San Diego’s County Clerk “ready to respond immediately”; marriages could resume soon if court finds Prop 8 challengers lack legal standing to appeal
By Miriam Raftery
December 7, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will review two cases involving same-sex marriage, including an appeal by petitioners seeking to overturn Proposition 8 including former San Diego State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth.
California voters initially voted to legalize same-sex marriage, but later passed Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriages. California’s Attorney General refused to appeal Prop 8 to the Supreme Court after the 9th circuit court of appeal found it unconstitutional. Thus other petitioners appealed including Hollingsworth, leader of the group Protect Marriage, asking the high court to strike down the 9th court ruling.
December 7, 2012 (Alpine) -- A manhunt for a suspected human smuggler with a long criminal record has failed to locate the suspect, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Martell Valencia-Cortez fled following a traffic stop near Viejas Casino this morning. Border Patrol offices tried to pull the vehicle over, but Valencia leaped out and fled on foot.
An intensive search via helicopter and agents scouring canyons and ravines failed to locate him. Authorities have warned that the suspect may try to steal a vehicle and escape into Mexico.
Firefighters removed 500 tons of trash to extinguish the blaze
By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery
Photos by Billy Ortiz and Nadin Abbott; view video by Billy Ortiz
December 7, 2012 (El Cajon) -- A large fire is now under control at a Waste Management facility at 1001 West Bradley Avenue near Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
"There are flames shooting out of a big pile of trash," Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM shortly after the fire was reported at 5:48 p.m. to Heartland Fire dispatch. "It smells pretty bad and there is a lot of smoke." The facility is a transfer station, he said, adding that a large number of emergency vehicles are at the scene.
Acorn-clogged heater, CO detector created grave danger
December 7, 2012 (Ramona)--Three people were taken by ambulance to UCSD to be treated for high levels of carbon monoxide yesterday. Fortunately, they were released later and are expected to recover. But their ordeal is a reminder of the importance of inspecting and maintaining furnaces, as well as having a working carbon monoxide detector, County officials warn.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday, a 911 call was made from the 24000 block of Highway 78 reporting a medical emergency of a patient that was possibly cardiac in nature. Shortly after a second person in the same household became ill, the person making the 911 call became unresponsive to dispatchers.
December 9, 2012 (El Cajon)--Where else can you have fun, and do great things for kids at the same time? Sign up for the December 12 golf tournament at Cottonwood Golf Club, and bring an unwrapped toy for East County Toy and Food Drive. For a fee of $49.00, the tournament includes:
December 7, 2012 (San Diego)--At the ripe age of two, Journey’s birthday party is making a difference in the lives of victims of Hurricane Sandy. This beautiful young girl is turning her second birthday party into an event to remember.
Journey’s family has chosen to ECHOage her upcoming birthday party. Instead of receiving many smaller gifts, Journey has used a birthday service that allows guests to contribute online. Half of the funds will go to Kids in Distressed Situations – helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy - and the other half will go to a pink vintage play kitchen - a fitting gift for a Cookies and Milk birthday party theme.
Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa Brings Holiday Fun to Easter Seals & Local Children
December 13, 2012, (San Diego)--The Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa hosted their 6th Annual Tree of Hope Celebration and Christmas Carnival for Easter Seals Southern California and San Diego County children and adults with disabilities on Saturday, December 8.The guests and their families were treated to an afternoon of visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus, dancing with elves, crafts, cookie decorating and carnival games. Guests also enjoyed seasonal treats such as hot chocolate, popcorn, hot pretzels, cookies and cider all compliments of the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa.
East County residents Mary & Megan Alexander and members of Lakeside Girl Scout Troop 6398 visited with some of Santa’s elves
VIP guests include Congresswoman Davis, Mayor Art Madrid and many more!
This year's festivities will take place on Sunday, December 16 from 2-6 p.m.
Savor delicious foods prepared by Chef Patrick Dean and Grove Pastry Shop, enjoy wine tasting by La Serenissima and San Pasqual Winery as well as live jazz music by Chris Klich of Grossmont College Music Dept. Plus we'll have prizes and surprises!
Money spent on lavish personal expenditures as well as community causes
By Miriam Raftery
December 6, 2012 (El Cajon) – “What I did was so shameful, and I will have to live with what I did for the rest of my life,” former El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox stated tearfully at her sentencing hearing last Monday. Federal judge Michael Anello sentenced her to 30 months in prison after she admitted embezzling money from her former employer and failing to report the income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Hanson-Cox is also ordered to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution to her ex-employer, Century Design Inc. (CDI) and another $1.2 million to the U.S. Treasury.
“While embezzling millions of dollars from CDI, former Councilwoman Hanson-Cox not only traded on her reputation as a public official but also betrayed every citizen who expected her to act honestly in both her private and public affairs,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.
