EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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February 14, 2019 (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

Wild winds and torrential rains close schools, trigger rock slides and delay air traffic (San Diego Union Tribune)

Pacific storm super-charged by moisture from the subtropics slammed San Diego County on Thursday, flooding streets, snapping trees, closing schools, causing rock slides and delaying commercial airline traffic. The “atmospheric river” streamed ashore from east of Hawaii and dropped more than 10 inches of rain on Palomar Mountain, more than 6 inches in Julian and close to 3.5 inches in Oceanside The system produced one of wettest winter days in decades, breaking daily rainfall records in seven communities, including Palomar. The mountain received 10.10 inches…

Costs for Pure Water Project Are Rising – by Billions (Voice of SD)

 Back in 2015, the city estimated construction costs for the Pure Water project, which could eventually provide the city a third of its drinking water, would be $3 billion. Now, the city is looking to spend no less than $4.8 billion and perhaps as much as $9 billion on the project, according to city financial documents.

Layout change for farmers market in La Mesa hits snag (SDUT)

To appease several brick-and-mortar businesses along La Mesa Boulevard and satisfy a request from the La Mesa City Council, vendors at the La Mesa Certified Farmers Market were supposed to re-position their booths so they faced the sidewalk rather than the street. But there’s been no about-face yet…

Trump administration waives environmental review to replace more San Diego border fencing (SDUT)

 Describing San Diego’s border with Mexico as “an area of high illegal entry,” the Trump administration announced this week it is waiving environmental reviews to speed up replacement of 12.4 miles of the secondary border fence.

Suspect reportedly opens fire into Hillcrest restaurant; 1 detained (KNSD)

Close to 20 shots were fired from the street into the Golden Dragon Asian Bistro in Hillcrest while employees and customers were inside, police confirmed. The San Diego Police Department said they found 19 shell casings outside of the restaurant at 414 University Avenue near Fourth Avenue. They also recovered an "assault-style" rifle.

Hate crimes: several swastikas found in La Jolla and Pacific Beach (CBS 8)

Anti-Semitic hate crimes in the La Jolla and Pacific Beach areas have prompted investigations by the Anti-Defamation League and San Diego Police. 

MTS Leaders Are Digging in on a 2020 Ballot Measure  (Voice of San Diego)

The measure, which could appear on the 2020 ballot, is becoming a priority for local leaders, as individual cities and the region as a whole have pledged to break San Diego’s reliance on cars, both to cut carbon emissions and to alleviate a housing shortage through dense, transit-focused development. But the measure would also remake MTS’s role in the region, putting it in charge of a major capital program that has in recent decades been the San Diego Association of Governments’ responsibility.

Environment Report: County Penalized for Sewage Spill Into Local River (Voice of SD)

San Diego County has agreed to pay nearly $700,000 for a pipeline rupture two years ago that dumped raw sewage into ... Los Coches Creek in February and March 2017. // States could voluntarily forgo Colorado River water to avoid a doomsday, officials are working to avoid affects of PG&E’s bankruptcy on the community choice energy movement and more in our biweekly roundup of environmental news.

San Diego Can’t Hit State Climate Goals Without Major Transportation Changes (Voice of SD)

The region simply can’t meet state requirements for thwarting climate change the way things are and the way they’re headed, Hasan Ikrhata, director of the San Diego Association of Governments, said at a Friday board meeting. Even if the region built the trolley lines and bus services leaders have been discussing, it would not change enough. Either state law would have to change, or regional leaders need to reimagine plans on the books now with something meaningfully different than the status quo.

Social Media, Texts Have Fueled Numerous Instances of Teacher Misconduct (SDUT)

Despite numerous misconduct cases in which employees had inappropriate contact with students via texts or social media, most school districts in San Diego County still don’t have policies addressing such behavior.

San Diego proposal to wipe out parking requirements takes key step forward (SDUT)

A proposal to help solve San Diego’s housing crisis by wiping out parking requirements for new condominium and apartment complexes in neighborhoods near mass transit took a key step forward on Wednesday. The City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee voted 3-1 in favor of the proposal, and forwarded it to the full nine-member council for final approval on March 4.

STATE

Gavin Newsom wants California to be its own nation-state in the Trump era (SF Chronicle)

Just five weeks into the job, Gov. Gavin Newsom has crystallized his vision of what California will look like in the Trump era: It won’t just be the hub of the resistance against the president; it will be its own nation-state.  But before Newsom can create a country-within-a-country, he had to defuse two multibillion-dollar grenades that his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, left in his in-box: high-speed rail and the delta tunnels project. In proposing Tuesday to scale back both of Brown’s unpopular legacy projects, Newsom hopes he can preserve enough political capital to get his own legacy projects on the fast track.

Getting Your Hands On California Campaign Finance Records Could Get Easier (Cal Public Radio)

Californians can already access campaign finance records online for state and federal candidates. But those same records aren’t as easy to find for candidates in city and county races. A bill proposed at the state Capitol this week would change that.

Senator Dodd proposes California wildfire warning center (Cal Matters)

After four consecutive years of catastrophic wildfires, Napa Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd wants to establish a California wildfire warning center that would allow officials to turn off power and better position firefighting crews during extreme heat and high winds.

State government lobbying rose again last year. Who spent the most? (The Sacramento Bee)

 California businesses, unions and local governments spent about $361 million lobbying California officials in 2018, the highest outlay since at least 2001.... The biggest spender was Pacific Gas & Electric, which spent $9.9 million on lobbying, followed by Western States Petroleum Association at ($7.9 million), Edison International and Affiliates ($4.2 million) and the California State Council of Service Employees ($4.1 million).

All too often, California’s default mental institutions are now jails and prisons (Cal Matters)

In the past five years, the number of people in California deemed incompetent to stand trial and referred by a judge to state hospitals for treatment has soared—but there are nowhere near enough psychiatric beds to accommodate them. This leaves people with mental illness stuck in county jails, often in solitary confinement, where they can wait in unconvicted limbo for months, or even years.

A ‘Water Tax’ Is Looking Increasingly Likely (Voice of SD)

The Legislature looks increasingly likely to impose a statewide tax to fund more water projects.