FEBRUARY CALFRESH BENEFITS TO BE ISSUED EARLY

JAMUL CASINO TO SPICE UP SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT WEEK

PIANIST YUKO MARUYAMA PERFORMS FEB. 10 AT MISSION TRAILS CHURCH

SEALS WIN HOME-OPENER IN FRONT OF NEAR-CAPACITY CROWD

SIGNUP DEADLINE FOR COVERED CA HEALTH PLANS IS TUESDAY

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET AIMS TO LOWER PREMIUMS, EXPAND MEDI-CAL

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES DOCKLESS VEHICLE REGULATIONS

STORM SYSTEM SWOOPS INTO REGION BRINGING HEAVY RAIN, SNOW AND WAVES UP TO 14 FEET

MAN WANTED FOR TRYING TO LURE BOY, 12, INTO PICKUP TRUCK IN SANTEE

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SANTEE CONSIDERS SHIFT TO COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

FEDERAL SHUTDOWN HALTS CONTROLLED BURNS IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

News

SCHOOL BOND MEASURES: MT. EMPIRE FAILING, SANTEE AND BORREGO PASSING

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two East County school districts appear to have reached the 55% majority needed for passage, but a third failed to meet the mark, with 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be tallied.

TRUMP OUSTS ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS, REMOVES ROSENSTEIN FROM OVERSIGHT OF MUELLER PROBE: PROTESTS TODAY SEEK TO PROTECT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

 Protests against Whitaker takeover of Trump-Russia probe are slated at 5 p.m. today, including Ramona’s Collier Park  and federal courthouse downtown

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Critics are accusing President Donald Trump of obstructing justice after the President forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Post reports. The removal of Sessions shits oversight of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the special counsel probe due to conflict of interest laws, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge.  But with Sessions gone, Whittaker is now in charge of the investigation that he has long criticized.

RED FLAG WARNING TODAY AND FRIDAY

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

November 8, 2018 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for high fire danger, in effect from 10 a.m. today through 10 p.m. Friday in San Diego and Orange Counties.  Northeast winds of 20 ot 30 miles per hour are forecast near passes and canyons, with gusts up to 65 miles an hour possible.  Humidity is expected to fall into the 5 to 10 percent range Friday.

CA BALLOT PROPOSITIONS: GAS TAX REPEAL AND RENT CONTROL MEASURES FAIL, BUT VOTERS APPROVE HOUSING BONDS, CAGE-FREE HENS AND ENDING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Sacramento) – California voters will continue to pay a gas tax to fund repairs of roads and bridges, after Proposition 6, a ballot measure that would have repealed the tax, failed by a 55-45% margin. 

Prop 10, an effort to make it easier for cities to impose rent controls, failed by a whopping 62-38% vote. 

But voters approved ending daylight savings time, passing Prop 7 by a 60-40% margin.  Voters also passed Prop 1, approving bonds to fund affordable housing and housing for veterans by a 54-46% margin.

Below is a rundown on all 11 measures on the ballot (a 12th, Prop 9, was removed by a court due to constitutional concerns.)

JONES WINS OPEN STATE SENATE SEAT; INCUMBENTS REELECTED IN OTHER EAST COUNTY RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Brian Jones, shown at Politics in Paradise, has returned to the Legislature

Update December 13, 2018:  In the final count, Jones won with 53% of the vote to 47% for Griffith, the closest margin in recent history for this district.

November 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Brian Jones, a familiar face in East County Politics, will be the new State Senator in the 38th State Senate District. Jones, a Republican former Assemblyman and current Santee City Councilman,  has defeated Cal Fire Captain Jeff Griffith a Democrat, by a 56 to 44 percent margin with 72% of precincts counted.

ANDERSON LEADS BY NARROW MARGIN IN BOARD OF EQUALIZATION RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Republican State Senator Joel Anderson is in a tight race for Board of Equalization seat 4.  The Secretary of State reports that overall in the race spanning five counties, Anderson leads 50.9% over Democrat Mike Schaeffer, who has 49.1%.   The real shocker is that in his home county, San Diego, Anderson has lost with just 47.7% of the vote to Schaeffer’s 52.3%.

