San Diego County

COUNTY PROCLAIMS LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO RECENT STORMS

 

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

Residents asked to report all storm damage: County has not reached level yet to get help for individuals or businesses

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) --The County of San Diego proclaimed a local emergency Friday, due to damage caused by the severe winter storms that hit the region late last month.

RAMONA WINE INDUSTRY IN JEOPARDY, VINTNERS WARN: SUPERVISORS HOLD HEARING APRIL 27 ON REGULATORY CHANGES

Update April 23, 2016:  County staff has responded to ECM questions on this issue.  View their response here.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elaine Lyttle, Hatfield Creek Winery & Vineyard, says the county's "priorites are wrong" and faults excessive regulations for stifling her award-winning winery in Ramona.

April 20,2016 (Ramona) –  Leaders in Ramona’s burgeoning wine industry warn in correspondence to Supervisors that Ramona’s wine industry could die on the vine as a result of changes proposed to the County’s Boutique and Small Wineries Regulations.

 The changes are set for hearing by Supervisors on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center (Room310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego).  View agenda and hearing announcement. 

Two versions of the ordinance will be up for consideration, one approved by the Planning Commission, the other a recommendation by staff of Planning & Development Services. One important note: legal challenges may be limited only to issues raised at a public hearing or in written correspondence delivered to the hearing body at or before the hearing, according to the hearing notice.

CROP REPORT: COUNTY'S AGRICULTURE VALUE JUST UNDER $1.82 BILLION

 

Source: County News Service

October 8, 2015 (San Diego)--Agriculture continues to be an economic heavyweight in San Diego County, totaling nearly $1.82 billion in value. Trendy crops — like grapes for the region’s budding wine industry — continue to rise. Specialty crops like cacti and succulents have blossomed in spite of, or maybe even because of, the ongoing drought.

BACKSTAGE VISIT READIES DETAINED YOUTHS TO EXIT RIGHT

County News Service

July 26, 2015 (San Diego)--Youth from the County’s Camp Barrett juvenile detention facility in Campo were given a sneak peek into theater production, thanks to a unique partnership between the County's Probation Department, San Diego County Office of Education and the La Jolla Playhouse. Watch how being “zombified” has created a valuable experience for youths looking to start a new life.

PROPERTY OWNERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR RAIN RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

County News Service

Photo: County crews work to clean up mud flow on Rutherford Road in Ramona, where over 3 inches of rain fell on Sunday.

July 20, 2015 (San Diego) -- The remnants of Hurricane Dolores created record rainfall in San Diego County, taking residents by surprise over the weekend. If your property or small business sustained damage from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.

The County Office of Emergency Services is asking storm-affected residents to complete a short damage survey form that will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding.

The information gathered from the surveys will be used to estimate total damages countywide and will determine if enough damages occurred to qualify the region for federal disaster assistance, such as low interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for those who are uninsured or underinsured.

5 GROUPS UNITE FORCES TO FIGHT TUBERCULOSIS

 

June 21, 2015 (San Diego) – On Friday, San Diego County, Imperial County, the state of Baja California and two non-profit organizations signed a memorandum agreeing to continue working together to prevent and control the spread of tuberculosis. The signing makes official a years-long collaboration between the five entities.

COUNTY SEEKS TO RESTRICT FREE SPEECH, PROTESTERS, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MORE IN PUBLC PARKS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

Photos: Rural residents rallied for protection from wind turbines after explosions; faith-based community leaders sought justice for immigrants outside County Administration Building at site that may soon be restricted for free speech rallies.

June 6, 2015 (San Diego)—For years, community groups and activists have rallied outside the County administration building where Supervisors meet to protest or urge support for various causes, from immigrant rights to stopping environmentally damaging projects, with rally organizers ranging from civil liberties advocates to conservative Tea Party groups. 

But under a new ordinance proposed for consideration on Tuesday’s agenda, people wishing to exercise First Amendment rights may be restricted to  designated “free speech zones” at the new Waterfront Park around the building, where you won’t be able to bring a megaphone, microphone, or even a chair on which to sit.  There will be noise limits and gatherings of 200 or more must obtain permits—meaning you’ll have to predict how many will show up for your event, or risk paying fines.

That’s not all.  The proposed ordinance would go farther,  changing codes regarding selling and advertising for all county parks and recreation facilities to regulate “other issues such as commercial photography, noise levels, and the prohibition on posting or affixing materials on park property.”

CASA AND VOICES FOR CHILDREN SEEK VOLUNTEERS, HOST 3 INFO SESSIONS IN MAY

 

Volunteers Needed!

April 30, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Volunteer with Voices for Children and be the voice for a child.  Voices for Children provides more than one-third of local foster children in San Diego County with the caring support of a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).  But there are many more that still need a CASA to speak on their behalf – in the courtroom, classroom, and community – to ensure their needs are met. Our information session event provides the community with an opportunity to learn more about Voices for Children and the CASA program.

TAKE OUR POLL: SHOULD AMBULANCE RESPONSE TIMES IN EAST COUNTY BE IMPROVED?

