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PETITION GATHERERS ACCUSED OF MISLEADING VOTERS IN EFFORT TO OVERTURN CITY'S MINIMUM WAGE

 

August 24, 2014 (San Diego)—Last week, San Diego’s City Council voted to over-ride the mayor’s veto of a minimum wage increase.  That means the increase will take effect, giving raises to low-wage workers throughout the city as well as sick days to all workers citywide.

WILL HUESO'S ARREST END HIS POLITICAL CAREER? NOT NECESSARILY, BASED ON POLITICIANS BUSTED ON PAST DUI CHARGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2014 (San Diego)--As we reported Friday, State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose 40th district includes the southern portions of San Diego and East County as well as Imperial and Riverside counties, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Sacramento.  The Senator has issued an apology and will appear in court this week.

Adding to Hueso’s woes, the Sacramento Bee has posted a photo showing Hueso partying with the Latino Caucus, shirt tail untucked, shortly before his arrest. It was tweeted by fellow legislator Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who later deleted the image. A reporter at the Sacramento Bee also reportedly received an audio file purporting to be loud singing on a capitol balcony during the evening revelry.

Will Senator Hueso’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol spell the end of his political future? Not necessarily, based on an examination of records of prior legislators faced with similar charges.

CALLS NEEDED TO LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS, REVIVE RESOLUTION, LOCAL LEADERS SAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Assembly Rules Committee has stalled an emergency measure, SJR 17, by Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) that calls for executive action to left a regional immigration ceiling and allow persecuted Iraqi Christians to come to America. 

The measure faces imminent death Monday unless legislators act, said Mark Arabo, national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and President/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association. Concerned citizens are urged to call Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins at (916)319-2078 and Assemblyman Richard Gordon, Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee at (650) 691-2121 today to urge passage of SJR 17.

SENATOR BEN HUESO ARRESTED FOR DUI, WRONG-WAY DRIVING

 

East County News Service

August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose district includes large portions of East County, was arrested at 3:30 a.m. in Sacramento for driving under the influence.

The California Highway Patrol said Hueso was driving the wrong way on 15th Street in his Ford Excursion when he was stopped, Fox40 TV reported.  He faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.

EL CAJON COUNCIL APPROVES NEW LEGAL CLINIC FOR CITY RESIDENTS

 

Council also gets update on hotel/motel crime prevention program and Hauntfest

By Janis Russell

August 15, 2014 (El Cajon)—El Cajon’s City Council voted 5-0  on Tuesday to fund $5,000 for a legal clinic program through the Thomas Jefferson School of Law to open in El Cajon.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION FOR SAN DIEGO TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS

 

August 14, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- As part of $300 million in grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) announced that $1.02 million would go to fight homelessness among veterans in San Diego. Vietnam Veterans of San Diego will be the recipient of the VA grant.

AZANO INDICTED ON 26 CHARGES, INCLUDING BRIBING AN UNNAMED PUBLIC OFFICIAL IN EXCHANGE FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2014 (San Diego)--Bribery. Conspiracy. Illegal possession of firearms. Those are among the 26 charges just filed against Jose Susomo Azano, the Mexican businessman alleged to have made illegal campaign donations to local politicians including District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Congressman Juan Vargas, whose district includes the southeast portion of East County as well as San Diego’s border region and portion of Imperial County.

CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO OPPOSE TERM LIMITS IN LA MESA

 

 

“A vote is too precious to limit.” – No Term Limits in La Mesa slogan

East County News Service

August 11, 2014 (La Mesa)--With the slogan “A vote is too precious to limit,” a group of La Mesa residents has joined together to form No Term Limits in La Mesa, to oppose a term limits initiative  in the city of La Mesa that will be on ballots this November. The group asks the public’s help to spread the word through a people-powered grass roots campaign using word of mouth, a website (www.NoTermLimitsInLaMesa.com ), social media and downloadable graphics to print your own flyers, car signs, posters and T-shirts.