DEMOCRATS CAPTURE HOUSE, BUT REPUBLICANS EXPAND CONTROL OF SENATE; 7 GOVERNSHIPS FLIP FROM RED TO BLUE

 

Update November 9, 2018:  An Arizona Senate race has flipped, with a Democrat now leading, reducing Republican gains to 2 seats if that holds.  A recount is also looming in Florida, where a Republican stlll leads.

By Miriam Raftery

 November 7, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Democrats flipped over 30 seats from red to blue nationwide, regaining control of the House of Representatives in Congress by a 223 to 200 margin.  Only 218 seats are needed for a majority in the 435-seat House, where a handful of races have not yet been decided.

In the Senate, by contrast, Republicans picked up three seats to boost their majority from 51 to 54 in the 100-seat body.

DEMOCRATS SWEEP STATEWIDE RACES AND GAIN VETO-PROOF MAJORITY IN LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (file photo by Ron Logan)

November 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – Maintaining California’s reputation as the bluest state in the nation, Democrats won every statewide office and also regained a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in both houses of the State Legislature –with two votes to spare.

WOMEN WINNING IN LA MESA SPRING-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left to right:  Rebecca McRae, Charda Fontenot, and Megan Epperson

November 7, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – Three seats are open in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District due to three conservative Republicans stepping down.  Two slates have been vying for those seats and with 63% of precincts tallied, voters appear to have split among the conservative and reform slates. The common factor among the three currently in the lead is gender: all three are women in an election season that’s seen women winning races across the nation.

Teacher Rebecca McRae and lactation consultant/parent Charda Fontenot, both endorsed by the district’s teacher’s union and by the Democratic party in the official nonpartisan race, are currently in first and second place with 21.25% and 15.34%.  Megan Epperson, a parent backed by the Republican Party, has 15.19%.

FLETCHER AND DESMOND WIN SUPERVISOR RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: left:  Nathan Fltecher toasts victory with champagne and a dance with his wife, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher; right, Jim Desmond, new Supervisor whose district includes Borrego Springs and some inland mountain towns

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Due to term  limits, Supervisors Bill Horn and Ron Roberts are leaving office.

In the race to fill Roberts’ seat, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has defeated former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis by a  65% to 35% margin with 69% of precincts counted, becoming only the second Democrat in three decades to serve on the County Board of Supervisors. Fletcher, formerly a Republican and independent; he is married to powerhouse Democratic Assemblywoman and former labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher.

Bill Horn’s seat will be filled by San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, a Republican and part-time pilot for United Airlines. Desmond defeated Michelle Gomez, a Democrat and legislative analyst, by a 60/40 margin as of this morning’s tally. Horn’s district includes portions of northeast San Diego County include Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, Ranchita, Pauma Valley and Valley Center as well as north coastal communities. Desmond also serves on the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG) the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and the County Economic Development Corporation.

EL CAJON MAYOR WELLS AND COUNCILMAN KENDRICK THUMP CHALLENGERS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo by Jesse Kendrick: Mayor  Wells and Councilman Kendrick savor Election Night victories

November 7, 2018 (El Cajon)--El Cajon voters returned Mayor Bill Wells and Councilma/Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick to their positions on the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday night with veritable knockout punches against their challengers.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Mayor Bill Wells maintained his lead all evening with 66% (7799 votes) while his challenger, East County businessman Joel A. Scalzitti garnered only 26% (3064 votes). Robert M. Weaver, Jr., in spite of dropping out of the race early and not mounting a campaign because of federal Hatch Act conflicts with his position with the federal government, garnered 8% of the vote with 905 votes.

With nearly 88% precincts reporting, Councilman Kendrick was successful in staving off a challenge from fellow Councilman Ben Kalasho by a landslide. Kendrick got a whopping 85% (3408 votes) with Kalasho only getting 15% (621 votes). 

DEMOCRAT LEVIN FLIPPING THE 49th; REP. HUNTER HANGING ON IN 50th

Mike Levin and Diane Harkey

 

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

Photos, left to right: Rep. Duncan Hunter, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Mike Levin, Diane Harkey

November 6, 2028 (San Diego)-- Voters warmed to environmental attorney Mike Levin as early state results show the Democrat wresting the coastal 49th Congressional District from longtime GOP control.

The state’s overall tally showed voters in southern Orange County and northern San Diego County favoring Levin over state Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey, a Republican endorsed by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, 53 percent to 47 percent.

