DEMOCRATS FILE SUIT ALLEGING RACKETEERING AND CONSPIRACY IN 2016 ELECTION

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 21-MAY 30

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

LEMON GROVE REJECTS CLAIMS OVER POTHOLES AND BUCKLED SIDEWALKS

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ACCUSED OF "VALOR THEFT" BY GOP RIVAL, NAVY VETERAN

SAN DIEGO RANKS AN “F” FOR OZONE POLLUTION: CLIMATE CHANGE BLAMED FOR RISING HEALTH HAZARD

CAL FIRE CAPTAIN JEFF GRIFFITH RUNS FOR STATE SENATE TO FIGHT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

HISTORIC HAVEN: JULIAN GOLD RUSH HOTEL

FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH, CHAMPION OF LITERACY CAUSES, DIES AT 92

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD UNDER FIRE FOR RESPONSES TO GUN VIOLENCE PROTESTS

JOIN US AT SWAMI'S! EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB APRIL 27

SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

News

PEDESTRIAN IN LA MESA DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY VEHICLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – Matthew McConnell, 44, died in a hospital several hours after he was struck by a vehicle Friday night. According to La Mesa Police, he was walking across the intersection at Fletcher Parkway and Nagel Street near Grossmont Center on a red light when the tragedy occurred.

LA MESA RESIDENTS INVITED TO TOWNHALLS JAN. 30 AND FEB. 6

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa invites residents to attend two upcoming town hall meetings, where elected officials and city staff will be on hand to answer residents’ questions and hear concerns.  The forums will be held Tuesday, January 30 at the La Mesa Arts Academy (4200 Parks Ave.) and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Northmont Elementary School (9045 Gregory Street), both from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Mayor Mark Arapostathis and City Council members Kristine Alessio, Bill Baber, Guy McWhirter and Colin Parent are expected to participate, as well as Police Chief Walt Vasquez, Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Colin Stowell, City Manager Yvonne Garrett, City Attorney Gleen Sabine, and staffers from La Mesa’s departments of public works, finance, and community development.

OFFICE OF RATEPAYER ADVOCATES RECOMMENDS CPUC DENY SDG&E APPLICATION FOR REHEARING ON WILDFIRE COSTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (San Diego) – The Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) has issued a recommendation urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to deny a request by three utility companies for a rehearing, after the CPUC ruled that San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) cannot charge ratepayers for its uninsured losses from the 2007 Witch, Guejito and Rice wildfires.

MAN JUMPS TO DEATH OFF PINE VALLEY BRIDGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- A man committed suicide by jumping off the Pine Valley bridge off of Interstate 8 tonight. The tragedy was reported shortly after 5 p.m.   The victim has not been identified, but a white Toyota sedan was parked at the scene. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS TOP SANTEE’S PRIORITIES

 

By Mike Allen

January 28, 2018 (Santee) -- In his first state of the city address last week, Santee Mayor John Minto outlined a vision that puts a priority on several capital improvement projects and saving money on the city’s growing pension liabilities.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SHAMUS SAYED, MODERATE REPUBLICAN RUNNING AGAINST REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Hear our full in-depth interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Shamus Sayed, a Republican running in the 50th Congressional District for the seat currently held by Rep. Duncan Hunter, calls himself a fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican.  He says he’s running, “because I want to make a change” and because he wants to bring “integrity and accountability” to the offices.

Rep. Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department for alleged use of campaign funds for lavish personal expenses.  A federal grand jury has recently been convened, raising the potential for an indictment, though Hunter has stated recently that he has no intentional of stepping down.

Audio: 

SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER ACROSS BACKCOUNTRY DURING RED FLAG WARNING, SPARKING MORE ANGRY RESPONSES FROM RESIDENTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – With a red flag warning in effect due to high fire danger and gusty Santa Ana Winds forecast through Monday, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has once again shut off power to many rural and mountain communities.  An outage map curiously labels these as “unplanned outages” even though clicking on communities show in the SDG&E outages page map reveals a message stating that in most of the current outages, “We’ve shut off the power for safety.” 

Power went off last night  during Saturday evening hours and is not slated for restoration until mid-to-late afternoon on Monday.

The power is presently out in many areas including the East County communitise Boulevard, Live Oak Springs, Descanso, Pine Valley, Alpine, Pine Hills, Santa Ysabel and surrounding communities, affecting thousands of customers. Portions of North County including Valley Center and the Pauma area are also without power.

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

January 27, 2018 (La Mesa) – A 44-year-old man was struck and killed last night by a Ford Taurus while walking southbound across westbound lanes of traffic in the 8500 block of Fletcher Parkway.

La Mesa Police received a call reporting the accident around 9 p.m. The victim was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in critical condition but later succumbed to his injuries. His identity is being withheld pending family notifications.

LOCAL PRO-MARIJUANA GROUP CHALLENGES EL CAJON IN COURT

 

Writ of Mandate claims El Cajon Pot Shop and Cultivation Ordinance is Punitive

By Paul Kruze

January 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- When California voters approved Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use and cultivation of marijuana, voters also approved a less publicized part of the proposition which allows individual cities and counties to regulate where it can be bought and cultivated.

