April 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County residents, published in other media.
Latest Roundup headlines include:
• CHP identifies man arrested in SR-163 shootings (10 News)
• SDG&E buying power from Mexican wind farm (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Grocery store workers vote to authorize strike (10 News)
• San Diego to carve out a ninth council district (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Outflanking Park Station? American balks at sharing land for 18-story downtown highrise (La Mesa Patch)
• Kitzman vs. Kitzman: Court fight over family trust ends in settlement (La Mesa Patch)
• SDG&E: Pipelines safe despite missing records (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Potent new rat poisons killing California wildlife (Sacramento Bee)
• The arts make a difference (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Grossmont trustee apologizes for `cannibalizing our district’ (La Mesa Patch)
• SD libraries, rec centers could see budgets slashed (KPBS)
• Documents detail relationship of officer accused of stalking (10 News)
• SDPD fires officer accused in sexual battery case (10 News)
CHP IDENTIFIES MAN ARRESTED IN SR-163 SHOOTINGS
Steven Joseph Dragasits Arrested In SR-163 Shootings
April 21, 2011 (10 News)-- A 58-year-old transient with an arrest record was identified Thursday by the California Highway Patrol as the man arrested in the April 5, SR-163 freeway shootings that sent one woman to a hospital and damaged a Rancho Bernardo man's vehicle.
SDG&E BUYING POWER FROM MEXICAN WIND FARM
Sempra Generation says it is selling half of Energia Sierra Juarez project to BP
April 19, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- San Diego Gas & Electric said Tuesday that it has signed a deal with a sister company for power from a big wind farm to be built just south of the border starting next year.
GROCERY STORE WORKERS VOTE TO AUTHORIZE STRIKE
Union Would Be Required To Provide 72 Hour Notice If Strike Moves Forward
April 21, 2011 (10 News) -- The union representing thousands of Southern California grocery workers voted to authorize a strike, leaders announced Thursday, but the union would be required to give stores a 72-hour warning if they decide ask workers to walk off the job.
Negotiators plan to be back at the bargaining table next week.
SAN DIEGO TO CARVE OUT A NINTH COUNCIL DISTRICT
April 20, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)--Every 10 years, after the latest U.S. Census figures spotlight San Diego's population shifts, volunteers come together to alter the boundaries of its City Council districts so each has a similar number of residents.
This year, that potentially thorny task has a new catch. San Diego must establish a ninth City Council district on top of the eight it already has (in exchange for moving the mayor off the City Council in 2006.)
OUTFLANKING PARK STATION? AMERICAN LEGION BALKS AT SHARING LAND FOR 18-STORY DOWNTOWN HIGH-RISE
Post 282 leaders insist members don’t want to sell three-quarter acre property. The Kitzman family, seeking to develop the site, might have to build around the 64-year-old legion land.
April 18, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)--With a website, PR firm and series of free informational dinners, developers seeking an 18-story high-rise near The Village have seized every chance to make the case for a mixed-use development they call Park Station at the Crossroads of La Mesa.
But Tomas Luna, commander of American Legion Post 282, says it “kind of makes me mad” that his group hasn’t been contacted.
KITZMAN VS. KITZMAN: COURT FIGHT OVER FAMILY TRUST ENDS IN SETTLEMENT
April 19, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)--Park Station figure sued his mother after a revised trust excluded him from inheritance. He alleged that his late father, suffering from Alzheimer’s, was mentally incompetent when he signed papers.
SDG&E: PIPELINES SAFE, DESPITE MISSING RECORDS
April 15, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- While stressing that its pipelines are safe, San Diego Gas & Electric reported Friday that it has been unable to locate records verifying that 30 percent of its transmission lines are operating at safe pressures.
Erring on the side of caution, the utility has begun lowering the pressure in those 64 miles of pipeline by 20 percent and expects to complete the process by the end of April.
The report, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission late Friday, was prepared in response to a request from the commission earlier this year in the wake of a deadly explosion in a Pacific Gas & Electric pipeline last September that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno.