 

March 29, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego County only requires that ambulances response within 30 minutes in rural areas, unlike urban areas where the limit is 10 minutes. The American Heart Association reports that brain death and permanent death start to occur in 4–6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest.  The County's response time requirements are far too long for a heart attack patient to survive without brain damage. In addition, these times mean it sometimes takes more than the "golden hour" to reach a hospital following a trauma, stroke or other medical emergency, the time frame that medical experts recommend for saving lives. 

Take our Poll:  Should San Diego County require faster ambulance response than the 30 minutes currently required in rural areas?

Vote here: http://eastcountymagazine.org/poll/should-county-require-faster-ambulanc...

SAN DIEGO IS 5TH MOST POPULOUS COUNTY IN U.S.

 

March 26, 2015 (San Diego)--If you think San Diego is having some growing pains, you may be right.  The Census Bureau’s numbers are in, and San Diego County is now the fifth most populous county in the nation.

COUNTY CHANGES AMBULANCE SERVICE WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTICE: PUBLIC SAFETY ADVOCATES VOICE ALARM



Ambulance responses in our region raise alarms:  Part I in a series

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – What if you had a medical emergency and the nearest ambulance had to come from Imperial County or other distant places up to an hour away?  That’s the very real prospect facing rural East County residents under a stealth change in ambulance service approved by a county bureaucrat with no public notice, no hearing, and no vote by the Supervisors.

While some aspects of coverage stand to improve under the contract, adding more in-district ambulances and newer equipment, there are some major concerns raised by local safety advocates with regard to mutual aid and staffing.

SUPERVISOR HORN: 2015 WILL BE "YEAR OF THE VETERAN"

 

View video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fTobU9pt0ds

East County News Service

February 19, 2015 (San Diego)—Supervisor Bill Horn, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, declared 2015 the “year of the veteran” in his state of the county speech last week.

Horn said, “These men and women have made sacrifices that often take terrible tolls on their personal lives. As a county and as a community, we have a responsibility to take care of our veterans.”

An ex-Marine Corps officer and veteran, Horn said programs will be ramped up and new programs rolled out in the coming year.  One is the Vet Connect program being rolled out East County libraries, prompted by an East County Magazine special report that found a lack of veterans’ services in rural areas.

COUNTY'S FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM REAPS SUCCESS

 

Hear our interviews with representatives of San Diego County’s “Farm to School” program aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ:  http://kiwi6.com/file/vio8wai6al

February 7, 2015 (San Diego) – The second annual State of Farm to School in San Diego County Report reveals growth in farm to school programs bringing healthy produce to area school children – also generating returns for our region’s health and economy. See our earlier article on the program’s succe,ss here.   Recently we held a radio show on the County's Farm to School task force. We interviewed JuliAnna Arnett Director of Operations & Food Systems for the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, Community Health Improvement Partners, along with Eric Larson, Executive Director at the San Diego County Farm Bureau,Johnna Jenkins, Director of Child Nutrition at Valley Center-Pauma school district, and Jill Wittenberg, Child Nutrition Director, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.

They shared success stories on how this innovative program is helping farmers and students reap healthy rewards.  More participants are sought to meet rising demand for fresh produce in our public schools.

SAVE WATER: TURN OFF IRRIGATION AFTER RAINS

 

Source: County News Service

December 14, 2014 (San Diego)--It’s the time of year when San Diego County gets most of its rainfall – and this winter it’s more important than ever to take advantage of every drop that Mother Nature delivers to us.

COURT RULES COUNTY’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN IS NOT ADEQUATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2014 (San Diego)—The County’s climate action plan lacks teeth to assure that greenhouse gas emission goals will be met,  California’s 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled. The Appellate Court upheld a San Diego County judge’s ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club argued that the county’s reliance on voluntary measures and lack of clear deadlines were not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the targeted amounts by 2020. The Court also noted that the County rejected mitigation proposed by the Sierra Club without  valid reasons.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. SEEKS HORSE OWNERS AND RIDERS FOR VOLUNTEER MOUNTED PATROL

 

October 15, 2014 (Santee)--The Sheriff's Department is looking for horse owners and riders who would like to become members of the Volunteer Mounted Patrol. They conduct patrols on horseback across San Diego County, including the Santee and Lakeside areas.

CHP USING RANDOM SAFETY INSPECTIONS TO REDUCE COLLISIONS

 

September 30, 2014 (San Diego)-- In an effort to continue to reduce the number of people killed in bus and motorcoach collisions, the Border Division CHP will be conducting random on-highway safety inspections in San Diego County.

VOTERS TO WEIGH AN ARRAY OF LOCAL BALLOT MEASURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego) – Eighteen local initiatives will appear on ballots in San Diego County, on issues ranging from school bond for funding schools to measures that would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries.

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.

BORDER FIRE PROMPTS CAL FIRE WARNING TO SHOOTERS

 

August 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—A 20-acre wildland fire on the border caused by target shooting last weekend has prompted CAL-Fire to issue a stern warning: shooting on state lands during these extreme drought conditions is prohibited—and if you start a fire, you can be held liable for firefighting costs.

