CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE VOLUNTEERS CHALLENGE CAL FIRE/COUNTY FIRE CHIEF TONY MECHAM'S MEDICAL ASSISTANCE CLAIM

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY OCT. 26!

REPUBLICANS DECLINE TO ENDORSE ANY CANDIDATE IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT HELD BY HUNTER, BUT JONES GETS MOST VOTES

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 25 - NOV. 3

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING DEPUTIES AND STABBING K-9 DOG IN JAMUL

'HUGE VICTORY FOR CONSUMERS': COUNTY VOTES TO CREATE AGENCY RIVAL TO SDG&E

BRUSH FIRE IN TALMADGE AREA: EVACUATIONS AND POWER OUTAGE

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

News

ViOLENT CRIMES UP, PROPERTY CRIMES DOWN COUNTYWIDE

SANDAG report shows variations among communities for first half of 2019

East County News Service

September 14, 2019 (San Diego) -- Violent crime rates in San Diego County are up slightly compared to the same time in 2018, but property crimes dipped during the same period, according to a new report released by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Criminal Justice Research Division. Read the full report

COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO MOVE AHEAD ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

By Tracy DeForeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock

September 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to continue exploring the idea of getting into the business of buying and selling electricity. Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond opposed the motion.

NEWSOM SIGNS AMENDED BILL TO BOOST VACCINATIONS AMID HEATED PROTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a pair of bills aimed at increasing vaccinations of children in California.  The measures will allow the state to investigate doctors who write more than five medical exemptions from vaccines in a year and also empowers officials to investigate schools with less than 95 percent of students vaccinated.

In San Diego’s East County, some schools have vaccination rates as low as 10 percent, according to data compiled by Shots for Schools, as ECM reported last month.

The actions come after doctors and public health officials voiced growing concern over the rising number of measles cases in California, including recent exposures at Disneyland and other tourist attractions--and amid vocal protests at the Capitol.

A FISHY FIRE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – A pump in an aquarium overheated and caught fire yesterday, sparking a fire inside an office building at 8911 La Mesa Blvd. near Grossmont Blvd. in La Mesa.
 
Heartland Fire & Rescue responded quickly to the early morning blaze, which was reported shortly before 7:40 a.m. and forced their way inside the smoking building.  A search for the source of the smoke led them to a small office, where they located the pump in a fish tank.

RAY LUTZ, CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FOUNDER, IS LATEST TO WEIGH RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT SEAT AFTER SUSAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz, founder of the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Oversight in El Cajon, announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the 53rd Congressional district seat.  Congresswoman Susan Davis announced last week that she will not be seeking reelection.

Lutz, a Democrat, lives in the 53rd district since redistricting in 2010, though he previously ran against Rep. Duncan Hunter back in 2008.

Lutz and the organization he founded have been instrumental in attaining several landmark actions in our region ranging from a lawsuit that won $775 million for local ratepayers to a succesful fight that helped save East County's peforming arts center,as well as leading efforts to improve safety of  nuclear waste storage and battling to keep Blackwater out of the backcountry.

50-100 BIRDS KILLED DUE TO NEWCASTLE EXPOSURE IN RAMONA TRACED TO AN ANTIBODIES LAB; AUTHORITIES HOPE OUTBREAK CONTAINED AFTER FINDING NO NEW CASES

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery    

Updated with evidence that a Ramona lab whose spokesman claimed it does not use chickens did in fact promote chicken antibody research before  recently scrubbing its website.

September 12, 2019 (Ramona) – At a town hall meeting for concerned bird owners held  Sept. 10 at the Ramona Library, Calif. Dept. of Food and Agriculture officials confirmed that 50 to 100 birds at eight properties have been euthanized due to exposure to Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND). Representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture were also present.

EL CAJON TO WEIGH VAPING RESTRICTIONS OCT. 8; FEDS ANNOUNCE BAN ON FLAVORED E-CIGARETTES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Young woman vaping, image via Pixabay
 
September 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s city council will be considering a ban or other restrictions on sales of vaping products, such as banning flavored vapes, at its October 8th meeting at 3 p.m.  
 
Councilman Gary Kendrick, who asked that the issue be added to the agenda, told  ECM, “I may take some heat for this, but it’s the right thing to do.”

LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS AND RESIDENTS REMEMBER 9-11 ATTACKS

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 11, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001 which killed  thousands of innocent Americans shocked the consciousness of our nation.  Here in San Diego’s East County, first responders and residents impacted by the disaster have been speaking out, striving to make sure that we never forget the tragedy and lessons learned on that fateful day.

