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

FARMERS SEEK “FREEDOM TO GROW” CANNABIS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: SUPERVISORS SET TO WEIGH IN ON JAN. 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Californians legalized sale of recreational marijuana with Prop 64. But farmers can’t grow cannabis commercially unless they receive a permit from their city or county. 

SENATE REPUBLICANS VOTE TO REPEAL AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT—WITH NO REPLACEMENT

 

 

Congressional Members Susan Davis and Scott Peters to hold Save Our Health” press event Sunday to share concerns over repeal

East County News Service

January 13, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In the dead of the night while most Americans were sleeping,  the Senate voted 51-48 to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) even though no replacement plan has been introduced.  That leaves 300,000 people in San Diego County poised to lose their healthcare.  More than 900,000 others receive health care through Medi-Cal, many of whom became eligible through the ACA and could be left with no coverage potentially as soon as later this month, when President-Elect Donald Trump takes office, if he signs a repeal into law. 

The measure still needs approval by the House, but with overwhelming support by Republicans in control, it’s expected to sail through. Even many Republicans are raising doubts over whether any replacement plan could be enacted in time to prevent loss of coverage, how much coverage would cost, or whether some would be left uncovered by a future GOP plan.

San Diego Democratic Congressional members Susan Davis and Scott Peters will hold a “Save Our Healthcare” press event on Sunday, January 15th from 1 p.m. to 1:30 at Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion, 3075 Health Center Drive, San Diego. (view map)

LISTEN NOW: OUR INTERVIEW WITH REV. SHANE HARRIS ON MONDAY’S MARTKIN LUTHER KING DAY MARCH AND TAKING BACK DR. KING’S DREAM IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

January 13, 2017 (San Diego) –  Rev. Shane Harris with the National Action Network (NAN) aims to reclaim Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream here in San Diego, the eighth largest city in the U.S. , starting with a local MLK march on Monday.  This week, in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ,  Rev. Harris shared his concerns and visions for the future.

“What we’ve seen with the Democrats and Republicans nationally and statewide is they will run around touting Dr. King, but they don’t understand his dream and vision,” Rev. Harris explains. “Dr. King died for a poor people’s campaign.  He was getting ready to lead a poor people’s march in Washington D.C. when he was killed.”

Audio: 

NEW DYNAMICS OF THE 2017 EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis and El Cajon’s liaisons from County Mental Health

January 12, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Formerly operating in lock-step unison, the El Cajon City Council picked up two businessmen in the 2016 elections, one supported by neither political party and one supported by the party previously shut-out.

IN HEATED CPUC HEARING, PUBLIC SPEAKS OUT ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

 

By Rachel Williams

January 12, 2017 (Escondido) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted public hearings on Monday covering SDG&E’s second attempt to charge ratepayers for the utility’s unrecovered losses from California’s 2007 wildfires.

HELIX WATER SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS: APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED JANUARY 19-26

 

East County News Service

January 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Helix Water District’s board of directors voted unanimously at their January 11, 2017 meeting to consider candidates for appointment to the Division 1 board seat left vacant by the resignation of Luis Tejeda.

The candidate appointed by the Board will represent Helix’s Division 1 customers, north of the I‐8 freeway in El Cajon, from Fletcher Hills to Bostonia (see map).

DESPITE RAINS, THREE EAST COUNTY RESERVOIRS REMAIN AT VERY LOW LEVELS

 

Dam upgrades slated to begin at Lake Morena in 2018, but there’s no guarantee water levels will ever be restored

By Miriam Raftery

January 12, 2017 (Lake Morena) --  Even after heavy rainfalls doused our region,  three East County Reservoirs remain at very low levels.  As of January 9th, Lake Morena is at  just 2.1 percent of capacity, Barrett Lake is att 5.5 percent, and Sutherland 7.3 percent of capacity, according to the City of San Diego.

These are the only local reservoirs not connected to the State Water Project system of canals and aqueducts, thus they are solely dependent on rainfall  which has not been enough to replenish large quantities pumped out by the City of San Diego to meet its thirst for water.

