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

TRUMP WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS FROM SYRIA RAISES FEARS OF KURDISH GENOCIDE, DRAWS REBUKES FROM TOP REPUBLICAN LEADERS

Update September 10, 2019:  As feared, Turkey has launched an offensive against Kurdish troops who are U.S. allies, the Washington Post reports along with other major media, causing deaths, mass evacuations and a humanitarian crisis.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Kurdish rally in San Diego in 2014, when Kurdish Americans called for more protections for Kurds being massacred by ISIS, as ECM reported. 

 

October 8, 2019 (Washington D.C.)  President Donald Trump shocked top national security experts and military leaders, drawing condemnation from leaders of both parties in Congress after announcing on Sunday that he has ordered withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria.  The move jeopardizes the lives of Kurdish fighters who helped the U.S. combat ISIS.

DUNCAN HUNTER'S CRIMINAL TRIAL PUSHED EIGHT DAYS CLOSER TO MARCH 2020 ELECTION

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

Photo:  Trailed by news cameras but no protesters, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter leaves federal court after agreeing to new trial date. Photo by Ken Stone

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) - Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s criminal trial on campaign spending misconduct was reset Monday for Jan. 22, 2020, at his legal team’s request — an eight-day delay to accommodate a 9th Circuit appeal.

SUPREME COURT DENIES SDG&E APPEAL, ENDING UTILITY’S EFFORT TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 FIRESTORM DAMAGES

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it has denied San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for the high court to hear an appeal of a California Supreme Court decision. The California court denied the utility company’s request to charge utility ratepayers for $379 million in liabilities for the firestorm damages beyond the $1.1 billion in insurance coverage.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR EXPANDS RECALL DUE TO E. COLI

East County News Service

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) – King Arthur Flour last week broadened an earlier recall in June due to e-coli contamination found at the ADM milling facility in Buffalo, New York.  The 5-pound and 25-pound bags of unbleached all-purpose flower were distributed nationwide and online. 

VEHICLE FIRE SPARKS BRUSH BLAZE NEAR GREEN VALLEY FALLS CAMPGROUND

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Rancho Cuyamaca State Park) – A motorcycle crash off State Route 79 near Green Valley Campground charred approximately six acres of brush today.  Around 70 firefighters from multiple agencies battled the #GreenFire by land and air, extinguishing it several hours after it began.

FIRE WEATHER FORECAST

East County News Service
 
October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service predicts moderate Santa Ana winds this week, combined with low humidity for elevated fire danger.
 
While Orange County is forecast to have the most severe conditions,  relative humidity is expected to fall into low double digits in San Diego’s mountain areas and single digits in the desert.  West to northwest winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are anticipated starting Tuesday. By Thursday and Friday, falling humidity is expected to create critical fire weather conditions.  

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS PLAN FOR CAMERAS TO AID LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- A San Diego Sheriff pilot project introducing a video federation program, election sign regulations for Lemon Grove City Council candidates and other matters were discussed by the Council at their meeting Oct. 1st at the Lemon Grove Community Center.

The video federation project was introduced by San Diego Sheriff Lt. Mike Rand. 

Lt. Rand said the department has begun the process of community awareness of a video sharing platform named “SafeSanDiego.” The first community forum in Lemon Grove was held on Oct. 3.  Businesses, government agencies and residents will be allowed to share video with law enforcement to help authorities investigate and solve criminal cases.

PASSAGES: BORREGO SPRINGS PHILANTHROPIST BILL WRIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Borrego wildflowers, CC by SA

October 6, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Since moving to Borrego Springs from Santa Barbara in 1980, Bill Wright has been a “champion of all things good in Borrego Springs,” according to the Borrego Sun.  The newspaper announced that Wright passed away on October 1 at age 88.

$25,000 REWARD OFFERED TO FIND HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO CRITICALLY INJURED BICYCLIST MICHELLE SCOTT, RAMONA CERT TEAM MEMBER

Fundraiser launched to help pay victim’s medical bills

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

October 6, 2019 (Ramona) — A $25,000 reward is being offered anonymously for information leading to arrest of the driver of a black Ford Edge SUV with stolen license plates, NBC 7 reports. The vehicle struck and critically injured Ramona bicyclist Michelle Scott last Wednesday morning on State Route 67 north of Dye Road.  

