COUNTY RENTAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO ADDITIONAL 10,000 HOUSEHOLDS

SDG&E WARNS 2,700 CUSTOMERS OF POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS AFTER THANKSGIVING

SECRET HOLIDAY HELPER DONATES OVER $30,000 TO HELP FAMILIES IN NEED THIS THANKSGIVING

RED FLAG WARNING THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING: HIGH FIRE DANGER

“ALARMING” SURGE IN COVID CASES AS HOSPITALIZATIONS CLIMB

RENTAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO ADDITIONAL 10,000 SAN DIEGO COUNTY HOUSEHOLDS

LEMON GROVE TOY DRIVE ALSO AIDS LOCAL BUSINESSES

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: HIKING EL CAJON MOUNTAIN

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AGREES TO BEGIN TRANSITION TO PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN'S TEAM

HOPES RESTORED FOR DREAMERS

JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS REACTS TO MASSIVE PROPOSED ENERGY PROJECT, ASKS FOR LOCALS TO SUBMIT CONCERNS IN WRITING BY DEC. 7

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

News

NEGATIVE ADS, CONTROVERIES MUDDY 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As voters begin casting ballots in the 50th Congressional district, last-minute mailers and online ads for Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republican Darrell Issa have gone negative, each tarring the other as unfit for public office with allegations ranging from terrorist ties to criminal actions. 

One campaign sent a mailer displaying ECM’s logo without permission; ECM does not endorse candidates and prohibits use of our logo for political purposes.

Both Issa and Campa-Najjar also recently appeared in video interviews with Defend East County. Campa-Najjar drew sharp criticism from progressives and people of color for meeting with what some has characterized as a racist vigilante group, even as Issa denounced Black Lives Matter for “doing damage” to African Americans and referenced “criminal elements” in BLM and Antifa during his video discussion with DEC's leader.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH SARA JACOBS AND GEORGETTE GOMEZ

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in February and early March, we interviewed Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gomez, now in the run-off election for the 53rd Congressional district.  These interviews were pre-pandemic, but covered many other issues that remain relevant to voters as the Nov. 3 general election draws near.

Click hear to read highlights or listen to our radio interview with Sara Jacobs: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-sara-jacobs-53rd-congressional-district-candidate

Click here to read highlights or listen to our radio interview with Georgette Gomez: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-georgette-gomez-candidate-53rd-congressioal-district

Scroll down for more information on the candidates.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DRIVER SERIOUSLY INJURED ON STATE ROUTE 94 NEAR BARRETT JUNCTION

East County News Service
 
October 12, 2020 (Barrett Junction) – The driver of a black 2014 Honda Civic has been flown via air ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital after a serious accident at 7:50 a.m. on State Route 94 west, just east of Barrett Smith Road.
 
“For reasons still under investigation, the driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle and allowed the vehicle to drift off the north side of the roadway.  The vehicle traveled down a descending rock and dirt embankment where it rolled over several times,” a California Highway Patrol (CHP) press release states.
 
CHP and CAL Fire personnel responded to the collision.  The driver, who appeared to be wearing a seat-belt, sustained major injuries.  Rescue personal were able to transport the driver back up to the roadway, where he was taken to the hospital via medical helicopter. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CALIFORNIA ORDERS STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO REMOVE UNAUTHORIZED BALLOT BOXES

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  A lawful ballot drop off point at the Del Mar Branch Library. Photo by Chris Jennewein

October 12, 2020 (San Diego) - State officials issued immediate cease-and-desist orders to the California Republican Party on Monday after unauthorized ballot boxes appeared in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SCALZITTI FACES CHALLENGER WITH A “RESERVOIR” OF EXPERTISE IN HELIX WATER BOARD DISTRICT 5 RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District Director Joel Scalzitti faces three challengers—including Vickie Butcher, who brings a “reservoir” of knowledge on water issues as well as decades of experience in water policy and infrastructure to the race. The other two challengers have no ballot statements and an online search found no campaign webpage or Facebook site.

