EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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September 6, 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

  • La Mesa-Spring Valley schools face cuts of $12.5 million  if tax vote fails (La Mesa Patch)
  • Wages in San Diego not rising fast enough (UT San Diego)
  • La Mesa City Council Candidates (La Mesa Courier)
  • 10 privatization fact checks (Voice of San Diego)
  • 21 homes red-tagged: What to expect from classic Brawley earthquake swarm  (NBC)
  • Recruiting allegations haunt Helix, defending state football champions (Mt. Helix Patch.com)

STATE

  • California jobs picture brightens (Sacramento Bee)
  • Gov. Brown promotes Prop 30, warns of devastating cuts to education if it fails (Santee Patch)
  • Most tax deals die as GOP stands united (UT San Diego)
  • Self-driving cars approved by California legislature (CNBC)
  • California way behind Germany in solar development (KCET)
  • Three races could tip the balance of power in state Legislature (Sacramento Bee)
  • U.S. Chamber launches ad attacking California budget, economy (Sacramento Bee)

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

LOCAL/REGIONAL

La Mesa-Spring Valley schools face cuts of $12.5 million  if tax vote fails (La Mesa Patch)

September 1, 2012 -- The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District says it would have to make $12.5 million in budget cuts in the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years if Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure doesn’t pass in November.

That’s on top of $17 million in cuts approved by the school board in recent years, according to schools Superintendent Brian Marshall.

http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/la-mesa-spring-valley-schools-face-cuts-of-12-5-million-if-tax-vote-fails

Wages in San Diego not rising fast enough (UT San Diego)

September 1, 2012 -- If you’ve noticed that your paycheck isn’t going as far when it comes to footing the bills and having money left over this Labor Day, you’re probably right.

Wages in San Diego County over the past two years have not increased enough to keep up with the cost of living, state data shows.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/01/wages-not-rising-fast-enough/

La Mesa City Council Candidates (La Mesa Courier)

August 30, 2012 -- This year voters have two La Mesa City Council seats to fill at the Nov. 6 general election. Although incumbent Ruth Sterling is running again for a seat, Dave Allan has decided to hang up his hat, leaving open an opportunity for a brand new councilmember. La Mesa Courier reached out to 2012’s city council candidates to see who is interested in joining local politics.

http://scoopsandiego.com/la_mesa_courier/local_news/la-mesa-city-council-candidates/article_4c5edc8a-f209-11e1-a223-0019bb30f31a.html

10 privatization fact checks (Voice of San Diego)

August 31, 2012 -- We've examined a bunch of claims over the years about privatizing government services, and one of the biggest issues has been a bidding process known as managed competition.

Government employees are basically pitted against private contractors to see who can efficiently provide public services like trash collection or street sweeping. Proponents say the process saves money while opponents often raise concerns about degrading the quality and oversight of public services.

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/fact/article_3bbba0e0-f3c4-11e1-84c1-001a4bcf887a.html

21 homes red-tagged: What to expect from classic Brawley earthquake swarm  (NBC)

August 27, 2012 -- More activity is likely this week after a cluster of earthquakes that produced shaking from Orange County and San Diego east to Arizona occurred throughout Sunday at the south end of the Salton Sea.

"What we're seeing is a classic Brawley seismic swarm,'' said USGS seismologist Lucy Jones. "The area sees lots of events at once, with many close to the largest magnitude, rather than one main shock with several much smaller aftershocks."

http://www.communityassistingrecovery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=644:21-homes-red-tagged-what-to-expect-from-the-qclassic-brawley-seismic-swarmq&catid=923:headline-news&Itemid=59

Recruiting allegations haunt Helix, defending state football champions (Mt. Helix Patch.com)

August 30, 2012 -- Ranked the county’s top team in several preseason polls, Helix Charter High School opens its football season Friday night at Eastlake—the lone unit to defeat the Scotties in a magical 2011 run to their first state title.

But along with CIF trophies and Player of the Year honors for quarterback Brandon Lewis and teammate Kacy Smith came allegations that Helix coaches used inappropriate practices to build future all-star teams.

http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/recruiting-allegations-haunt-helix-defending-state-football-champions?ncid=newsltuspatc00000003

STATE

California jobs picture brightens (Sacramento Bee)

September 1, 2012 -- Labor Day weekend finds the California job market in the strongest shape it's been in years – but still nowhere near fully recovered from the recession.

The state Employment Development Department's annual Labor Day briefing said California has added 365,000 jobs in the past year. That's a 2.6 percent growth rate, the best in 11 years and twice the national average, the agency said.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/01/4777064/california-jobs-picture-brightens.html

Gov. Brown promotes Prop 30, warns of devastating cuts to education if it fails (Santee Patch)

August 20, 2012 -- Gov. Jerry Brown Monday warned that failure to pass his tax measure in November will result in “devastating cuts” to the state’s education system that will mean “we don’t have a future.”

“‘Yes’ will invest in our schools,” Brown said in a campaign speech at San Diego City College on the first day of classes. “ ‘No’ results in devastating cuts.”

http://santee.patch.com/articles/gov-brown-promotes-prop-30-warns-of-devastating-cuts-to-education

Most tax deals die as GOP stands united (UT San Diego)

September 1, 2012 -- State lawmakers rejected many — but not all — proposed tax and fee increases as they worked into early Saturday morning to wrap up the session for the year.

The Legislature failed to repeal a controversial fire fee on rural residents, blocked a corporate tax hike to pay for middle-class college scholarships and rejected a mandatory mattress recycling program that could have added up to $8 to the price of new beds.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/01/gop-stands-united-most-tax-deals-die/

Self-driving cars approved by California legislature (CNBC)

August 31, 2012 -- In California, it's illegal to talk on a cell phone handset while driving your car. The reasoning is pretty simple: with one hand glued to your smartphone, not only are you distracted chatting about what happened on last night's episode of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," but you also only have one hand to hold the wheel.

But what if you were sitting in your car and didn't actually have to drive? What if all you had to pay attention to was getting to the next level in Angry Birds?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48861376

California way behind Germany in solar development (KCET)

August 27, 2012 -- By all rights, California ought to be the solar capital of the world. We've got the sun, the rooftop space, the long history of environmental awareness, and the appetite for clean power. And yet when the state reached a record 1 gigawatt of solar power coming into the grid this month, that long-anticipated benchmark was woefully smaller than the amount of solar power now online in Germany -- about 30 times California's capacity, and four fifths of it on rooftops. Why does the sunny state of California lag so far behind Germany in the solar power arena?

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/california-way-behind-germany-in-solar-development.html

Three races could tip the balance of power in state Legislature (Sacramento Bee)

September 4, 2012 -- As the Legislature adjourned for three months last Friday, the Capitol turned its attention to the Nov. 6 election, and particularly three – or perhaps four – state Senate contests whose outcomes could affect the balance of legislative power.

Democrats now hold 25 of the Senate's 40 seats. If they were to gain two more this year, they would have a two-thirds supermajority and could pass certain kinds of legislation, such as tax increases, without Republican votes.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/04/4783463/dan-walters-three-races-could.html

U.S. Chamber launches ad attacking California budget, economy (Sacramento Bee)

August 29, 2012 -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched what may constitute the first unofficial television salvo against Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative with an ad criticizing California state government.

The 30-second ad says "California is struggling badly" under the weight of "huge deficits," "high taxes" and "overregulation." It later claims that "bureaucrats put $37 billion in hidden, unaudited accounts," a reference to the state's special fund accounts that have drawn greater scrutiny in the wake of the state parks scandal.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/08/us-chamber-launches-ad-attacking-california-budget-economy.html