EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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July 12, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

Click 'read more' and scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.


LOCAL/REGIONAL

 

Filner Asked To Resign Over Sexual-Harassment Claims (KPBS)

At least three staunch supporters of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner are asking him to resign over allegations of sexual harassment, KPBS has learned.Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, who was a member of Filner’s staff until she resigned in April, and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs, each hand-delivered letters to Filner requesting his immediate resignation.

The Long History of Complaints Over Filner’s Behavior (Voice of SD)

Just two weeks ago, in the wake of the resignation of two top aides, Mayor Bob Filner said he’d reflect on how he was treating his staff. Clearly, anybody who’s intelligent would have to undergo some self-examination,” Filner said. This week, many of Filner’s top progressive allies said that his behavior, particularly toward women, has become irredeemable.

Environmental Lawyer Sues City, Sunroad Over Development Deal (Voice of San Diego)

On the same day progressive advocate and environmental attorney Cory Briggs released a public letter asking Mayor Bob Filner to resign, he also filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego and developer Sunroad Enterprises over a controversial project approval that has dogged the mayor’s office.

Big electricity users get walloped on bills (U-T San Diego)

SDG&E recently was granted a 7.6 percent revenue increase. The change is retroactive to the start of 2012, so many bills will rise even more to catch up.  Most customers won't see much of a change. Those who use significantly more than the average household -- one-quarter of customers in San Diego and southern Orange counties -- can prepare to pay a lot more, by SDG&E's estimate.

Madrid, Ewing face off in public spat (La Mesa Today)

A subtle, simmering feud between La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid and City Councilman Ernie Ewin became very public -- and a little bit ugly -- Tuesday. In a prepared presentation at the start of a regular council meeting, Ewin revealed that Madrid had been filing Freedom of Information requests, collecting information about payments Ewin receives for attending meetings of intergovernmental groups for which Ewin is La Mesa's representative.

Ritual flames honor Kumeyaay matriarch (U-T San Diego)

Near the fire, a line of men, boys, and female birdsong dancers from different reservations of the Kumeyaay people sang about safe travels to a better world, and the ocean, mountains and desert during the burning ceremony for Ida Brown, the eldest elder of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who passed away June 11 at the age of 90. During the ceremony, her personal possessions were burned, sending them on their way to the next life.

Filner’s behavior likely to have costly consequences (U-T San Diego)

When City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Monday he would no longer allow his staff to participate in closed-session meetings with Mayor Bob Filner because of Filner’s abusive behavior, some depicted it as Goldsmith escalating his feud with the mayor.

A broader view of Filner’s ‘shakedown’ of Sunroad - An honest examination also includes the developer and the City Council (SD CityBeat)

Let’s look at the biggest brouhaha—Filner’s supposed shakedown of a local developer for $100,000 to fund two of the mayor’s favorite community projects.

San Diego judge puts unprecedented gag on sidewalk chalk protester (Truth-Out)

As reported in a Thursday evening, June 27, BuzzFlash at Truthout update to the chilling San Diego (SD) city attorney prosecution of Jeff Olson, an SD Judge placed an unprecedented gag order on a misdemeanor trial -- in particular muzzling Olson. But it also apparently included witnesses, the jury and others. Judge Howard Shore also chastised the Mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner. Filner apparently in the judge's eyes had the temerity to call the trial of Olson a waste of time and taxpayer money.

La Mesa facing serious budget challenges (U-T San Diego)

Like many cities across California, La Mesa has had its share of financial struggles in the last few years, and the city of nearly 58,000 is anticipating future budget challenges due to the state’s axing of redevelopment agencies this year.

Expenses Still Outweigh Revenues for City of La Mesa (Patch.com)

The city of La Mesa will spend $400,000 more than it takes in for the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to a rough draft of a budget that was approved 3-1 at the city council meeting last week, with Art Madrid opposed.



$32 million district budget calls for 3% hike for water, 4.5% for sewer  (Ramona Sentinel) 

Praising the drafted $32 million budget because it funds operations and projects with less impact on customers than anticipated, Ramona Municipal Water District directors adopted the 2013-14 fiscal year document that includes rate increases of 3 percent for water and 4.5 percent for sewer…

Departed Mayoral Aide Stands by Sunroad Deal, Says Mayor Guided It  (Voice of SD)

 Mayor Bob Filner’s recently departed deputy chief of staff, Allen Jones, said Friday the mayor knew full well about a negotiation with a developer that many are calling extortion — and that he stands by it.  Jones’ comments came hours after Filner announced he had returned a $100,000 donation to the city from the developer Sunroad.