District 5 covers the eastern portion of the Helix district including portions of El Cajon, Granite Hills, Bostonia and Lakeside. View map.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FIERY FATALITY CRASH IN JACUMBA

East County News Service
 
October 12, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The driver of a blue 2008 Toyota Camry died at the scene of a fiery single-vehicle crash shortly before 6 a.m.  The unidentified male driver lost control on I-8 west, just west of Carrizo Gorge Rod. The vehicle plunged down a rocky embankment, overturned and caught on fire. 
 
California Highway Patrol and fire personnel responded to the collision, but unfortunately the driver succumbed to his injuries on scene.  The Medical Examiner’s office was notified, responded and took possession of the deceased. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DON’T BE FOOLED BY ILLEGAL BALLOT DROP-OFF BOXES: HERE ARE THE LEGAL LOCATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

October 12, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Republican Party has been caught putting up illegal boxes labeled “Official Ballot Drop-Off Box” in three Southern California counties, the Washington Post reports.  Putting up or advertising unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The illegal boxes have popped up at locations ranging from churches to gas stations.

A judge today ordered the illegal boxes removed.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that while California allows a third party to collect ballots, the person doing the collection must sign official documentation.  In the case of unauthorized drop boxes, voters “do not know who it is they’re surrendering their ballot to.”  He urged voters to confirm drop-off locations by checking the state voting website.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu told ECM today, when asked about unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes, "We have not heard of any in our county."

In San Diego County, here is a list of the only official ballot drop-off locations:  https://www.sdvote.com/content/dam/rov/en/pdf/Mail_Ballot_Drop_Off_Locations.pdf Only these official boxes are considered secure, per election officials. If you want contactless drop--off, you can opt for a drive-up drop-off box outside the San Diego Registrar of Voters office (photo, left).

If you prefer to vote in person, you can do so from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. There are fewer locations than in the past, with super-polling locations that may have longer lines, so be sure to allow extra time if you vote in person. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find your polling place here:  https://www.sdvote.com/content/dam/rov/en/pdf/Official_Polls_List.pdf


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HIGHLIGHTS AND VIDEOS OF ALL SIX LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

 

 

Updated with highlights from all three participating candidates' statements during the forum, plus links to interviews with three other candidates who were not available for the forum.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: left to right: Allan Durden, Colin Parent, Mark Papenfuss, Kristine Alessio, Jack Shu, Laura Lothian

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At East County Magazine's virtual forum for La Mesa City Council candidates last month, candidates offered their ideas for addressing the compelling issues facing the city including police/racial justice/public safety issues in the wake of protests and a riot, downtown redevelopment, housing, homelessness, budget priorities, COVID-19 relief and more.

Three of the six candidates running participated in the forum: Councilman Colin Parent, as well as challengers Allan Durden and Jack Shu.

To view video of candidate forum, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH6GkbU9ayo&t=3085s

To read highlights of the forum, and more information on all candidates, scroll down.

Three other candidates were unable to participate in the forum due to schedule conflicts, but provided separate video interviews via Zoom, which are posted below, along with highlights of their statements:


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

MISSING DESCANSO MAN, 81, AT RISK: LAST SEEN IN GOLD TOYOTA TRUCK

Update October 13, 2020: This missing person has been found safely in Yuma.

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2020 (Descanso) – The Sheriff asks for public help to find Kenneth Zimmerman, 81, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and did not take his blood pressure medicine before leaving home in Descanso to get a newspaper earlier today. He was last seen at 12:30 p.m. driving toward Highway 79 from Viejas Blvd in Descanso in a gold Toyota Tundra(license CA 8E41946) with a black toolbox in the bed.  He frequents businesses in Alpine as well as the El Cajon Home Depot.