The group objects to term limits on principle, Kristin Kjaero explained, saying “The Founding Fathers didn’t give us term limits, they gave us the Bill of Rights which guarantees our right to free expression. The most fundamental form of that expression is our vote, which allows us to put teeth behind our opinions.”

A RASH OF CONTROVERSY OVER DIAPER BILL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Diego)--A local legislator says she has received threats over introducing a bill that would help poor mothers afford diapers for their children, 10 News reports. 

AB 1516 would give $80 for diapers to every family with a child under 2 years old, if the family qualifies for CALWORKS, the state’s program that helps welfare recipients get jobs.  

The high cost of diapers prevents many parents from returning to work, since most child care centers require that children wear disposable diapers, so reusing cloth ones is not an option during working hours.

ROCK CHURCH PLAN TO LEASE EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ART CENTER ON COUNCIL AGENDAY TODAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (El Cajon)—El Cajon’s City Council will vote at today’s 3 p.m. meeting on directing staff to pursue a draft final agreement with Rock Church for establishing a partial lease of the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC).  The deal would also authorize Rock Church to lease land adjacent to the theater to construct a new building for the church that would be partially available for city use.

The measure is on the consent calendar, however ECM has received several e-mails from community members who are concerned  about separation of church state issues and about the long-term loss of the theater for public use during a significant number of hours each year.  They want to see any leasing decisions halted until the city follows up on its promises to hire a professional theater management company.

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT PULLS CITIZENS UNITED PROPOSITION OFF BALLOT

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Francisco)--The California SupremeCourt has ruled that California voters can’t vote on a ballot initiative asking their views on limiting campaign spending—at least, not in November.

Prop 49 was set to be on the November ballot. It would have asked voters if they think Congress should overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in the controversial Citizens United decision, which allowed virtually unlimited corporate spending on campaigns.  A Constitutional amendment has been proposed to restrict corporate money in elections.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS Q & A SESSION WITH LOCAL POLITICIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Politics in Paradise" showcases hot issues--and partisan divide in East County

Story and photos by Sharon Penny

Hear an audio report by Janis Russell: http://kiwi6.com/file/t3ud7qryhp

 

Photo, left to right:  CA Senator Joel Anderson, County Treasurer Dan McAllister, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Assemblyman Brian Jones, Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom, and Congressman Duncan Hunter

August 8, 2014 (El Cajon)--Six East County politicians participated in a lively question and answer session under the stars at Cuyamaca College's Water Conservation Garden during a mild summer evening on August 7.

The location for the annual event hosted by the joint Chambers ofCommerce in East County was apropos because the state’s water issue was a hot topic discussed by local leaders. The site exemplified ways that constituents could help with the current drought. Other issues debated at the event were welfare, immigration, the local craft beer industry, using public pension funds to invest in affordable housing, providing incentives to private developers, Proposition 13, high-speed rail, and even Shamu.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILLS ADVANCE IN LEGISLATURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Two bills aimed at fighting human trafficking are advancing in the Legislature.  Both are authored by San Diego State Senator Marty Block. 

Block says gangs are increasingly involved in human trafficking, selling young girls locallylocal into prostitution and immigrants into forced labor. Human trafficking cases have risen over 600% in San Diego in the past year as gangs rake in over $97 million from human sex trafficking in San Diego alone,  KPBS reports.

RACQUEL VASQUEZ HOSTS COFFEE WITH YOUR COUNCILMEMBER SATURDAY IN LEMON GROVE

 

August 8, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--Councilmember Racquel Vasquez invites residents to join her for “Coffee with Your Councilmember.” The first meeting will be held this Saturday, August 9, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Lemon Grove Starbucks, located at 7801 Broadway.

DEADLINE FRIDAY TO FILE AND RUN FOR MOST LOCAL OFFICES: GUHSD LACKS FULL SLATE OF CHALLENGERS FOR SCHOOL BOARD POSITIONS

 

Hear our interview with GUHSD member Priscilla Schreiber and Nick Marinovich, who says he was pressured to resign off the district's Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, on why they want to see new candidates step forward to run for the board: http://kiwi6.com/file/1fth2nlrky

By Miriam Raftery

August 7, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Tomorrow, August 8 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to file for running for most local offices in East County--though if an incumbent opts not to file for reelection, that deadline can be extended for several more days. 

