East County Roundup includes top stories of interest to East County and our reigon, published in other media.
Latest Roundup headlines include:
• San Diego Fire cuts back fire copters range of response (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• County Board of Supervisors approves rooster ordinance in effort to curb cockfighting (Santee Patch)
• Men accused of igniting Eagle Fire plead not guilty (10 News)
• How will debt impact local region? (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Otay Water District’s benefit decision questioned (10 News)
• Who watches the UCAN watchdog? (The Reader)
• Feds demand return of $6M grant because of Gov. Brown veto (Sacramento Bee)
• Unusual coalition raises $600K to back moderates (Sacramento Bee)
• Tribes don’t have to collect child support (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Wanted: Farmers for this farmer’s market (Voice of San Diego)
• Grossmont College student, living out of car, has drive to obtain MBA (La Mesa Patch)
• San Diego attorney Theresa Erickson pleads guilty to baby-selling (The Examiner)
• Democrats urged to back rapid response team to counter GOP (La Mesa Patch)
• Fletcher accepts money into closed account (Voice of San Diego)
SAN DIEGO FIRE CUTS BACK FIRE COPTERS RANGE OF RESPONSE
August 6, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- In an effort to cut costs, the city of San Diego's two firefighting helicopters no longer will be routinely dispatched to aid other jurisdictions. Javier Mainar, chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, announced the decision to his colleagues Thursday at the regular meeting of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association.
“Since the inception of the program,” Mainar said Friday, “we have very freely responded whenever and wherever we were asked, but we never got cost recovery. Reluctantly … we just can’t continue operating this way without cost recovery.”
COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVES ROOSTER ORDINANCE IN EFFORT TO CURB COCKFIGHTING
August 6, 2011 (Santee Patch)--The number of roosters residents in San Diego County can keep on their property has been limited after The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a rooster ordinance aimed at preventing cockfighting.
MEN ACCUSED OF IGNITING EAGLE FIRE PLEAD NOT GUILTY
Jeremy Ortiz, Jesse Durbin Face Arson Charges In Fire That Burned 14,100 Acres
August 5, 2011 (10 News) -- Two men accused of starting a fire last month that burned about 22 square miles over 10 days in northeastern San Diego County pleaded not guilty to arson charges
HOW WILL DEBT DEAL IMPACT LOCAL REGION?
August 2, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)--The Union-Tribune has a good breakdown of how federal budget cuts could impact County residents on Medicare, Social Security and disability, as well as the impacts on education and potentially, who might be asked to pay more to raise revenues.
OTAY WATER DISTRICT’S BENEFITS DECISION QUESTIONED
Board considers giving employees free medical benefits for life
August 5, 2011 (10 News)-- A movement to stop six-figure salaries and generous benefits at the Otay Water District is gaining traction.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association calculates health benefits for district executives will cost ratepayers an extra $6 million.
10News learned the district has raised rates 40 percent in the past two years.
WHO WATCHES THE UCAN WATCHDOG?
July 27, 2011 (The Reader)--The website of local watchdog Utility Consumers’ Action Network (UCAN) has a photo of executive director Michael Shames. Underneath, it says that Shames “serves as an expert witness and attorney on behalf of UCAN.” (Italics mine.)
Groups such as San Diego’s watchdog network frequently participate in hearings before the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission approves payments of “intervenor compensation” to these participants. In 2009, for just one example, UCAN filed for “attorney fees” for Michael Shames — $330 an hour for a total of $49,500.
A whistleblower on Shames’s staff filed a complaint with the utilities commission, noting that Shames wrongfully calls himself a lawyer.
FEDS DEMAND RETURN OF $6 MILLION GRANT BECAUSE OF GOV. BROWN VETO
August 4, 2011 (Sacramento Bee)--California must return a $6 million federal grant to develop a teacher data system, state officials said today.
UNUSUAL COALITION RAISES $600K TO BACK MODERATES
August 4, 2011 (Sacramento Bee)--Realtors, labor unions, doctors and dentists have contributed $600,000 toward an unusual coalition designed to elect more moderate legislators in California in 2012.
TRIBES DON’T HAVE TO COLLECT CHILD SUPPORT
August 5, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)--Mothers around the state are finding it difficult to collect child support from some Native American fathers, as tribal governments and businesses are not helping collect court-ordered payments, records and interviews show.
WANTED: FARMERS FOR THIS FARMER’S MARKET
August 8, 2011 (Voice of San Diego)-- When he moved to Encanto in 1985, Rob Giambruno started using his backyard to grow avocados, squash, citrus, beans, plums and, most prolifically, berries.
Though it was more than he could ever eat, he'd never thought to sell the surplus until a few months ago, when he stumbled upon the Southeast Farmers Market, which springs up every Friday afternoon on a normally desolate vacant lot near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street, not far from his house.
The market's organizers needed people like him. Since it opened to much fanfare in early December, the farmers market had been struggling to attract a key constituency — farmers. Giambruno was not a farmer, per se, but he did grow food in the neighborhood. If he got certified by the county's agriculture department, he could sell that produce at the market and help fill the void.
GROSSMONT COLLEGE STUDENT, LIVING OUT OF CAR, HAS DRIVE TO ATTAIN MBA
August 8, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)--Fernando Rico gave up his home so he could better afford school and says: “I actually love it.”
SAN DIEGO ATTORNEY THERESA ERICKSON PLEADS GUILTY TO BABY-SELLING
August 9, 2011 (The Examiner)-- Poway based attorney Theresa Erickson, a nationally recognized surrogacy attorney (in part from her east coast based public relations firm), was just snared in a black market baby selling practice. Babies born overseas fetched up to $100,000.00 per child.
San Diego attorney Theresa Erickson pleads guilty to baby selling - San Diego Public Policy | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-san-diego/san-diego-attorney-theresa-erickson-pleads-guilty-to-baby-selling-1#ixzz1UfLbpxTY
DEMOCRATS URGED TO BACK RAPID RESPONSE TEAMS TO COUNTER GOP
August 4, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)-- Democrats need to support “rapid response” teams to counter what they consider conservative excess and lies, say producers and others involved in a documentary film about San Diego’s short-lived liberal radio station.
“The public needs to know when facts are facts … or we are subject to manipulation and propaganda,” former local TV news anchor Bree Walker is heard saying in a 15-minute clip of the film shown at Wednesday night’s meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club.
FLETCHER ACCEPTS MONEY INTO CLOSED ACCOUNT
August 7 , 2011 (Voice of San Diego) -- Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher said he closed his state campaign account once he decided to run for San Diego mayor. He didn't need it because he wasn't a candidate for state office anymore, he said.
"We closed the Assembly committee completely," Fletcher said last month.
But Fletcher didn't close the committee. It remained open until last week. And he continued to collect $34,700 into the account after his mayoral campaign began, recently released campaign finance disclosures show.