HOW WOULD A VACANCY BE FILLED IF REP. HUNTER IS CONVICTED AND EXPELLED FROM CONGRESS, OR RESIGNS?

NO NEW FLU CASES AMONG ASYLUM-SEEKING MIGRANTS IN SAN DIEGO

AT CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM IN SAN DIEGO, CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR GREEN NEW DEAL

QUESTIONS RAISED OVER LA MESA VILLAGE ASSOCIATION’S NONPROFIT STATUS

NATIVE RUNNERS SAVE 2 WOMEN TRAPPED IN VEHICLE AFTER CRASH NEAR IN-KO-PAH, BUT A THIRD VICTIM DIES

SANTEE COUNCIL GETS WARNING ON ITS FINANCIAL FUTURE

TRUMP SAYS HE’D TAKE DIRT ON AN OPPONENT FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENT; FEC CHAIR CONFIRMS THAT’S ILLEGAL

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER'S WIFE IMPLICATES CONGRESSMAN IN VAST MISUSE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS

SOARING THROUGH HISTORY IN "SAN DIEGO AVIATION THROUGH TIME"

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

REP. HUNTER’S WIFE TO CHANGE PLEA TO GUILTY IN CORRUPTION CASE

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 13-JULY 4

News

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD AMENDS POLICY ON ACCESS TO RECORDINGS OF PUBLIC MEETINGS—AFTER LEGAL DEMAND ON ECM’S BEHALF

CalAware warns district after CVUSD destroys requested school board meeting recordings

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Updated with CVUSD letter to CalAware)

March 28, 2019  (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees voted 3-2 on Tuesday to change its policy on board meeting audio recordings. The action came after the district received a legal warning letter from Californians Aware (CalAware) regarding the district’s destruction of recordings from the Dec. and Nov. public meetings requested in a California Public Records Act request by East County Magazine in December.

Instead of destroying audio of board meetings after 30 days, the district will now keep them for one year and will make them available to the public on request on compact disc (CD). The measure, spearheaded by board trustee Jill Barto, was affirmed by Barto along with trustees Karen Clark-Meija and Jim Miller. Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) trustees President Tamara Otero and Jo Alegria voted “no” on the new policy.

The letter addressed to Otero accused the CVUSD of violating multiple sections of the California Government Code relating to its refusal to permit inspection and copying of audiotape recordings made by the District of open and public meetings. The government act violated is more commonly known as the “Ralph M. Brown Act” which legally obligates government agencies and bodies to abide by specific rules regarding open meetings and access to public documents.

Audio: 

FAMED BALLOONIST DEAD AFTER ACCIDENT NEAR WARNER SPRINGS

 
 
East County News Service
 
Photo: CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Authority
 
March 28, 2019 (Warner Springs) — Julian Richard Nott, 74, died at a local hospital Tuesday of injuries sustained from a freak accident in an experimental hot air balloon Sunday near Warner Springs.
 
Nott set 79 world ballooning records, according to his obituary. Originally from Britain, Nott was living in Santa Barbara at the time of his death.

SLEEPY JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS GETS A WAKE-UP CALL: PROPOSED MAJOR ENERGY PROJECT DRAWS CONCERNED CROWD

 

 

By R. Person

March 27, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Residents of the sleepy 1930s resort town Jacumba Hot Springs are awakening to the realities of a massive solar project planned for the edge of town on a site previously dedicated to a walled equestrian housing project.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS TAKE STEP TOWARD POSSIBLE POTATO CHIP ROCK PARKING

 

 

March 27, 2019 (Ramona) - The County Board of Supervisors took a step Wednesday toward the possibility of building a safe parking area for thousands of hikers who park and traipse dangerously close to traffic along Highway 67 in Ramona to get to Mount Woodson and the popular Potato Chip Rock trail.