He does not have a cell phone with him, according to a bulletin issued by the Pine Valley Sheriff’s station.Zimmerman was last seen wearing a white cowboy hat, dark blue short-sleeve shirt and blue jeans.  He has blue eyes and white hair. He is white, 81, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs around 190 pounds.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

KRISTINE ALESSIO RUNS ON HER EXPERIENCE, OFFERS POLITICAL INDEPEDENCE ON LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa) – East County Magazine held a video interview via Zoom with Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, since she could not participate in our recent candidate form. She is one of six candidates running for two seats on the La Mesa City Council.

A native of La Mesa, she’s served on the Council since 2012 and was previously a planning commissioner. She holds a law degree and has been the city’s representative on SANDAG. She is also a former board member on the East County YMCA and East County Boys and Girls Club.  As candidate not aligned with a political party, she says she can represent all La Mesans, equally and fairly. She says La Mesa needs experienced leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic, a business friendly environment, public safety and preservation of neighborhood character.

Scroll down for highlights, or click here to view the full video interview:   https://youtu.be/GU7MibN3GlI


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LAURA LOTHIAN AIMS TO BRING BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE TO LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa) – Laura Lothian is one of six candidates running for La Mesa City Council. ECM recently held a video interview via ZOOM with Lothian, she since was unable to participate in our candidate forum due to a scheduling conflict.

A realtor with a business in the downtown village, she is running to bring a business perspective to the City Council. She wants to reduce regulations and provide more freedoms for business owners. Beautifying the village area is also a priority of hers. Lothian serves on the La Mesa Village Association board  and has previously run for both council and mayor.

The interview covered a wide range of issues including the needs of local businesses, beautifying  La Mesa, police issues, housing and homelessness, and more.

Scroll down for highlights of our interview, or click here to view the full video interviewhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HCss3QqeEk


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

MARK PAPENFUSS AIMS TO HELP LA MESA FORGE A NEW PATH

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa) – Mark Papenfuss, one of six candidates running for the La Mesa City Council, missed our candidate forum last month due to a family emergency but participated in a separate interview on Zoom.

 He shared his views on ideas for La Mesa’s downtown village, improving racial justice and public safety, housing and homelessness, the pandemic, and the need to in his words, help La Mesa “rise from the ashes” after a riot and fires by forging a new path for the future.  He touts his business experience and the need for leaders who are free of conflicts of interest or developer donations.

Scroll down for highlights from our interview, or click here to view the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugPdqOtqHCY&feature=youtu.be


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DECEPTIVE MAILERS TARGET VOTERS IN GROSSMONT-UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa – El Cajon) – Republican Jim Stieringer, who is running for the Grossmont Union High School District’s Area 2 seat, has sent a deceptive mailer to some voters in La Mesa, El Cajon, Mt. Helix and Casa de Oro.  It reads, “East County Voters – Let’s support our progressive team!”  The flyer includes photos of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, as well as Democratic Congressional candidates Ammar Campa-Najjar and Sara Jacobs, Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber, and Stieringer.

There are three candidates in the race. Although this is officially a nonpartisan race and party affiliations do not appear on the ballot, both major parties have made endorsements. Elva Salinas, the incumbent and a community college professor, is the only candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party as well as the teacher’s union. The other two candidates, Stieringer and Justin Slagle, have both been long-serving Republicans but only Slagle is endorsed by the GOP.

Stieringer also refers to himself as the “high school district’s newest member” on the flip side of the mailer. He fails to mention that he lost reelection as a GUHSD trustee to Salinas in 2016 when the district shifted from at-large elections to trustee districts.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION, PART ONE: AREA 4

By Robin N. Kendall

Photo:  Area 4 candidates Emma Turner, Abu-Bakr Al Jafri, and Sarah Rhiley

October 7, 2020 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) -- Two out of five trustee seats will be on the ballot this year for certain residents of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. One seat is held by current Board President Dr. Emma Turner, who is running for re-election against four opponents in Area 4. This area includes Bancroft, Sweetwater Springs and Loma Elementary Schools. Five candidates are running, and three sent in responses to our questionnaire.  Scroll down to view responses from Emma Turner, Sarah Rhiley, and Abu-Bakr Al-Jafri.

