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February 19, 2020 (San Diego) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include:  



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


Two ballot measures will decide future of rural county lands (San Diego Union-Tribune)

It was supposed to be the exception, not the rule, when the county Board of Supervisors finally updated the General Plan, its blueprint for growth for more than 500,000 acres in the region’s unincorporated areas. Instead, a provision that permits projects that don’t conform to the document has become a gateway for developers seeking to build thousands of homes in areas not zoned for such development. It is called the General Plan Amendment and it is at the heart of two land-use proposals on the March 3 ballot: Measures A and B.

Nearly every San Diego County school district may be spending more than it can afford (San Diego Union-Tribune)

All but one of the 42 school districts in San Diego County are expecting to spend more than they take in, either this year or in the next two school years. Most are projecting to do so for all three years.

ICE subpoenas San Diego Sheriff's Department for migrant arrest data (10 News)

ICE served four subpoenas to the San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO) Friday for information protected by sanctuary state policies regarding migrants arrested in San Diego.

A run-down shopping center in Spring Valley’s new housing project (KUSI)

County supervisors voted to replace a run-down shopping center in Spring Valley earlier this week. The shopping center at the corner of Sweetwater Springs boulevard and Austin Drive will be replaced by a housing development project called Aventina Sweetwater Springs.

HUD Secretary Carson cites San Diego as good example of cutting regulations, helping homeless in local visit (San Diego Union-Tribune)

 During a visit to San Diego on Wednesday morning, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the city’s efforts to cut some construction regulations could be a reason why homelessness has declined in the area while it has increased in other major West Coast cities.

Tribal regulators seize nearly 60 pounds of black market cannabis at Santa Ysabel (San Diego Union-Tribune)

…Vilapando said the reason the tribe decided to alert the public to what happened was to show the tribe has acted responsibly and done nothing wrong…. Vilapando said the tribe’s strict regulations and constant electronic surveillance of the operation led to the discovery of the black market pot. “That’s our commitment,” he said. “We’re not going to allow any gray market, black market suspect cannabis to hit the stream of commerce. Not from Santa Ysabel.”

CDC mistakenly removes San Diego’s first positive coronavirus case from hospital  (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Infected patient was cleared by CDC, then returned to UC San Diego Health

Young burrowing owls get a shot at survival in San Diego (San Diego Union-Tribune)

At a field in Jamul, a little owl stood sentry beside a pile of rocks, surveying the landscape with luminous, yellow eyes. … in the larger picture, it was standing its ground against threats of habitat loss and population decline. The animal is part of a program to return the small, long-legged owls to grasslands where they used to live. The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, working with natural resource agencies, has bred the owls in captivity and is slowly establishing new colonies to secure their survival. Last month, researchers released eight young owls to Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve …

Vargas Running For Re-Election To Congressional Seat Against Familiar Foe (KPBS)


Congressman Juan Vargas is running for re-election to his 51st Congressional District against a familiar foe — Republican Juan Hidalgo, who lost to Vargas in 2016 and 2018. And there are no signs that 2020 will be any different in one of San Diego’s most reliably blue districts.


Get in line now. California’s DMV is really, really behind in issuing Real IDs  (San Diego Union-Tribune)

California is falling far short of targets for getting Real IDs into the hands of residents before the Oct. 1 deadline.

California loosens its individual mandate for health insurance (Los Angeles Times)

 -- Concerned too many Californians were unaware they would face a hefty fine for not having health insurance, officials on Tuesday loosened a state law meant to push uninsured residents into buying medical coverage.

California could crack down on illegal marijuana landlords, advertisers under proposed law (Sacramento Bee)

Black market marijuana is a billion-dollar industry in California, but it soon could become very expensive to do business with unlicensed operators. California Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, has introduced legislation that would levy up to $30,000 in fines for each offense of those caught “aiding and abetting” illicit commercial cannabis activity.

California takes a first step toward improving its failing county jails (Sacramento Bee)

 California’s county jails would face greater scrutiny and potentially tougher consequences for poor conditions inside their cells under a series of proposed changes unveiled by a state oversight agency last week.

From horse handlers to tutors, California gig law AB5 frustrates contractors (San Francisco Chronicle)

 What do sheep shearers, rehab specialists, ventriloquists, medical transcriptionists, face-paint artists and test proctors have in common? They’re among the many kind of workers who are mobilizing online, in public protests, and in letters and visits to lawmakers to say that AB5, California’s controversial new gig work law, is hurting their livelihoods.

California’s Lone March Ballot Measure: A $15 Billion School Bond With A Confusing Name  (Capital Public Radio)

There’s just one measure on California’s March primary ballot: A $15 billion school construction bond with a familiar, but confusing name. It’s called Proposition 13. But, no, it’s not connected to the historic property tax measure from the 1970s often referred to as Prop. 13. The number 13 has simply cycled through, leading to some bewilderment about what’s on the ballot.

California's primary looms large — just like state officials had hoped (Politico)

Between the muddle of Iowa’s botched caucus, a weakened Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg’s aggressive play for the 494 delegates at stake in the nation’s most populous state, California’s March 3 primary is now taking on increased importance — just as California officials hoped it would more than a year ago, when they decided to move it up from June to March’s Super Tuesday.




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