HOT, HOT, HOT! MARDI GRAS CAFE AND MARKET IN SPRING VALLEY

REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PLAN WOULD LOWER DEFICIT BUT AT HIGH COST: 23 MILLION LOSING HEALTHCARE, AND SOME SENIORS WOULD PAY 850% MORE FOR PREMIUMS

GATE FIRE RENEWS CALLS FOR BAN ON SHOOTING ON BLM LANDS IN DULZURA AREA

LA MESA VOTES TO APPROVE CAR SHOW RUN BY NEW MERCHANT GROUP, BUT WITHOUT LONG-TIME DJ

MASSIVE MUD SLIDE BURIES HIGHWAY 1 AT BIG SUR

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 26-JUNE 23

BRUSH FIRE CHARS PORTION OF MISSION TRAILS, CLOSES THREE TRAILHEADS

BIRD TALK: THE KINGBIRD

BURGLARY SUSPECT DIES AFTER BEING TASERED BY DEPUTIES IN LEMON GROVE

MISSION TRAILS ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROPOSED MAJOR GAS PIPELINE THROUGH REGIONAL PARK AND SANTEE NEIGHBORHOODS, AGREE WITH SDG&E THAT MIRAMAR ROUTE IS SAFER OPTION

THE EPIC COWLES HIKE

CRIMINAL ARSON PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GATE FIRE

News

SPRING STORM COULD BRING SNOW THIS WEEKEND

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – A late spring storm will bring gusty winds, rain and snow as low as 4000 feet this weekend, the National Weather Service advises

Starting Saturday afternoon, expect strong winds, with blowing dust and sands in desert areas producing hazardous driving conditions in some areas.

TRUMP TO SIGN “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” ORDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that would order the IRS to take a hands-off approach to churches that endorse political candidates. It also orders federal agencies to exempt some religious groups from a requirement to provide birth control to employees.  

But a third provision has been scrapped, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation and other moral grounds.

AARP MAINTAINS FIRM OPPOSITION TO HEALTH BILL

 

Measure slashes coverage for Medicaid, nursing homes, in-home care, and pre-existing conditions, nation’s largest organizations of seniors warns

East County News Service

 May 3, 2017  (Washington D.C.) -- AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond sent the following letter today to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives in response to the Upton Amendment to the health care bill, urging them to vote NO on the bill.  

Here is the letter in full:

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: MILLIONS WILL LOSE HEALTH INSURANCE IF CONGRESS PASSES REVISED HEALTH CARE BILL TOMORROW

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – House Republican leadership is pushing for a rushed vote on a revised proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare and replace it – without bothering to wait for a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis. But the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest doctors’ organization, has sent a Tweet warning patients to contact their representatives and urge a no vote.

FIRST AMENDMENT WATCHDOG GROUP SENDS LETTER OBJECTING TO EAST COUNTY MAYORS PARTICIPATING IN PRAYER BREAKFAST WITH DAVID BARTON

 

Update: Two local mayors have cancelled their appearances at the luncheon, ECM has learned.

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (El Cajon) – On Monday, ECM reported on objections raised by some local residents to the controversial “Christian nation” advocate David Barton being chosen to speak at the annual East County Mayors prayer luncheon this Thursday, May 4th at the Crystal Palace in El Cajon.  

Now the controversy has intensified, with a First Amendment watchdog group sending a letter to mayors of   El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee objecting to their participation and asking them to disassociate themselves from the event. The letter was signed by Andrew Seidel , staff attorney with the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

  In addition,  local residents are asking why alternate versions of the flyer were circulated to religious and secular groups – the latter omitting all mention of Barton and presenting the event as "progressive" oriented.

COUNTY APPROVES FUNDS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS IN RAMONA AND VISTA

 

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image via PhotoSpin

May 3, 2017 (Ramona) - High rental prices and low vacancy rates have made it extremely difficult for many San Diegans to find affordable places to live.

