OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

EL CAJON’S WILD WEEK: OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING, NUDITY BAN, PROTESTS AND PARKWAY PLAZA CLOSURE

JOURNALISM FORUM FEATURES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES OCT. 5 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SHARE DIVERSE VIEWS FOR CITY’S FUTURE

LOCAL TRIBES SEND CARAVANS TO AID STANDING ROCK SIOUX OPPOSED TO DAKOTA PIPELINE

MAN AT EL CAJON PROTESTS ATTACKED FOR TAUNTING PROTESTERS, WEARING TRUMP HAT

PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

FUGITIVE ARRESTED IN EAST COUNTY MURDER CASE

SANTEE MAYOR AND COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM OCT. 13

CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 21: HELIX WATER AND LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 24-OCT. 21

News

OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?

By Miriam Raftery

September 29,2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that one of the officers involved in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was  Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year. 

Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy? Multiple studies over 40 years have shown  that women police officers  are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers,  the Washington

Post recently reported.

But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment  and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.

EL CAJON’S WILD WEEK: OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING, NUDITY BAN, PROTESTS AND PARKWAY PLAZA CLOSURE

 

Did lack of mental healthcare “PERT” team response contribute to Olango’s death? 

Suicide Help Resources included below

By Jonathan Goetz

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon) – East San Diego County’s El Cajon was rocked Tuesday with an officer involved shooting of an unarmed black man, Alfred Okwera Olango. The city has remained in the spotlight all week.  Lost amid the blitz of media coverage has been other news, including a nudity ban targeting homeless people.

In chronological order, here are the highlights and lowlights:

JOURNALISM FORUM FEATURES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES OCT. 5 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2016 (El Cajon) –El Cajon residents are invited to attend a Journalism  Forum featuring candidates running for the  El Cajon City Council.  The forum, co-moderated by journalists from four major media outlets, will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grossmont College in the Griffin Gate building (next to Griffin Center.)

Bring your questions, meet the candidates and hear their ideas and goals for El Cajon.

The moderators will be: Miriam Raftery,  editor of East County Magazine, Karen Pearlman, reporter for the San Diego-Union Tribune, Albert  Fulcher,  editor of the East County Californian, and Marya Fani, broadcast journalist at Mega Network. 

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SHARE DIVERSE VIEWS FOR CITY’S FUTURE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear full audio of the one-hour candidate forum by clicking the  link above.

September 29,2016 (Lemon Grove)—At a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine and the Lemon Grove Library on September 21st ,  three mayoral hopefuls shared their visions for the future of Lemon Grove. 

Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez, along with former Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Rosiak, fielded questions from moderator Miriam Raftery, editor of ECM, ,as well  as audience questions.

Audio: 

UNREST GROWS IN EL CAJON: MAN KILLED POINTED VAPING DEVICE AT OFFICERS,HAD CRIMINAL RECORD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Rebecca Williamson, during vigil at shooting sight this evening

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) –Amid mounting tensions and protests this evening,  El Cajon Police released updates in yesterday’s fatal shooting of Alfred Okwera Olango.  

The updated information reveals the Olango, an El Cajon resident, drew a vape smoking device from his pocket and pointed it at officers. The release also indicates a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team was unavailable due to being dispatched to another call.

A 10 News investigation found  Olango had a criminal record including  a 2005 arrest in Colorado as a felon in possession of a firearm—a semi-automatic pistol in the vehicle he was driving. He also pled guilty to receiving stolen property and driving under the influence in 1999, as well as selling cocain in 2001.

In this confrontation, however, Olango was unarmed.  The Ugandan refugee who came to America  after death threats to his famliy was shot and killed after his sister called officers for help due to her brother's erratic actions.

Tonight, crowds clashed with police.  While organizers of a march and vigil sought to keep the peace, some protesters reportedly threw bottles at police and chased a counter-protester wearing a Trump hat after he shouted racial slurs.

