WILDFIRE INSURANCE CRISIS LEADS COMMISSIONER TO CALL FOR FIRST-EVER STATEWIDE NON-RENEWAL MORATORIUM

HUNTER TO RESIGN AFTER HOLIDAYS: MAY FORFEIT CONGRESSIONAL PENSION

POWAY BOIL-WATER ORDER LIFTED: PUBLIC URGED TO DINE AT POWAY RESTAURANTS TO HELP WORKERS HURT BY SHUTDOWN

MERCY AMBULANCE SKIDS OFF ROAD, LEAVING JULIAN WITHOUT MEDICAL RESPONSE FOR HOURS AS TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS EXPERIENCE “SNOWMAGEDDON”

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

SEN. ATKINS SAYS NEW TRUMP RULE COULD CUT FOOD STAMPS FOR 700,000 CALIFORNIANS

HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE STRIPS HUNTER OF VOTING IN BIPARTISAN ACTION AFTER GUILTY PLEA

PRESCRIBED FIRE BURNS PLANNED AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

MASKED SUSPECTS WANTED AFTER ATTACKING RESIDENT DURING HOT PROWL BURGLARY IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

RAMONA HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EACH WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS INCLUDES HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MUSIC, AND WINE TASTING

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

KAISER HEALTHCARE STRIKE TO START DEC. 16

News

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

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2019 (San Diego) – It’s rare for a political party to withhold endorsement of an incumbent.  But on Monday night, the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee opted against endorsing indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, or any of his three Republican rivals.  

SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO START LOCAL FIRE SAFE COUNCILS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF WILDFIRE

East County News Service

October 16, 2019 (San Diego) -- Because fire season is now a year-round threat in San Diego, enlisting the support of community volunteers is critical to ensure the safety of the County. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is encouraging communities to create local fire safe councils to increase their neighborhood’s chances of surviving a wildfire. San Diego County currently has 41 community fire safe councils – the most of any county in the state – and they want to see that number grow.  

BY 3-2 VOTE, COUNTY SUPERVISORS OK E-SMOKING BAN IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

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

Photo:  A model demonstrates an e-cigarette. Credit:  Michael Dorausch Wikimedia Commons.

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to impose a one-year ban on the sale and distribution of all electronic smoking devices within unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

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

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

Photo:  County Supervisor Dianne Jacob renewed her call for the program in her State of the County speech early this year. Photo by Ken Stone

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Joining San Diego and cities around the region, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to establish a community choice energy program in the county’s unincorporated areas.

BRUSH FIRE IN TALMADGE AREA: EVACUATIONS AND POWER OUTAGE

 

Update:  Per SDPD, all evacuation orders and warnings associated with this incident have been lifted. The temporary evacuation point has been suspended and evacuees can return to their homes.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) – A brush fire named the “#FairmountFire” in San Diego’s Talmadge area has shut down the I-8 east ramp to Fairmount Avenue and Fairmount Ave. from Montezuma to Mead. Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

San Diego Police is evacuating homes on Norma, Constance and Natalie Drives.  A temporary evacuation center has been set up at Hoover High School.

Temporary evacuation center at Hoover HS for those affected. Firefighters are in the canyon areas working with on containment and watching hot spots.

More than 4,000 customers are without power; SDG&E estimates power will be restored by 9:30 p.m.

SAN DIEGO GOP DENIES DUNCAN HUNTER ENDORSEMENT FOR SEVENTH TERM IN CONGRESS

 

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

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, under criminal indictment and facing three GOP rivals, took another hit Monday when the San Diego County Republican Party failed to endorse him for a seventh term.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS WEIGH RESTRICTIONS ON SMOKING AND VAPING

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) – Today, County Supervisors will vote on a recommendation by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher that would ask the Chief Administrative Officer to draft a recommended ordinance within 60 days aimed at protecting the public from a “public health crisis” linked to smoking including vaping products and more. The recommendations include restrictions on smoking and e-cigarettes or vaping products that would apply to all unincorporated parts of San Diego County.

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

Update:  Supervisor Jim Desmond introduced a mtion to approve this mesaure, which was passed unanimously by Supervisors with one amendment:  the withdrawal will take effect when the stipulated agreement is submitted to a court, or on December 31, 2019, whichever occurs first.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

SUPERVISOR JACOB ASKS BOARD TO APPROVE EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTE FOR CREST

Update: This item was approved by Supervisors on the consent calendar.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
File photo: Crest Fire Safe Council, 2011
 
October 14, 2019 (Crest) – During the 2003 Cedar Fire that destroyed many homes in Crest, community residents found themselves trapped in gridlock on La Cresta Road, the primary evacuation route. On Tuesday, October 15, Supervisor Dianne Jacob will ask the County Board of Supervisors to approve acquiring easements from landowners over Suncrest Truck Trial as an emergency evacuation route.

