ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

ELDERLY CAN NOW GET VACCINATIONS AT PETCO PARK, WITH RESERVATION

OVER 100 ARRESTED AFTER CAPTIOL INSURRECTION; HUNDREDS MORE UNDER INVESTIGATION

FEARING POSSIBLE ‘INSIDER ATTACK,’ FEDS VETTING 25,000 NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS AHEAD OF BIDEN INAUGURATION

BIDEN-HARRIS INAUGURATION EVENTS JANUARY 20: HOW TO WATCH

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

SAN DIEGO FBI ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO PREVENT VIOLENCE RELATED TO THE CAPITOL INSURRECTION AND INAUGURATION

SUPERVISORS APPROVE HOUSING FOR MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS AND THOSE AT RISK

SANTEE COUNCIL SETS FANITA RANCH ELECTION FOR NOV. 2022, ALSO APPROVES DIVERSITY PROGRAM

NEW RANCHO HELIX DE ORO FIRE SAFE COUNCIL OFFERS FIRE-SAFE TIPS

SANTEE COLLABORATIVE LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN PROMOTING DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

10 HOUSE REPUBLICANS JOIN DEMOCRATS, VOTE TO IMPEACH TRUMP FOR INCITING INSURRECTION

News

LIGHT RAIN POSSIBLE NEXT TWO DAYS, BUT HIGH WINDS AND FIRE DANGER BY TUESDAY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
October 24, 2020 (San Diego) –  Measurable rainfall is possible Sunday and Monday, with drizzles Saturday night.  Up to a half inch could fall in mountain areas, though most areas of the county would receive only minimal precipitation in the range of 0.02 to 0.15 inches.
 
Tuesday is expected to be much drier with very low humidity and high fire danger. Moderate Santa Ana Winds are forecast to develop starting Monday, continuing Tuesday with north to northeast winds of 10-20 miles per hour and gusts up to 40 mph, blowing dust in desert areas.

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COUNTY DEBUTS LIFE-SAVING KNOX BOX PROGRAM

 

By Jose Eli Villanueva, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 24, 2020 (San Diego) - County emergency responders have a new tool to help keep homeowners in unincorporated areas safe during a wildfire or medical emergency. It’s called a Knox Box and when it comes to being prepared for disaster… this may be just the key.

Contact us to see if you qualify.

Call:  858-974-5744 

Email:  FireCRR@sdcounty.ca.gov 

Visit:  sandiegocounty.gov/sdcfa 


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NEW NATIONAL HOTLINE FOR MENTAL HEALTH CALLS APPROVED

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Starting in July 2022, anyone in the U.S. will be able to dial 988 for help with a mental health emergency. President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law last week to create the three-digit number for a mental health crisis, similar to the 911 line now in use for all emergencies, on recommendation of the Federal Communications Commission.


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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

October 24, 2020 (El Cajon) – Homicide detectives with El Cajon Police Department are investigating the death of a man in his 30s.

Officers responded to a call yesterday at 8:42 a.m. reporting a dead body inside a home on the 1100 block of Marline. They found the deceased man and determined the death to be “suspicious," according to Lieutenant Jason Taub.

No suspects have been arrested.  Anyone with information about this incident should call the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3300, or anonymously at Crime Stoppers, 1-888-580-8477 or sdcrimestoppers.org.


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RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL DISASTER AID AFTER FIRES

Source: FEMA

Photo:  Valley Fire, by Ron Kasper Dronesystems

October 23, 2020 (San Diego) -- The FEMA Individuals and Housing Program is available to all eligible renters and homeowners in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma counties, which are covered in the Oct. 16, 2020, federal disaster declaration. Federal monetary awards may help pay for temporary housing and other needs not covered by insurance. The initial rental award is for two months and may be reviewed for further assistance. 


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VIRAL VIDEO EXPOSES ANOTHER RACIST INCIDENT IN SANTEE

View video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZOh5bjYi0U

 

By Mike Allen

 

October 23, 2020 (Santee) -- A video that’s gone viral on the Internet shows another disgruntled Starbucks customer yelling about wearing a mask. But this time, the customer at the Starbucks on Magnolia Avenue in Santee hurls an obscene and racially charged insult at the black woman behind the counter.


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VALLEY FIRE SURVIVORS MAY APPLY FOR FEDERAL AID TO HELP WITH LOSSES

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  damage assessor surveys losses from the Valley Fire.

October 23, 2020 (Alpine) - Homeowners or renters affected by the Valley Fire in September can now apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant through Dec. 15. The grants are designed to help with serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance such as rent, home repair or replacement, medical or dental costs, transportation or other personal property losses.


