November 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Hikers in the Japatul Valley area east of Alpine found human remains this morning, the Sheriff's department confirms.
Deputies from the Pine Valley sub-station responded at 9:30 to a call in the 24000 block of Japatul Valley Road and confirmed the grisly finding in a nearby canyon. The Sheriff’s Homicide detail is investigating the death, said Lieutenant Kenn Nelson.
November 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The 45-day review period for public comments on proposed changes to the County’s Tiered Winery Ordinance ends November 23rd.
In 2010, Supervisors established a Tiered Winery Ordinance. A key component of it was creation of a Boutique Winery tier, which allowed for tasting rooms in conjunction with ongoing agricultural vineyard operations. Since its adoption, a number of issues have arisen that affect implementation of the ordinance. Planning & Development Services (PDS) held workshops on January 17, 2014 and July 1, 2015 to gather information and comments to utilize in formulating the proposed amendments to the Tiered Winery Ordinance. See our prior coverage of the July hearing here, when some wineries voiced alarm over proposals they feared could put some wineries out of business, while others voiced support for suggestions such as limiting food offerings and sharply restricting entertaining at smaller wineries.
One set of stakeholders whose voices have been largely ignored thus far have been consumers--the wine tasting public who may want to weigh in on whether they want to hear music at weekend wine tastings or be able to savor food along with wine when visiting local wineries.
November 6, 2015 (Mission Trails) –Join San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, and La Mesa Councilmember Kristine Alessio on Saturday, November 7th at 10:00 a.m. at the East Kwaay Paay Trailhead, just west of Bushy Hill Drive and the Kumeyaay Lake Campground, on Father Junipero Serra Trail to officially launch Mission Trails Regional Park’s new 5-Peak Challenge program.
The 5-Peak Challenge involves hiking to the summit of the five highest peaks in the park: Cowles Mountain (1,592’), Pyles Peak (1,579’), North Fortuna (1,291’), Kwaay Paay (1,194’) and South Fortuna (1,094’). Complete the challenge by hiking to the summit of all five peaks in any order and within your own timeframe. This will provide you the opportunity to discover all the less-visited areas of the park. After completing the 5-Peak Challenge, not only will you have seen San Diego from different perspectives, but you may also adopt your new favorite hiking trail along the way.
October 22, 2015 (Borrego Springs) – Treasure hunters have long been drawn to the Anza-Borrego Desert, seeking gold and precious gemstones. But the real treasure to be found today is La Casa del Zorro Resort, restored to its former splendor with a hospitality that welcomes all—a sparkling oasis amid the desert sands.
Whether you’re heading out for this weekend’s 50th anniversary Borrego Days Desert Festival and parade, or seeking an off-season adventure in summer, spring or fall, La Casa del Zorro provides a delightful haven year-round.
13 more cases suspsected, including 2 deaths as outbreak widens
County News Service
October 8, 2015 (San Diego) – Five new patients are confirmed to have been infected with West Nile virus, bringing the total number of people who have contracted the mosquito-driven disease this year to 11. These include the second fatality this year localy---a 73-year-old El Cajon man who died October 4.
One newly confirmed case was detected after a routine blood donation last week by a 56-year-old San Diego woman had symptoms consistent with the virus, and three other cases confirmed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in patients who were hospitalized in September: a 77-year-old San Diego woman, a 53-year-old San Diego man, and a 60-year-old Ramona woman.
In addition, there are 13 suspected San Diego County cases pending confirmation by CDPH, including two suspected deaths.
October 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Caltrans is weighing whether or not to grant state scenic highway designation of State Route 52 from Mast Boulevard in Santee to Santo Road in San Diego, where the highway passes through Mission Trails Regional Park. Preserve Wild Santee began seeking the designation in 2012 and the San Diego City Council passed a unanimous resolution in support in 2013, yet Caltrans has not yet taken action.
Save Mission Trails and Preserve Wild Santee are both asking the public to send letters urging support of the scenic highway designation to preserve the natural beauty of this area from projects such a power plant proposal recently withdrawn by the developer. Save Mission Trails has provided a sample letter that you can sign and send to those listed below.
Note to our readers: Please send us your best photos taken alone highway 52 between Mast and Santos Road! We will publish the most scenic and beauitful photos.