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BRIAN JONES OFFERS TO LEAD NON-RESIDENT RIVALS ISSA AND DEMAIO ON TOUR OF EAST COUNTY

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – In the rough and tumble world of politics, State Senator Brian Jones has found a witty way to drive home a key advantage of his Congressional candidacy: unlike two prominent rivals, former Rep. Darrell Issa and talk show host Carl DeMaio, Jones actually lives in the 50th Congressional district that each hopes to represent.

After Issa and DeMaio held dueling press conferences in downtown El Cajon to draw media attention to their efforts to oust indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Jones posted an open letter via the San Diego Rostra website last Friday inviting  his non-resident rivals on a tour of the district. The tour led by Jones at the wheel would include rugged backcountry terrain and a stop at a shooting range.

TWO EAST COUNTY PROJECTS WIN ORCHID AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Ilan-Lael Center; bottom: Borrego Springs Library

 

October 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual Orchids & Onions Awards have presented coveted “Orchid” awards to two East County projects.  

 

The Ilan-Lael Center in Santa Ysabel built by Hubbell and Hubbell Architects received the award for collaborative architecture. The County’s Borrego Springs library, park and Sheriff’s office designed by RNT Architects received an Orchid architectural award.

HEAD-ON COLLISION CAUSED BY CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT DRIVER INJURES THREE

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 4, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A Cajon Valley School District Ford pickup towing a trailer veered into the path of an oncoming Ford Fusion sedan this morning on Avocado Boulevard near Mount Helix, the California Highway Patrol reports. The head-on collision sent the vehicles careening into the front yard of a home, injuring both drivers and an infant in a child safety seat.  

SUPERVISORS WEIGH BAN ON VAPING PRODUCTS; MAYO CLINIC FINDS CHEMICAL BURNS IN LUNGS OF PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED OR DEAD AFTER VAPING

East County News Service

October 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher are proposing a ban on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco made for electronic cigarettes, along with a moratorium on the sale and distribution of the e-devices in the county’s unincorporated area. They are encouraging cities in San Diego County to do the same. According to a new report by the Mayo Clinic, lung biopsies reveal damage consistent with chemical burns, leading researchers to suspect chemical additives may be to blame for over 1,000 serious lung injury cases and 18 deaths, all associated with vaping or e-cigarette use.

County public health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are also advising people to stop vaping, as investigators continue looking into what’s causing a nationwide epidemic of respiratory illnesses among those that use the e-cigarettes or vaping products.

450 RALLY AT DOWNTOWN EL CAJON PARK IN SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTERS IN IRAQ

Dozens dead, estimates of injured range from 600 to nearly 1,200

Photo: Maryam Deuge and Mina Abdelahad want Iraq to have water, food, electricity, internet and jobs, and an end to widespread corruption

By Jonathan Goetz

October 4, 2019 (El Cajon) - “Over the last 24 hours all these people in Iraq are dying,” Mina Abdelahad told East County Magazine at an impromptu rally yesterday in downtown El Cajon following reports of brutal crackdowns on protesters in Baghdad.

Around 450 protesters gathered in El Cajon, home to tens of thousands of Iraqi immigrants and refugees. The local protesters stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Iraq and decried the violent crackdowns on protesters in Iraq that have injured between 600 and 1,200 people, killing 20 to 30 or more.

Abdelahad shows us graphic pictures on her phone: people carrying dead bodies, a child with a gunshot wound, and protesters weeping over a dead one-year-old girl. As of Thursday, Al-Jazeera put the death toll at 20, the Associated Press 33, CNN 22, Fox 31 and Reuters 27. 

CHEMICALS SUSPECTED AS VAPING LUNG INJURIES TOP 1,000, WITH 18 DEAD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Centers for Disease Control

October 3, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Biopsies of vapers’ damaged lungs reveal that inhaling chemicals through vaping is causing chemical burns, the Mayo Clinic reports, suggesting oils may not be the primary cause of serious lung damage and deaths linked to e-cigarettes and other vaping products. Meanwhile the Centers for Disease Control reports the number of serious injuries linked to vaping has soared to 1,080  including more than 100 in California, with 18 people dead as a result.

