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

GEORGETTE GOMEZ SECURES PROMINENT EARLY ENDORSEMENTS IN BID TO SUCCEED SUSAN DAVIS

By Jonathan Goetz

September 20, 2019 (San Diego) - Approximately 200 people packed the United Domestic Workers Union Hall in Rolando in East County on Saturday, to witness San Diego Council President Georgette Gomez kick off her campaign to succeed Congresswoman Susan Davis in the 53rd Congressional District.

Her endorsement list is a who’s who of prominent Democrats and leaders in the Latinx, LGBTQ and environmental justice community including State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Congressman Juan Vargas, San Diego City Attorney Mara Eliott, Former Senator Christine Kehoe, Escondido City Councilwoman Olga Diaz, California Air Resources Board member Diane Takvorian, Former Chief Executive of San Diego LGBT Center Delores Jacobs, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Queen Mother Nicole Murray-Ramirez and former San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee, among others.

FEDS ANNOUNCE MASSIVE TAKEDOWN OF EAST COUNTY DRUG TRAFFICKING NETWORKS TIED TO SINALOA CARTEL

85 defendants charged for distributing methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl

East County News Service

September 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Eight indictments were unsealed today in San Diego federal court, charging 85 members of drug distribution networks linked to the Sinaloa Cartel with federal drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses. Authorities are searching for 38 defendants; the rest are in state or federal custody, the U.S. Department of Justice in San Diego announced.

SANTEE GETTING ON BOARD THE CCA TRAIN WITH COASTAL CITIES

By Mike Allen

September 19, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee and Carlsbad would seem to be strange bedfellows, given their geographical locations and the latter being twice the size in population. But the cities are moving closer to joining forces to form a new entity to purchase more of their power from renewable sources starting in 2021.

TROUBLING FINDING IN FBI BACKGROUND CHECK STALLS ISSA TRADE APPOINTMENT

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Retired Congressman Darrell Issa has said he will run against Rep. Duncan Hunter if his appointment by President Trump to head up the U.S. Trade and Development Agency is not approved by early November.  But now, both Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee say that an FBI background file on Issa raises red flags.

FINDING MIDDLE GROUND: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CAMPA-NAJJAR SPEAKS OUT ON KEY ISSUES, IN HIS OWN WORDS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

View video of complete town hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXc

 

“We are one nation, under God, indivisible. But right now, I think that notion is being tested at our deepest core. I think it is time for us to lead with our values again as a nation." -- Ammar Campa-Najjar

September 17, 2019 (Alpine)—At a town hall meeting in Alpine on August 18, some 100 East County residents heard Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar field questions on a wide range of issues. He offered thoughtful responses, many moderate positions and at times, maverick views on topics such as healthcare, gun violence, climate change, jobs, education, immigration and more.

The Jamul resident and Democratic contender has worked at the national level on both business and labor issues. Now he’s running for the 50th Congressional district seat held by indicted Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, whose federal corruption trial begins in January.

Dressed in a long-sleeved sports shirt and blue jeans, the 30 year-old hopeful emphasized that to win in 2020, he has to attract voters across party lines. The Republican party still holds a substantial registration advantage, but Campa-Najjar came within three percentage points of ousting Hunter in 2018 in what had long been considered a GOP stronghold.

First, Campa-Najjar gave an overview of his platform. Next he answered questions on 10 topics randomly pulled from questions submitted beforehand. Then came live questions posed by audience members at a microphone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN STRUCK BY SEVERAL VEHICLES, DIES ON HIGHWAY 94 IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 18, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – An unidentified man walking north in traffic lanes of State Route 94 east at College Avenue was struck by a 2010 Nissan Altima around 8:45 p.m. The driver, a 27-year-old woman from San Diego, swerved upon seeing the man walking directly into the path of her vehicle in the number three lane, but was unable to avoid hitting him.  

SENATOR JONES VOICES CONCERNS OVER FIRE INSURANCE CRISIS, SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM AT LAKESIDE TOWN HALL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

View video of entire town hall: tinyurl.com/SenJonesTownHall

September 14, 2019 (Lakeside) -- California Sen. Brian Jones (R-Inland San Diego County) confidently faced a large mostly well-behaved crowd in a packed community room at the Lakeside Community Center on August 22.

CAL FIRE ISSUES CORRECTIONS ON C-130 PLANE SHOWN IN COUNTY VIDEO, AFTER ECM INQUIRY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- On August 30th, the County of San Diego issued a news release titled “CAL FIRE Prepares To Add New Aerial Attack Plane”.  It incorrectly stated, “CAL FIRE plans in the near future to purchase a retardant-dropping C-130 air tanker and the agency’s pilots got a chance to train in the region this month.” 

A video did show a pilot training in Ramona, as ECM reported. Cal Fire Captain and Public Information officer Issac Sanchez, in the video, indicated that Cal Fire hoped to have a C-130 permanently stationed in the region within the next couple of years.