THE MAGNOLIA BLOOMS: REVITALIZED PERFORMING ARTS CENTER REOPENS WITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: New magnolia tree and crowd outside; vocalist Stephanie Noriega and Mayor Bill Wells performing piano and vocal accompaniment of "Hallelujah" at grand opening of The Magnolia performing arts center

September 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – Community members from across the region flocked to the grand opening of The Magnolia performing arts center in downtown El Cajon yesterday.  More than $8 million has been spent remodeling the former East County Performing Arts Center, which had been closed for a decade but has now blossomed anew.

As the setting sun sent a starburst shining through a newly planted magnolia tree out front, visitors inside saw renovations including a new VIP viewing area, multiple bars serving up food and beverages including cocktails, backstage dressing rooms,  a shimmering new gold curtain and more.

LA MESA APPROVES COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PLAN AS WRITTEN

Motion to amend voted down 3/2, final resolution passes unanimously

By Jonathan Goetz

September 11, 2019 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa is one step closer to competing with SDG&E on electricity acquisition, after approving the first reading of a resolution authorizing specifics on a joint power agreement, or JPA, with the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas and Imperial Beach at its September 10 meeting. It still requires a second reading in La Mesa and ratification in the other cities. The specifics can be found here. https://www.cityoflamesa.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/4095?fileID=8858

CHURCH LEADERS INDICTED ON FORCED LABOR CONSPIRACY INVOLVING HOMELESS VICTIMS

This is the most significant labor trafficking prosecution in this district in many years.” – Robert Brewer, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California in San Diego (photo, left)

By Miriam Raftery

IVM Indictment - Click HERE

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) --  A dozen leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries, including the former pastor, are charged with subjecting dozens of mostly homeless people to forced labor, an indictment unsealed today reveals. Victims in San Diego and Imperial Counties were coerced to surrender welfare benefits and compelled to panhandle up to nine hours a day, six days a week, for the financial benefit of the church leaders, prosecutors allege.

DARRELL ISSA SAYS HE'LL RUN FOR HUNTER SEAT IF TRADE JOB ISN'T HIS BY NOV. 3

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Former Rep. Darrell Issa was chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from January 2011 to January 2015. Photo courtesy Issa’s office

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) - Former Rep. Darrell Issa says he’ll run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s East County district if the Senate continues to drag its feet on his nomination to a trade post.

PETITION CALLS FOR HOUSE TO INVESTIGATE, CENSURE REP. HUNTER FOR WAR CRIMES

By Kendra Sitton

 

September 10, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A Muslim group is pushing for the House to formally investigate and censure San Diego Representative Duncan Hunter for alleged war crimes. On Monday, Sept. 9, they delivered a petition with 8,000 signatures to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

 

TICKS TEST POSITIVE FOR TULAREMIA; COUNTY URGES HIKERS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND PETS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  A trio of hungry ticks, waiting for a meal to walk by.

September 10, 2019 (San Diego) - County environmental health officials are reminding people to protect themselves and their pets when hiking after they trapped ticks infected with tularemia along Lopez Canyon Trail in Sorrento Valley.

INDUSTRIAL HEMP GROWER BUYS POTRERO PROPERTY ONCE SOUGHT BY BLACKWATER FOR PARAMILITARY TRAINING, KEEPING IT GREEN

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2019 (Potrero) – A former chicken ranch that sparked a firestorm of controversy when Blackwater sought to acquire it to build a paramilitary training camp has been sold to Green Hygienics Holdings Inc., an industrial hemp cultivation company. The 824-acre Potrero Ranch land and buildings will be utilized to grow industrial hemp for cannabidiol (CBD) cultivation.

COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS MOVE TO KEARNY MESA: DOWNTOWN CHAMBERS RENOVATION PROMPTS TEMPORARY MOVE

Source: County News Service

September 9, 2019 (San Diego) -- The County Board of Supervisors will hold its next 12 board meetings at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa starting September 10th while the downtown chamber undergoes renovation. 

STOP ALL VAPING, CDC ADVISES AFTER DEATH TOLL CLIMBS; VICTIMS INCLUDE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO VAPED NICOTINE ALONE AND/OR MARIJUANA

By Miriam Raftery

September 9, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- With 450 cases of severe lung illness and five deaths tied to vaping reported nationwide, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are advising everyone to avoid all vaping (e-cigarettes)– especially young people and pregnant women. The advisory includes all vaping including nicotine, marijuana, and other substances.

TOWN HALL ON VIRULENT NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN RAMONA SEPT. 9

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2019 (Ramona) --- After Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND) was detected in Ramona last week and the area placed under a regional quarantine, the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture has announced that it will hold a town hall at the Ramona branch library on Monday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. 

Bird owners are invited to come learn more about the disease, how to proptect your birds, methods to clean your property,  status of the outbreak, and what to expect in recovery.

HOW HOT WILL IT GET WHERE YOU LIVE?

By Miriam Raftery

 

Roger Coppock contributed to this story

 

September 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Extreme heat is poised to rise steeply in frequency and severity over the coming decades, bringing unprecedented health risks for people and communities across the country. That’s the disturbing finding of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a just-issued report titled Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days.

