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

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

SANTEE COUNCIL GETS WARNING ON ITS FINANCIAL FUTURE

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

LAKESIDE PLANNERS CALL SPECIAL MEETING WED. FEB. 20 ON COUNTY ZONING CHANGES PROPOSED TO IMPACT LAKESIDE AND OTHER UNINCORPORATED AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2019 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group has called a special meeting to be held this Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Teen Center in the Community Center. The County will have a representative present to “explain some of the actions that the County Planning Commission has approved and is sending to the Board of Supervisors for their approval regarding changes to the local zoning ordinances that will have an effect on Lakeside,” according to an email sent by LCPG chair Brian Sesko.

Sesko told ECM that the county presented the matter as zoning “cleanup” and complying with state mandates, but that some residents who went down and ready the full proposal raised concerns about potential impacts on Lakeside and other unincorporated areas.

He added that Supervisors are slated to hear the proposed amendments next Wednesday and that the County Planning Commission already voted in favor despite some objections.

LOCAL CONSERVATIVES SEEK LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT FOR CONVENTION OF STATES TO AMEND U.S. CONSTITUTION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Assemblyman Randy Voepel, center, gives a thumb up to a Convention of States during meeting with local supporters

February 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Constitution grants states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments to the federal constitution. To do so would require that 34 states agree to call a convention, though it would take 38 states to ratify any proposed amendments.

A national movement has begun among conservatives seeking to convene such a convention, with Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) the latest to voice support for the idea.

MOTORIST STRIKES CHP VEHICLE, INJURES OFFICER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2019 (San Diego) – California Highway Patrol Officer Betancourt was injured this evening when his patrol vehicle was struck by a 1994 Infinity sedan.  Officer Betancourt had stopped at the scene of an accident on the Interstate 8 east ramp to Misison Gorge Road, along with Officer Theal. He was parked on the right shoulder in his vehicle providing traffic control when the Infinity lost control in a curve at a high rate of speed and struck the rear and left side of the CHP vehicle. 

POWAY MAN KILLS SELF AMID SWAT STAND-OFF

 
 
East County News Service
 
February 18, 2019 (Poway) – A man who reportedly threatened his wife with a gun prompted an eight-hour SWAT team stand-off early yesterday morning in Poway before taking his own life.
 
According to Lt. Christopher Collier with the San Diego Sheriff’s department, after the woman reported the threat, deputies arrived and began communicating with her husband. Because he was armed, the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and Special Enforcement Detail (SWAT team) were called in.

IDENTITY RELEASED OF MAN WHO DIED PADDLE BOARDING IN STORM CHANNEL

 
 
East County News Service
 
File photo: San Diego Fire Dept. Swiftwater Rescue
 
February 18, 2018 (Escondido) – James Michael Miller, 62, has been identified by the County Medical Examiner’s office as the victim found dead in an Escondido flood channel on Thursday.  Witness told police that Miller was trying to paddle a surfboard down the flooded channel  near his home after heavy rains, but fell off the board.

NEW STORM COULD DROP SNOW DOWN TO 2000 FEET; FROST WARNING IN EFFECT FOR INLAND AREAS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Sunrise HIghway, courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

 

Update 11:40 a.m. -- Update: SR-79 is now open from I-8 to SR-78 into Julian. Chains are not required.Sunrise Highway is open from Olde Highway to MPM 27.5 chains are still mandatory, per the CHP.

 

February 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A new storm slated to pummel our region Wednesday night through Friday morning will bring more snow and blustery winds, possibly dropping the snow level as low as 2,000 feet.  That would include areas such as Ramona, Campo, Descanso and possibly even Alpine and high desert areas. 

 

State Route 79 is still closed from Harvey Moore Trailhead (mile post marker 5) to SR-78. Sunrise Highway is closed from MPM 27.5 to SR-79. Sunrise Highway from MPM 27.5 south to Olde Hwy 80 is only open to vehicles with chains and chain requirements will strictly be enforced, CHP warns.

