July 19, 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:
- Special report: water supplies pass tipping point (UT San Diego)
- Ramona’s original horses come home (Ramona Patch)
- San Diego County’s wildlife killers (Voice of San Diego)
- Heartland Fire Chief steps down (La Mesa Today)
- Unclaimed funds being held by county (10 News)
- 15-year-old Santee driver in fatal SR 52 crash sentenced to one year
- A costly, cranky day for La Mesa (La Mesa Today)
- La Mesa’s $1.9 million payment to state could be cut in half, says city manager (La Mesa Patch)
- California Health Exchange seeks to make buying insurance a breeze (Sacramento Bee)
- Lawmakers seek state parks investigation (Sacramento Bee)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Special report: water supplies pass tipping point (UT San Diego)
July 14, 2012 -- Miles upstream from where the Colorado River once delivered Rocky Mountain snowmelt to the Gulf of California, a string of empty pipes marks its end in the sands of northern Mexico.
The concrete tubes — each big enough for a grade-schooler to walk through — are a testament to the unquenchable thirst of 30 million people and nearly 4 million acres of farmland in the Southwest.
Ramona’s original horses come home (Ramona Patch)
July 12, 2012 -- I have to share with Ramona the exciting news and history of Ramona's Original Horses! We have a herd that is re-establishing our equestrian heritage right off Highland Valley Road and so many of you have asked about them I thought I'd better fill you in.
The horse has been part of North America since, well, forever. The San Diego Zoological Society believes the horse originated in North America millions of years ago then went extinct on this continent. Horses were reintroduced by Spanish visitors and have also been a part of Southern California for centuries.
San Diego County’s wildlife killers (Voice of San Diego)
In the last seven years, trappers working for an obscure arm of the U.S. Agriculture Department called Wildlife Services have killed 18,700 animals here, including some of the county's most iconic creatures: Bobcats, foxes, mountain lions, coyotes, songbirds and ducks.
Heartland Fire Chief steps down (La Mesa Today)
July 16, 2012 -- Mike Scott, the fire chief who helped create the unified Heartland Fire and Rescue Department for La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove, is stepping down and taking a new job with Homeland Security.
Scott told officials in all three towns today that he would be finishing up at the end of this month.
Unclaimed funds being held by county (10 News)
July 17, 2012 -- The county of San Diego is holding more than $210,000 in unclaimed funds owed to property taxpayers, or to individuals or businesses that have conducted business with county departments over the past three years, Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said Tuesday.
The list of 800 accounts to which the county owes money is online at www.sdtreastax.com, and printed copies are available at each of the department's offices. He said those who are on the list have less than two months to file a claim.
15-year-old Santee driver in fatal SR 52 crash sentenced to one year
July 16, 2012 -- A 16-year-old boy who to racing another young motorist on state Route 52, causing a , was sentenced Monday afternoon to a year in custody at a Juvenile facility in Campo.
The boy, who was a junior at in Santee at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter resulting in death in connection with the April 4 double fatality on state Route 52. He faced a maximum of seven years and four months in custody.
A costly, cranky day for La Mesa (La Mesa Today)
July 10, 2012 -- In many ways, Tuesday started out as a sort of classic small town day.
The friends, family and admirers of local restaurateur Don Sanfilippo gathered in a church to honor a life that had been lived, in large part, at the service of La Mesa.
"When Anna Sanfilippo got done talking there wasn't a dry eye in the house,'' said Jim Wieboldt, who was among hundreds attending the memorial. "There was a man who did so much for this city.''
But if there was a sense of unity and civic pride at Sanfilippo's memorial service, much of that good feeling quickly disappeared as the reality of life in California these days quickly intruded on the rest of Tuesday.
La Mesa’s $1.9 million payment to state could be cut in half, says city manager (La Mesa Patch)
July 13, 2012 -- La Mesa won’t lose any essential programs or have to cut staff as a result of the state’s surprise demand for $1.9 million, the city manager says.
And the city may get away with having to pay only $900,000, instead of the whole amount, says City Manager Dave Witt.
“We’ll make the adjustments and tighten our belts and get through this, primarily because this is a one-time expenditure,” Witt said. “So we hope that the state and the county agree with the new analysis” of what La Mesa owes.
California Health Exchange seeks to make buying insurance a breeze (Sacramento Bee)
July 17, 2012 -- Peter V. Lee wants to make buying health insurance "as easy as buying a book on Amazon."
He heads the nascent California Health Benefit Exchange, the cornerstone of the state's effort to put in place the federal health care overhaul. Lee envisions that 15 months from now, uninsured California residents will log onto any computer to shop for health care the same way they purchase novels.
The poorest residents will receive Medi-Cal. Those above the poverty line will find a menu of subsidized private options at different prices, from a "platinum" plan with higher premiums but lower deductibles down to a "bronze" selection that has lower premiums but requires the buyer to accept more risk.
Lawmakers seek state parks investigation (Sacramento Bee)
July 17, 2012 -- Assemblywoman Beth Gaines today called for an investigation into fiscal practices at parks after The Sacramento Bee revealed an unauthorized vacation buy down program cost the department more than $271,000.
In a letter today, Gaines, R-Rocklin, asked the state's Joint Legislative Audit Committee to undertake the probe. The revelation about the vacation buyout "raises serious concerns about the potential for other waste, fraud or abuse that may be occurring in this department," she wrote.