October 2009 Articles

EDITORIAL: THREE STRIKES:--THE IMPACT AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

 

By the Judicial Reform Commitee, United African-American Ministerial Action Council

 

October 10, 2009 (San Diego)--The much ballyhooed Three Strikes laws have had a negligible impact on states' imprisoned populations since its enactment, with the notable exceptions of California, Florida, and Georgia.*  For most states and the federal government, Three Strikes' enactment appears to have been "much ado about nothing.” Their 1998 analysis of Three Strikes laws points out why this should come as no surprise -- every one of the states that enacted Three Strikes laws already had existing repeat offender laws on the books; for many of those states, the change affected by Three Strikes was marginal.

 

The exceptional impact is in California, the only state in which any felony offense can trigger a Three Strikes sentence. California Department of Corrections data report that nearly two-thirds (65%) of those sentenced under California's Three Strikes laws are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses.

5-CAR CRASH ON I-15 RESULTS IN DEATH OF FALLBROOK WOMAN




October 11, 2009 (Escondido) – Sarah Garcia, 22, of Fallbrook died from injuries sustained in an accident yesterday at 4:14 a.m. Garcia was the driver and sole occupant of a sports utility vehicle involved in a multi-vehicle accident on northbound I-15 at the Gopher Canyon exit.  She lost control at the edge of a hillside and plunged into a canyon, where CHP and emergency personnel located the vehicle and confirmed death at the scene, according to the San Diego County Coroner’s office. 

 

Southbound Highway 15 was closed temporarily following the collision. 




POLICE CHASE ENDS IN CRASH, DEATH OF SAILOR FROM LA MESA

 

October 11, 2009 (La Mesa) – La Mesa resident Herb Anthony McClenningham, 20, died after losing control of his vehicle during a police chase. McClenningham, an active duty member of the U.S. Navy, was driving erratically eastbound on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego on October 9th. San Diego Police officers attempted to pull him over and he fled.

HOUSE PASSES FILNER'S BILL TO SECURE TIMELY FUNDING FOR VETERANS’ HEALTH CARE

 

2ND BILL TO BUILD MORE V.A. CLINICS ALSO APPROVED

 

October 11, 2009 (Washington D.C.)– On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to H.R. 1016, a bill to secure timely funding for veterans’ health care delivered through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

“Today, the House of Representatives took action to respond to years of chronic underfunding of VA medical care,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and author of the bill. “Over the last 23 years, 20 VA budgets have been passed late – and our veterans pay the price with fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and more restricted access for the 6 million veterans using VA health care."

MILITARY TO BE HONORED WITH GOLF, DINNER & PRIZES AT OCT. 16 EVENT SPONSORED BY RANCHO SAN DIEGO-JAMUL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Public invited to participate – or sponsor a  military member or veteran

October 11, 2009 (Rancho San Diego) – “It’s in the Hole” golf tournament tees off this Friday at the newly-renovates Lakes course at Cottonwood Golf Club in Rancho San Diego. “We expect a perfect autumn day, “ said chamber president Valerie Harrison, who seeks additional sponsors to honor military heroes and enable more to participate, including wounded Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. “It is heartwarming to see the players really kick-back and just enjoy a fun day,” she added.

 Lunch will be provided by The Press Box Lounge and Sports Bar. The event also includes a dinner reception catered by Outback Steakhouse of El Cajon. Guests can also enjoy contests, dancing after dinner to the music of D.J. Eric Lund, special speakers, raffle drawings for prizes, and a silent auction.

TOWN HALL MEETING ON 3 STRIKES LAW OCT. 22

 

On Thursday, October 22, the Judicial Reform Committee of the United African-American Ministerial Action Council (UAAMAC) will host a town hall meeting on Califiornia’s three strikes law to encourage a change in sentencing practices. Panelists will include Karen Bass, Speaker of the Assembly, Assembly member Lori Saldana (D-San Diego), Bishop George D. McKinney, Frank Courser and Sue Reams, Families to Amend California Three Strikes.

 

"In these trying economic times. it is imperative that we examine these laws,” UAAMAC’s press release states. California's Three Strikes Law is the toughest law in the nation; California incarcerates four times more inmates as all other three strikes states combined. Supporters of the laws note that a small percentage of offenders are responsible for the majority of crimes.  But a growing number of people now argue that California's law has gone too far, locking up not only violent repeat criminals, but also imposing life sentences on people guilty of nonviolent offenses such as shoplifting.

