EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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August 12, 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

Animal rescue struggles after major benefactor dies (Ramona Sentinel)

Hearts & Hands Animal Rescue in Ramona is in danger of losing its property that houses endangered zebras and other rescues, following the loss of its major contributor…. [James] Whipple, 91, had recently moved to Ramona from Lakeside to be near the rescue and was about to pay a $50,000 single payment due on the mortgage, but died unexpectedly.

Iraqi refugees to be deported, ICE says (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Twelve of the 27 Iraqi Christians being detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility are set to be deported in coming weeks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday....  Typically, unauthorized immigrants who face deportation are returned to the country where they were living before entering the United States. It’s likely that most of the Chaldeans will be deported to such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, known to provide safe haven to Iraqi refugees.

State Agency Asks To Overturn San Onofre Settlement (KPBS)

Office of Ratepayer Advocates asked the California Public Utilities Commission to overturn an agreement that assigns costs of shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. 

http://www.10news.com/news/skimming-devices-found-in-local-gas-pumps (10 News)

Some local drivers say mysterious charges have been appearing on their bank statements, and the problems are traced back to a gas station in San Carlos.

Lilac Hills hearing draws big crowd (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Hundreds of people flooded a county Planning Commission hearing Friday to weigh in on a proposal that would allow more than 1,700 homes to be built on a huge swath of land in semirural North County — a project that critics say violates the smart-growth guidelines laid out in the county’s General Plan.

Cell tower law prompts outcry (San Diego Union-Tribune)

La Jolla residents frustrated city plans to follow federal Spectrum Act without fight. 

Airport Must Encourage People Not to Use New Parking Garage (Voice of San Diego)

San Diego International Airport officials are expected to get the green light Wednesday to build an $80 million mega parking structure on North Harbor Drive – with a curious caveat. They must encourage the public not to use it.

Environmentalist Wants to Save an East County River Basin – by Mining it (Voice of SD)

Michael Beck is one of the county’s leading environmentalists. He is also championing a major mining operation in East County. In Beck’s view, the best way to save what’s known as the El Monte Valley is to temporarily destroy it. In many nearby residents’ view, Beck is on a misguided mission to secure his legacy as a preservationist and has been bamboozled by a mining company with an Orwellian name.

How Your Water Bill Helps Subsidize Golf Courses (Voice of SD)

San Diego water customers have seen rate increases almost annually to replace the city’s old pipes and keep up with water’s soaring cost. / One class of water users hasn’t had to face this reality. They’re the golf courses, major companies and a few hundred other customers who tap into the city’s purple pipe water system, which provides treated but undrinkable water for irrigation.

STATE

Pilots’ families say Cal-Fire owes them death benefits (Sacramento Bee)

For nearly a dozen years, top officials at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection knowingly withheld death benefits from the families of 14 contracted firefighter pilots killed in the line of duty, according to a claim that seeks more than $4 million plus interest for the survivors.

Toxic algae blooms along west coast likely largest on record (Al Jazeera)

The toxic algae blooms in the Pacific Ocean stretching from southern California to Alaska — already the largest ever recorded — appear to have reached as far as the Aleutian Islands, scientists say.

State stonewalls on English learners’ progress (U-T)

Another civil rights lawsuit has been filed against California over its public schools.

LA Rolls Out Water-Saving 'Shade Balls' (NPR)

In an effort to meet EPA regulations, conserve water and prevent algae growth in the Los Angeles Reservoir, officials are using 96 million plastic balls to cover the water's surface.

California motor vehicle employees took bribes to grant licenses: FBI (Reuters)

Three employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles have been indicted for accepting bribes to grant commercial driving licenses, and the owners of three trucking schools indicted for offering the bribes, federal officials said on Tuesday.