EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL, REGIONAL AND STATE NEWS

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April 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup brings you top news headlines of interest to East County and our region, published by other media. This week's top Roundup headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

LOCAL/REGIONAL

SD’s Decatur on watch against North Korea (UT San Diego)

The San Diego-based destroyer Decatur is providing defense against ballistic missiles from North Korea, as tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula. Defense Department spokesman George Little said Tuesday that the Decatur has joined the Japan-based destroyer John S. McCain on watch in the Pacific.

Talking Short Term Troubles, Long Term Hopes (La Mesa Today)

That 300 airplanes landed safely at Lindburgh Field is not news. That one plane crashes, is huge news.



With that in mind, herewith the real news from the La Mesa City Council's five-hour strategic planning meeting: The combined effects of the recession, reduced home values, state government cuts, pension losses and stagnant sales tax have left La Mesa running a deficit.

President Obama taps San Diego neuroscientists for brain-mapping initiative (KPBS)

…Scientists still don't fully understand what's going on inside the human brain. But thanks to a robust White House initiative, local researchers could help get us closer to answering that basic question. But, as President Barack Obama noted Tuesday, scientists still don't fully know the answer to one age-old question: What exactly is going on inside the human brain?

"The BRAIN initiative will change that," he said, announcing a 10-year research effort that will enlist the country's top neuroscientists to map activity in the human brain.

Governor Brown announces pardons of 65 people, San Diegans among those on list (10 News)

-A man who was sentenced 17 years ago in San Diego County for involuntary manslaughter with a weapon, and a handful of local drug offenders, were among 65 people who have served out their terms and led a clean life who were pardoned by Governor Jerry Brown, it was announced Saturday.

Those who received pardons have all completed their sentences and had been free for more than a decade without further criminal activity, and the governor pardoned 65 such people across the state on Good Friday.

New apartment offers free solar power (UT San Diego)

Solterra, H.G. Fenton's 114-unit apartment project nearing completion in Scripps Ranch, boasts a saltwater pool, games-filled clubhouse and stand-up tanning salon. But what may prove to be the deal closer when the luxury project opens in May is free electricity to residents.

In San Diego County's first such "net-zero" energy project, enough solar power cells are being installed to produce all the energy needed for average users as well as the common areas at the 4-acre site just east of Interstate 15 at Mira Mesa Boulevard. If residents don't exceed the average use projected, they can expect a rebate check in the mail

San Diego is Dronetown, USA (Daily Beast)

With the U.S. drone industry contributing billions to their city, residents of San Diego must reconcile their politics with the need to keep their economy humming. Jamie Reno Reports.

 

 

Man accused in Julian shooting pleads not guilty (Ramona Patch)

A man accused of shooting a male acquaintance outside a trailer home in Julian last week pleaded not guilty today to charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Jeffery Roberson, 47, was ordered held without bail.

The shooting came to light shortly before 9 a.m. last Thursday, when a motorist driving through Julian spotted the 34-year-old victim lying on a roadside in the area of Banner Road and Apple Lane.

 

Santa Ysabel Man Gets 109 Years in Prison (Ramona Patch)

Patrick Pawlicki was convicted last December of seven counts of committing a lewd act on his young relatives.

In SD Unified's rush to sell land, taxpayers could lose millions (Voice of San Diego)

Last September, the San Diego Unified School District signed a contract to sell a scratchy, weed-covered plot of land just off the 54 freeway in southeastern San Diego.The district hopes to receive $3.1 million from the sale, which will help it close an estimated $92 million budget deficit next year. It's one piece of a $50 million real estate purge that has become central to the district's financial survival plan.

Four of the five school board members and district officials insist taxpayers are getting good deals from the sales, and the real estate market is dictating fair prices for the properties. But a closer look at the sales reveals some less convenient truths

Border officer took bribes to allow in immigrants (UT San Diego)

A former U.S. border inspector in San Diego has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes including thousands in cash for allowing illegal immigrants to be driven past him. The U.S. Attorney's Office says former Customs and Border Protection Officer Hector Rodriguez pleaded guilty to taking the bribes from drivers….

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner signs tourism agreement (Meetings and Conventions)

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, the San Diego City Council and the Tourism Marketing District reached an agreement on the allocation of $30 million in annual marketing dollars, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Campaign money became focus of tourism battle (UT San Diego)

During a heated dispute over tourism revenue last week, Mayor Bob Filner repeatedly accused City Council members and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith of being bought off by the hotel industry through campaign contributions. Specifically, Filner said they received “tens of thousands of dollars” from the hoteliers who sit on the Tourism Marketing District’s board of directors and suggested that they would be violating state law if they were to vote on the issue.  Both of those statements are incorrect though they effectively raised the fact that city leaders had indeed taken campaign money from the hotel industry.  Meanwhile, Filner benefited from even bigger spending by unions representing hotel workers in last year’s mayoral campaign. One of his early negotiating points in the tourism kerfuffle was to demand higher wages for those workers.

Desalination comes of age with Poseidon plant  (U-T San Diego)

The nearly $1 billion project in Carlsbad will transform about 50 million gallons of seawater into drinking water each day, and promises to meet 7 to 10 percent of San Diego’s water needs … Crews are now laying pipeline, doing demolition, and removing hazardous materials from the site in preparation for construction.

A Tale of two City Council Meetings (San Diego Free Press)

The contentious, adversarial nature of one meeting gives way to the spirit of cooperation and common ground

What a difference a couple of days make, eh? Last Tuesday the San Diego City Council—save one member—looked like it was fully intent on joining forces with the local hotel lobby to declare an all out war on the newly elected Mayor. The Mayor was backed into a corner while the Council attempted to force him to sign a contract he was vehemently opposed to signing. But this Council was unbowed, determined to show the mayor just exactly who ran this city—they would show him who was in charge.

It was a rather embarrassing episode, really. At the conclusion of agenda item S501, it was clear what interests the City Council represented, and it wasn’t those of the voters who elected them. Their strings were being pulled by someone else.

 

STATE



Will twin tunnels water project float?  (U-T San Diego)

 Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious tunnels designed to ship water partly underground to Southern California would be tall enough to comfortably fit an adult giraffe, wide enough for three freeway lanes and have ample room to carry enough water to serve 35,000 homes on a typical day. But the barriers to Brown’s project may be even more immense. There is the $14 billion price tag. Powerful state and federal environmental regulators have to be convinced. History has not been an ally. And those whose lives could be upended are defiant.

State auditor: California’s net worth at negative $127.2 billion (Sacramento Bee)

Were California's state government a business, it would be a candidate for insolvency with a negative net worth of $127.2 billion, according to an annual financial report issued by State AuditorElaine Howle and the Bureau of State Audits.... 

Medical parole bill advances (UT San Diego)

The Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday unanimously approved legislation sought by San Diego County to require the state to notify authorities and families when severely injured prisoners are paroled to local medical facilities.

Bill regulating ammunition clears committee (Sacramento Bee)

A bill to regulate the sale of ammunition in California cleared the Assembly Public Safety Committee today.