EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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May 22, 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

San Diego is disregarding fire risks to an astonishing degree (Voice of San Diego)

California can’t solve its housing shortages with homes that are essentially built to burn…. In San Diego, the Board of Supervisors has disregarded fire risk to an astonishing degree. Supervisors have recently approved or will soon consider the approval of eight large developments that would collectively build almost 14,000 homes in places naturally prone to fire. These developments, including Newland Sierra and the Otay Ranch Villages, would be located in or near areas where fires have historically burned. State agencies like Cal Fire have identified these areas as posing a very high fire threat to people.

Limited evacuation routes add urgency to S-67 widening (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Recent news reports identifying Ramona as one of the top three San Diego County communities with the worst emergency evacuation routes brings to light gaps in wildfire and natural disaster preparedness and attempts to fill the cracks.

Farmer’s Market future in jeopardy (La Mesa Courier)

La Mesa’s Friday farmers markets could soon be coming to an end. At its March 26 meeting, the La Mesa City Council voted to seek out offers for a farmers market held on a different day, in a different location or held differently to appease businesses that claim the market has cost them money since it moved to La Mesa Boulevard one year ago. The council gave the current market until the end of July to run as is, and unless the council grants another extension or agrees on a new market proposal, the city’s farmers market — the longest running in the region — will essentially be closed down until a new one emerges.

Report names eight San Diego County school districts where students of color achieve higher than predicted (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A study of California school districts released Wednesday night by the Learning Policy Institute — a well-known education think tank whose CEO heads the State Board of Education — identified 54 districts where students of color achieved higher than predicted on state test scores, after controlling for socioeconomic status.  (Two East County districts made the list: La Mesa-Spring Valley and Lemon Grove) 

Lemon Grove working to help residents with traffic concerns (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lemon Grove is rolling out a new tool to help residents share their concerns about traffic with city staff and the City Council.

 STATE

Trump threatens to cut millions from fire departments in California after deadly wildfires (Sacramento Bee)

Officials in California are crying foul over a Trump administration plan to slash firefighting assistance payments to the state, which could amount to millions of dollars in lost income for fire departments. The U.S. Forest Service, in turn, is accusing the local fire departments in the state of over-billing the federal government as part of a federal-state partnership, the California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA), that was inked in 2015 and expires in 2020. The disagreement between state and federal fire officials now threatens to upend negotiations to extend that agreement, which state Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Marshall said is essential to combat not just wildfires, but other natural disasters in California.

California’s school accountability laws have quietly become defunct (Voice of San Diego)

Laws allowing parents to leave low-performing schools or in some cases exert more control over them remain on the books, but changes to the state’s evaluation system have made them unusable.

5 Takeaways from Newsom’s proposed budget plan (Cal Matters)

Buoyed by California’s strong economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom sent state lawmakers a revised budget on Thursday that boosts his already-hefty January proposal to $213.6 billion…Public schools will reap most of the gains if the Democratic-controlled Legislature rolls with him. Newsom also upped his ante on the housing crisis with a proposed $1 billion more to combat homelessness. Still, Californians can expect some fiscal debate: Some Democrats want to go further on Medi-Cal spending, and others are leery of Newsom’s tax ideas…Newsom acknowledged the lessons of past budget exuberance, sounding for all the world like a certain frugal predecessor. Here are five key takeaways:

 


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