East County Round-UP

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: JULY 2, 2010

 

East County Roundup features top stories impacting East County published in other media.

Roundup stories in this issue:

 

 

Winery change goes to supervisors with no recommendation
• Final count: Mullin defeats Vaus with 104 votes (Poway Council)
• 2 more to be sentenced in 2008 SDSU stabbing
• Dubois family seeks damages from state
• Court bolsters gun rights
• Doctors test new rattlesnake antivenom
• Man accused of flashing girl, fondling others in Escondido
• Authorities deal with more bee swarms
• King family moving back to Illinois
• Unemployment rate drops in San Diego
• Ex-Helix High official acquitted of some charges
• SDG&E’s customers to pay for fire repairs

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP: NOVEMBER 7, 2009

 

 

 

 

                                                 

East County Roundup Includes the Most Important Stories About East County, or relevant to our readers, published by other media. Top stories from the past month include:

 

 

 

• Motorist to stand trial in young mother’s death
• Obama ushers in a new era for Indian Country
• Local GOP party calls for resignation of Poway Councilmember
• Buffalo Soldiers’ base recognized
• Teen’s threats trigger arrests
• FPPC won’t investigate Duvall’s mistress
• Under-fire Helix assistant vice principal is fired
• Long-time La Mesa City Manager stepping down
• Schools, stage budget and safety topics hot at forum
• Commission gives nod to Merriam for 2,700 homes
• The long road back: two years after the wildfires,recovery for many residents has been belated

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP --- LATE-MAY

East County Roundup highlights the best stories about East County
issues found in other publications.

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June 2009 (San Diego’s East County)

  • Sycuan Wants Land Added to Reservation
  • Pillars of Fire? Poway’s Twin Peaks Haven’t Burned since 1967
  • Officials Warn Against Wimpy Solar Goal; SANDAG Rewriting Regional Energy Strategy
  • “It’s a Nightmare” (SD Unified School District Cuts)
  • Proposed Santee Cable Ski Park Draws Friends, Foes
  • Couple: County Trying to Stop Home Bible Studies
  • Grossmont Students Speak Out Against Calendar Cuts
  • Hunter: Maintaining Defense Spending Top Priority

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP --- MID-MAY

East County Roundup highlights the best stories about East County issues found in other publications.

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MENTALLY ILL DETAINEES’ TREATMENT AT HOSPITALS WORRIES ADVOCATES

San Diego Union-Tribune (May 18, 2009)--Federal immigration officials send mentally ill detainees to a private psychiatric hospital in La Mesa, where they are shackled to beds 24 hours a day, prohibited from watching television or using the telephone, and cut off from family.

Disability-rights lawyers and advocates for the mentally ill say the conditions at Alvarado Parkway Institute in La Mesa violate state and federal laws governing treatment of mentally ill people. They also say the hospital, known as API, is one of a little-known network of private hospitals that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses to hold severely mentally ill detainees around the country, often out of reach of lawyers and even their families.

 

SUNRISE PLAN HINGES ON FOREST IMPACT

Opponents say SDG&E's new route not studied

San Diego Union-Tribune (May 9, 2009)-- San Diego Gas & Electric planners are figuring where they want to place the towers for the Sunrise Powerlink.

But a big piece of the plan to build the massive and controversial power line connecting Imperial County to San Diego has yet to fall into place: SDG&E does not yet have permission to build it across the Cleveland National Forest.

The man who will make that decision, Forest Supervisor William Metz, said yesterday he is still sifting through thousands of pages of environmental documents – and he's a long way from making up his mind.

 

VALLEY CENTER WATER BOARD ADOPTS VOLUNTARY 8% CUTS

Valley Roadrunner (May 13, 2009)-- It’s official. On July 6 the water district’s customers will be asked to save 8%.


Last week, after the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) took action to call for Level 2 water shortage response, and after a short public hearing, the Valley Center Municipal Water District adopted an 8% voluntary reduction program.

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP — MARCH PART TWO

East County Roundup highlights the best stories about East County
issues found in other publications.

