expedition SUV fired a shotgun into a vehicle on Los Coches Road in unincorporated El Cajon near the I-8 freeway shortly before midnight last night.  Shotgun pellets struck a rear passenger in the face and head.

HOTEL FIRE IN EL CAJON INJURES MAN

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) - Firefighters rescued a man in a burning hotel in El Cajon early this morning.
 
Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon, with assistance from Santee Fire and San Miguel Fire, were dispatched to the fire at the Relax Inn in the 1200 block of W. Main Street at 5 a.m.  Fire crews arrived within five minutes to discover smoke and fire coming from a downstairs bedroom. 

FCC WARNS OF 'ONE RING' PHONE SCAM

 

 

Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

May 6, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- For illegal robocallers, the goal isn't always getting you to answer. Sometimes, it's getting you to call back.

Every so often, your phone may ring once and then stop. If that happens to you, and you do not recognize the number, do not return the call. You may be the target of a "one-ring" phone scam.

POWAY RABBI MAYOR GOLDSTEIN AND EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS JOIN PRESIDENT TRUMP AT NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

President forcefully denounces violent attacks at churches, synagogues and mosques

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 4, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The National Day of Prayer service hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House rose garden on May 2nd included two local VIPs: Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein of Poway and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.

BOY, 14, KILLED NEAR SCHOOL IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 3, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A 14-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle in front of San Miguel Elementary School in Lemon Grove this evening at 6:19 p.m.  He was transported via ambulance to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, says Sergeant Aaron Montan with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

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