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2019 (Valley Center) – Readers of East County Magazine have seen our stories through the years on the beautiful and fragrant fields of lavender blooms and events such as high teas held at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in northeast San Diego County. But now, the farm is up for sale – and owner Alicia Wolff is seeking “the perfect buyer – one who may continue my dream…while living their own dream.”

CALIFORNIA CHILD VICTIMS ACT OPENS 3-YEAR WINDOW FOR SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS TO FILE SUITS, ALSO RAISING AGE LIMIT

New law will protect kids, help survivors heal and hold institutions accountable

East County News Service

October 14, 2019 (Sacramento) -- California took a gigantic step for child protection last week when Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Child Victims ActAssembly Bill  218.  The bill passed the state Senate unanimously and the Assembly by a 64 to 3 vote, with local Assemblyman Randy Voepel casting one of the few votes against the measure.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2020. The law provides a three-year window for sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits against perpetrators and institutions that protected them in cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations, no matter when the abuse occurred. Aside from the window, the bill also changes the statute of limitations and raises the age limit to file a sexual abuse lawsuit from age 26 to age 40, or within five years of the date a survivor discovers the psychological injury or illness caused by the abuse (whichever comes later).

GOVERNOR SIGNS NEW LAW TO PROTECT IDENTITIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS IN COURT DOCUMENTS

East County News Service

Photo: CC by NC

October 14, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 800, which will protect the identity of survivors of domestic and other violent crimes who participate in the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home Program when filing civil court documents. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) based on a proposal written by Dian Black with Callegislation, a former San Diegan who has written a dozen proposals since 1996 that have become law in California to protect victims’ rights.

FIRE WEATHER CONTINUES, GUSTY WINDS RETURN THIS WEEK

East County News Service

 

October 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Elevated fire concerns continue this week due to low relative humidity and dry vegetation, with gusty winds starting Tuesday and increasing through Friday. Next weekend could see a return of dangerous Santa Ana conditions.

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

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Site of the planned Lilac hills housing development in Valley Center

October 13, 2019 (San Diego) – A battle is brewing over the future of San Diego’s backcountry. A countywide initiative called “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” or “SOS” will appear on ballots in the March 3rd  election.  If approved by voters, it would require the county to give the people a vote on large housing developments that require general plan amendments to increase density in rural and semi-rural areas.

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

By Mike Allen

October 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which encompasses about 72 square miles, will see their rates for both water and sewage increase starting Nov. 1--and then go up again, starting on Jan. 1.

CALIFORNIA BANS SALE AND MANUFACTURE OF NEW FUR PRODUCTS

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – Before the gold rush of 1849, the fur trade lured trappers and hunters to California.  But times have changed. Now, opponents of animal cruelty have succeeded in passing a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom that makes California the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the sale, trade, gifting or manufacturing of most animal furs and fur products starting in 2023. 
 
The ban does not apply to used furs, nor to leather, cow hides, sheepskins, deer or goat hides. Animals stuffed and preserved through taxidermy are also exempt.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS SET LOCAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS, BAN GERRYMANDERING AND ALLOW VOTER REGISTRATION AT POLLING PLACES

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – A trio of new election reform laws signed by Governor Gavin Newsom set campaign contribution limits for local races, allow voters to register on Election Day at polling places and ban partisan gerrymandering of local districts.

100,000 EVACUATED AS SADDLERIDGE FIRE IN L.A. COUNTY BURNS DOZENS OF HOMES

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo: L.A. County Fire Ops
 
October 11, 2019 (Los Angeles) – The #SaddleridgeFirein Los Angeles has scorched 7,500 acres and forced an estimated 100,000 residents to flee 23,000 homes in the Granada Hills, Porter Ranch and Sylmar areas in Los Angeles County.  The fire has burned at least 25 homes and is 13% contained.  One resident died of a heart attack in the fire and a firefighter suffered an eye injury, the Los Angeles Times reports.

PRESIDENTIAL FRONT-RUNNER ELIZABETH WARREN, IN SAN DIEGO VISIT, LAYS OUT PLANS TO REBUILD AMERICA FOR WORKING PEOPLE

By Miriam Raftery

Videos by Henri Migala

October 11, 2019 (San Diego) – Speaking to a crowd of some 8,500 at San Diego’s Waterfront Park on October 3, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren called  upon Americans to “dream big, fight hard, and win.” She laid out plans to rebuild America’s middle class by ending government corruption and corporate influence in Washington, making structural changes to increase the power of working people, and protecting our democracy.

Warren is polling in the top two among all major national polls taken recently, with some placing her above former Vice President Joe Biden, and others putting her in second place. Those polls were taken before the announcement that Senator Bernie Sanders had a heart attack and has cut back some campaign activiites, a fact that could move some Sanders supporters with concerns over his health into the Warren camp. 

View our videos (four parts) for full coverage of her San Diego town hall, or scroll down for highlights.

