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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS




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April 4, 2012 --  (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 
  • Lemon Grove considers downtown rule change (UT San Diego)
  • Fletcher bolts GOP as San Diego mayoral race nears (Sacramento Bee)
  • Former college official, architect arraigned (UT San Diego)
  • Underemployment holding back San Diego economy (KPBS)
  • Candlelight vigil held for slain Iraqi woman (10 News)
  • Redevelopment pigs back at the trough (San Diego Reader)
  • MTS boosts benefits for boss by $20,000 (10 News)
  • Records Suggest Move Against Racist Icon Tom Metzger in Bombing (SPLC)
 
STATE
  • California Legislative Democrats balk at Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
  • California GOP lawmakers push budget plan to cut state workers’ pay, nix tax increase (Sacramento Bee)
  • Gov. Jerry Brown’s solar energy campaign (Sacramento Bee)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
 
LOCAL
 
Lemon Grove considers downtown rule change (UT San Diego)
 
April 2, 2012 -- Looking for ways to entice new businesses to Lemon Grove, the City Council on Tuesday will conduct a public hearing on changing permitted uses within the downtown area.
The city is looking to add professional and technical offices to its Downtown Village Specific Plan, which was adopted in 2005. Those uses have been prohibited in the area.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/02/lemon-grove-considers-downtown-change/ 
 
Fletcher bolts GOP as San Diego mayoral race nears (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 28, 2012 -- California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says he's leaving the Republican Partyto become an independent barely two months before voters in the nation's eighth-largest city decide whether to elect him mayor.
The move may raise Fletcher's profile in the hotly-contested race with a crowded Republican field, in a city where Democrats hold a clear advantage in voter registration. Fletcher has lagged in recent polls that show a large number of undecided voters.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/28/4372454/fletcher-leaves-gop-before-san.html
 
Former college official, architect arraigned (UT San Diego)
 
March 26, 2012 --  A former administrator and a former contractor for Southwestern College were arraigned Monday on charges as part of San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ widening corruption probe in the South Bay.
Nicholas Alioto, 46, former vice president of business affairs at the college, pleaded not guilty to one felony charge each of perjury and filing false documents, and one misdemeanor charge of conflict of interest.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/26/former-southwestern-official-contractor-charged-da/ 
 
Underemployment holding back San Diego economy (KPBS)
 
March 26, 2012 -- Certified steel workers gather most mornings at this suburban San Diego Union Hall looking for work.
"Alright guys, I have Schuff Steel looking for three guys to go to camp Pendleton," barked out dispatcher Cesar Cabrerra. "This is for tomorrow. 7 a.m. I need two connectors and one ground man."
The ironworkers shuffle around, each looking hopeful. One rugged looking man has the low number on the list. Tatooed Mark Jacobs landed a job. It is timely work because he was was just laid off from another local construction project. This job is temporary, and probably not full-time, but Jacobs is pleased. It takes a little of the pressure off. 
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/mar/26/under-employment-holding-back-san-diego-economy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Flocal+%28KPBS+News%3A+Local+Headlines%29
Candlelight vigil held for slain Iraqi woman (10 News)
 
More than 100 people gathered on the driveway and sidewalk in front of Shaima Alawadi's home in El Cajon on Wednesday for a candlelight vigil. Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, was beaten unconscious with a tire iron last Wednesday and taken off life support a few days later.
Family, friends and even strangers touched by the tragedy came together Wednesday demanding answers and justice.
http://www.10news.com/news/30791014/detail.html
 
Redevelopment pigs back at the trough (San Diego Reader)
 
March 28, 2012 -- Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat fearful of losing a cushy job or a real estate kingpin fearful of losing a fat government subsidy. Therefore, the move to bring back redevelopment in some form has turned decidedly dirty. San Diego, that bastion of corporate welfare (euphemistically called public-private partnerships), is in the forefront.
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/mar/28/citylights1-redevelopment/ 
 
MTS boosts benefits for boss by $20,000 (10 News)
 
March 30, 2012 -- The chief executive officer of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System received a $20,000 increase in benefits earlier this month, pushing his total compensation past $429,000 a year.

The MTS board voted 11-0 to approve the boost for CEO Paul Jablonski in a private session on March 15, with no public notice beyond saying he was to receive a performance evaluation.
April 3, 2012 -- Tom Metzger — a wily, iconic racist ideologue who has for years espoused “lone-wolf” terrorism — could soon find himself facing criminal charges filed by the federal government he’s excoriated for decades.
Federal investigators, fresh off a related mail-bombing conviction in Arizona, may be pressing for what could develop into a major Justice Department criminal case against “Terrible Tommy” Metzger, as he likes to call himself. Court records filed in three states show the investigators strongly suspect Metzger provided the Arizona bomber with explosive-making instructions, knowing they would be used in the commission of a crime of violence.
http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/04/03/records-suggest-move-against-racist-icon-tom-metzger-in-bombing/#more-8941
 
 
STATE
 
California Legislative Democrats balk at Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 27, 2012 -- In a show of good faith one year ago, legislative Democrats slashed Medi-Cal, cut universities and reduced welfare grants to slice the state deficit 13 weeks before the constitutional deadline.
But this year Democrats are refusing to go along with Gov. Jerry Brown's most controversial reductions, spurning his demand to have cuts in place by March.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/27/4368814/california-legislative-democrats.html
California GOP lawmakers push budget plan to cut state workers’ pay, nix tax increase (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 30, 2012 -- Legislative Republicans rolled out a budget plan Thursday that relies on cutting state worker pay, eliminating affordable housing funds and using pots of money dedicated for mental health and childhood development.
Republicans believe their plan eliminates the state's $9.2 billion deficit without new taxes and preserves the same amount of funding for education that existed last year. They say it undercuts Gov. Jerry Brown's argument that voters must pass higher taxes in November to spare schools from deep reductions.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/30/4377462/republican-lawmakers-push-budget.html
Gov. Jerry Brown’s solar energy campaign (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 25, 2012 -- Last summer, Gov. Jerry Brownflew to Blythe, in the California desert, to break ground on the largest solar power project in the world.
There, in a tent near the Arizona border, Uwe T. Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer of developer Solar Trust of America, proclaimed the "dawn of a new era," and Brown, who has tied his job-creation effort inextricably to renewable energy, said "This is really big."
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/24/4362729/gov-jerry-browns-solar-power-campaign.html