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

SUPERVISORS APPROVE CHANGES TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF LANDS FORMERLY PROTECTED BY FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Next up: Alpine General Plan amendments to be considered in 2017

December 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—By a  4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Dave Roberts opposed,  San Diego Supervisors on Wednesday voted to approve a Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment, along with community plan amendments, rezoning and  certification of a supplemental environmental review. The action paves the way for development of parcels  in the Alpine and Descanso areas that were formerly protected under the Forest Conservation Initiative passed by voters, but that has since expired due to a sunset provision in 2010.

Travis Lyon, chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, reports that the Supervisors “took all the recommendations ACPG made at the last meeting.” 

Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation,  said after the hearing, “The bottom line is that the County has moved to do away with what the voters – two thirds of them—wanted in 1993 to protect our local Forest."

JAYWALKING PEDESTRIAN STRUCK AND KILLED IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

December 16, 2016 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Officers and paramedics responded to the intersection of East Main and Ballard last night at 5:40 p.m. on a call reporting that a pedestrian that had been struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival, paramedics were unable to revive the pedestrian, a man in his 40s, who was later pronounced deceased at the scene. His name is being withheld pending notification of the family.

COUNTY OFFERS FREE SAND, SANDBAGS BEFORE STORM

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 15, 2016 (San Diego) - With heavy rains expected, the County Department of Public Works is once again offering free sand and bags to residents in the unincorporated areas to help protect homes, neighborhoods and streets from flooding and erosion.

CHP SEEKS IDENTITY OF PEDESTRIAN STRUCK ON I-15 NEAR FRIARS ROAD SATURDAY NIGHT; MAN IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2016 (San Diego) — California Highway Patrol seeks public help to identify a pedestrian struck at 11:17 p.m. Saturday night while walking in lanes of Interstate northbound, south of Friars Road.  The victim suffered major head and chest trauma after being struck by a maroon Subaru station wagon.

STORM FORECAST THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A potentially potent storm will swing across Southern California late this week, which could bring heavy rain at high elevations, and gusty southwesterly winds in mountains, valleys, deserts and coastal areas. Dangerous conditions for small craft along coastal waters are also expected.

“DREAMERS” WARNED AGAINST OVERSEAS TRAVEL

 

East County News Service

December 12, 2016 (San Diego) – Some immigration lawyers are warning “dreamers,” children brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrant parents, not to travel overseas on or after January 20th

That’s the date that Donald Trump is slated to be inaugurated as President.  Trump said during the campaign that he would rescind executive orders by President Obama that provided protection from deportation to young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which also gave them rights to work and travel for humanitarian, educational or employment purposes. He called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants.

CORVETTE CRASH IN SPRING VALLEY KILLS DRIVER

 

East County News Service

December 12, 2016 (Spring Valley) — A 24-year-old man died Monday night when the Corvette he was driving at a high speed struck an Oldsmobile on Highway 94 in Spring Valley, then plunged over the side of the freeway. 

The Corvette fell 70 feet onto Spring Street below, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein.

SENATOR HUESO SEEKS ANSWERS ON OCOTILLO WIND TURBINE COLLAPSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jim Pelley

December  11, 2016 (Ocotillo) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-40th district) wants to know why a massive wind turbine collapsed on November 21st  in Ocotillo on public land—and what will be done to prevent future such disasters.

In a letter to Beth O’Brien,  Pattern Energy’s manager of external affairs,  Senator Hueso notes that this is the third serious incident that has occurred at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facilitiy since it opened approximately four years ago.  Prior problems include a wind turbine that burst into flames and another that hurled a multi-ton blade onto a public trail.

He indicated that residents have contacted him with concerns and asked him to look into the matter.  East County Magazine also contacted the Senator to ask what steps will be taken to protect public safety.

LOCAL FAMILES URGENTLY NEEDED TO VOLUNTEER AND MENTOR SYRIAN FAMILIES IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Hear our interview with Dilkhwaz Ahmed by clicking this oramge play button.

East County News  Service

December 10,2016 (El Cajon)—In an interview on KNSJ Radio, Dilkhwaz Ahmed with License to Freedom offered an urgent plea for help. Hundreds of Syrian families have just arrived in East County – with 50 to 60 more flooding in each day. 

The refugees fled a humanitarian crisis in their war-torn homeland, relocated here by the U.S. government at the request of the United Nations. Other countries are also offering shelter to refugees. But many who came here have large families, so their modest aid funds are scarcely enough to cover rent and food.  They need help to overcome trauma and learn how to build new lives in America. But there are not nearly enough people or resources to fill the desperate need.