GERMAN CORPORATIONS THAT WORKED WITH NAZIS JOIN WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS’ HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION EVENT

 

Source: World Jewish Congress

Photo, left:  Matthias Müller (CEO) and Hans Dieter Pötsch (Chairman of the Supervisory Board) of Volkswagen

January 26, 2018 (New York) -- Senior German industry figures, including the CEOs of companies that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, have lent their support to the World Jewish Congress’ We Remember campaign ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day on January27th.

SANTEE MOVES AHEAD WITH PLAN FOR DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

January 26, 2018 (Santee) -- Despite having one of the most homogeneous populations in the county and lacking any concentration of minority groups, Santee elected officials say the city’s hands are tied, and Santee is forced to comply with a state law urging cities to adopt district elections.

RED FLAG WARNING SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

January 26, 2018 (San Diego) -- The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning due to high fire danger.  The warning is in effect from Saturday evening through Monday afternoon for all mountains and valleys across Southern California.

Gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity and temperatures west of the mountains that could be 10 to 22 degrees above normal all contribute to the elevated risk risk.

IF YOU'RE NOT ALARMED, YOU SHOULD BE; WHO'S LEFT TO HOLD CALIFORNIA'S GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE

 

By David Lesher, editor and CEO at Cal Matters, an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government

January 25, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Dear Californians,

If you care about this state, it’s time to sound the alarm about the crisis in media and what it means for the health of democracy in the world’s sixth largest economy.

Media is declining nationally, but unique pressures have made California into America’s laboratory for a dangerous experiment about what happens to the public interest when policy is made without the public’s awareness or accountability.

BEARS BURNED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES HEALED WITH FISH SKINS, RELEASED TO WILD

 

Unique treatment could translate to companion Animals, humans

By Amy Quinton, UC Davis

January 25, 2018 (Davis) - Two adult female black bears that were burned during the Thomas Fire in Southern California have recuperated and are now back in the wild thanks to the help of University of California, Davis, veterinarians and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

FEMA ENCOURAGES TSUNAMI AWARENESS AND PREPAREDNESS FOR COASTAL COMMUNITIES

 

East County News Service

January 24, 2018 (Washington D.C.) --  Following an intense earthquake that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska yesterday, which prompted tsunami watches, advisories and warnings across many state coastlines, FEMA continues to highlight safety tips for those who live in or visit coastal communities.  While today’s immediate threat has passed, the situation serves as a reminder to all that there are steps that can be taken now, to prepare for future events.

SDSU'S SAGE PROJECT LOOKING FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY PARTNER

 

The deadline to apply is Feb. 15

East County News Service

January. 24, 2018 (San Diego) —  San Diego State University’s Sage Project is looking to partner with a local community for the 2018-19 academic year. As part of the collaboration, students assist with projects that directly address the partner community’s goals and in turn, better the quality of life for area residents.

During the 2016-17 academic year, the Sage Project partnered with the City of Lemon Grove. Students from 32 courses across 12 different disciplines designed and installed an art mural on the city’s community center, assisted in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping of thousands of data points and designed gateway signage, among other projects.

RED CROSS HAS CRITICAL NEED FOR LOCAL BLOOD DONORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2018 (San Diego) – An urgent call for blood donors and platelet donors has been issued by the American Red Cross nationwide, including here in San Diego County. 

The Red Cross has a shortage due to donors cancelling appointments because of flu and in some areas, winter storms. Across the U.S., over 150 blood drives also had to be cancelled in January due to severe winter weather.

DOUBLE BLOW: COURT RULING ON BOND FUNDS AND STATE DECISION AGAINST UNIFICATION KNOCK DOWN HOPES FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Paul Kruze; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Hear court audio

Read appellate decision

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- Just as students returned to school after winter break last week, lawyers for the Alpine Union School District (AUSD), Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and Grossmont Union High School District returned to court in front of a three-judge tribunal headed by Associate Justice Patricia D. Benke of the 4th District California Superior Court of Appeals.  

But a week later, the court panel upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Pressman against Alpine, agreeing that the GUHSD need not keep millions of dollars set aside for an Alpine High School that now may never be built, despite previous bond measures approved by voters that included funds for the school. Then on Friday, the State Board of Education denied Alpine's unification petition that would have enabled the AUSD to build the high school. The double losses may prove to be knock-out blows for the hard-fought effort to bring a high school to Alpine.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CONTROL DEVELOPMENT

 

Initiative would require public vote on significant changes to General Plan, to protect backcountry from sprawl-style development and traffic gridlock

East County News Service

Update: Hear our interview with former Supervisor Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson from Save Our San Diego Countryside by clicking the audio link.  Learn more at https://saveoursdcountryside.org/.

January 24, 201 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Registrar of Voters approved the title and summary for the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” Initiative, clearing the way for proponents to gather signatures to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.

