California

CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CHARGES FILED AGAINST SEMPRA’S SOCALGAS OVER SAN ALISO GAS LEAK

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated February 3, 2016 with SoCalGas response.

February 2, 2016 (San Diego)—Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacy today announced filing of four misdemeanor criminal charges against Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) over the leak at its San Aliso underground natural gas facility. The leak has pumped 80,000 metric tons of methane into the air, sickening residents of nearby Porter Ranch and causing thousands to relocate.

 In addition, California Attorney General Kamala Harris today announced a civil suit filed by California against SoCalGas, which provides gas to most southern California counties.  The new suits, along with suits filed by residents, add to the financial toll that SoCalGas and potentially, Sempra ratepayers may ultimately be forced to cover.

CALIF. MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION INITIATIVE

 

East County News Service

February 1, 2016 (Sacamento)—The California Medical Association, the largest professional association of doctors in our state, today announced its support for a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use.

CMA has emphasized that it does not endorse marijuana use and discourages smoking.  “But ultimately,” a release issued by the medical group states that its members “believe that the most effective way to protect the public health is to tightly control, track and regulate marijuana and to comprehensively research and educate the public on its health impacts, not through ineffective prohibition.”

ECM ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 20, 2016 (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.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 7, 2016 (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/REGIONAL

STATE

Emergency rooms are reaching capacity more frequently and beds for new patients are unavailable.

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

SOON YOU MAY BE BARRED FROM FLYING WITH A CA DRIVER’S LICENSE

 

 

Update December 30, 2015 - Homeland Security has granted California an extension until Oct. 10, 2016 to fully comply with the Real ID law, recognizing progress made in making driver's licenses more secure.

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re planning to fly in 2016, you find yourself grounded.  The Department of Homeland Security is cracking down on states that have failed to comply with the Real ID law passed 10 years ago by Congress. That could mean denying boarding on airplanes to anyone with driver’s licenses from states that haven’t complied, including California, unless you have another valid form of ID.

 

CALIFORNIA SPENDING FAR TOO LITTLE TO COMBAT SMOKING

 

 

 

A new report says California is shortchanging tobacco cessation programs.

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

December 28, 2015 (Sacramento) -- Anti-smoking advocates are pressing for a $2 a pack tobacco tax in the wake a recent report that says California is seriously shortchanging smoking cessation programs.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

December 22, 2015 (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 /Regional

State

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

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

December 1, 2015 (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.

CLIMATE CHANGE TO RAISE WILDFIRE RISK SIX-FOLD, STUDY PREDICTS

 

East County News Service

Photo: Lake Morena fire, by Claudia Millerbragg

November 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A new study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society  predicts that the number of extreme fire risk days in California will rise from 10 a year to 60 by the year 2100—a six-fold increase.  The study was conducted by  the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Utah State University scientists.

The scientists found that climate change is already underway and responsible for extreme fire conditions starting in the 1990s, which go beyond normal fluctuations in climate conditions. But there are things that can be done. Besides reducing greenhouse emissions to potentially slow or reverse climate change, investing in more brush clearing and firefighting capacity is critical.

SAN DIEGO ATTORNEYS FIGHT "MOST IRRESPONSIBLE NUCLEAR DUMP EVER" IN FEDERAL COURT

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (San Diego) – On November 3rd, the  utility fraud attorneys at Aguirre & Severson  filed an action in Superior Court seeking to prevent construction of  the world’s first beach-front nuclear waste dump at San Onofre, or what critics call the “most irresponsible nuclear dump ever,” according to a press release issued by the attorneys, who filed the suit on behalf of Citizens Oversight.

The California Coastal Commission is chartered to protect our state’s coastal resources. But on October 6 approved the dump just 100 feet from the beach near San Onofre State Park in San Diego County to hold nuclear waste that remains toxic for thousands of years. Wastes would be stored in thin-walled steel casks guaranteed by the manufacturer to last only 10 years, though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved them for up to 20 years of use. Salt water spray soaking casks could result in even earlier corrosion, yet there is no plan to remove casks even after 20 years. By then, the casks, each weighing 400,000 pounds, are apt to have degraded to the point where moving them safely would be nearly impossible, a press release issued by plantiff's attorneys contends.

Attorney Mike Aguirre called the Coastal Commission’s unanimous vote “an outrageous departure from its chartered responsibilities and the California Coastal Act,” adding, “We want the court to revoke Southern California Edison’s permit to pollute, and force Edison to find a safer location.”  The suit seeks revocation of the permit for the dump.

MUDSLIDES BURY HUNDREDS OF VEHICLES, SHUT DOWN FREEWAYS IN L.A. AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Kern County Animal Rescue

Update: A body has been found in a vehicle buried since last Thursday under mud in Palmdale. Details: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/california/Firefighters-Dig-Out-Vehicle-...

October 18, 2015 (Los Angeles)-Torrential rains and flash flooding turned hillsides in Los Angeles and Kern Counties into mudflows last Thursday that cascaded over two freeways—Interstate 5’s grapevine area north of Los Angeles and  State Route 58 near Tehachapi.

Hundreds of terrified motorists swept up in the mud flow escaped their vehicles as the freeways became muddy rivers. Firefighters and swift-water rescue personnel made daring rescues, pulling passengers out of windows as cars bobbed past. One pregnant woman escaped out the sunroof of her vehicle. Others remained trapped in their cars overnight, some with mud up to the windshields. Even semi-trucks became mired in the muck.