East County Roundup LogoJAMUL’S
PLAN TO BUILD CASINO MAY NOT STAND TEST OF HISTORY

San Diego Union-Tribune (March 30, 2009)—

OVERVIEW

Background: The Jamul Indian Village partnered with Lakes
Entertainment to build a casino in East County that faced significant local
opposition.

What's changing: A U.S. Supreme Court ruling over tribal
land in Rhode Island raises legal questions about Jamul's casino plan.

The future: In addition to any impact the ruling may
have, Lakes Entertainment says the project will be delayed at least five years
because of financial concerns and a suit over access to the casino site.

 

COUNTY ADOPTS STRATEGY FOR MANAGING BRUSH:

Local environmentalists say approach
relies too much on controlled burns

North County Times (March 25, 2009)--The county on Wednesday adopted a strategy
for managing the dry brush that fueled two of the region's catastrophic wildfires,
but environmental regulations and a lack of funding could make it difficult
to implement key pieces.

The strategy, which emphasizes controlled burns as a way to clear vegetation,
was outlined in a staff report that was criticized by local environmentalists
as too narrow in its scope.

"If you don't look at the full equation, you may put vegetation treatment
where it's not needed," said Richard Halsey, director of the Chaparral
Field Institute in Escondido. "And, in fact, you may actually increase
fire hazards by converting some of this shrub land into (more fire-prone) weedy
grasslands."

 

THE END OF MOBILE COUNSELING

San Diego Reader (March 20, 2009)-- Today, March 20, marks the final day of
mobile counseling services for residents of the rural East County communities
affected by the Harris Fire. The October 2007 wildfire burned 90,440 acres
across Dulzura, Potrero, Tecate, and Jamul. In its wake, hundreds of homes
were damaged or destroyed, 55 people were injured, and 5 were killed. Numerous
recovery efforts were put in place after the fire, including a free door-to-door
counseling and community outreach service.

For the past four months, the nonprofit San Diego Foundation provided the
service, but because the grant money that funded the program has run out, the
program must end.

 

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP --- MID-MARCH

East County Roundup highlights the best stories about East County issues found in other publications.

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SDG&E SAYS ITS EQUIPMENT STARTED 167 FIRES IN 5½ YEARS

Union-Tribune (March 14, 2009) — Nearly 170 fires have been started by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. power lines or transformers in the past 5½ years, according to a report the utility released yesterday to bolster its proposal to shut off power to some areas during periods of high fire danger.

Of those fires, 13 occurred during strong winds, and a handful became infernos, such as the Witch Creek, Guejito and Rice Canyon fires of 2007, the report says.

The 40-page report is a response to 21 questions posed by the state Public Utilities Commission, which is examining SDG&E's plan.

 

GROUPS SEEK $2.7 MILLION FOR FIGHTING POWER LINES

North County Times (March 7, 2009) — Opponents of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s power line have petitioned the state to compensate them for $2.7 million in costs they say they incurred over three years battling the Sunrise Powerlink ---- costs that would be passed on to utility ratepayers.

The groups were "intervenors" in the Sunrise case under a program that allows opponents to take on a formal role in arguing merits of utility projects before the California Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory body that licenses electric, gas and telephone projects. The state lets intervenors recoup their costs.

 

SDG&E SET TO PAY AFTER MISSTATING SUNRISE INFO

Union-Tribune (March 7, 2009) — San Diego Gas & Electric Co. agreed yesterday to pay up to $1.1 million to settle accusations that it tried to mislead state regulators about the route of its proposed Sunrise Powerlink.

The company didn't admit lying to regulators, but apologized for what it said was a mistake: failing to include two documents in a public filing describing a presentation to staff members at the state Public Utilities Commission.

 

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP--FEBRUARY

East County Roundup highlights the best stories about East County issues found in other publications.

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CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR PROPOSES ONE-STOP PERMITTING FOR ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION

New York Times (February 24, 2009) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is proposing a single-stop permitting agency for electricity transmission and renewable energy projects.