The other trustee seat was filled by Jim Long, whose term has expired. That seat will be filled by a newcomer from Area 5 which includes Avondale, Rancho, and La Presa Elementary Schools, as well as STEAM Academy and Kempton Literacy Academy. The Area 5 race will be covered in part two of this series.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

IN LIVELY FORUM, FIVE CANDIDATES SHARED DIVERSE VIEWS IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2 RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Humbert Cabrera, Stephanie Harper, Juan Carlos "Charlie" Mercado, Michelle Metschel, and Martin Van Dinteren.

October 10, 2020 (El Cajon) – Housing and homelessness, racial relations, public safety, attracting businesses, the future of Parkway Plaza and the performing arts center were among the hot topics discussed at a virtual forum for five of the six candidates running for the El Cajon City Council District 2 seat, to represent the north central portion of the city.

Candidates also addressed controversies in the race, including a fake website set up to mislead voters about one candidate and residency questions raised regarding another.

The five candidates who participated are Humbert Cabrera, a planning commissioner and business owner, Stephanie Harper, a residential relief worker, Juan Carlos “Charlie” Mercado, an Iraq war veteran and veterans’ advocate, Michelle Metschel, a defense industry administrator, and Martin Van Dinteren, a general contractor and former city building inspector. (Update: View ECM's Zoom interview with Letitia Dickerson, the sixth candidate, who missed the forum due to an incorrect e-mail address provided by the city.)

Scroll down for highlights of our candidates forum, or click here to view video of the full forum.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

ALPINE FIRE RESCUES MOTORIST TRAPPED IN ROLLOVER CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2020 (Alpine) –  Crews from Alpine Fire and Mercy Ambulance responded to a rollover accident on South Grade Road this morning, freeing a motorist trapped in the overturned car.

“Extrication tools were used to remove one of the passenger doors in order to get the driver out. One patient was transported to the hospital for evaluation,” Alpine Fire posted on Instagram, promptly drawing 117 likes and a response of “Well done, gentlemen!” from one local follower.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

STATE EASES BAN ON GATHERINGS TO ALLOW LIMITED OUTDOOR GET-TOGETHERS

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2020 (Sacramento) – One of the most difficult aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the inability to lawfully visit with friends and family members not in your household.  Now, nearly seven months after the state imposed a ban on all gatherings of any size due to COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health on Friday released new rules allowing limited outdoor private gatherings of up to three households in  private spaces or public areas such as parks, with social distancing, masks, and other health protections.

Counties may adopt the state standard, or keep stricter rules, though San Diego County has largely followed state rules in the past.  View the full rule changes.

To host a private gathering, the new state rules require that:


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

IN LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL TOWN HALL, CANDIDATES ADDRESS CITY IN CRISIS, OFFER ONLY LIMITED SOLUTIONS

By John Sepulvado

View full video of ECM’s forum for Lemon Grove candidates:  click here.

Scroll down for highlights and analysis of the forum.

October 9, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- In the past 25 years, Lemon Grove has been battered. Revenues for the city have plummeted as businesses have fled. Currently the city is experiencing a $1.5 million budget shortfall. Major thoroughfares are in disrepair, while major civic investments like the Lemon Grove Recreation Center sit underused as the city continues to struggle financially. 

Many of the buildings - including prime real estate on Broadway, sit empty and under-utilized. Many of the unhoused neighbors suffer from extreme health conditions that go untreated. Residents complain about policing from the Sheriff’s office. The Council spends most of its budget on policing through the Sheriff, yet some businesses and residents complain of crime and say more law enforcement protection is needed.  (This year’s crime stats have not yet been released.)

These problems are compounded by a lawsuit in which a candidate for Mayor - Christopher WIlliams - is suing the city over a meeting on his proposed marijuana dispensaries followed by a pool party with alcohol that ended in an alleged assault. The spectacular suit is driving a deep wedge among current and aspiring council members.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

THE RACIAL JUSTICE COALITION DEMANDS JUSTICE OR RESIGNATION

By Briana Gomez

October 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- In a climate of uproar against national police brutality, the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego County is demanding that police officers in our region are held accountable for ample shootings of unarmed individuals over the course of 25 years.

