LAKESIDE RESIDENT FILES GRAND JURY COMPLAINT OVER SAND MINE, SUBMITS PETITION TO COUNTY WITH MAJORITY OF NEIGHBORS OPPOSED

BRUSH FIRE IN LAKESIDE NEAR LAKE JENNINGS

LEADERS IN WINE INDUSTRY HONORED WITH SIXTH ANNUAL TRAILBLAZERS AWARDS

EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS AIR ISSUES OVER OUTAGES

630 MISSING AS CONFIRMED DEATH TOLL RISES TO 60 IN CAMP FIRE

COMING SOON TO SANTEE: A COMBINED MULTIPLEX CINEMA AND RESTAURANT

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

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

News

ELECTION FOR STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION COVERS FIVE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COUNTIES

Ethics a key issue in the race

East County News Service

Photo, left: Mike Schaefer; Democrat, disbarred from practicing law in two states for fraud, lost $1.83 million judgment for "slum" conditions at his rental property

Photo, right: Senator Joel Anderson, Republican, fined for campaign finance violations, reprimanded for comments to lobbyist



October 17, 2018 (San Diego's East County) – A low-profile, political race for a state office to represent nearly 10 million residents in five Southern California counties may be falling under the radar for many voters.  

Up for grabs is an open seat for District 4 on the California Board of Equalization (BOE), a state agency that oversees county property tax assessors and sets other taxes, including the alcoholic beverage tax, railroad car tax and taxes for public utilities and insurers. District 4 encompasses all of San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and Orange counties and a small portion of San Bernardino County.

SANDAG HOSTS A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION IN EAST COUNTY TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – SANDAG will host a community conversation with East County on the future of transportation on Thursday, October 18th at the La Mesa Arts Academy (4200 Parks Ave. in La Mesa) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The even will be hosted by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and La Mesa Councilmember Kristine Alessio. Below are details.

PILOT INJURED IN CRASH AT OCOTILLO WELLS AIRPORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2018 (Ocotillo Wells) – An Ultra-Light aircraft crashed onto the runway of the San Diego County airport at Ocotillo Wells this morning, causing minor injuries to the pilot.

Deputies from the Rancho Sheriff’s substation responded along with Cal Fire and California State Parks personnel.  The pilot, 57, was transported via air ambulance to Palomar Hospital.

FATE OF VOTE ON JULIAN VOLUNTEER FIRE FORCE AWAITS PETITION SIGNATURE COUNT

 

 

By Ken Stone 

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

Photo:  Julian Volunteer Fire Department advocate Lori Foss turns in petition signatures at LAFCO hearing. Photo by Ken Stone

October 17, 2018 (Julian) - Like a cliffhanger election, it will take a week or two for Julian residents to learn if they have a chance at saving their last-in-the-county volunteer fire department.

FATHER OF THREE KILLED IN LA MESA SHED COLLAPSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – Paul Sandoval, 33, died Wednesday after a shed he was demolishing in La Mesa collapsed on him, with a large beam landing on his back.  He was found with no pulse and though paramedics revived him, he suffered brain damage and ultimately could not survive. His kidneys and liver were donated to help others live.

SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT, RESPOND TO OUR QUESTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

Photos, upper left to lower right:  Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfelt, Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, Councilman Ronn Hall, Councilman Rob McNelis, Lynda Marrokal, Rudy Reyes

Updated October 18 with responses from Rudy Reyes

October 8, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first time Santee has held district elections, where the winners will each represent a specific neighborhood instead of being voted on by the city at large. We sent questionnaires to the seven candidates running for three City Council seats in Santee, asking the same questions of everyone. All seven candidates replied. Their thoughtful responses address a range of issues such as balancing growth and open space, also offering some fresh ideas, such as creating a community choice energy program for Santee.

Below are their answers in full to our questions, along with a link to their ballot statements for more information, arranged by district and in alphabetical order within each district.

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID CUTS PROPOSED BY GOP BUDGET

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2018 (Washington D.C.) — A budget proposed by House Republicans would cut Medicare, the federal healthcare program for senior citizens and the disabled, by $537 billion.

That violates a campaign promise made by Donald Trump when he was running for President and pledged, “Republicans believe that a Medicare program that was created for seniors and paid for by seniors their entire lives should always be protected and preserved.”

BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

JOHN COX AND GAVIN NEWSOM MEET FOR ONLY SCHEDULED DEBATE, DISAGREE ABOUT...PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING

 

By Ben Christopher, CalMatters

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

Photo:  The debate between Gavin Newsom, left, and John Cox, right, moderated by Scott Shafer of KQED this morning. Pool photo by Jeff Chiu

October 14, 2018 (San Francisco) - The two men competing to be the next governor of California met for their first (and, alas, probably only) one-on-one stand-off today.

