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December 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:



Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.


No fairy tale: The saga of the Mother Goose Parade, B-list celebrities, embezzled funds  (UT San Diego)

December 1, 2012--She wished for Ryan Reynolds but settled for Menudo.

She had Porsche aspirations on a Pinto budget.

And since she didn't live in Hollywood, Jillian Hanson-Cox brought Hollywood to El Cajon, for one magical day, for the city’s annual Mother Goose Parade.

Desert wind farm jolts San Diego (UT San Diego)

December 1, 2012--OCOTILLO, Calif. — A wind farm in the northern Sonora desert will deliver its first jolt of electricity to San Diego this week, opening up the flow of renewable energy across the Sunrise Powerlink.

The power plant at Ocotillo is one in a long line of utility-scale wind and solar projects made possible by the new 117-mile transmission line leading from Coastal California into the Imperial Valley.

A federal tax credit that expires at the end of the year hastened construction of the wind plant, which is just over an hour’s drive from the California coast. The credit can offset as much as one-third of development costs.

“This project is a viable project even without (the tax credit), but we are working to maximize our benefits,” said Joan Inlow, construction project manager for Bay Area-based wind developer Pattern Energy.

Pattern expects to have at least 86 turbines out of 112 at Ocotillo generating power this week. Spread across 19 square miles of desert leased by the Bureau of Land Management, the turbines nearly encircle Ocotillo, a town of fewer than 300 year-round occupants.

She spent money on whatever she wanted (IT San Diego)

December 3, 2012--By now, it’s well-known that former El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox took money from the manufacturer that employed her and used it to benefit a community cause — the Mother Goose Parade that became star-studded under her leadership.

But at her sentencing in federal court on Monday for embezzlement, some other spending was revealed.

Council counters Madrid on Fair Trade (UT San Diego)

November 27, 2012--A letter that Mayor Art Madrid sent recently to the La Mesa Fair Trade Town steering committee making a commendation on his own to declare La Mesa a “Fair Trade Town” got a few city councilmen and some city residents riled up.

So much noise was made that City Attorney Glenn Sabine was asked to send official correspondence to the steering committee — made up of La Mesa residents Nancy Ryan and Anne Pacheco — as well as to the Fair Trade USA headquarters.

Santee Crime report: $30,000 burglary at Padre Dam, thefts at Santana High (Santee Patch)

November 28, 2012--Santee Crime Report: $30,000 Burglary at Padre Dam; Thefts at Santana HS.

The following information comes from Santee Sheriff’s Dept. reports. Suspects have not been convicted of a crime.

Mayor, Councilman Ewin play hardball over lost softball in testy meeting (La Mesa Patch)

November 29, 2012--A decade ago, a La Mesa Senior Softball League team won a national tournament in Louisiana and made a triumphant return—presenting a plaque and softball to Mayor Art Madrid.

On Tuesday, Councilman Ernie Ewin called on Madrid to produce the souvenirs, since he said the team is hoping to use them in applying for exhibit space at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park.

Fire board member works for ambulance firm (UT San Diego)

November 30, 2012--San Miguel Fire District board member Karrie Johnston voted in 2005 to approve an agreement with American Medical Response for covering ambulance services in the area. A year later, the company hired her to supervise one of its call centers.

AMR is responsible for ambulance service in the area under a contract with Grossmont Hospital. Under the $2.4 million deal approved in 2005, San Miguel is reimbursed by AMR when it provides backup services.

Old problems plague merchants group (La Mesa Today)

November 29, 2012--The stage was set Thursday to be a good night for the La Mesa Village Merchants Association.

The slate of new officers was set. Twenty-seven thousand lights shined from the trees outside and plans for Christmas in The Village were set to draw thousands once again to the Village streets. Plans for a complete redesign of La Mesa Boulevard were presented by city engineers.


California Legislature welcomes largest freshman class since 1966 (Sacramento Bee)December 3, 2012--Democrat Jim Frazier's swearing-in as an assemblyman today will climax a 12-year journey in politics that began with the death of his 20-year-old daughter in a head-on traffic accident.

"It's been a long road to get this opportunity to serve the people of my district," said Frazier, a former Oakley councilman. "I just can't wait to start."

California says federal immigration detention requests are voluntary  (Reuters)

December 4, 2012--California's attorney general said on Tuesday that state and local law enforcement agencies were not required to honor federal immigration detention requests, a declaration welcomed by immigrant rights activists.

Attorney General Kamala Harris, the state's top law enforcement official, said complying with the federal program that helped deport a record 400,000 illegal immigrants last year is voluntary.

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