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

ROGER STONE FOUND GUILTY OF DEATH THREAT AGAINST WITNESS, LYING TO CONGRESS DURING RUSSIA PROBE TO COVER UP FOR TRUMP

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Roger Stone, CC by NA

November 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – “You are a rat.  A stoolie. Prepare to die,” long-time Trump ally Roger Stone texted to a witness slated to appear before the House Intelligence Committee regarding Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump-Russia ties. The  trial revealed damning evidence not only against Stone, but also evidence discrediting statements made by Donald Trump in which Trump denied discussing hacked emails during his presidential campaign.

The witness, radio host Randy Credico, was Stone’s intermediary to Wikileaks and Julian Assange to obtain details on e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee that were damaging to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 political rival.  Stone also urged the witness via e-mail to follow the actions of “Godfather II” character Frank Pentangeli, who lied to Congress to avoid incriminating Mafia boss Michael Corleone.

TB CASES REPORTED IN LOCAL JAILS AND A BRIDGE SHELTER FOR HOMELESS

 

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

Image Credit: CDC.gov

November 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Three unrelated cases of tuberculosis have been reported in the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.

Two cases were reported at San Diego County Sheriff’s detention facilities and the third was a person who arrived from out of town after being diagnosed and spent time at the City of San Diego bridge shelter, which serves single adults who are homeless.

CA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO POWER OUTAGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
November 14, 2019 (San Francisco) --  The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Wednesday opened an investigation to examine recent Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events and ensure utilities are held accountable for their actions.  
 
The electric utilities under investigation are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities/CalPeco Electric, Bear Valley Electric Service, and Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp. In September and October 2019, the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, notably PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, proactively de-energized power lines during high wildfire danger weather conditions to reduce the risk of utility infrastructure starting wildfires. 

PROPOSED COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT DRAWS UNIFIED OPPOSITION FROM RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS AT SCOPING MEETING

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Meeting audio: tinyurl.com/RSDCottonwoodMine11042019

Photo: Elizabeth Urquhart, Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine, speaks to a full house during scoping meeting.

November 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- If the proposal to replace Cottonwood Golf Course with a sand mine were to be decided by local Rancho San Diego residents, Beverly Hills investor and developer Michael Schlesinger and applicant Greg Brown would be hearing a loud chorus of “nay” votes.

Some 300 local residents crowded into the multi-purpose room at Hillsdale Middle School on Monday night, November 4th to vent their strong opposition to the project in a public scoping meeting called by the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services Department. View county handout and fact sheet. The scoping meeting is required to get public input on what should be included in an upcoming Environmental Impact report.

ROSIAK CLAIMS LEMON GROVE COMPLAINT IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Teresa Rosiak has run for Lemon Grove’s city council and mayoral positions in the past, but did not win election. She’s also been a vocal critic at council meetings and is a potential candidate in 2020.  The city has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accuses the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.

“The city again is not using the taxpayer’s dollars properly,” says Rosiak (also known as Rosiak-Proffit) in an e-mail to ECM, adding, “They want me to be discredited since I am outspoken and they will do this regardless of the cost to the taxpayers.”

Rosiak, a former Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce president, is a fiscal conservative. The Council majority is Democratic.  She has criticized the Council on spending priorities, dipping into budget reserves, litigation in which the city has been embroiled over assault allegations against Councilman David Arambula, and has called for resignations of Arambula,  Mayor Racquel Vasquez and City Manager Lydia Romero.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SOUNDS ALARM OVER STATE’S PLAN TO RELEASE ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, NEAR BOULEVARD

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  Thomas Cornwell, 41, convicted of lewd acts on children under age 14, has been diagnosed with pedophilic disorder
 
November 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob, in a letter to Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, cites disturbing statistics regarding sexually violent predators released in East County.  Of 12 released countywide in the past 15 years, nine were sent to East County. Five of the 12 violated conditions of their release and four were sent back to state mental hospitals, according to Jacob. Yet the state is proposing to release two more sexually violent predators into our region.

POLICE SEEK VEHICLE THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN, THEN FLED SCENE IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Surveillance video of suspect vehicle

November 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is seeking a small silver four-door sedan that may have damage to the bumper, hood and windshield. The vehicle struck a man at the intersection of East Chase and Lincoln Avenue on November 6 around 6:24 p.m.

