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

TRUMP’S ORDER 13769: HOW IT’S GETTING RID OF VISA HOLDERS AND IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE NO IDEA IT EXISTS

KALASHO THREATENS LAWSUIT OVER EL CAJON’S PROPOSAL TO LIMIT NUMBER OF ITEMS A COUNCIL MEMBER CAN ADD TO AGENDA

News

FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING AT OUR HOLIDAY PARTY SUNDAY DEC. 15

December 14, 2013 (La Mesa)-- It's time for East County Magazine's annual "Feasting & Merrymaking" party on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3-7 p.m. in La Mesa!  To comply with county event requirements, this year's party is a private event open only to our subscribers. Fortunately, subscriptions are free!  Sign up at the top right side of the homepage to subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, then email editor@eastcountymagazine.org for details and directions.

This year's event features great food including prime rib and chicken from Pinnacle Peak, salads and sliders from bridges, wines from San Pasqual Winery and Maness Vineyards,  lots of great prizes and surprises!  We also have VIP guests including Cogresswoman Susan Davis and representatives from the cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee and El Cajon.  We hope to see you all there!

EL CAJON ADOPTS NEW CITY MOTTO, NAMES KENDRICK MAYOR PRO TEM

 

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Mork

December 13, 2013 (El Cajon) –El Cajon’s City Council voted on Tuesday to adopt “Valley of Opportunity" as the new city motto.  In addition, Council voted unanimously to name Councilmember Gary Kendrick as Mayor Pro Tem, second in command after newly appointed Mayor Bill Wells.

As for the new motto and logo reflecting that motto, Deputy City Manager/Finance Nancy Palm explained the idea began before the centennial. “We had a lot of community involvement. It has proven to be the valley of opportunity for many years.”

DANGEROUS TOYS TO AVOID THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report.  The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

CITY TO PAY $60,000 SETTLEMENT TO EAST COUNTY ACTIVIST RAY LUTZ IN CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 12,2013 (San Diego’s East County) –The City of San Diego has agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by Ray Lutz of El Cajon, a former Congressional candidate and founder of the watchdog nonprofit group Citizens Oversight.

Lutz was arrested for registering voters in front of the Civic Center Office Building in Civic Center plaza downtown during the Occupy San Diego movement on November 29, 2011.  Chargers were later dropped and Lutz sued for battery and false arrest, among other charges, alleging that his Constitutional rights were violated.

In addition to $60,000 from the City of San Diego, Lutz will also reportedly receive an undisclosed settlement amount from the Civic Center Plaza building’s landlord and its security firm, since a security guard made a citizens’ arrest before police arrived. As part of the deal, Lutz’s arrest will be expunged from the record and Civic Center Plaza will agree to allow peaceful political activity on its property.

WORK BEGINS ON NEW HIGHWAY PROJECT TO CUT BORDER WAIT TIMES, IMPROVE CROSS BORDER COMMERCE

 

December 10, 2013 (Otay) – Elected officials and business leaders from the U.S. and Mexico will hold a groundbreaking ceremony today on a new state highway project aimed at reducing border wait times and improving cross-border commerce.  State Route 11  will be a four-lane highway connecting a planned port of entry, Otay Mesa East, to the state highway system.

The 2.5-mile project will be built in three segments. The $112 million Segment 1, starting construction now, will include connectors to SR 905, plus a stretch of new highway from SR 905 east to Enrico Fermi Drive. Segments planned for the future will extend the highway to the border and create a new border crossing.

WINTER STORM HITS EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A winter storm sweeping across East County has brought snow down to 4700 feet as of Saturday afternoon, with forecasts for two inches of snow down to 3500 tonight and flurries at lower elevations.  Sunrise Highway at Old Highway 80 is currently blocked by boulders/large rocks and other crashes are reported on I-8 near Dunbar Lane in Alpine and on Highway 94 near Dulzura.

Icy rain is occurring as of 4:30 p.m. in Alpine and fog is reported from Alpine to Buckman Springs. High winds are also hitting East County, with gusts up to 72 mph reported at Julian's Volcan Mountain. If driving in the mountains, carry chains, extra clothing and food.  Icy roads are likely tonight in mountains and even on  Interstate 8, so motorists are advised to use caution.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FRIDAY IN SAN DIEGO FOR PHILIPPINES TYPHOON VICTIMS

 

Local San Diego organizations unite to call for aid for survivors of  catastrophic tragedy

December 4, 2013 (San Diego)--The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has displaced approximately 4.4 million people—one million of whom are children. More than 26,000 have been injured, over 5,600 have lost their lives, and 1,759 are still missing. The numbers are staggering and continue to rise.

On Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m., United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3930 (AFSCME Local 3930) and the San Diego Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) with 13 other local and national organizations will hold a candlelight vigil at the headquarters of UDW on 4855 Seminole Drive, San Diego, CA 92115. There will be a prayer service and lighting of candles in remembrance of those affected. Monetary donations will also be accepted to benefit relief efforts.

POWER OUTAGE IN LA MESA

 

Update: SDGE now reports that 936 customers may be without power until 4 p.m. today.

December 3, 2013 (La Mesa)--An estimated 1,568 homes remain without power in west La Mesa, where an outage at 3:27 a.m. initially left nearly 3,800 customers without electricity.

San Diego Gas & Electric anticipates full power restoration at 9 a.m.  The utility has not released the cause at this time.

LET IT SNOW! FLURRIES FORECAST DOWN TO 3500 FEET BY WEDNESDAY

 

 

File photo: Cows in snow at Descanso, by Rebecca Masten

 

December 1, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Cold weather is forecast to sweep into our region on Tuesday, bringing rain countywide and snow down to elevations as low as 3500 feet by Wednesday.  Areas at or above 3500 feet include Julian, Cuyamaca, Pine Valley, Descanso, Boulevard, Mount Laguna, and Warner Springs. 

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN ALPINE FEB. 5 ON NEW "STEALTH" SDG&E POWER LINE PROJECT PROPOSED IN BACKCOUNTRY

NOTE: CORRECTED DATE

 

View map of all energy projects in our region to see cumulative impacts and disparate impact on rural areas

Judge to Decide Whether to Have Hearings on Nearly Half Billion Dollar SDG&E Power Line Project That Opponents Say Threatens Back Country Communities

January 31, 2014 (Alpine)--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a prehearing conference at 1:30 p.m. February 5 in the Oak Room of the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine regarding proposed SDG&E’s Master Special Use Permit project that wouldl impact communities throughout the San Diego backcountry from Pauma Valley to Potrero (north to south) and from Ramona to Boulevard (west to east). The project is so large that SDG&E estimates construction will take about five years. 

Administrative Law Judge Jean Vieth will determine if there will be full evidentiary hearings for this project or if this prehearing conference will be the only time the issues are heard. "In its application, SDG&E asked the CPUC for permission to construct this $418.5 million project without any hearings at all—their usual method of operation,"Backcountry Against Dumps, a nonprofit community organization, states in a press release.

Donna Tisdale, President of Backcountry against Dumps and Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group, voiced these concerns. “SDG&E’s project is being sold solely as fire-hardening but it appears to be an undisclosed stealth increase in carrying capacity that may directly or indirectly support numerous commercial solar projects that are already proposed along or near the route in Boulevard, Pine Valley, Descanso, Potrero, Julian, Ramona, and perhaps elsewhere that we are not yet aware of. Solar generation projects represent potential new fire ignition sources that cannot be de-energized during red flag wind events or other emergencies.”

SDPD OFFICER SAVES MAN FROM BURNING CAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 1, 2013 (San Diego) – An unconscious motorist was rescued from a burning car in Grantville Saturday night by San Diego Police Officer Scott Brengi. 

After the vehicle rolled over, the driver was trapped upside down, suspended by a seatbelt, when the vehicle caught fire.Officer Brengi pried open the door and crawled in on his back to pull the driver to safety as flames reached the passenger compartment..

“The Officer suffered an arm strain and is doing fine," Captain David Rohowits said today.

SANTA YSABEL MAN KILLED IN EL CAJON POLICE PURSUIT

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 28, 2013 (El Cajon)--A police pursuit in El Cajon ended in the death of Carl Lee Denmark, 22, a resident of Santa Ysabel.

Denmark was driving a stolen motorcycle at a high rate of speed with El Cajon Police officers in pursuit on November 9 when he lost control and was ejected, then run over by a vehicle.  The accident occurred on Graves Avenue near the 67 interchange at Broadway.

JULIAN MAN FOUND DEAD IN OCEANSIDE HARBOR

 

November 27, 2013 (Julian) -- The County Medical Examiner has identified Greg Dwight Conitz, 56, of Julian as the man whose body was found floating in Oceanside Harbor on bn November 23.

On November 22, Conitz went to stay on his boat in a slip at Oceanside Harbor. That night, he went with friends to local bars and consumed alcohol, the Medical Examiner's report states. The next morning, another friend found Conitz floating in the weater yet another boat at slip#2. 

