FIRS LOCAL ZIKA VIRUS BIRTH DEFECT REINFORCES TRAVEL ADVISORY

OUT OF THE LABS AND INTO THE STREETS: MARCH FOR SCIENCE APRIL 22

TRUMPCARE DEFEAT: TRUMP PULLS OBAMACARE REPEAL VOTE: PLAN WAS LOSING CONSERVATIVES AND MODERATES

HEALTHCARE VOTE TODAY ON REVISED BILL WITH LESS DEFICIT REDUCTION, ELIMINATION OF MANDATORY MATERNITY AND NEWBORN COVERAGE, OTHER CHANGES

JUSTICE DEPT. LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO SUPER BLOOMS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS MARCH 24 - APRIL 15

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE TO HOST EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: LOIS KNOWLTON AND BONNIE BARANOFF SPEAK OUT ON HELPING HOMELESS IN LA MESA

ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT TURNS SELF IN

News

SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE INCREASES STAFFING FOR EXPECTED RAINS

 

Source: CAL FIRE

February 16, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - With the arrival of another powerful winter storm on Friday February 17TH San Diego County Fire (SDCF) is once again taking steps to ensure an aggressive response to weather related incidents.  Although rain is the focus of this week’s storm, high winds are also expected and could potentially bring the threat of downed trees.  

TRUMP ORDERS SPEAKER RYAN TO KICK HISPANIC CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS OUT OF MEETING WITH ICE OFFICIALS

 

East County News Service

Rep. Vargas denounces exclusion as “unacceptable”, says Trump actions are creating “chaos around the nation”

February 16, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Several Hispanic members of Congress including Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) were booted out of a bipartisan meeting with the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by Speaker Paul Ryan’s staff, reportedly on orders from President Donald Trump.

RAIN AHEAD, FREE SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

February 16, 2017 (San Diego) - Rains, possibly heavy at times, are heading back to San Diego County in the coming days, according to weather officials.

Which means that if you haven’t done it already, it’s a good time to stock up on free sand and bags to protect your home and property.

STATE FACES CUTS IN TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

 

Legislators grapple with options to plug gap left by falling gas tax revenues

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2017 (Sacramento) – The California Transportation Commission last week approved a 38% decrease in funding for road and transit projects, a drop of $754 million over the next five years. The cut is due to falling gasoline tax revenues, the Los Angeles Times reports.  That’s left legislators scrambling for proposals to find alternative ways to fund transportation projects impacting counties statewide, which have been asked to list projects to delay or delete completely.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS FINAL CONTRACT FOR PROPOSITION “G,” VOTER-APPROVED, BOND-FINANCED GROSSMONT HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION

 

 

East County News Service

February 14, 2017 (La Mesa) – More than a decade after East County voters approved Proposition G, a $247 million bond measure that provided taxpayer funds for improvements at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, the final construction contract was awarded to San Diego-based Swinerton Builders by Grossmont Healthcare District.

LEMON GROVE OPENS PROCESS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA, BANS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA SALES

 

By Jonathan Goetz

February 14, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- In November 2016, Lemon Grove voters approved Measure V, allowing for sale of medical marijuana in Lemon Grove. Dispensaries will be allowed in certain sections of the city with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).

LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL OVERRULES MAYOR ON SANDAG APPOINTMENT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

February 14, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Newly elected Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez forwarded to a list of committee assignments for Council members to a dramatically altered City Council following the November elections.

WEATHER SERVICE WARNS OF POSSIBLE TORNADO, FLOODING, STRONG WINDS AND LIGHTNING

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 14, 2017 (San Diego) – It’s tough to top the extreme storms that hit our region in January. But this weekend, the National Weather Service warns that storm conditions starting Thursday night could be as severe as the January 20th downpour—with additional hazards including a tornado that could strike coastal or inland San Diego County on Saturday.