WOMAN, 67, DIES AFTER STRIKING I-8 OVERPASS WALL IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 3, 2019 (La Mesa) – Shortly after midnight, La Mesa Police officers called to the scene of a reported disabled vehicle blocking the roadway on the 70th Street overpass above I-8 near Alvarado Road discovered the driver inside, unresponsive with no pulse. Officers administered CPR until paramedics arrived and took over.  The woman, 67, was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

BILL TO REQUIRE EXPEDITED TESTING OF RAPE KITS NOW ON GOVERNOR’S DESK

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (Sacramento) - After passing both houses of the California Legislature unanimously, Senate Bill 22 is now awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newsom.  If signed into law, the measure will require law enforcement agencies and forensic labs to expedite the handling, analysis and testing of rape kit evidence.

BERNIE SANDERS HOSPITALIZED FOR STENTS TO CLEAR BLOCKED ARTERY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sanders during 2016 campaign stop in San Diego

Update Oct. 4:  Sanders has been released from the hospital. His doctors released a statement, along with the Sanders campaign, confirming the Senator had a heart attack but has "good expected progress."  Senator Sanders issued a statement indicating "I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work.”

Update Oct. 3:  Jane Sanders released a statement which reads in part: "Bernie is up and about. Yesterday, he spent much of the day talking with staff about policies, cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors, and speaking with his family on the phone. His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures. We expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend. He'll take a few days to rest, but he's ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate.”

 

October 2, 2019 (San Diego) – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has consistently polled among the top three Democratic presidential contenders, has been hospitalized after experiencing chest pain Tuesday evening at a campaign event. Testing revealed a blocked artery and Sanders underwent surgery to insert two stents.

TRUMP SOUGHT ALLIGATOR-FILLED MOAT, SPIKES TO SHRED FLESH, AND SHOOTING OF IMMIGRANTS: NEW YORK TIMES REPORT

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – A New York Times report based on interviews with a dozen White House officials describe disturbing statements by President Donald Trump last March, when he repeatedly pressed aides to take illegal actions toward migrants before ultimately ordering the border shut down. 

“Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that would pierce human flesh,” the Times reports. “After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told hm that was illegal But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.”

Trump attacked the Times report in a Tweet, calling it “fake news” and misspelling “moat” as “moot.”

LAKESIDE PLANNING GROUP TO HEAR SAND MINE EXPANSION PROPOSAL OCT. 2

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 1, 2019 (Lakeside) – Bob Turner, owner of a sand mine located on Moreno Ave. at State Route 67 in Lakeside, has applied to expand the sand mine. The issue will be heard on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. by the Lakeside Community Planning Group (LCPG) in the Lakeside Community Center. View agenda.

 

The documents on the specific expansion details are not available online. However journalist and Lakeside environmental activist Ana Nita states in an e-mail to ECM tonight,  “Turner is applying to expand the mine below the aquifer level at 80 ft.” The sand mine was reportedly approved in 2017 at a depth of 25 feet.

JUST A FEW TICKETS LEFT FOR OUR FALL FIESTA OCT. 5 IN JAMUL INCLUDES SEAFOOD/MEXICAN CUISINE, WINE, LIVE MUSIC AND MORE!

Earlybird ticket rates extended to Oct. 2 for our Oct. 5 fiesta

 

East County Magazine and our East County Dining Club invite you to party hearty at our 

FALL FIESTA!

When: Saturday, October 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where:  D&S Farms, home of Granite Lion Cellars Winery

                                                                     (in their shaded oak grove at 2801 Jamul Highlands, Jamul)

  • Catered dinner from La Loteria de Jamul (choice of entrees: chicken poblano or fish in jalapeño/pineapple sauce, plus apple salad, ceviche, chips and salsa, potatoes, roasted vegetables, avocado aioli, and churro)
  • Music by Sergio D. Tala (Spanish, Caribbean, rhumba and flamenco. Ole!)
  • Wine tasting, wine by the glass available
  • Prizes galore, festive fun and more! Prizes include:  $300 gift basket from E-Med spa (facial and skincare products), $200 gift basket from Ava Hair Salon, gift certificates from La Loteria del Jamul,  Round Table Pizza, Home Depot and others, original wine-themed art by Annette Cirillo, purse with fringe and rhinestones, wine lovers' gifts, jewelry and more.