GAME OF THE WEEK: EAGLES RECOVER FROM SLOW START, ROUT SPARTANS 38-13

by Christopher Mohr

 October 2, 2009 (El Cajon)-- After twenty minutes of game time had elapsed, it seemed that Friday night's game between Granite Hills and Central High would be closely contested, with a final score in the 20s. Fortunately for the Granite Hills Eagles, that trend did not continue.

After a slow start by both teams, Granite Hills took control of the momentum and the game to cruise to a 38-13 win over visiting Central High's Spartans of El Centro. Both teams played a scoreless first quarter, and were able to move the ball on some plays, but not consistently enough to be a scoring threat.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR GUILLERMO ESPARZA TONIGHT; POLICE SEEK PUBLIC HELP TO FIND KILLER

CRIMESTOPPER REWARD OFFER

 

October 10, 2009 (San Diego)--San Diego County Crime Stoppers, in conjunction with the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit, family and friends of Guillermo Esparza, are asking for the public’s assistance to help identify and locate the person(s) responsible for his murder. On Saturday, October 10, 2009, at 5:00 p.m., Family and friends will hold a candlelight vigil at the scene of the crime, 7300 Paradise Valley Road, San Diego, near the Paradise Valley Road intersection. 

GET MOVING ON LA MESA’S URBAN WALKING TRAILS

October 10, 2009 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa encourages residents to “Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving “ with Urban Walking Trails. This FREE walking program offers each walker the choice of an intermediate or advanced route and is designed for all ages and fitness levels. Bring your family to enjoy the outdoors and at the same time exercise and explore La Mesa.

SYLVIA’S SOAPBOX: SENATOR MAX BAUCUS GIVES AID AND COMFORT TO….THE INSURANCE COMPANIES

 

By Sylvia Hampton

October 11, 2009 (San Diego)--After all the right-wing screaming at town hall meetings that “government run health care“ would kill granny and throw the country into a communist state, we find from a recent New York Times/CBS News poll that 65% favor a public option plan to compete with private for-profit insurance companies.

 

But the powerful Democratic Senator from Montana, Max Baucus, Chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee caved into the powerful insurance lobby and his bill has no public option---just a mandate that everyone buy insurance and anyone who doesn’t gets fined. Baucus reported $1,763,799 in donations from the health industry for just his last election.

HOW TO LANDSCAPE WITH LESS WATER: WORKSHOP OCT. 13 WITH AUTHOR/GARDENING DESIGNER SCOTT CALHOUN IN EL CAJON

 

October 10, 2009 (El Cajon)--Do watering restrictions put a damper on your gardening enthusiasm? The City of El Cajon’s Community Development Department hosts a workshop Tuesday afternoon on how to landscape your home during this time of heightened water conservation.  To author and gardening designer Scott Calhoun, working with drought conditions is exciting and can take gardens in new unexpected directions. Hiss presentation is not just about planting tougher plants and using more efficient irrigation methods, it’s all about creating stunning beauty in harsh situations.

 

This class showcases some of the dynamic and thrifty strategies he uses in the hottest and driest environments in the country, and get some ideas on how to apply them in your own garden. The workshop will be held Tuesday, October 13th, in the City Council Chambers ladjacent to City Hall at 200 Civic Center Way, in El Cajon. Registration is 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and the workshop is from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

BOXER SECURES FUNDING FOR KEY INVESTMENTS IN CA

Agriculture Spending Bill Includes $6 Million for California Sought by Boxer'

Projects Range From Food Safety to Water Efficiency

October 8, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Senate today passed the Agriculture Appropriations conference report, which includes more than $6 million requested by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for key investments throughout California.

 

Senator Boxer said, “This crucial funding will not only help our state’s farmers and ranchers, but it will also help protect our state’s $32 billion agriculture economy. I am so pleased that this bill makes critical investments to protect consumers by safeguarding public health and growers from economic losses due to pests and food-borne illness outbreaks. I look forward to watching President Obama sign this bill into law.”

 

The bill also includes $350 million in emergency funding to help struggling dairy producers.

LA MESA TO VOTE TUESDAY ON “HEALTHY EATING, ACTIVE LIVING” RESOLUTION FOR CITY

New measure follows city’s recent award for excellence in community health and wellness programs
 

community gardenOctober 9, 2009 (La Mesa) – A whopping 60% of La Mesa 5th, 7th and 9th grade students sampled and over half of all adults in California are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for stroke, high blood pressure, or other serious medical problems. To combat obesity, the League of California Cities has adopted a resolution encouraging cities to embrace policies that foster healthier lifestyles and communities, including a healthy diet and exercise.