COMET ISON TO REACH PERIHELION ON THANKSGIVING-CHANUKAH DAY

 

Astronomy experts say comet could be among brightest ever observed--and it may disintegrate as it draws near sun

By Don Harrison

Photo: NASA

November 26, 2013 (El Cajon) – As if Thanksgiving and the first day of Chanukah falling on the same day were not coincidence enough, the comet ISON will be at its closest point to the sun—about 750,000 miles away-- on that day, Thursday, Nov. 28th.

Grossmont College Astronomy Prof. Ross Cohen says for people who don’t have the proper equipment for comet watching,  at the time of its closest approach to the sun, it is safest to turn to the Internet or to television to view images from satellites that will be tracking the comet from various vantage points in space. 

MISSING QUILT FOUND

 

November 26, 2013 (Alpine) – Two days ago, we reported on a historic quilt gone missing in Alpine. Today, Alpine Historical Society President Carlette Anderson sent us this good news.

"This morning I went to the club house to let a couple of members into the basement. I went into the kitchen for a glass of water and couldn't believe my eyes. There, laying flat, on the kitchen table was the historic quilt and the throw, with no note. It is an Alpine Woman's Club Mystery with a very happy ending."

INTERNATIONAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN DAY: MEASURE INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS TO PROTECT WOMEN AND GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD

Online effort mounted to ask Congress to support International Violence Against Women Act

By Miriam Raftery

November 26, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Yesterday was officially the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.  To mark the occasion, the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA)  has been introduced into Congress last week—for the third time. 

“Gender-based violence remains an epidemic of global proportions that cuts across every social and economic class, ethnicity, race, religion and education level,” Secretary of State John Kerry stated yesterday.  “In fact, nearly one-third of women worldwide have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. This is an unacceptable statistic and must be a wake-up call.”

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: WHAT'S ON THE AGENDA THIS WEEK IN BOULEVARD AND LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- This week, the hottest meeting in town will be the Boulevard Planning Group, which has a busy agendawith many major items slated for its meeting on Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training/Community Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  View full agenda.

Planners will hold a question and answer session on a new Boulevard Fire Station – and consider whether a moratorium should be requested for new large-scale commercial projects until Boulevard Fire Stations are verifiably staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The agenda also includes major energy projects and some controversial water issues.

MISSING EL CAJON WOMAN REPORTED IN TIJUANA CAR ACCIDENT, HASN’T BEEN SEEN SINCE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2013 (El Cajon) – Anne Louise Terhune, reported missing by her family yesterday, may have been involved in a non-injury traffic collision in the Tijuana area, El Cajon Police have learned. 

“She was alone at the time of the collision but stated she was lost and provided her personal information.  She then indicated she would be home the following day and did not appear to be under any duress,” said Lt. Frank La Haye. But he added, “Terhune has not returned home and her whereabouts are unknown.”

HELIX WATER SPARES LAKE JENNINGS TEMPORARILY

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2013 (La Mesa) – Several directors of the Helix Water Board indicated a willingness to vote to close Lake Jennings permanently or at least remove camping facilities and end fish stocking to save funds. But in the end, after public testimony and a proposal by director Joel Scalzitti, the board unanimously voted to form a committee to see if an alternative can be found.

Carlos Lugo, General Manager, led off the hearing earlier this month by stating that a  September workshop on the issue did not have a high attendance.  The lake has been a financial drain on the district and a consultant’s analysis predicted that even investing in major upgrades would not result in a profit.

SHOP, DINE, & GOODSHOP/GOODDINING WILL DONATE TO EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE & VIEJAS WILDFIRE ALERTS

 

Our nonprofit receives a donation when you shop at major retailers, dine at local restaurants, or search the Internet--and you save money too!

GoodShop, GoodSearch, and GoodDining have formed a partnership with East County Magazine and Viejas Wildfire Alerts to donate a generous percentage of purchases made at over 2,800 major national retailers, plus up to 6% at local restaurants to benefit our nonprofit.  Scroll down to find out how to help - it's easy, free, and you can get discounts! Get started at www.goodshop.com, www.goodsearch.com, and www.gooddining.com and designate East County Magazine or Viejas Wildfire - Emergency Alerts.

MISSING EL CAJON WOMAN FOUND SAFE

 

Update November 23, 2013--At 1 a.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the San Ysidro port of entry notified El Cajon Police that they found Anne Louise Terhune.  An El Cajon Police officer met with her and at her request, gave her a ride home.  She told the officer she entered Mexico by mistake after being stuck in southbound freeway traffic. 