DISGRACED COUNCILMAN KALASHO RESIGNS, SETTLES SUIT WITH BEAUTY QUEENS—BUT ANOTHER DEFAMATION CASE REMAINS PENDING

Update March 27, 2019:  A press release from the city today states: "City staff will be presenting options of how to fill the vacancy to the City Council at an upcoming public meeting."  Public information officer  Monica Zech told ECM  that according to City Manager Graham Mitchell, "unless the City Council requests a Special Meeting sooner, we plan to present the Council with options to fill the vacancy during the April 9th City Council Meeting."

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

March 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – Citizens who filled the El Cajon City Council chambers last year calling on Councilman Ben Kalasho to resign finally got their wish. Kalasho has submitted a resignation letter effective immediately to the City Manager. 

His resignation creates a vacancy that Mayor Bill Wells said will most likely be filled by appointment to save taxpayers the cost of a special election.

TRUMP SECRETARY OF EDUCATION BETSY DEVOS PROPOSES SHARP CUTS TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS; ACTION WOULD DASH DREAMS FOR DISABLED ATHLETES

Update March 27, 2019:  Amid criticism over the DeVos budget, President Donald Trump today announced he will override her action and that Special Olympics funds will not be eliminated.

 

Budget would also slash funds for programs for economically disadvantaged and blind students

By Liz Alper

Photos:  2011 Special Olympics event held at Helix High 

March 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- On Tuesday, President Donald Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed massive budget cuts, nearly $18 million, to Special Olympics, a worldwide organization that allows children and adults with developmental disabilities to participate in athletics.

A RAINBOW OF LOCAL RESIDENTS FACE OFF AGAINST SCHOOL PICKETERS FROM INFAMOUS WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH

Messages of love and inclusivity overwhelm hate group picketing two East County high schools



By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Robert Gehr and Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

Photos by Paul Kruze and Robert Gehr

 

March 26, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) — Some 300 spirited protesters held a “Rainbow Dance Party” Monday, vastly outnumbering three members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) which briefly picketed El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley.

 

GOV. NEWSOM DECLARES EMERGENCY FOR WILDFIRE PREVENTION: CREST, GUATAY IN EAST COUNTY AMONG “VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES” TARGETED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office

March 26, 2019 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday proclaimed a state of emergency over wildfire dangers to “protect the state’s most vulnerable communities,” according to a press release issued by his office.  

ARSON AT ESCONDIDO MOSQUE PROMPTS HEIGHTENED SECURITY ACROSS COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Image: Funds are being raised through LaunchGood to restore damage at the mosque.

March 26, 2019 (Escondido) – An arson fire at the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido on Sunday has prompted heightened security at mosques throughout San Diego County, the Escondido Grapevine reports.

“Graffiti left behind by the suspect made reference to the shooting incident in New Zealand,” said Lt. Chris Lick with Escondido Police. The mass shooting at a Christchurch New Zealand mosque earlier this month killed 50 people.

JUDGE APPROVES RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR ALLAN EARL JAMES IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 25, 2019 (San Diego) – Ignoring tearful pleas from three people victimized as children by sexually violent predator Alan Earl James, San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Haratunian III today reaffirmed his earlier decision allowing release of James into Jacumba Hot Springs.

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS DEBATE HOW TO PREVENT ANOTHER COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL

 

 

By Felicia Mello, CALMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  As the college cheating scandal has spread to include UCLA and UC Berkeley, state lawmakers are scrutinizing loopholes and seeking to reassure Californians. Photo by Robbie Short for CALmatters

March 25, 2019 (Sacramento) - When state legislators grilled University of California staff at a hearing Tuesday about the university’s response to the recent college admissions scandal, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty asked the question that’s been reverberating since the story broke last week.

SAN DIEGO SENIORS VOTE 'AYE' ON MAKING A DIFFERENCE

 

Have you ever had ambitions to run for office but found the prospect of lawn signs, advertising and public appearances daunting?

If you’re a San Diego County resident over the age of 55, you can still fulfill your political aspirations without the rigors of a major campaign. The California Senior Legislature offers older adults the opportunity to advance issues important to them and advocate for legislation at the state level.