MAN AT EL CAJON PROTESTS ATTACKED FOR TAUNTING PROTESTERS, WEARING TRUMP HAT

 

East County News Service

Photo via CW6 San Diego Twitter

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon protests after Alfred Olango was gunned down by police continue peacefully, but things escalated a bit tonight after a man was attacked for wearing a Donald Trump hat and taunting protesters with racial slurs, ECM has learned.


PARKWAY PLAZA EVACUATED, CAR SHOW SHUTDOWN AMID UNREST AFTER POLICE SHOOTING

 

 

By Rebecca Williamson and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left,by Rebecca Williamson: Marchers at Mollison near Broadway

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza regional shopping center is shut down for tonight after protests spilled into the mall over yesterday’s fatal police shooting of Alfred  Olango, 38, an unarmed African-American man with mental health issues.  Marketing director Ken Gray told  ECM the mall shut down for the night on advice of police.

“ Where I work, a lot of people were crying and screaming,” Gage Miller told  East County Magazine shortly after police evacuated the Walmart store where he works and escorted everyone outside. He said around 3 p.m., “lots of people were marching in the mall and going into the movie theatre…Walmart had to put its gates down. Protesters were spraying water from water bottles all around.”

PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: El Cajon Police

Photos (rest) by Robert Gehr (c)

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon)—A shooting of a mentally ill African-American man by El Cajon Police yesterday  has sparked anger among some community members, though police have released a photo suggesting the man assumed a “shooter’s stance” before he was shot and killed.

Following a press conference this morning by police, civil rights leaders spoke at a press conference calling for a federal investigation.  Marches were held downtown and a candlelight vigil is planned tonight at 6 p.m. the El Cajon Police Station forAlfred Olango, 38.

SDSU’S HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM DEVELOPS PROGRAM TO STOP ACTIVE SHOOTERS

 

Source:  Press release, SDSU Homeland Security graduate program

September 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- What can be done to stop active shooter incidents such as the one at the Washington Mall this week?  Two San Diegans who recently graduated from San Diego State University’s Homeland Security Program, have developed an innovative mobile app solution for preventing, mitigating and responding to active shooter situations. The Active Shooter Identification (ASI) application has the ability to detect a gunshot that supersedes 125 decibels.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL APPROVES “CONNECT MAIN STREET” CONCEPT FOR CITY’S HISTORIC HEART

 

Council also advises public that Prop A transportation initiative would double road repairs in Lemon Grove

By Jonathan Goetz

Pictured: Karen Beth Pearlman, UT Reporter, taking pictures of a Connect Main Street Powerpoint 9/20/16

View the Powerpoint here

September 22, 2016 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove’s City Council approved a theme for the Connect Main Street concept to commemorate the city’s historical heritage, limit traffic and create a walkable heart for the city between Broadway and Central Avenue.  Council members also informed the public that Proposition A, the regional transportation initiative, would double street repairs in Lemon Grove as well as funding freeways and bringing the trolley to UCSD.

CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED TO HALT DEPORTATION OF VETERANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2016 (San Diego) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants, with no exceptions.

But now a San Diego based coalition is calling for protection to stop deportations of hundreds, or potentially thousands of U.S. military veterans who served our country with honor.

MEDIA WATCHDOG: UNION – TRIBUNE’S EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH SDG&E RAISES QUESTIONS

 

Updated to include clarification from  SDG&E that its sponsorship was short-term,  not long-term.

East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2016 (San Diego) — Last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune rolled out a much-touted revamp of its website featuring San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy, as its only sponsor.  The deal allows SDG&E to reach news readers directly with messages such as energy saving tips, but also poses potential conflicts of interests for San Diego’s largest newspaper.

SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan has clarified that the sponsorship was only for two days, not an ongoing sponsorship. She added thiis perspective on the sponsorship:

ZONING HISTORY OF SAND MINING SITE EXPLAINED

 

 

Updated with document links

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2016 (Lakeside) – Some residents of Lakeside’s El Monte Valley have voiced surprise to learn after a sand mining project was proposed that the scenic area has zoning that allows for such use.  Now Robert Hintgen, a planner with the County of San Diego, has provided a history on the zoning designation.

DRIVER WHO INJURED HIS CHILDREN AND KILLED WOMAN, 21, SUSPECTED OF DRUNK DRIVING

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2016 (Ramona) — A Ramona father who crashed his pick-up truck head-on into a car on Vista Ramona Road Monday afternoon near Old Julian Highway appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, said Officer Kevin Pearlstein with the California Highway Patrol.

WHITEWASH? COUNTY’S BORDER FIRE REPORT IGNORES SERIOUS CONCERNS RAISED BY RESIDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Richard Edwords: Harrowing ride along State Route 94 during Border Fire

Sept. 27 meeting at 2 pm set in Potrero Library on Border Fire issues; angering working residents who want their concerns heard

September 15,2016  (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s Border Fire 2016 After Action Report  presents a review on the regional response to the Border Fire that ignores many serious complaints lodged by rural residents in the fire. The report was written entirely by official agencies and  does not include concerns raised by the public, leading rural planning officials,  residents and a community news editor to contend the county whitewashed their concerns.

 The blaze killed two people , destroyed five homes and left countless animals without care in triple-digit heat while residents were refused access  for days after the fire. While residents praise efforts of firefighters who worked valiantly to prevent worse losses, many feel betrayed by officials in the wake of the Border Fire report and other complaints that residents say have yielded little or no meaningful changes.

The report omits entirely any mention of controversies over the deaths of Potrero residents Jim and Kyrie Keefe,  whose bodies were found by community volunteers.  Agencies praised themselves in the report, while omitting criticisms on issues such as lack of  adequate care for animals stranded in triple-digit heat and inadequate evacuation notifications -- in some cases, just yellow caution tape stuck on mailboxes, with no explanation or direct contact with residents in danger.

COUNTY TO PRESENT RECOMMENDING ZONING CHANGES FOR ALPINE, FOREST LANDS INITIATIVE PLAN AMENDMENTS AT SEPT. 22 MEETING

 

East County News Service

September 13, 2016 (Alpine) -- The Forest Conservation Initiative (FCI) Lands General Plan Amendment (GPA) will be on the agenda for the September 22, 2016 meeting of the Alpine Community Planning Group.  This meeting begins at 6:00 pm in the Alpine Community Center at 1830 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine. 

 County staff will present the following:

DEER SEASON OPENS IN CALIFORNIA ON SEPT. 17

 

Hunters urged to be fire-safe; lead ammo now illegal in state forests

East County News Service

September 12, 2016 (Sacramento) – If you’re hiking in California forests, you may want to wear bright colors to make sure you can easily be seen.  Deer hunting season opens Saturday, Sept. 17 in most zones in the state.

COUNTY PROMISES TO CLEAN UP DUMPING IN FLINN SPRINGS AND ADD INSPECTIONS

 

Update Sept. 14,2016:  Today we received this upate from  Ms. Pursglove:  "Hi all, The big pile of trash (mattress, box springs, TV, trash bags) are gone. There are still a few pieces of wood and a lot of trash, long weeds/grasses so I hope more will be done to clean up the area.  At least that big eyesore is gone.  Thanks so much for your help!"

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2016 (Flinn Springs) – After Flinn Springs resident Shaun Pursglove wrote to notify us of repeated illegal dumping on Chimney Rock Lane of items including a mattress, spa tub and trash bags, we contacted Supervisor Jacob’s office.  Within 24 hours, we received the following response from a Jacob staffer:

“I’m told that county Public Works will be reaching out to Shaun directly and will make sure the trash and debris are property disposed. I’m also told it plans to add that location to the list of sites it regularly inspects. Thanks for alerting us about this.”