JULIAN TOWN SQUARE: RESIDENTS’ DREAMS FOR A HUB IN THE HEART OF HISTORIC TOWN MOVE CLOSER TO FRUITION

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 8, 2019 (Julian) -- A long-vacant lot in the heart of downtown Julian may soon become a town square with an amphitheater and community park to serve as a hub for community gatherings, holiday events, a farmer’s market, art walk and more. Over $182,000 -- nearly a third of the $600,000 funds needed--have been pledged, according to the Julian Town Square website.

12 APARTMENT UNITS DAMAGED IN SPRING VALLEY BLAZE; FIREFIGHTERS SAVE DOG

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 8, 2019 (Spring Valley) – San Miguel Firefighters were first on the scene after multiple reports of an apartment fire this morning at 8:30 a.m. in Spring Valley, arriving to find heavy smoke from the first and second floors of a 12-unit complex on Jamacha Blvd. near Trace Rd.

RAMONA NEWCASTLE CAUSED BY BIRDS ILLEGALLY MOVED OUT OF QUARANTINE AREA IN RIVERSIDE

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2019 (Ramona) – A state investigation has determined that infected birds moved from within the virulent Newcastle disease (VND) quarantine area in Riverside County led to the recent detection of the disease in the Ramona area, Dr. Annette Jones, California’s state veterinarian, announced yesterday.

WET AND WILD WEATHER GIVES WAY TO WARM AND DRY SUMMER’S END

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s been a wet and wild week, with dramatic lightning strikes, thunderstorms and hail the size of quarters reported in some parts of San Diego’s East County.  On September 4, the National Weather Service recorded 396 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in a single day.

PASSAGES: JIM BELL, ECOLOGICAL DESIGNER 1941-2019

Graduate of El Capitan High in Lakeside became global advocate for sustainable design

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 6, 2019 (San Diego) - Jim Bell, ecological designer and internationally recognized expert on sustainable development who twice ran for mayor of San Diego, passed away in hospice at his home on July 31 at age 77 from complications of a stroke.

AB 5 SILENCES YOUR VOICES AND VIOLATES CONSTITUTION SEVERAL WAYS: PLEASE HELP US PROTECT A FREE PRESS

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

I fought a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of freelance journalists.  AB 5 takes that away – and hurts the public by restricting your voices from being heard in local media. 

Note: I grant free reprint rights on this editorial to any publisher who wishes to repost it in its entirety.

September 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A bill to be heard any day now in the  State Senate and then head to the Governor for signature will destroy a free press in California – and we need your help to protect the public’s voices in out media outlet and others. The bill violates the U.S. constitution on multiple grounds.

AB 5 would prohibit media outlets such as ours from paying ordinary citizens to write articles on areas in which they have expertise, or hiring columnists who aren’t professional journalists, or even paying an eyewitness for photos of breaking news such as a wildfire or plane crash. A newspaper also won’t be allowed to pay for a column or editorial  unless the writer owns a journalism business or is an employee.

We've trained many citizen journalists here at East County Magazine -- including some who won journalism awards. We've run many paid pieces written by community members, too, to include a broad diversity of voices. But we won't be able to do so anymore if this becomes law.

This violates the First Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of the press and your freedom of speech.

TENAJA FIRE ENGULFS MURRIETA AREA IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY; 2,000 EVACUATE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Tenaja Fire, Southern Calif. Edison webcam

September 5, 2019 (Riverside County) – The fast-moving Tenaja Fire that started just before 4 p.m. yesterday near Tenaja Rd. and Clinton Keith Road in south Riverside County’s La Cresta community has swelled to over 2,000 acres, causing mandatory evacuation of around 2,000 homes in La Cresta and Murrieta, KTLA reports this evening. 

DEMOCRATIC REP. SUSAN DAVIS RETIRING FROM CONGRESS IN JANUARY 2021

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Rep. Susan Davis celebrates her victory at Golden Hall on Nov. 6, 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

​September 4, 2019 (San Diego) - In a stunning announcement Wednesday, Rep. Susan Davis said she would retire after the current term in Congress — her 10th since election in 2000.

“I have struggled to make this very difficult decision,” she said in a statement. “I will not seek another term in Congress. My decision today represents a desire to live and work ‘at home’ in San Diego.”

HELIX AND PADRE DAM HELP RESTORE WATER IN PARADISE

East County News Service
 
Photo courtesy of Helix Water District
 
September 4, 2019 (Paradise, Calif.) --The wildfire that killed 85 people last year in Paradise, California burned down nearly the entire town, destroying over 19,000 structures.  It also left more than 10,000 residents without water deemed unfit to drink. The fire burned through pipes and also contaminated most water mains with chemicals.

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