COMMUNITY MOURNS RABBI LEONARD ROSENTHAL

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

February 17, 2019 (San Diego) - A parade of rabbinical colleagues and family members mourning Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal, praised him, which they acknowledged he would have hated, and told jokes about him, which they said he would have loved.  The rabbi’s funeral service was attended by hundreds of congregants and friends Friday afternoon in the congregation he had served for over 30 years, Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

HEAVY SNOW, ROAD CLOSURES IN MOUNTAINS





East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photo:  Julian, courtesy of San Diego Sheriff

February 17, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Heavy snow is blanketing San Diego's mountains tonight, with 8 to 10 inches of snow possible at higher elevations and lighter snow down as low as 2,500 feet in elevation.  The following road closures are in effect, per CHP:

  • State Route 79 is closed from mile marker 7 south of Cuyamaca Lake to State Route 78 in Julian indefinitely.
  • Chains are required on Sunrise Highway. No vehicles will be allowed north on Sunrie HIghway from Olde Highway 80, just north of I-8.

In addition, the Sheriff urges visitors not to drive to Julian tonight due to hazardous winter storm conditions.

TRUMP SIGNS BUDGET BILL, DECLARES EMERGENCY TO FUND WALL, BUT NOW FACES LEGAL CHALLENGES

By Miriam Raftery

February 17, 2019 (Washington D.C.) –President Donald Trump has signed a compromise bill to keep the government from shutting down again, but issued an emergency declaration Friday to build a border wall in defiance of Congressional wishes.  Both the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House previously refused to allocate $5 billion requested by Trump for the border wall.

The compromise bill signed by Trump does include $1.3 billion for border security, including 55 miles of new barriers. But under Trump’s executive order he would take even more money than he previously sought – over $7 billion that he hopes to divert from military construction projects, combatting narcotics smuggling, and asset forfeitures.

The latter, money seized from criminals, is currently used to fund police and sheriff operations including substantial local funding in San Diego County. Fom 2004 to mid-2014,San Diego's Sheriff and District Attorney kept 80% of federal assets seized, or about $1.5 million a year, according to a records request by ECM, as we reported in October 2014.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE HOME FOR FAMILY OF EIGHT IN EL CJAON

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (El Cajon) – Heartland Fire and Rescue crews extinguished a blaze Monday night in the garage of a home in the 1500 block of Condor Ave. in El Cajon.  Residents were reportedly doing laundry when they smelled smoke and found their garage on fire.

Firefighters cut open the garage door to access the flames and were able to douse the fire within 10 minutes, saving the residence where eight people reside.

COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING FEB. 28 IN BOULEVARD ON NEW SUBSTATION AND POWERLINES FOR PROPOSED CAMPO WIND PROJECT





 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (Boulevard) – The County will be holding a scoping meeting February 28 at 6 p.m. at the Boulevard Fire Station regarding Terra Gen’s Boulder Brush Gen-tie power line and new substation facilities proposed on private land to support the Campo Wind project.

The wind turbines would cover most of the Campo reservation with 60 4-megawatt wind turbines, if approved. The new turbines are twice as powerful and about 100 to 200 feet taller than the existing 25 Kumeyaay Wind and 57 Tule Wind turbines in the area, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  The public is encouraged to come voice your views as part of the official public input process at this meeting.

Public comments are due to the County by March 18

STORM DAMAGES FACILITIES AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE: SANCTUARY SEEKS FUNDS FOR CRITICAL REPAIRS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2019 (Alpine) – “The powerful storm system that swept across our region has taken a toll on our sanctuary grounds - and made a HUGE mess in its wake,” Bobbi Brink, founder of the Lions, Tigers and Bears rescue facility in Alpine writes in an e-mail to supporters.

VALENTINE’S DAY STORM BREAKS RECORDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday’s Valentine’s Day storm dropped 10.10 inches of snow on Palomar Mountain, breaking a record of 9.58 inches set way back in 1901. The storm also brought sweet relief to drought-stricken Borrego Springs, dropping 2.68 inches of rain on the desert community.  Other new records included Ramona with 4.02 inches, Campo with 3.75 inches, and Alpine with 2.94 inches.

