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

ALPINE FIRE CHIEF BILL PASKLE ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Source: Alpine Fire Dept.

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Nov. 26, 2019 (Alpine) The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) has announced the retirement of fire chief, Bill F. Paskle, effective Dec. 30.

At their meeting, held on Nov. 19, Paskle submitted a letter to the board of directors that board president Jim Easterling read aloud during the meeting and thanked the fire chief for his years of service to the district.

8 TIPS TO MAKE ONLINE HOLIDAY SHOPPING MERRY AND BRIGHT IN 2019

By Suzanne Schlundt, Cox Communications
 
November 26, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- In 2018, shoppers spent $7.9 billion during Cyber Monday, up from $6.69 billion in 2017. This year, experts predict a 20% increase in Cyber Monday online sales on Dec. 2, coming in at $9.5 billion. And with one less shopping week this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consumers may be even more focused on Cyber Monday to secure gifts in time for family festivities.
 
Online shopping is a great way to find deals and save time when you can’t get to a store’s physical location, but don’t forget to keep your guard up when making those online purchases. 

EXPLOSIVE CAVE FIRE THREATENS HOMES IN SANTA BARBARA

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2019 (Santa Barbara) – The fast-moving #CaveFire that started shortly after 4  p.m. along Highway 154 in the Los Padres National Forest near Painted Cave has scorched over 3,100 acres, forcing evacutions. Homes are threatened and the fire is encroaching northern portions of the city of Santa Barbara and Goleta tonight, while many are without power due to a proactive utility shut-off.

View a map of the evacuation zone here:  https://sbcoem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ff627ef192de40b6b19c7c2718f59028

THIS SHOPPING SEASON, BE LIKE SANTA: CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS, CHECK THEM TWICE

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Nov. 25, 2019 (San Diego) Thanksgiving and Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping events of the year, are here again.

That means this is the perfect time to remind shoppers: remember to double-check your receipts so you don’t get accidentally overcharged by faulty cash register price scanners.

COUNTY GETS $1.7 MILLION TO HOUSE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Nov. 25, 2019 (San Diego) The County Health and Human Services Agency was awarded more than $1.7 million in federal funds to house people with disabilities.

The $1,753,026 comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awarded more than $130 million to 325 housing authorities across the nation. The County was one of 25 California counties and cities, including Oceanside, to receive this type of federal housing grants.

CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTERS ENDORSE STEVE VAUS FOR SUPERVISOR IN DISTRICT 2



 

East County News Service

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) – The CAL FIRE firefighters union has endorsed Poway Mayor Steve Vaus for Supervisor.

“We recognize that Steve has a proven ability to bring people together to get things done. Most importantly, he truly cares about helping the hard-working men and women protecting our community,” says Patrick Walker, Vice President of CAL FIRE Local #2881 10th district.

FPPC CLOSED COMPLAINT AGAINST ROSIAK AND WITHDREW WARNING LETTER

 

Update Nov. 25, 2019:  Lemon Grove has confirmed that it has no records of any prior complaints filed against any other candidates for violation of campaign contribution or disclosure requirements in the past 10 years.

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Earlier this month, we reported that the city of Lemon Grove has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accused the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.  Rosiak told ECM, “The FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) cannot provide help or an opinion, but my filings were received by them and they have no issues with me.” 

The city contends that Rosiak borrowed money from her campaign and didn’t pay it back within 30 days, nor disclose expenditures on her behalf totaling over $100.  The city claims Rosiak violated state and city laws.

ECM asked the FPPC for a record of any FPPC complaint against Rosiak and the resolution, and the FPPC has now responded.

The FPPC confirmed that did send  a warning letter on July 13, 2018 regarding a missed filing deadline of form 470 in her campaign for Lemon Grove City Council. However, that warning letter was later withdrawn on July 16, 2018 after Rosiak stated she had sent a copy of the statement to the County Registrar’s office 10 days before the deadline via U.P.S. When notified by the Registrar that it had not arrived, she emailed a copy of the paperwork which she had retained.