 

November 21, 2013 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Police detectives seek public help to find a missing El Cajon woman, Anne Louise Terhune, 60. According to family members, Terhune left her home November 19 around 5:45 p.m. and said she was going to the library at 576 Garfield Ave. in El Cajon.  She was last seen driving a 2004 gold colored Mercury Marquis, four-door Sedan, California license 5KLY673. 

When Terhune did not return after several hours the family became concerned and contacted the police to report her missing. Officers were able to confirm her 2004 gold Mercury crossed the US Boarder into Mexico later that night.  According to family members it would be out of character for Terhune to enter into Mexico, said Lt. Frank La Haye.

50 YEARS AFTER KENNEDY'S DEATH, HIS SPEECH AT SDSU CARRIES A MESSAGE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

 

View speech on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhupT9o-nxk

Read full text of speech:http://library.sdsu.edu/sites/default/files/JFK-Transcript_0.pdf

By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of that fateful day in Dallas, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.   Like so many Americans, I remember the moment when I heard the news.  I was in second grade and the teacher started crying as she broke the news.  It hit me hard, since just a few months earlier, Mom had pulled me out of class and taken me to watch the young President’s motorcade downEl Cajon Boulevard in the College area. 

He had just delivered a commencement speech on June 6, 1963 at San Diego State University’s Aztec Bowl, after being the first to receive an honorary doctoral degree through a California state university.  Kennedy told SDSU graduates, "As a nation, we have no deeper concern, no older commitment and no higher interest than a strong, sound and free system of education for all...In fulfilling this obligation to ourselves and our children, we provide for the future of our nation—and for the future of freedom." He reflected on the educated founders of our nation, the importance of an educated populace for the future, and the disparities in educational opportunities across the nation.

FAA TIGHTENS REGULATION OF FOREIGN PILOT TRAINING AFTER CRASHES

 

Instructors blow whistle on safety concerns at U.S. flight schools

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2013 (El Cajon ) – An investigative report by an  NBC TV station in the Bay area adds fuel to concerns raised by East County residents over the safety of foreign pilot training at Gillespie Field.  The NBC investigation, titled “Foreign Airline Pilots, U.S. Flight Schools: Do they get enought raining time in cockpit?” has prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to announce tighter regulations of  training of foreign pilots at American flight schools.

In the U.S., pilots train for years in either the military of general aviation, or both, to gain at least 1,500 hours of flight time before being allowed into the cockpit of a commercial jetliner.  But the FAA gave out 4,820 license to foreign pilots last year alone – pilots who came here from Asia or other places to train, many with zero flight experience.

ALPINE MOTHER INJURED AFTER CRASH INTO SEMI-TRUCK

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 19, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Network reports that Stefanie Larson, an Alpine resident and mother of three, is hospitalized with injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle (SUV) rear-ended a semi-truck yesterday on Interstate 8. 

The truck had emergency flashers on and was moving at 25 miles per hour when Larson struck it traveling at approximately 75 miles per hour, wedging her vehicle beneath the semi, ECM news partner 10 News reported. She was extricated from the crash and airlifted to Sharp Memorial Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

HIGHWAY 52 CLOSURES THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED BY CALTRANS

 

November 19, 2013 (San Diego) -– Construction crews will close eastbound State Route 52 (SR-52) on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and again on Saturday night for paving and striping, according to Caltrans.  The closures are part of an ongoing project to repair the dips in the pavement which is anticipated to be completed by winter 2014. The  Convoy ramp will also be impacted; for details click "read more" and scroll down.

SOUTHBOUND I-15 CLOSURES NOVEMBER 18-21

 

November 18, 2013 (San Diego) -- For approximately four nights, beginning Nov. 18, construction activity in southbound main lanes of Interstate 15 (I-15) between Mira Mesa Boulevard and Carroll Canyon Road will require nighttime closures of the southbound I-15 main lanes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. These closures will allow crews to continue construction of the Mira Mesa direct access ramp for mass transit.

During the closures, the southbound Express Lanes will be open and free of charge to all motorists. Signs will be posted on the freeway in advance of the closures to direct drivers to the Express Lanes and to other detours (see map below).

EL CAJON ASKS RESIDENTS' INPUT ON COMMUNITY AND HOUSING PRIORITIES

 

Take the city’s survey (available in English, Spanish and Arabic)

November 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon receives approximately $1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds and $420,000 in HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Funds each year for housing and community development projects.  The City invites the public to have input in how the City programs this money over the next five years.

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