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Wednesday, March 30, 2005 | The largest implosion in San Diego history may occur in about four months near City Hall and the County Courthouse on downtown Broadway.

Architects intent on saving taxpayers’ funds hope to implode the 12-story Hotel San Diego on Broadway. They believe it would be the largest and noisiest imploded demolition in city history.

It would be the least expensive razing method on a site where another new federal courthouse is to be completed by 2010. The structure will be the third active site of federal court trials in a rapid succession of construction. It has been made necessary by the district’s overwhelming caseload of immigration and drug smuggling cases, one of the largest in the nation, and by recently stepped-up prosecution of alleged white collar crime, including that of two current city council members.

Crime costs. The new structure will be 22 stories high and cost $206 million. Like two other structures in use nearby, this one is planned to accommodate other federal agencies, including Social Security, the IRS and judicial chambers (no courtroom) for the transient Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Architects are Michael Palladino and Jim Crawford of Richard Meier and Partners.

This Southern District of Southern California encompasses both California counties bordering Mexico: San Diego and Imperial. There are currently 11 active judges including Chief Judge Irma Gonzalez, four active senior judges, four bankruptcy court judges and 10 magistrates, assigned to arraignments, settlements and the trial of misdemeanors.

Construction plans will be shared with the public at 3:30 p.m. on April 20 in the earliest of the three federal courthouse buildings, named for the late Judge Edward Schwartz.

John Eger, who directs San Diego State University’s International Center for Communications and is the founder of Envision San Diego, has been a prod in this city’s role as one of America’s most wired (broadband) cities. He’s back with this, which is from an article that was featured on www.govtech.net:

“In less than a decade, the great global network of computer networks called the Internet has blossomed from an arcane tool used by academics and government researchers into a worldwide mass communications medium. It is now poised to become the leading carrier of all communications and financial transactions in the 21st century. Cities the world over are struggling to gain their prominence in the global knowledge economy. Dubai took out full-page ads (in U.S. newspapers) to proclaim its No. 1 rank in the Middle East. Philadelphia put in place a plan to offer inexpensive wireless Internet to the whole city…colliding with commercial interests. Others cities across the U.S. seek to be ‘connected communities”…with a new urgency…placing a premium on cultural and ethnic diversity and reinventing their educational systems for the creative age. If ever there was a time for federal action, it is now…to ensure that America has the infrastructure of the 21st century.”

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