At the Balboa Park Golf Course, the greens are still green, but the driving range is turning brown. Nowadays, it just gets watered once a month. And that’s just fine by the city of San Diego, which runs the course.

Other cutbacks — including less irrigation at its 400 parks — helped the city lower its overall water use more than any other single user in San Diego over the past two years.

But the city doesn’t seem to have much company among the largest users when it comes to saving lots of water. “While the region has consistently been told to use 10 percent less, San Diego’s 96 largest users collectively haven’t hit the mark,” we report.

In other news:

  • San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders wants the police and fire departments to come up with $107 million in cuts. In a follow-up to yesterday’s examination of public safety on the chopping block, we take a closer look at how much that is. For one thing, it’s 20 percent of the city’s public-safety budget.
  • Pink slips for hundreds of scientists who work for the Pfizer pharmaceutical company could translate to profits for small local biotechs that may be recruited to fill the void. And it looks like local Pfizer employees will be spared the ax.
  • A geological fault line traverses the proposed downtown site for a new football stadium. It’s in what’s known as Tailgate Park, near the baseball stadium. The fault worried the folks looking for a site to handle an expansion of the convention center, but the Chargers general counsel says stadium architects can work around it.
  • In economic news, we look at how federally backed mortgages are still rising in popularity locally. But trouble looms on the horizon. And columnist Rich Toscano crunches local employment numbers.
  • Also: We have more details about the land deal that provides space for the convention center to expand. We explain “zero-based budgeting” and what it means for San Diego schools. And our Photo of the Day is a sneak peak at the subject of tomorrow’s Q&A feature. The photo soundtrack is courtesy of Linkin Park.


  • Jeff Schemmel, San Diego State’s athletic director, resigned yesterday amid a scandal involving a reported extramarital affair and what’s described as an attempt to make the university pay the cost of traveling to Alabama for a romantic rendezvous. Yes, Alabama.
  • Just when Escondido thought it was out, its mayor is pulling it back in. To the hunt for a new Chargers stadium, that is. Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler is flying to Denver on a team jet Sunday and hopes to tell “Dean Spanos, whose family owns the Chargers, that Escondido would be a good location if a stadium site the team is considering in downtown San Diego falls through.” (NCT)
  • Also in North County, the region’s transit system is privatizing 325 bus drivers. (NCT)
  • Finally, a University of San Diego student argues in an academic journal that, as a British newspaper put it, “lawyers have to start thinking now about what rights should be accorded to cyborgs.” (We explored a related issue — robots run amok — not too long ago.)

    The student says society may have to figure out what to do if robots want to develop physical relationships — you know, get it on — with humans.

    This brings up the obvious question: What’s the robot equivalent of “dinner and a movie”?


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