To help address the need, the County Board of Supervisors today approved spending $4.5 million towards the construction of two affordable housing developments consisting of 143 units. Those units, combined with an additional 118 units of Section 8 housing, will result in the creation of 261 new affordable housing apartments in the County.

JACOB ASKS CPUC TO AUDIT POWERLINK FIRE MITIGATION GRANTS THROUGH SDG&E

 

East County News Service

May 1, 2017 (Jamul) – When SDG&E received approval to build the Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines across rural East County, the company was required to provide fire mitigation grant of up to $2,000 for impacted homeowners to create defensible space through landscaping and/or install fire-hardening building materials to protect their properties.

DEBUNKED “CHRISTIAN NATION” ADVOCATE SPEAKING AT EAST COUNTY MAYORS’ LUNCHEON IGNITES CONTROVERSY

 

Updated May 1, 2017 9:30 p.m. to add statement from Warren Throckmorton calling Barton an "academic fraud" for misleading statements about his own academic record, including a PhD from a "diploma mill" and a claim to have played college basketball that the school could not substantiate. See his full e-mail at the end of this article.

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2017 (El Cajon) – Multiple East County leaders are speaking out to voice opposition to David Barton, a debunked “Christian Nation” advocate, speaking May 4th at an East County Mayors Prayer  Lunch at the Crystal Palace in El Cajon.   Barton has  long claimed that the Founding Fathers did not  support a separation of church and state. His book, The Jefferson Lies, was pulled off the market by its publisher after conservative Christian scholars exposed many falsehoods. 

Barton  is listed as an extremist on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s watch list for his virulent anti-gay views.  He has also drawn fire for anti-Muslim remarks and some stances views as racist. He has advocated to remove civil rights leader Martin Luther King and farmworkers organizer Cesar Chavez from school text books.

In a recent interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, he urged Christian Evangelicals that they have a Biblical “duty” to vote for candidates who will support anti-abortion judges and who oppose equal rights for LGTBQ individuals.  “It’s not your vote. It’s God’s vote,” he stated. On his  Wallbuilders Live radio show,  he claimed that the same “evil” responsible for the Holocaust is today responsible for the “homosexual lifestyle.”

Just who is behind inviting Barton to speak at a function with local governmental leaders is unclear.  But his appearance has prompted a backlash.

NIGHTTIME WORK ON SR-67 DYE ROAD/HIGHLAND VALLEY ROAD MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

 

Source:  Caltrans

May 1, 2017 (Ramona) -- Lane closures with one-way traffic control are scheduled on State Route 67 (SR-67) at the Dye Road/Highland Valley Road intersection in Ramona, Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. The closures are needed to accommodate intersection widening work for the SR-67 Dye Road/Highland Valley Road Project.

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL TO FIGHT TRUMP ORDER OPENING OUR COAST TO NEW OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, UCSB collection

April 29, 2017 (San Diego) – The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history at the time.  Three million gallons of crude oil contaminated the ocean and beaches with thick, black goo. Oil bubbled from the blown well and from cracks in the sea bed, killing countless sea birds, seals and other marine life. 

The last remaining oil derrick off California's coast is slated to be decommissioned,  Public News Service reported last week. But now an executive order by President Donald Trump could result in offshore oil wells again pumping in the waters off California.

HELIX CANCELS MAY 3 BOARD MEETING, SCHEDULES BUDGET WORKSHOPS MAY 3 AND 4

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2017 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District has announced cancellation of its regularly scheduled meeting May 3rd, but will hold two budget workshops on May 3rd and 4th and 4 p.m.  See below for the budget workshop agendas, which are identical both nights.

PROPOSALS SOUGHT FOR POTENTIAL ENERGY STORAGE FACILITY AFTER SUCCESSFUL INTEREST SOLICITATION

 

Potential 500-megawatt renewable energy project at the San Vicente Reservoir site could help stabilize water rates as a new revenue source

Source:  San Diego County Water Authority

April 27, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today authorized the Water Authority, in conjunction with the City of San Diego, to begin seeking detailed proposals for a potential energy storage facility at San Vicente Reservoir. The project could help ease pressure on electric grids by producing locally generated renewable energy on demand, and also lessen upward pressure on water rates by providing a new source of revenue.

