ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF BABY AT PARKWAY PLAZA

SANDERS WINS BIG IN NEVADA, EMERGES AS FRONTRUNNER IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH CANDIDATES FOR SUPERVISOR SPEAKING OUT ON LAND USE ISSUES, FIRE SAFETY, HOMELESSNESS AND MORE

PROTEST AT LEMON GROVE TOYOTA FEB. 29 TARGETS COMPANY’S SUPPORT OF TRUMP LAWSUIT AGAINST CA OVER EMISSION STANDARDS

COUNTY BOARD RATIFIES COVID-19 EMERGENCY DECLARATION

STATE EXTENDS DEADLINE TO MARCH 31 FOR HEALTHCARE COVERAGE BEFORE HEFTY FINES KICK IN FOR NOT HAVING INSURANCE

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUE SANTEE OVER CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

BILL WOULD REQUIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO WRITE POLICIES FOR HOMES IN AREAS THAT MEET NEW FIRE-HARDENING STANDARDS

POLL SHOWS SANDERS LEADING IN CALIF., BUT BLOOMBERG GAINS—AS CONCERNS RISE OVER BILLIONNAIRE’S TREATMENT OF WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND WALL STREET TIES

COOKING CLASSES, TRUFFLES & WINE DINNER, & A TOAST TO WOMEN'S DAY: ALL AT GIARDINO IN LEMON GROVE

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: FEB. 22-APRIL 15

50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES DEBATE ON HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, EQUALITY AND MORE

News

THE HOLIDAYS CAN BRING ADDED RISKS FOR HOMEOWNERS: HERE’S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

 

By Michael Evans

Reprinted with permission from Bankrate.

Photo:  Fazeful/Getty Images 

December 2019 (San Diego) -- We all love classic holiday comedies in which characters tumble down staircases, battle wildlife intruders and fight tooth and nail against burglars. But in the real world, holiday disasters can leave homes in ruins and families in mourning.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one in 32 holiday tree fires result in fatalities. Between 2013 and 2017, holiday tree fires caused around $10 million in property damage each year. During the same period, fire departments across the country responded to nearly 800 fires per year caused by holiday decorations other than trees.

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

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more. If you wish, bring a dish to share.

Special thanks to Smart & Final for donating delicious foods for our holiday feast!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE VOTES TO SEND IMPEACHMENT TO HOUSE FLOOR



By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The House Judiciary today voted to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the full House. The causes for impeachment listed are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress including the President ordering the White House, executive branch agencies and officials to defy subpoenas and withhold documents and records. 

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate `High Crimes and Misdemeanors’, the obstruction of Congress article state, noting that federal agencies including State, Defense, and others “refused to produce a single document or record.” Trump also banned witnesses from testifying. “This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment – and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives,” the article continues.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RAISES FINES FOR ILLEGAL TOBACCO SALES; REJECTS BAN ON VAPES AND FLAVORED TOBACCO

“My responsibility is to keep these extremely dangerous devices out of the hands of our children…This is a disaster in the making.” – Councilman Gary Kendrick

“I’m very afraid of a trend I see in our country of slowly giving away our freedoms for safety,” – Mayor Bill Wells

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo from City of El Cajon presentation

Watch complete coverage with public participation

Watch council members discussion before voting

December 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon City Council took up Councilman Gary Kendrick’s proposal last month to increase fines for illegal tobacco sales to minors and to ban flavored tobacco and vapes disguised as USB memory sticks, lipstick tubes, pens and other objects. The hike in fines passed, along with added teeth to the ordinance, including suspension of a retailer’s business license for numerous violations.

But despite many El Cajon residents and others voicing concerns over health impacts of vaping, Kendrick fell short of the votes needed to enact a ban on flavored vapes and vaping devices attractive to minors. Councilmen Steve Goble, Phil Ortiz, Mayor Bill Wells prevailed with “no” votes, over Councilmen Gary Kendrick and Bob McLellan who voted “yes.”

LEMON GROVE INITIATIVE CHALLENGE WON’T BE HEARD IN TIME TO BLOCK BALLOT MEASURE

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A challenge seeking to block the Lemon Grove sales tax initiative on technical grounds won’t be heard until February 21 – too late to keep the measure off the March 3, 2020 ballot.  But if a judge rules the process was invalid, the vote could later be voided and the sales tax hike would not take effect.