Some local districts don't have enough people running to fill the seats--including the Grossmont Union High School District, where at last check only two challengers have filed for three seats, despite controversy including a Grand Jury admonishment.  One of those challengers, Dr. Gary Woods, opposes a high school for Alpine and was previously voted out; his election would solidify the anti-Alpine high school majority on the board.  (Note: incumbent Dick Hoy has said he won't seek reelection, thus this filing deadline will likely be extended.)

Alpine's Community Planning Group has just 5 candidates so for to fill 7 seats.

These are just two examples of a race where the balance of power could shift--or not--depending on which candidates if any step forward to run.

Local seats on the November ballot include school boards, planning groups, water boards, fire boards, mayor and city councils across East County.  Currently a numberof these positions have no candidates filed to run, or only one candidate, leaving voters without a choice.  

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD WITH PARTICIPATION IN EAST COUNTY REGIONAL WATER REUSE STUDY

 

Council also approves changes to fee schedules

By Janis Russell

July 30, 2014 (El Cajon)- Following an administrative hearing last week, El Cajon City Council voted unanimously to participate in the East County regional water reuse study.

CITIZENS UNITED BALLOT MEASURE CHALLENGED

 

East County News Service

July 30, 2014 (Sacramento)--California’s Legislature has voted to put an advisory measure on the November ballot asking the state’s voters whether they believe the Citizens’  United decision should be overturned.

HOUSE PASSES VARGAS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – It's rare for Congress to agree on anything given the partisan divide in Washington.  But House Resolution 683, authored by Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) , passed the House of Representatives unanimously yesterday. The measure expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities in Iraq from persecution at the hands of the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Levand (ISIL). The measure was coauthored by three other San Diego representatives (Republican Duncan Hunter as well as Democrats Susan Davis and Scott Peters)

“I am pleased the House of Representatives is shedding light on this important topic and supporting our nation’s need to be vocal in the face of the horrific crimes taking place against Iraqi civilians,” said Rep. Vargas. “This resolution expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities who are fleeing persecution in Iraq’s ISIL-held territories.  Religious freedom is the cornerstone of any free society and we must do everything in our power to provide immediate protection and humanitarian assistance to individuals facing horrific crimes because of their religious beliefs.” 

Mark Arabo, a national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and president of the Neighborhood Market Association locally, heralded passage of the resolution as “a historic day that will go into the annals of Iraqi Christian history.”

CAPITAL REPORT: BILL IN CONGRESS WOULD LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA WITH LOW THC LEVELS

 

July 31, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--A new bill in Congress would legalize use of medical marijuana, but only those varieties with very low levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes users high.

HUNTER COSPONSORS BILL TO ESTABLISH REGISTRY OF VETS WHO SERVED AT MILITARY BASE LINKED TO ILLNESSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2014 (San Diego)—A growing number of veterans who served at Ft. McClellan in Alabama, where chemical and biological weapons testing and training was done, are now suffering health problems including cancer, autoimmune diseases and birth defects in children that may be linked to exposures to these toxins. Radioactive materials were also used. Sixty Minutes has called it one of the most toxic sites in America.

Now those who served at Ft. McClellan are taking their case to Congress.  House Resolution 411, introduced by Rep. Paul Tonko D-NY] and cosponsored by several other members including Rep. Duncan Hunter [R-El Cajon]  would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a registry of certain veterans who were stationed at Fort McClellan. (Read the Bill).

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER TREATS HOMELESS VETERANS AT STAND DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2014 (San Diego)—Many politicians talk about helping our veterans. But James Kimber, a physician assistant and candidate for California’s 50th Congressional District, actually  donned scrubs and gave medical treatment to homeless veterans during San Diego’s 27th annual Stand Down event on July 18.

