EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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October 25, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LOCAL

Public can use webcams to watch wildfires across San Diego County (San Diego Union-Tribune)

U C San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography says the public can use its network of web-connected cameras to see whether wildfires break out over the next few days across San Diego County. Scripps has placed cameras at 19 locations across the county, and their constantly updated feeds can be viewed at https://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/. The cameras are part of the so-called HPWREN network.

Median Price of San Diego Homes Rises By 8.1 Percent (KPBS)

The median price of a home in San Diego County rose by 8.1 percent in September, compared with the same month a year earlier, while the number of homes sold dipped by 6.2 percent, a real estate information service announced Tuesday.

El Cajon farmer’s market closes (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Not quite five years since it began in El Cajon, the city’s farmers' market has closed. The Downtown El Cajon Certified Farmers' Market, which started its weekly run at Prescott Promenade in 2013, offered its last bites to just a few meandering shoppers last Thursday.

Driverless car testing coming to San Diego County (Patch.com)

Find out where autonomous vehicles will be tested in the San Diego region.

El Cajon native Jimmie Johnson giving back to his community again (San Diego Union-Tribune)

… Locally, El Capitan and Valhalla high schools in East County received grant funding as did San Diego-based Albert Einstein Academy Charter School and Wegeforth Elementary School.

Here's your water bill — complete with $5,000 in district legal costs (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Officials from a public water district outside Julian added thousands of dollars of extra charges onto one customer’s water bill — for legal work the agency racked up in a dispute with the family over a fence...

Bills mount as cities switch to district elections (San Diego Union-Tribune)

North County cities have spent more than $1 million switching from traditional at-large elections to a system that elects City Council members by voting districts, according to a tally by U-T Watchdog.

Protesters’ giant chicken prompts attention—from deputies (San Diego Union-Tribune)

It was the giant chicken alongside the road that started it.  A handful of people attending the weekly Tuesday protest outside Rep. Darrell Issa’s Vista office found tickets on their cars for infractions …One woman found herself pulled over and cited for honking her horn in support as she drove past the crowd of roughly 300 protesters.

STATE

National Park Service proposes Yosemite entry fee hike: $70 per car (KQED California Report)

The National Park Service is floating a steep increase in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, mostly in the West, to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects. Visitors to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon and other national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current fee of $30 for a weekly pass. At others, the hike is nearly triple, from $25 to $70. A 30-day public comment period opened Tuesday.

Raids on pot grow houses finding more Chinese nationals, mysterious financing (McClatchy News)

“These are sophisticated operations,” said Thomas Yu, a longtime Asian gang investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “When we hear about Asian gangs, we think about young guys doing drive-by shootings. This isn’t like that. These are organized ad hoc enterprises, run by businessmen. They are in it for the profit.”

Why 2 other California utilities have joined SDG&E's push to make consumers pay for 2007 wildfire costs (San Diego Union-Tribune)

…The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to vote on Nov. 9 whether it will buy SDG&E’s argument or reject it. But in the lead-up to the vote, two other investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison — have jumped into the case, supporting SDG&E even though the 2007 wildfires in the San Diego area did not occur in their service territories.

Santa Rosa couple claims PG&E negligence leads to wildfire (San Jose Mercury News)

A Santa Rosa couple who lost their home in the deadly fires that tore through Sonoma County last week filed a lawsuit Tuesday blaming PG&E for the blaze. The lawsuit is the first against the utility company for its possible involvement in the North Bay fires and comes even before investigators have determined what caused the deadly fires.

California's Six-Figure Pension Club Has 62,000 Members (Reason)

Last week Transparent California released data showing that more than 62,000 retired California public workers earn at least six figures in annual retirement benefits.

Fundraising effort started for firefighter who died in Napa County crash (Napa Valley Register)

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for the 38-year-old Missouri man who died Monday when the water tender he was driving crashed on Oakville Grade.

California Tried to Seize Millions of This Inventor’s Fortune. He Fought Back. And Won (Reason)

Gilbert Hyatt's 25-year legal battle is a story of greed, harassment, anti-Semitism, and the abuse of power.