Lillian Trautman of El Cajon sent in the video above, showing her El Cajon yard turned into a rushing torrent of water.

KAWASAKI DISEASE CASES INCREASING IN THE COUNTY

 

 

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock.com

February 14, 2019 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency issued a health advisory to area doctors today and is asking parents to be alert about a local increase in Kawasaki disease.

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF CAPTAIN MARCO GARMO PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE DURING ATF/FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Action comes on heels of countywide firearms trafficking investigation

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Capt. Marco Garmo,10 News

February 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Capt. Marco Garmo, who most recently headed up the Rancho San Diego substation of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been placed on an administrative leave until further notice, according to ECM news partner 10News.

On the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted raids throughout San Diego County, including the large sprawling Jamul estate of San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel due to a firearms trafficking investigation, Garmo was put on leave. The Rancho San Diego substation covers the same area of Hamel’s property.

Sheriff Gore, in a e-mail obtained by 10News yesterday, states that he was made aware of potential criminal conduct by Garmo by a senior member of the Sheriff’s Department, and implies that the removal of Garmo is linked to the broader federal investigation involving Hamel’s properties.

OUTAGES AND ROAD CLOSURES

A flash flood warning is in effect countywide through 1:15 p.m. Flash flooding, heavy rains and high winds .are causing power outages and road closures across our region including:

  • Highway 94 is closed at Honey Springs Rd. due to flooding.
  • Mud/rocks on Lyons Valley Rd. in Jamul.
  • Summit Drive in La Mesa is closed at the 4400 block due to power lines down
  • 13th St. and Maple are closed in Ramona between just north of Hwy 67 and Walnut St. due to flooding.
  • Vallecitos School Rd. is closed due to flooding.
  • Power lines are down on Hwy 78 near San Pasqual cemetery
  • Power lines are down on Hwy 67 near Mt. Woodson.
  • Montezuma Valley Rd. in Borrego is closed from Palm Canyon to the 6 mile marker due to rock slides covering both lanes
  • Pine Valley’s Manzanita Drive from Lilac Dr. to Lakeview Dr. is closed.

FEDS RAID JEWELER LEO HAMEL’S HOME AND STORES IN GUN TRAFFICKING CASE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 13, 2019 (Jamul) – A mansion in Rancho Jamul Estates owned by prominent jeweler Leo Hamel was raided today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Some of his jewelry stores were also searched in connection with a firearms trafficking case, 10 News reports.

In 2016, Hamel ran for the California State Assembly as a Republican, seeking to represent most of East County. Despite announcing that he had dropped out before the primary election, his name remained on the ballot and he advanced to the November run-off, but was defeated by Randy Voepel.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA ANNOUNCES SENTENCING IN $4 MILLION SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

 

 

Source:  California Department of Justice

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the sentencing of Prakashumar ("Kash") Bhakta for operating a mortgage fraud scheme throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire that preyed on homeowners facing foreclosure. Today, Mr. Bhakta was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison. Restitution will be ordered in the amount of $256,000. Co-defendants Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Marcus Robinson, and David Boyd previously pled guilty. They were sentenced to state prison terms ranging from four years to seven years and four months.

IT’S A GUSHER! NEW STORM TO DUMP UP TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN; FLASH FLOODING AND HIGH WINDS ARE LIKELY

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) --  A strong atmospheric river storm system with "pineapple connections" (Hawaii origin) will arrive tonight and bring periods of heavy rain late and thunderstorms tonight through Thursday. Mountains could receive 4 to 10 inches of rain, with 2 to 4 inches in valleys and coastal areas and up to an inch in the desert.

The National Weather Service advises that widespread heavy rainfall is expected across the entire area with potential for significant flooding of low lying, poor drainage, and urbanized areas with debris flows possible near recent burn scars. High winds will also be a concern in the mountains and deserts.

