A new season for the Chargers begins tonight in Oakland. The team is expected to perform well this year, and deliver what San Diego has had to rely on young kids from Chula Vista to bring: the glory of a major championship.

Meanwhile, though, a new stadium being built by a close friend of the Chargers’ owner near Los Angeles is growing closer and closer to becoming a reality. At the same time, officials in Escondido have embraced the concept of exploring a new stadium proposal for that city.

And one important fact looms above all: If the Chargers leave the city of San Diego in 2011, they’ll owe the city about half as much money as if they left today.

It’s pretty clear the team is bent on leaving San Diego, what’s not is when and whether it will leave the county completely. Take a look at our season-opening explainer of where the discussion is.

Now, more news for your Monday:

  • In 2000, SDG&E and contractors excavated a 16-acre site in Lemon Grove. And, for years, federal prosecutors have been trying to prove that the company, and three individuals, broke workplace safety and environmental laws letting asbestos dust afflict the neighborhood and workers.

    Just as one of the defendants was about to plead guilty to put it all behind him, a judge declined to admit a slew of evidence prosecutors had presented. The squirrely case might only be prolonged more than it already has been.

    We’ve been following this case for quite some time. Check out a 2007 piece for background on the controversial lot in question.

  • Elsewhere: The Union-Tribune Sunday provided an update on one of the most important local political contests in danger of falling under the radar. The sheriff is one of the only elected officials to represent the entire county and whoever runs the powerful agency will have unmatched visibility and influence.

    Keep an eye out to see if interim sheriff Bill Gore can hold off Jim Duffy, who was a deputy sheriff and whose father was sheriff, and Jay La Suer, who was former undersheriff. Bruce Ruff is also vying for the job. Gore was gifted the temporary post — and political advantage that comes with it — when the majority of supervisors tapped him to replace retired sheriff Bill Kolender.

  • Finally, San Diegan Claudia Rose is making headlines for swimming across Alaska’s Sitka Sound. It’s only eight miles but the area is teeming with jelly fish. And she did something incredible: She swam the distance without wearing a wetsuit. She’s the only person to have ever done this.

Congratulations to Claudia. I swim a mile in La Jolla Cove and think I deserve a parade.


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