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FREE COVID-19 TEST SITES FOR TEACHERS AND SCHOOL WORKERS

East County News Service

October 23, 2020 (San Diego) - ​The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is partnering with the County of San Diego to conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing of the region's 80,000-plus school employees. 


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SUPERVISOR JACOB, COUNTY PARKS BREAK GROUND FOR LAKESIDE EQUESTRIAN PARK

October 23, 2020 (Lakeside) -- County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and parks officials held a first-ever “virtual” groundbreaking to mark the start of construction of the long-awaited $16.9 million Lakeside Equestrian Park Wednesday.


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COVID RATES REMAIN LOW IN MOST REOPENED EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Cajon Valley, first to reopen, has most cases.  Three other districts report cases; others lack transparency in disclosure.  

Update October 31:  The Cajon Valley Union School District has added a breakdown by schools of its COVID cases, which now number 15 students and 2 employees  (17 total) at 11 schools. 

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – How safe is it to send your child back to school amid a pandemic, or for teachers to provide instruction inside classrooms?

East County Magazine has checked out the websites of all districts in East County to determine how many cases have been reported at schools that have reopened thus far, and how transparent each district is in making this information easily available to parents, teachers and staff.

To date, the County Public Health Department has not reported any outbreaks (defined as 3 or more cases tied to a single location) at any East County elementary, middle, high school or community college district. However some school districts do have cases among both students and staff. It is unclear whether cases were contracted on campus, or how many others may have been exposed.

In some districts, information on schools with COVID cases are being publicly disclosed, but not in others. Asked about this discrepancy, County spokesman Michael Workman said, "A change in the order regarding schools is being discussed and may be in place soon. The state guidance referenced above covers school notification. It’s too early to say what our health order change may say."

Here are the results of ECM's investigation.


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DEPUTIES RESPONDING TO GUNFIRE IN SPRING VALLEY FIND BOOBY-TRAPPED GAMBLING DEN, BUT NO SHOOTING VICTIM

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2020 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a call reporting a shooting Monday night discovered an illegal gambling establishment set up in an outbuilding at 1726 Helix Street in Spring Valley. “It contained approximately fifteen slot machines. Spent shell casings from a firearm were also located in the outbuilding,” says Lieutenant Joel Stranger.

Deputies from the Rancho San Diego station responded around 9:22 p.m. Monday and checked the property, but no shooting victim was found. During the search, one deputy stepped on a board with nails sticking up in an apparent “booby trap,” according to Lt. Stranger.


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CALIFORNIA’S 71ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT RACE: REPUBLICAN RANDY VOEPEL VS. DEMOCRAT LIZ LAVERTU

Spring Valley Planning Group Chair challenges incumbent for Assembly seat

By Mike Allen

Photo: Randy Voepel and Liz Lavertu

October 20, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As the state grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, budget challenges, and a shortage of affordable housing, voters in the 71st Assembly district have two contrasting choices.

Randy Voepel was first elected to the State Assembly in 2016 and reelected in 2018, winning both times by substantial margins which didn’t surprise him, given the conservative character of the region. But he notes the winning margins are slipping each election, and he doesn’t expect this November’s victory to be as large.


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ONE WEEK LEFT TO CLAIM $450K IN COUNTY REFUNDS

Deadline:  Oct. 26

Source:  Treasurer-Tax Collector of San Diego County

October 19, 2020 (San Diego) - There’s just one week left to claim $450,324 in county refunds, the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reminded San Diegans today.


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ART MADRID SPEAKS OUT: FORMER LA MESA MAYOR SHARES POINTED VIEWS ON CIVIL UNREST READINESS, CITY POLITICS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

October 18, 2020 (La Mesa) – Art Madrid has served La Mesa for more than 44 years, including 24 years as Mayor, 10 on the City Council, and 10 on city boards and commissions.  Since 2014, when Mark Arapostathis won the mayoral race, the customarily outspoken Madrid has stayed out of city issues—until now.  

“I’ve never said anything since I left office, maybe one comment,” Madrid told ECM in a phone call this week. But after the May 30 racial justice protest and riot, controversies over housing for the homeless and more, he’s decided to speak out. “If you look at the effectiveness of the Council in taking a leadership role, it’s absent,” he said. Madrid believes that assessing what happened on May 30 amounts to “dealing with the symptom, not the cause” of racial tensions in the city.

Madrid , who is Hispanic, knows first-hand what it’s like to be a target of a racial hate crime. 


