October 2008 Articles

LOCAL RESIDENTS JOIN NATIONAL PROTEST OF WALL STREET BAIL-OUT BILL

By Miriam Raftery

September
26, 2008 (El Cajon) -
East County residents angered by the Bush administration’s
proposed $700 billion bail-out bill for Wall Street financial firms took to
the streets yesterday as part of a national protest action organized by True
Majority.  Thousands protested across the nation (photo: New York protest,
taken by Jeremy Scahill.)

“Many people in the evening rush hour honked. Even more gave thumbs
up or flashed peace signs.” said Wren Osborn, who participated in a protest
at Chase and Nidrah in El Cajon.  View a video from Channel 10 news with
interviews from the El Cajon event: www.10news.com/video/17562521/index.html?taf=sand.

FUNDRAISER TO HELP HOME OF THE GUIDING HANDS  OCT. 12: CARE FACILITY FOR DISABLED FORCED TO BORROW $1.25 MILLION DOLLARS DUE TO STATE BUDGET GAP

By Miriam Raftery
Residential ServicesOctober
6, 2008 (El Cajon) -
  A wine-tasting event to benefit Home of the Guiding
Hands (HGH) will be held Sunday, October 12th at Mangia Bene Restaurant in
El Cajon.   HGH provides residential, healthcare and training services
for over 160 children and adults with developmental disabilities at 27 facilities
in San Diego County. But now the program faces financial hardship because
all MediCal and MediCare funds were cut off while the Legislature wrangled
to pass a budget that was 83 days past due.

NUTS ABOUT PUMPKINS? BATES  NUT FARM HAS GIANT GOURDS, FESTIVITIES & FAMILY FARM FUN

By Miriam Raftery

Leon Thompson

“This one, this one!”  Brendan Robeson of Santee pounces gleefully on a giant pumpkin far too large for his Mom to hoist.

David and Mandy Pumphrey of Murietta used a wheelbarrow to haul their 120-pound pumpkin to the weigh-in station at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center,  where activities between now and October 31 include a straw bale maze, hayride, craft fair, costume contest and yes, even a tower where you can let your kids climb the wall—literally! 

Editorial - Voting by Mail: Enhances Democracy? Not if Votes Aren't Counted

By
Assemblyman Joel Anderson

Any registered voter may vote by vote-by-mail ballot.
Rather than go to the polls to cast a ballot on election-day, you may apply
for a vote-by-mail ballot, which you will need to complete and return to your
elections official.

-The California Secretary of State

According to results from recent elections
in San Diego County, we can expect as many as half a million citizens to vote-by-mail
this November. What we don't
know is how many of the ballots are actually counted by the registrar of voters.
Or more specifically, how many are invalidated because they arrive too late
to be included in the election results. Not surprisingly, Registrars of
Voters don't publish those facts.

Weekly Events - October 6-14 THIS WEEKEND:  ARRIBA!  LA TOMATINA TOMATO FEST

Plus Candidate Forums, Oktoberfest Parade, Hello Dolly and more

By Miriam Raftery

Borrowing
a tradition from Spain (with a few Southern California twists), Tierra Miguel
Farm in Pauma Valley is hosting La Tomatina – a tomato fest complete
with authentic Spanish cuisine (bring your own paella), wine and beer tasting,
live music and a tomato fling!  Call ahead to join in the fun this Saturday
(see our calendar for details).  This event is limited to age 18 and over;  bring
your own goggles! You can also help prepare the soil for next year’s
crop – and sign up for Tierra Miguel’s community agricultural program
to receive their fresh-grown produce. 

Editorial - My Position on the Financial Crisis

By Bob Hamilton

It’s
not surprising that the American people are against the $700 billion financial
rescue plan, which was rejected by Congress on Monday.  We’ve
seen this movie before, where the government steps in with taxpayer funds to
rescue those who overdosed on greed, and we’re not interested in seeing
it again.
After our government lied and mismanaged its way into a
quagmire in Iraq that has increased the burden for taxpayers by trillions,
why should we trust them now?  They say we must fork over another $700
billion to stabilize the financial system, the same financial system that allowed
banks and mortgage companies to knowingly issue bad mortgages and convert them
to risky investments that were sold to investors as safe.  At the same
time, too many of our political leaders in Washington seem more concerned about
the next election than solving the financial crisis, which leaves us disinclined
to trust them either.

HUNTER OPENS DOOR FOR SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTORS

Border Fence creates opportunities for some, but draws criticisms from others, with waivers of environmental reviews

by Gayle Early

Gayle Early.