On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider whether to adopt the measure which calls for a redevelopment plan that would include community gardens, design plans to make La Mesa more accessible via bicycles and walking, improve access to fresh foods, and more. The proposed resolution also calls for promotion of employee wellness and urges the City to set an example for other area businesses by establishing an employee wellness program. Read the full text of the resolution here.

GALAPAGOS AUTHOR TO PRESENT SLIDE SHOW, SIGN BOOKS IN EL CAJON OCT. 13

October 9, 2009 (El Cajon)--Bette Blaydes Pegas, local author of Chasing a Dream in the Galapagos: A Personal Evolution, will be at the Rancho San Diego Library in El Cajon on Tuesday, October 13th. Pegas will give a slideshow presentation on her life-changing trip to the Galapagos in the library’s conference room at 5:30 PM. She will also be available afterward to sign copies of her book.

CELEBRITIES JOIN EL CAJON FIRE SAFETY & CAREER EXPO: SATURDAY OCT. 10

 

October 9, 2009 (El Cajon ) --The annual El Cajon Fire Safety & Career Expo takes place Saturday, October 10th, at 100 E. Lexington Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This free family event offers valuable safety, health and career information--plus plenty of fun!  Meet Captain Jack Sparrow, an amazing tribute artist of the popular Johnny Depp character from Pirates of the Caribbean, K-C the Safety Robot, Coasty the talking Coast Guard Boat, Sparky the fire dog, Callahan the Firefighter and Mother Goose. You’ll also have a chance to meet Miss El Cajon and Miss Teen El Cajon--plus teen stars from TV and Disney movies.

NEED WORK? FREE CAREER DAY OCT. 19 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

October 8, 2009 (El Cajon)--Grossmont College Career Center will present four free career workshops on campus at the Career Center office, Room 627, located adjacent to the Student Center, during its 2009 Career Week, Oct. 19 to 22. The public is invited to attend.

 

“TRIBUTE TO THE STARS” IN EL CAJON OCT. 10: EVENT TO BENEFIT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE FEATURES AMERICA’S TOP CELEBRITY TRIBUTE ARTISTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 5, 2009 (El Cajon) – Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie and Jennifer Anniston celebrity impersonators join a “Tribute to the Stars” fundraising event Oct. 10 at the El Cajon Performing Arts Center to benefit the Mother Goose Parade. Other special appearances include tribute artists for Gwen Stefani, the music of No Doubt, “Twilight” movie stars, and Johnny Depp tribute artist “Cap’n Jack” Sam Sparrow.

 

The public is invited to join in the fun for $15 a person, $40 for a family four-pack--or splurge on a $45 rock star limo package that includes a celebrity red carpet welcome--complete with paparazzi to commemorate your arrival.

DUI/DRUNK DRIVING CHECKPOINT IN LEMON GROVE THIS WEEKEND

 

October 9, 2009 (Lemon Grove) --Sheriff William D. Gore today announced deputies from the Lemon Grove Station will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint this weekend. The message for the beginning of this fall season is that drunk driving will not be tolerated.

 

D.A. FILES MISDEMEANOR CHARGES IN DEERHORN VALLEY CASE: NO HATE CRIME OR ASSAULT CHARGES FILED DESPITE RACIAL SLURS & VIOLENT BEATING OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEEN



Victim’s Mother Accuses Sheriff of “Dropping the Ball” on Investigation, Considers Lawsuit

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Update October 2013:  Jerry Arnold has contacted ECM to advise that charges against him were reduced to distrubing the peace with loud music, for which he paid a fine.  Arnold also shared his side of the story.  "I was executor of the estate. I hadn't been around for nine years. I told the kids they couldn't have a party, but they had it anyway...When police got here, I was breaking up the party.  My son who had the party, I threw him out of the house...To say that I was contributing to minors' drinking couldn't be farther from the truth." Arnold told ECM he knew nothng about the assault on Chris Jones, which did not occur on the property.  He insists that he is not prejudiced and that three of his close family members have black partners or spouses.  He added that when he asked all party guests to leave and did not single out those who were black.  Johnson claims he was innocent of all charges but could not afford an attorney, so accepted the plea bargain offer.

 

October 9, 2009 (Deerhorn Valley) – The San Diego County District Attorney (D.A.) has filed three counts of misdemeanor charges in the case of an African-American teenager severely beaten by a group of white men last April at a party in Deerhorn Valley, near Jamul.  The home was in probate; the representative of the estate, Jerry Arnold Jr., was charged with allowing minors to drink; his son and a juvenile were charged with vandalizing  the victim's car.