MASTODON DISCOVERY IN SAN DIEGO SHAKES UP OUR UNDERSTANDING OF EARLY HUMANS IN THE NEW WORLD

 

Broken bones and rocks yield evidence that pushes back the record of early humans in North America by more than 100,000 years

Source: Natural History Museum

Photo:  Richard Cerutti, retired PaleoServices Field Paleontologist (left) and Dr. Tom Demere, Curator of Paleontology, San Diego Natural History Museum (right), with mastodon tusk

April 27, 2017 (San Diego) -- Discovery of a 130,000-year-old mastodon skeleton in San Diego with bones altered by early humans dramatically revises the timeline for when humans first reached North America, according to a paper to be published in the April 27 issue of the prestigious science journal Nature.  The Cerutti Mastodon site is the oldest well-documented site with evidence of human presence in the Americas—and analysis reveals some startling findings.

JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP’S ORDER TO WITHHOLD FUNDS FROM SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 26, 2017 (San Diego) – A federal judge in San Francisco has blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order that required withholding of federal funds from sanctuary cities and states that shelter immigrants and decline to cooperate with federal authorities on deportation efforts.

CALIF. SEA LEVELS RISING AT A RAPID RATE: 67% OF BEACHES COULD BE LOST BY END OF THIS CENTURY

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- Sea levels rising much faster than expected could submerge over two-thirds of the state’s beaches by the end of this century, also forcing damage and relocation of major infrastructure. Those are among the disturbing findings of an updated  state-commissioned report, “Rising Seas in California.”  Sea levels could rise 30 to 40 times faster than in the last century, raising the sea level 10 feet after 2050 under the most severe scenario.

HOMICIDE VICTIM IDENTIFIED AS MISSING LEMON GROVE TEEN WHO VANISHED OVER THREE YEARS AGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – A body found in Otay Valley Regional Park in Chula Vista has been identified as Kimberly Arteaga, Lieutenant Kenneth Nelson with the San Diego Sheriff’s homicide detail announced today.

PASSAGES: ARLENE ALPER, RAMONA RESIDENT AND STAFFER AT RANCHO BERNARDO HIGH SCHOOL

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2017 (Ramona) -- Arlene (Paladino) Alper, 63, died at her home on Mt. Woodson in Ramona, CA  on April 18, 2017 after a long battle with stage four breast cancer.  She was the mother of East County Magazine sportswriter Liz Alper.

TWO RESCUED OFF COWLES MOUNTAIN

 

East County News Service

Photo: San Diego Fire-Rescue

April 24, 2017 (San Diego) – Two hikers were rescued over the weekend off Cowles Mountain.

A 69-year-old woman suffered heat exhaustion and was airlifted off the trail on Saturday afternoon.  Then on Sunday, a second airlift was done to rescue a 25-year-old hiker who suffered an injury.  She was taken by ambulance to a hospital for non-emergency treatment, according to San Diego-Rescue Service.

RAMONA PLANNERS PUSH STATE FOR SAFETY SOLUTIONS ON STATE ROUTE 67

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2017 (Ramona) – State Route 67 between Ramona and Lakeside is one of the most accident-prone stretches of highway in San Diego County. 

Caltrans is planning to install flexible posts between Willow Road in Lakeside and Shady Oaks in Ramona at a cost of $7.14 million in hopes of preventing head-on collisions.

NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO SINK SAN DIEGO-BASED AIRCRAFT CARRIER

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2017 (San Diego) – Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continue to escalate.  NBC news reports that Korean officials have called deployment of the USS Carl Vinson, a San Diego-based carrier, to the region “an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade the north.”