The proposed state Energy Department would consolidate permitting efforts divided among at least nine agencies.

 

COUNTY FORECLOSURES SLOW AS LENDERS AWAIT HOMEOWNERS' AID

San Diego Union-Tribune (Feb. 23, 2009) — After surging in December, foreclosure activity in San Diego County fell by nearly 12 percent last month, as some lenders stopped repossessing dwellings in anticipation of President Obama's plan to help distressed homeowners.

"We are seeing some lenders in self-imposed foreclosure moratoriums," said Sean O'Toole, founder of the ForeclosureRadar research firm.

January was the first month to show a year-over-year decline in county foreclosures since March 2005. There were 1,107 foreclosures, a 15 percent drop from a year earlier, the MDA DataQuick research firm reported Monday.

 

KOPPA WILL NOT ALLOW HEDGE ON PROPERTY

Ramona Sentinel (February 20, 2009) — Saying he does not want a convicted sexually violent predator living on his property, Ramona resident Charles J. "Poppa" Koppa wrote "Return to Sender" and "Contract Void" on an envelope containing an uncashed check for $7,350 he had received from Liberty Healthcare Corporation. The check was to hold a vacant home he owns off Highway 67 off the market until a March 13 Superior  Court hearing on the state Department of Mental Health proposal to house convicted child molester Matthew Hedge there when Hedge is released from in-hospital treatment and placed in outpatient treatment.

 

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP -- DECEMBER

Links to top stories in other publications on East County issues

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STATE TO SHUT DOWN FIRST AND THIRD FRIDAYS EACH MONTH

Sacramento Bee (January 9, 2009) — California will
close most state offices on the first and third Fridays each month starting
in February, padlocking DMV outlets and other services while reducing state
worker pay to help survive a massive budget problem, according to a state Department
of Personnel Administration memo.

 

SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT FACES $4.5 MILLION STATE FUNDING SHORTAGE

Union-Tribune (January 8, 2009) — The Santee School District will dip
into its savings to help offset the possible reduction of $4.5 million in state
funding reductions over the next 18 months.

The board Tuesday voted unanimously to use $904,102 from the district's reserves
to help mitigate the impact of the projected state funding loss.

 

GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT RELEASES REVIEW OF ALPINE AREA SITES
FOR NEW SCHOOL

Union-Tribune (January 8, 2009 ) — The Grossmont Union High School District
has released for public viewing a state-required review of three sites in Alpine
and Blossom Valley for the construction of a new high school.

The disrict has posted the 650-page Environmental Impact Report on its web
site, www.guhsd.net,
under Prop H construction news. Public comment will be received through Feb.
23. The Grossmont board plans to hold a public hearing in May or June when
it could decide on a site.

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP - DECEMBER

Links to top stories in other publications on East County issues

East County Roundup LogoAUDITOR: CITY BOTCHED DEBRIS REMOVAL, At least $775,000 at issue after '07
fires, report says

San Diego Union-Tribune (December 20, 2008) — San Diego's auditor has concluded
that the city was not equipped to manage the large debris removal program it
developed after the wildfires of 2007, and its lack of preparation, internal
controls and contract monitoring cost more than $775,000.

In a report released yesterday, City Auditor Eduardo Luna recommended the
city bill two contractors for overcharges and be better prepared for future
wildfire disasters.

For the auditor's full report, go to uniontrib.com/more/documents

 

NEARLY 30 PERCENT OF SAN DIEGO MORTGAGES UNDERWATER

Voice of San Diego (December 22, 2008) — Nearly
30 percent of homes in San Diego County with a mortgage are worth less than
their owners owe on their mortgage, according to new data.

The 29.4 percent share of county homes "underwater" or "upside-down" compares
to 27.4 percent for the state and 18.3 percent for the nation. The San Diego
County data was prepared for voiceofsandiego.org by
First American CoreLogic, and was the only county-level data of its kind released
for the quarter ending Sept. 30

 

VANDALS RANSACK RAMONA’S FIRE RECOVERY CENTER

Ramona Sentinel (December 18, 2008) — For the fourth
time in a year, Bonnie Fry has arrived at work to find Ramona Fire Recovery
Center ransacked.