December 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Grossmont College’s Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale will present a Baroque Christmas Concert on December 11 and 12 in East County and San Diego. The performances will feature beloved music from the Baroque masters: Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Biber and Charpentier, as well as violin solos by Michael Dvoskin and Luay Yousif.
On Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m., the program will be presented at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church, 1627 Jamacha Way in Rancho San Diego (the unincorporated portion of El Cajon).
December 7, 2012 (San Diego) – Guests from more than 20 nations were on hand as Elizabeth Lou, founder and CEO of Nile Sisters in San Diego, received the prestigious Eleanor Roosvelt humanitarian award from the United Nations Association USA in San Diego.
The award, presented at the Asmara Eritrean & Ethiopian Restaurant in San Diego in October, recognizes Lou’s dedicated work to help refugee women in our region. Accepting the award from UNA San Diego President Karen Longstreth, Lou said the award honors all supporters of the Nile Sisters.
East County Magazine has previously profiled Lou's remarkable achievements in a September 15, 2011 story:
December 8, 2012 (San Diego)--The proud grandparents had come to Italy to witness the birth of their granddaughter. Their sailor-son-in-law was Command Center Supervisor on a Navy admiral’s staff in Naples – Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean. While touring Naples, they visited a fabulous furniture store. Granny got her wish and Pop ordered a living room and dining room set. The ornate carvings on the chairs and tables were very beautiful. They picked a gold fabric to match the beautiful hardwood on their new custom made sofa and chairs. They enjoyed their beautiful new granddaughter. She was joined by a beautiful little sister the following year.
The sofa was delivered in Los Angeles just before the proud new Navy mom and dad arrived about a little more than year later. They were on their way to Japan; to a new assignment in USS MIDWAY CV-41 and new adventure.
They loved their two little girls, born in Germany and Italy during their tour with the Navy’s Sixth Fleet. The oldest, little Adria had been born at 37 weeks, she had been taken by air ambulance to Frankfurt, Germany to be born due to her premature birth. A massive earthquake had hit Italy and her mother went into labor.
December 6, 2012 (San Diego's East County) – Maria Ines Heimpel, who taught languages for more than three decades at Helix High School in La Mesa and volunteered for humanitarian causes in San Diego and Tijuana, died peacefully in her home on November 27, 2012.
Her lifelong concern for those in need led to her involvement with a clinic and an orphanage in Tijuana. She also participated as an interpreter with the Mercy Outreach Surgical Team, a group of doctors performing free surgical procedures for poor children in Mexico.
“She was a people person and as a teacher, genuinely interested in each of her students, going out of her way to help them,” fellow teacher and friend Jean Costa said. “She was a positive influence on the lives of so many young people and on the lives of people who knew her.”
December 6, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is again asking the California Public Utilities Commission to reject an attempt by San Diego Gas & Electric to bill its customers for the uninsured cost of the region’s 2007 wildfires and any future wildfire caused by the utility.
“I remain outraged at SDG&E’s incessant attempt to slap ratepayers with a massive invoice for the 2007 wildfires that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in rural San Diego County,” Jacob wrote today in a letter to CPUC President Michael Peevey. “The notion that SDG&E cannot afford the costs of these fires is nonsense.”
Elected Officials and Business Leaders Provide Early Support for Pro-Jobs Democrat’s Campaign for Assembly District 80 in South San Diego County
December 5, 2012(San Diego) -- Working families advocate Lorena Gonzalez will run for the 80th State Assembly District, vowing to seek the seat once it is vacated by the current assembly member, she announced this evening. Gonzalez serves as the chief executive of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, an advocacy organization that represents 200,000 local union workers in the region. As Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor Council, Lorena led successful campaigns for living wage agreements, local hiring preferences and increased education funding for San Diego County workers and their families.
December 5, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
December 5, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
December 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- During this busy time of year, there are more and more people on the road now than ever before. This is the “season” and we will likely be spending more time ourselves shopping, traveling, attending gatherings and rushing about during this time. This is when accidents occur as we have many distractions. If you or someone you love is in need of emergency assistance, you want help to arrive immediately.
December 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Elvis Presley aside, the holiday blues are nothing to sing about. For many the holidays are not a time of cheer, but of dread, exhaustion and even depression.
What distinguishes the holiday blues from cases of severe depression are not the symptoms – they’re similar – but the duration. For those who are vulnerable, the blues tend to arrive just before the holidays – in anticipation – and fade when the calendar turns. The symptoms generally are a lack of interest in usually pleasant activities, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, agitation, anxiety, feelings of guilt or difficulty in concentrating.
