EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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East County News Service

January 11, 2017 (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

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LOCAL

Poverty in San Diego County Higher Than During Great Recession (KPBS)

Despite years of falling unemployment, poverty in San Diego County remains stubbornly high, and points to deeper problems in the San Diego region's economy.

SDG&E Community Choice decision postponed (Borrego Sun)

San Diego Gas & Electric's plan to lobby on the alternative energy program called community choice aggregation has been suspended. Under state law, the utility is prohibited from lobbying or marketing on community choice unless it forms an independent district that's funded by shareholders, not ratepayers…Allison Torres, a spokeswoman for SDG&E, said the utility would provide more information to the CPUC this month.

Sea World’s Shamu show delivers last splash (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Fifty years of splashes, twirls and leaps into the air came to an end Sunday as SeaWorld’s 11 killer whales took their final entertainment-laden bow.

A ‘Trumpian’ Hunter (San Diego Union-Tribune)

…Consider Duncan Hunter…This week he disclosed that he used $600 worth of campaign funds to take his children’s pet bunny on a commercial airplane. Using campaign funds for personal expenses is illegal, and this “mistake” is the latest personal expense for which Hunter, under scrutiny, has reimbursed his campaign account $62,000. ...Similar abuses of campaign funds landed former representative Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois, in prison ...

Bunnygate:  Hunter down rabbit hole, votes to abolish Office of Congressional Ethics (Escondido Grapevine)

Quite the contrast this week between Rep. Darrell Issa, R-49th District, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-50th District, concerning the walk-back on House Republicans’ initial attempt behind closed doors to fill the swamp by way of demolition of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. And Hunter’s press rep says a bunny rabbit is the reason why he voted to gut the independent committee that recently has investigated him for numerous instances of spending campaign funds for personal expenses.

Lilac Hills backers sue to recover some legal costs (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Backers of November’s failed Lilac Hills Ranch initiative, which sought voter approval to build a 1,746-home development east of Interstate 15 in Valley Center, have sued opponents for almost $90,000 in attorney fees.

Tijuana Homicides Reach Record Level in 2016 (KPBS)

Tijuana saw more than 900 homicides in 2016, surpassing a previous record of 844 in 2008.

Southwest adds new nonstop destinations from San Diego (KNSD)

Starting June 4, locals will be able to fly to Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah year-round from San Diego International Airport. The flights will be once a day.  The airline will also add seasonal nonstop flights to three new destinations: Newark, Spokane and Indianapolis.

STATE

Medi-Cal recipients statewide would feel the pain of Obamacare repeal (KPBS)

Republicans in Congress have promised to repeal Obamacare. And if they do so, Medi-Cal, California's health program for the poor, will suffer a massive body blow.

California Legislature is getting more diverse, but there are fewer women (Sacramento Bee)

How has the California Legislature changed since term limits were introduced?

Pot’s legal in California. So why are people still getting busted in Yosemite? (McClatchy News)

Think pot is now legal in California? Try telling that to the National Park Service rangers ready to bust people caught with marijuana in Yosemite, Redwood, Death Valley and other federal lands across the state.

Sanders’ Democrats claim victories in California delegate elections (Sacramento Bee)

...a group led by the California Nurses Association and other self-described Bernie Sanders-progressives are claiming it won a majority of the delegate slots chosen over the weekend, as well as the bulk of the 80 executive board seats up for renewal. “We have the momentum and we are confident we will have a majority,” said Don Nielsen, director of government relations for the CNA. Among the new delegates are dozens of nurses, he added.

California Legislature to pay Eric Holder to challenge Trump administration (Sacramento Bee)

The California Legislature will pay the firm of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder $25,000 a month to assist with legal challenges posed by policy conflicts with the Trump Administration, Democratic leaders announced Wednesday.