BICYCLIST HIT BY SUV, SERIOUSLY INJURED IN EL CAJON

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – A bicyclist in her 40s who was struck by a sport utility vehicle at Fletcher Parkway and Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon is in a trauma center tonight with serious injuries.
 
Officers from the El Cajon Police department and Heartland Fire Department paramedics responded to calls reporting the collision at 6:25 p.m. They found the victim unresponsive in the street with major injuries. She was transported to a trauma center.
 

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO HOLD MARCH 27 HEARING ON SHIFT TO DIVISION ELECTIONS AND NOMINATION OF LAFCO MEMBERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board voted Feb. 27 to shift to “by division” elections instead of at-large elections.  On March 27 T 5:30 p.m., the board will hold the second of two hearings to solicit public input, after which maps will be drawn for proposed districts.

ARREST MADE IN SPRING VALLEY MURDER CASE

 
 
Update March 22, 2019:  A suspect in this case was arrested last night by the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force.  Carlos Davis, 22, of La Mesa has been booked for murder at the San Diego Central Jail and is being held without bail. The victim has been  identified as Carlo Avila, 27, of Santee and his family has been notified. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

 
East County News Service
 
March 21, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a 9-1-1 call of a shooting at 1:21 a.m. searched the area and found a severely injured, unresponsive man on the ground in an alley behind 8914 Delrose Avenue in Spring Valley.

PASSAGES: TOM HYDE, VIEJAS TRIBAL ELDER AND LAST ORIGINAL RESERVATION MEMBER, 1927-2019

 

March 20, 2019 (Viejas Reservation) -- Tom Hyde, revered tribal elder, passed from this earth and his beloved Viejas community, March 14, 2019, at 92 years of age.  He is survived by a large family of 200, both blood and chosen.  Born Thomas James Hyde to Prudencia and Valentine Hyde, of El Capitan Village, he’s the last of the original Viejas Reservation members, and last to have personally witnessed destruction of El Capitan Village, at age five. Thus, he began life as a bridge between the past and future of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE PREDATOR PLACEMENTS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Today, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced on Facebook that she has sent a letter to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging him to investigate the disproportionate placement of sexually violent predators (SVPs) in rural East County.

LA MESA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE ON HOMELESSNESS

 

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2019 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa is seeking volunteers for an ad hoc citizen committee on homelessness.  If you're passionate about homeless issues and want to make a positive difference in the community, you are encouraged to sign up.

CALIFORNIA NATIONAL GUARD SHIFTS FROM BORDER TO FIRE PREVENTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative commons by S.A.

March 20, 2019 (San Diego) -- Instead of putting up razor wire at the border, California’s National Guard troops will soon be wielding shovels, rakes and chainsaws to clear brush, thin trees and help prevent the spread of wildfires.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MAN MISSING FROM EDGEMOOR HOSPITAL IN SANTEE



Update March 21:  This individual has been found and is safe.

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2019 (Santee) - A search is underway for Jose “Raul” Martinez, a 63-year-old patient reported missing yesterday from Edgemoor Hospital, a skilled nursing care facility at 655 Park Center Drive in Santee.  He suffers from medical conditions and may become disoriented.

He is Hispanic and was last seen waring a black jacket, dark jeans and white shoes. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

MEDICAL EXAMINER PUTS 20 YEARS OF DATA ONLINE

 

 

By Yvette Urrea MoeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Photo: Chief County Medical Examiner Dr. Glenn Wagner in an examining room for death investigations.

March 20, 2019 (San Diego) - In a model of government transparency, the San Diego County Medical Examiner is releasing 220 years' worth of data--from 1997 to the third quarter of 2018, in a free searchable online portal.  The site makes over 59,000 records available.

Valuable comparisons and conclusions can be drawn from the types and circumstances of sudden unexpected deaths that occur in San Diego County, and in changes over time.

