EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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January 2, 2013--(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:

 EAST COUNTY

SAN DIEGO REGION

STATE

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

EAST COUNTY

Hiking in San Diego County? There's an App for That (La Mesa Patch)

December 27, 2012--You can now get a new mobile application for your smart phone telling you just about everything you ever wanted to know about San Diego County parks.

The free application, called My Parx, can be downloaded to any iPhone or Android smart phone, and can give you information beyond what you’ll find on the San Diego County Parks and Recreation website. While that information is included, there are some gee whiz aspects to the app, for instance, the interactive maps.

La Mesa resident prevails in illegal search case (U-T San Diego)

December 25, 2012--Four years ago, La Mesa police Officer Mike Stanton stepped out of his patrol car and shouted at a man crossing Thorne Street to stop.

That routine bit of police work, and the events that followed in the next few minutes, has turned into something more. Because of a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month, the outcome of that encounter might end up changing how police officers are trained and go about their work.

Ways to Work’ helps families move their lives forward by putting wheels on them (East County Californian)

December 28, 2012--Ways to Work, a national program, that provides financial education and short-term low-interest car loans to working families, with challenging credit histories, has recently been launched in San Diego, thanks to funds committed by both United Way of San Diego County (UWSD) and the Leichtag Foundation.

The two funders selected Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Community Resource Center to implement Ways to Work. JFS is working with East County clients.

Ways to Work stresses financial skills, while teaching participants about insurance, budgeting and how to save for repairs for routine maintenance.

Spring Valley Citizens Association survives by a single vote on third ballot (La Mesa Patch)

December 28, 2012--Steven Relyea has been re-elected president of the Spring Valley Citizens Association, a small group that nearly disbanded at a holiday party.

According to U-T San Diego, members on Dec. 20 voted 12-11, with two abstentions, to keep the association alive.

“After Relyea made the motion [to disband] and an initial vote was taken, some of the members present were confused by what was being asked and after it was taken, they realized they had voted the opposite way of what they intended,” the U-T reported Friday. “The second vote also confounded some of those present, so that was also rescinded.”

Sailors sue Japan over illnesses they say stem from radiation exposure at Fukushima (10 News)

December 28, 2012--Some San Diego sailors are suing Japan because they say officials from the country lied about radiation during theFukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster.

Explosions at the nuclear facility sent plumes of radiation into the air following a tsunami that rocked the country's coast in March 2011.

The eight American sailors say that they became sick when they were exposed to the radiation while delivering aid. The sailors were onboard the USS Ronald Reagan, off the coast of Japan, when the nuclear disaster happened.

New members for Grossmont Hospital Foundation (U-T San Diego)

December 26, 2012--The Grossmont Hospital Foundation recently appointed three new members to its 2013 Board of Governors. Dr. Harry Ellison, Lew Silverberg and Dr. Philip Szold will each serve a three-year term, which began Oct. 1. The Grossmont Hospital Foundation Board of Governors establishes policy for the foundation, determines its fundraising priorities and supports Sharp Grossmont Hospital in the development of services to East County residents.

New San Diego Humane Society adoption center opens at East County Petco (East County Californian)

December 19, 2012--The sign of the times featuring the merger of profit and non-profit entities took another step with the opening of a San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) adoption center inside the local branch of PETCO on 2nd Street in El Cajon.

Through a donation by PETCO Foundation, the nation-wide chain for pet products is the newest source for animal rescue and adoption. The local store already offers adoption of cats in partnership of East County Animal Rescue.

SAN DIEGO REGION

San Diego Can Now Have Redevelopment Funds For Some Projects (U-T San Diego)

December 28, 2012--The state Department of Finance has reversed previous rulings and will allow the city of San Diego to use leftover redevelopment funds to pay for construction projects benefiting homeless and low-income families, the City Attorney's office announced today.

The decision means that the city's general fund -- which covers basic government costs such as public safety and library -- won't have to bear a cost overrun on the Connections Housing project, a permanent shelter for the homeless at Sixth Avenue and A Street, or the price of building an affordable housing development at Ninth Avenue and Broadway.

Gov. Brown Grants 79 Pardons, Including Seven Cases in SD County (La Mesa Patch)

December 25, 2012--A man found guilty of robbery 58 years ago in San Diego County was among 79 people pardoned Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Frank E. Morino, 79, was convicted in August 1954 and imprisoned for five years. No further information about his case was immediately available.

A letter of clemency for Morino said he volunteers at a center for the elderly and helps Alzheimer's patients. His application for a pardon was supported by the Ventura County Superior Court, according to the letter.

Economy for 2013: San Diego worse than state, nation?  (SD Reader/Don Bauder)

December 26, 2012--Are you tired of sluggish economic growth? Well, you could live in Europe, which is in a recession, or Japan, which has been struggling since 1989. Local economists look for slow growth in the United States, California, and San Diego next year, amid continuing global woes — and maybe even a sharp slowdown in booming China.

Problem: our slow growth won’t be good enough to improve our festering unemployment problem significantly. Our central bank, the Federal Reserve, will continue to drive interest rates lower, supposedly to combat joblessness. This could make Wall Street happier, as stock and bond prices rise with more money floating around, but won’t help Main Street much except in one important way: housing could continue its rebound.

Sempra completes Hawaii wind farm project (San Diego Business Journal)

December 31, 2012--San Diego-based Sempra Energy has recently completed a wind farm in Hawaii that will generate enough clean electricity to power about 10,000 homes.

Sempra partnered with BP Wind Energy, and construction on the wind farm began in March.

STATE

Mortgages, vaccinations, guns among new-law topics (Sacramento Bee)

December 30, 2012-- Homeowners will have increased protections from foreclosure under some of the hundreds of state laws taking effect with the new year.

California also is studying whether to create the nation's first state-administered retirement savings program for some 6 million private-sector workers, although it will take additional legislation before the program can be fully implemented.

New California laws to affect drivers in 2013 (Sacramento Bee)

December 28, 2012--The new year is almost here and with it comes the resolution, a promise to change the way we've done things in the past.

The state of California has made several resolutions herself and about 800 new laws will go into effect in 2013.

Below is a list of new laws or changes to existing laws that go into effect on Tuesday and will likely affect you as a California driver.   

California's snowpack levels above normal (Sacramento Bee)

December 26, 2012--Officials say several early season storms have pushed California's snowpack - which supplies much of the state's water - to well above normal levels.

The state Department of Water Resources said Wednesday that early electronic readings indicate that the water content of California's snowpack is 146 percent above normal for this time of year.

Jerry Brown pushes new funding system for California schools (Sacramento Bee)

December 26, 2012--After California schools eliminated art programs and increased class sizes to survive budget cuts; they are finally on the verge of getting more money thanks to voter-approved taxes and economic recovery.

But K-12 districts may not share equally in the expanding budget pie.

Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing hard to overhaul California's convoluted school funding system. His plan has two major objectives: Give K-12 districts greater control over how they spend money, and send more dollars to impoverished students and English learners.