HUNTER DUMPS LEGAL TEAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2019 (Alpine) – Indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter has fired his three trial attorneys a month before his federal corruption trial is slated to begin Jan. 22.  Hunter wants former District Attorney Paul Pfingst to represent him – but now the U.S. Attorney is asking the court to disqualify Pfingst over a conflict of interest since Pfingst’s law firm  (Higgs, Fletcher & Mack) represented witnesses who testified to the grand jury that later indicted Hunter.

SDG&E RECEIVES RECOGNITION FOR WILDFIRE SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND “OUTSTANDING” ELECTRIC RELIABILITY

For 14th consecutive year, SDG&E named best in the west for electric reliability 

 

East County News Service

 

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) --  Every day, 3.6 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties depend on San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to power their homes and businesses. Now, PA Consulting has honored the company with the inaugural national Community Safety Award for wildfire safety innovations and a regional ReliabilityOne™ Award for being the best in the West. 

STORMY THANKSGIVING COULD BRING SNOW BELOW 3,000 FEET, THUNDERSTORMS AND HEAVY RAINS ACROSS REST OF REGION

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re heading over the rivers and through the woods this Thanksgiving week, you might just wind up traveling through white and drifted snow, as the popular song lyrics go—not to mention rain and flash flooding, too, making for hazardous roadway conditions across southern California, the National Weather Service warns.

The National Weather Service predicts a major winter storm will bring significant snowfall of one to two feet above 5,000 feet by Wednesday, with the snow level dropping to 3,000 feet or even lower by Friday.  Snow could impact I-8 through San Diego County’s mountains, as well as areas such as Cuyamaca, Julian, Jacumba Hot Springs, Descanso, Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain locally, as well as the Cajon Pass on I-15 for those heading north.

FORMER SHERIFF’S CAPTAIN GARMO INDICTED FOR GUN TRAFFICKING, LYING TO FEDS, AND TIPPING OFF COUSIN WHO OWNED POT SHOP ON RAIDS

Jeweler Leo Hamel, Lt. Fred Magana plead guilty to aiding in scheme; gun dealer and El Cajon resident also charged

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Indicted former Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Captain Marco Garmo, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 22, 2019 (San Diego) --  Former Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo was arrested this morning based on a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with operating an illegal firearms trafficking business – at times from his office at the Rancho San Diego Station with the help of others, including a fellow Sheriff’s deputy.

The indictment also charges Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Fred Magana, prominent San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel, firearms dealer Giovanni Tilotta and El Cajon resident Waiel Anton with aiding and abetting Garmo’s illegal firearms business.

IMPEACHMENT HEARING HIGHLIGHTS: WEEK TWO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: President Donald Trump with Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who donated a million dollars to Trump's campaign but provided damning testimony implicating Trump and top officials in illegal activities.

November 22, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The second week of impeachment hearings before the House Intelligence Committee brought drama and surprises. Below are highlights of key witness testimony and summation statements from the Committee's top Democrat and Republican Senators.

Ambassador Sondland: “Was there a quid pro quo?...The answer is yes…Everyone was in the loop.”

ECM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAUL KRUZE TO BE ONE OF THE ANNOUNCERS AT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE

East County News Service

November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) -- East County Magazine’s award-winning Contributing Editor, Paul Kruze, will be one of several celebrity announcers at this year’s iconic “Mother Goose Parade” set to hit the streets of downtown El Cajon on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. on Main Street.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this classic start to the holiday season,” said Kruze, who has been a part of East County Magazine for nearly a decade. “The best part of my work is when I get to meet so many people who are involved in our community."

JOURNALISTS SUE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DEFEND FREE PRESS IN ACLU LAWSUIT

Government created secret dossier on journalists, interrogated them at border for information on sources and reporting

Source:  ACLU

November 21, 2019 (San Diego) -- Five journalists who were tracked, detained, and interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security in an unprecedentedcoordinated attack on the freedom of the press are suing to defend the First Amendment. The journalists were all reporting on conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. On multiple separate occasions in 2018 and 2019, U.S. border officers targeted the journalists for secondary screening at the border, compelled them to disclose information about their sources and observations as journalists, and even searched through their photos and notes.

TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION TARGETS BORDER WALL IN CAMPO IN BRAZEN SMUGGLING ATTEMPT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Smugglers cut the old border wall to facilitate an alien smuggling attempt.
 
November 21, 2019 (Campo) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 16 individuals Wednesday afternoon after smugglers cut the old landing mat border wall to facilitate a vehicle drive-thru human smuggling incident.

SIRENS, TEXTS, EVEN CHURCH BELLS: CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE ALERTS AND EVACUATIONS STILL AD HOC

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

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

Photo:  Residents evacuating from the Holy Fire near Lake Elsinore in 2018. Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG

November 21, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - When a fast-moving wildfire marched toward the town of Paradise more than a year ago, few who lived there were aware of it. Even though the community used the CodeRED automated emergency warning system, less than 40% of residents subscribed to the alerts.

“GOT POWER” PROGRAM ON GENERATORS AND BACK-UP POWER OPTIONS SPARKS INTEREST IN ALPINE

By Chris Whipple
 
Photo:   Alpine residents Sally and Brian Shepherd speaking with Robyn Herrick and Israel Juarez of SDGE.
 
November 21, 2019 (Alpine) -- East County residents braved the rain Monday evening to attend a community presentation at the Alpine Library titled, "Got Power?"  Representatives from KAMPS Propane, SDG&E, and Clayco Electric Inc. Solar answered questions about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program in East County during Santa Ana, high-wind conditions.  Chris Whipple, a resident of Flinn Springs, also made a brief presentation about back-up power plans that allow her to use her medical CPAP equipment when the power is out.   

GOVERNOR PROPOSES BOND TO FUND BACKUP GENERATORS AND SOLAR PANELS TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN DURING POWER OUTAGE

East County News Service

November 21, 2019 (Sacramento) – Schools have been hard hit statewide by utility companies’ repeated power outages intended to prevent lines from sparking wildfires—including rural and mountain school districts in San Diego’s East County. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed steps to remedy the problems, including calling for a $15 billion bond to fund back-up generators and solar panels to keep schools open during unforeseen power outages, as well as other steps.

 

Future proposals may include rethinking the traditional school calendar and building in makeup days to deal with not only natural disasters but unplanned power outages, according to a press release issued today by the Calif. Dept. of Education.

JIMMIE JOHNSON RACES INTO HISTORY, ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Mayor Wells with Johnson at a Jimmie Johnson Day in El Cajon in 2014; photo courtesy city of El Cajon

November 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Jimmie Johnson, who made history after winning a seven NASCAR Sprint championships, has announced he is on track to retire next year.  A native of East County honored as a hometown hero locally, Johnson posted a video titled “#Chasing 8  one final time” on his Twitter feed to announce his final season.

In the video, he states, “I’m so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR. The sport has been good to me. It has allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I ever thought possible. I’m looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a full-time NASCAR Cup driver. I know what this team is capable of, and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet.”  View video:  https://www.facebook.com/JimmieJohnson/videos/562999694531303/

HELIX WATER CONTINUES TO EVALUATE LOCAL DRINKING WATER PROJECT

Source: Helix Water 

 

Image: rendering of East County Advanced Water Purification Project. Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s ECAWP website.

 

November 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- On November 5, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, city of El Cajon and County of San Diego formed a Joint Powers Authority to serve as the governing body for the East County Advanced Water Purification project.  A Helix Water District representative will serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the JPA board. 

STORM DOUSES COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2019 (San Diego) – The first winter storm of the season has dumped snow on Mt. Laguna and Palomar Mountain, also bringing lightning strikes, heavy rainfall and flooding to some parts of San Diego County.

Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted a photo (left) with this message:  “Yes there is a bit of snow on Laguna but it is melting fast and the roads are dangerous. This is not the time for your winter outing.”

THE RAINS ARE COMING; GET YOUR FREE SANDBAGS AT COUNTY, CAL FIRE STATIONS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 19, 2019 (San Diego) - The first rains in months are bearing down on San Diego County, meaning this could be a good time to stock up on free sandbags.

The County of San Diego and CAL FIRE are providing free sand and bags to residents in unincorporated areas at numerous fire stations around the county.

WOMAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BIZARRE OUTBURST IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

November 19, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A woman has been hospitalized after a disturbing outburst in Lemon Grove Sunday shortly before 11 a.m.  Several residents called to report the woman was yelling that she had a gun and that someone had stolen her children. She reportedly banged on the door of a stranger’s home in the 2600 block of Mercury Drive.

According to the Sheriff’s media relations department, “When deputies arrived, a 24-year-old transient matching the description of these calls became assaultive towards them.  Deputies were forced to use a less lethal bean bag round on the woman to take her into custody.  The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment.”

WINTER STORM TO BRING SHOWERS AND SNOW

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The first winter storm will impact southern California Tuesday through Thursday, says Alex Tardy with the National Weather Service.

A cold upper level storm will interact with tropical moisture on Tuesday bringing precipitation. The cold air from this northern stream storm will arrive early Wednesday and allow snow to develop in the mountains.

STEELE CANYON CHARTER RENEWAL REJECTED BY GUHSD; PRINCIPAL GRILLED BY BOARD

 

By Ana Nita

View video including interview with Mark Robak and GUHSD board hearing on the Steele Canyon charter issues: click image at left or visit  https://youtu.be/9cZj0ZmsKzY

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School encountered a set back last week, when the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board decided not to accept the charter’s application for reauthorization, following allegations that school’s governing board and charter committee violated the law and acted undemocratically. 

The charter school in Spring Valley landed in hot water with the district and the parents after a newly elected board member discovered significant discrepancies between the old and the new bylaws up for vote two weeks ago in the governing board. Mark Robak, a local businessman, joined the board on October 9 and by the end of the month, he was sending petitions to the school principal and the district objecting to irregularities with the authorization process and the bylaws.

RED FLAG WARNING SUNDAY, BUT RAIN IS ON THE WAY

East County News Service

November 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Sunday, Nov. 17 from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m.  for inland valleys and foothills.  Winds of 20-30 mph are forecast, with gusts up to 50 mph and humidity around 10%. 

Rain is possibly by Tuesday, however, with an increasing likelihood of rain Wednesday through Friday.

COUNTY ASKS D.A. TO PROBE JOEL ANDERSON’S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR SUPERVISOR RACE; HIS CAMPAIGN CALLS ALLEGATIONS “BOGUS”

Anderson has long history of campaign finance issues, special interest ties

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Major donors Gregg and Debby Hamann with Anderson at his 2008 holiday party

November 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The County has asked the District Attorney’s office to investigate allegations of criminal campaign finance violations by Joel Anderson's supervisorial campaign, in response to an inquiry made by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the newspaper reported.

SANTEE LEANS TO CURFEW ON COUNCIL MEETINGS, GIVES CITY MANAGER NICE RAISE

By Mike Allen
 
November 15, 2019 (Santee) -- Public speakers at Santee City Council meetings currently may have to sit for more than three hours before they can state their beefs to the city in a public forum.
 
But the Council is considering changing that format, along with a few other things, including establishing a curfew on how long meetings run.

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: WEEK 1 WRAP-UP

By Miriam Raftery

November 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The House Intelligence Committee held its first open impeachment hearings this week into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his powers by withholding military aide from the Ukraine and potentially committing bribery for personal gain. The President is accused of pressuring Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

You can view full video coverage and highlights of the impeachment hearings on C-Span at https://www.c-span.org/impeachment/.

Below are summaries and highlights of this week’s testimony, as well as reactions from leading Congressional Democrats and Republicans:

 

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