Opened after the Witch Fire in October 2007, the center at 1710 Montecito
Road has been a resource and refuge for fire victims whose homes and property
were destroyed or damaged in the wildfire.

Fry and others do not understand why someone would want to destroy a place
that offers so many people comfort, counsel, information and support. This
time vandals even knocked over and threw paint on the Christmas tree decorating
the center. Fry had hoped to give the tree to a family in need next week.

EAST COUNTY ROUND-UP - NOVEMBER

Links to top stories in other publications on East County issues

East County Roundup LogoPOWERLINK GETS PUMMELED

ECM Editor’s note:  The CPUC decision leaves the door
open for a southern route to be built, which would impact East County communities
near the border, so stay tuned.

Voice of San Diego (November 1, 2008) — San Diego Gas & Electric's proposed
$1.2 billion Sunrise Powerlink will not be built through Anza-Borrego Desert
State Park.

The California Public Utilities Commission, the state regulatory agency that
decides whether the power line should be built or not, issued draft rulings
Friday that give the five-member commission two options to consider when deciding
the Sunrise Powerlink's fate in December: Don't build it at all, or build it
around the park — on the condition that SDG&E guarantee it delivers renewable
energy to San Diego.

 

DROUGHT, BEETLES KILLING FORESTS

More than 10,000 oaks in S.D. County affected

San Diego Union-Tribune (October 25, 2008 ) — Bugs and diseases are
killing trees at an alarming rate across the West, from the spruce forests
of Alaska to the oak woodlands near the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Several scientists
said the growing threat appears linked to global warming. That means tree mortality
is likely to rise in places as the continent warms, potentially altering landscapes
in ways that increase erosion, fan wildfires and diminish the biodiversity
of Western forests.

 

A SLOW STRUGGLE

Only 9 percent of homes that were destroyed in blazes have been
rebuilt

San Diego Union-Tribune (October 21, 2008 ) — Mary
Wagner and her family are among the lucky ones. Although they lost their
home in Rancho Bernardo in the wildfires that started a year ago today,
they navigated insurance claims and building permits with little trouble
and will be moving into a new, bigger house before Christmas.

“We
couldn’t have been more fortunate,” she said. “The
house looks a lot different, but it’s beautiful.”

East County Roundup - September

Links to top stories in other publications on East County issues

East County Roundup LogoWATER RATIONING GROWS INCREASINGLY LIKELY

San Diego Union-Tribune (Sept. 26, 2008) --| For the first
time since 1992, San Diego is facing the possibility of water rationing, a
step that could happen as soon as January. The threat is expected to loom for
years as Southern California readjusts to the tightest drinking water supplies
it has experienced in almost two decades.

The Metropolitan Water District, the
Los Angeles-based wholesaler that provides about 75 percent of San Diego County's
supply, will consider as soon as January whether to cut deliveries to the 13
million people it serves -- including the San Diego County Water Authority,
which provides water to the city of San Diego and 23 other local agencies.

 

REGION:  STILL
NOT READY TO FIGHT FIRE

Move toward regional fire agency could be pivotal, some say

North County Times
(September 20, 2008) --
As San Diego County moves into that scary time of year
when hot, dry winds roar in from the desert and threaten to transform even
the tiniest spark into an inferno, a question lingers: Could another deadly
wildfire strike this fall?

The answer, experts say, is yes.

The disasters of 2003 and 2007 reduced much
of the county to ashes. But two-thirds of the chaparral-carpeted backcountry
remains and would provide plenty of fresh fuel for wind-fanned flames.

 

FARMERS PREPARE FOR TERMINATION OF WATER PROGRAM

California Farm Bureau (September 17, 2008) -- In a move
that will affect crop production across much of the region, the Metropolitan
Water District of Southern California plans to end its discount program for
agricultural irrigation water. The move, expected to be approved in October,
will open the door to increased water costs for many Southland farmers…

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