FIVE WAYS GAVIN NEWSOM MADE IT CLEAR HE'S NOT JERRY BROWN

 

 

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALMatters

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

February 13, 2019 (Sacramento) - A month after being inaugurated, Gov. Gavin Newsom used his State of the State speech Tuesday to make his strongest showing yet that Jerry Brown is no longer in charge.

He proposed scaling back two of Brown’s legacy projects—a high-speed train and a pair of tunnels to move water from north to south. He rescinded Brown’s deployment of California National Guard troops to the Mexican border. He voiced support for education and housing policies that Brown stayed away from.

JOGGER KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
 
East County News Service
 
February 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A jogger wearing all dark clothing was struck and killed at 4:25 this morning in Spring Valley.
 
The victim, a 45-year-old man, was running west in the eastbound lane of Jamacha Road west of Darby Street when he was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe.

ACLU FILES MOTION TO COMPEL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO COMPLY WITH NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

 

 

East County News Service

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) on Monday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by several police unions seeking to prevent the release of police misconduct records as required by the state’s new law, the “California Public Records Act” (SB 1421). The ACLU demands that local law enforcement agencies act immediately to comply with the new law.

SDSU LIBRARY ARCHIVE DETAILS DETAINEES' PATH TO SEEKING ASYLUM, CONDITIONS INSIDE DETENTION

 

 

A new archive of hundreds of letters between a group of volunteers and asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border has been developed and is being digitized at the SDSU Library.

By La Monica Everett-Haynes

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) - What began as a casual gathering of friends has become a first-of-its-kind living archive of handwritten letters shared by hundreds of asylum seekers detained along the U.S.-Mexico border. Those letters, in the collective correspondence, provide a detailed description of each person’s path to pursuing asylum, and the conditions inside detention centers. 

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DUMPING ASYLUM SEEKERS LOCALLY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 13, 2019 (San Diego) — San Diego’s County Supervisors voted 4-1 in closed session on Tuesday to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its treatment of families seeking asylum in the U.S. The federal government has been dumping migrants including parents with children on the streets of San Diego with no resources to help them while they await asylum hearings to which they are entitled under international law.

BOARD VOTES TO REQUEST $125 MILLION TO HELP HOMELESS

 

 

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

February 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors today voted to allow the Health and Human Services Agency to apply for and receive about $125 million to help people with serious mental illness and who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

DISABLED ACTIVISTS FILE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO AND SCOOTER COMPANIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2019 (San Diego) – Four disabled activists from San Diego and Spring Valley have filed a lawsuit in federal court locallyMontoya et al v. Bird Rides Inc. et. al, against the city of San Diego as well as Bird, Lime, and Razor scooter companies. The suit alleges that the City and private scooter companies are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, and state anti-discrimination laws by allowing electric rental scooters to block public sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks and transit stops.

SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM

 

 

East County News Service

February 11, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has issued a warning about a scam targeting Social Security recipients.

“Our office has been receiving calls from constituents indicating that they are receiving calls with messages indicating their Social Security number has been suspended,”  Michael Harrison, District Chief of Staff/Communications Director for Hunter states in an email sent today. “Please let your groups know that this is a scam and a fraud to obtain private information and can lead to identity theft.  Do not participate in these calls.  Your Social Security number is never suspended and the Social Security Administration does not contact people by phone, only by mail.  The same is true for the IRS. 

WITNESS DISPUTES LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN ARAMBULA’S STATEMENT ON MEETING WHICH ENDED IN PHYSICAL ALTERCATION

 

Update February 13, 2019: Judge Whitney has issued a final ruling keeping the City of Lemon Grove as a defendant in this case.

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A witness has disputed a key claim made by Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula in a civil suit filed by marijuana dispensary applicant Christopher Williams against Arambula and Lemon Grove.  Williams alleges that he Arambula cut his face with a beer bottle, bit, choked and punched him after a meeting at Arambula’s home regarding the dispensary application.

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