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daily chuckle  
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Escondido Arrest Subject on Six-Year Old Homicide Case

On August 6th, Detectives from the Escondido Police Department and Investigators from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office were notified that Juan Ceja was taken into custody by the Baja California State Police for his involvement in the 2004 homicide of Rene Chavez in Escondido. The Mexican authorities detained Ceja and transported him to the U.S. Border where he was surrendered to officers from the Escondido Police Department and a District Attorney Investigator.

Ceja was transported to the Escondido Police Department where he was interviewed by investigators regarding the 2004 homicide and an assault that took place shortly before the homicide occurred. Ceja was later booked at the Vista Detention Facility for Homicide, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Gang Enhancement.

On November 16, 2004, at approximately 9pm, Ceja and several other suspects assaulted a man at 1501 East Grand Avenue in Escondido. The male survived the assault despite being beaten and stabbed. A few minutes later, Rene Chavez, who was walking on Grand Avenue, encountered the same group of suspects. Chavez was assaulted by approximately eight subjects and was beaten with wooden sticks and a crow bar and stabbed multiple times. Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

During the subsequent weeks, detectives interviewed dozens of witnesses and ultimately arrested six subjects for the homicide. Those suspects have already been through the court process. Ceja has been a person of interest in this case and has been living in Mexico.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Escondido Police Department Gang Enforcement Unit at 760-839-4972.

 

Palomar Pomerado Healthcare District Increases Inland North County Residents Tax Bill by 32%

Local patent attorney, and longtime critic of the Health District Board, Robroy Fawcett, addressed the board at Monday’s meeting to point out that though the district was proposing an approximate 32% increase in the tax levy, the actual drop of the local tax base was less than 10%. He suggested this should require the board to demand a more thorough and detailed explanation and justification from its finance department.

Mr. Fawcett’s argument was received and met with a “thank you.”

With no further discussion or direction given to staff, the board of directors increased the amount of money North County inland residents will fork over to retire $496 million in bonds used to build the new Palomar West hospital.

Instead of $17.75 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value, residents will now pay $23.50 per $100,000.

A typical home valued at $300,000 was paying $53.25 per year. With the new levy it will now pay $70.50.

Board members argue that decreasing property values forced them to increase the levy rate. As Mr. Fawcett pointed out to the board, however, the decrease of the tax base is only 9.44%, which is confirmed by county records which show district property has a total assessed value of $64.8 billion during the 2008-2009 budget year. It has dropped to only $61.2 billion today.

Proponents of Prop BB, the bond issue designed to pay $469 million to help build the hospital, argued the levy rate of “only” $17.75 per $100,000. There was language within the bond, however, that gave the district “wiggle room” to set a rate higher, if necessary, to pay back the bonds. Proponents of Prop BB did not dwell on this bit of information.

Fawcett went on to say, "There are about five propositions on my property tax bill. Little by little it adds up," he said. "Politicians, if nobody cares, will raise your taxes until it's all theirs."

"When we floated that bond, we did not know there was going to be a crash in the economy," said director Jerry Kaufman.

 

Summergrass . . . Southern California’s Bluegrass Festival Coming Soon

Promoters are hoping for even more than the 5200 fans that turned out last year for Summergrass, the highly popular Bluegrass Music Festival.

The event comes to town again this year August 20 through 22nd at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista.

Top Bluegrass acts such as Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Bluegrass Etc., John Reischman & the Jaybirds, Special Consensus, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, and the Virtual Strangers, Lonesome Otis, the Anderson Family, FaultLine, the Tail Draggers, and Bluegrass Brethren, will combine to attract an even larger fan base, according to promoters.

A combination of internationally known and respected bluegrass groups as well as local, home grown groups work together to make for another successful festival.

Something new this year, Summergrass will offer Adult Bluegrass Boot Camp - an intense music seminar on Friday, August 20 from 9 AM to 3 PM. This event is designed for those adults who always wanted to perfect their bluegrass music but never had the chance. The Bluegrass Boot Camp Drill Instructors include top artists on banjo, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass. Students must be intermediate to advanced players to enroll. For more information, visit the festival website and click on Adult Bluegrass Boot Camp or email bluegrassbootcamp@summergrass.net

The popular Summergrass Kids Camp is returning this year as well. All children ages 6 to 16 are welcome. Tuition is $60.

For details, give a call to 858-679-4854 or visit their website at www.summergrass.net.

 

Concern Grows About Illegal Aliens Landing on California Beaches

Not only residents of San Diego County but much of Southern California shows increasing concerns about the increased number of sea alien incursions into California's waters and beaches, including Camp Pendleton and San Onofre Nuclear Plant, 70 miles north of the Mexican border.

Increased calls for pressure on Washington via local Congressional offices are mounting. Frustrated Californians wonder why, with the billions being spend on Homeland Security, the state appears to be easily penetrated on a regular basis. Now that the border appears to have a little better control over illegal entry, the smugglers appear to be bypassing the land routes in favor of ocean approaches.

Eighteen illegal immigrants were recently apprehended while walking on Camp Pendleton. A few days later, another 22 illegal immigrants were captured after they hand landed on board Camp Pendleton during the night.

These 40 suspected illegal immigrants were apprehended fairly quickly by both Border Patrol and military police. Residents wonder, however, how many managed to slip through the security net and why is it our nation has such difficulty in protecting our borders?

Further, from a military security standpoint, what is to prevent a major invasion by commando type units, under cover of darkness, loaded with weapons, explosives, and, possibly, bio-chemical warfare products? Camp Pendleton has the largest military population on the West Coast . . . and right next door is San Onofre, with its Nuclear Generating Station. Both prime and tempting targets for another 9/11 type attack. National Security and Military Security are both at issue, according to knowledgeable sources.

"If you look at it in a national security aspect, we are a high-value target," said U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon. "San Diego would be in the top five or 10 targets across the country."

Supposedly, Camp Pendleton has taken steps to increase its beach security. That, however, opens another question. What about those other areas . . . the beaches of La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad? All offer the chance to land, undetected, and to move inland with little or no detection or interference.

The San Diego sector of the Border Patrol monitors 114 miles of coastline.

To date, only 586 illegal immigrants have been arrested that came in via the ocean and made beach landings. Again, the question is, how many got through successfully?

 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Speaks to Conservative Order of Good Guys in Rancho Bernardo

Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke this Tuesday to a sold out crowed of the Conservative Order for Good Government at the Rancho Bernardo Country Club on his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

The sheriff spoke to members of COG , a group that hosts speakers as a way to promote dialogue between residents and elected officials. There was a waiting list of over 100 who wanted to secure tickets to hear “Sheriff Joe” speak. They went away, disappointed. Arpaio, it is said, was a hit.

 
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