The initiative, Measure S, would raise the sales tax by three quarters of a cent, from 7.75 to 8.5 percent. The city is facing serious financial shortfalls, with a budget deficit of nearly $1.2 million projected by the end of its fiscal year 2021-22. More than 85% of the city’s budget is spent on public safety, police and fire protection, leaving not enough money for other needs.

SPRING VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AFTER POSTING MOCK MASS SHOOTING VIDEO

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2019 (Spring Valley)  -- A Spring Valley father was arrested after a tip to the FBI revealed two videos posted on YouTube showing Homoki simulating a mass shooting from a window in the Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego. A search of his home turned up 14 guns including assault rifles and illegally modified weapons.

 Steve Andrew Homoki, 30  pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of owning illegally modified firearms and child abuse due to loaded guns accessible to his three children.

The prosecution contends that the videos amounted to rehearsals for a mass shooting, though Homoki has not been charged for making or posting the videos.

TRUMP ADMIN. OKS FRACKING, DRILLING ON 1 MILLION ACRES IN CALIFORNIA

East County News Service

Compiled from California News Service and California Attorney General’s office resources

December 13, 2019 (Ventura) -- The Trump administration yesterday took the final step to allow oil and gas drilling on over 1 million acres of federal public land on California's central coast and San Joaquin Valley, despite a flood of public comment in opposition.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will now allow new lease sales in 2020 on land that stretches across Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties.

Rebecca August, director of advocacy for the Santa Barbara-based group Los Padres ForestWatch, calls fracking "a very toxic process."



DEADLINE SUNDAY TO GET COVERED CA INSURANCE BY JAN. 1: ALL RESIDENTS MUST HAVE COVERAGE OR PAY A PENALTY

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

December 12, 2019 (Sacramento) - This Sunday is the deadline for people to sign up for Covered California health insurance and have the coverage begin on Jan. 1.

Starting in 2020, the state will require everyone to get coverage or pay a penalty.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN LA MESA THIS FRIDAY: POLICE ALSO PLAN EXTRA PATROLS THROUGH HOLIDAY SEASON

UPDATE: The DUI Checkpoint will be held in the 7200 block of University Avenue.

 

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department encourages everyone attending holiday parties and gatherings where alcohol may be involved to use a designated sober driver. From December 13th to New Year’s, the department will have extra officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 

In addition, the LMPD Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on Friday, December 13 at an undisclosed location within the city limits, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2 a.m. 

FLEEING SUSPECT HITS VEHICLE, THEN CAUSES DEPUTIES TO COLLIDE IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Ryan

December 11, 2019 (Lakeside) – Sheriff’s deputies in Lakeside received a call reporting a man in a vehicle holding a gun in the 9600 block of Marilla Drive last night around 5:25 p.m.  When deputies arrived, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a short pursuit ensued.

The suspect ran a stop sign and struck a civilian vehicle, but kept going. “The suspect came to an abrupt stop in the middle of Lakeshore Drive, causing the pursuing deputies to collide with one another as well as the suspect vehicle,” says Sergeant Amber Reeves.

PASSAGES: POTRERO RESIDENT JACQUELINE “JACKIE” HICKS, 92

December 11. 2019 (Potrero) -- Jacqueline "Jackie" Eleanor Hicks, age 92, who was born in San Francisco, passed away peacefully at home on November 21, 2019.  Her smile and loving ways will be missed by all who new her, especially her husband of 74 years, Earl Hicks along with her 5 surviving children; Stephanie, Valerie, Jennifer, Paul and Jessica - preceding her in death where her 3 boys; Thomas, James, and Timothy.  She is also survived by; 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and 2 Godchildren.  Jackie, as most people called her, made friends everywhere, especially in San Diego's back country.  When moving to Potrero, with her husband and children over 40 years ago, she immediately became a parishioner of St. Adelaide of the Burgundy Catholic Church in Campo.  Throughout the year's she gave of her time and talents to many activities and events while raising her large family.