Audio: 

MOM NEEDS HELP TO MOVE SON TO RAMONA AFTER TEEN LOST DAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Jayson Hinkle with his mother, Crystal and brother, Dominick

January 20, 2018 (Ramona) – Crystal Dominguez Hinkle has launched a GoFundMe page to help her son, Jayson, 14. “I am desperately trying to gather funds to move us back to Ramona, where my son can be surrounded by his loving and supportive friends,” she told ECM in an e-mail.

COUNTY TO ACCEPT COMPETING BIDS FOR ANIMAL SERVICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to accept bids from outside animal welfare organizations seeking to compete against the County’s Animal Services Department to provide services in the County’s unincorporated areas, including rural, desert and mountain regions in East County as well as neighborhoods such as Spring Valley, Alpine, and Lakeside. In East County, the city of Santee will also be impacted.

HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WALK OUT OF CLASSES TO PROTEST AGGRESSIVE ARREST OF SUSPENDED STUDENT

 

By Paul Kruze

Watch ECM news partner 10News Video of students speaking at Helix

Update January 24, 2018:  La Mesa Police have identified the officer, Scott Wulfing, and indicated he is assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation.

January 23, 2018 (La Mesa) -- A group of some 200 students at Helix Charter High School on Monday morning walked out of their classes and gathered in front of the school chanting “Justice for Bri” to protest the aggressive arrest of an allegedly unruly 17-year-old female student on Friday afternoon.

The officer forced the handcuffed African-American girl, who has not been identified, to the ground. The San Diego Union-Tribune today reports that the La Mesa Police Department's school resources officer for Helix has been reassigned and will not be working in any schools until an investigation is concluded.

SANDAG COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MEETING MOVES TO EAST COUNTY FOR PUBLIC INPUT TONIGHT IN SANTEE

 

Third Session in a Series of Subregional Community Engagement Meetings

January 23, 2018 (Santee) -- The San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors is conducting a nationwide search for a new executive director to lead the agency. As part of that process, the Board is seeking input from the community at a series of public meetings and through an online survey hosted by the firm hired to conduct the recruitment.

COUNTY ENDS HEPATITIS EMERGENCY; EL CAJON BAN ON FEEDING HOMELESS IN PARKS ALSO ENDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

After four weeks with no new cases associated with the local hepatitis A outbreak reported, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday ending the local public health emergency which began September 1st.

El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick advised East County Magazine today that sunset language in its temporary ban on feeding the homeless in public places means the measure has officially expired, effective immediately.  So it’s now legal once again for organizations to feed the homeless in El Cajon’s parks or other public property.

GONZALEZ FLETCHER BILL WOULD BAN GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FROM GIVING VOUCHERS TO STORES THAT SELL GUNS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced a bill this week that would prohibit public agencies during gun buy-back events from handing out taxpayer-funded vouchers to any store that sells firearms.

CALIFORNIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WANTS INSURERS TO PASS FEDERAL TAX SAVINGS ON TO CUSTOMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Sacramento) — The federal tax reform measure recently enacted reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.  California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones observes, “That means that nationally insurers will now be able to retain even more of policyholder premiums as profit. However, in California the prior approval process that applies to property and casualty insurance rates limits insurer profits.”

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL DARK SKIES DESIGNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photos credited to ©Dennis Mammana/dennismammana.com

January 22, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Night sky photographer Dennis Mammana made this announcement Friday on Facebook: “Proud to announce that our thousand-square-mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has just received its official designation as an International Dark Sky Park. That means that the Dark Sky Community of Borrego Springs is now completely surrounded by an official Dark Sky Park!”

HEARING ON LAKE JENNINGS MARKETPLACE BEFORE SUPERVISORS ON WEDNESDAY

 

 

Update January 24, 2018:  Supervisors voted 4-0 yesterday to approve this, with Supervisor Horn absent due to leaving early.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Joe Brunetto, owner of Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant and Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, speak out against retail project proposed for land visible in background

January 22, 2018 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing Wednesday on Lake Jennings Marketplace, a proposed retail strip shopping center on Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside.  The project by South Coast Development requires approval of an environmental impact report,  a General Plan amendment and rezoning  of residential land  to commercial.

But opponents say the developer earlier promised to build multi-family housing on the site, not a shopping center.  Cleveland National Forest Association (CNFF) and a local restaurant owner are heading up opposition to the project, saying what the community needs is housing, not more retail. 

HELP SAVE AND RECONSTRUCT THE FORMER ALPINE MINE TRAIN EXHIBIT

 

Source: Campo Railroad Park & Museum

January 22, 2018 (Campo) -- The Campo Railroad Park & Museum has set up a donation page to help offset the costs of relocating and reconstructing the former Alpine train lovingly operated for children of all ages by Roy Athey. 

The Museum is committed to keeping the legacy alive in Campo with a dynamic exhibit of not only the train ride but also to include a faux mine complete with mining equipment to explain San Diego County’s many gold and precious metal mines.  Moving the train and setting it up was an unexpected gift and funds are simply not available today to put it back together. 

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