North County Report: Escondido Turns Down Federal Money with Strings Attached - Voice of San Diego

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North County Report: Escondido Turns Down Federal Money with Strings Attached

A San Dieguito teacher resigns over sexual harassment allegations, a Carlsbad fish hatchery is under scrutiny and more in this week’s roundup of North County news.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer directs men who are being deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2015. / Photo by David Maung

The Escondido Police Department has decided to forgo U.S. Department of Justice funds that would have required the city to aid immigration agents.

Had the city acted otherwise, the grant would have been complicated by the California Values Act, which prohibits local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Police Chief Craig Carter said he didn’t think the city would run afoul of the law. The police department maintains that the decision not take the grant was due to the financial commitments the city would face once the grant funds dried up.

Voice’s Maya Srikrishnan writes this week that Craig said as much in a letter to federal officials in January, much to the relief of local immigrant rights groups.

“I would like to think it has to do with community efforts and relationships being built between the community and law enforcement,” said Felicia Gomez, of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “Hopefully the department heard us.”

Applegate Positioned Himself for County Supervisor’s Race

As the race to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District swells with candidates on both sides of the partisan divide, there’s a growing concern on the left that too many candidates might stifle the Democrats’ attempt to flip the district.

Last week, the Democrats’ only candidate for the 5th District County Board of Supervisors announced that she had dropped out of the race to make room for someone else.

As Voice’s Jesse Marx and Andy Keatts reported, Doug Applegate, a candidate for the 49th who’s being pressured by other Democrats to clear the stage, changed his primary residence from San Clemente to Oceanside, which would have positioned him to run for supervisor. His campaign declined to comment for the story.

At the same time, the influential Service Employees International Union opened an independent expenditure committee for the purpose of supporting Applegate should he decide to run in the 5th, Marx and Keatts write.

The only problem: Applegate missed the deadline for establishing his San Diego County residency by a day.

Keatts and Scott Lewis discussed the race on this week’s podcast, including how almost none of the candidates were really known in San Diego politics before this election cycle, despite being one of the highest profile races in the country.

• Cosmopolitan magazine profiled another Democratic contender for the 49th, Sara Jacobs. She’s presented in light of a broader national movement that’s attempting to get more women elected to office. If so, she’d be the youngest member of Congress.

Republicans Abandoning Hunter

Meanwhile, in the neighboring 50th Congressional District, Republicans are lining up to run against Rep. Duncan Hunter, who faces a criminal investigation over his personal use of campaign funds.

Former San Diego City Councilman-turned-radio host Carl Demaio and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells announced that they both will join the race. At least one GOP consultant is unhappy over how this race is shaping up.

“This just continues to be outrageous and embarrassing,” wrote Jen Jacobs on Facebook. “He should have resigned with some dignity a long time ago.”

San Dieguito Teacher Resigns Over Allegations

A longtime teacher in the San Dieguito Union High School District has been accused by 14 students of inappropriate behavior in the classroom.

Voice’s Ashly McGlone writes that Donn Boyd has been on paid leave since Oct. 31, but reached a deal with the district in January to resign after he was notified that the students’ complaints were being released to Voice.

“Several students said Boyd, 59, developed a pattern of touching female students in unsettling ways and made comments about their appearance,” McGlone writes. “As a result, some asked to be assigned to a different class, while another said she hid from him in the hallways. One expressed fear confronting Boyd would lead to a bad grade.”

Carlsbad Fish Hatchery is Expensive and Ineffective

A fight between commercial and recreational fishers in the 1980s over the supply of white seabass caught the attention of the state. The result was a publicly funded program in Carlsbad to breed and release more fish into the ocean.

Two years ago, Voice’s Ry Rivard used internal documents at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, which administers the program, to show that many of the fish came out deformed and were unlikely to survive.

Now, a new report by Scripps Institution of Oceanography shows that the white seabass population has rebounded, but the breeding program had little to do with it. Regulatory and environmental conditions played the largest roles.

The state has spent nearly $22 million over the past 15 years, yet seabass bred at the Carlsbad hatchery make up less than 1 percent of the wild population.

Also in the News

Oceanside City Councilman and Republican candidate for 5th District County Supervisor Jerry Kern says his city deserves a cannabis ordinance to avoid losing control of regulations at the ballot box. In a new op-ed, he says other jurisdictions that vote for outright bans, like the county has, are ripe targets for well-funded, popular ballot initiatives.

• A lawsuit has been tossed out that challenged the constitutionality of the California Voting Rights Act and Poway’s switch to district elections. (Union-Tribune)

To balance enrollment at schools in the San Marcos Unified School District, the board is considering altering its boundaries, which would force some students into new schools. (Union-Tribune)

The 3 Mules guy, who wanders the state to promote the right of access to public lands, was reunited with his mule. It was stolen in Escondido. (Union-Tribune)

A horse-rescue group in Valley Center is mired in accusations of fraud and animal cruelty. (inewsource)

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