However, yesterday ECM received an e-mail from Thomas Dominguez, who says he is a former firefighter. He disputed the County’s statements and indicated that the aircraft in question is to be given, not sold, to Cal Fire by the federal government. He also stated that the aircraft is not currently equipped with a fire retardant system. 

CalFire has confirmed that these are truthful statements, and that this process will likely take a couple of years, though will ultimately make our region safer.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CORY BRIGGS RUNS FOR CITY ATTORNEY AS ADVOCATE FOR TAXPAYERS, WATCHDOG FOR DEMOCRACY

Listen to our interview: click here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- Cory Briggs has a two decades-long record as an attorney challenging insider power brokers who’ve dominated city hall for decades. He’s been described by Times of San Diego as the “bane of downtown developers” and has filed numerous lawsuits successfully championing taxpayers, voters’ rights, the environment and government transparency. He’s also taught law--including professional ethics.

Now he’s running for San Diego City Attorney against incumbent Mara Elliott, promising to be a taxpayers’ advocate if elected.  In our interview originally aired on KNSJ radio, he criticizes Elliott for trying to gut California’s Public Records Act, backing “frivolous” suits thrown out of court, and mishandling allegations of child abuse at the San Diego Junior Theatre, among other issues.  Click the audio link to hear the full interview, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

NO, THERE IS NOT A LEPROSY OUTBREAK IN LOS ANGELES

Not a single case of the disease, which is now curable with medications, has been transmitted locally in L.A. in the past 10 years

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo by B. Jehle, Creative Commons license 

 

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) – An article published by the London tabloid Daily Mail and cited by some U.S. media outlets falsely suggested an outbreak of leprosy among homeless in Los Angeles to be an eminent threat. The Daily Mail quoted Dr. Marc Siegel as stating, “'Leprosy appearing among the homeless in LA is a sure recipe for instant public panic.

 

But Associated Press has debunked the story.  The Los Angeles County Health Department confirms that the rate of leprosy has stayed steady for the past decade, averaging only two cases a year – and none of those were transmitted locally, AP reports.  This year, only a single case has occurred.

POWER OUTAGE SLATED IN JULIAN TODAY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (Julian) – SDG&E has announced a planned power outage today from 12 noon to 4 p.m. to protect safety of workers repairing power poles.  An estimated 1,600 customers will be affected.

If you are enrolled in SDG&E’s Medical Baseline program and have devices that depend on electricity, the Planned Outage Coordinator to confirm you have received the outage notification and to make any necessary arrangements during the planned outage. The outage coordinator can be reached weekdays between 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 858-654-1785.

If you need assistance after hours or over the weekend, please call 1-800-211-7343.

GOVERNOR TARGETS VAPING WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER, BUT APPEALS TO LEGISLATURE FOR HELP

By Ben Christopher | Calmatters

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

Photo:  A man vaping with an e-cigarette. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

September 18, 2019 (Sacramento) - California lawmakers ended the Legislative session without doing much on vaping. Now Gov. Gavin Newsom is stepping in.

On Monday morning, the governor signed an executive order which he said would be “pushing the envelope” to regulate the burgeoning e-cigarette industry despite a lack of new legal authority from the state Assembly and Senate.

FREE TROLLEY, BUS AND TRAIN RIDES OCTOBER 2

Riders can win prizes including free transit for a year.  Ditch rush-hour traffic, save gas and take a ride!

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 17, 2019 (San Diego) – Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD) are offering offer free rides to the public on all three trolley lines and fixed line busses, as well as the Coaster and Sprinter train service on Wednesday, October 2, which is also California Clean Air Day. 

WALDRON BILL WOULD REQUIRE VOTERS’ APPROVAL FOR CHANGES TO TRANSNET FUNDING ALLOCATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 17, 2019 (Escondido) – For months, officials in East County and North County have assailed as “highway robbery” a plan announced by the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG)  to cancel some highway projects and instead, spend TransNet extension funds approved by voters in 2004 on transit projects such as high-speed rail and shared electric vehicles instead.

DO NOT DRINK NOTICE FOR LAKE MORENA VIEWS MUTUAL WATER COMPANY

Test results show elevated nitrates in the drinking water supply

East County News Service

September 17, 2019 (Lake Morena) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH), has issued a Do Not Drink Notice and Public Notification effective immediately for Lake Morena Views Mutual Water Company located at 29846 Mallard Road, Campo, CA 91906.  Recent water sample results showed nitrate levels exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) in the water distribution system. The water system serves a population of approximately 123 residential connections and a general store.

 

SANTEE MAN IS PLAINTIFF IN GUN RIGHTS LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE OVER BAN ON LONG GUN SALES TO MINORS

East County News Service

September 17, 2019 (Santee) – A Santee man is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging California’s new gun law, Senate Bill 1100 signed into law last year, which bans the sale of long guns such as rifles to people under age 21.That state already had bans on minors purchasing hand guns, the Sacramento Bee reported.

