EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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July 5, 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: 
 
 

 
 STATE
  • CA Wildfire liability bill emerges from the ashes (Sacramento Bee)
  • This summer, electric cars are merging into California’s traffic (New York Times)
LOCAL
  • Citizen protests $11 million no bid contract; Grossmont school district (UT San Diego)
  • La Mesa war hero survived wounds, not runaway car (UT San Diego)
  • Plug pulled on San Diego power plant (KPBS)
  • 16-year-old driver in SR 52 crash pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter (Santee Patch)
  • How Darrell Issa’s pursuit of Attorney General Eric Holder is playing back home (Daily Beast)
  • Great white shark sighting closes beach (UT San Diego)
  • San Onofre workers lack whistleblower protections (KPBS)
  • County makes a disaster of the Brown Act (CityBeat)
 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
STATE
 
CA Wildfire liability bill emerges from the ashes (Sacramento Bee)
 
July 3, 2012 -- California timber companies and other major landowners would pay significantly less money when found liable for wildfire damage under draft legislation that resurfaced Monday in the Capitol.
 
The proposed bill, written at Gov. Jerry Brown's request, would only apply to cases filed after the new law is enacted, according to a copy obtained by The Bee. That seems intended to address one concern of Sacramento-based U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, who said in May that Brown's original proposal was "a fairly cynical attempt" by Sierra Pacific Industries to reduce damages in a pending wildfire case that goes to trial next week.http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/07/ca-wildfire-liability-bill-language-emerges-from-the-ashes.html
 
This summer, electric cars are merging into California’s traffic (New York Times)
 
June 29, 2012 -- It doesn’t sound as sexy as the 1967 Summer of Love, but for Californians with a passion for plug-ins, the warm months of 2012 are turning into the season of the electric car.
Some four years after the $100,000-plus Tesla Roadster became the nation’s only new electric vehicle capable of highway speeds, a wave of more affordable plug-in cars are coming to market. And California, the state with the nation’s largest auto market, the worst air quality and the most stringent emissions rules, is the first to catch the tide.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/automobiles/evs-are-merging-into-californias-traffic.html?_r=1&hp
LOCAL
 
Citizen protests $11 million no bid contract; Grossmont school district (UT San Diego)
 
July 2, 2012 -- An El Cajon woman has demanded the Grossmont Union High School District rescind its award of an $11 million no-bid construction management contract - even though a renegotiation saved 12 percent in management costs.
Attorney Kevin Carlin, representing taxpayer Barbara Stevens, has sent a cease-and-desist letter that gives the district until The end of this week to reverse its decision or face a lawsuit. The five-year contract renewal for Gafcon Inc. took effect Sunday.
District officials said they followed the law and made the decision after months of weighing alternatives.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/02/citizen-protests-11-million-no-bid-contract/?print&page=all
 
La Mesa war hero survived wounds, not runaway car (UT San Diego)
 
Henry Hashiguchi lived a remarkable life.
He was forced into an Arizona internment camp after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, then was quick to enlist in the Army to prove his American loyalty. He was twice wounded in battle.
On Tuesday, at the age of 89, he was killed when a runaway car slammed into his room at a La Mesa care facility.
 “He was a lucky man to survive all those things, and then such an unfortunate ending,” his daughter, Donna West, of Boulder, Colo., said Friday. “There were some extraordinary things in his life.”
Hashiguchi, who used the nickname Hank, was the third of nine children born in San Diego to Japanese immigrant farmers. He graduated from Hoover High School.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/29/la-mesa-man-survived-war-wounds-not-runaway-car/ 
Plug pulled on San Diego power plant (KPBS)
 
June 25, 2012 -- Capital Power is tabling its plan to build a power plant in University City for now.
The natural gas power plant is being proposed on land near Interstate 805 and Nobel Drive. Voters would have needed to approve the lease of the land to the Canadian power company. The City Council’s Rules Committee was scheduled to discuss on Wednesday whether to put the issue on the November ballot.
In a letter to the mayor’s office, the company said it has decided not to pursue a 2012 ballot initiative. And it requests the item be pulled from the committee's agenda.
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jun/25/plug-pulled-san-diego-power-plant/ 
 
16-year-old driver in SR 52 crash pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter (Santee Patch)
 
A 16-year-old boy from Santee who raced another motorist, causing a freeway crash that killed two of his teenage passengers, pleaded guilty in Juvenile Court today to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter resulting in death.
The teen faces a maximum of seven years and four months in custody when he is sentenced July 16 by Judge Browder Willis.
http://santee.patch.com/articles/16-year-old-driver-in-sr-52-crash-pleads-guilty-to-vehicular-manslaughter?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
How Darrell Issa’s pursuit of Attorney General Eric Holder is playing back home (Daily Beast)
 
June 28, 2012 -- Every politician on Capitol Hill has supporters and haters back home, but Southern California Congressman Darrell Issa is especially revered—and reviled—in his home Congressional District 49.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/etc/designs/default/0.gif
Seemingly everyone in the 49th, which runs from north San Diego County to central Orange County, has an opinion about Issa, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chair who last week voted with his fellow Republicans on the committee to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not producing subpoenaed documents in the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running sting.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/28/how-darrell-issa-s-pursuit-of-attorney-general-eric-holder-is-playing-back-home.html
Great white shark sighting closes beach (UT San Diego)
 
July 3, 2012 -- La Jolla Shores beach was closed Monday after a great white shark was spotted Monday off the coast.
The 14-foot great white was seen by a lifeguard who was on a paddleboard at 3:15 p.m., authorities said.
The sighting was made about 100 yards off the coast, in front of the lifeguard tower.
The beach was closed to swimmers from the Marine Room to Scripps Pier, San Diego lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan said. Lifeguards were issuing frequent warnings to beachgoers over a loudspeaker.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/02/great-white-shark-spotted-la-jolla-shores/ 
San Onofre workers lack whistleblower protections (KPBS)
 
JUne 28, 2012 -- For the past four years, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has had the highest number of safety complaints of any nuclear plant in the country.
“That’s not the list you want to be on top of,” said nuclear power expert David Lockbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“I don’t think there is any doubt whatsoever that right now the workforce at San Onofre doesn’t trust management and when they have safety concerns they’re either not raising them at all or they’re raising them to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the only option they have available," he added. "That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. The workers are basically the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the first ones who see the problems. Their voices need to be heard, not ignored.”
 
County makes a disaster of the Brown Act (CityBeat)
 
June 27, 2012 -- The local region’s disaster-response plan is a beast of a document, comprising 17 sections, or annexes, lettered A through R, with Annex N weirdly left “unassigned.” How the county will communicate with the press in an emergency is detailed in Annex L, which covers public information and “rumor control.”
The strategy is guided by two policies: that the public has a right to know and that the news media’s job is to disseminate accurate information and the press should therefore be “treated with the respect warranted by that role.”

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-10691-county-makes-a-disaster-of-the-brown-act-unified-disaster-council-meeting-turns-into-a-brief-battle-over-open-government.html