 

Cost: $33 with RSVP by Oct. 2,  $38 after Oct. 2 (if not sold out); designated driver/no alcohol $28

Tickets:  Click arrow below for menu of ticket options to pay via credit card or Paypal:

Tickets-Fall Fiesta

COUNTY TO OFFER FREE PRE-APPROVED HOUSING PLANS FOR GRANNY FLATS

 

By James Kecskes, County of San Diego Communications Office

September 30, 2019 (San Diego) - County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, joined by affordable housing advocates and builders, launched an incentive program aimed at spurring the development of granny flats and other accessory homes (granny flats).

TRUMP THREATENS WHISTLEBLOWERS, ACCUSES CONGRESSMAN OF TREASON OVER IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AND EVOKES “CIVIL WAR” IN TWITTER STORM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  President Trump and Congressman Adam Schiff, whom Trump accused of “treason” for chairing an impeachment inquiry

September 30, 2019 – Attorneys for the whistleblower whose complaint launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have sent letters to the Acting Director of National Intelligence and to Chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees requesting federal protection for their client.  The letter cites overt threats made by the President calling for the death of whistleblowers and leakers. On Sept. 26, Trump stated during a meeting with United Nations leaders caught on tape by the Los Angeles Times:

FDA ISSUES WARNING OVER PERFORMANCE DOG RAW FOOD DUE TO SALMONELLA AND LISTERIA: DANGERS TO HUMANS AND PETS

East County News Service

September 30, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets any Performance Dog frozen raw pet food after a sample tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).  Bravo Packing, Inc. Performance Dog products are sold frozen in two-pound plastic pouches.

ARMY VETERAN AND FEDERAL CONTRACTOR HELEN HORVATH, INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS, TAKES AIM AT HUNTER’S SEAT

 

"I believe we need more independents in Congress because  parties are so mired in their fighting…they’re not representing the country. I value our community, and I want to serve the country.”  -- Helen Horvath, mliitary veteran, federal consultant and Alpine resident

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2019 (San Diego) – Like many voters, Helen Horvath is an independent whose views on key issues cross political aisles. She’s a fiscal conservative who wants to use her expertise to cut the national debt, but also believes we need to move toward a clean energy future and protect women’s rights, while taking a moderate stance on gun issues. She supports strong border security while also showing compassion for refugees fleeing violence, and pledges to be a strong voice for military families and veterans.

Now she’s entered the 50th Congressional district race, vying against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter,  Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, former Rep. Darrell Issa and State Senator Brian Jones. (Note: the latter two entered the race this week, after our interview).

Hear our interview: In an interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio last month, Horvath shared her thoughts in depth. Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

LA MESA COUNCIL APPROVES CANNABIS ORDINANCE AND GRANTS TO IMPROVE WEST LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 28, 2019 (La Mesa) – A citizens-led effort to clean up their blighted West La Mesa neighborhood has borne fruit. On Tuesday, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved two pilot programs offering grants to businesses in the area to improve the streetscape. 

FOUR RIVALS DROP OUT AND ENDORSE ISSA IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER; DEMAIO DISRUPTS WITH COMPETING RALLY

 

CA Senator Brian Jones, also running, chides non-resident candidates for holding press conference in “wrong district”  

Video excerpt: Darrell Issa

Video excerpt: Carl DeMaio

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The weather in El Cajon Thursday morning was cloudy and drizzly in front of City Hall. But the political rhetoric was sweltering. In the race for San Diego’s 50th Congressional District, four Republican candidates for the seat bowed out and swung their support to former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa.

Another candidate, former San Diego City Councilman and conservative radio host Carl DeMaio, held a rival press conference some 100 feet away to attack Issa. State Senator Brian Jones, who is also running, chose to remain above the fray by staying away.

DEMOCRATS LAUNCH IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, FULL WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT NOW REVEALED

Inspector General for intelligence community warns that whistleblower complaint is “an urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”

Hear audio of the declassified whistleblower complaint read aloud here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.)  -- A whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump has been declassified and released today in its entirety.  The complaint states that the President abused his power during a July 25, 2019 phone call,  pressuring the Ukraine’s president to investigate the son of Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in an effort to influence the 2020 election.

The whistleblower, whom the New York Times reports is a CIA agent assigned to the White House, also alleges that Trump tried to hide his actions by locking up records of the call. The Washington Post reports that just one week before the call to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump ordered a halt to military aide promised to the Ukraine. 

The Trump administration’s own intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson warned that the whistleblower complaints to be both credible and an “urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”

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