If you didn’t see it, that’s because the showdown—which was structured more as a spirited conversation than your standard dueling podiums-style debate—was on the radio, hosted by political reporter Scott Shafer, out of the San Francisco-based station KQED.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE CHIEF, PARAMEDIC AND FIRE SURVIVOR SPEAK OUT TO SAVE THEIR FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

"Since the inception of the San Diego County Fire Department in 2008, this county has lost over 400 volunteer firefighters, boots on the ground that were guarding their homefront...That's sad." -- JCFPD Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber

“Ranchita in the month of June this year was covered six days. That’s all.” – Karen Kiefer, JCFPD firefighter-paramedic, on services after the County Fire Authority began its takeover of the volunteer department  June 1st.

"They came and found us...it was dark, the embers were everywhere...the roof was on fire," Lori Foss says of JCFPD volunteer firefighters who saved her life and her home during the 2007 Witch Fire

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and Chief Mike Van Bibber

 

October 11, 2018 (Julian) – The battle to save the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, the last volunteer fire district in San Diego County, has reached a heated pitch. Residents are gathering signatures seeking to block the takeover by the County Fire Authority approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission in September, before an October 16th public protest meeting with LAFCO.

On our radio show on KNSJ, East County Magazine interviewed the JCFPD battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber, along with firefighter-paramedic and former emergency medical services director Karen Kiefer, a well as Lori Foss, who lost her home in the 2003 Cedar Fire and had her home and family saved in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire by Julian’s volunteer firefighters. They believe that the takeover will leave Julian and surrounding areas less safe due to longer response times by engines coming from farther away, with no “home team” to respond quickly to medical emergencies, car accidents or structure fires.  Click the audio link to hear the full interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with JCFPD Chief Mike Van Bibber, firefighter-paramedic Karen Kiefer and fire survivor Lori Foss

COUNTY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT STAFF FACES STIFF OPPOSITION FROM IRATE LAKESIDE RESIDENTS OVER PROPOSED SAND MINE PROJECT

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze

October 12, 2018 (Lakeside) -- Members of San Diego County’s Planning and Development staff bravely faced some 500 irate Lakeside residents at a recent loud and often rowdy standing room only meeting at the Lakeside Community Center over a proposed sand mine project at the El Monte Valley.

The meeting came on the heels of a controversial draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released by the County on the possible environmental effects the sand mine project might have directly on the Lakeside community and on the adjacent cities of Santee and El Cajon.

The County has solicited its draft report for public review and comment from August 30th through October 29th. (The report and other documents related to the project can be accessed here.)

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO BAN TARGET SHOOTING NEAR DONOHOE MOUNTAIN IN DULZURA

 

 

East County News Service 

Photo: Gate Fire started by target shooters in 2017 near Dulzura

October 11, 2018 (Dulzura) — By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors approved an ordinance introduced by Dianne Jacob to ban recreational target shooting year-round on two portions of Bureau of Land Management property near Dulzura. The action aims to reduce wildfire risk following multiple blazes sparked by target shooting.  The ban does not apply to hunting of legal game.

SANTEE CANDIDATES DUCK MAJOR ISSUE FACING CITY AT OCT. 9 FORUM

 

By Mike Allen

October 10, 2018 (Santee) -- The proposed Fanita Ranch housing project that would add nearly 3,000 houses to Santee is probably the most controversial issue facing city leaders. But at a candidates’ forum Oct. 9 at the Pride Academy School, three candidates for City Council including two incumbents declined to reveal their opinions about it.

SANTEE WOMAN INJURED IN AFRICA NEEDS FUNDS TO COME HOME

 

GoFundMe page started to pay for medical evacuation flight

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2018 (Santee) – Jeanette Craig, a retiree from Santee, has been seriously injured while vacationing in Lesotho, an African nation, when a tour bus overturned. Three people were killed and 12 injured. Craig suffered a fractured pelvis and leg, as well as torn ligaments, 10 News reports.

“Regular airlines will not transport her because of the severity of her injuries. The cost is estimated at $160,000,” says Nicolas Wiseman, a friend who started a GoFundMe page to help Craig return home. “While Jeanette has travel insurance, it will not cover these costs.”

WHY IS ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL DODGING DEBATES?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Randy Voepel, left; James Elia, right.

October 10, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) — James Elia, the Democratic nominee running for State Assembly in the 71st Assembly District, has been clamoring to debate his opponent, incumbent Randy Voepel, a Republican. But Voepel has gone to extremes to dodge debates and candidate forums, even ducking out of the building when a fire alarm conveniently went off at a recent even where Voepel was slated to speak and spotted his opponent in the room.

