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TREASURES OF EAST COUNTY: 4 SALES AT ONE LOCATION JANUARY 31 TO BENEFIT EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE REPORTING AND WILDFIRE ALERTS!

SOITEC TO SHIFT FOCUS AWAY FROM SOLAR

LAKESIDE VANDALS SOUGHT: $1,000 REWARD OFFERED

PRESIDENT LAYS OUT POPULIST PLANS TO HELP MIDDLE CLASS IN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE TO STATE OF UNION OFFERS SHARP CONTRAST TO PRESIDENT’S VISION

WHAT OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION MEANS FOR SAN DIEGO

COME TO THE CABARET: LA MESA CHAMBER'S 7TH ANNUAL SALUTE TO LOCAL HEROES

TENTATIVE VICTORY FOR ALPINE IN LAWSUIT OVER FUNDS FOR HIGH SCHOOL

COUNTY PLANNERS APPROVE SOITEC SOLAR PROJECTS IN BOULEVARD DESPITE SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL AND FINANCIAL ISSUES

PICKER ROLLS OUT REFORMS AS NEW PRESIDENT OF CA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

WIND TURBINE BURSTS INTO FLAMES IN OCOTILLO

MARCH FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, BUILD RACIAL JUSTICE FORUM: MLK DAY IN SAN DIEGO MONDAY, JANUARY 19


WILL THE POST OFFICE BE DISMANTLED?

 

 

Overnight mail service ends; privatization push triggers boycott of Staples

By Hayden Parsley

Miriam Raftery also  contributed to this report

January 9, 2015 (San Diego) – Many Americans are shocked to learn that effective January 5th, the U.S. Postal Service has stopped all overnight deliveries. Nationwide, 82 mail processing plants are closing, hours have been cut at Post Offices, and patrons are being steered toward competitors such as Staples, triggering a backlash in the form of a Staples boycott.

It’s all part of an effort by conservatives in Congress to slow down, outsource and privatize postal services—a move that could ultimately lead to the demise of the Post Office completely. That could mean price hikes for stamps and delivery services, lay-offs for workers, inconveniences and new costs for businesses, as well as potential cuts in delivery for rural residents.  That’s concerning for those reliant on mail deliveries of vital items such as prescription medications.

JUSTICE DEPT. TO TRIBES: MARIJUANA GROWING ON RESERVATIONS ACCEPTABLE, WITH LIMITS

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – At the request of Native American tribes, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a policy statement offering guidance to U.S. Attorneys on priorities for enforcing marijuana laws on tribal lands. Given that many states have legalized marijuana for medical, agricultural or recreational use, the statement lists eight priorities for enforcement on Indian lands—and makes clear that any enforcement must require consultation with tribal partners.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: "FRIENDS"

 

January 10, 2015 (El Cajon)—Robert Gehr snapped this photo of a Mallard Duck and Seagull standing together on a recent cold morning at the water-scape by the waterfall in downtown El Cajon.

“They make for an interesting pair, don't they?” he says.

GOVERNOR BROWN'S BUDGET BOOSTS EDUCATION FUNDING, AIMS TO STOP TUITION HIKES, BUT FAILS TO RESTORE DEEP CUTS IN SERVICES FOR THE POOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2015 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown has unveiled his proposed $164.7 billion budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year(including $113.3 billion in general funds), drawing mixed reactions from around the state following several months of healthy revenue growth.   Seeking a fiscally prudent path, the Governor aims to pay down long-term debts and boost California’s rainy day fund for budget reserves by $2.8 billion.

FORMER LOCAL IMAM TIED TO MASSACRE IN FRANCE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Muhammad ud-Deen, creative commons

January 10, 2015 (La Mesa) –Anwar al-Awlaki, a former cleric at a mosque on the La Mesa-San Diego boundary and ex-student at San Diego State may have inspired the jihadist brothers who massacred 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 and was believed by U.S. authorities to have been a terrorist mastermind tied to the 9/11 attacks and many other terror plots around the world.

Cherif Kouachi , one of two brothers who reportedly gunned down journalists at Charlie Hebdo, was later killed by police following a massive manhunt in Paris. Before he died, Koachi told BFM-TV, “I was sent, me, Cherif Koachi, by Al Qaeda of Yemen. I went over there and it was Anwar al Awlaki who financed me.” Reuters reports that the statement was recorded and aired on French television.

REPUBLICANS SET STAGE TO SLASH SOCIAL SECURITY AND DISABILITY BENEFITS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – On the first day of the new Congressional session, House Republicans pushed through a rule change that advocates for senior citizens and the disabled warn will lead to major benefit cuts for retirees and people on disability.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) legislative policy director calls the action “a mistake” that could lead to devastating 20% cuts for people dependent on disability payments as well as negative impacts for retirees--including reductions in benefit payments and another rise in retirement age, which is already set to go up from age 65 to 67.