Below is a copy of Pursglove’s letter of complaint:

PASSAGES: DR. ROBERT H. KOKERNOT,GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1940 GRADUATE

 

East County News Service

Photos:  Dr. Kokernot and his Grossmont letterman’s sweater

September 11, 2016 (El Cajon) — “We’ve lost another wonderful Foothiller,” the Grossmont  High School museum curators wrote in an e-mail announcing the death of Dr. Robert Hutson Kokernot, 94. Dr.Kokernot was a graduate of the class of 1940 and was inducted into the Hall of Honor at Grossmont in 1967.

COUNTY RESPONDS TO CONCERNS OVER IMPACT ON BEES FROM SPRAYING TO CONTROL ZIKA VIRUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2016 (San Diego) – Spraying chemicals to kill Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit Zika virus is being done in communities across the nation where returning travelers have been diagnosed with Zika. But a report in South Carolina of massive bee kills from aerial spraying has raised concerns over how to protect bees from poisoning while also protecting public health from the dangerous Zika virus.

COUNTY TO SPRAY FOR MOSQUITOES IN ADAMS NORTH NEIGHBORHOOD IN NEW TRAVEL-RELATED ZIKA CASE

 

Normal Heights neighborhood is third locally to be sprayed due to Zika virus

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

September 8, 2016 (San Diego) -- County Vector Control plans to hand-spray a neighborhood in the Adams North area of Normal Heights this Friday, to kill Aedes mosquitoes to keep them from being exposed to the Zika virus after a resident there tested positive for the virus.

PASSAGES: GROSSMONT HIGH STUDENT RYAN WILCOX, TEEN WHO INSPIRED A COMMUNITY

 

East County News Service

September 7, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A memorial tribute was held Monday night at Grossmont High School to honor the life of Ryan Wilcox, 18, who passed away after a valiant battle against cancer since age 3 and more recently, leukemia.  Ryan’s struggle captured the hearts of people across the community, even drawing Hollywood celebrities to his home in El Cajon.

TRIBAL BEAT: THOUSANDS OF NATIVE AMERICANS STANDING UP TO OPPOSE PIPELINE ARE ATTACKED BY DOGS AND PEPPER SPRAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Update Sept. 6, 2016 3 p.m.:  Federal Judge James Boasberg in Washington D.C. today issued a temporary restraining order in response to the tribe's emergency request to halt machines destroying recently identified sacred sites: "The Court ORDERS that no construction activity on the DAPL may take place between Highway 1806 and 20 miles to the east of Lake Oahe. Construction activity to the west of Highway 1806 may proceed."

September 6, 2016 (San Diego) – Thousands of Native Americans with support from hundreds of tribes have converged  in  North Dakota, seeking to protect their water,  lands and ancestors’ remains from the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline. (#NoDAPL) The pipeline would transport oil from fracking from North Dakota to Illinois, passing over major waterways including the Missouri and Mississippi  rivers that are the lifeblood for tribes in several states.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a request for an injunction to halt construction, after discovering sacred artifacts at the site, and a court decision is expected this week. But the pipeline owner, Energy Transfer Partners, defiantly bulldozed a two-mile-long by 150-feet-wide swath over Labor Day weekend, despite having no easement approved yet by the Army Corps of Engineers.

On Saturday,  desperate to halt the devastation until a Judge could weigh in, tribal members marched at the site, with at least one chaining himself to earth-moving equipment.  A private contractor hired by the pipeline owner then attacked the Native Americans with pepper spray and with dogs including pit bulls,  leaving tribal members bloodied and outraged.

COLLISION KILLS 2 ELDERLY WOMEN IN SAN CARLOS

 

 

Update: The  Medical Examiner has identified the victims.  Clarina Rabe Chu, 88, was the driver of the Toyota Prius. MarjorieBialk,76, was in the Toyota Camry.

 

East County News Service

September 3, 2016 (San Diego) — A collision at Navajo Road and Park Ridge Boulevard early Friday morning killed two elderly women.

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