February 1, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP features important stories impacting East County published in other media.
Top stories in this Roundup issue:
• San Diego to cut services at 13 fire stations
• Life sentence in Mount Helix abduction case
• County government resents bearing safety net burden
• The Supervisors: in their own words
• Top County official’s e-mail causes a stir
• Activist a common sight recording local meetings
• San Diego Unified teachers to take a pay cut
• State sets time limit for doctor visits
• Water source for SD region put in jeopardy (Judge throws out piece of compact for Colorado River)
• Wind farms: a damaging blow (Inspections, repairs after last month's storms)
• CA approves toughest green building code in U.S.
Scroll down for details and links to these hot news topics.
SAN DIEGO TO CUT SERVICES AT 13 FIRE STATIONS
Plan was key part of budget package
San Diego Union-Tribune (January 27, 2010) -- Some of San Diego’s neighborhood fire stations will be left without engines capable of fighting fires next week as the city moves forward with a plan to save $11.5 million annually through heavy cuts to public safety.
LIFE SENTENCE IN MOUNT. HELIX ABDUCTION CASE
Union-Tribune (Feb. 1) -- A man found guilty of attempted murder and torture in the abduction of a 76-year-old Mount Helix woman was sentenced Monday to two consecutive life terms plus nine years.
Jeffrey Edward Nelson, 20, had been convicted by a jury in the December 2008 attack on Natalie “Sandy” Herbst-Vinge.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT RESENTS BEARING SAFETY NET’S BURDEN
Voice of San Diego (Feb. 1, 2010) -- Christine Hyatt is the face of the newly needy. Two years ago, she never imagined she'd apply for government aid. And she never knew the process would be so difficult.
THE SUPERVISORS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Voice of San Diego (Feb. 1, 2010) – How the county supervisors view their obligation to handle social welfare programs.
TOP COUNTY OFFICIAL’S E-MAIL CAUSES A STIR
CAO Walt Ekard slams term limits in his newsletter
Union-Tribune (January 30, 2010) San Diego’s top administrator used public resources to oppose a term-limit measure on the June ballot that would affect his five bosses on the Board of Supervisors, raising questions about whether he violated state law.
“I wish for failure of term limits wherever and whenever it is on a ballot,” Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard wrote in an e-mail newsletter this week. “Term limits is a fools errand that only helps perpetuate inexperience, mediocrity and special interest control. … Let’s do things the old-fashioned way and just trust the voters to decide whom they want to represent them.”
ACTIVIST A COMMON SIGHT RECORDING LOCAL MEETINGS
Ray Lutz is government watchdog
Union-Tribune (January 30, 2010)--Ray Lutz is an East County activist who is known for videotaping government meetings and posting the videos on his Web site. He also raises questions about how the boards conduct their meetings.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED ASKS TEACHERS TO TAKE A PAY CUT
Voice of San Diego (January 22, 2010) -- San Diego Unified is asking its teachers to weigh a salary cut for the 2010-2011 school year. How much of a salary cut? It hasn't said. The proposed cut would be temporary and would be reversed between 2013 and 2015.
STATE SETS TIME LIMITS FOR DOCTOR VISITS
Channel 10 News (January 20, 2010) -- California regulators have unveiled new rules to cut the time patients must wait to see HMO doctors.
The state Department of Managed Health Care announced Wednesday that doctors who violate the rules could face various fines. However, officials say many of the state's health maintenance organizations are already in compliance.
The rules say an HMO family practitioner has 10 business days to see a patient who makes an appointment. Specialists have 15 days. Patients seeking most urgent care must be seen within 48 hours.
WATER SOURCE FOR S.D. REGION PUT IN JEOPARDY
Judge throws out pieces of compact for Colorado River
San Diego Union-Tribune (January 15, 2010) -- A once-reliable water source for the San Diego region grew tenuous yesterday after a Sacramento County Superior Court judge struck down a series of agreements central to sharing the Colorado River.
Judge Roland Candee’s ruling, if upheld on appeal, would invalidate a dozen pieces of the hard-fought 2003 compact among seven states — including the San Diego County Water Authority’s deal to buy water from Imperial Valley farmers.
WIND FARMS: A DAMAGING BLOW
Inspections, repairs after last month's storm
The blades from the 25 turbines at the Kumeyaay Wind project at the Campo Indian Reservation were removed after a storm on Dec. 7 brought winds that topped 70 mph, causing extensive damage.
San Diego Union-Tribune (January 13, 2010) -- Workers are inspecting and repairing 75 wind turbine blades at a wind farm some 60 miles east of San Diego after a storm a month ago caused catastrophic damage to some of them.
CA APPROVES TOUGHES GREEN BUILDING CODE IN U.S.
USA Today (January 13, 2009) -- California approved Tuesday the most stringent, eco-friendly statewide building code in the United States.
The new code, which won a unanimous vote by the state building commssion and will apply to new homes, hospitals, schools and shopping malls, takes effect next Janaury.
Dubbed "Calgreen," it requires builders to divert 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling, use low-pollutant paints, carpets and floorings and install water-saving plumbing fixtures.