INCUMBENTS WIN REELECTION IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (Spring Valley) --- A trio of incumbents backed by the firefighters' union won reelection easily in the San Miguel Fire Protection District.

With 39% of districts counted, Theresa McKenna has 33.2%, Jim Ek 27.4%, and Michael Vaio 26.6%, defeating William A. Kiel II, son of board member William Kiel. The younger Kiel, a  trading card company owner with no fire experience, drew just 12.8% of the vote.

The stakes were high in the race, since the three incumbents who won reelection voted to return the district to independent operation, cancelling a contract with Cal Fire. The action passed by a slim one-vote margin, with Kiel, senior, voting against separating from Cal Fire.

CONSERVATIVES SWEEP IN SANTEE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino and Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfeld await final election results in Santee

November 6, 2018 (Santee) – A grassroots effort to elect slow-growth, progressive candidates to the Santee City Council appears unsuccessful, with a conservative slate leading handily for all three seats and two Republican incumbents headed to reelection.

This was Santee’s first election since dividing the city into districts instead of at-large elections.

INCUMBENTS LEADING IN LEMON GROVE



By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Challenger Teresa Rosiak says even if she doesn't win, she hopes to restart a Chamber of Commerce to help bring new businsses to Lemon Grove and help improve the city's economy.

November 6, 2018 ( Lemon Grove) – With 14% of precincts counted, incumbent Councilmenbers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones appear headed for reelection in Lemon Grove. They are leading with 32.48% and 29% of the votes respectively.

WEBER, BABER LEAD IN TIGHT RACE IN LA MESA

 

Update November 7, 2018:  With 39% of precincts tallied, Weber and Baber maintain the lead with 27.43% and 25.94% respectively over McWhirter at 24.79% and Myers at 21.84%. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Akilah Weber and her sons at Democratic Party celebration downtown

November 6, 2018 (La Mesa) — One of the closest races in East County is unfolding in La Mesa, where incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter face tough challenges from physician Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers.  Weber is currently in first place with 27.06% of the vote, narrowly leading over Baber at 26.22% and McWhirter at 25.03%, with Myers at 21.68%.  But only five of 33 precincts have been counted as of midnight.

The offices are officially nonpartisan, but Weber and Myers are endorsed by Democrats while Baber and McWhirter are backed by Republicans.  The “blue wave” that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives thus far appears to have split in La Mesa.

FOLLOW EASTCOUNTYMAG ON TWITTER FOR TONIGHT'S EAST COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

November 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Our reporting team will be at Election Central tonight and on the road where our local candidates will be congregating.  Internect connectivity may be spotty; we will be reporting results first @EastCountyMag on Twitter and then posting on our site later on tonight.

May the best candidates win, and congratulations to all who ran!

REP. HUNTER AND TRUMP WANT TO ELIMINATE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES, BUT SUPREME COURT RULED THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, declared his intention to eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order – a move that reputable legal scholars on both the left and right agree would be unconstitutional.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has previously supported a bill in Congress to similarly end granting citizenship to most children of immigrants born here.

Trump stated,  "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order." 

But the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. is crystal clear that everyone born in the U.S. must be granted citizenship.  It states: "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld that the amendment does cover children of immigrants, regardless of their parents' legal status.

FALSE AND MISLEADING HIT PIECES TARGET DEMOCRATS IN LA MESA

Updated with comments from Councilmembers Baber and McWhirter, plus additional information on the Public Safety Advocates PAC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – A flurry of deceptive mailers have been sent to Democrats in La Mesa, where two Democratic candidates, Dr. Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff commander Dave Myers are challenge Republican incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter.  

One mailer paid for by the Baber-McWhirter campaign urged Democrats to vote – on the wrong date. (The election is Tuesday, November 6th.) The flyer had photos endorsing Republicans McWhirter and Baber as well as Mayor Mark Arapostathis, who is running unopposed. Baber says this was his mistake. "It was a typo. I wish I had Miriam as my editor!" he quipped. His campaign later sent a corrected copy, which he forwarded to ECM.