STUDENT FLIGHT OUT OF GILLESPIE CRASHES NEAR RAMONA, KILLING WOMAN

 

 

Crash raises concerns from flight school neighbors

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 14, 2017 (Ramona) – A Cessna registered to the American Aviation Academy and flying out of Gillespie Field as an instructor/student flight on Sunday crashed onto a mountainside in Ramona, killing Shaira Noor, 21, of Bangladesh. She had been training at the academy for nine months. Noor was in the backseat of the Cessna and was impaled by a tree on impact, which killed her instantly.

Two other occupants survived, climbing to an elevated area and using cell phones to call for help, the Sheriff’s department reports.

SMOOCH A POOCH AT COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES THIS VALENTINE'S DAY

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Steve Gardner and his son with their newly adopted dog.

February 13, 2017 (San Diego) - Love is in the air at County Animal Services. Adopt any dog through Valentine’s Day and get half off the adoption fees. Then pucker up for the Valentine’s Day kissing booth!

MORE EXTREME WEATHER TO HIT REGION FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY

 

East County News Service

February 13, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – More wet weather will drench Southern California starting Friday, as the jet stream moves south across the Pacific, tapping into a rich moisture supply.  The National Weather Service predicts heavy precipitation with flooding potential, as well as strong and potentially damage winds blowing south to southwest, starting late Friday.

USDA REMOVES ANIMAL ABUSE INFORMATION OFF WEBSITE; ASPCA THREATENS LEGAL ACTION IF NOT RESTORED

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Information on Animal Welfare Act violations has been taken down off the Department of Agriculture’s website under the Trump administration.  The action has outraged animal rights activists and consumers, who rely on the information to check complaints of animal abuse including puppy mills, horse racing, zoos, circuses, laboratories and other facilities.

NEVADA DAM FAILURE AND HOLE IN OROVILLE DAM SPILLWAY HIGHLIGHT PROBLEMS WITH AGING DAMS

 

Source: American Rivers

Photo: Oroville dam spillway overflows for first time in history: Butte County Sheriff via Twitter

February 11, 2017 (Washington) – The failure of a dam in northern Nevada Thursday and the appearance of a 30-foot deep hole in the spillway of the nation’s tallest dam – Oroville Dam in California – highlight the crumbling of our nation’s water infrastructure and the danger posed by aging dams.

CALIF. ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA JOINS 6 STATES, ASKS SUPREME COURT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR NON-CITIZENS DETAINED BY FEDERAL GOVT.

 

East County News Service

Photo:  Iraqi church leaders and families held prayer vigil in 2015 for Christians detained 6 months or more at ICE facility in Otay Mesa

February 11, 2017 (Sacramento) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the state attorney general from Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Jennings v Rodriguez, a case involving the federal government’s authority to detain non-citizens pending completion of their removal proceedings.

HUNTER BILL WOULD DEFUND SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES AND COLLEGES: HIS ACTION COULD MEAN HUGE LOSS OF FUNDS FOR CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- On Thursday,  San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter issued a press release announced that for Fiscal Year 2018, he will not submit any federal appropriations requests on behalf of states, cities, universities or other entities that have an ordinance, policy or practice in place that undermines the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  

IMMIGRATION RAIDS SPARK FEAR, GO BEYOND DEPORTING CRIMINALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) – Immigration raids in cities across the nation conducted since Friday are striking fear among immigrant communities.  Although the Trump administration has claimed the sweeps are routine, some of those picked up for deportation have no criminal backgrounds, belying President Donald Trump’s post-election promise to focus on criminals.

RATE RELIEF, DROUGHT UPDATE, AND LEAD TESTING WATER IN SCHOOLS ARE ON AGENDA FOR HELIX WATER FEB. 15

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (La Mesa) — On Wednesday, Helix Water District’s Board will be asked to provide staff with direction regarding Director Dan McMillan’s request for an analysis on reducing water rates—and setting a date for a board meeting to discuss those options. 