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EX-REP. HUNTER HEADS TO PRISON JANUARY 4 IN EL PASO, TEXAS

By Miriam Raftery

October 18, 2020 (San Diego) – Disgraced former Congressman Duncan D. Hunter will begin serving his 11-month prison sentence on January 4, 2021. His defense lawyer, Den Burstein, told Roll Call that Hunter will be sent to a minimum security camp at the Federal Correctional Institute La Tuna in El Paso county, Texas. 


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COUNTY HOSTS EXCITING CAMPO ROAD CORRIDOR REVITALIZATION PLAN COMMUNITY FORUM

By Henri Migala

 

October 18, 2020 (Spring Valley) – The public has until October 29 to weigh in with comments on the County of San DIego’s plans for revitalizing a stretch of Campo Road that runs through the heart of Casa de Oro. 

 

To gain more input, the County’s Planning and Development Services (PDS) held a virtual community “Guiding Principles” workshop on the Campo Road Revitalization Plan on Thursday, October 15, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Up to 78 community members participated virtually in the workshop.


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HEALTH OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT SAN DIEGO SLIPPING INTO 'PURPLE' TIER

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association 

Photo:  Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at Friday’s press conference. Image from livestream

October 16, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials warned Friday that coronavirus infections are creeping up and the county could enter the widespread, or purple, tier in state rankings.


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STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER HOLDS INVESTIGATORY HEARING OCT. 19 ON INSURANCE COST AND AVAILABILITY AFTER WILDFIRES

Source: California Dept. of Insurance

 

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

 

October 16, 2020 (Los Angeles) -- With devastating fires continuing to burn across California, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is convening an investigatory hearing to initiate a series of regulatory actions that will protect residents from the increasing risk of wildfires. Commissioner Lara is taking action to stabilize the insurance market while protecting lives and homes, reducing catastrophic wildfire losses and increasing transparency for consumers. 


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LA MESA POLICE DEPT. SEEKS HELP TO IDENTIFY LOOTING SUSPECTS AT LA MESA SPRINGS DURING MAY 30 RIOT: REWARD OFFERED

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 15, 2020 (La Mesa) – Tips from the public helped identify five juveniles now charged with crimes related to the looting of Pierre’s Jewelers during the May 30 civil unrest. Now the La Mesa Police Department (LMPD) has released several surveillance images from La Mesa Springs Shopping Center at 8011 University.

Police also released additional photos from Pierre’s in hopes that the public can again assist in identifying suspects involved in these crimes.


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LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT TO FIGHT ALCOHOL RELATED CRIME

East County News Service
 
October 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department has been awarded a $52,349 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to battle alcohol-related crime. This is important to the City of La Mesa in order to increase protection for youth and to keep our community safe.
 
The grant is one of 50 awarded in California to local law enforcement agencies through ABC’s Alcohol Policing Partnership (APP) Program. The grants strengthen local law enforcement efforts by combining the efforts of local police officers and ABC agents. ABC agents have expertise in alcoholic beverage laws and can help communities reduce alcohol-related problems.
 
“The program improves the quality of life in neighborhoods,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith. “We’ve seen a real difference in the communities where the grant program resources have been invested.”

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EL CAJON HOLDS VIRTUAL COMMUNITY MEETING TO GATHER INPUT FOR THE CITY’S GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT

By Henri Migala

 

October 15, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Representatives from the Community Development Department from the City of El Cajon hosted a virtual community meeting on Sept. 29 to both share and gather information regarding the city’s long-term General Plan.


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COUNCILMAN PARENT LOSES POLICE UNION ENDORSEMENT AFTER VOTE FOR POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD, ALSO DRAWS SCRUTINY OVER DONATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Officers Association (LMPOA) announced yesterday that it has withdrawn its endorsement of Councilman Colin Parent.  The LMPOA cites several reasons for its withdrawal, which was announced the day after Parent cast the deciding vote on a 3-2 Council decision to establish a police oversight board.  Parent joined with Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Councilmember Akilah Weber to pass the measure over the objections of the LMPOA, which had requested the ordinance first go through a meet-and-confer process so that the officers’ union could request changes.

The two Councilmembers who voted against the police oversight board,  Kristine Alessio and Bill Baber, have both been endorsed by the LMPOA previously.

Officially, the LMPOA offered these reasons for withdrawing its endorsement of Councilman Parent.  “Ever since he aggressively sought and received our endorsement earlier this year, Councilmember Parent has become untrustworthy and unreliable. Whether it was his lack of transparency with the citizens of La Mesa regarding the homeless housing facility, or his broken commitment to protect the rights of workers, we can no longer in good conscience continue to recommend to the citizens of La Mesa that Colin Parent deserves your vote.”