A passerby started CPR on the victim, who was unresponsive. Medics transported him to Sharp Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

EL CAJON POLICE ASKS PUBLIC’S HELP TO SOLVE ARMED CARJACKINGS AND ROBBERIES; TWO VICTIMS INJURED

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2019 (El Cajon) –A band of four or five young men in their teens or 20s, wearing masks and armed with handguns and long guns, carjacked multiple passenger vehicles this morning. They also robbing a bystander on a sidewalk of his backpack.

 In one incident, a couple confronted a suspect in their parked car and a struggle ensued. The man was struck with a gun and the woman, who clung to her vehicle, was dragged a short distance when the suspect drove off and fled the scene. Both suffered minor injuries and the woman was taken to a hospital, says Lieutenant Randy Soulard.

All of the crimes occurred between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. this morning.

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL COMPARED TO VENEZUELA AMID ALLEGED UNDEMOCRATIC CHARTER RENEWAL AND BYLAWS UPDATES

GUHSD to hold hearing tonight at 6 p.m. on Steele Canyon's charter renewal

By Ana Nita

View video of Nov. 6 Steele Canyon governing board meeting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByIxjGKYLUI 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School is yet another charter that landed in hot water recently, following allegations of violating the law and acting undemocratically to undermine parents’ rights. The accusations are signed by two of its governing board members – Vice-Chair Timothy Abbott and newly installed board member Mark Robak. Both are both accusing the charter committee of excluding parents from decisional power during the process of renewing the charter’s authorization with Grossmont Union School District, the school’s sponsor. 

Abbott and Robak are also battling with the school’s governing board about new changes in the bylaws that were allegedly included without proper notification and which are  “undemocratic,” according to Robak. “Similar examples may be found in Venezuela and Cuba,” wrote Robak in a letter of protest sent on October 30 to Scott Parr, CEO of the governing board and Principal at Steele Canyon High School (SCHS).

WHAT SHOULD LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL REQUIRE OF APPLICANTS TO FILL VACANCY? COMMUNITY WEIGHS IN; FORUM FOR APPLICANTS NOV. 13

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove is now accepting applications for appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council left by the resignation of Matt  Mendoza, who moved to Florida for his job.

The appointment process raises questions over what criteria should be considered, beyond basic residency and age requirements, in choosing the next councilmember.

IMMIGRANTS’ ADVOCATES CALM FEARS AFTER PUBLIC CHARGE RULES PUT ON HOLD

Suzanne Potter, California News Service
 
Photo: Immigrant children, creative commons image via S.A.
 
November 8, 2019 (Sacramento) - Immigrants' rights groups are working to calm fears in the migrant community - after a judge blocked President Donald Trump's changes to the public charge rules last month. 

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX MEASURE QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: George Gastil, former Lemon Grove Councilmember who spearheaded the petition drive

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Registrar of Voters confirms that the Lemon Grove sales tax measure has qualified to appear on the March 2020 ballot. If approved, the initiative would increase the city’s sales tax by three-fourths of a cent to 8.5 percent, the same as neighboring La Mesa.

According to the Registrar, 1,987 signatures have been verified as valid, substantially more than the 1,482 required for the measure dubbed the "Lemon Grove Security Initiative."

Advocates for the measure posted on their “Sweeten Lemon Grove” Facebook page, “Shoutout to all of the volunteers who circulated 233 petitions and to every person who provided their signature in support of the measure.”

The stakes are high for Lemon Grove residents and businesses.

COURT ORDERS MATT MENDOZA DEPOSITION IN LAWSUIT AGAINST LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Superior Court Judge Richard S. Whitney on October 25th approved a motion to compel a deposition of Matt Mendoza in the case of Christopher Williams vs. Davis Arambula and the City of Lemon Grove. The order was issued just days before Mendoza resigned from the Lemon Grove City Council and announced that he had moved to Florida.

The Judge initially ordered $1,500 in sanctions to be awarded to Williams, but later removed the sanctions.

Williams has accused Arambula of assaulting him  in July 2017, following a discussion at Arambula’s home regarding cannabis dispensary applications submitted by Williams to the city.  Arambula has claimed he acted in self defense, but never notified the Sheriff. A Sheriff report was filed after Williams received treatment of serious injuries at a hospital emergency room.

