EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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September 16, 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

Navy To Limit Some Training That Harms Whales In Pacific (KPBS)

The Navy agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California in a settlement with environmental groups approved Monday.NZoIg4LUkIY

‘Mitigation bankers’ see profit in converting developed lands back into natural habitat (KPBS)

Land in San Diego is becoming so valuable - and natural habitat so scarce - that it’s now profitable to recreate natural habit and sell it. Private companies called “Mitigation Bankers” find it can pay to turn developed land back into wetlands, and sell it to developers as mitigation for projects elsewhere. But KPBS north county editor Alison St John says not everyone buys into that idea.

Supervisors want waste out of San Onofre (U-T)

Supervisors want spent nuclear fuel out of San Onofre. The problem? There's nowhere it can go.  On Tuesday, Supervisors Ron Roberts and Dianne Jacob plan to introduce a measure that asks the Department of Energy to remove nuclear fuel away from the site as the plant is decommissioned, adding county government’s voice to a chorus to get radioactive waste out of the San Diego region.

New Rate Structure Will Show Up On SDG&E Bills This Month (KPBS)

The structure, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in July, has three tiers instead of the previous four.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/kpbs/local/~4/RZR73--NK5E

Uncorking San Diego's wine potential (U-T)

Though there are as many wineries in the county as there are craft breweries — about 115 each — the wine business is only in its infancy, probably where beer was 20 years ago. But those involved in the industry, and those watching it closely, say San Diego could be poised to become California’s next notable wine region.

No receipts required for college bosses (U-T)

New presidents of Grossmont, Cuyamaca have documentation-free expense allowances

A Look At How San Diego Resettles Refugees As Syrian Crisis Continues (KPBS)

San Diego resettles 2,700 refugees annually. Midday Edition takes a look at the process and challenges families may face as they search for a new home.kKY1sMUXVCs

Split commission gives thumbs up to Lilac Hills (U-T)

A sharply divided commission decided 4-3 to recommend approval of the project.

Natural gas pipe would pass through Escondido, Poway (U-T)

Natural gas pipe would stretch from Riverside County to Miramar, mostly under roadways.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against inewsource, San Diego State (KPBS)

A San Diego judge threw out a lawsuit yesterday challenging the legality of lease agreements between inewsource, KPBS and San Diego State University, concluding that it was prompted by inewsource’s investigative journalism.s1gPilUDoWQ

New publisher named for U-T and L.A. Times (U-T)

San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner was fired Tuesday and replaced by Timothy E. Ryan. Ryan had been publisher and CEO of The Baltimore Sun….Marshall Sonenshine, managing partner of New York investment bank Sonenshine Partners, said …he wouldn’t be surprised if Tribune Publishing ended up selling the Times and Union-Tribune.

Water Rates Have Soared and They’re Not Stalling (Voice of SD)

Over the past 25 years, water rates have more than doubled for most customers in San Diego County. And, even as we’re all using less water, rates will continue to climb for most county residents. A look at rates across the county since 1990 shows a relentless increase in water prices – much faster than overall inflation.

Cancer risk study canceled at San Onofre (U-T)

Federal nuclear safety regulators cancel study of cancer risks near San Onofre. 

STATE

The Learning Curve: ‘What the Hell Are We Doing?’  (Voice of San Diego)

Last May, during a state Assembly Education Committee meeting, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber implored her colleagues to approve a bill that would require evidence of student progress to be used in teacher evaluations

30% of California’s forest firefighters are prisoners (Mother Jones)

Here's a kind of crazy stat: Between 30 and 40 percent of California's forest firefighters are state prison inmates. The state has become a tinderbox of sorts from a four-year drought, and roughly 4,000 low-level felons are on the front lines of the state's active fires. Here's what's going on:

CPUC reform bills sent to governor (U-T)

Four bills aimed at reforming the California Public Utilities Commission passed the state Legislature on Friday and are headed to the Governor’s Office for consideration. 

California Legislature Approves Assisted Suicide Bill (NPR)

The bill that would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to patients now rests in the hands of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Feds, unlike PUC, won’t accommodate PG&E’s bad behavior (U-T)

One of the state's giant utilities is facing criminal obstruction charges. Good.

New California tests present sobering picture of student achievement (LA Times)

Echoing a nationwide downward trend, most California students are falling short of state learning targets and are not on track to succeed in college, according to the results of new, more rigorous standardized tests released Wednesday.

California Court Rules Water Pricing Plan Violates Law (NYTimes)

The appeals court said that a four-tiered pricing plan adopted by San Juan Capistrano was in violation of Proposition 218, an initiative overwhelmingly passed by California voters in 1996 that prohibits government agencies from charging more for services than their actual cost. 

University of California sells $200 million holdings in coal, oil sands firms (Reuters)

 The University of California's chief investment officer on Wednesday said it has sold off about $200 million of direct holdings in coal and oil sands companies, which he said were no longer good investments for the university's $98.2 billion fund.

CPUC’s Picker impressed senators (U-T)   

Last week’s vote to confirm Michael Picker’s nomination as president of the California Public Utilities Commission came with the support of San Diego delegation Democrats, even though some had raised questions about Picker’s oversight earlier this year. / Picker was confirmed by the California Senate on a 31-8 vote, with all opposition coming from Republican lawmakers....

 

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