Services will be held at St. Adelaide's Catholic Church, located at 1347 Dewey Place, Campo, CA 91906, on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The Rosary will take place at 1:00 p.m. and Mass 1:30 p.m.  A reception will immediately follow.  Cards of condolence my be sent to Earl Hicks, PO Box 107, Potrero, CA 91963. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made, in here name, to St. Adelaide Catholic Church or St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004-1001 or online at http://www.stlabre.org

COURTS HAVE AVOIDED REFEREEING BETWEEN CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT, BUT TRUMP MAY FORCE THEM TO WADE IN

By Kirsten Carlson, Wayne State University

This article is republished in " The Conversation" http://theconversation.com under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article at https://theconversation.com/courts-have-avoided-refereeing-between-congress-and-the-president-but-trump-may-force-them-to-wade-in-128269

Photo:  President Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege may end up at the Supreme Court. Here, he’s with Chief Justice John Roberts after taking the oath of office, Jan. 20, 2017. AP/Jim Bourg/Pool Photo

December 10, 2019 (Washington D.C.) - President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.

APARTMENT FIRE DISPLACES 23 PEOPLE IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

By Jonathan Goetz and Miriam Raftery
Photo: Jerald Western
 
December 9, 2019 (Bostonia) – A condominium fire at the Bradley Condos in the Bostonia community has displaced 23 residents and damaged nine units, according to Lakeside Fire Battalion Chief Andy Lawler.  The complex is located just east of Highway 67 and one exit north of Interstate 8. There is a fire station adjacent to the gated community, and it was sprinkling rain around the time.
 
The first firefighters on the scene from San Miguel Fire & Rescue saw light smoke and believe the fire started between walls, quickly spreading to adjacent units and the roof, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Firefighters from Lakeside, Santee and Heartland also provided mutual aid response.

TURN MILKWEED PODS INTO WORKS OF ART

By Melinda Myers

Photo credit: Melinda Myers, LLC. Common milkweed is making a comeback in part because it’s an important food source for the monarch butterfly. The milkweed’s seedpods can be crafted into wreaths, art and more.

December 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Homemade gifts are a wonderful way to show you care. Making them from items grown in your garden adds that extra personal touch. And just like the plant, decorations and gifts made from milkweed pods are gaining in popularity.

Considered a weed by some, common milkweed is making a comeback as more gardeners are growing this important food source for monarch butterflies. Harvest the seedpods and craft them into wreaths, stars and indoor holiday trees.

ISSA CALLS FOR TRUMP TO PARDON REP. HUNTER, THEN RECEIVES SENIOR HUNTER ENDORSEMENT

DeMaio and Campa-Najjar oppose presidential pardon
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Darrell Issa during campaign kick-off in El Cajon
 
December 8, 2019 (San Diego) - On the heels of Congressman Duncan Hunter announcing that he will resign from Congress following his guilty plea to misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, former Congressman Darrell Issa voiced support for President Trump to pardon Hunter.Issa told the San Diego Union-Tribune that a pardon could “balance the public good” by saving on prison costs.

POLICE SEEK HELP TO SOLVE STREET ROBBERIES IN EAST EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is warning the public about a rise in street robberies, some targeting elderly men. The robberies have occurred in the vicinity of the 1000 block of East Main Street and the 800 block of Buena Terrace in recent weeks.

SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.

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

Action to head off growing insurance availability crisis follows passage of new law and Governor’s emergency declarations 
 
Source: California Insurance Commissioner’s office
 
December 7, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders--helping at least 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas in Northern and Southern California. The commissioner’s action is the result of Senate Bill 824—authored last year by Lara while serving as state senator—in order to give temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living near a declared wildfire disaster. This is the first time the department has invoked the new law, which took effect in January. 
 

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES NEPTUNE SOCIETY, ALLEGES “SWINDLING” OF CUSTOMERS WHO PREPAID FOR CREMATION SERVICES

East County News Service
 
December 7, 2019 (San Francisco) --  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the District Attorneys for the City and County of San Francisco, Alameda County, and Marin County, filed a lawsuit yesterday in Alameda County Superior Court against Texas-based Service Corporation International and its subsidiaries doing business as Neptune Society.
 
The lawsuit alleges that Neptune — a company offering pre-need cremation service plans for purchase prior to a customer’s death — engaged in unlawful business practices. The lawsuit includes allegations that the company broke California law by failing to hold in trust for the benefit of its customers a substantial portion of the money they paid for these plans and that it misled customers concerning this illegal practice.  

HUNTER TO RESIGN AFTER HOLIDAYS: MAY FORFEIT CONGRESSIONAL PENSION

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today issued a statement which reads,"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress.  I has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years." 

