EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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December 1, 2015 (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

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LOCAL

Murdoch says L.A. Times to be sold: If true, Union-Tribune will also likely have new owner soon (Reader)

Publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch today (November 27) sent out a tweet saying that Tribune Publishing, now parent of the Los Angeles Times and Union-Tribune, will be sold to a Wall Street group. Then the Los Angeles Times will be sold to L.A. billionaire Eli Broad and a group of local investors.

New winery law: good vintage or sour grapes? (San Diego Union-Tribune)

By the time this issue is settled, everyone is going to want a drink.

At least a dozen sickened by batch of spice near Petco Park (KNSD)

 At least a dozen people were treated after smoking synthetic marijuana known as 'spice' in downtown San Diego, San Diego Police (SDPD) said… Synthetic marijuana or spice can cause hallucination, psychosis and agitation.Last week, medics received 13 calls related to spice. This week, they received 20. 

Police warn homeless about El Nino flooding (10 News)

The San Diego River is calm now, but the San Diego Police Department Homeless Outreach Team knows when it rains heavily -- especially for a few days -- the river will become out of control.

Floating Another Way to Pay for New Water (Voice of San Diego)

The new desalination plant in Carlsbad and its expensive water are driving up water prices across San Diego County. …  Richard Carson, an economist at UC San Diego, thinks it shouldn’t have to work that way. Instead of making everyone pay for desalinated water, water officials could have made only new customers pay for that new source of water. Since the desalinated water is helping cities justify new development by guaranteeing a water supply, why not make the new developments pay for the cost of new water?

Medical marijuana dominates discussion with lieutenant (Ramona Sentinel)

The sheriff’s Citizen Advisory Group had so much to say about medical marijuana dispensaries coming to Ramona that Lt. Rich Williams suggested a future meeting be held solely on that topic.

County deserves adjustments to state water restrictions (San Diego Union-Tribune editorial)

'Politics is the art of adjustments’ 

Breceda sculptures find new home: Dinosaurs and serpents come to Vista (San Diego Union-Tribune)

…Breceda is the Temecula-area artist best known for his many metal sculptures spread out all over Borrego Springs on property known as Galleta Meadows, owned by the late philanthropist Dennis Avery.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases On The Rise In San Diego County  (KPBS)

The number of cases of both gonorrhea and syphilis rose 15 percent in the county between 2013 and 2014. 2073354

STATE

Widespread cheating by instructors, cadets alleged at California’s fire training academy (Sacramento Bee)

Instructors tossed out questions with high ‘miss’ rates; former cadets say they shared ‘intel’ with test answers; allegations raise questions about training received by hundreds of firefighters

Native American Tribe Bets On Olive Oil (NPR)

Once impoverished, California's Yocha Dehe tribe found success with a casino complex. Now the tribe is using its newfound wealth to grow, bottle and sell premium olive oil.

Rogue agency enabled by governor (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A report this week in the San Francisco Chronicle paints a striking picture of an important state agency gone rogue with the indirect encouragement of Gov. Jerry Brown. The agency is the California Public Utilities Commission, which is enmeshed in two mega-scandals.

Feinstein turns to Obama to protect California’s desert (San Francisco Chronicle)

Standing in 97-degree heat before a rowdy crowd of nearly 1,000 people last month at the Whitewater Preserve north of Palm Springs, Sen. Dianne Feinstein made clear that she will do whatever is necessary to protect California desert.At that public meeting she called on Oct. 13, Feinstein recounted her horror six years ago when she learned that one of the last open stretches of historic Route 66 was about to be boxed in by miles of industrial-scale solar and wind farms.

The feds just got sued for allowing Nestle to bottle water in California’s drought country (Mother Jones)

A group of environmental organizations sued the US Forest Service on Tuesday, claiming that it allowed Nestlé to illegally divert millions of gallons of water from California's San Bernadino National Forest to use for Arrowhead brand bottled water while the state struggles through a historic drought…T he plaintiffs—the Center for Biological Diversity, the Story of Stuff Project, and the Courage Campaign Institute—are calling on the Forest Service to shut down use of the pipeline and conduct an environmental review immediately. They contend that the Forest Service is breaking its own policies by allowing the bottling operation to continue, as the siphoning of water from the already depleted water source is harming local habitats and wildlife.

Assemblywoman proposes double-time pay for retail employees working on Thanksgiving (10 News)

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said Wednesday she plans to make changes to her proposed legislation that would require paying retail employees double-time if they have to work on Thanksgiving…(Her original bill failed 34-29 in June.)  She said she would change the bill to involve only Thanksgiving and cover retailers with 500 or more employees.

E-mail hints at possible Brown complicity in corruption (Los Angeles Daily News)

There is no doubt Gov. Jerry Brown has tolerated corruption in his administration. But now there are hints that he might be personally involved in some of it.

Email Suggests Brown Took Edison's Side On San Onofre; Governor Denies It  (KPBS)

An email from a utility CEO suggests Gov. Jerry Brown was taking Southern California Edison's side while others sought a criminal probe of the utility. Brown's spokesman denies that happened.

California Farmer Works To Restore Groundwater By Purposely Flooding Crops (NPR)

California farmers are pumping groundwater faster than it can be replenished. One farmer is spending millions of dollars trying to restore it by deliberately flooding his crops when there is water to spare. It's caught the attention of other farmers, especially since new state laws could soon restrict groundwater use.