September 27, 2015 (San Diego)--The CDC estimates that there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease every year in the United States. However, many experts dispute that, saying the true number is likely well over a million. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are found in San Diego County, the County’s Environmental Health Department reports.
A coalition of groups representing Lyme disease patients plan protests outside the Infectious Diseases Society of America ((IDSA) at its meeting in San Diego October 7-11.
“Because of rampant “Lyme denialism” by the CDC and the medical establishment, hundreds of thousands of additional cases of Lyme disease go undiagnosed and untreated—and people are left to suffer,” says Jen Williams, a spokesperson for the coalition of patients and their advocates. The Centers for Disease Control endorses Lyme disease guidelines for physicians determined by the IDSA—and insurance companies use those guidelines to deny payment or Lyme treatment, the groups contend.
September 15, 2015 (San Diego) – Today, the majority of County Supervisors voted to pay $310,000 to settle claims filed by three ex-staff members against Supervisor Dave Roberts.
In a prepared statement, Supervisors indicated they determined the settlement to be “in the best interest of taxpayers” and said Roberts “at a minimum, showed poor judgment.” The statement added that “although not conclusive, the investigative material surrounding the inappropriate use of County funds, promoting a hostile work environment, an alleged bribe, campaigning on County time, improper use of a County vehicle and retaliation against District 3 staff members is significant and a matter of concern for the Board of Supervisors.”
Asked his response, Roberts, who has consistently denied the staffers' allegations, provided East County Magazine with the following statement:
As arrests and incarcerations decline, county will put greater emphasis on prevention, intervention
East County News Service
September 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--A major decrease in juvenile arrests and detentions has caused significant savings for the county, and now government officials are looking to transfer money into services that help keep young people out of serious trouble. In 2009, 5,000 juveniles were under supervision, but now there are approximately 2,100. Detention rates have had a similar decline, down from 842 to 438, said Ron Lane, deputy chief administrative officer.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to transfer this savings to training for law enforcement officers dealing with young offenders, increased mental health services, and a program that helps stop juvenile family violence.
September 3, 2015 (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:
August 26, 2015 (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:
August 13, 2015 (Ramona)--Last week, East County Magazine reported on the United States Forest Service’s announcement that it will not allow its new air tanker firefighting planes to land at the Ramona Air Base. The USFSsays the runway is not long enough. However Cal Fire provided a video showing a Cal Fire pilot landing the same type of plane in Ramona.
Now, all five of San Diego’s Congressional representatives (Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas and Susan Davis) have signed a letter sent to Chief Thomas Tidwell of the USFS asking him to take action.
August 12, 2015 (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:
August 5, 2015 (Pine Valley ) –At a town hall meeting convened by disgruntled shareholders in the Pine Valley Mutual Water Company on August 2nd, over 100 people turned out to discuss a controversial water sale to Rough Acres Water. A petition asking the water company to terminate the Rough Acres contract was passed out at the meeting and many attendees picked up copies of the petition.
But at an official water company meeting on Tuesday, two nights later, shareholders who didn't RSVP were turned away by armed law enforcement officers, much to the dismay of residents/shareholders seeking to voice their concerns to their elected board.
August 5, 2015 (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:
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July 31, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Julian resident Tony Teora announced on East County Magazine’s radio show on KNSJ that he will be running for the 71st Assembly seat, which is open due to Brian Jones stepping down due to term limits.
Teora, a Republican, considers himself a “maverick” and a moderate candidate. “We have politicans today who are controlled by special interests,” he says adding that too often, elected officials vote against the interests of constituents,he says.
July 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Today, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency for five southern California counties including San Diego due to damage from severe storms starting July 18 that caused “flash flooding, mudslides, and fires ignited by lightning strikes, resulting in damage to roads, highways, and other infrastructure and the evacuation of residents.” (Read the proclamation: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19049 )
The emergency declaration applies to Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino and San Diego Counties.
July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)
As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.
The protesters included a prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.
July 22, 2015 (San Diego)--Seeing summer rain in San Diego County is more than a shock — it’s also a good time to remind people to protect themselves against West Nile virus by making sure to mosquito-proof or dump out standing water around their homes.
While no one has been diagnosed with West Nile virus in the county this year, the disease has been more apparent than it has in many years. Midway through 2015, the County’s Department of Environmental Health has already collected more infected dead birds, 61, and mosquito batches, nine, than it did all last year when 11 San Diego County residents were diagnosed with the disease and two people died.