LEMON GROVE TO APPOINT NEW COUNCILMEMBER TO FILL VACANCY: APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED NOV. 11-21

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – At a special meeting last night, Lemon Grove’s City Council voted to fill the vacancy left by Matt Mendoza’s resignation through appointment.  Applications will be accepted starting Monday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

FROZEN RASPBERRIES RECALLED FOR POSSIBLE HEPATITIS A CONTAMINATION

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo: Packages of berries that were sold at several local Aldi stores that have been recalled for possible hepatitis A contamination (CDC.gov)
 
November 7, 2019 (San Diego) - Frozen raspberry products recalled for possible hepatitis A contamination were sold in eight Aldi supermarkets in San Diego County and contained in yogurt parfaits served at cafeterias in the Escondido Union School District, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday. There have been no illnesses reported due to exposure to these products.

LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN MATT MENDOZA RESIGNS, REPLACEMENT PROCESS IS ON TONIGHT’S AGENDA

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove Councilman Matt Mendoza resigned Monday after moving to Florida due to his work for Boeing.  The Council will meet tonight in a 6:30 p.m. public session to discuss options for filling the vacancy. The  Council originally planned a closed-door meeting but changed to an open session after the San Diego Union-Tribune raised questions about the legality of a closed-door process, the newspaper reported.

The resignation comes at a critical time for the city, which has been forced to dip into its financial reserves.  An initiative to raise sales tax by three-quarters of a cent has just qualified for the ballot – a measure that Mendoza, a conservative, has said he supports.  He told the Union-Tribune that his greatest regret has been the inability of the city to attract enough new businesses to attain fiscal stability. The city has even faced calls from some to consider disincorporation, or giving up cityhood to revert to county control.

Mendoza’s departure comes just weeks before a December 19, 2019 jury trial in a lawsuit against the city of Lemon Grove and Counclman David Arambula is set to commence.  Judge Richard Whitney authorized Cory Briggs, attorney for plaintiff Chris Williams, to take a deposition from Mendoza but so far, Mendoza has been unavailable for that deposition, Candid Chronicle reports.   

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB LISTENS TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS IN JULIAN

Emergency fire and medical protection, SDG&E planned outages top list of concerns

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report

View video of townhall: https://tinyurl.com/JacobsJulianTownHall

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze:  Supervisor Dianne Jacob and SDG&E Vice President Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell fielded audience questions.

November 7, 2019 (Julian) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob ventured into a potential firestorm when she held a scheduled town hall forum at the Julian Town Hall on October 25th in downtown Julian. Jacob’s town hall coincided with the anniversary week for the infamous 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Creek firestorms which devastated the eastern San Diego backcountry. Up to then, both were the two worst wildfires in California history.

But the irony didn’t stop there. Moments before the town hall was set to begin, word reached the venue that a brush fire erupted near Witch Creek between Ramona and Julian. This prompted County Fire Authority/Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham to bolt out of the town hall where he was slated to speak in order to respond to the fast-moving fire.

“We are all on edge,” acknowledged Jacob, who chairs the county’s Unified Fire Council and outlined major investments made by the county to improve fire safety. “But we are better prepared than ever before.”

That contention, however, was disputed by the president of the former Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFD)'s  board of directors, as multiple fire engines and an ambulance roared past the town hall en route to the Sawday Fire in Ramona.

COUNTY BOARD APPROVES 4 SATELLITE VOTING LOCATIONS

STATE SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY DEVELOPER AND COUNTY; HOSKINGS RANCH TO REMAIN AS AGRICULTURAL PRESERVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
November 6, 2019 (Julian) – Land slated for development into luxury homes in the Julian area must remain as an agricultural preserve.  That’s the impact of the California Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for review filed by Genesee Properties, the developer of Hoskings Ranch and the County of San Diego.  
 
The appeal sought to overturn a July ruling in Cleveland National Forest Foundation et al. v. County of San Diego County (Genesee Properties) by the 4th District Court of Appeal, which found that the County acted wrongly in approving 24 luxury homes on the agriculturally-zoned site protected under the Williamson Act.
  

COUNTY TO ADD PSYCHIATRIC BEDS, STRENGTHEN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

Photo: In collaboration with UC San Diego Health and Scripps Health, the County plans to open a 60-bed psychiatric facility in Hillcrest at a County-owned property on Third Ave. that has been vacant for years.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
November 5, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors October 29th got an update on and voted to take the next step in immediate and long-term strategies to support San Diegans in psychiatric crisis and to help prevent such incidents from occurring.
 

