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October 10, 2021 (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.


Helix Water District does about-face with shutoff plan for non-paying customers (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Thanks to new state fund, overdue customers will have until Jan. 1 to pay their bill

AT&T funded launch of San Diego’s far right One America News (Reuters)

One America News, the San Diego Based far-right network whose fortunes and viewership rose amid the triumph and tumult of the Trump administration, has flourished with support from a surprising source: AT&T, the world’s largest communications company.  A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr. has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

San Diego County Pays Nearly $3 Million to Settle Jail Suicide Lawsuit (NBC San Diego)

Records show that in the days leading up to the inmate's death, his wife called the jail more than 30 times worried her husband was suicidal.

Working families ordinance moves forward, but faces pushback from business owners (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Policy, if approved next year, would require business owners operating on county land to pay prevailing wages.

Despite risks as front-line workers, many local police, sheriff’s deputies hold out on COVID-19 vaccines (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Even as most San Diego County residents — 88 percent — eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccines have opted to do so, hundreds of law enforcement officers continue to hold out as unions representing San Diego police and sheriff’s deputies push back against vaccine mandates.


Gavin Newsom signs law aimed at cracking down on illegal street racing and ‘sideshows’ (Sacramento Bee)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed a law aimed at cracking down on illegal street racing and so-called “sideshows” by adding a driver’s license suspension for up to six months to the punishment for convicted offenders. California Assembly Bill 3, authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, will go into effect July 1, 2025…Sideshows are “illegal gatherings in which groups of drivers take over intersections, city streets, stretches of busy freeways and/or parking lots to do tricks with their cars, including burnouts and doughnuts,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

California protects reporters covering protests with new law (10 News)

California will project journalists from interference by police while covering civil protests.

A bill signed into law Saturday by Gov. Gavin Newsom says that reporters can be behind police lines in the area of demonstrations, marches or rallies without being cited or arrested.  It also bars police from “intentionally assaulting, interfering with, or obstructing” their newsgathering.

As drought worsens, California farmers are being paid not to grow crops (Los Angeles Times)

…Robinson and other growers in the Palo Verde Irrigation District are taking part in a new $38-million program funded by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and other water agencies in Arizona and Nevada. The farmers are paid to leave a portion of their lands dry and fallow, and the water saved over the next three years is expected to translate into 3 feet of additional water in Lake Mead, which has declined to its lowest levels since it was filled in the 1930s following the construction of Hoover Dam.

Beaches closed, wildlife dead after Southern California oil spill  (NPR)

More than 120,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the Pacific Ocean has reached the Southern California coastline, closing parts of the beach as officials warn residents to stay away from the slick.

California makes ethnic studies a high school requirement (KPBS)

California high school students will have to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in the 2029-30 school year. The state is among the first in the nation to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement.


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Ethnic Studies requirement

I don't think we need graduation requirements except for English, mathematics, science, communication and foreign languages, but if you had to have a California ethnic studies curriculum I would suggest Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers Union and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Delores Huerta and Harriet Tubman, and the Lemon Grove California school desegregation landmark Supreme Court Case.