The announcement comes after Hunter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use. His sentencing is scheduled in March. He could face up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, the amount that he and his wife were accused of taking from the campaign coffers.

But prison and a hefty fine may not be the only penalties for his actions.

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

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (Poway) – A boil-water order has been lifted in Poway, where residents can now drink tap water after first flushing out plumbing lines, replacing filters and throwing away ice. State testing found the water safe to drink, nearly a week after stormwater runoff contaminated a clearwell reservoir.

Hardest hit are restaurants forced to shut down, and their employees. The North San Diego Business Chamber is asking the community to dine in Poway Dec. 9-15, adding, “As the holidays approach, we ask that you dine at these businesses and support their employees, so they too can have a holiday season without any added stress.” Find a list of Poway restaurants at the bottom of this article.

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



Accident occurs soon after County Fire Authority/Cal Fire hauled away four-wheel-drive ambulances and fire engines formerly run by Julian’s volunteer fire department

County, Cal Fire and Mercy Medical Transportation fail to answer questions or provide solutions to prevent future fiascos

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

December 6, 2019 (Julian) -- As San Diegans rushed up to the mountain community of Julian last Saturday to play in the snow, a Mercy Medical Transportation, Inc. two-wheel drive ambulance under contract to the San Diego County Fire Authority and Cal Fire missed a curve on State Highway 78, landed off the side of the road and got stuck in snow for hours.

The incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. near Jess Martin Park. According to sources familiar with the situation, the two-man crew had been dispatched all the way from Valley Center, since Julian no longer has a locally stationed ambulance. The crew was reportedly unhurt and had been on the way to Julian Fire Station No. 56. It wasn’t until around 1 p.m. that a tow truck arrived to extricate the ambulance. It is unclear why neither Mercy or Cal Fire could provide a winch to free the vehicle sooner.

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

By Chris Jennewein

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

Photo:  An applicant signs up for food stamps, known as CalFresh in California, at a low-income health clinic in Contra Costa County. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) - Senate President Toni G. Atkins warned Wednesday that a tightening of work rules by the Trump administration could end food assistance for 700,000 people in California.

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

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2019 (San Diego) – In a bipartisan action, today leaders of the House Ethics Committee sent Congressman Duncan D. Hunter a letter notifying him that he should no longer cast any votes in the House, due to his guilty plea on conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal expenditures.

While the order is not mandatory, the letter threatens disciplinary action if he fails to comply, which could include expulsion from the House. The letter was signed by Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida, a Democrat, and ranking member Kenny Marchant, a Republican.

Hunter has previously been stripped by Republicans in the House of serving on any committees. His 50th Congresional district is thus left without representation on all voting matters, though his staff can continue to provide constituent services. 

He could resume voting if reelected, but if he chooses to run for reelection in 2020, he could be in prison and unable to serve. Hunter is slated for sentencing in March and could face up to five years in prison plus a quarter of a million dollar fine – the same amount he was accused of embezzling from his campaign.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS FIND AND RESCUE DESERTED MIGRANT WITH HELP FROM VOLUNTEERS

Source: Border Patrol 

December 5, 2019 (Dulzura) -- On Thanksgiving Day, a 34-year-old Mexican national with life threatening injuries was left behind by a criminal organization that tried smuggling him into the country.  

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

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – Three masked men forced their way into a home in the 1400 block of 5 D Drive in unincorporated El Cajon shortly before 9 p.m. last night.  The homeowner told police that her adult son heard a knock at the front door and opened it to find the three intruders, all armed. One of the intruders struck the son in the head, injuring him.

GOLDEN SPIKE CEREMONY CROWNS RAILWAY’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION IN CAMPO

Video of golden spike driven in by actor Jake Schaible portraying John D. Spreckels at centennial  https://youtu.be/n2MQr565uq4 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2019 (Campo) – Four days after Armistice Day in 1919 ended World War I, John D. Spreckels drove in a golden spike to complete the San Diego & Arizona Railway in Carrizo Gorge.  That historic event was recreated on November 16, 2019 at the centennial of the historic occasion celebrated at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum.

Spreckels originally “missed the spike, they reset it, he bent it, and then nailed it,” said Allen Semelsberger, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s archivist in a previously published report. True to historical detail, actor Jake Schaible portrayed Spreckels at the centennial, swinging and missing a replica of the spike before ultimately driving it in before a large crowd, including members of the Spreckels family in the front row. 

Pages