CAT FOOD RECALL EXPANDED FOR 9LIVES, SPECIAL KITTY AND EVERPET

 

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

January 11, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that the J.M. Smucker Company is expanding a voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

FREE SAND AND SANDBAGS AVAILABLE ACROSS COUNTY

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 11, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego County didn’t have to deal with the “atmospheric river” of rain that swamped Northern and Central California this week. However, we’ve still gotten a lot more rain so far this winter than expected — two to five times as much in some areas in December 2016 than December 2015, when El Niño was raising fears of big rains.

D.A. EXONERATES EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER WHO SHOT OLANGO; CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER AND FAMILY VOICE OUTRAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2017 (El Cajon) – San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis today announced that her office has exonerated El Cajon Police Officer Richard Gonsalves and will not file charges over the shooting of Alfred Olango.

GAS PRICE PROTESTS ACROSS MEXICO FORCED BORDER CROSSING CLOSURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2017 (San Diego) –  Protests have erupted across Mexico over a 20 percent hike in gas prices due to deregulation ordered by President Peña Nieto. Though cost of a gallon of gasoline is now about $3.50-- nearly as much as a day’s wages (about $4 at a minimum wage job), fueling outrage among impoverished Mexicans.

COUNTY OFFERS CHILD CAR SEATS

 

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

January 10, 2017 (San Diego) - More child car seats and safety education classes.

That’s what the County Health and Human Services Agency will be offering to low-income parents thanks to a program funded by a $155,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

DEAD GOATS FOUND; 52 MORE RESCUED IN JAMUL

 

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 9, 2017 (Jamul) - More than four dozen goats are now in the care of County Animal Services after being rescued Monday from a property in Jamul.

Animal control officers went to the property after receiving reports of several dead goats. When the officers arrived, they found nine dead goats. The investigation is still underway, but officers suspect the animals starved to death. The officers found dozens more goats that were thin or severely underweight.

FIRE DESTROYS TRAILERFUL OF TRIPE ON I-8 IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Alpine) – Overheated brakes caused a fire that engulfed a big-rig trailer laden with 10 tons of tripe on Interstate 8 west in Alpine yesterday shortly after 1:30 a.m.

The driver disconnected the refrigerated trailer and escaped safely with his dog, but flames scorched most of the beef tripe bound for a San Diego distribution center, California Highway Patrol has indicated.

HELP NEEDED FOR COUPLE SERIOUSLY INJURED CHRISTMAS EVE, WITH BABY ON THE WAY

 

Update 1/4/17: Sierra has had a setback; she was slated for release but had breathing difficulties so her breathing tube has been reinserted. 

By Miriam Raftery

December 31, 2016 (El Cajon) – A Go Fund Me site has been set up to help a young couple from El Cajon seriously injured in a car accident  on Christmas Eve that occurred when a driver pulled out of a side street in front of them in El Cajon; the impact spun their vehicle around 180 degrees. 

Reuben DeHoyos Jr., 19, and his girlfriend, Sierra Marco, 17. were rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital’s trauma with major injuries.  They both face 6-12 months of recovery, are unable to work, have large medical bills not fully covered by insurance and they are expecting a baby.

FIRE SURVIVORS' ADVOCATE URGES PUBLIC TO SPEAK AT MONDAY CPUC HEARINGS ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

Hear our KNSJ radio interview with Diane Conklin, Mussey Grade Road Alliance, by clicking the audio link. Conklin estimates cost of SDG&E’s proposal could be $280 per household.

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) --In 2012,  a huge turnout by ratepayers helped persuade the California Public Utilities Commission to deny SDG&E’s request to charge ratepayers for its uninsured costs of  three 2007 wildfires.

 Now the utility has revived a similar proposal, seeking $379 million from ratepayers. On Monday, the CPUC will hold public hearings in Escondido at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the California Center for the Arts Escondido conference center, Salon 1Room, 340 North Escondido Blvd. in Escondido.

Advocates for ratepayers and fire survivors are urging the public to again turn out in force at Monday’s hearings, arguing that it would be unfair and set a bad precedent to allow a utility to charge ratepayers for fires caused by its equipment. They say that SDG&E should have foreseen high winds and taken steps to protect the public.   The group estimates average cost per household would be $280 if SDG&E’s proposal is approved.