BOARD VOTES TO PRESERVE 300 ACRES OF AGRICULTURAL LAND

By Gig ConaughtonCounty of San Diego Communications Office

September 16, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County Supervisors voted Wednesday to pay property owners to keep roughly 300 acres of their land in agricultural production instead of possibly selling it into development, as part of a program to preserve agriculture and still support farmers and ranchers.

FIREFIGHTERS AND VOLUNTEERS IN LEMON GROVE SEEK TAX PARITY WITH LA MESA

By Jonathan Goetz 

 

Signature drive not on track to meet end of September deadline to make it on the ballot without massive last-minute influx of signature gatherers

 

September 15, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Firefighters led volunteers who spread out through Lemon Grove yesterday to collect signatures on a ballot measure that would bring Lemon Grove's sales tax on par with La Mesa, raising it by ¾  a cent. The measure, if approved, which would nearly double the amount the City receives as its share of the sales tax.

EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF HONORED UPON RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos of Chief Davis’ walk-out ceremony by Catherine Martin.
 
September 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – After 33 years of service with the El Cajon Police Department, Chief Davis retired on Friday. He received salutes and hugs as he walked out of the station in civilian clothes, turning over the helm to his replacement, Mike Moulton.

BILL TO STOP LABOR TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS PASSES LEGISLATURE WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT, BUT TWO EAST COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES VOTE NO

East County News Service

September 15, 2019 (San Diego) – The California State Legislature today passed on a 61-9 vote Assembly Bill 589 authored by state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to make it illegal for an employer to confiscate a worker’s immigration documents as a way to force them into labor.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION HOSTS PUBLIC MEETING SEPT. 19 IN SAN DIEGO ON MODERNIZING PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM

East County News Service

 

September 15, 2019 (San Diego) – County Assessor Ernie Dronenberg invites you to a meeting of the California Board of Equalization on Sept. 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in San Diego. 

LA MESA POLICE SEEK DARK SEDAN AFTER SHOTS FIRED AT MOTORCYCLIST ON UNIVERSITY

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2019 (La Mesa) – Gunshots were fired at a motorcyclist in the intersection of University Avenue and Marian Street around 3 a.m., prompting La Mesa Police to shut down several streets while they searched for a dark-colored sedan last seen heading east on University.

The shots missing the motorcyclist, but he sustained leg injuries after the gunfire caused him to crash into a fence. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

ViOLENT CRIMES UP, PROPERTY CRIMES DOWN COUNTYWIDE

SANDAG report shows variations among communities for first half of 2019

East County News Service

September 14, 2019 (San Diego) -- Violent crime rates in San Diego County are up slightly compared to the same time in 2018, but property crimes dipped during the same period, according to a new report released by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Criminal Justice Research Division. Read the full report

COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO MOVE AHEAD ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

By Tracy DeForeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock

September 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to continue exploring the idea of getting into the business of buying and selling electricity. Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond opposed the motion.

NEWSOM SIGNS AMENDED BILL TO BOOST VACCINATIONS AMID HEATED PROTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a pair of bills aimed at increasing vaccinations of children in California.  The measures will allow the state to investigate doctors who write more than five medical exemptions from vaccines in a year and also empowers officials to investigate schools with less than 95 percent of students vaccinated.

In San Diego’s East County, some schools have vaccination rates as low as 10 percent, according to data compiled by Shots for Schools, as ECM reported last month.

The actions come after doctors and public health officials voiced growing concern over the rising number of measles cases in California, including recent exposures at Disneyland and other tourist attractions--and amid vocal protests at the Capitol.

A FISHY FIRE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – A pump in an aquarium overheated and caught fire yesterday, sparking a fire inside an office building at 8911 La Mesa Blvd. near Grossmont Blvd. in La Mesa.
 
Heartland Fire & Rescue responded quickly to the early morning blaze, which was reported shortly before 7:40 a.m. and forced their way inside the smoking building.  A search for the source of the smoke led them to a small office, where they located the pump in a fish tank.

RAY LUTZ, CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FOUNDER, IS LATEST TO WEIGH RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT SEAT AFTER SUSAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz, founder of the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Oversight in El Cajon, announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the 53rd Congressional district seat.  Congresswoman Susan Davis announced last week that she will not be seeking reelection.

Lutz, a Democrat, lives in the 53rd district since redistricting in 2010, though he previously ran against Rep. Duncan Hunter back in 2008.

Lutz and the organization he founded have been instrumental in attaining several landmark actions in our region ranging from a lawsuit that won $775 million for local ratepayers to a succesful fight that helped save East County's peforming arts center,as well as leading efforts to improve safety of  nuclear waste storage and battling to keep Blackwater out of the backcountry.

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