EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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June 21, 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
  • Regional Chamber of Commerce paints hopeful picture of economic recovery (Ramona Patch)
  • SD Unified bringing back all laid off teachers (Voice of San Diego)
  • Switching on SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink (UTSanDiego)
  • New initiative launches in San Diego to reclaim science’s role in policy decisions (KPBS)
  • Helix leader Rani Goyal got $56,000 severance in settlement deal (La Mesa Patch)
  • The Starting Line: SDG&E’s Trojan Horse (San Diego Free Press)
  • UT CEO’s last media company sold interviews (CityBeat)
  • Man fatally stabbed in unincorporated La Mesa (La Mesa Patch)
STATE 
  • California Dems resist Gov. Brown’s welfare plans (San Jose Mercury News)
  • California schools facing shorter year (Sacramento Bee)
  • Viewpoint: Voters have a right to know how much loopholes are costing state (Sacramento Bee)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
LOCAL
 
Regional Chamber of Commerce paints hopeful picture of economic recovery (Ramona Patch)
 
June 19, 2012 -- The worst appears to be over for the recession in San Diego County, but it could still take a few years for the economy to return to pre-recession levels, according to a study released Tuesday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The report (attached as a PDF) comes in the wake of last week’s announcement that San Diego had an 8.8 percent unemployment rate in May, with about 62,100 people out of work.
http://ramona.patch.com/articles/regional-chamber-of-commerce-paints-hopeful-picture-of-economic-recovery-5e0dc83c
SD Unified bringing back all laid off teachers (Voice of San Diego)
 
June 19, 2012 -- Every one of the 1,372 teachers laid off earlier this year by the San Diego Unified School District will be back at school by Sept. 1, under a two-year deal agreed to by the district and the teachers union today.
Negotiators for the San Diego Education Association, the local teachers union, agreed to put off a series of pay raises promised by the district two years ago, and also agreed to extend five unpaid furlough days for an additional two years.
 
Switching on SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink (UTSanDiego)
 
June 16. 2012 -- San Diego’s electron highway into the desert has arrived.
With electricity switched on Sunday morning, the 500,000-volt transmission line cuts a jagged line across San Diego’s mountainous backdrop, skirting past reservoirs, the majestic El Cajon peak and the high country’s eagle nesting grounds.
Descending to the Imperial Valley desert floor, silvery lattice transmission towers trail off toward the horizon.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/16/electron-highway-pulls-san-diego/ 
New initiative launches in San Diego to reclaim science’s role in policy decisions (KPBS)
 
June 13, 2012 -- A new initiative from the Union of Concerned Scientists launched today in San Diego. It aims to build a Center for Science and Democracy to counter what it calls a "troubling trend": "understanding of science and respect for its role in decision making have declined."
 
Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the organization, which was founded to make sure science is heard in policy debates, told KPBS the center wants to "restore that pragmatic, evidence-based dialogue where facts really matter."
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jun/13/center-aims-unite-science-public-opinion/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Fmidday-edition+%28KPBS+Podcast%3A+Midday+Edition%29
 
Helix leader Rani Goyal got $56,000 severance in settlement deal (La Mesa Patch)
 
June 15, 2012 -- Rani Goyal was promised a $56,000 severance check from Helix Charter High School when she suddenly resigned May 25 under still mysterious circumstances.
As executive director of the La Mesa school, she was almost two years into a four-year contract paying $130,000 a year plus expenses, according to documents obtained by Patch.
http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/helix-leader-rani-goyal-got-56-000-severance-in-settlement-deal
 
The Starting Line: SDG&E’s Trojan Horse (San Diego Free Press)
 
June 18,201 -- SDG&E’s trojan horse Michael Hiltzer in the LA Times reported Sunday on a scheme proposed by SDG&E that would give its 1.2 million customers the option of prepaying their electric bills. While the plan may sound appealing to those mostly working class consumers who favor prepaid cell phones and the like, there are significant disadvantages for consumers built into the proposal. Sign up for the prepaid program and you’re signing away virtually all the consumer protections governing disconnections. 
http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/06/the-starting-line-sdg-koch-bros-confab-set-for-san-diego/ 
 
UT CEO’s last media company sold interviews (CityBeat)
 
June 15, 2012 -- Last night on Twitter, Voice of San Diego's Rob Davis posted a link to a puff-piecey video clip about a local medical imaging and radiology center from Scott, BR kknd Amber, the centerpiece of the U-T San Diego's new television station. Davis asked, "Anyone know whether this company is a U-T advertiser?" 
We'll leave Davis to get to the bottom of it, since so far he's done a fine job covering covering U-T San Diego's rapid degradation under its new owners. But we can say one thing: the U-T's new CEO's previous media venture sold on-air positive interviews to a government agency as part of a marketing package. http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/blog-946-u-t-ceos-last-media-company-sold-interviews.html
Man fatally stabbed in unincorporated La Mesa (La Mesa Patch)
 
Update: 4:18 p.m. Tuesday, June 19
The man fatally stabbed Sunday night in unincorporated La Mesa has been identified as Jesse Lazarus Nader, 26. He was a Spring Valley resident.
Original story:
Homicide detectives searched Monday for a man who fatally stabbed another man inside a residence in an unincorporated area near La Mesa over the weekend, authorities said.
http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/man-fatally-stabbed-in-unincorporated-la-mesa?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
STATE
 
California Dems resist Gov. Brown’s welfare plans (San Jose Mercury News)
 
June 19, 2012 -- California legislators may have passed a budget, but Democratic leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown are fighting to a standoff over his proposal to restructure the state's welfare program.
Brown is pressuring the Legislature for deeper cuts amid a projected $15.7 billion shortfall. Negotiations continued Monday with Democratic lawmakers resisting Brown's proposal to reduce welfare spending, one of many issues still to be resolved before the state's spending plan can be implemented.
 
California schools facing shorter year (Sacramento Bee)
 
June 19, 2012 -- Sydney Walker is scared. She is worried her children, who attend San Juan Unified schools, won't be prepared for college or classes next year if state lawmakers allow school districts to cut the school year by as many as 15 days.
That could shorten the school year to 160 days – tying California with Colorado for the shortest school year, and well below the national norm of 180 days.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/19/4572022/schools-facing-shorter-year.html
Viewpoint: Voters have a right to know how much loopholes are costing state (Sacramento Bee)
 
June 19, 2012 -- Despite a nearly $16 billion budget deficit,California is not a poor state. Nor is it a bad state in which to do business. For example, Cupertino-based Apple Computer is now the world's most valuable company. It reported nearly $1 billion in weekly profits last month and could potentially earn $45.6 billion in the current fiscal year, according to the New York Times. While Apple and several other Silicon Valley corporations, including Facebook, Google and Twitter are earning significant profits, the state's corporations are actually paying less this year than in prior years.