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LA MESA COMMISSIONS TO HOST EVENT ON YOUTH IN THE AGE OF COVID-19 OCT. 28

Source: City of La Mesa

 

Photo: CC by SA

 

October 15, 2020 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa Community Relations and Veterans Commission along with the Youth Advisory Commission have scheduled a round table discussion event titled LIVABLE LA MESA: Youth in the Age of COVID-19, to take place on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m. The goal of the 90 minute virtual event is to foster a dialog on how changes due to COVID-19 have affected the everyday lives of families. Panelists from the La Mesa Spring Valley School District and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency will be on hand to provide tips and tools.

 


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GOODYEAR BLIMP "HIDING" AT GILLESPIE FIELD

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 
(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)
 
Oct. 14, 2020 (Gillespie Field) Your eyes are not deceiving you---there is a Goodyear Blimp "hiding" out, in plain sight, at Gillespie Field.
 
According to the Goodyear Blimp facebook page the Wingfoot Three has completed their nationwide trifecta, as they called it, by providing aerial coverage of the American League Championship in San Diego---specifically at Petco Park. 
 
The cars were lined up near the airport to get selfies with it as a backdrop.

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SANTEE MAYORAL AND COUNCIL RACES SHOW CLEAR CHOICES

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Santee Mayor John Minto, mayoral candidate and Councilman Stephen Houlahan, City Council candidates Samm Hurst and Dustin Trotter,

October 14, 2020 (Santee) -- The conflict between slow-growth proponents and those who support the continued expansion of Santee has been going on for decades but is crystallized in this election.


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HERE COME THE BRIDES: MARCH FOR WEDDINGS AT STATE CAPITOL SEEKS TO END BAN ON EVENTS

Photos and video courtesy of Aaron Texeira. View video: https://vimeo.com/467983811 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2020 (Sacramento) -- This afternoon, approximately 100 brides and grooms in wedding gowns and tuxedos joined with vendors and event planners at California’s Capitol to demand recognition in Governor Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan.


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NEGATIVE ADS, CONTROVERIES MUDDY 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As voters begin casting ballots in the 50th Congressional district, last-minute mailers and online ads for Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republican Darrell Issa have gone negative, each tarring the other as unfit for public office with allegations ranging from terrorist ties to criminal actions. 

One campaign sent a mailer displaying ECM’s logo without permission; ECM does not endorse candidates and prohibits use of our logo for political purposes.

Both Issa and Campa-Najjar also recently appeared in video interviews with Defend East County. Campa-Najjar drew sharp criticism from progressives and people of color for meeting with what some has characterized as a racist vigilante group, even as Issa denounced Black Lives Matter for “doing damage” to African Americans and referenced “criminal elements” in BLM and Antifa during his video discussion with DEC's leader.


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH SARA JACOBS AND GEORGETTE GOMEZ

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in February and early March, we interviewed Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gomez, now in the run-off election for the 53rd Congressional district.  These interviews were pre-pandemic, but covered many other issues that remain relevant to voters as the Nov. 3 general election draws near.

Click hear to read highlights or listen to our radio interview with Sara Jacobs: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-sara-jacobs-53rd-congressional-district-candidate

Click here to read highlights or listen to our radio interview with Georgette Gomez: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-georgette-gomez-candidate-53rd-congressioal-district

Scroll down for more information on the candidates.


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DRIVER SERIOUSLY INJURED ON STATE ROUTE 94 NEAR BARRETT JUNCTION

East County News Service
 
October 12, 2020 (Barrett Junction) – The driver of a black 2014 Honda Civic has been flown via air ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital after a serious accident at 7:50 a.m. on State Route 94 west, just east of Barrett Smith Road.
 
“For reasons still under investigation, the driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle and allowed the vehicle to drift off the north side of the roadway.  The vehicle traveled down a descending rock and dirt embankment where it rolled over several times,” a California Highway Patrol (CHP) press release states.
 
CHP and CAL Fire personnel responded to the collision.  The driver, who appeared to be wearing a seat-belt, sustained major injuries.  Rescue personal were able to transport the driver back up to the roadway, where he was taken to the hospital via medical helicopter. 

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CALIFORNIA ORDERS STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO REMOVE UNAUTHORIZED BALLOT BOXES

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  A lawful ballot drop off point at the Del Mar Branch Library. Photo by Chris Jennewein

October 12, 2020 (San Diego) - State officials issued immediate cease-and-desist orders to the California Republican Party on Monday after unauthorized ballot boxes appeared in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties.


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