12 FIRES SCORCH DESTRUCTIVE PATH ACROSS CALIFORNIA

 

 

East County News Service

September 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Over 11,000 firefighters are battling 12 large fires across California.  The fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and threaten thousands more.  Several firefighters have been injured (but are recovering) and at least one life has been lost in the Valley Fire.  Robert Louis Stevenson state park is closed due to the fires, which also continue to threaten giant sequoias at Kings Canyon National Park.

County Fire Chief Tony Mecham and the CAL FIRE unit in San Diego assure that stations in San Diego County are open and fully staffed; all days off for CAL-FIRE firefighters have been cancelled.  He also urged local residents to be prepared in case fires occur here, warning of dangerous conditions.

LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS WITHOUT FIX REQUIRED BY FEDS FOR MEDI-CAL FUNDING

 

 

Senator Joel Anderson urges Governor to veto spending for preschool and protecting Monarch butterflies, calls for money to be used on services for disabled,Medi-Cal providers and in-home support services

By Miriam Raftery

September 14, 2015 (Sacramento)—The state Legislature adjourned without approving a change required by the federal government to avoid losing $1.1 billion in Medi-Cal funding.  Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers, with each blaming the other.

BUTTE FIRE THREATENS THOUSANDS OF HOMES, FORCES EVACAUTION OF HISTORIC GOLD RUSH TOWNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2015 (Amador and Calaveras County) – An explosive wildfire is threatening some of California’s most historic gold rush towns including Angel’s Camp (famed site of Mark Twain’s  “The Celebrated Tale of the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County) as well as San Andreas, Pine Grove and Mokelumne Hill.  The Butte Fire is currently threatening 6,400 homes and has already burned 85 houses and 51 outbuildings. 

Over 100 square miles – 65,000 acres have been scorched in Amador and Calaveras Counties by the blaze, which is currently 15% contained. For full details and complete evacuation information, visit the Cal Fire Incident page: http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_details_info?incident_id=1221

BILL TO REGULATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA HEADS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK

 

 

East County News Service

September 12, 2015 (Sacramento)—A trio of bills to regulate medical marijuana in California have passed the Legislature and now await Governor Jerry Brown’s signature. 

The measures cover the full gamut of the billion dollar cannabis industry, from farming to dispensaries, all to be licensed for transportation and distribution under a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in the Department of Consumer Affairs. In addition to state licenses, local city or county licensing will also be required, so jurisdictions with bans or restrictions can keep them and voters can also weigh in on issues such as taxing the growing or sale of medical marijuana.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

September 3, 2015 (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

East County

San Diego Region

STATE

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

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

SAN DIEGO'S CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS ASK FOREST SERVICE TO LAND FIREFIGHTING AIR TANKERS AT RAMONA

 

 

By Devoreo Bell

Photo: NIFC.gov

 

August 13, 2015 (Ramona)--Last week, East County Magazine reported on the United States Forest Service’s announcement that it will not allow its new air tanker firefighting planes to land at the Ramona Air Base. The USFS says the runway is not long enough. However Cal Fire provided a video showing a Cal Fire pilot landing the same type of plane in Ramona.

 

Now, all  five of San Diego’s Congressional representatives (Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas and Susan Davis) have signed a letter sent to Chief Thomas Tidwell of the USFS asking him to take action.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

August 12, 2015 (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.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

July 17, 2015 (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.

CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT FILES MOTION TO HAVE SAN ONOFRE CPUC JUDGE DARLING REMOVED

 

Darling named in felony search warrants, initiated phone calls with SCE executives, now defends new CPUC President Picker from oversight committee requests

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (San Diego) – Citizens' Oversight filed legal documents on July 14th with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), making the case for reassignment of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Melanie Darling from the sanctions phase of proceedings on the San Onofre Nuclear plant.  The July 14 motion would remove Darling from hearing the investigation into sanctions for violations of ex parte rules during the San Onofre proceeding--an action which could have substantial impacts for ratepayers statewide..

SMOKING HOT DEBATE: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT RAISING AGE FOR TOBACCO USE

 

"I will support this in honor of my sister, and my mother and my father-in-law," -- Councilman Bob McClellan (photo, left), who lost all three family members to smoking-related illnesess.

"The American Revolution was about individual liberty...doesn't freedom to make a decision include freedom to make a poor one?" --Eric Anderson (photo, right), Rock Church and Caucus Chair for the San Diego Republican Party Executive Committee

By Juwan Armstrong and Miriam Raftery

June 12, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted 3-1 on Wednesday to send a letter asking Assemblyman Brian Jones and Governor Jerry Brown to support Senate Bill 151, which would raise the minimum legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Jones has taken over $25,000 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry.  East County’s State Senator, Joel Anderson, took nearly $40,000 and voted against the bill when it passed the Senate.

BILL WOULD UPDATE PROP 13: LARGE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD PAY MARKET VALUE

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2015 (Sacramento)—Since 1978, Proposition 13 has frozen property taxes  for California owners until a property sells.  But now a proposed constitutional amendment would change Prop 13 to require annual assessments of large commercial and industrial properties.

The measure, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5,  exempts homeowners,  owners of rental residential properties and agricultural properties, which would not be impacted.   The measure also includes a tax break for small businesses, instead targeting larger commercial and industrial property owners for the tax hike.

The bill would exempt from taxation up to a half million dollars of personal property used exclusively for business purposes.  It also gives businesses an exemption of up to a half million for equipment and fixtures—an action that would eliminate the tax on equipment and fixtures entirely for 90% of businesses, whether they own or rent their place of business.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

May 7, 2015 (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

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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