Two other mailers were sent by the “Public Safety Advocates” PAC in Encinitas and include negative information on the two Democrats, including false statements about Weber

THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON UTILITIES’ WILDFIRE MITIGATION PLANS BEFORE NOV. 14 PREHEARING CONFERENCE

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (San Francisco) – “We want to hear from you about wildfires!” states a message from Agatha Wein at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  “The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is examining how well California's electric utilities are prepared for wildfires and we want input from community leaders.”

SDG&E, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and several other utilities are required to develop wildfire mitigation plans that will include details on:

  • wildfire prevention strategies for electric utilities,
  • maintenance and inspection of lines,
  • outreach to first responders and customers, including low-income, elderly, disabled, and those with limited English,
  • restoration of service after a wildfire

MOTORCYLIST IN FATAL RAMONA CRASH IDENTIFIED

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (Ramona) – Erinn Clarke Edens, 48, of Ramona has been identified by the County Medical Examiner as the motorcyclist killed on October 20th in a solo vehicle accident.

He lost control of the motorcycle in the 15000 block of Wildcat Canyon Road in Ramona and was ejected into the path of an oncoming vehicle, which ran over him and dragged him a short distance until the vehicle was able to stop.

MOTORCYCLIST IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER EL CAJON CRASH

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2018 (El Cajon) – A 55-year-old rider on a Harley Davidson was traveling with a group of motorcyclists this morning in the 900 block of East Main Street in El Cajon when according to witnesses, he began passing vehicles in the inside left turn lane.  When the lane ended, the rider struck a raised center median and was ejected on the roadway, suffering severe head injuries.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: RUDY REYES, FIRE SURVIVOR RUNNING FOR SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) –  The race for Santee City Council District 1 pits incumbent Councilman Ronn Hall,  an insurance company owner and former Chamber of Commerce president, against Rudy Reyes, a San Diego State University program director, Cedar Fire survivor and advocate for burn victims.

We invited both candidates onto our radio show at KNSJ 89.1 FM.  Reyes accepted; you can listen to his full interview at the audio link and view highlights below. 

Councilman Hall declined, citing dental surgery, but did answer written questions earlier in the campaign which you can read here.

Audio: 

Rudy Reyes interview - District 1, Santee

DEVELOPMENT IS KEY ISSUE IN SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 RACE: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS



 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first election in which Santee residents cast votes by district. In District 1, Councilman Rob NcNelis, a market leader with a mortgage banking company and former Chamber of Commerce president, is running against Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield, a software engineer and business owner who worked at U.C. Berkeley’s school of public health as a program manager and chair of the staff advisory council.

Key issues are development vs. quality of life, as well as how to address the city’s budget deficit. Andrade-Heymsfield claims her opponent puts developers’ interests over those of residents; she pledges to oppose Fanita Ranch. McNelis says he’s voted against some developer donors’ projects and votes for what's best for Santee. He pledges to keep government small and out of people’s pockets; Andrade-Heymsfield says she has ideas for new revenue sources to address the city’s deficit without raising taxes. 

We interviewed both candidates on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. Hear the full interviews by clicking the audio links (Evlyn Andrade Heymsfield audio and Rob McNelis audio) plus read highlights below.

Audio: 

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield interview
Rob McNelis interview

BOULEVARD MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF BROTHER

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2018 (Boulevard) – David Smith, 52, has been arrested for the murder of his brother, Danny Smith, 63.  Rural Sheriff’s deputies responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls yesterday at 4:17 p.m. reporting  a shooting at the large rural property at 38326 Highway 94 in Boulevard, where the brothers lived in separate residences.

Deputies found the victim inside the home, dead, with a traumatic gunshot wound, says Lt. Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

ECM EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON COUNCILMEMBER BEN KALASHO SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL USE OF CITY RESOURCES

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 1, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho today signed a settlement to end his latest legal battle with the city he represents, after his fellow Councilmembers voted unanimously on Monday to sue Kalasho for illegal use of city resources in his campaign to unseat incumbent Gary Kendrick.

The City had intended to bring the matter to the attention of the County of San Diego District Attorney, the California State Attorney General, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE PICKS UP MORE AWARDS

 



By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Three East County Magazine writers received honors in San Diego Press Club’s 2018 Awards of Excellence presented this week.  All were entered in the online and daily newspapers category, bringing our total to 112 journalism awards as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

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