EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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January 7, 2016 (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

Emergency rooms are reaching capacity more frequently and beds for new patients are unavailable.

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

 

LOCAL/REGIONAL

A look ahead at East County in 2016 (San Diego Union-Tribune)

East County will see some big changes in 2016. There’s going to be a new four-star hotel in El Cajon, new city managers in Santee and Lemon Grove, and the end of torn-up streets in the downtown area of La Mesa.

What’s in store for local schools in 2016 (San Diego Union-Tribune)

There are a number of improvements and special programs coming to South and East County school districts in 2016.

Water Conservation Down In San Diego County (KPBS)

Two-thirds of the water districts in the county missed their November conservation goals, but cumulative savings since June remain strong, state water officials said.

San Diego Apartment Rents Rise Faster Than State, National Averages (KPBS)

A new survey of California apartment rents finds the state outpaced the nation when it comes to rent hikes over the past year. / San Diego's rental price increases are slightly higher than state averages.

Wall encourages strangers to give (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A wall on Broadway encourages people who can to donate coats, and those cold to take one

U.S. tuna fleet to be shut out of vast area of Pacific over fee dispute (Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. tuna fishing fleet, which helps feed San Diego's storied tuna industry, is fighting for business survival thousands of miles from home.By New Year's Day, the entire fleet of 37 boats will effectively be cut out of a vast area of the Pacific Ocean — source of 60% of the nation's canned tuna — because of a high-stakes dispute over how much they will pay to fish there.

San Diego may explore legalized pot growing (San Diego Union-Tribune)

New state medical marijuana laws may prompt San Diego to regulate and expressly allow cultivation of the drug within city limits for the first time. A memo issued on Monday by Deputy City Attorney Shannon Thomas describes multiple ways the city could regulate growing marijuana, including creation of new zoning regulations specific to the drug or simply allowing cultivation in all areas now zoned for agriculture.

Ramona author Joyce Strand takes first and second spots on 2015 best seller list (Ramona Sentinel)

“Go Set a Watchman,” “All the Light We Cannot See,” “The Nightingale” and other nationally acclaimed books are all top sellers, according to the the Independent Booksellers Association's Best Sellers List of 2015.

Supervisors approve Fire Authority lease of Palomar Mountain volunteer fire department station (Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News)

Palomar Mountain contains beautiful forest scenery and is served by both the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Dept. and the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who are also the board of the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority, voted 5-0 Dec. 15 to approve a lease between the SDCRFA and the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department for SDCRFA use of the Palomar Mountain fire station.

Lilac Hills vote delayed indefinitely (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A California Supreme Court ruling requiring developers to do more to show their huge housing projects won’t significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions is likely to delay several big projects throughout the state, including the controversial Lilac Hills Ranch community proposed near Valley Center.

State Watchdog Tells Horn — Again — Not to Vote on Lilac Hills Ranch Project  (Voice of SD)

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has advised once again that County Supervisor Bill Horn must recuse himself from an upcoming vote on the Lilac Hills Ranch project in Valley Center.

Downtown: $6.4B development juggernaut (San Diego Union-Tribune)

If you’ve noticed a few more construction cranes on the downtown skyline, your eyes don’t deceive. San Diego’s Centre City has more than $6.4 billion in 63 projects under construction, approved or under review — an amount equal to more than 40 percent of the 1,600-acre community’s entire $15.5 billion in assessed valuation, according to Civic San Diego….

Bright and dim views of San Diego job market  (SD Reader)

Lousy employment growth, good socioeconomic environment

Border Biometrics Take Deeper Look At Otay Mesa Crossers  (KPBS)

San Diego border agents are now testing new biometric scanners on people walking across the border. Civil liberties advocates say they're also testing the limits of privacy.

STATE

New laws to have wide-ranging impact on life in California (San Francisco Chronicle)

More renewable power, equal pay for women, and restrictions on police searches of cell phones, computers and electronic data highlight a list of new California laws for the new year. Gov. Jerry Brown signed 808 bills in 2015…

The most important new California laws of 2016 (KQED)

It was a big year, legislatively, in Sacramento: With the budget wrapped up in June, lawmakers passed hundreds of laws dealing with everything from climate change to workers rights. Here’s KQED’s annual roundup of highlights.

20 California laws that go into effect in 2016 (San Francisco Chronicle)

You've heard all about the new California minimum wage law, but did you know that the state now has a bunch of new rules about hoverboards?

These new laws will try to help California’s vulnerable students (Los Angeles Times)

Among the many state bills that passed in 2015, and take effect Friday, are a number that focus on some of the state’s most vulnerable students —those who are homeless, in foster care, potential victims of sexual assault and those kept out of advanced classes which hurts their ability to go to college.

Forest Service renewing Nestle’s  water use in San Bernadino Mountains (Los Angeles Times)

Under pressure from environmental groups’ lawsuits, the U.S. Forest Service has begun a comprehensive environmental review of Switzerland-based bottled water giant Nestle’s Corp. continuing operations in a San Bernardino Mountain canyon.

California volcanoes showing major movement: precursor to larger activity coming? (Dutchsinse)

 A series of dormant volcanoes across California has started to show excessive earthquake activity.   Most of the volcanoes showing movement are along the Eastern California / Nevada border region, and most of the Volcanoes have been dormant for over 10,000 years.

Uninsured Californians To Face Rising Tax Penalties In 2016 (KPBS)

Unlike in 2015, health officials say they won't offer second chances for individuals and families who miss the Jan. 31 deadline to enroll in a health plan.

California prison reforms have reduced inmate numbers, not costs  (Reuters)

 In 2012, under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, California announced an ambitious criminal justice reform plan that promised not only to meet the court mandate but also to improve criminal sentencing and “save billions of dollars.”  ….California has reduced its prison population by some 30,000 inmates….Instead, costs have risen….  

California ERs in critical condition (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Emergency rooms are reaching capacity more frequently and beds for new patients are unavailable.