EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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March 4, 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

Hueso Bill Would All But Abolish California Citizens' Rights to Public Documents (Voice of San Diego)

Despite the strong language of California’s Public Records Act, enforcement is weak. Only if a requester has the time and resources to initiate a lawsuit can a government agency be compelled to comply with the law. And the only thing that makes this mechanism work, even if only partially, is that a prevailing requester is entitled to recoup their legal fees from the offending government agency. Under SB 615, however, fees would only be awarded in the impossible-to-meet-standard of a “knowing and willful” violation of the law.

 

Apple to add more jobs at new San Diego tech hub (10 News)

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and officials with tech giant Apple announced 1,200 new jobs are coming to the San Diego region, with some of those new workers in place by the end of 2019.

 

Hamel, subject of a federal firearms investigation, paid his spouse $100,000 for her share of family gun collection (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The affidavits filed by the FBI and firearms bureau agents to secure search warrants for properties owned by San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel and others have been sealed by a judge, along with any inventory of what was seized earlier this month during multiple raids across the region. But other court records in El Cajon show that Hamel and his former wife stored many firearms at their Jamul estate.

 

City manager files suit against opioid manufacturers  and their owners (Times of San Diego)

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott announced litigation Thursday against opioid manufacturers including Purdue Pharma for what she called their role in the country’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis. The federal lawsuit also names members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma. Elliott’s lawsuit is aimed at forcing the defendants to fund rehabilitation and drug-education programs in the city and recoup the funds the city has spent on medical treatment for opioid abuse and homelessness caused by opioid abuse.

 

FDA says La Mesa clinic illegally marketed an unapproved breast cancer detection device (ABC 10 News)

 FDA issues warning to La Mesa clinic over unapproved device for breast cancer screening

 

California honors seven San Diego County schools for performance (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Grossmont Union High was highlighted in a state education department press release. The department praised the school for having an improved school climate as measured by the California Healthy Kids Survey.

 

Tracking Officer Discipline Records in San Diego County  (NBC 7)

Below is how every law enforcement agency in San Diego County has responded to our requests… 

 

Once Scrappy Upstarts, Community Choice Agencies Could Become the New Power Monopoly (Voice of San Diego)

 Community choice energy agencies, sometimes pitched as an alternative to local power monopolies, could soon become the only games in town as companies like PG&E and SDG&E look to exit the power-buying business.

 

City Takes Big Step Towards Energy Independence, Possible Lower Rates (NBC 7)

San Diego’s City Council agreed Monday to move forward with a bold but controversial plan for energy independence.

 

East County stabbing spree: trial begins for accused (Patch.com)

 Jury selection is scheduled to get underway Tuesday at the trial of a man charged with a pair of stabbing attacks that seriously wounded two women in El Cajon and unincorporated La Mesa.  Patrick Douglas, 52, faces 97 years to life if convicted of the attempted murders of the victims, who were targeted for unknown reasons in the early morning hours of Nov 7, 2017. 

 

El Cajon home where man was beaten to death with pan set on fire (10 News)

One person was taken to the hospital after an El Cajon home where a man was beaten to death with a pan in late 2018 was set on fire Thursday night.

 

Lawsuit alleges county failed to protect children from dangerous foster sibling (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

 Three boys claim in an ongoing lawsuit against the County of San Diego that they were sexually assaulted by a foster child, a teenager who the county had placed in their home then steadfastly refused to remove despite his threatening behavior and their mother’s repeated pleas for help.

 

Public Records Bill Is Bad for the Public But Great for Public Officials With Something to Hide (Voice of San Diego)

 A state bill being pushed by Sen. Ben Hueso and City Attorney Mara Elliott would incentivize government agencies to recklessly deny public records without any consequence, and will halt all but the wealthiest from pursuing public records.

 

STATE

PG&E “unsafe” actions, “dismal” prevention, caused wildfires, but judge decides PG&E’s main focus will primarily be tree-trimming (San Jose Mercury News)

 PG&E’s “unsafe conduct” caused a gas explosion in San Bruno and several fatal Northern California wildfires, but a federal judge will allow PG&E to primarily focus on tree-trimming rather than be forced to launch a complete inspection of its power grid.

 

Wildfire in California no longer stifled by wet winters, scientific report finds 

(San Diego Union-Tribune)

For centuries, a wet winter in California would significantly have tamped down the chances that a large wildfire would break out the following summer and fall. However, heavy rain and snowfall no longer protects the state from massive conflagrations in the same way, according to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Californians Lose Millions of Dollars in Recycling Deposits (NBC LA)

California consumers lost out on at least $308 million in nickel deposits on cans and bottles in 2018, largely because it's increasingly difficult to find a place to recycle them, according to a new report.

 

PG&E delayed key power line safety overhaul, filings show; shares slip (Reuters)

Shares of PG&E Corp fell about 3 percent after federal filings showed that the power utility had delayed a safety overhaul of a high-voltage transmission line, a prime suspect behind the deadliest wildfire in California history. 

 

 PG&E admits equipment “probably” caused CA’s deadliest wildfire (SacBee)

PG&E acknowledged Thursday that its power equipment is likely to blame for the Camp Fire and said its wildfire liabilities raise “substantial doubt” about the company’s future.

 

California residents flee to Las Vegas suburb to avoid high taxes (Fox News)

Residents of high tax states are fleeing to low tax areas like Henderson, Nevada. Henderson, Nevada recently saw a population surge of 20 percent as people flocked to the Las Vegas suburb in the past decade. The town has grown to a population of over 300,000, claiming the title of second most populous city in Nevada and pushing past Reno…. 56 percent of the new residents made the move from the high tax state of California.

 

California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can't have it (The Mercury News)

Their crimes ranged from shoplifting to embezzlement to murder. Some of them molested kids and downloaded child pornography. Others beat their wives, girlfriends or children. The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them.

 

California’s failed tech projects come in late and over budget. Can Gavin Newsom fix them? (Sacramento Bee)

A $100 million government computer program doubled the time it takes to license California nurses.  A $290 million tax software upgrade unveiled last summer made it more difficult to file taxes online, prompting a major accounting firm to file by paper instead. And, a $900 million accounting system the state has been working on for 14 years is now causing delays that threaten to impact the state’s credit rating./ Those are just a few examples of what has gone wrong when California state government has tried to improve its technology. 

 

Thousands told to evacuate in California (ABC News)

 A dramatic lightning show illuminated the West Coast as deafening thunderstorms threaten the state.

Comments

Opioids

The doctors prescribing these drugs as if they are not addictive should be put on trial and severely punished. There are alternatives for pain relief, albeit not quite as effective, yet non-addictive. It's proven that NSAIDs do nearly as well for long term pain relief therapy. Opioids effectiveness becomes less with time, and in the long term are not much better than Ibuprofen, or Tylenol. Worse yet, the addictive properties of Opioids can be devastating on most people who take them.