EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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March 30,  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

In San Diego, Syrian refugee family finds safe haven (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Awareks fled Syria at the beginning of the country's civil war. Now the family is adjusting to life in El Cajon.

U.S. Border officials accused of denying food to asylum seekers (KPBS)

The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego sent a complaint letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection stating that the agency has been denying food to asylum seekers awaiting processing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Mitra Ebadolahi, border litigation attorney for the ACLU of San Diego, said this violates the U.S. Constitution as well as the agency's own policies.

Janitors carry the cross and have feet washed (Reporting San Diego)

Holy Thursday is the beginning of the most significant week in the Christian religious calendar. In San Diego, Janitors who are part of the Service Employee International Union, carried the cross though all stations, down 7th avenue, on the way to Civic Center Plaza. Different workers carried the cross, a heavy cross. It signified the very real cross many of them carry on every day. …. People took their places and feet were washed. It was a symbolic moment of unity, when a United States Congressman washed the feet of a worker, and a rabbi washed the feet of a worker. Social classes, and religious traditions vanished if for an instant.

Elderly man robbed at his Rancho San Diego home (10 News)

A 91-year-old Rancho San Diego man says he was robbed by two men he thought he could trust. Joe said two men knocked on his door and wanted to talk to him about cars, specifically the classic cars in his front yard.

Sheriff investigates Ag Boosters missing funds (Ramona Sentinel)

The Cyber and Financial Crimes Unit of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the disappearance of nearly $40,000 from the Ramona Ag Boosters Club, said a sheriff’s lieutenant.

UCSD caught in debate over fetal tissue research (San Diego Union-Tribune)

UC San Diego and one of its renowned neuroscientists have become embroiled in a national debate over the legality and ethics of using human fetal tissue to study various diseases. The controversy escalated Thursday when a special House committee confirmed that it is planning to issue 17 subpoenas to labs, medical supply companies and others to obtain the names of scientists, graduate students and technicians who work with such tissue.

HIV trial set for next year (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A trial of a new HIV vaccine is expected to begin late next year. It's based in part on a study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

Many Latino, African-American Students Opting Out Of AP Classes (KPBS)

A survey by the San Diego Unified School district shows many students who are qualified for the college-level courses didn't know much about them or were afraid they'd fail.http://feedpress.me/13288/2919553.gif

Records show dead frogs, moldy classrooms (San Diego Union-Tribune)

U-T sought government emails as part of Sunshine Week…The governments were asked to search official employee email accounts for 19 phrases that might indicate trouble was afoot, such as “uncomfortable,” “perception problem” and “OMG.”

Transit Funding Emerges As Key Issue For SANDAG Tax Increase (KPBS)

As the SANDAG board inches closer to putting a tax increase on the November ballot, there's a tug-of-war between those who favor public transit and those who favor roads and highways.

Water bill jump hard to swallow in Rainbow (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Bill Risconsin and about 400 other customers of the Rainbow Municipal Water District were shocked recently when their water bills arrived showing an increase as high as 500 percent.

STATE

Despite the Porter Ranch disaster, the top executive at SoCalGas is getting an enormous bonus (Los Angeles Times)  

Given that the Porter Ranch gas leak ranks as the worst such leak in U.S. history, with the potential to measurably damage the climate, and forcing thousands of families out of their homes, you'll be glad to know that Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of the gas company's parent firm, Sempra Energy, has been docked part of her pay because of the episode. But you may be appalled to hear that her penalty comes to all of $130,000, and that she's still getting a $3.17-million bonus.

Audit: University of California undermines resident students (KPBS)

The University of California has undermined residents by admitting a growing number of nonresident students, some of whom were less qualified than in-state students, California's auditor said in a scathing report released Tuesday.

Kamala Harris the `female Obama’ plots her course on the road to Washington (Guardian)

The attorney general is the odds-on favourite to become the next senator from California – and perhaps the nation’s next progressive star in the making

Solar arrays in the desert: killing more birds than you imagine (Memories of the People)

In the past three years there has been a stunning and seemingly reckless increase in solar farms in California.  Before 2013, solar farms covered four square miles of land.  They now cover nearly 60 square miles and more are planned… The solar farms, probably each solar farm, are killing thousands of birds annually. Ivanpah—a comprehensive report, HT Harvey (2015), estimated annual mortality at 2,496 to 5,705 birds, almost all songbirds.

 FPPC opens limited probe of Brown aide  (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The California Fair Political Practices Commission said Thursday it has opened an investigation into paperwork errors by Gov. Jerry Brown's chief of staff, former utility executive Nancy McFadden, but dismissed more serious allegations that she violated conflict-of-interest rules.

Dianne Feinstein to Obama: Turn on the Taps! (Breitbart News)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) penned an open letter to President Obama on Thursday urging an increase in water pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to thirsty farms and communities in Southern California.

Everything We Thought We Knew About the Two-Thirds Voter Requirement Could Change if New Ruling Holds (Voice of San Diego)

… the long-held assumption that you need to get approval from two-thirds of voters to increase special taxes is wrong — at least if you put the increase on the ballot through a citizens’ initiative.

As Chinese Investors Sweep Into Bordeaux Region, French Winemakers Are Buying Up California Vineyards (The Daily Meal)

California wines, demand for which continues to rise, are compelling French vintners to buy up West Coast vineyards.


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