September 1, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights articles on top regional and state issues of interest to East County and inland San Diego County, published in other media. This week’s top Roundup headlines include:
• Brush fires serve as a warning to get ready (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Amazon offers jobs to avert ballot showdown over sales tax (Sacramento Bee)
• Brown to propose new corporate tax package (Sacramento Bee)
• Health insurance regulation bill stalls for the year (Sacramento Bee)
• Consumer groups want health insurance rates on 2012 ballot (Sacramento Bee)
• Tribal tensions come to light following the Eagle Fire (North County Times)
• Helix band fears noise complaints could shut program (La Mesa Patch)
• Public uproar halts water rate increase (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Recent rash of residential burglaries in La Mesa (La Mesa Patch)
• Chaldeans face crime ring bust backlash (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• For Fletcher, adoption reform is personal (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• What SD’s new political lines would look like (Voice of San Diego)
BRUSH FIRES SERVE AS A WARNING TO GET READY
August 30, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- Brush fires that scorched several hundred acres across San Diego County in the past few days provided a wake-up call for residents and a warm up for firefighters who tamped down the blazes before they turned into a conflagration.
With crews stretched across the region, wildfires like the ones in the fall of 2003 or 2007 were possible. But one main factor was missing: Firefighters weren't facing powerful desert winds that sap moisture from vegetation and fling embers far and wide.
“We were just a Santa Ana away from it being a perfect storm,” said Capt. Tom Stephenson, a helicopter crew chief for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
AMAZON OFFERS JOBS TO AVERT BALLOT SHOWDOWN OVER SALES TAX
September 1, 2011 (Sacramento Bee)-- Amazon.com is offering to bring thousands of jobs to California as it tries to back away from a ballot-box confrontation over the state's new Internet sales tax law.
The online retailing giant, in a meeting late Tuesday of legislative staffers and retailing lobbyists, proposed opening six distribution centers that would employ a total of 7,000 Californians, according to sources with knowledge of the offer.
In return, Amazon wants a reprieve from the new law until sometime in 2014.
BROWN TO PROPOSE NEW CORPORATE TAX PACKAGE
August 24, 2011 (Sacramento Bee) -- Gov. Jerry Brown will ask lawmakers Thursday to tighten a corporate tax formula in exchange for giving manufacturers a sales tax exemption and offering enhanced jobs tax credits, according to legislative sources.
HEALTH INSURANCE REGULATION BILL STALLS FOR THE YEAR
September 1, 2011 (Sacramento Bee)-- A controversial push to give state regulators the power to reject proposed increases in health insurance rates stalled in the state Senate on Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 52, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, would let the state insurance commissioner or the director of the Department of Managed Health Care reject or modify proposed rate increases found to be "excessive," "inadequate" or "discriminatory."
The bill cleared the Assembly on a party-line vote in June. But Feuer pulled the plug Wednesday on this year's effort, saying he does not have the votes to win approval from the Senate before next week's deadline for approving bills.
CONSUMER GROUPS WANT HEALTH INSURANCE RATES ON 2012 BALLOT
August 27, 2011 (Sacramento Bee) -- The consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog wants to take regulation of health insurance rates to Calfornia voters with a ballot initiative set for 2012.
The ballot measure would expand Proposition 103, which regulates auto and home insurance rates in California, to include health insurance rates. It would also roll back health insurance rates by 20 percent and give the insurance commissioner power to approve or reject rate increases.
TRIBAL TENSIONS COME TO LIGHT FOLLOWING THE EAGLE FIRE
August 27, 2011 (North County Times)--Last month's fire on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near Warner Springs exposed tensions between the tribe, the company that is operating a military training center on the reservation, and the developer who is working to build an offsite casino on behalf of the tribe.
Those conflicts apparently had been simmering for months and centered on differences among tribal members about the best way to make money.
The fire apparently exacerbated those differences when two tribal members were arrested and charged with arson.
HELIX BAND FEARS NOISE COMPLAINTS COULD SHUT PROGRAM
Community meeting originally set for Aug. 31 at football stadium has been called off, band director says. Mayor Art Madrid is getting involved.
August 27, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)-- With Facebook postings and storefront fliers, supporters of the marching band at Helix Charter High School this weekend were sounding an alarm about the program’s fate in the wake of neighbor complaints and police visits.
PUBLIC UPROAR HALTS WATER RATE INCREASE
Sweetwater Board Votes Against 2% Hike
August 25, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- Conceding to heavy public pressure, the Sweetwater Authority water board backed off a plan Wednesday to impose a 2.5 percent rate hike on South County customers, leaving the agency with a $700,000 budget gap and opening the possibility for an even greater rate increase later.
RECENT RASH OF RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES IN LA MESA
August 21, 2011 (La Mesa Patch)-- Last week, the LMPD released a Crime Alert regarding a rash of recent home burglaries throughout La Mesa. Targeted streets have included Stanford Avenue, Normandie Place, Harbinson Avenue, Eastridge Drive, Valley View Circle, Black Mountain Road, Rockledge Road, Shirlene Place, Spring Street, 4th Street, Palm Avenue, and Chevy Chase Drive.
CHALDEANS FACE CRIME RING BUST BACKLASH
August 24, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)-- EL CAJON — Chaldean church leaders have received a handful of hateful phone calls and emails in the days following the highly publicized bust of a drug- and gun-trafficking ring headquartered at a Chaldean social club in El Cajon, authorities said Wednesday.
The messages — some threatening, others questioning the patriotism of the local Chaldean community — prompted Christian Iraqi leaders and law enforcement to caution against judging an entire community of people for the bad actions of a few.
FOR FLETCHER, ADOPTION REFORM IS PERSONAL
August 25, 2011 (San Diego Union-Tribune)— Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher understands firsthand the daunting challenges that confront Californians who want to adopt.
After all, both of his children are adopted.
The San Diego Republican’s latest in a string of narrow, modest measures to make adoptions easier, cheaper and faster is expected to clear the Senate as early as Monday and head to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
WHAT SD’S NEW POLITICAL LINES WILL LOOK LIKE
August 31, 2011 (Voice of San Diego)-- an Diego's new political boundaries have finally taken shape.
The Redistricting Commission's preliminary map for the City Council creates the city's second majority-Latino district and draws Council Members Todd Gloria and Lorie Zapf out of the districts they represent. This week, the commission begins gathering public feedback on its map, which it may still tweak before its final Sept. 15 deadline to complete it.
Here's an up-close look at some of the changes in store.