EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

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January 10, 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:

STATE

LOCAL/REGIONAL

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

STATE

California's Child Population Projected To Drop Significantly (KPBS)

January 8, 2013--An unprecedented drop in California's child population coupled with a growing wave of Baby Boomer retirements has major implications for the state and should drive lawmakers to adopt policies that will nurture young people with improved educational opportunities and health care, according to a report released today.

An analysis of census data shows that children will make up 21 percent of the state's population by 2030, down sharply from 33 percent in 1970, according to the report by USC's Price School of Public Policy and the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children's Health.

Jerry Brown defiant in fight over prison overcrowding (Sacramento Bee)

January 8, 2013--Gov. Jerry Brown railed this morning against federal oversight of California's troubled prison system, calling it "intrusive" and "nit-picky" and vowing to fight in court to get the state out from under federal control.

A defiant Brown also lifted a state of emergency declared in 2006 by his predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, due to prison overcrowding.

"The prison emergency is over in California," Brown said.

California man says he can drive in carpool lane with corporation papers (U.S. News)

January 5, 2013--When Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, Calif., was pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane, he argued to the officer that, actually, he did have a passenger.

He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told NBCBayArea.com, saying that corporations are people under California law.

Frieman doesn't actually support this notion. For more than 10 years, Frieman says he had been trying to get pulled over to get ticketed and to take his argument to court -- to challenge a judge to determine that corporations and people are not the same. Mission accomplished in October, when he was slapped with a fine -- a minimum of $481.

California Conditionally Approved to Run Its Own Health Insurance Market (KPBS)

January 5, 2013--California is part of a group of new states that has been approved by the federal government to run its own health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday's approvals are conditional, based mostly on the states’ ability to meet federal guidelines and satisfy conditions of their own plans for the new marketplaces.

Parks Department Investigation Shows Intentional Hiding of Funds (KPBS)

January 4, 2013--The California Attorney General’s office has released its investigation into the funding surplus at the state Parks Department. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, it shows that only part of the $54 million dollars found in two funds were intentionally hidden from the Department of Finance.

Sierra snowpack has water managers happy so far (KPBS)

January 2, 2013--California’s water managers said the state has a good supply of water so far thanks to a snowy December.

The first official measurement of the Sierra Nevada snowpack showed four feet of accumulation. Manual and electronic readings showed the water content of the snow at 134 percent of average for this time of year.

Yosemite plan would ease traffic, shut ice rink  (Sacramento Bee)

January 8, 2013--Visitors might miss the 1920s-era ice skating rink in the winter or the summer bike and raft rentals, but they'll likely be glad to hear that a plan released Tuesday to protect the river that runs through Yosemite National Parkwon't reduce the number of daily visitors.

For years, the possibility has existed that access to the third-most visited national park would be decreased under the court-ordered effort to protect the Merced River, which received congressional "wild and scenic" designation in 1987.

LOCAL/REGIONAL

Great-granny student body president at Grossmont: If I can do it, so can you (U-T San Diego)

January 3, 2012--For much of her life, Peg Marcus lived by two sacrosanct syllables: You can’t.

You can’t finish high school because we need you for babysitting, her father told her in 10th grade. So she dropped out to care for her six younger siblings.

They lived in the Rust Belt, where the men worked in factories and women cared for the little ones. You can’t change the way things have been done for generations. You just can’t.

Bald eagles nesting in Ramona (10 News)

January 3, 2013--Two bald eagles have built a nest in a eucalyptus tree in Ramona. It is the first time in San Diego County's known history that a pair has built a nest this close to San Diego.

"They're totally wild birds," said Dave Bittner, the executive director for the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona. "Nobody brought them in here."

Bittner said the eagles started building the nest two months ago in the middle of the Ramona Grasslands, a wildlife reserve. He said bald eagles migrate through San Diego every winter but never stay to start a family.

Unmanned aerial vehicles and drone surveillance issues (IVN San Diego)

December 20, 2013--The recent spike in domestic surveillance could represent an increase of police force “militarization” to some, an argument which is primarily defended through public safety measures. In San Diego, CA, the County Sheriff Department’s interest in a Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has remained shrouded from public knowledge.

Similar to other police forces throughout the US, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles have remained painstakingly unfruitful.

La Mesa 2012: 100 years in the making (La Mesa Today)

December 31, 2013--Some of the scenes of 2012 as La Mesa celebrated its centennial year. You can click on video above or CLICK HERE to watch and enlarge on YouTube.

GOP picks Latina to lead local party (U-T San Diego)

January 8, 2013--The Republican Party of San Diego County has named Francis Barraza its new executive director.

The 28-year-old Chula Vista native and recent law school graduate takes over from Barrett Tetlow, who recently moved from the post to the staff of San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman.

Day of service, Filner speech on tap for MLK Day (San Diego Free Press)

January 8, 2013--The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council has announced plans for its annual “Day of Service” honoring the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King.  Volunteers are being encouraged to participate in a neighborhood clean-up project at Parkside Park (map) on Monday, January 21st from 10 am until noon.  Here’s the link to the Facebook signup page.

Does new UCAN board want reform? (SD Reader)

January 2, 2013--Robert Fellmeth, the ethics expert and law professor at the University of San Diego, says he wants ailing Utility Consumers’ Action Network (UCAN) to survive. Fellmeth founded the once-iconic watchdog in 1983 and shortly put one of his students, Michael Shames, in charge. Now Fellmeth has returned to the board: “We’re trying to do a restart with an independent board that nobody can question,” he asserts.

But questions abound. Does the new board really want to save the watchdog? Beginning in early 2011 and well into 2012, the board majority wanted to dissolve UCAN. Three of the four people who tried valiantly to save the watchdog fear they will be bounced. The fourth person was brought in to run the organization, begged the board to help her clean up the mess, and finally resigned in frustration.

3 more indicted in South Bay corruption probe (U-T San Diego)

December 31, 2012--A probe into corruption among South Bay school leaders has widened to include another district, with indictments against three additional officials.

A grand jury has indicted San Ysidro School District Superintendent Manuel Paul and Sweetwater Union High School District board members Jim Cartmill and Bertha Lopez, according to a criminal defense attorney who represents all three.

 Indictments rain down across South Bay (NBC San Diego)

January 7, 2012--More defendants have been snagged in the District Attorney's corruption probe into South Bay school construction projects.

The San Diego Superior Court docket for Monday lists a 2 p.m. appearance date for 15 defendants in the criminal probe. The corruption investigation has expanded in recent days to include new defendants from those originally charged with criminal complaints last year.

Is Bob Filner canceling San Diego's Earth Day? U-T San Diego)

January 6, 2013--Each April since 1990, tens of thousands of people have flocked to the perfect place in San Diego to celebrate Earth Day.

They’ve met in the heart of that central, environmental beauty — Balboa Park — to pay homage to a mother some say matters more than their own.