October 1, 2008 (El Cajon) - Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office hosted an informal briefing by the Army Corps of Engineers on September 18 on the status of the border fence construction and possible subcontracting opportunities for local businesses. Mary Spencer, the Army representative in the Small Business Association, also offered pointers on how to apply for contracts.

EDITORIAL - ARNOLD "SWEENEY TODD" Schwarzenegger:

Governor Vetoes Health Reforms, Terminates Consumer Protection Bills

By Senator Sheila Kuehl

On
September 30, the Governor finished wielding his veto pen and, in one sweeping
move, eliminated virtually every health reform measure that would have regulated
the health insurance company monopoly.

Health reform was not alone,
bill after bill that would have benefited consumers, drivers, people
who breathe, people who drink water, and just people who rely on their state
government to protect them, had its throat cut.

EDITORIAL - PICKIN' ON PICKENS' PLAN

By Ken Sobel

It’s impossible to turn on the TV or radio lately without being barraged
by T. Boone Pickens presenting his ambitious plan to save the world from global
warming and wean us off foreign oil. But the decision we need to make in the
days and weeks to come is between creating the energy we need locally—or
leaving control of solar and wind power production in the hands of big utility
companies that aim to sell us back our energy after we build the transmission
lines with our tax money.

"HISTORIC" AGREEMENT SIGNED: ALLOWS NIGHT-FLYING HELICOPTERS TO FIGHT WILDFIRES ON STATE LANDS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarmon shakes
hands with CAL-FIRE Chief Howard Windsor as Mayor Jerry Sanders looks on

October 1, 2008 (El Cajon) -- “This
is a historic occasion,”  said Fire Chief Howard
Windsor with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL
FIRE).  Speaking at the San Diego Sheriff’s facility at Gillespie
Field in El Cajon, Windsor announced an agreement with San Diego Fire-Rescue
Department allowing CAL FIRE use of San Diego City-owned helicopters to fly
night firefighting missions on state wild lands in East County. 

EAST COUNTY LEADERS ORGANIZE FUTURE SAN DIEGO: GREEN ECONOMY

Oct. 18 event at UCSD to feature Lt. Governor John Garamendi, green
jobs fair and more

By Miriam Raftery

Event organizers Chuck Brands (left) of El Cajon
and Mark Hanson of Lakeside (right) with keynote speaker, Lt. Governor John
Garamendi (center)

October
1, 2008 (San Diego) -
Looking for a “green” job?  Own
a business seeking to save energy and money with eco-friendly technologies?

You’ll find a wealth of information on these topics and more at Future
San Diego: Green Economy, an all-day program on October 18th dedicated to educating
the public on ways to transition our region to a more secure and environmentally
sound economy. 

VOTER'S WATCHDOG: PROTECTING YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE

Why you should vote—and how to be a smart voter

By Miriam Raftery

October
1, 2008 (San Diego’s East County)
--  Your
vote does count!

John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States by just one vote
per precinct nationwide.  Some local races have been decided by just a
handful of votes.

Decisions made in the November 4 election will impact the future of us all.

White Rabbit Candy Sold in California Recalled Due To Melamine Contamination

September
29, 2008 (BURLINGAME, CA) -
The California
Department of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are urging consumers
not to eat White Rabbit Candies sold in California.  Queensway Foods Co.
of Burlingame, California is recalling White Rabbit Candy after tests revealed
that some of the products are contaminated with melamine--the same deadly toxin
in infant formula that has hospitalized 50,000 children in China since September,
killing several infants. Melamine in pet foods also killed thousands of U.S.
cats and dogs in 2007.  

FESTIVALS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2008

By Miriam Raftery

October
1, 2008 (East San Diego County)
-  Fall is prime time for
festivals in East County. The tough part is choosing among so many fun-filled
events.  The air is crisp--and so are the ripe, juicy apples at Julian’s
Apple Days October 4th and 5th.   Savor apple cider and piping
hot pies, or enjoy a horse-drawn buggy ride in East County’s historic
gold rush town. 

OBAMA OPENS NEW OFFICE IN EAST SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Leon Thompson

October 1, 2008 (San Diego) - The Obama-Biden campaign hosted a presidential debate-watching party to kick-off the opening of a new campaign office at 1744 Euclid Street in East San Diego. 

“We’ve had a larger than expected turnout,” Vince Hall, spokesperson for Obama for President in San Diego County told East County Magazine.  “We’ve had more than 500 volunteers who signed up to support our campaign tonight.”