As the Senior Medical Officer aboard two combat warships (USS ELLIOT DD-967, USS REID FFG-30), Kimber is all too familiar with Emergency Medicine and treating those who have served.  He spent 20 years in active duty in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Senior Chief Hospital Corspman. Currently he is a Physician Assistant practicing neurosurgery at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Kimber says he is is alarmed at how veteran’s needs are being neglected and feels we as a country owe them more. He worked Stand Down last year as a provider and was shocked at some of the patients he treated.

CRITICISM GROWS OVER ISSA "WATCHDOG" ROLE

 

Campaign opponent Peiser calls Issa “out of touch” with constituents

By Jordan Schaffner

Photos: Rep. Darrell Issa (left) and opponent Dave Peiser (right)

July 13, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa has been touted as a possible Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 election, UT San Diego reported recently.  Issa, who is also seeking reelection this fall, chairs the powerful House Oversight Committee on Waste, Fraud and Abuse.

EXPERT ON MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT TO SPEAK JULY 17 IN EL CAJON

 

July 13, 2014 (La Mesa)—Farouk Al-Nasser, PhD, will speak on the current conflicts in the Middle East at a meeting of the East County Democratic Club on Thursday, July 17.  The event will be held at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon with dinner (available for purchase) and socializing at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.   The meeting is free.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ TOURS FACILITY HOLDING UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE YOUTH FROM CENTRAL AMERICA

 

July 8, 2014 (San Diego's East County)California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, participated with other members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus to tour and observe a facility housing hundreds of unaccompanied  Central American refugee youth at Naval Base Ventura County. Assemblywoman Gonzalez made the following statement in response to her observations:

REP. VARGAS & COMMUNITY LEADER MARK ARABO INTRODUCES H. RES. 663, EXPRESSING COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

July 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County) – Today, Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced House Resolution 663, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution by the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group – the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) – as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEBER HOSTS COFFEE WITH CONSTITUENTS JULY 12

 

July 11, 2014 (San Diego and East County) – Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), whose district includes several East County communities such as La Mesa, Mt. Helix and portions of El Cajon, will host a coffee with constituents this Saturday, July 12. The event will be held from 12-2 p.m. at the  Linda Vista branch library, 2160 Ulric Street in San Diego.

EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO PROCEED WITH MARRIOTT HOTEL DOWNTOWN

 

By Janis Russell

July 9, 2014 (El Cajon)- At yesterday’s city council meeting, with Councilmember Tony Ambrose absent, El Cajon’s City Council voted 4-0 to approve a conditional use permit and exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Marriott El Cajon Courtyard hotel to be built downtown on urban infill property.

“This is special to the city,” City Manager Doug Williford  said, then provided background. In Spring 2012 the Council held a special workshop on two interrelated topics: a hotel and the East Count Performing Arts Center(ECPAC).

LA MESA COUNCIL SNUFFS OUT E-CIGARETTES AS COUNCILWOMAN LIGHTS UP

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2014 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s City Council voted to snuff out electronic cigarettes – prompting one Councilmember to light up in protest.

By a 4-1 vote, the council majority voted to restrict electronic cigarettes in the same manner that cigarettes are already regulated.  The lone no vote came from Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who lit up an e-cigarette and a standard cigarette to compare the vapor and smoke levels that wafted across the Council Chamber.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: THIS WEEK'S HOT HEARING ITEMS ACROSS EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Below are some of the newsworthy items on this week's agendas for boards, commissions and councils in East County. Taxes, electronic cigarettes and land use issues are among the hot topics to be discussed in these public meetings.  You can find full agendas and meeting details at the websites for each local governing body.

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES WOMEN WORKERS CAN BE DENIED COVERAGE FOR BIRTH CONTROL IN FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

5 Catholic justices issue ruling, raising question over lack of religious diversity on the high court

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The Supreme Court decision last week in the Hobby Lobby case is drawing strong reactions across the nation and here in San Diego County—and raising questions over whether the Supreme Court lacks adequate religious diversity.

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