EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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May 17, 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:     
 
 
 
 
  
LOCAL 
  • Mother Goose Parade celebrity bookings probed (UT San Diego)
  • Shedding light on UT San Diego: Editor’s partisan comments to Nathan Fletcher open daily paper to scrutiny (CityBeat)
  • County budget to decrease by 2% (La Mesa Patch)
  • Construction expected soon at Sempra’s Baja wind farm (San Diego Business Journal)
  • How to prepare for the big eclipse on May 20 (UT San Diego)
     
STATE 
  • Gov. Jerry Brown: State budget now $16 billion (Sacramento Bee)
  • Human trafficking measure qualifies for ballot (Sacramento Bee) 
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

LOCAL
 
Mother Goose Parade celebrity bookings probed (UT San Diego)
 
May 9, 2012 -- A federal inquiry into former El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox has spread from her home and workplace to the town’s quirky Mother Goose Parade, which drew an impressive collection of celebrities under her leadership in 2007 and 2008.
A Palm Springs celebrity booking agent says he was questioned by FBI agents about Hanson-Cox and how she paid for the stars. Hanson-Cox was president of the parade, which bills itself as the largest in the county.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/09/mother-goose-parade-bookings-probed/?page=1#article
Shedding light on UT San Diego: Editor’s partisan comments to Nathan Fletcher open daily paper to scrutiny (CityBeat)
 
May 9, 2012 -- Jeff Light seems annoyed. He’s the top editor at U-T San Diego, and on Monday, he felt compelled to explain himself in aFacebook post. Earlier, mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher had handed over to the news website Voice of San Diego theaudio and a transcript of Fletcher’s endorsement interview with the U-T. In the interview, Light essentially informed Fletcher that the paper can’t endorse him because he’d been bad-mouthing the Republican Party amid his high-profile decision to leave the GOP and become independent. That’s problematic, Light added, because the U-T has “Republican backing and Republican tradition.”
http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-10518-shedding-light-on-u-t-san-diego.html?utm_source=cooleremail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=23580&utm_campaign=151868
 
County budget to decrease by 2% (La Mesa Patch)
 
May 8, 2012 -- San Diego County will spend nearly 2 percent less in the fiscal year starting July 1, according to a budget presented to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday by the county's chief administrative officer.
Walter Ekard presented the $4.77 billion spending plan to the board, which will begin its budget deliberations June 11.
The spending plan represents a 1.9 percent reduction in spending compared to this year's budget of about $4.86 billion, Ekard said.
Construction expected soon at Sempra’s Baja wind farm (San Diego Business Journal)
 
May 10, 2012 -- San Diego-based Sempra Energy expects to begin construction of the 156-megawatt Energia Sierra Juarez wind project in Baja California, Mexico, as early as this year.
Located 70 miles east of San Diego and just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, the 52-turbine wind facility will produce enough clean electricity to power about 65,000 average homes when fully completed in 2014.
http://sdbj.com/news/2012/may/10/construction-expected-soon-sempras-baja-wind-farm/ 
How to prepare for the big eclipse on May 20 (UT San Diego)
 
May 14, 2012 -- There will be a stunning partial solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20th, as seen from San Diego. The moon will begin shrouding the sun at 5:27 p.m. and will cover 83 percent of the sun's surface at 6:40 p.m. The eclipse will take place while the sun is sinking toward the horizon, out over the ocean. It'll be easy to see, if skies are clear.
Do not -- repeat, do not -- look at the eclipse with your naked eye or with materials that don't protect your vision from UV and infrared radiation. You risk permanent and serious damage to your vision if you don’t use the proper safety equipment to view a solar eclipse, and the damage can occur within seconds.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/12/how-prepare-big-eclipse-may-20/   
STATE
 
Gov. Jerry Brown: State budget now $16 billion (Sacramento Bee)
 
May 14, 2012 -- Gov. Jerry Brown said in a video release today that California's budget deficit has mushroomed to $16 billion, nearly twice as high as the $9.2 billion he estimated in January.
 
Brown blamed a slow recovery from the recession and the federal government's blockage of state spending cuts for the widening gap.
"This means that we will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year," Brown said in a 2 minute, 41-second video released on YouTube. "But we can't fill a hole of this magnitude with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools."
http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/05/gov-jerry-brown-state-budget-deficit-now-16-billion.html
 
Human trafficking measure qualifies for ballot (Sacramento Bee)
 
May 10, 2012 -- A California proposal aimed at curbing sex slavery and other forms of human trafficking has qualified for the November ballot.
The initiative increases penalties for human trafficking violations, upping the maximum sentence to 15 years to life in prison and fines of up to $1.5 million. It would also require that sex offenders, including people convicted of human trafficking crimes, report information about their online accounts, such as email addresses or social media pages.
http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/05/anti-human-trafficking-measure-qualifies-for-california-ballot.html