JULIAN VOTES TO ABOLISH THE JULIAN CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report

Update March 27, 2019: The margin has narrowed slightly but Measure A still leads by 114 votes and a 7.96% margin: yes 53.98%, no 46.02%

March 19, 2019 (Julian) – The County’s last all-volunteer fire department may soon be history. With 1,294 ballots counted tonight, Measure A is passing with 55.56%, the Registrar of Voters reports.

The measure would affirm a decision made last September by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to abolish the 35-year-old Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Fire and ambulance services would be shifted entirely to the County Fire Authority, under the direction of Cal-Fire.

The Registrar’s office will continue to accept ballots until Friday, if postmarked by today. It is unclear how many ballots mailed out have not yet been returned, or whether there could be enough to make up the 145-vote gap (719 to 575).

Cal-Fire firefighters’ union local #2881 posted on Facebook tonight, “Thank you to the Citizens of Julian and Cuyamaca for the opportunity to serve them.” (photo, left)

For backers of the JCFPD who have fought hard to keep their volunteer firefighters, however, the outcome sparked strong emotions.

TRUMP VETOES CONGRESSIONAL MEASURE TO BLOCK HIS EMERGENCY DECLARATION

 

 

President also threatens to veto Senate’s passage of a bill ending support for Saudis in Yemen civil war

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 19, 2019 (Washington D.C.) — A courtroom battle looms after President Donald Trump vetoed a resolution Friday passed by both houses of Congress. The Congressional resolution rejected Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a border wall. 

HELIX WATER DISTRICT APPROVES $8 MILLION PAY-DOWN OF PENSION LIABILITIES

 
 
Source: Helix Water District
 
March 19, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The Helix Water District Board of Directors approved on February 13, 2019 a one-time, $5 million payment in 2019 and an additional $3 million in payments over the next four years to reduce the district’s unfunded employee pension liabilities.

HELIX WATER BOARD TO HEAR FINAL REPORT ON COMPENSATION STUDY AT PUBLIC WORKSHOP MARCH 27

 
 
Source: Helix Water District
 
March 19, 2019 (La Mesa) - On March 27, 2019, the Helix Water District Board of Directors will hear the final report on the compensation and benefits study conducted for the district by Reward Strategy Group. The public workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m.  on March 27 at Helix’s administration office, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. 

“RAINBOW DANCE PARTY” PLANNED TO COUNTER WESTBORO, HATE GROUP PICKETING HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 

 

East County News Service

March 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Activists have announced plans for a “Rainbow Dance Party” to counter picketing by the hate group Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, March 25th. The counter-protesters will begin their event at 6:45 a.m. at El Cajon Valley High School, shortly before Westboro’s picketing starts at 7 a.m.  Then the rainbow dancers and marchers will proceed to Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, arriving before Westboro’s picketing at 8:30 and remaining until 9:30 a.m.

GUATAY MOTORCYLIST KILLED IN COLLISION

 

East County News Service

March 18, 2019 (Guatay) – A Guatay man, 56, died at the scene of a collision yesterday at 4:25 a.m. He was riding a Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle on Olde Highway 80 approaching westbound State Route 79, when a Chevrolet Silverado driven by a Temecula man, 21, entered the intersection to make a left turn, violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, according to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

HAWK IN LAKESIDE TESTS POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

 

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 17, 2019 (Lakeside) - A dead Cooper’s hawk found in Lakeside has tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the first sign this year of the potentially deadly disease in San Diego County.

County Vector Control officials said people should remember to follow the County’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines—particularly to dump out standing water and to wear insect repellent—to protect themselves from mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus and other diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika.

MORE RAIN AND SNOW COMING MID-WEEK

 

 

East County News Service

March 17, 2019 (San Diego) – The current warm and sunny weather will end Tuesday evening, when rain, snow showers and strong winds are forecast.  The storm is predicted to drop a quarter to a half inch of rain on most parts of San Diego County, with up to an inch on Palomar Mountain but less than a quarter inch in Borrego Springs.

While Friday is expected to be dry, another storm system could hit our region again on Saturday or Sunday, says National Weather Service meteorologist James Brotherton.

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