EL CAJON RESIDENTS SOUND OFF TO KALASHO: BIGGEST ISSUES ARE HOMELESSNESS AND GILLESPIE FIELD

 

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The homeless issue in El Cajon is apparently reaching the boiling point, judging from a Feb. 9 town hall meeting hosted by newly-elected City Councilman Ben Kalasho.

APPEALS COURT RULES 2007 FIRE SURVIVOR CAN RECOVER DAMAGES FROM SDG&E FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2017 (Poway) –Judge O'Rourke on the Fourth District Court of Appeal has issued a decision finding that Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss erred in not allowing 2007 wildfire survivor William Michael Hensley to present evidence of emotional distress damages.

According to the court decision, William Hensley was out of town when the wildfire forced his wife, Linda, and their daughter to evacuate.  Worried about their safety, he came home early and drove with Linda to a nearby location where they watched the fire burn houses close to theirs, fearing  that everything  had been lost.  Their house was damaged and a large grove of avocado trees burned down.

LIVE NATION SEEKS TO MANAGE A RESTORED EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dancers performed in front of ECPAC in its heydey.

February 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – The long-shuttered East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) may finally be reopened under management of Live Nation, which claims to be the global leader in live entertainment. According to the company’s website,  Live Nation operates in 7 nations, has produce shows in nearly 40 countries, and has a concert somewhere in the world every 20 minutes.

The El Cajon City Council will vote Tuesday, February 14th at its 3 p.m. meeting on authorizing the City manager to negotiate a draft management agreement with Live Nation .  View agenda and attachments. 

9TH CIRCUIT PANEL OF 3 JUDGES UNANIMOUSLY RULES AGAINST TRUMP ON TRAVEL BAN, AFFIRMS THAT REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS FROM 7 BANNED NATIONS AND GREEN CARD HOLDERS SHALL BE ADMITTED TO U.S.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 9, 2017 (Seattle) – In a unanimous verdict in State of Washington v. Trump, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against President Donald Trump and refused to reinstate a travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim nations.  That means admission to the U.S. will resume for refugees  and for immigrants who are citizens of of Iran, Iraq, Libya Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as green card holders with permanent residency in the U.S.

In their decision, the judges wrote, “The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States. Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree…”

EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION REJECTS CREMATORIUM; OWNER WILL APPEAL TO CITY COUNCIL

 

 

By Mike Allen

Photo: Wadie Deddeh

February 8, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The owner of East County Mortuary says he will appeal the Planning Commission’s denial of his application to open a crematorium in an El Cajon industrial park.

On Feb. 7, the Commission voted 3-1 to deny the crematorium and approve findings by the city’s planning staff that the crematorium wasn’t compatible with the manufacturing uses in the zone.

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST TRUMP OVER ORDER BANNING NEW SAFETY, HEALTH AND WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Today, the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump.  The suit challenges Trump’s executive order banning federal agencies from issuing any new regulations unless they eliminate two others.

DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER FLEEING SCENE OF FATAL HIT AND RUN IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 8, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A 75-year-old man who was crossing Sweetwater Road north of Tyler Street in Spring Valley at 10 p.m. last night outside of a marked crosswalk was struck by a Mercedes. He died at the scene of his injuries.

9TH CIRCUIT TO HEAR ARGUMENTS ON TRUMP TRAVEL BAN: HIGH TECH COMPANIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS WEIGH IN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday refused to halt refugees and citizens from 7 Muslim nations from entering the U.S., CNN reports.  The action follows a decision Friday by federal judge James Robart in Washington State that blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

EL CAJON ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER MOVING TO TEXAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry has accepted a position as Assistant City Manager for Dallas, Texas.  A Syrian immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child, Al-Ghafry previously worked in Texas and has over 28 years of experience in municipal government.

 “He’s been a real asset to this city,”  El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, adding that Al-Ghafry speaks Arabic and has been helpful in translating and explaining city ordinances to immigrants from the Middle East. 

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