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July 18, 2017 (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:



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


Carmageddon at the border? A 57-hour closure planned for southbound car lanes to San Ysidro (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Attention border crossers: For 57 hours in September, all cars will be barred from entering Tijuana through San Ysidro.Lasting from Sept. 23 at 3 a.m. until noon on Sept. 25, the closure is part of a plan by the U.S. General Services Administration to realign a portion of Interstate 5. The operation launches the third and final phase of the $741 million expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

For Women, Hillcrest Isn’t the Only Gayborhood (Voice of San Diego)

When the census data is mapped, you can see a divide that may surprise those who assume Hillcrest is the local gay mecca: Lesbian couples are much more widely distributed around the county than their gay male counterparts…Census data suggests that if you live in the little East County town of Alpine, you’re just as likely to have an unmarried lesbian couple living next door as in Hillcrest. And Alpine has plenty of company on the list of unexpected local communities where lesbians seem to be more common than in the county as a whole.

Population in local immigration jails swells; more judges assigned to handle cases (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Almost six months into the Trump administration’s stepped-up enforcement against illegal immigration, the two local immigration jails are holding more people in detention and the number of judges assigned to hear their cases has more than doubled.

New hearing set for liquor license at Hollywood Jamul casino (San Diego Union-Tribune)

An ongoing hearing about a permanent liquor license for the Hollywood Casino in Jamul will resume in September.

Yes, SANDAG and other agencies are allowed to lie on the ballot (Voice of San Diego)

The San Diego Association of Governments has twice misled voters about how much money the agency could raise through tax increases, which raises a simple question: Is it legal? Pretty much.

Former El Cajon Police station site to house Hampton Hotel, In-N-Out Burger (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The former site of an El Cajon police station will be redeveloped to include a Hampton by Hilton hotel, a new location of In-N-Out Burger and other adjacent retail, following the city council’s recent approval of the project at 100 Fletcher Pkwy.

New Study Finds Use Of Community Choice Energy Feasible (KPBS)

Switching to an alternative energy program called community choice will help the city of San Diego use more renewable sources of energy and could lower electricity costs, according to a study published this week.

Blind Syrian Refugee, With Family, Finds Safety in San Diego (NBC7)

California is leading the United States in new refugee arrivals, with many families settling in San Diego

San Diego roads need more attention and oversight, audit finds (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The City Auditor’s Office said that too often city engineers do not exercise proper quality-control over private contractors who perform road repairs.


California lawmakers extend cap-and-trade extension (Los Angeles Times)

In a big victory for Gov. Jerry Brown, state lawmakers approved a 10-year extension for California's cap-and-trade program.The vote came with bipartisan support, a significant shift from previous years where climate policies squeaked by along party lines or with only a handful of Republicans in favor. 

How did your lawmaker vote on California’s climate change program? (Los Angeles Times)

California legislators approved an extension of the state's signature climate change program known as cap and trade. The measure passed 55 to 21 in the Assembly and 28 to 12 in the Senate.  It was a rare bipartisan vote, with seven Republicans joining all but three Democrats in the Assembly. In the Senate, just one Republican, Tom Berryhill of Modesto, voted for the proposal. (Note: among East County legislators, Assemblyman Randy Voepel and State Senator Joel Anderson voted no, while Assemblyman Ben Hueso and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber voted yes.)

Energy costs making California unaffordable for too many (Riverside Press-Enterprise)

[CA] citizens suffer energy costs that are two times higher than the U.S. national average…. Here is how dire the situation is becoming: 

Author shelves California teacher tenure bill: surprise alternative emerges (School Info System)

Thurmond’s Assembly Bill 1164 adopts the position of the California Teachers Association, which is expected to support his candidacy, and appeared last week as an alternative to a bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego. Her bill would extend the standard two-year probation to a third year for those teachers “on the bubble,” showing potential but needing further help and supervision. Thurmond’s bill also would permit a third probationary year, but contains conditions and restrictions, advocated by the teachers’ unions but criticized by school districts, that aren’t in Weber’s bill.

Here’s the most detailed visual of the California budget we know of—come get lost in it  (Cal Matters)

A mutant octopus? A psychedelic Rorschach test? The world’s most elaborate Chinese finger trap? No, this CALmatters creation is the California state budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. Follow its fiscal tributaries from tax revenues on the left to spending on the right, and you’ll see where the state’s priorities lie—all 183 billion of them.

California Still Facing Pension Crisis Even With Good Stock Market Returns (Reason)

It could take decades to make up not only for past years of poor stock-market performance, but for the massive and relentless retroactive pension increases that state and municipal governments have been granting their workers since 1999.

Market transformation will end dominance of electrical utilities, regulators predict (San Diego Union-Tribune)

California is poised for a swift transformation of its electricity landscape — and that could bring tumult if preparations aren’t made soon to maintain quality and avoid reliability problems like rolling blackouts, the state’s leading energy regulator is warning.