EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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January 18, 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
  • California lawmakers take another crack at single payer healthcare bill (Sacramento Bee)
  • Jerry Brown’s budget demands would strip demands, payments from local governments (Sacramento Bee)
  • Education magazine gives California a “C” for its students (Sacramento Bee)
  • California in eye of Internet piracy storm (San Francisco Chronicle)
 
LOCAL

  • Can $20 a head “cash mobs” save local shops? (U-T San Diego)
  • E. County leaders like their politics unbuttoned (U-T San Diego)
  • Parents protest, but are told school attendance boundaries won’t change (La Mesa Patch)
  • San Diego County Water Authority challenges rate (KPBS)
  • Stuck in traffic, long awaited Park Place project awaits fifth study (La Mesa Patch)
  • Chaldeans launch community newspaper (U-T San Diego)
  • Chickens finally okayed in Santee (U-T San Diego)
  • 5 involved in Sweetwater District probe plead not guilty (10 News)
  • Sweetwater says workers stole from cafeterias (U-T San Diego)
  • Campaign limits proposed for Southwestern and San Diego Schools (U-T San Diego)
 Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.
 
STATE

California lawmakers take another crack at single payer healthcare bill (Sacramento Bee)
January 17, 2012 -- California's "Medicare for all" bill goes before a key Senate committee today, the latest chapter in a long-running battle between universal health insurance supporters and business.
Senate Bill 810, introduced by San Francisco Democrat Sen. Mark Leno, would establish a California Healthcare Agency to run a single-payer health care system that would pool employer and employee payments. It would administer the money and negotiate rates with doctors, hospitals and other medical providers.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/17/4192507/california-lawmakers-take-another.html

Jerry Brown’s budget demands would strip demands, payments from local governments (Sacramento Bee)
January 18, 2012 -- When former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to repeal a state law requiring animal shelters to keep dogs and cats longer before euthanizing them, outrage from animal lovers was so overwhelming he was forced to drop the idea.
Eight years later, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to repeal provisions of the same law. But this time – owing to improved shelter conditions and to years of tough budget conditioning – hardly anyone has complained.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/14/4186863/jerry-browns-budget-plan-would.html
 
Education magazine gives California a “C” for its students (Sacramento Bee)
 
January 12, 2012 -- California's 6 million-student public education system receives high marks for setting high academic standards but very low grades for meeting those standards and school finance in the latest nationalrankings by Education Week magazine.
 
Overall, the state receives a "C grade for its public schools with a mark of 76.1 on the 1-100 scale, slightly below the nation as a whole. For the fourth year in a row, Maryland's schools came out on top at 87.8 while South Dakota came in last with 68.1.
http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/01/education-week-gives-california-a-c-for-its-schools.html
 
California in eye of Internet piracy storm (San Francisco Chronicle)
 
January 17, 2012 -- A festering battle over legislation to crack down on Internet piracy promises to escalate sharply on Wednesday when Wikipedia and other websites have vowed to go dark in protest.
 
Two of California's biggest industries, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, are on opposite sides of the issue, putting heat on the state's two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Both Democrats are co-sponsoring the legislation, known in the Senate as the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, and in the House as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. The Senate has scheduled a test vote on the legislation next week.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/17/MN4B1MQ3PV.DTL&tsp=1

LOCAL

Can $20 a head “cash mobs” save local shops? (U-T San Diego)
 
January 16, 2012 -- You’ve heard about flash mobs, but what about cash mobs?
It’s a simple idea — meet up with like-minded people and spend $20 each at a local, independent store — and it has been gathering steam. The first event that received major news coverage, held in November in Cleveland, has inspired grass-roots organizers across the U.S., from San Diego to Houston to Philadelphia.
http://web.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/16/can-20-head-cash-mobs-save-local-shops/

E. County leaders like their politics unbuttoned (U-T San Diego)
January 12, 2012 -- Cue the lights. Cue the camera. Cue the exclamation marks.
“Well, hello everybody! It’s me, Mr. Santee, Rob McNelis!”
He smiles and jokes and waves his arms in front of the tiny video camera on his iPad, while talking up what he considers America’s finest city.
 
Parents protest, but are told school attendance boundaries won’t change (La Mesa Patch)

http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/guhsd-meeting-jan-12


San Diego County Water Authority challenges rate (KPBS)
 
January 9, 2012 -- A state-court lawsuit challenges the amount charged to San Diego water users by the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles.
The San Diego Water Authority claims that it's been overcharged for water it buys from Metropolitan. Rates have climbed 75 percent in recent years while water usage has gone down.
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jan/09/san-diego-county-water-authority-challenges-rates/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Flocal+%28KPBS+News%3A+Local+Headlines%29
Stuck in traffic, long awaited Park Place project awaits fifth study (La Mesa Patch)
 

Chaldeans launch community newspaper (U-T San Diego)
January 11, 2012 -- East County’s growing Chaldean community is turning to old-school media to create a new voice.
It has started a newspaper. It’s called “Betha Kaldaya,” or Chaldean House, and the nonprofit group behind it came out with a debut issue last month and plans to publish again next week.
“With over 30,000 Chaldeans living in El Cajon, many of whom are newcomers, it is essential to have a media outlet that understands their background, culture and the challenges they are facing,” read the inaugural edition.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/11/chaldeans-launch-community-newspaper/

Chickens finally okayed in Santee (U-T San Diego)
January 11, 2012 -- There were more than a few "egg-centric" puns that played out at Santee's City Council meeting Wednesday, but in the end, the council voted 3-2 to allow chickens in single-family residential zones.
Santee Planning Director Melanie Kush shared the city's staff report and first reading of an ordinance that explained the enforceable regulations that will be added to the city's municipal code regarding the keeping of urban agriculture.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/11/chickens-finally-okd-in-santee/
 
5 involved in Sweetwater District probe plead not guilty (10 News)
 
January 13, 2012 -- The ex-superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District and four other people pleaded not guilty Friday to bribery, perjury and other charges.
 
Former SUHSD Superintendent Jesus Gandara, trustees Arlie Ricasa and Pearl Quinones, 16-year former board member Greg Sandoval, and Henry Amigable, an executive who worked for a construction company hired by the school district, all remain free on their own recognizance.
http://www.10news.com/news/30204424/detail.html
 
Sweetwater says workers stole from cafeterias (U-T San Diego)
 
January 11, 2012 -- Eight cafeteria workers are under investigation in the Sweetwater Union High School District as officials examine allegations of widespread theft and nepotism, citing at least $500,000 in losses.
The district put six employees on unpaid leave — two supervisors, two cafeteria managers, a secretary and a food storage warehouse worker. At least two of them, the supervisors, have since resigned.
The district has hired private investigator Bob Price, president of San Diego-based ESI International, to examine the food-service department, at a cost of $64,000.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/11/sweetwater-says-workers-looted-cafeterias/
 
Campaign limits proposed for Southwestern and San Diego Schools (U-T San Diego)
 
January 11, 2012 -- Representatives from two local education agencies are proposing clamping down on campaign contributions in the wake of a criminal probe into relationships between contractors and politicians in South County. Southwestern College trustee Humberto Peraza has proposed reeling in what he called a “shocking” and “ridiculous” lack of limits on campaign contributions for the community college district. San Diego school board member Richard Barrera wants to ban board of education candidates from accepting campaign contributions from organizations and political action committees — including those run by labor unions, political organizations and corporations.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/11/campaign-limits-proposed-southwestern-and-san-dieg/