CHECK CENTER TO DONATE FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO CHILDREN AUG. 9

 

August 6, 2014 (San Diego) – It’s back to school time—and Check Center locations around San Diego County will give away free backpacks and school supplies to the first 250 children who stop by on Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   This includes an East County location at 1090 East Main Street, Suite 103 in El Cajon.

WHY ARE SO MANY FIRE STATIONS CLOSED—AND WHAT’S BEING DONE BY COUNTY TO BOOST STAFFING?

 

 

A quarter of all rural stations were closed –at the same time—during April

An East County Magazine special investigative report

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Fire Authority has touted its successes in preventing the May wildfires in North County from destroying thousands of homes despite a county-wide disaster declaration.  Granted, a lot has improved since the devastating 2003 and 2007 firestorms in our region--the worst in California's history. But if fires were to start in East County today, the outcome could be tragic. An East County Magazine investigation raises serious doubts over  inadequate volunteer firefighter staffing and the ability to respond even to routine house fires and medical calls in some rural communities.

Last October,  our investigative report,"Closed for Fire Season" revealed that Boulevard’s fire station was closed for two months during fire season and Jacumba’s station also had some dark days- -including one when a resident died of a medical emergency after a delay in emergency services arriving. The County responded by funding emergency staffing and according to Supervisor Jacob’s staff, these two stations remained open every day  for at least several months thereafter, an ECM records check in late April revealed.   

But on July 9, Craig Williams, an information technology provider for the Campo Fire Department, advised ECM that “without any notification to the community leaders."  two days ago Cal Fire “moved the overtime, off-budget, paid Cal Fire firefighters out of Boulevard to Jacumba Hot Springs. Now  Boulevard is stuck with Fire Authority `volunteers’ only, just like Campo.’”

Worse,  a new investigation by ECM reveals that this is the tip of an iceberg--with many stations understaffed and some closed for months. 

COUNTY SETS SIGHTS ON WILD PIG POPULATION IN EAST COUNTY

 

Update July 30, 2014: By a 5-0 vote,  Supervisors adopted the feral pig eradication plan to trap and shoot wild pigs across our region.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

July 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--They wallow in waterways and root up sensitive habitat.  They breed prolifically—and they eat almost anything—from acorns to small animals—even goats with horns!  Those portly porkers – feral pigs in East County’s backcountry—can weigh up to 250 pounds. The largest wild pig caught anywhere--a gargantuan specimen dubbed "Hogzilla," tipped the scales at over 800 pounds.

Feral pigs are descendants of domestic pigs run wild and European boars brought over by Spaniards in the 1700s. Locally, San Diego's pig population has been around since only around 2006.  We don't know how they got here. One rumor is that  hunters released a few pigs as game animals. Another theory is that the pigs migrated in from elsewhere in California or Mexico. However they came, they've found fertile ground locally, where the number of wild pigs is now estimated at over a thousand. 

Hunting wild pigs is legal in California on private property and tribal lands – though not in our region's parks, preserves, or wilderness areas.  But bringing home the bacon isn’t as easy as it sounds.

THE COST OF VALLEY FEVER: HUMAN AND ECONOMIC

 

San Diego has sixth highest rate of valley fever in California; concerns voiced that Imperial County cases may be under-reported

By Janice Arenofsky

July 13, 2014 (San Diego)--More than 160 scientists, researchers and regional activists met in Phoenix on April 5th to learn about and exchange views on the human and economic costs of Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever). Due to recent national and local media coverage of the valley fever epidemic across the Southwest and formation of a Cocci Congressional Task Force headed by two U.S. House Republicans from California and Arizona-- Kevin McCarthy and David Schweikert--the 58th Annual Meeting of the Cocci Study Group brought together a historic number of attendees.

Keynote speaker Steven Holland, MD, deputy director for intramural clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, spoke about human DNA mutations that leave a percentage of people especially vulnerable to valley fever, mycobacterial disease and Job’s Syndrome (immune-mediated disease). Holland concluded that in certain extreme cases of cocci, bone marrow transplants should be considered. He anticipates receiving more referrals of seriously ill cocci patients from Arizona and California physicians.

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.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB ON COUNTY’S ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT AND AGING SUMMIT

 

 

 

 

June 11, 2014 (San Diego) – Last week, our interview with Supervisor Dianne Jacob aired on KNSJ radio.  You can now listen online to the full interview by clicking here:  http://kiwi6.com/file/x1vxb9pepd

Supervisor Jacob discussed the County’s new regional initiative to tackle the Alzheimer’s epidemic, which has reached epidemic proportions locally.  She also shared details on the County’s Aging Summit coming up on June 12. 

Scroll down to read the County’s press release on the Alzheimer’s project spearheaded by Supervisor Jacob, which aims to bring together top researchers to seek a cure, as well as bringing help to caregivers and patients.

FIRES, APATHY KEPT VOTERS FROM POLLS, EXPERTS SAY

 

By Stevon Marshall

June 6, 2014 (San Diego County) - The voter turnout in the San Diego County for the June third primary elections surpassed expectations of a low turnout, the results were 20% equalling to 1 in 5 registered voters casting a ballot.

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