December 4, 2012 (El Cajon)--As a reviewer, I appreciate the fresh ways theatres keep coming up with to take care of housekeeping at the beginning of plays. The dos and don't of the theatre. In this case, the rules were read in French and then repeated by someone with a French accent, setting the tone of the play which takes place in the back of a store in Cayenne, French Guiana, on Christmas Eve 1910.
December 4, 2012 (San Diego) – East County makes a strong showing in the upcoming San Diego Pottery Tour on December 8 & 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour is a celebration of ceramics, city-wide with over 25 potters in 10 locations from Spring Valley to Point Loma. Seven of the studios are located in East County with local artists David Cuzick, Mary Cuzick, Eric Rempe and Danae Dehne, to name just a few.
The tour is self-guided and free. Click here for a map of the studios along with which artists are located at them.
December 4, 2012 (McCain Valley) -- This is a warning for those who escape to Cottonwood Campground in McCain Valley for a tranquil and refreshing experience to explore the Great Outdoors: Your days of enjoyment are numbered. Wind turbines will soon be invading the area just like the ones in Ocotillo. The Sunrise Powerlink already obliterates the natural beauty along parts of the 13-mile dirt road to the remote campground. Building 450-foot tall wind turbines a little more than 1,000 feet away from it will completely destroy its appeal altogether.
December 4, 2012 (San Diego)--In what is hoped will be a model for future trainings and a revolution in architecture, Southwestern College recently conducted a class called “Smart Building Technician.” The name doesn’t begin to do justice to the depth of the material covered in the class, which was made possible through a grant to UnitedGREEN from SDG&E arranged by Heartland Coalition board member Chuck Brands.
Instructor Kimon Onuma (at left in green shirt) lines up the class participants (including course manager Chuck Brands fifth from left in white shirt) for a graduation photo.
December4, 2012 (San Diego) -- Regrettably, far too many of us tumble from ladders and rooftops, receiving a numberless wounds, sprains, busted bones, head wounds and even death when trimming for the holidays. Last year, over150, 000 people were treated in emergency rooms just from ladder accidents, not to cite thousands more electrical and additional trimming misadventures. Neglecting to adopt the suitable safety safeguards when trimming your home this holiday season can rapidly take the Merry right out of your Christmas says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
December 4, 2012 (La Mesa) – More traffic enforcement and safer streets are coming to La Mesa in the coming year. Increased special traffic enforcement measures are on tap as a result of a recent $55,000 grant awarded by the Office of Traffic Safety to the La Mesa Police Department. The La Mesa Police Department is dedicated to keeping our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.
December 4, 2012 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: What are the new nutrition standards for school lunches that have some students boycotting their cafeterias and discarding the food?
-- Melissa Makowsky, Trenton, NJ
Indeed, some 31 million American kids participating in the federally supported National School Lunch Program have been getting more whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables in their diets—whether they like it or not. The change is due to new school meal standards unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last January, per the order of 2010’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The new standards are based on the Institute of Medicine’s science-based recommendations, and are the first upgrade to nutritional standards for school meals since 1995 when low- and no-fat foods were all the rage.
December 4, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with American Honda Motor Co. of Torrance, announces a voluntary recall of about 150,600 portable generators because fuel hoses can leak, posing fire and burn hazards. The products were sold at numerous retail outlets nationwide and online.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
December 4, 2012 (San Dieg's East County) -- The California Fish and Game Department has provided the following answers to questions commonly asked about hunting and fishing in California.
When Fishing with Kids, What's Required?
Question: I was always taught as a kid fishing in the streams in the high Sierras and Mother Lode lakes that a child under 16 had to count their catches under their licensed parent’s or other adult’s license on site.
My question is, can a child capable of catching their own fish without assistance from an adult catch a limit of trout, for example, separate from a licensed adult? I see this come up with parents who want to take their kids fishing (and the kids really want to learn how to fish!), but the parents are not interested enough to buy a fishing license.
December 4, 2012 (Santee) - On November 1, 2012, the City of Santee started work to upgrade the City’s collision analysis software. Funding for this program was provided by a $34,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The project will upgrade the City’s traffic collision analysis software to improve efficiency in collision data collection, analysis, and ultimately improve traffic safety. The grant will assist in efforts to deal with traffic safety problems and to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions.
December 4, 2012 (La Mesa)--Helix Charter High School is a nominee in The Clorox Company's Power a Bright Future grant program and is in the running to win up to $50,000. If we win, the school will use this grant to fund community-based, student-run Senior Projects. All Helix students are required to complete a Senior Project to graduate.
"Currently, many students choose to do projects that benefit the surrounding communities; however, due to the costs associated with a large-scale project, many are done on a small scale. If Helix were to win this grant, the projects would not face those funding limitations and students could affect our community in a much bigger way," says Jenn Osborn, Helix community relations.