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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS




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March 22, 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:    
   
LOCAL NEWS 
  • Nudist purchases East County town (10 News)
  • Without San Onofre, are blackouts possible? (UT San Diego)
  • 3 tubes at San Onofre plant fail during stress test (KPBS)
  • MWD accused of forming shadow government (KPBS)
  • A quiet divide: the Mayor and the Chamber (La Mesa Today)
  • Underground water storage for Santee?  (Santee Patch)
 
LOCAL POLITICS 
  • San Diego Congressional candidates speak on women’s health, gas prices (San Diego Reader)
  • Slater-Price endorses Democrat Dave Roberts for Supervisor (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • Foulds gets maximum 12-year sentence in DUI double fatality (La Mesa Patch)
  • Video of 52nd Congressional debate hosted by KPBS (KPBS)
  • CA 52: Excluded from KPBS debate, independent Jack Doyle response (US independent voter network) 
STATE  
  • California struggling to prepare quake early warning system(Los Angeles Times)
  • Cal-State trustees okay pay hikes for two presidents (Sacramento Bee)
  • Judge rules state violated disclosure law [re Medicare cuts] (Sacramento Bee)
  • Wal-Mart to pay $2.1 million for overcharging (Sacramento Bee)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

LOCAL NEWS

 
Nudist purchases East County town (10 News)
 
March 13, 2012 -- An East County nudist is now the proud owner of his own San Diego County town.
Businessman and resort owner Dave Landman closed last week on 29 properties in Jacumba, including the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort, the Jacumba Lake and several businesses.
 
The town, which used to be a hot spot for Hollywood stars, fell on hard times after Interstate 8 was put down and cars stopped passing through.
"We care about the town. We care about the people. But yes, it is an investment as well," said Landman, who said he will spend at least "seven figures" on the town.
http://www.10news.com/news/30672510/detail.html
 
Without San Onofre, are blackouts possible? (UT San Diego)
 
March 21, 2012 -- Southern California utilities and electrical grid operators are confronting the possible challenge of meeting surging summer power demands without the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the region’s largest power plant.
San Onofre, which supplies up to 20 percent of San Diego’s power needs, remains offline as plant operator Southern California Edison searches for the root cause of a steam generator tube rupture at one reactor and accelerated wear on generator tubes at both units.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/21/without-san-onofre-are-blackouts-possible/ 

3 tubes at San Onofre plant fail during stress test (KPBS)

March 15, 2012 -- A nuclear reactor on the California coast will remain shut down indefinitely while a team of federal inspectors determines why several relatively new tubes became so frail that tests found they could rupture and release radioactive water, a federal official said Thursday. 
"This is a significant issue," said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Lara Uselding. "A tube rupture is really the concern. That's what we don't want to happen."
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/mar/15/3-tubes-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-fail-during-stres/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Flocal+%28KPBS+News%3A+Local+Headlines%29
MWD accused of forming shadow government (KPBS)
 
March 15, 2012 -- The San Diego County Water Authority releasedhundreds of documents this week that it says show members of the Metropolitan Water District formed a “secret society” to deliberately raise the water rates paid by San Diego customers.
The Metropolitan Water District is the primary supplier for San Diego, as well as Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/mar/15/mwd-accused-forming-shadow-government/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Flocal+%28KPBS+News%3A+Local+Headlines%29
A quiet divide: the Mayor and the Chamber (La Mesa Today)
 
March 19, 2012 --  Back in November the La Mesa City Council was considering a proposal by Mayor Art Madrid that would have increased the scrutiny of groups applying for special event permits.
The proposal raised the ire of some local merchants who saw in Madrid's plan what they believed was a veiled threat to their control of lucrative events like the annual Oktoberfest.
The proposal failed to win the support of the council and was defeated 4-1 at the Nov. 8 meeting, but it was what happened afterward, behind the scenes, that has kept a contretemps simmering in local politics.
http://www.lamesatoday.com/profiles/blogs/la-mesa-politics-5

Underground water storage for Santee?  (Santee Patch)
 
March 13, 2012 -- Federal scientists Tuesday began work to see if Santee has storage capacity for up to 10 percent of the city’s water needs.
In August 2011, engineers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District began thinking about the underground aquifer that used to hold much of Santee’s water—in the days before El Capitan reservoir.
 