Audio: 

BORDER PATROL RESCUES UNDOCUMENTED MAN IN OCOTILLO

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2016 (Ocotillo) - Border Patrol agents rescued a 39-year-old illegal immigrant, whose identity is being withheld, in the mountains west of Ocotillo on Friday around 12:40 p.m., NBC 7 reports.

California Highway Patrol agents were able to find the man, a native of El Salvador, after a report filed that he was lost about half a mile north of the Mexican border.

A TIDE OF RATEPAYER REVOLT SWEEPS IN NEW BOARD MAJORITY AT HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Elizabeth Hull, Helix Water District

December 7, 2016 (La Mesa) — Control of the Helix Water District board has shifted from a majority that voted to sharply increase water rates to a new majority that has pledged to resist new price hikes and if possible, roll back part of a five-year rate hike approved by outgoing board members. 

JUDGE DENIES STATE FARM'S EFFORT TO STOP RATE REDUCTION ORDERED BY REGULATORS: POLICY HOLDERS TO GET HEFTY REFUNDS IMMEDIATELY

 

Source: California Insurance Commissioner

December 8, 2016 (San Diego) -- Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal today denied State Farm's emergency request to stay a November order issued by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Jones’ order directed State Farm to reduce homeowner and renter rates by seven percent and issue refunds totaling over $100 million to State Farm's policyholders.

SCAMMERS TARGET SDG&E CUSTOMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2016 (San Diego) – A Santee chiropractor’s office has alerted us to a scam in which a caller posing as a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) representatives tells the business that a utility bill is past due and tricks them into paying money. The scammers even set up a call-back phone number that they answer as SDG&E, but it’s a hoax, the company warns.

PASSAGES: LONGTIME CAMPO RESIDENT WAS A FAMILIAR FACE AT HISTORIC DESTINATION

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

December 6, 2016 (Campo) - A celebration of life is planned for longtime Campo resident Carol Yates on Dec. 9. Mrs. Yates died in her home on November 13, 2016, at the age of 85.

She is remembered as an active auxiliary member of the John Finn VFW Post 2080 and of the Mountain Empire Homemakers Club. She worked for many years at the historic Dogpatch bar -- which burned down in 1987 -- in the Canyon City neighborhood of Campo. In recent years, she was a well-known face at senior lunches at the community center in Campo.

PASSERBY PULLS DRIVER FROM VEHICLE FIRE AFTER CRASH ON HIGHWAY 67

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

December 6, 2016 (Poway) — The driver of a black Ford Mustang made an illegal U-turn on State Route 67 near Iron Mountain Road and was struck by two northbound vehicles, a Ford Fusion and a Toyota Highlander,  yesterday at 5:24 p.m. , California Highway Patrol reports.  The Mustang caught fire and a passerby pulled the driver from the flaming vehicle.

NEW TRAIL IN RAMONA

 

East County News Service

December 5, 2016 (Ramona) – A dedication ceremony was held in Ramona last week for a new public trail along San Vicente Road.

A two-mile section of the San Vicente road from Warnock Drive through Wildcat Canyon to the entrance of San Diego Country Estates has been widened and straightened, also adding a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail alongside the roadway.

2 SUFFER BURNS IN EL CAJON WAREHOUSE FIRE

 

Source: Heartland Fire & Rescue

December 5, 2015 (El Cajon) — Two people suffered burns in a warehouse fire today in the 800 block of West Bradley Avenue in El Cajon.

Heartland Fire & Rescue crews dispatched shortly before noon found heavy smoke coming from the single-story structure.  Fire officials called for a second alarm and two ambulances.

EL CAJON’S HOUSING ELEMENT REZONING PROGRAM: DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AVAILABLE FOR COMMENTS; COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE JAN. 5

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 1, 2016 (El Cajon) — A notice from the city of El Cajon today announces that a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the city’s proposed Housing Element Rezoning Program is available for public review and written comment starting December 5th through January 19th.

A community open house is set for January 5th from 6 p.m.to 7 p.m. at the El Cajon Branch Library (201 East Douglas) meeting room to discuss the project, the California Environmental Quality Act public review process and the content and findings of the draft EIR.

A REVOLUTION OF STRUGGLE CONTINUES FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES IN EAST COUNTY

 

Fleeing violence in Syria, some fear homelessness in U.S.

Hear our radio interviews with Syrian refugees and those seeking to help them in El Cajon by clicking the audio link.