PADRE DAM BOARD FREEZES WATER RATES FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019

 

 

A previously approved water rate increase will not be implemented

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District 

October 10, 2018 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to freeze water rates for Fiscal Year 2019. The decision to freeze rates was based on an increase in water sales the previous year compared to the District’s Budget and the strong financial position of the water operation funds. 

LIGHTS ARE ON: JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE FINISHES LIGHTED INTERSECTION ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMUL

 

 

Source: Jamul Indian Village

 

October 10, 2018 (Jamul) -- The Jamul Indian Village announcecompletion of road safety improvements at the intersection of Lyons Valley Road and Campo Road in Jamul.  Breaking ground in July, the project funded by the Jamul Indian Village was completed on time and on budget, the tribe reports.    

TAKING A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY ABOARD A WORLD WAR II B-17

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – Aboard an exhilarating flight on a World War II B-17G warbird named the Sentimental Journey, WWII veterans told spellbinding stories about their experiences as combat pilots and prisoners of war.  This peace-time flight out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field was offered on October 1st  to members of the press and public, thanks to the Arizona Memorial Museum’s staff and flight crew.  

KENDRICK’S SON FILES POLICE COMPLAINT ALLEGING STALKING BY KALASHO; KALASHO FALSELY ACCUSES KENDRICK OF CAMPAIGN VIOLATION ON NEGATIVE FLYER

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon)—Jesse Kendrick, son of El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick, has filed a police report accusing Councilman Ben Kalasho of twice stalking and harassing him on the campaign trail, including pursuing him some two miles, at times blocking his way.Kalasho is running against Kendrick on the November ballot.

Jesse Kendrick told ECM that on September 28, he was driving a licensed golf cart in Fletcher Hills “distributing flyers warning the citizens of El Cajon of Mr. Kalasho’s gross misconduct in office” when I noticed a black Range Rover driving very closely behind me.” Those flyers were titled `The terrifying truth about Ben Kalasho.’  View call records to police.

GAG ORDER STIFLES EDUCATION LEADERS FROM POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL, CANDIDATES OR BOND MEASURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2018 (Alpine) –The legal settlement between the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and the Alpine Union High School District (AUSD) contained a non-disparagement clause that has effectively muzzled Alpine education leaders and concerned parents from criticizing the GUHSD board.

GOV. BROWN SIGNS LANDMARK CLIMATE ACTION BILL; U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT WARNS OF “LIFE OR DEATH” CONSEQUENCES OF INACTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2018 (Incheon, South Korea) – California must get 60 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy sources by 2045, under the landmark Senate Bill 100 signed into law by Jerry Brown as one of his final acts as Governor. Days later, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new report for policy makers, written by over 90 scientists and supported by more than 6,000 peer reviews. The report, delivered at a meeting in South Korea, warns that the earth is on track to warm 1.5 degrees Celsius as early as 2030, just 18 years from now.

KALASHO CLAIMS ON "LIES VS. FACTS" CAMPAIGN PIECE ARE DETACHED FROM REALITY



By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2018 (El Cajon) -- In his latest campaign piece titled "The Lies vs. The Facts", El Cajon Councilman Kalasho has made claims that are so outlandish that most can best be described as detached from reality. He urges voters to "don't believe what you hear in the press," despite well documented news articles in East County Magazine, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Reader, and multilple network TV stations on his actions.

His piece derides as “fake news” reports that he is guilty of wrongdoing and fraud, faces sexual harassment claims deemed true by a judge, is accused of threatening people with an attack dog, is under investigation, and paid business fines.

Here are the actual documents from official government agencies, court records and more proving that all of these facts reported are the media are not "fake news," but provably true:

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN CRASH THAT INJURED BOY ON BICYCLE IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2018 (Lakeside) – Acting on a tip from the public, El Cajon Police traffic investigators and San Diego Sheriff’s deputies last night visited a Lakeside address, where they found the Blue Honda Fit identified as the suspect vehicle in a hit and run that seriously injured a 9-year-old boy on a bicycle yesterday morning.

After conducting an investigation, officers had a brief stand-off with the suspect, then entered the home and found her hiding under a bed. Courtney Webber, 25, was arrested and booked into the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility on felony charges.

ECM EXCLUSIVE: KALASHO VIOLATES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN FEDERAL LAWSUIT, PLAINTIFF MARK LANE SAYS



 

Lane claims he and other users are still being blocked and cannot leave comments on Kalasho’s Facebook page

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 5, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The peaceful strains of Kumbaya between San Diego activist Mark Lane and El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho could be over.

East County Magazine has exclusively learned that Lane’s attorney, Cory M. Briggs, is planning to inform Southern California U.S. District Federal Court Judge Jeffrey T. Miller that Kalasho is continuing to block Lane and others from his Facebook page in spite of a settlement agreement signed last week between Lane and Kalasho that he would stop the practice.

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