January 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County residents, published in other media.
Recent Roundup headlines include:
• Taking aim at the Governor’s pardon powers (Voice of San Diego)
• Regional agency accepts applications for $1.15 million in federal funds (Ramona Sentinel)
• Leader in card-cheating ring pleads guilty (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Preacher, Prop 8 backer helps wife with cancer (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• La Mesa icon Gordon Jones on the mend (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Wall of Honor highlights labor of love event (The Alpine Sun)
• Chincoteague Ponies: from a child’s dream to adult reality (Ramona Journal)
• Grant funds Cuyamaca reforestation (Julian Journal)
TAKING AIM AT THE GOVERNOR’S PARDON POWERS
January 14, 2011 (Voice of San Diego)-- Two California assemblymen have announced they will sponsor legislation aimed at placing limits on the California governor's powers to commute, pardon or reprieve prisoners' sentences, proposals that come in the wake of former Gov. Schwarzenegger's controversial last-minute decision to commute Esteban Nuñez's prison sentence from 16 years to seven.
Assemblyman Marty Block, a San Diego Democrat, will sponsor a legislative amendment drafted by the San Diego District Attorney's Office that would require prisoners to tell prosecutors and victims when they apply to the governor for commutation of their sentence.
REGIONAL AGENCY ACCEPTS APPLICATIONS FOR $1.15 MILLION IN FEDERAL MONEY
January 15, 2011 (Ramona Sentinel)-- San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is soliciting applications for $1.15 million in federal grant money to combat obesity in the region by planning communities in ways that support physical activity and access to healthy foods.
The regional agency will issue the money through four pass-through grant programs to government agencies, tribal governments, community programs, and school districts. The grants are intended to promote public health through community planning, the creation of safe routes to school, and the development of active transportation programs to support biking and walking. At least 19 grants will be awarded in March 2011.
LEADER IN CARD-CHEATING RING PLEADS GUILTY
January 14, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune) — A woman who was one of the leaders of a casino card-cheating ring based in San Diego pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a racketeering conspiracy charge and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Van Thu Tran, 45, was the co-founder of what prosecutors dubbed the Tran Organization. She and her husband, Phuong Quoc Truong, known also as “Pai Gow John,” were dealers at the Sycuan Casino east of El Cajon. They established the organization in 2002 and began cheating casinos across the country.
PREACHER, PROP 8 BACKER HELPS WIFE WITH CANCER
January 14, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune) -- Megachurch preacher. Fox News fixture. Tall, silver-haired child of the Bible Belt.
Evangelical Christians regard Jim Garlow as a lion among their fold for his fiercely held, conservative views on social issues. To critics, he’s a finger-wagging intolerant.
The 63-year-old pastor of Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego helped lead the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that blocked gay marriage in California and is now the subject of high-profile litigation. He has emerged as the go-to guy among national media outlets looking for the traditional take on matrimony — that it can only be a union between one man and one woman.
For Garlow, though, public action and personal anguish are intertwined.
LA MESA ICON GORDON JONES ON THE MEND
January 14, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)— ordon Jones spends part of every day exercising his body and his brain as he battles back from a brush with death.
Between the daily exercise class he takes at Grossmont Gardens, a skilled nursing facility where he is recuperating, to doing The New York Times crossword puzzle that his wife, Carol, brings him every day, the well-known La Mesa volunteer remains focused on the future.
WALL OF HONOR HIGHLIGHTS LABOR OF LOVE EVENT
January 13, 2011 (The Alpine Sun) -- What started as a dream is becoming a reality. The Wall of Honor is ready to start construction and local residents can have a chance to be among the first to move ground in honor of veterans. A Labor of Love will start construction and give community members an opportunity to pitch in the effort to build a lasting memorial for area veterans.
CHINCOTEAGUE PONIES: FROM A CHILD’S DREAM TO AN ADULT’S REALITY
January 1, 2011 (Ramona Journal) -- As a typical horse-crazy girl — one lucky enough to actually own her own horses — Cynthia Shriver naturally read all the Marguerite Henry books. Henry, the author of such classics as “Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West,” “Justin Morgan Had a Horse,” and “Brighty of the Grand Canyon,” actually lived in Rancho Santa Fe before her death in 1997.
Henry was also the author of the beloved Misty series: “Misty of Chincoteague,” “Stormy, Misty’s Foal,” “Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague,” and other sequels. So when Henry visited the Julian library in the early 1970s and spoke to youngsters there, a small seed of desire for a Chincoteague pony was planted in Shriver.
GRANT FUNDS CUYAMACA REFORESTATION
January 1, 2011 (Julian Journal) - Jan 01, 2011
The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Reforestation Project is the recipient of a Bright Ideas grant that will result in the planting of more than one million seedlings in phases over the next ten years.
The project was selected by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
The reforestation project for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County is the first project to get certified for carbon sequestration credits on public lands, having been officially accepted by the Climate Action Reserve, the organization that verifies such efforts. With a $2.8 million legal settlement between the State of California and ConocoPhillips Company and corporate fundraising campaigns, the project will result in the planting of more than one million seedlings in phases over the next ten years, sequestering 500,000 tons of carbon or more over the next 100 years.