 

Denise Brown, mother of the victim, is outraged that no charges of assault or hate crimes were filed. “The Sheriff dropped the ball on this investigation, big-time,” Brown told East County Magazine following a hate crimes summit in El Cajon last week. “Those men beat my son. They smashed the car windows. They tried to burn the vehicle with him inside. There were boot prints and hand prints all over the car, but the Sheriff’s Department had it towed and never even took prints.”

STATE LAUNCHES PROBE OF ANDERSON FINANCES; CASE PROMPTS CALL FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has launched an investigation into allegations that Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s campaign may have received funds funneled illegally through the Fresno County Republican Central Committee. (Read details.) Anderson (R-Alpine) has announced plans to run for the State Senate.

The news sparked heated comments from Simon Mayeski, a state board member of Common Cause, a citizens watchdog organization committed to holding government officials accountable for their actions and encouraging citizen participation. “It is extremely discouraging that the constant need to raise campaign dollars now places Joel Anderson, my very own Assembly representative, under the investigative eye of the FPPC,” Mayeski, a San Diego resident, told East County Magazine. “It is even worse that he is under investigation because of the Commission’s own decision, and not by complaint of another politician.”

ANDERSON BILL TO PROTECT HOMEOWNERS FROM FORECLOSURE AWAITS GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

October 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—AB 1046, authored by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously and is now on the Governor’s desk. If enacted, would protect homeowners from having their home seized by creditors as payment for debt that is unrelated to their mortgage.

 

“Hard times can fall on anyone and it is important to have basic legal protections for their greatest investment - their life savings,” Anderson said.

ABDUSSATTAR SHAIKH, CO- FOUNDER OF SAN DIEGO’S ISLAMIC CENTER, HONORED FOR 50 YEARS OF SERVICE PROMOTING RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2009 (Lemon Grove) – Community leaders gathered at the Masjid Usman-Center for Religious Tolerance in Lemon Grove on Saturday to honor Dr. Abdussattar “Sattar” Shaikh, co-founder of the Islamic Center of San Diego. State and city leaders as well as representatives from the Sheriff’s Department and San Diego State University all praised Shaikh’s leadership in fostering multi-cultural understanding and religious tolerance.

“He has helped Muslims from all over the world form a thriving community, even in times of adversity,” said Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil, who organized the event and issued a commendation on behalf of Lemon Grove. “We honor you, Dr. Shaikh, for the love and devotion you have shown to your adopted country. You have touched countless lives."

GREEN BUILDING PRODUCTS MANUFACTURER DONATES MATERIALS TO BUILD HOME FOR EL CAJON FAMILY IN NEED

 
October 8, 2009 (El Cajon)– Cali Bamboo, a premier manufacturer of green building materials made entirely from bamboo for residential and commercial projects, has announced its partnership with the San Diego Habitat for Humanity. The company will provide $15,000 worth of flooring and fencing materials as well as volunteer employees to help build the final Jimmie Johnson Foundation house in El Cajon as well as other area homes.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CAL-FIRE: MAKE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS VISIBLE

 

October 8, 2009 (San Diego's East County) -- October is fire safety month.  CAL FIRE reminds everyone who lives in the backcountry that State law requires that every building must have an address number posted. This number needs to be a minimum of four inches in height, contrasting in color to the background, and clearly visible from the street.

NEXT THIRD THURSDAY IS A LESSON IN EAST SAN DIEGO’S HISTORY

 

October 9, 2009 (San Diego)--Independent bookstore and coffeehouse Upstart Crow of Seaport Village and acclaimed small press Sunbelt Publications of El Cajon are teaming up to offer the public a free monthly author appearance and book signing. These “Third Thursday” events began in June, and have featured appearances by local authors of books on such diverse topics as the history of San Diego, adventure in the Galapagos Islands, and money management.

Gary Mitrovich is the next scheduled to appear on Thursday, October 15th at 6:30 PM. Mitrovich is the local author of East of San Diego: The Lost History of the East San Diego Police Department 1912-1923.

GAME OF THE WEEK BONUS COVERAGE - EAGLES SLOWED BUT NOT STOPPED BY HILLERS

 

by Christopher Mohr

 

(SOLANA BEACH) September 26 - One of the most common sports cliches is that some opponents can't be stopped; they can only be contained. Anyone who defended Michael Jordan, pitched to Tony Gwynn or golfed against Tiger Woods knows the concept all too well. So do Santa Fe Christian's first three opponents this season.

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