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October 28, 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.


Cities sue SANDAG over plan that greatly increases goals for new affordable housing (San Diego Union-Tribune) 

Coronado, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove and Solana Beach are suing the San Diego Regional Association of Governments over what they argue was an unfair voting process when the board approved a plan that increased the amount of new housing required in their cities. The suit, filed in Superior Court on Sept. 24, contends that SANDAG did not provide a fair hearing on the issue because it denied the city’s appeal on a weighted vote, meaning members that represented areas with large populations had more votes than small cities. In a one-city, one-vote tally, the appeal would have been heard.

Coronavirus crisis in the arts: What if concerts, theater and other live events don’t come back in 2021? (San Diego Union-Tribune) 

Theaters from San Diego to Broadway are closed until at least next fall. Festivals have been pushed back to 2021, including Wonderfront and KAABOO here and Coachella and Stagecoach in Indio. The San Diego Symphony and other orchestras across the nation have been largely silenced. Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy and closed down all but one of its 40-plus worldwide productions.  The deadly coronavirus pandemic has led to these and other previously unthinkable situations becoming grim realities — from mass quarantines, plummeting economies and countries closing their borders to the shuttering of concerts, festivals, myriad other live-arts events and venues of all sizes that host them.

FBI, state agents raid Borrego Community Healthcare Foundation and El Cajon billing contractor (San Diego Union-Tribune) 

State and federal agents raided the offices Tuesday of the Borrego Community Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit provider in Borrego Springs that last year billed more than $300 million in medical, dental and other services to the U.S. government…Separate search warrants were executed at the foundation’s administrative offices off Sky Park Court in Kearny Mesa and at the El Cajon headquarters of Premier Healthcare Management, a management services company that provides billing and other services to the nonprofit. “… it came as a great surprise to us, but we are cooperating fully,” said Nick Priest, (Premier Healthcare Management’s chief executive) whose father, Daryl Priest, owns several companies that have built and leased office space to Borrego Health.

Some Schools Have No Teachers Willing to Return for ‘Phase One’ Reopening  (Voice of San Diego)

The reality on the ground clashes with the narrative pushed by district leaders: that phase one services will be available to as many as 12,000 students as often as they need them.

Debate videos:  Darrell Issa and Ammar Campa-Najjar, 50th Congressional District candidates (NBC 7)

Videos are now posted, in two parts, of a lively debate featuring questions from NB7 and residents of the district.

71st Assembly candidates modify campaigns amid coronavirus, wildfires (San Diego Union-Tribune)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and wildfires scorch thousands of acres in East County, the two candidates vying to represent the 71st Assembly District (Elizabeth Lavertu and Randy Voepel) have had to switch gears in how they appeal to voters. 

Free flu shots offered throughout San Diego County (NBC 7)

The county is urging residents to get their influenza shots as early as possible to prevent the local healthcare system from being overwhelmed. 

Two Sexual Assault Investigations At Different El Cajon Nursing Homes Turned Over To DA’s Office (KPBS)

El Cajon police have referred an investigation into accusations that a caregiver sexually assaulted two seniors at separate nursing homes to the San Diego County District Attorney’s office for possible prosecution. Police sent their findings to prosecutors following an investigative report by KPBS last week and more than one year after the alleged assaults took place.

Students work with Poway Unified to fix racism in schools (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Poway will create ethnic studies courses, enforce stricter consequences for racist offenses after students shed light on campus racism


Trump administration rejects, then approves, emergency aid for California fires, including biggest blaze in state history (Washington Post)

Fueled by extreme heat and dry, windy conditions, wildfires ravaged California in September, blazing through almost 1.9 million acres, destroying nearly 1,000 homes and killing at least three people. One wildfire, the Creek Fire, became the largest single inferno in California history and grew so fierce it spun up fire tornadoes with 125-mph winds. On Friday…The day began with news that the Trump administration had refused to grant California an emergency declaration that would make hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding available for areas devastated by the Creek Fire and five others…But President Trump reversed the decision a few hours later after a direct appeal from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in a midday phone call.

California's most intense campaign: The private pursuit of Harris' Senate seat (Politico)

 California political icon John Burton emailed Gov. Gavin Newsom soon after Sen. Kamala Harris vaulted to the party's presidential ticket. The colorful former Democratic congressman and state legislative leader nodded toward what looms as the biggest appointment of Newsom's career — replacing Harris for possibly decades in the Senate. "And I do not want the job," joked the 87-year-old Burton. "Well, you're the only one," Newsom shot back. 

Disneyland reopening: Theme park fires back over CA's 'arbitrary guidelines' (ABC)

In September, Disney announced it was laying off about 28,000 employees in its Parks, Experiences and Products division.

Orange County fires burn more than 27,000 acres, as some Irvine evacuation orders are lifted (Los Angeles Times)

 Ash swirled, and the stench of smoke hung in the air Tuesday as a light haze settled over southern Orange County. Cars lined Glenn Ranch Road as motorists paused to watch smoke billowing from a cluster of hills in the direction of Silverado Canyon Road. 

Here’s the latest California vaping law (The Hill)

… new study finds that vaping is associated with a greater likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19 in youth and young adults….   Enter California lawmakers.. The new law, SB 793, ends the sale of flavored tobacco in California stores, effective January 2021. 93% of youth who tried vaping started with a flavored product.

About 110,000 Californians have bought a gun since the coronavirus arrived, study says (Los Angeles Times) 

In the first five months of the COVID-19, thousands of Californians bought new guns and changed the way they stored their firearms in a bid to counter the unrest, government crackdowns and societal disintegration they feared would be unleashed by the public health emergency, a new survey has found. 


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