By Rachel Williams

December 1, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Within the Villas of Embasadora, a motel in El Cajon, Syrian refugees have converted their rooms into makeshift homes where it’s cheaper for families of eight, or eleven to survive, than in San Diego’s public housing where costs have risen sharply.

Audio: 

EL CAJON SETS DEC. 13 PUBLIC HEARING ON MARIJUANA GROWING BAN

 

 

East County News Service

December 1,  2016 (El Cajon) –El Cajon’s City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday,  December 13 at 3 p.m. in Council Chambers (200 Civic Center Way) to consider extending an ordinance banning outdoor marijuana growing for the next year.

Following passage of Proposition 64, the statewide ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana including growing up to six plants per household,  El Cajon’s City Council on Nov. 15 passed an emergency ordinance banning outdoor growing of marijuana plants until Dec. 30 in all zones within the city.  The hearing on Dec. 31 would be on a proposal to extend that ban until  Nov.14, 2017.

PET SAFETY TIPS TO KEEP THE HO, HO, HO IN HOLIDAYS

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - ‘Tis the season to dig out those boxes of decorations, blow the dust off of them and start hanging all those lights, stockings, tinsel, garland and everything else that puts you in the holiday spirit. Just make sure your pets don’t put a “bah, humbug” into your plans this time of year.

SANTA ANA WINDS FORECAST THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

November 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A potentially strong Santa Ana weather pattern will develop Thursday evening, bringing strong Santa Ana winds Thursday night through Saturday. Sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour and gusts over 65 mph are possible in the windiest locations, including Highway 8 in San Diego County from Alpine to the Imperial County border.

PASSAGES: VICTIM IN RAMONA CRASH WAS SKATEBOARD LEGEND VICTOR EARHART, 70

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29,  2016 (Ramona)—The motorcyclist killed Friday morning on Highway 79 in Santa Ysabel in a collision with a Prius has been identified as Victor Earhart,  70, a prominent skateboarder who inspired fans of all ages. 

Sector 9, a skateboard company where Earhart worked and performed as a team writer,  posted a  tribute titled “Legends Never Die” that praised him as “a great ambassador for skateboarding and a legend to many. He was always down to ride skateboards rain or shine, dirt or asphalt. He was very loved by all and will be sorely missed in the skateboard community.”

WITNESSES SOUGHT TO FATAL HIT AND RUN IN LAKE MURRAY AREA

 

East County News Service

November 29, 2016 (La Mesa) — Ronald Barrios, a 51-year-old father of four, has died of injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver who was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking on Blue Lake Drive near Jackson Street in the Lake Murray area on Saturday at around 5:45 a.m.

HIKERS RESCUED AFTER OVERNIGHT ORDEAL

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 28,2016 (Dehesa) — Three hikers were stranded overnight in Sloan Canyon near Dehesa after one fell and injured his head on Saturday.

A rescue helicopter was unable to fly due to a storm. Drenched by the deluge in chilly temperatures, the hikers were rescued the next morning by a Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team which used ropes and pulleys to bring them to safety.

EAST COUNTY CREATES REGIONAL HOMELESS TASK FORCE

 

East County News Service

November 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The newly created San Diego East County Regional Homeless Task Force held its first meeting in mid-November at the El Cajon Police Department. 

The effort is being spear-headed by the San Diego-East County Chamber of Commerce with support from civic leaders, educators, religious and other nonprofit organizations, social service providers and law enforcement. City managers from La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove and about 100 others attended the inaugural meeting.

STORMS SOAK REGION; HIGH WIND WARNING ISSUED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  UCSD HP Wren camera on Mt. Laguna

November 27, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for our mountain and desert regions through tonight,with gusts up to 65 miles an hour possible.  If traveling watch for downed trees and power lines, blowing sand, rain-slicked highways and icy conditions in higher mountain areas.

Drought-parched mountain areas in East County have received welcome relief from a pair of storms that swooped into the region over the weekend.

As of 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the National Weather Service reports over 2.4 inches of rain fell at Lake Cuyamaca, with nearly 1.7 inches at Julian. Snow has fallen on taller mountain peaks, including over an inch on Mount Laguna.

RAIN, STRONG WINDS, HIGH SURF AND SNOW TO IMPACT REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Rain, thunderstorms and high winds are forecast starting Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening to cap off Thanksgiving weekend. Up to three inches of snow is possible above 5,500 feet, with rain-slicked highways expected to slow holiday travelers in lower elevations.

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