EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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East County News Service

February 15, 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

Inspections underway at San Diego dams after Oroville scare (Times of San Diego)

A comprehensive condition assessment of nine dams owned by the city of San Diego has been underway for the past year, the Public Utilities Department said Monday…some of the dams operated by the city are those at the San Vicente and El Capitan reservoirs, Lake Morena — all in the East County — and Lower Otay Lake, just east of Chula Vista…In all, there are 54 dams in San Diego County, owned by 19 public agencies.

Deporting undocumented immigrants in San Diego: How will the president’s plan play out? (NBC7)

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department outlines its policy on immigration enforcement and two attorneys explain what it means for undocumented immigrants with or without criminal records.

Crime Rate in San Diego Drops to Lowest in Decades (KPBS)

City leaders Tuesday hailed statistics for calendar year 2016 that showed San Diego crime rates dropped to their lowest levels in four decades.

San Diego City Council supports lawsuit against Trump travel ban (KPBS)

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday voted to sign an amicus brief in support of a Washington state lawsuit against President Donald Trump, inserting the city into the ongoing legal battle over the president's executive order on refugees and immigration. The vote was 8-1 in favor of supporting the lawsuit…The action …does not make San Diego a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, but does add the city's voice

City camp could be San Diego’s homeless solution (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The time has come for us to seek out a realistic way to manage our worsening problem of people living on the streets of our city and to do so in a manner that best serves our city’s entire population of 1.35 million. With this in mind, we propose the establishment of “Camp Hope San Diego” on city-owned land adjacent to Brown Field.

Why some homeless advocates oppose mayor’s shelter plan (Voice of San Diego)

…Moving a person into a shelter or even transitional housing that comes with months of services doesn’t end his homelessness by definition. He’s just got a temporary bed. To McConnell and Theisen, the mayor’s initial pitch to quickly add 300 shelter beds and an intake facility are only temporary solutions. Problem is, San Diego has a dearth of affordable housing and lots of competition for what does exist. There’s not enough housing available to house all of San Diego’s homeless.

Homeless man wins harassment settlement from San Diego Police (Los Angeles Times)

The city of San Diego has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a homeless man who accused police of harassment and improper arrests.

January refugee arrivals were up 61 percent in San Diego from last year (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The number of refugees resettling in San Diego County did not slow down in January — 365 arrived last month, the same as December’s new arrivals total, according to data from the county Health and Human Services Agency.

Report: San Diego Ranks 13th Highest for Immigrants Living in the Country Illegally (KPBS)

A study released Thursday found the San Diego region is home to about 170,000 immigrants living in the United States illegally, ranking 13th nationally…. Five of the 20 metro areas with large populations of immigrants living in the country illegally are in California: Los Angeles Riverside-San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. 

Children’s Nature Retreat created for the love of underprivileged children (East County Californian)

This is not a petting zoo. It is set up for education, relaxation, and connecting with nature. The vision of owner Agnes Barrelet, founder for Hands United for Children that supports underprivileged children in the U.S. and Africa, the Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine is now a branch of her dream for children. With 20-acres of beautiful Alpine terrain, it is a safe haven to domestic, livestock and equine animals from around the world.

Report: SDPD body cameras reducing misconduct, aggressive use of force (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The San Diego Police Department says body-worn cameras are having a positive impact and that coming technological upgrades will make the cameras even more effective. Since officers began wearing the cameras nearly three years ago, the department has seen significant decreases in misconduct allegations and high-level uses of force by officers. A nine-page internal report also says the cameras have shrunk the number of allegations left unresolved due to lack of evidence, helped more officers get exonerated and increased the percentage of allegations deemed false.

Protesters march through downtown for Standing Rock (10 News)

…last month in one of his first executive actions, President Donald trump instructed the Corps to advance construction of the pipeline. Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said in a statement that the tribe will continue fighting the pipeline "in the courts."

STATE

For California community in dam's shadow, troubles go back decades (Reuters)

- For nearly 50 years, the Oroville Dam has provided a water lifeline to residents across the state of California. But for the community in its shadow, the dam has been a source of contention and legal battles.

Evacuation order lifted for residents near Oroville dam (San Jose Mercury News)

Almost 200,000 people in communities downstream head home; feds OK Gov. Jerry Brown's request for emergency funding.

Damaged Oroville Dam spillway undergoes more water releases (Sacramento Bee)

State engineers have found new damage to the Oroville Dam spillway, although not as much as they’d feared, after conducting two test releases to see how much water the scarred facility could handle, the state said Thursday. Meanwhile, reservoir levels continued to climb behind the critical flood-control structure.

Los Angeles County voters to decide on quarter-cent tax for homeless programs (Los Angeles Times)

When Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly approved a bond measure in November to build apartments for the chronically homeless, long-frustrated advocates hailed the victory as a watershed in their efforts to provide permanent homes for thousands of people living on the city’s sidewalks and parkland...Now, voters across Los Angeles County are being asked to approve the balance — a quarter-cent sales tax to support a broad canvas of strategies. They include services for those living in thousands of new housing units, rental subsidies for thousands more across the county, hundreds of new outreach workers and short-term interventions to help those in crisis keep their homes. 

California Senate gives 10% pay raise to 71 employees to close gender gap (Sacramento Bee)

Capping a yearlong assessment of pay equity among its ranks, the California Senate late last year gave 10 percent raises to 71 employees to shrink a lingering gap between what male and female employees earn. The raises, which total about $602,000 annually, followed the passage of a 2015 law expanding California’s equal-pay protections and a Sacramento Bee investigation that found persistent gender inequities on the Capitol payroll.

Does California give more than it gets from Washington D.C.? (Politifact)

Does California send more money to Washington D.C. than it gets back in return? That question has been asked repeatedly as tensions have mounted between California Democrats and President Donald Trump.

Friend to plead guilty to aiding San Bernardino gunman: prosecutors (Reuters)

A California man accused of buying assault-style rifles used by a married couple to massacre 14 people at a government office in San Bernardino in 2015 has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Central California continues to sink (Mercury News)

Even as California struggles with surface flooding, the state is going dry underground, triggering sinking in parts of the great San Joaquin Valley, according to a new NASA report released by the Department of Water Resources.

California bets on electric cars, at ratepayer risk (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Should all utility consumers subsidize the wealthier few who like to drive electric cars?

Lack of Competition Is Leading to a Costly Electricity Glut in California (Reason)

…A recent investigative report found that California's utility companies have been involved in a power-plant building spree, even though Californians have significantly cut their electricity usage over the same time period. In three years, the state is projected to be producing 21 percent more electricity than it needs, without counting the growth in rooftop-solar applications, reported the Los Angeles Times.