EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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January 20, 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

STATE

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

LOCAL

Planners find compromise among winery owners (Ramona Sentinel)

Compromise among local winery and vineyard owners was said to be a key outcome of a planning group subcommittee’s meetings regarding the county’s draft changes to the Tiered Winery Ordinance. The Ramona Community Planning Group set up the ad hoc winery subcommittee, chaired by Paul Stykel, after hearing pros and cons from winery owners and stakeholders at its Dec. 8…Although public review of the draft had closed Nov. 23, 2015, the county allowed the planning group additional time to respond.

Study: Borrego water woes dire ( San Diego Union-Tribune)

A study recently completed by the U.S. Geological Survey confirms what people in the tiny desert town of Borrego Springs have suspected for some time: Their only source of water, deep below the earth, is being depleted at a rate roughly four times faster than it is being replenished.

Job is homecoming for new Cuyamaca president (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Julianna Barnes never attended a community college as a student, but as the president of one, she relates to many who are enrolled at her school.  “Half of our students here are first-generation college students,” said Barnes, who took over as president of Cuyamaca College in El Cajon on Oct. 5. “I really connect and relate to that. It really makes me want to make sure we’re doing right by the students so they can achieve their dreams and better their lives.”

U.S. border/water panel seeks San Diego applicants (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission is seeking applicants for its San Diego Citizens Forum Board, a group that serves as a link to the local community. The commission, a binational agency established by the United States and Mexico, is known as the IBWC in the United States and CILA in Mexico.

Downhill from water flow, residents fear floods )San Diego Union-Tribune)

There’s a hole half-way up the hill behind Alan Baum’s house in San Carlos, and it’s growing larger with every splash of rain.Baum and his neighbors reported the threat as long ago as July. City officials took pictures and added it to their worklist, but no fixes have been made. Now the Whelan Drive residents are afraid they will see massive flooding like the homeowners along nearby Cabaret Street, where a failed storm drain last week twice sent millions of gallons of runoff through their homes and property.

State of the City - La Mesa (La Mesa Today)

La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis makes an annual state-of-the-city speech at the first meeting of each year …“Looking forward to 2016 we can expect a feasibility report on the completion of the Civic Center Master Plan and development of the old Police Station site. Council will take action on a senior housing development adjacent to Briercrest Park that will complete the Parks Master Plan. Work will begin on University Avenue improvements next year. The City hopes this to be a catalyst for improvement along this busy corridor.  Work on the North Spring Street underpass will also start in 2016.” 

Program Trains Community College Employees To Help Police Stop Active Shooters (KPBS)

A new program at the San Diego Community College District trains officers and college employees to fight back against campus shooters. http://feedpress.me/13288/2370625.gif

County gonorrhea spike outstrips national trend (U-T)

San Diego area’s increase in sexually transmitted diseases has been sharper, and more sustained, than the national average.  Local cases of gonorrhea have increased by nearly 70 percent since 2010, according to the report, while nationwide cases grew by 13 percent…. As a result, San Diego has gone from a rank of No. 34 in metropolitan areas for gonorrhea to No. 16.

STATE

Sempra utility understated benzene levels in leak (U-T)

The utility whose leaking natural gas well has driven thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes acknowledged that it understated the number of times airborne levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene have spiked during the crisis.

California Ranks No. 1 On Gains In Health Coverage For Hispanic Kids (KPBS)

In Obamacare's first year, a new report finds California extended coverage to more Hispanic kids than any other state.

California to investigate whether Exxon Mobil lied about climate-change risks (Los Angeles Times)

 California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. repeatedly lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change — and whether such actions could amount to securities fraud and violations of environmental laws.