EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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November 29, 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

Lawsuits claim top San Diego restaurants defrauding consumers with minimum wage surcharge (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lawsuits have been filed against more than a dozen San Diego restaurants and dining groups claiming they are defrauding their patrons by illegally tacking on a surcharge to customers’ bills that many operators have been using to defray increasing labor costs.

Cannabis industry dives into county supervisor races (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Business interests have long tried to pack legislative bodies with members who are sympathetic to their work, but electing marijuana-friendly members to the county Board of Supervisors has never been so important to the cannabis industry.

A Judge’s Remarkable, Scathing Takedown of Mark Arabo and the Neighborhood Market Association (Voice of San Diego)

...the group should be run by a receiver until its members can vote on new board leadership, overseen by an impartial election official…. Strauss also ordered Arabo to repay the association for $248,000 he received in compensation the judge deemed improper.  [Judge Richard E.L. Strauss said,] “I’ve never heard so much fiction under oath. It’s really unbelievable. I don’t even know where to start.”

San Diego Chamber urges Congress to pass Dream Act before New Year (KPBS)

… In a press briefing, chamber president Jerry Sanders and his colleagues in the Regional Economic Association Leaders Coalition of California said the state's congressional delegates have a moral imperative to pass the act — and they can’t afford not to.

Four San Diego lawmakers say CPUC should reject SDG&E bid to charge customers $379 million. They’re right. (San Diego Union Tribune editorial)

Will the California Public Utilities Commission live up to its image as an agency that’s a lap dog for the giant investor-owned utilities it regulates? Sooner or later, Californians are going to find out.

Group files suit to block storing nuclear waste at San Onofre (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Public Watchdogs, a San Diego-based activist group, brought a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Thursday, trying to block the storage of nuclear waste on the premises of the now-shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)…. The suit not only names Edison and SONGS part-owner San Diego Gas & Electric as defendants but also includes the federal government, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy.

Law enforcement review panel dismisses 22 cases rather than complete them amid backlog (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Members of the county Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board late Tuesday agreed to summarily dismiss 22 cases reviewing the deaths of jail inmates and people facing arrest, on the grounds that the investigations are more than a year old.

Thomas Jefferson Law School gets put on probation (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The accreditation committee of the American Bar Association has placed Thomas Jefferson School of Law on probation, citing a litany of concerns from the downtown school’s finances to the percentage of graduates who pass the state bar exam and find employment.

Access to city records can take weeks with new online portal (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Want a public record from the city of San Diego? Prepare to wait an average of 19 days.  It’s an even longer wait — about a month — if city staff have to remove sensitive information from the records, according to an updated review of data from the city’s online records portal, NextRequest.com.

San Diego County's top 10 worst bottlenecks for 2017 (San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego County’s traffic has concentrated closer to the urban core in the last year, with once-clogged routes in the north seeing some improvement. Related: San Diego County traffic spikes to new highs after economic recovery

San Diego’s map of Christmas lights (San Diego Family)

San Diego Family Magazine, the original creators of San Diego's famous Map of Christmas Lights, is excited to present the 2017 list of neighborhood holiday lights, commercial light shows and glittering festivities. Grab the kids and load up the car for a spin through festive light displays from Chula Vista to El Cajon to Oceanside and everywhere in between. Don't forget the hot cocoa!

STATE

Investigation Finds University of California Officials Interfered with Audit (KPBS)

The investigation finds that officials in the president's office instructed UC campuses not to "air dirty laundry" to the state auditor… / It says Napolitano approved the plan that resulted in interference and "forthrightly acknowledged her role."

California May Limit Liability of Self-Driving Carmakers (KPBS)

California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help makers of self-driving cars avoid paying for accidents and other trouble, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners.

California PUC Used Public Money to Block San Onofre Investigation (KPBS)

Court documents released this week indicate the California Public Utilities Commission used public money to try to block search warrants in an investigation into possible collusion with Southern California Edison over the closure of the premature San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station….  Severson says the judge found “probable cause” to suspect felony conspiracy to obstruct justice when he issued the search warrants.

Regulators fined utility for not reporting meeting, then argued it was legally permissible (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Four months after the Public Utilities Commission fined Southern California Edison millions of dollars over a secret meeting in Warsaw, Poland, about the failed San Onofre nuclear plant, lawyers for the regulators argued in sealed court filings that nothing improper happened.

California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigns as Sacramento struggles to address sexual misconduct (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A Los Angeles area Democratic Assemblyman has resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct from six women.

L.A. Is Creating Traffic Jams to Push Commuters to Ride Bikes and Rail (Reason)

In July of 2017, Los Angeles imposed a "road diet" in the quiet beach community of Playa del Rey, replacing car lanes with bike lanes and parking spaces. The roads were suddenly jammed with traffic. The community was livid…Road diets are part of a strategy known as Vision Zero, in which Los Angeles aims to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities by 2025. It's an idea borrowed from Sweden, which in the '90s started experimenting with reconfiguring the roads to encourage more commuters to bike or take mass transit to work.