 But SDG&E contends that  it’s fair to ask ratepayers to help shoulder costs of the fires, which it contends were natural disasters with winds stronger than seen in previous fires.  The company also notes that it has worked to reduce claims and made major investments to improve fire safety for the future.

Audio: 

HELIX WATER SETS SPECIAL MEETING JAN. 18 TO FILLL BOARD VACANCY AND VOTE ON MOVING MEETINGS TO EVENINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Directors Mark Gracyk and DeAna Verbecke offered opposing views on how board vacancy should be filled

January 5, 2016 (La Mesa) – At a packed meeting yesterday,  Helix Water Board members aired differing views on how to fill a vacancy left by the resignation last week of newly elected member Lu Tejeda. Tejeda cited conflicts of interest raised by his job with a contractor. 

The new board majority pushed to appoint Dan McMillan, whom Tejeda narrowly edged out by just 185 votes in the four-man race. Both ran on a platform of reigning in rising water rates. 

Director DeAna Verbecke dissented, calling for the district to accept applications and conduct interviews with all interested parties in an open meeting before making an appointment. 

APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR CITY OF EL CAJON COMMISSIONS: JANUARY 12 DEADLINE TO APPLY

 

Source: City of El Cajon

January 4, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for its Planning Commission, Veterans’ Commission, Personnel Commission, and Public Safety Facility Financing Oversight Committee.

TEJEDA RESIGNS FROM HELIX WATER BOARD: WED. MEETING TO INCLUDE DISCUSSION OF REPLACEMENT AND MOVING MEETING TIMES TO EVENINGS

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2017 (La  Mesa) – Newly elected Helix Water District board member Lu Tejeda has resigned, effective December 30, 2016.  In a an e-mail to Board President Joel Scalzitti, Tejeda said new business opportunities could present a conflict of interest.

The remaining board members will address Tejeda’s resignation and next steps to fill the vacancy at a meeting on Wednesday, January 4 at 2 p.m.  The agenda will also include consideration of a proposal by new member Dan Gracyk to move board meetings to evenings, as members of the public have long requested.

HIT AND RUN DRIVER SOUGHT IN PEDESTRIAN FATALITY IN SPRING VALLEY IN EARLY HOURS OF NEW YEAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- California Highway Patrol seeks public help to identify motorist who struck and killed a pedestrian on eastbound  State Route 94 just east of Kenwood Drive  in Spring Valley around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 1st, then fled the scene.

HELP SOUGHT TO SAVE ABALONE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo 1:  White Abalone, by Geographer, Wikimedia Commons

Photo 2:  Black Abalone, by James St. John, Wikimedia Commons

January 2, 2017 (San Diego) – The National Marine Fisheries Service is asking for public help to save black and white abalone from disappearing forever along the coast of California and Baja Mexico—the only places in the world where they are found.

LAKESIDE PLANNING GROUP MEETS JANUARY 4: AGENDA INCLUDES SEWER RATE HIKE, PROPOSED STARBIUCKS, PROPOSED PARKS CHANGES AND AND MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2017 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group will meet on Wednseday, January 4th at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center (9841 Vine St., Lakeside).

This week’s agenda includes a presentation by the County and possible vote on a local park planning area realignment and consideration of a sewer rate increase.  There will also be a public hearing on a proposed Starbucks at Los Coches and Camino Canada.

MAN DIES AFTER ARSON FIRE AT LAKESIDE HOME; DOG SAVED BY FIREFIGHTERS

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2017 (Lakeside) – A man found in a burned home this morning on Woodland Vista in Lakeside has died. Firefighters from the Lakeside Fire Department rescued and revived a Labrador retriever dog, using a special pet oxygen mask.

STOLEN GOLF CART RETURNED TO TIR NA NOG

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2017 (Guatay) – The holiday season just got brighter at Tir Na Nog, a horse rescue sanctuary in East County.

In mid-November, as we reported, two golf carts used to feed rescued horses were stolen from the facility in Guatay. But now one of those golf carts has been found on a property nearly five miles away and returned, thanks to an anonymous tipster.

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