Part 1: Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher endorses Warren, who talks about her background:

Part 2: Warren talks about why she is running, the need to reduce corporate influence on government and increase power of working people   

Part 3:  Warren details her three big goals: stop corruption, make structural changes to the economy, and protect our democracy. She also takes audience questions

Part 4:  Warren fields final questions from audience members

GOVERNOR NEWSOM SIGNS ASSEMBLY BILL 1730, GIVING SANDAG MORE TIME TO DEVELOP REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN

East County News Service

October 11, 2019 (San Diego) -- Late Tuesday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1730, which allows SANDAG additional time to develop a “visionary Regional Plan that provides real transportation choices that will enhance connectivity, increase safety and sustainability, and improve quality of life,” according to a SANDAG press release. The agency earlier unveiled ambitious plans to increase mass transit with a long-term vision of adding high speed rail, but has received pushback from some East County and North County officials over SANDAG’s previously announced plans to cut funding for some long-awaited freeway improvement projects such as widening State Routes 52 and improving safety on State Route 67.

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

 

Update: A second resource center has been opened at the Golden Acorn Casino in Campo.

395 customers of SDG&E are currently without power; outages could impact up to 17,771, the utility warns

October 11, 2019 (Descanso) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open a Community Resource Center today, Friday, October 11 at 8:00 a.m. in Descanso, CA due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available and residents can charge devices, as well as get up-to-date information about power outages at the Center.

Community Resource Center location: Descanso Public Library (9545 River Drive, Descanso, CA 91916) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Additional resouce centers may open if the outage area is extended.

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

SANTEE BALKS AT JOINING JPA FOR COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY; APPROVES NEW HOUSING PROJECT

By Mike Allen

Photo: Renewable  energy sources; Creative commons via N.A.

October 10, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee is having second thoughts about joining a joint powers authority with several North County cities to obtain more electrical power from renewable sources.

The proposed entity is a community choice aggregation program for the cities, giving them the ability to buy more power from sources such as solar and wind. Local utility San Diego Gas & Electric would continue to deliver and maintain transmission lines and billing operations, but the CCA would be responsible for buying all power.

LIONS TIGERS & BEARS RESCUES TWO AFRICAN SERVALS

Nonprofit Sanctuary Asks Animal Lovers to Help Provide Habitat Improvements and Lifelong Care for Junior and Miss Kitty

Source: Lions, Tigers and Bears

October 10, 2019 (Alpine)  - Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego's only accredited, nonprofit big cat and exotic animal sanctuary, rescued two servals, wildcats originally from Africa, in Arizona this week after the sanctuary's founder, Bobbi Brink received a call pleading for help.  

Junior and Miss Kitty are settling into their quarantine habitat and getting to know their new keepers at LTB, says Brinks.  Now the sanctuary is asking for help to fund habitat improvements and lifelong care for the former privately-owned animals.

Help the rescued servals get the care and forever home they need with a donation to www.lionstigersandbears.org.

CITY OF LA MESA RELEASES ACTION PLAN TO BUILD A MORE AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

Source:  City of La Mesa

October 9, 2019 (La Mesa) - On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the La Mesa City Council approved the Livable La Mesa Action Plan to promote programs and systems-level change that will strengthen the quality of life for older adults in the community.

TEEN MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN JULIAN CRASH

East County News Service

October 9, 2019 (Julian) – A 19-year-old Julian man has died after a solo motorcycle crash that occurred at 5:15 p.m. on State Route 78 west of Pine Hills Road in Julian.

According to Officer Jeff Christy from the California Highway Patrol, the victim was riding a 2007 Yamaha R6 motorcycle westbound when he lost control in a curve and struck a utility pole on the north shoulder.

Paramedics performed potentially life-saving efforts on the teen, who sustained serious injuries. He was transported by ground to Santa Ysabel for transport by Mercy Air to a local hospital, but died during the flight.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER DIES AFTER FALL AT MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOL

East County News Service

Photo: 10 News

October 9, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A construction worker has died after an industrial accident this afternoon at Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, says Sergeant Matt Cook with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.  According to ECM news partner 10 News, the accident occurred just hours after the topping off of the new multi-use facility at the school.

Sheriff’s deputies and the school’s resource office responded at 2 p.m. to the accident at a construction site on campus, where the 30-year-old man had fallen from a beam attached to a 30-foot-high platform.

SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola

NEW CALIFORNIA LAW RESTRICTS RENT HIKES ON MANY PROPERTIES

Law applies to apartments over 15 years old, but mobile homes are not included. Many condos and single family homes are also exempt

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 1482 into law, which he says will provide “the nation’s strongest statewide renter protections.”

Starting January 1st, it will be illegal for many landlords in California to raise rents by more than five percent a year plus the local inflation rate (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).  San Diego’s inflation rate was 2.8 percent from January to June.  

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED RAMONA WOMAN

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Ramona) – California Highway Patrol today announced the arrest of Chase E. Richard, 34, of Ramona. He is accused of striking a bicyclist while driving a black Ford SUV with stolen license plates, then fleeing the scene and leaving Michelle Scott critically injured.

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