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July 11, 2018 (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.


Reporter accuses El Cajon councilman of attempted assault involving 'attack dog’ (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A reporter in East County has filed a police report accusing El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho of attempted assault. The reporter, Paul Kruze, writes for the East County Magazine website. He has covered allegations of fraud against Kalasho stemming from a lawsuit over Kalasho’s Miss Middle East beauty pageant. He also wrote about a citizen who stood at a council podium calling on Kalasho to resign and about a Kalasho complaint to the state after other council members voted to rein in his cellphone use during meetings. According to Kruze’s written statement to police, Kalasho threatened him with a dog named Zoltan in the Office Depot parking lot on June 23.

La Jolla millionaire offers to reunite migrant families (10 News)

Marc Paskin was inspired by a recent New York Times article documenting the high costs sponsors must pay to transport children. He's committing $500,000 to help children reunite with parents or family members.

PUC judge gives approval to proposed San Onofre settlement  San Diego Union-Tribune)

Five months after owners of the failed San Onofre nuclear plant agreed to slice hundreds of millions of dollars from the cost to ratepayers of the 2012 breakdown, a California Public Utilities Commission judge has endorsed the proposed settlement. If the full commission also approves the decision, customers of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric will save $775 million from their share of the $4.7 billion in closure costs.

Newland Sierra housing project wins county Planning Commission approval (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A housing project that would bring 2,135 residences to the Twin Oaks Valley area north of Escondido was recommended for approval Thursday by the county’s Planning Commission following an all-day hearing.

Coronado's 'bait bike' has helped reduce bicycle theft by half (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Since launching the “bait bike” program in July 2014, the bicycle has been stolen 60 times, resulting in 83 arrests and a 50 percent reduction in bike theft.… 

Vietnamese refugees who got a warm welcome from America puzzle at family separations, harsh rhetoric (Los Angeles Times)

As a refugee, Lynn Le landed at Camp Pendleton among thousands of mothers and fathers clutching their children, desperately searching for a sign that at last they would be safe in America, far from Communist persecution at the end of the Vietnam War… Camp Pendleton became a refugee camp for thousands of Vietnamese families who made it to America. The camp is considered one of the starting points of Vietnamese American life, a place where successful communities across the nation got their start. Refugees still look back with appreciation to the welcome mat the American government offered.

Edison, SDG&E, lies, and double dealing  (The Reader – Don Bauder)

In the summer of 1987…California Edison, the utility covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, assigned an executive, Vikram Budhraja, to study possible savings that might come from a merger of Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. His conclusion: there would be no significant savings for Edison from a takeover of San Diego Gas & Electric. The following year, San Diego Gas & Electric was attempting a merger with Tucson Electric Power. Edison believed that such a combination would threaten its huge market share in Southern California. So, Edison prepared to make a hostile bid for San Diego Gas & Electric — and to hide the Budhraja findings.


Judge largely rules for California in ‘sanctuary state’ fight (Reuters)

California’s “sanctuary state” laws largely survived a legal attack by the Trump administration on Thursday after a federal judge declined to block state measures aimed at thwarting cooperation with Washington’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Wind Spreads California Fire as Other States Battle Blazes (KPBS)

A massive wildfire in rural Northern California has exploded in size and forced evacuations in hot, dry weather that is sweeping through several Western states where blazes are threatening thousands of homes. The fast-moving fire that started over the weekend northwest of Sacramento grew dramatically to about 70 square miles (180 square kilometers) by Monday, largely burning out of control in rugged terrain with a few cattle and horse ranches and sending smoke and ash as far south as San Francisco.

California power grid expansion bill again moves forward (San Diego Union-Tribune)

State legislation that would replace the main California power grid operator with a regional multi-state entity moved forward Tuesday, making it more likely that state officials could give up their authority over the network of transmission lines…The idea of converting to a multi-state power grid dates back to the 1990s energy deregulation law. But the concept was scrapped after the effort led to massive increased electricity costs, first in San Diego and then across the state.

California senators reach agreement on net neutrality bill (Voice of America)

Key California lawmakers said Thursday they've reached an agreement on legislation to enshrine net neutrality provisions in state law after the Federal Communications Commission dumped rules requiring an equal playing field on the internet.

The Airbnb of Camping Presents Many of the Same Issues for Regulators (Voice of San Diego)

Californians have found a new way to camp – and like short-term vacation rentals and ride-sharing companies, it’s presenting a new challenge to government regulators. Hipcamp launched in 2013…It’s the Air B&B of camping…About 20 landowners in San Diego County are using the site, offering everything from high-end outdoor “glamping” (glamorous camping) sites with amenities like outdoor beds, bathrooms and pools to basic tent camping.


Feinstein Decides Not to Seek California Democratic Party Endorsement (Rollcalls)

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has decided not to seek her state party’s endorsement, calling for party unity ahead of the November election.  Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de Léon, a fellow Democrat, advanced to the general election after finishing first and second respectively in the state’s top-two primary last month.

Fast-tracking of illegal border crossing cases coming to California soon (Los Angeles Times)

 On a recent Friday, a group of visitors from San Diego that included attorneys and a federal judge sat in a Tucson courtroom and watched as illegal border entry cases were adjudicated from start to finish in a matter of hours.

Marijuana Cultivation Could Drive This Furry Creature to Extinction (Newsweek)

Northern California, where the Humboldt martens live, has become popular for both legal and illegal marijuana cultivation.