Background

According to a review from the District Attorney’s Office, between 1993 and 2017 there were 451 police shootings of civilians, 55 percent of which were fatal.

According to this report, the DA’s office took on average 183 days to send a letter of review to law enforcement after these shootings (a letter was sent in only 432 of the cases).


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HIGHLIGHTS OF LEMON GROVE MAYORAL FORUM

By Kendra Sitton

Photo, left to right:  Councilman Jerry Jones, Kamaal Martin, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, and Christopher Williams

October 9, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On Monday, Sept. 14, all four candidates running for Mayor of Lemon Grove participated in a forum to discuss their visions for the city. Two of the candidates, Councilman Jerry Jones and Mayor Racquel Vasquez, already hold elected office. The other two candidates, Kamaal Martin and Christopher Williams, are political newcomers who say their backgrounds in finance will help the budget-strapped city.

The full forum can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVtSH4cwfEQ

Read highlights of the discussion are below.

 Each candidate’s standout quote, background and other views are included. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Each candidate had an opening and closing statement and answered questions about the budget shortfall, the possibility of disincorporating the city, racial equity, public safety, a shuttered youth rec center, housing, homelessness, blight and adding new businesses in the city.

Candidates were also asked about  Williams’ lawsuit against the city alleging an assault by Councilman David Arambula following an alleged discussion of proposed cannabis’ dispensaries at the Councilman’s home. (Arambula has contended he acted in self defense but did not notify law enforcement or colleagues on the Council.)


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM EL CAJON DISTRICT 4 CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Oct. 9, 2020 (El Cajon) El Cajon’s City Council District 4 candidates participated in a forum sponsored by East County Magazine, moderated by ECM editor, Miriam Raftery, via Zoom.  John Sepulvado was the cohost and timekeeper.

Scroll down to read highlights and excerpts of the forum, which covered a wide range of issues with questions from the public as well as the moderator.  Topics covered included racial justice and policing, homeless, housing and renters’ issues, the future of Parkway Plaza and the Magnolia performing arts center, COVID-19,  budget priorities, hate crimes, pedestrian safety/street racing, and more.

You can watch the full forum, recorded on Zoom, at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z213Qn_Cyo&feature=youtu.be

The three candidates vying for the seat are (alphabetically) Estela de los Rios (D), Phil Ortiz (R), and Dunia Shaba (R). A fourth candidate, Billy Thigpen, did not participate. He has suspended his campaign and encouraged voters in the Nov. 3rd election to support Estela de los Rios.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HIGHLIGHTS AND QUOTES FROM COUNTY SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES DISTRICT 2 FORUM

 

By Henri Migala

Photos:  Candidates Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus

 

October 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - On September 21, East County Magazine hosted a web-based candidate forum for San Diego County's District 2 Supervisor race. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson joined ECM editor Miriam Raftery, who moderated the event, to share their views on a variety of some of the most pressing issues affecting East County. They are running to fill the seat being vacated by Dianne Jacob due to term limits.

Below are highlights and a detailed analysis of the candidates' statements made during the candidate forum, as well as their bios. 

You can view video of the complete candidate forum at: https://youtu.be/o4KtvVquSV4

 ECM was able to host this forum thanks to funds provided by the Facebook Journalism Project Grant generously awarded to ECM.  A map and description of the current district, as well as how it will change with redistricting, is available below the forum highlights on issues including COVID-19, wildfires, homelessness, housing, racial injustice/public safety, county jail deaths, transportation/greenhouse gas reduction, revitalization of East County, cannabis, budget priorities, fiscal reserves, ambulance response times, proposed sand mines, community outreach and more.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors controls a $5 billion budget and makes decision over a wide variety of social service programs, and on issues affecting your health and safety. Four billion, or 80%, of that budget is related to state and federal programs the county is required to administer, and one billion, or 20%, can be used for the Supervisors to establish their priorities.  Most of the $1 billion comes from local property taxes, so it is important for local citizens to know what the supervisors’ priorities are.