Without a single Democratic vote, House Republicans pushed through a rule change that prohibits members from approving any financial fix to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program unless it is tied to broader “reforms” in Social Security that critics including the AARP say will lead to privatization of the program and weakening of benefits.  

LOCAL STUDENT ACHIEVES TOP ACT SCORE

 

January 10, 2015 (La Mesa)--Spencer McCall, a senior at Helix Charter High School and son of Drs. Michael and Madhavi McCall of La Mesa, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, on average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2014, only 1,407 of nearly 1.85 million students earned a composite score of 36.

LA MESA PEDESTRIAN IN CRITICAL CONDITION

 

January 10, 2014 (La Mesa)—A 56-year-old man walking with a cane up a steep sidewalk on Saranac Place to Thorne Drive was struck by a large pickup truck yesterday shortly before 7 a..m.  He suffered several broken bones and internal injuries, according to La Mesa Police.

JAYWALKER KILLED IN EL CAJON

 

January 9, 2015 (El Cajon) – A man wearing dark clothing was struck by two vehicles after trying to jaywalk between signals in the 800 block of Avocado Avenue in El Cajon.

CIRCLE OF ART SHOWCASES BEAUTY OF CA "SECRET DESERT" MARCH 14-15

 

January 9, 2015 (Borrego Springs) - Enjoy the original artwork of 60 selected fine artists and craftsmen while experiencing the unique beauty of "California's Secret Desert" at the 26th annual Circle of Art Show & Sale March 14 & 15, 2015 in Borrego Springs.  Circle of Art is outdoors on Christmas Circle right in the center of Borrego Springs, just 2 hours from San Diego and Palm Springs.

READER'S EDITORIAL: A BARBARIC ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

 

By Jane Hartley, U.S. Ambassador to France

Photo: Je Suis Charlie rally in support of slain French journalists, by Claude Truong NGOC, creative commons

Editorial originally published in Le Monde January 8, 2015 and on the U.S. Embassy website in Paris

January 9, 2015 (Paris)--Wednesday’s barbaric attack on the journalists and staff of Charlie Hebdo, as well as on policemen guarding them, shocked and saddened the entire world.  As we pause to mourn the loss of life, I am reminded of how the people of France showed their support to us in the aftermath of 9/11.  On September 11, Americans were in a state of shock as we tried to come to grips with that terrible loss and our own grief and a growing sense that our world would be different from that moment on.  I remember seeing Le Monde’s headline that day: “We are all Americans”, and how much those words meant to me that day as an American, a New Yorker and a friend of France.

EL CAJON POLICE RECOVERS $188,500 WORTH OF CARS PURCHASED FRAUDULENTLY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested a woman suspected of fraudulently buying at least seven vehicles at dealerships in El Cajon and San Diego.

HOUSE WEAKENS MANDATE FOR EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE

 

East County News Service

January 8, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The House of Representatives voted today to strike down a portion of the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare mandate.  The law requires that employers must provide healthcare for all employees working 30 hours a week or more.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

 

January 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from riding the rails at the Campo Railway Depot to dropping a line at the Santee Lakes trout reopener.  Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including the Martin Luther King Jr. Choir concert in Lemon Grove, candlemaking classes in Alpine, and  a blast from the past when Herman’s Hermits take stage at Sycuan. So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

POPE FRANCIS ISSUES RULING FOR LOCAL IRAQI CHRISTIAN CHURCH: WILL NOT SEND FATHER NOEL TO IRAQ

 

Ruling protects priests across U.S., overrules patriarch’s decision

East County News Service

Photo:  Father Noel with Congressman Juan Vargas late last year; photo by Miriam Raftery

(January 8, 2015)- In a landmark decision, Pope Francis has ruled in favor of St. Peters Chaldean Church in El Cajon in its battle to keep Father Noel Gorgis safely here.

SENATOR BOXER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT IN 2016

 

By Hayden Parsley

January 8, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--After two decades in the senate, California Senator Barbara Boxer announced this Thursday that she will not run for reelection in 2016.

At 74 years old, Boxer states she will put effort into ensuring her seat remains with her Democratic Party. She also says she will, “Keep fighting for the issues I love,” and plans to spend her time helping people. She says that neither her age nor the Republican majority are factors in her decision, but that she wants to come home to the state that she loves.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 8, 2015 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's 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:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

ISSA REPLACED AS CHAIR OF HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County Magazine)—Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) has been replaced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as chair of the powerful House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

STATE COMPLETES INVESTIGATION OF SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT OVER FUNDING DISCREPANCIES: LOCAL TAXPAYERS TO FOOT BILL

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2015 (Spring Valley) – The State Controller’s Office has issued its final review report on the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s administrative and internal accounting controls.

