EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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July 9, 2015 (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

Chariot of fire (SD Reader)

Members of a Shriners community located near Mount Laguna, where cabins and buildings were destroyed in the 2013 Chariot Fire, have added the Chrysler Group to the list of entities it is suing for damages.

CA Counties find issues with GPS company monitoring criminals (KNSD)

The San Diego County Sheriff's and Probation departments do not know how often their contracted GPS system fails.

Desert water agency approves $1 million for grass removal (Borrego Sun)

As of the beginning of June, 152 homeowner associations, 28 commercial properties and 120 residences already received or were approved for funding…

Free speech zone: Wobbly ghosts haunt waterfront park (Union-Tribune)

Free-speech zones? San Diego County’s false step toward managing political protests at Waterfront Park stirs musty Wobbly memories.Google “San Diego” and “free speech” and you’ll be transported back more than a century.

Santee budget is looking healthy, but PERS is concern (Union-Tribune)

…The City Council last week approved the budgets for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years but asked McDermott and acting City Manager Pedro Orso-Delgado to see if some money slated for capital improvement projects can be delayed. The reason: Mayor Randy Voepel said he would like the city to start paying off some of its payments to the California Public Employees' Retirement System…

Family Raises Concern About Charity WishWarriors (NBC7)

No families have received promised donation money, and the CEO/President has been arrested on unrelated charges.

Council takes strong stance against density-bonus bill (Coast News)

Encinitas officials have come out in strong opposition of a state Assembly bill that they believe will strip cities of local control over two key issues involving density-bonus development.

400 Steps for San Diegans, a Giant Leap for Commuters (Voice of SD)

Direct service from the trolley to San Diego International Airport is finally on the cusp of reality. Give or take 400 feet and a highway crossing. 

City will keep filling lake with tap water (Union0Tribune)

Park and Recreation reducing water use 16% yet will replenish six recreational ponds.

Fraying Family Ties Cut To Heart Of Theater Gunman's Defense

San Diego residents Arlene and Robert Holmes show up in court every day, a visible reminder to jurors that even a killer has parents who love him and don't want him to die.

Following El Cajon’s Booze-Restricting Example (Voice of SD editorial)

Imposing El Cajon’s alcohol restrictions was by no means a passive transition. But cities throughout the county, especially those struggling with their own public nuisance issues, should ignore business opposition and follow suit.

Refugee Students Experience Coronado Beach In Outreach Event (KPBS)

About 50 students from El Cajon High were treated to a day at the beach on Tuesday.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/kpbs/local/~4/U01hcnbIpbE

Democrats struggling to muster mayoral candidates (Voice of San Diego)

The next election for mayor of the city of San Diego is 11 months away and nobody has stood up to challenge Mayor Kevin Faulconer – a fact that seems to be frustrating Democrats who not that long ago thought they had ushered in a new progressive majority in city politics.

STATE

Making the community college to UC transfer a little easier (Los Angeles Times)

Community college students are expected to find a smoother path in their plans to transfer to a University of California campus as a result of a new listing of recommended courses they should take in various majors.

California bills to raise smoking age and regulate e-cigarettes stall (Los Angeles Times)

Anti-tobacco activists began the year confident that California would follow the lead of other states and tighten its laws on smoking and electronic cigarettes. California had once been ahead of the pack in curbing tobacco use and had fallen woefully behind, they said.But those hopes turned to ashes Wednesday.

2 new warrants served in CPUC case (Union-Tribune)

Agents seek documents at headquarters for Edison, utilities commission.... / Agents seized computers, files and other materials from its San Francisco office in November, focused at that time on the commission’s relationships with Pacific Gas & Electric after a deadly pipeline blast in 2010. The latest warrants show a more recent focus on Edison, majority owner of the San Onofre plant north of Oceanside.

Californian cities hike up water rates while customers conserve amid drought (CS Monitor)

....The financial blow is only expected to grow because Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ordered communities to slash their water use anywhere between 8 and 36 percent compared to 2013 levels in response to the four-year drought. Those cuts are expected to leave agencies with a $1 billion hole in revenue, and they'll likely turn to customers to plug it, according to state estimates.

California's farm economy "ruined" (SD Reader)

Unemployment rates in El Centro and Yuma — over 20% — blamed on drought .

Sending cheap water to China in midst of drought (Union-Tribune)

Should state reallocate water from farms to cities? 

 California’s leaders, not voters, to blame for bad roads  (Union-Tribune)

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders say California needs to do more to fix up its pothole-pockmarked roads and highways. State voters have long agreed. It’s why they gave landslide approval to Proposition 42 in 2002 and Proposition 1A in 2006. The measures required that all gasoline sales tax revenue be used for road improvements and transportation projects.