July 22, 2015 (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:
Update July 21: Supervisors voted unanimously to ask the Obama administration to take action and allow USFS air tankers to land in Ramona.
July 20, 2015 (Ramona)—The U.S. Forest Service is refusing to fly its newest air tankers in and out of Ramona Air Attack Base – and the Board of Supervisors may turn to the White House for help.
On Tuesday, July 21 at 9 a.m. Supervisors will consider a proposal from Chairman Bill Horn and Supervisor Dianne Jacob to appeal the decision to the Obama Administration. With the high-risk fall fire season approaching, they say flying the next-gen tankers in and out of Ramona could help save lives and protect property.
Photo: County crews work to clean up mud flow on Rutherford Road in Ramona, where over 3 inches of rain fell on Sunday.
July 20, 2015 (San Diego) -- The remnants of Hurricane Dolores created record rainfall in San Diego County, taking residents by surprise over the weekend. If your property or small business sustained damage from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.
The County Office of Emergency Services is asking storm-affected residents to complete a short damage survey form that will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding.
The information gathered from the surveys will be used to estimate total damages countywide and will determine if enough damages occurred to qualify the region for federal disaster assistance, such as low interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for those who are uninsured or underinsured.
July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will host its annual convention on Wednesday, July 22 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The organization is funded by corporations and pushes state legislators to introduce “model” legislation that it calls “pro-business.” Speakers include Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee. The conference also will include other state and national legislators from across the nation.
But progressive organizations are mobilizing thousands of people for a march, rallies and protests against ALEC, which critics say pushes forward anti-worker, anti-environmental measures drafted behind closed doors. Local State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) chairs ALEC’s California chapter.
July 17, 2015 (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:
Photos, left: Three of the five special needs children in Zeldin's care.
July 11, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) – Friends describe Debra Zeldin as an “angel.” Twice named the County’s foster parent of the year, she has taken in over 60 foster children, specializing in those with special medical needs. She currently has five children in her care, including a blind, 6-year-old boy for whom she helped obtain a kidney transplant and a 10-year-old girl with muscular dystrophy who just came home from the hospital when Zeldin discovered her van had been stolen. Two of the children use wheelchairs and one is on a tracheotomy curently.
Now Zeldin needs help –and a friend has launched a fundraising drive to raise money for repairs, since the thieves who stole her van had no insurance or assets and Zeldin’s insurance company has informed her that her policy lacked comprehensive coverage.
June 27, 2015 (San Diego)--Congressman Juan Vargas and Mark Arabo will be featured in an hour-long special, “Crossing Jordan—Escape from Terror” on Fox News detailing their work to help facilitate safe passage for religious minorities out of Iraq and Syria, and to secure their freedom.
The program anchored by Bret Baier premiered Friday night and will air again on Saturday, June 27 at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and on Sunday, June 28 at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard time.
File photo by Jim Pelley: Vallecitos Lightning Fire
June 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – CAL FIRE Captain Kendal Bortisser and County Fire Chief Tony Mecham advise that a plan is in place to ensure additional fire protection for the San Diego region in anticipation of dry thunderstorms and lightning predicted to move through Southern California this weekend.
June 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court majority has ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, protected under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
President Barack Obama likened the decision to “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt,” declaring, “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
The high court, ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, was asked to decide two issues: can individual states ban same-sex marriage and must all states honor same-sex marriages for weddings performed in other states.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Republican appointed by Ronald Reagan, wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 opinion, joined by the court’s four liberal justices.
Photo: Protest at Senator Feinstein's office, from the Citizens Trade Campaign Facebook page
June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The controversial fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership international trade pact passed the Senate by a slim one-vote margin. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the fast-tracking, while Senator Barbara Boxer voted no.
Fast-tracking gives President Obama broad latitude to negotiate the trade pact, after which Congress will have only an up or down vote, with no opportunity to make changes. Opponents have voiced concerns over secrecy of the proceedings. The proposed pact has not been made public, nor have members of Congress been allowed to have copies.
Nicole “Kali” Gochmanosky, southern California organizer for the Citizens Trade Campaign, a group opposed to fast-tracking the TPP, had this to say regarding the extensive media coverage of the vote and protests targeting Feinstein.