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March 29, 2012 --  (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:    
  • Strong majority backs Jerry Brown’s tax initiative (LA Times)
  • Judge tentatively rules for California in school funding suit (Sacramento Bee)
  • Mitt Romney announces California team (Sacramento Bee)
  • Beekeepers ask EPA to ban pesticide (Sacarmento Bee)
  • Solyndra times seven (City Journal)
  • Feds: San Onofre to remain shut down indefinitely (UT San Diego)
  • El Cajon Council fills vacancy (UT San Diego)
  • Is prison realignment working in San Diego? (KPBS)
  • Defendant rolls on Sweetwater Board member (UT San Diego)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 



Strong majority backs Jerry Brown’s tax initiative (LA Times)
March 25, 2012 -- California voters strongly support Gov. Jerry Brown's new proposal to increase the sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state's budget, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor's measure, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. It would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a graduated surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years. A third of respondents opposed the measure.

Judge tentatively rules for California in school funding suit (Sacramento Bee)
March 27, 2012 -- In a court battle that could shape how schools are funded, a judge tentatively ruled Tuesday that California lawmakers can reduce education funding by diverting state revenues into new pots of money.
School boards and administrators sued the state last fall alleging that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers had shortchanged schools by shifting about $5 billion in sales tax revenues to counties in a new realignment fund.
Mitt Romney announces California team (Sacramento Bee)
March 27, 2012 --  Mitt Romney, speaking at a private fundraiser in Stockton this morning, kept up his criticism of President Barack Obama's recent hot mic incident, while mentioning none of his Republican rivals, attendees said.
The event, at the home of billionaire developer Alex Spanos, was one of a series of Romney fundraisers in California this week. His campaign used the occasion to announce its California leadership team, including former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy,R-Bakersfield, among seven statewide chairpersons.
Beekeepers ask EPA to ban pesticide (Sacramento Bee)
March 29, 2012 --  Commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations filed a petition Wednesday, asking federal regulators to suspend use of a pesticide they say harms honeybees.
The group is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the insecticide clothianidin, one of a class of chemicals that act on the central nervous system of insects.
Over 1.25 million people also submitted comments in partnership with the organizations, calling on EPA to take action.
Solyndra times seven (City Journal)
March 21, 2012 -- The national media have devoted plenty of skeptical attention to California’s bullet-train boondoggle—from the ballooning cost of the California High-Speed Rail Authority project to its shoddy management to the baffling decision to build the first segment in the lightly populated Central Valley. But the press has yet to focus on a crucial fact: the bullet train isn’t just some quirky Left Coast fiasco; it’s also a grotesque waste of federal money. The project serves as a powerful reminder of the Obama administration’s mishandling of the $787 billion stimulus that Congress passed in February 2009 with solemn assurances of prudence and accountability. The bullet-train project, in fact, can be thought of as “Solyndra times seven”—that’s how far its costs outstrip those of themuch-touted Bay Area solar panel manufacturer that burned through $528 million in federal loans before declaring bankruptcy and folding last September.
Feds: San Onofre to remain shut down indefinitely (UT San Diego)
March 27, 2012 -- The San Onofre nuclear reactor will remain offline until operators can resolve what is wearing down a crucial component of steam generators within its twin, seaside reactors, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on Tuesday.
Nuclear regulators acknowledged that plant operator Southern California Edison has identified two causes for unusual wear on steam tubes at San Onofre: rubbing against adjacent tubes and against support structures inside the steam generators.
El Cajon Council fills vacancy (UT San Diego)
 March 27, 2012 -- Amid boos from some in the crowd of nearly 250 who thought the decision was preordained, Tony Ambrose of the El Cajon Planning Commission was chosen Tuesday afternoon to fill a vacant position on the City Council.
The council voted 4-0 on the appointment of Ambrose, 64, a Hoover High graduate who has lived in El Cajon since 1970.
Is prison realignment working in San Diego? (KPBS)
March 21, 2012 -- It’s been six months since California started shifting low-level prison inmates and funding from state to county jails, and a new report from the ACLU looks at how the program is going so far.
Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, a senior policy advocate for the ACLU, spoke to KPBS about the report.
She said San Diego County compares “fairly favorably” to other counties. It has one of the lower non-sentenced jail populations, but is third highest in pre-alignment felony probation workload, according to the report.
Defendant rolls on Sweetwater Board member (UT San Diego)
March 21, 2012 --  The contractor at the center of the South Bay corruption case being brought by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis pleaded guilty to a lesser charge this afternoon.
Henry Amigable had been charged with felony bribery in January, and pleaded not guilty. The charge and the plea changed today. Amigable has now pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the state Education Code involving offering something of value to a school board member.


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