EAST COUNTY HOMELESSNESS INCREASES 7%--AND NEARLY ALL ARE UNSHELTERED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2017 (San Diego) -- The annual count of San Diego County’s homeless population found 9,116 people living on the streets or in shelters, a 5 percent increase from last year countywide. Results were released Thursday from the Point-in-Time Count held in the early morning hours of January 27th. The effort is organized by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

AB 805 ADVANCES IN LEGISLATURE AS EAST COUNTY CITIES FIGHT BACK AGAINST SANDAG POWER GRAB

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

“I will argue that my minority and low income citizens have just as much right to be fairly represented as San Diego and Chula Vista.”—Lemon Grove Councilman Jerry Jones

April 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Assembly Bill 805  passed the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday by a 5-4 vote.  The measure claims to  reform SANDAG,  but in fact gives virtually all power to the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, leaving East County cities and other communities in our county powerless to add agenda items to benefit other cities or block objectionable measures at SANDAG, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District.

Now East County cities are fighting back.   On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider a proposal from Council members Bill Baber and Kristine Alessio to hire a legislative lobbyist to advocate on La Mesa’s behalf against AB 805, which was authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), according to the agenda.

El Cajon’s City Council has voted to oppose AB 805, as did Lemon Grove and La Mesa.  East County Assemblyman Randy Voepel, former Mayor of Santee, voted against the measure in committee.

HELICOPTER TRAFFIC, PARKS AND MORE ON CAMPO LAKE MORENA PLANNING GROUP’S AGENDA APRIL 24

 

East County News Service

April 22, 2017 (Campo-Lake Morena) – The Campo Lake Morena Planning Group meets Monday, April 24th at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Empire Community Center (976 Seridan Rd., Campo).   

The agenda includes a discussion about low-flying military helicopters over communities, a proposed change in state law regarding parks funding, and a review of applicants for a board vacancy.  Applications are still being accepted. 

Scroll down to view full agenda.

VIEW OUR VIDEOS: 7 CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT IN FORUM ON RACE TO REPLACE DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

Photo:  top left to right:  Ammar Campa-Najjar, Patrick Malloy, Hannah Gbeh, Josh Butner, Gloria Chadwick, Glenn Jensen, Pierre “Pete” Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

View our videos and post your comments!  Which candidate(s) are strongest and why?  Which might you be most apt to consider voting for, and why?

Part 1: https://youtu.be/pOOQxhTDj5Q

Part 2:  https://youtu.be/kk4H7dNWTPQ

April 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)—Seven Democratic candidates running  for the seat currently held by Republican Duncan Hunter participated in a lively forum last night hosted by the East County Democratic Club.   After opening statements, by each candidate they fielded questions on women’s rights,  healthcare, public education, protecting minorities, digital privacy, as well as their backgrounds, financing and organizing strengths. Many other issues were also addressed by this diverse and articulate array of candidates seeking to represent the 50th Congressional district.

The field includes a former Navy Seal, a farmer, a nurse, an ex-Navy medic, rural planning board members,   a Hispanic and Arab-American activist in the Obama administration, a realtor, a computer data expert, an environmnetalist, and more -- with several candidates having background in multiple fields.

Watch for our detailed analysis of the forum coming later. 

LAWSUIT TARGETS TRUMP'S BORDER WALL, ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM OVER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

 

East County News Service

April 19, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Center for Biological Diversity and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva, who serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sued the Trump administration this week over the proposed border wall and other border security measures, calling on federal agencies to conduct an in-depth investigation of the proposal’s environmental impacts.

DHS OIG HOTLINE TELEPHONE NUMBER HAS BEEN USED IN SCAM TO OBTAIN PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

 

 

Source:  Department of Homeland Security

April 19, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is issuing this fraud alert to warn citizens of reports that the DHS OIG Hotline telephone number has been used recently as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country.

MISSING BORDER ANGELS ACTIVIST HUGO CASTRO FOUND ALIVE AND INJURED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2017 (San Diego) — Hugo Castro, a San Diego-based activist with Border Angels, has been found alive after an apparent abduction near Mexico City, Mexico’s Attorney General announced.  According to Mexico’s Attorney General, an anonymous caller tipped off a special prosecutor for disappeared persons and Castro was found on a street in the city of Tlalnepantla de Baz.

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