POTENT NEW RAT POISONS KILLING CALIFORNIA WILDLIFE
April 17, 2011 (Sacramento Bee)--Outside Palm Desert, a young bobcat dies mysteriously at a nature preserve. South of Nevada City, a farmer finds an owl dead near his decoy shed. In San Rafael, a red-shouldered hawk bleeds heavily from its mouth and nose before succumbing at an animal care center.
Each of those incidents shares a link to a widely used toxin that is turning up at dangerous levels in wildlife across California: rat poison. Over the years, rat poison has spared state residents untold filth and disease. But a new generation of highly toxic, long-lasting poisons is killing not only rats, mice and ground squirrels, but whatever feeds on them, too.
….. Research by McMillin and others shows that exposure to rat poison is widespread, especially in and near urban areas where pests, people and poison mix. Around Bakersfield, 79 percent of endangered San Joaquin kit foxes tested have turned up positive for rodenticide. Near Los Angeles, 90 percent of bobcats sampled had rat poison in their blood. "Basically, when we look for it, we find it," McMillin said.
THE ARTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
City handed out $6.4 million to groups last year; economic impact: $173 million
April 8, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune) — The city’s investment in arts and culture in 2010: more than $6.4 million to local organizations.
The return on that investment: A local economic impact of more than $173 million, including $98.8 million in salaries supporting more than 7,000 jobs.
The city released its annual arts impact report in a news conference Thursday, showing that more than 4.9 million people had attended San Diego arts events in 2010.
“Every investment we make in the arts today has a lasting benefit to our economy and the other bottom line: our quality of life,” said Mayor Jerry Sanders at Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden.
GROSSMONT TRUSTEE APOLOGIZES FOR ‘CANNIBALIZING OUR DISTRICT’ VIA LAYOFFS OF OFFICE, JANITORIAL STAFF
April 15, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)--The same day it passed a resolution recognizing Classified Employees Week, the Grossmont Union High School District governing board Thursday voted to lay off 41 classified employees to help closed a projected budget deficit.
“These are terrible years to be school board members,” said trustee Jim Kelly. “This goes against every fiber of our being, cannibalizing our district, laying off our good people. I apologize for my vote.”
S.D. LIBRARIES, REC CENTERS COULD SEE BUDGETS SLASHED
April 14, 2011 (KPBS) — Mayor Jerry Sanders is proposing to close San Diego’s nearly $57-million deficit through service cuts and one-time fixes. He said the cuts are hard, but necessary.
“I can’t manufacture the money,” Sanders said. “All I can do is take what I have and prioritize it.”
Sanders’ budget proposal calls for reducing library hours of operation from 36 hours a week to 18. Branches will be open just two days a week and alternating Saturdays. Recreation centers would see their hours cut from 40 to 20 per week. The mayor’s proposal also eliminates 248 city positions, 20 of those would be for sworn police officers.
But Sanders pointed out his budget restores fire-engine brownouts, with four engines coming back into service July 1 and the remaining four coming back next January. It also requires San Diego to make its full pension payment.
DOCUMENTS DETAIL RELATIONSHIP OF OFFICER ACCUSED OF STALKING
SDPD Sgt. Ken Davis Accused Of Stalking Fellow Officer
April 15, 2011 (10 News) -- 10News obtained family court documents on Friday that detailed some of the troubles between a San Diego police sergeant and the female officer he is accused of stalking.
San Diego police Sgt. Ken Davis, a 23-year veteran of the force, is accused of stalking and harassing a fellow female officer.
SDPD FIRES OFFICER ACCUSED IN SEXUAL BATTERY CASE
Anthony Arevalos Faces 18 Criminal Charges
April 15, 2011 (10 News) -- A San Diego police officer charged with 18 felonies was fired, although he is still awaiting trial, the San Diego Police Department announced Friday.
Officer Anthony Arevalos, an 18-year veteran of the SDPD, was arrested March 11 after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her during a traffic stop in the Gaslamp Quarter as the woman drove home from the Mardi Gras celebration on March 8.