LOCAL POLITICS
 
San Diego Congressional candidates speak on women’s health, gas prices (San Diego Reader)
 
March 15, 2012 -- Incumbent Republican congressman Brian Bilbray, port commissioner Scott Peters, and former state assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, the three front-runners in the newly redrawn 52nd Congressional district, took part in a KPBS debate on March 14.
Moderated by the network’s Evening Edition host Joanne Faryon, candidates were asked a series of questions submitted by journalists and San Diego residents that pertained to both national and local issues.
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/mar/15/san-diego-congressional-candidates-speak-womens-he/
Slater-Price endorses Democrat Dave Roberts for Supervisor (San Diego Union-Tribune)
 
March 15, 2012 -- Retiring Supervisor Pam Slater-Price named Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts her preferred successor on Thursday over three Republicans in the race.
At a ceremony outside the County Administration Center, Slater-Price pointed to Roberts’ ability to reach across the aisle to develop bipartisan solutions on everything from budgeting and pensions to foster care and the environment.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/15/slater-price-endorses-democrat-dave-roberts/ 
Foulds gets maximum 12-year sentence in DUI double fatality (La Mesa Patch)
 
March 14, 2012 -- Amid sobs of the relatives of his two victims, Justin Stephen Foulds sat quietly and listened as family members addressed an El Cajon court Wednesday at his sentencing hearing.
The Lemon Grove man—who pleaded guilty to a drunken driving crash that took the lives of a 73-year-old woman and her grandson—received the maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison.
http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/update-foulds-gets-maximum-12-year-sentence-in-dui-double-fatality
Video of 52nd Congressional debate hosted by KPBS (KPBS)
 
 
CA 52: Excluded from KPBS debate, independent Jack Doyle response (US independent voter network)
March 19, 2012 -- On March 14th, KPBS San Diego hosted a debate for candidates in the 52nd Congressional District. Due to a time limit of one hour, KPBS invited only three candidates to participate. In a statement, “In an effort to conduct a discussion that allows for time to delve deep on the issues, KPBS has decided to limit the number of participants in this debate. KPBS has set the threshold at 10 percent favorability or above to join the broadcast debate.”
The invited candidates were incumbent Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Saldana and Democrat Port Commissioner Scott Peters. The debate was held on Wednesday, less than a week after California’s candidate filing deadline
 
STATE
 
California struggling to prepare quake early warning system(Los Angeles Times)
 
March 22, 2012 -- Japan has one. So do MexicoTaiwan, Turkey and Romania.

But California has struggled to develop and deploy anearthquake warning system that would give cities seconds of crucial time to prepare for the impact of a massive earthquake.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-03-22-quake-warning-20120322,0,7059435.story

 
Cal-State trustees okay pay hikes for two presidents (Sacramento Bee)

March 20, 2012 -- The California State University trustees on Tuesday approved 10 percent pay hikes for two campus presidents after administrators outlined a grim financial forecast calling for sweeping cuts that will deny admission to thousands of students. The state Department of Health Care Services violated disclosure law last year by refusing to provide background information on Medi-Cal cuts, a Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled.

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers last year approved a 10 percent cut in payments to doctors and other providers of Medi-Cal services to help balance the 2011-12 budget - a reduction that a federal judge has since blocked. Under federal law, the department had to show that Medi-Cal cuts would not undermine access to care.
 
Judge rules state violated disclosure law [re Medicare cuts] (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 21, 2012 -- The state Department of Health Care Services violated disclosure law last year by refusing to provide background information on Medi-Cal cuts, a Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled.
 
Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers last year approved a 10 percent cut in payments to doctors and other providers of Medi-Cal services to help balance the 2011-12 budget - a reduction that a federal judge has since blocked. Under federal law, the department had to show that Medi-Cal cuts would not undermine access to care.http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/03/sacramento-judge-rules-state-violated-disclosure-law.html
 
Wal-Mart to pay $2.1 million for overcharging (Sacramento Bee)
 
March 21, 2012 --  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay a $2.1 million penalty for charging California customers prices higher than those posted, in violation of a 2008 judgment ordering the retail chain to stop, state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced Wednesday.
The agreement came after an investigation that began in November 2010 found that Walmart stores in 11 counties made checkout scanning mistakes that left customers paying more than listed prices.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/21/4356497/wal-mart-to-pay-21m-for-california.html