EDITORIAL - STICK-EM UP AMERICA!

by Jeeni Criscenzo

October 1, 2008 (San Diego) - Once again, our president is
badgering Congress to hurry up and approve his plan or something terrible will
happen-this time, he's not threatening us with a mushroom cloud, this time
it's a more ambiguous "distressing
scenario." His solution was an unfettered, unaccountable bailout of Wall
Street with $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer money.

NEW BLACKWATER PROTESTS MARK ANNIVERSARY OF NISOUR SQUARE SHOOTINGS

Congressman Bob Filner and Assembly candidate Ray Lutz of East County speak out against Blackwater at Otay Mesa Rally

Story and photos by Gayle Early

Sign from a military families organization opposed to Blackwater.

October 1, 2008 (Otay Mesa) – In September 2007,  17 people were shot to death in the Nisour Square traffic circle in Baghdad, Iraq, by Blackwater Worldwide security guards contracted by the U.S. State Department. Two dozen more civilians were seriously injured, including a lawyer shot in the back four times as he tried to run away. Marking the anniversary, about 150 protestors demonstrated outside Blackwater West’s new Otay Mesa Naval Training Facility on Sunday, September 14, raising concerns about the private military contractor’s presence in San Diego and along an international border already rife with tension.

THE CHEAPSKATE'S GUIDE TO LIVING WELL IN EAST COUNTY - OCTOBER 2008

Making ends meet is getting tougher. The cost of gas, food, college and
just about everything else is going up, while wages have failed to keep pace
with inflation. This column provides info on where to find bargains in East
County, plus other tips on how to get more for less.

October 1, 2008 (EAST SAN DIEGO COUNTY) - Autumn is the perfect
season to tackle these.

MEDIA WATCH - PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: HOW TO SEPARATE SPIN FROM FACTS

By Miriam Raftery

Media WatchOctober 1, 2008 (San Diego's East County) -Sorting
out truth from fiction in political races is challenging.   If
you didn’t watch the first presidential debate, for example, you might
get a radically different perspective on how the candidates fared if you’re
listening to a right-wing or left-wing media commentator—or the campaigns
themselves. (If you missed it, you can view a video of the full debate, narrated
by Jim Lehrer of PBS, on YouTube.

EDITORIAL - FOLLOW THE MONEY

Who would spend $14,300 to win a little rural election?
Big dollars can drown out the voices of Campo community members

By Billie Jo Jannen

When was the last time you donated $2,000 to control the
selection of members for an advisory body in a tiny little rural town? This
may hardly seem worthwhile to you and I, but it clearly is to a number of Star
Ranch development proponents, some of whom have spent much more than $2,000.

EAST COUNTY EATER - MEDITERRANEO BISTRO BAR & GRILL: A DELIGHTFUL FIND IN ALPINE

Mediterraneo Bistro Bar & Grill
1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901
(619)445-9902.

October 1, 2008 (ALPINE) - Dining at the Mediterraneo
Bistro Bar & Grill,
one can almost imagine oneself savoring a meal near the Mediterranean Sea.  Perched
on a hilltop with distant ocean views visible through a screen of trees in  rural
Alpine, this eatery has the feel of a sophisticated, upscale European restaurant.
Contemporary and modern décor, colorful artwork, cozy seating and a
well-stocked bar add flair to this backwater watering hole, which also features
cozy seating and large, heated outdoor dining area.

LOCAL RESIDENTS JOIN NATIONAL PROTEST OF WALL STREET BAIL-OUT BILL

By Miriam Raftery

Click for larger versionSeptember
26, 2008 (El Cajon) – East County residents angered by the Bush administration’s
proposed $700 billion bail-out bill for Wall Street financial firms took to
the streets yesterday as part of a national protest action organized by True
Majority.  Thousands protested across the nation (photo: New York protest,
taken by Jeremy Scahill.)

“Many people in the evening rush hour honked. Even more gave thumbs
up or flashed peace signs.” said Wren Osborn, who participated in a protest
at Chase and Nidrah in El Cajon.  View a video from Channel 10 news with
interviews from the El Cajon event: www.10news.com/video/17562521/index.html?taf=sand.

FDA ALERT: DEADLY TOXIN FOUND IN COFFEE & TEA; CANDY & INFANT FORMULA MAY ALSO BE TAINTED

AppleMark  September
25, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) -
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued
a consumer alert today warning that numerous products have been found to be
contaminated with melamine – the same deadly toxin that killed thousands
of cats and dogs in contaminated pet food last year. 

Pages