Developer: 'We have paid him the money' (U-T San Diego)

A voice message left at a city office appears to suggest a direct link between a $100,000 payment to the city and approval of changes to a Kearny Mesa project

Lawyer trapped, forgotten inside San Diego-area jail (NBC)

A North County lawyer is furious after being trapped and forgotten inside a local jail for hours. Attorney Erubey Lopez spoke to NBC 7 about the ordeal for the first time Friday. Lopez said it all began when he was trying to visit a client in jail on Tuesday. He went into a visiting room -- not knowing he would be trapped in there for hours.

Sidewalk chalk activist lands in court (U-T San Diego)

The San Diego City Attorney’s office began making its case Wednesday against an activist who repeatedly scrawled anti-bank slogans on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches using water-soluble children’s chalk.

The Other Developer Donation (Voice of San Diego)

In a case with strong echoes of the controversial Sunroad deal that has ensnared Mayor Bob Filner’s office, another contested development held up by the city was allowed to move forward after the developers agreed to pay $150,000 for neighborhood improvements.

UCLA scientists predict Southland will experience a 40 percent drop in snowfall in 30 years  ( SGVTribune.com )

“Rising temperatures from trapped greenhouse gases will prevent the formation of snow in the mountains. Instead of snow, there will be rain — lots of it — that could cause flooding, mudslides and push mountain reservoirs to their limits…

Shuttered nuke plant still charging customers (U-T San Diego)

State regulators are being asked to significantly reduce charges related to San Onofre from customers' utility bills now that the nuclear plant is being closed permanently

La Mesa City Council (La Mesa Today)

New General Plan Grants Lemon Aid 

El Cajon won't put sewer charges on tax bill (UT San Diego)

An outcry from citizens stopped the council from changing the way sewer fees are charged.

Prominent attorney asks Mayor Bob Filner to resign (SD City Beat)

 In a letter faxed to Mayor Bob Filner's office yesterday, Cory Briggs, a prominent progressive attorney, asks the mayor to resign.  "I have spent the better part of my career standing up for the principles of open, accountable, responsible government," Briggs writes. "It is clear to me that your office has violated those principles and that it would be impossible for you to successfully continue in the office without long-term damage to those principles and to the community's efforts to see them fully implemented at City Hall."  

STATE

California agrees to move inmates at risk of Valley Fever (Reuters)

 Thousands of California prison inmates at risk of contracting Valley Fever, a sometimes deadly fungal disease, will be transferred out of areas of the state where the spores that cause the illness are prevalent, officials said on Tuesday.

PUC drops PG&E penalty proposal (Sacramento Bee)

State regulators have dropped a proposal that would have limited Pacific Gas & Electric's penalty for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion to the money it was already spending to upgrade its gas system.

$839M inmate medical complex dedicated in Calif. (U-T San Diego)

California prison officials dedicated an $839 million inmate medical complex Tuesday even as they face a new round of court-imposed mandates that are complicating efforts to run one of the nation's largest penal systems.

Democrats press prevailing wage (U-T San Diego)

The Assembly Local Government Committee Wednesday approved legislation that would effectively force charter cities to require higher prevailing wages for all public works project contracts regardless of where the money comes from.

Sperm donor or dad? California lawmakers consider the question (Sacramento Bee)

Until recently, the custody battle over 3-year-old Gus was playing out only in a Los Angeles courtroom and on the pages of celebrity gossip magazines. Now the fight has moved to the state Capitol, where "Lost Boys" actor Jason Patric is trying to change state law to allow sperm donors, in certain situations, to become legal parents and share custody of the children that result from their seed.

Meth floods US border crossing (Sacramento Bee)

 The smuggling of the drug at land border crossings has jumped in recent years but especially at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry, which accounted for more than 40 percent of seizures in fiscal year 2012. That's more than three times the second-highest - five miles east - and more than five times the third-highest, in Nogales, Ariz..... / Customs and Border Protection officers seized 5,566 pounds of methamphetamine at San Ysidro in the 2012 fiscal year, more than double two years earlier.... 

"Gas Tax Swap" Sends Calif. Gas Prices Up 3.5 Cents (KPBS)

Californians will pay higher gas prices at the pump Monday thanks to a complex part of a state budget deal three years ago.

Personal data of 2.5M people compromised in Calif. (Sacramento Bee)

Data breaches put the personal information of 2.5 million people in the California at risk, according to a report released Monday.