DEPUTY INJURED IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

East County News Service
 
November 5, 2019 (Spring Valley) --  A deputy from the Lemon Grove Sheriff station was involved in a single vehicle collision this morning around 8:23 a.m. in Spring Valley.
 
According to Sergeant Z. Sanchez, the deputy was responding with lights and sirens activated to assist another deputy with an occupied stolen vehicle. While traveling southbound on Bancroft Drive, the deputy struck a utility pole near the intersection of Kenwood Drive.
 
He was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The collision did not occur during a pursuit, Sgt. Sanchez told ECM. 
 
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody. 

RAY LUTZ OPTS NOT TO RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT; WILL LEAD DEVELOPMENT OF BALLOT IMAGE AUDITING PLATFORM, AUDITENGINE.ORG

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz announced today that he will not run for the 53rd Congressional district seat being vacated by the retirement of Susan Davis, after earlier forming an exploratory committee for the race. Lutz, an engineer and founder of the Citizens Oversight watchdog group based in El Cajon, previously challenged Duncan Hunter in the 52nd Congressional district before redistricting shifted his residence into the 53rd.

Lutz has long been an activist on election integrity issues, including training the public to provide oversight of election audits. Now Lutz says he intends to focus on developing an auditing service to be available by the 2020 elections. It will allow election officials, candidates, and oversight groups to conduct a thorough and independent review of any election that uses paper ballots and equipment that creates ballot images.

TRUMP THREATENS TO END FEDERAL AID TO CALIFORNIA TO FIGHT WILDFIRES—AFTER OFFERING RUSSIA HELP TO STOP WILDFIRES IN SIBERIA

Critics accuse President of putting partisan politics above saving lives and aiding disaster victims

By Miriam Raftery

Updated 9 p.m. with comments from Alpine Fire Chief Paskle

 

Photo screenshot off NBC video:  Easy Fire started near the Ronald Reagan Valley in Simi Valley and threatened homes in Ventura County

 

November 4, 2019 (San Diego) – Days after California Governor Gavin Newsom praised the federal government for its rapid response to catastrophic wildfires and power outages affecting millions of our state’s residents, President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to cut off all future federal funding to California.  

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICROGRIDS

By Julie Cart | CALmatters

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

Photo:  This small energy system, or microgrid, powers the Southern California desert town of Borrego Springs. Photo courtesy of San Diego Gas & Electric

November 4, 2019 (San Diego) - More than 1 million Californians were left in the dark for days recently as their big utility companies shut off power for fear of sparking wildfires. Frustrated by those outages, some homeowners say they’d like to turn their backs on the companies in favor of smaller providers who might do a better job of keeping the lights on. The mayors of San Francisco and San Jose say they want to sever ties with Pacific Gas and Electric, which serves much of Northern California, and create separate utilities for their cities.

MERCY AIR CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY AS A FLYING EMERGENCY ROOM

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo, left:  Laura Elliott and Russell Haight.

November 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Laura Elliott and Russell Haight work in an emergency room. A flying one. Both are employed by Mercy Air, owned by Air Methods, an air ambulance provider that works out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field as well as other locations.

FLU ACTIVITY STEADY AGAIN THIS WEEK

Flu Vaccine
 
By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
November 1, 2019 (San Diego) - Flu activity saw a slight decline in the County this week with 30 lab-confirmed cases, the County of San Diego confirmed yesterday, Halloween: six fewer than the number of cases reported last week. That brings the 2019-20 flu season total to 362 cases, compared to 130 at this time last year. County public health officials continue to emphasize the importance of getting the flu vaccine. There have also been two deaths so far this flu season.
 
The two formulas approved for the 2019-2020 flu season by the Centers for Disease Control are Fluzone High Dose, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, and Fluad, manufactured by Seqirus. Rite-Aid and CVS offer the 2019-20 flu vaccine, according to google.

MUMPS CASES AT THREE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Mumps (microscope)November 1, 2019 (San Diego) - Three unrelated people at three different high school campuses in the county recently tested positive for mumps and may have exposed others to the contagious virus, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN LA MESA KILLS EL CAJON WOMAN

Update: The victim has been identified a Theresa Chenelle Clouthier, according to the Medical Examiner.

East County News Service

November 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcycle crashed on the Severin Drive onramp to I-8 westbound at 11:19 p.m. last night, ejecting three people and killing an El Cajon woman, 38.  She was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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