 


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HOMEFED GIVES NEARLY $300,000 TO DEFEAT MEASURE N, BUT FANITA RANCH OPPONENTS START PETITION TO OVERTURN COUNCIL APPROVAL

By Mike Allen
 
October 7, 2020 (Santee) -- Despite a 4-1 approval of the Fanita Ranch housing development last month by the Santee City Council, the builders are trying to ensure nothing holds up the project.

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESANS SHARE CONCERNS OVER PROTEST AND RIOT RESPONSE IN VIRTUAL LISTENING SESSION

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents voiced their concerns over the La Mesa Police Department response to the May 30 civil unrest and riot, also offering suggestions for future improvements in an online listening session held last night by Hillard Heintze, the firm hired by the city to conduct an independent investigation. 

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY REPORTS 161 NEW VIRUS CASES AND REMAINS IN 'RED TIER'

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  a county public health nurse administers a COVID-19 test. Courtesy County News Center  

October 7, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County reported 161 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday and remained in the substantial, or red, tier in the latest state ranking.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN SAFELY AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

PRESIDENT TRUMP RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE, DRAWS CONDEMNATION AS “RECKLESS” FOR EXPOSING OTHERS TO COVID-19 AND DOWNPLAYING SEVERITY OF DISEASE

 

"The behavior of the first family has endangered not only their own health, but that of the staff." -- Megan Ranney, emergency room physician

By Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump returned to the White House late yesterday, still contagious with COVID-19 after his discharge from Walter Reed Medical Center.  

As he entered the White House, he defiantly removed his mask, thus contaminating the air with the coronavirus, potentially exposing White House staff.  He then posed for a campaign video, exposing a film crew to the virus. In direction contradiction to the advice of public health officials, Trump advised American not to be afraid of the virus, claiming “We’re going back to work.” He urged Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19 – apparently tone deaf to the suffering of families of more than 200,000 Americans who have died and many others left debilitated by the disease.

Then in a tweet this morning falsely likened it to the flu – a post so irresponsible that some social media sites have removed it for endangering lives. Trump previously admitted in a taped interview in February with journalism Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was much more deadly than the flu but downplayed its severity to avoid causing panic.

Now, two White House staffers have tested positive for COVID and were reportedly told to "use discretion" in reporting their illnesses.  "This is what I was worried about," tweeted emergency physician Megan Ranney after the housekeepers' diagnoses were first reported by Forbes. "The behavior of the first family has endangered not only their own health, but that of the staff."


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

FOUR MILLION ACRES CHARRED, MORE THAN DOUBLE PAST RECORD, AS CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO BURN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Local water tender contractor Richard Edwords of Alpine is in Covelo helping to battle the August Complex Fire, which at over 1 million acres is now the largest fire in California history.

October 5, 2020 (San Diego) – At 2 million acres,  California’s all-time record for wildfire devastation in a single year was shattered last month.  Now that figure has more than doubled, with over 4 million acres scorched so far in 2020 by over 8,300 wildfires.

More than 16,600 firefighters continue to work towards containment on 23 major wildfires and one extended attack wildfire across the state.  Yesterday, firefighters also responded to 26 new wildfires, bringing full containment to all but one, the Lambert Fire in Amador County.  But many large, older fires continue to rage as the devastating toll grows.

To date, the total number of fatalities statewide from wildfires this year is 31 and over 8,687 structures have been destroyed.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

IT'S OFFICIAL; FIRES BURN >4 MILLION ACRES

By Emily Hoeven, CalMatters

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

Photo:  The remains of a burned home in Berryessa Highlands on Sept. 21, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

October 5, 2020 (San Diego) - California surpassed a staggering milestone Sunday:  more than four million acres have now burned in a record-defying fire season still far from over. That’s four Rhode Islands, three-and-a-half Grand Canyon National Parks, and a little more than one Connecticut.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

Pages