“Our review did not identify any significant deficiencies with the District’s administrative and internal accounting controls,” the report states. None-the-less, the report indicates the state plans to charge the district for the cost of the investigation. report indicates the state launched the investigation  because it had “reason to believe that the Annual Report of Financial Transactions submitted by the District is misstated, incomplete, or incorrect.”

AKRAM: DAUGHTER OF IRAN, A MOTHER'S LOVE FOR HER DAUGHTER

 

Akram, by Akram Arastehjoo (The Scriptory, Stacy Thunes Krieger, Menlo Park, California, 2014, 115 pages).

Screenplay Review by Dennis Moore

January 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Akram Arastehjoo, a descendant of the great Persian Empire, which we now know as Iran, tells her own and personal family story that encapsulates the long and illustrious history of kings and queens, in a screenplay written by Stacy Thunes Krieger, Akram. The author actually derives her name from the Holy Quran; meaning generosity, or “most generous.” This is pointed out by Krieger in this well-written and warm story.  Arastehjoo is unabashed in her pride for everything that is Persian, and rightfully so. It comes across in my interview of the author and throughout the story. I have been made aware that Iran actually converted from the original name of Persia to Iran in 1935, but it did take some getting used to. Many seem to prefer that bygone era of Persia, and all it stood for, including the iconic Darius the Great.

AROUND THE WORLD, CROWDS STAND UP AND JOURNALISTS SPEAK OUT TO DENOUNCE TERRORISTS KILLINGS AT FRENCH MEDIA OUTLET

 

 

"I prefer to die standing up than live kneeling." -- Stefane Charbonnier, Editor, Charlie Hedbo

Photo: #JesSuisCharlie on Twitter

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2015 (Paris)--Crowds around the world are standing up and journalists are speaking out to show solidarity with journalists slain at a French satirical magazine in Paris on Wednesday by  Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. The dead include the publication’s editor, other journalists including  prominent cartoonists, and two police officers.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS THAT MAY AFFECT YOU

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Governor Brown has signed 930 bills into law, covering a broad spectrum of issues.  These range from laws to protect consumer rights and privacy to laws that affect gun owners, immigrants, senior care facilities, renters and condo owners, youth sports, students, prisoners, dog owners, parents, business owners, and many others.

MEASLES EXPOSURE AT PARKWAY PLAZA IN EL CAJON

 

Disneyland visitors also exposed in December

January 7, 2015 (El Cajon)--Two San Diego siblings may have exposed others to measles at Parkway Plaza Mall in El Cajon on Dec. 29, 2014 the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.

POWAY CHAMBER HOSTS FIRST MIXER OF 2015

 

January 7, 2015 (Poway)-- Members of the business community are invited to attend the Poway Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Mixer held at Mt. Olive Church & Preschool, 14280 Poway Rd, Poway.  The Mixer will take place on Thursday, January 22 from 5:30 -7:30PM. Light refreshments and drinks will be available.

PETCO PULLS PET TREATS FROM CHINA OFF SHELVES DUE TO ILLNESSES, DEATHS OF PETS

 

East County News Service

January 7, 2015 (San Diego) – San Diego-based Petco, the nation’s largest pet product retailer, announced this week that it has removed all dog treats and cat treats made in China off its store shelves nationwide, as well as from its website.

NEW LAW ALLOWS PATIENTS TO REQUEST CONFIDENTIALITY IN HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS

 

January 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- As the second wave of open enrollment into Covered California is in full swing, individuals covered under their parent or spouse's health plan can start feeling safe enough to actually use their insurance. SB 138 - the Confidential Health Information Act - took effect on January 1st to close loopholes in existing state and federal laws that result in breaches in patient confidentiality through Explanation of Benefits letters and other standard communications from health insurance plans.

36 LOCAL VONS & ALBERTSONS STORES TO BE BOUGHT BY HAGGEN

 

Updated January 8, 2015 with more details from Haggen.

January 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Over two dozen Albertsons and Vons grocery stores in our region are being bought by Haggen Food & Pharmacy, a small grocery chain headquartered in Washington State and focused on healthy, natural and gourmet foods.

HAVE A HEALTHY NEW YEAR

 

County News Service

January 6, 2015 (San Diego)--It’s the time of year when people make ambitious resolutions and many of them seem to focus on getting fit, losing weight or just living a more active lifestyle.

FDA APPROVES TRIALS OF SAN DIEGO COMPANY'S EBOLA TREATMENT

 

By Chris Jennewein

Photo: Aethlon Medical’s Hemopurifier blood filtration system.

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

January 6, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego-based Aethlon Medical Inc. announced Friday the Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical protocol to treat Ebola-infected individuals in the United States with the Aethlon’s Hemopurifier blood filter.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 6, 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:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

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