The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
San Diego Gas & Electric thinks it will need to pay $2 billion in settlements related to the 2007 wildfires. That’s more than it’s insured for. So who pays the rest? SDG&E thinks you should, if you’re a power customer.
“San Diego Gas & Electric is asking regulators to give it what amounts to a blank check to pay for uninsured damages from the 2007 wildfires as well as any future fires,” our Rob Davis says in an in-depth report on the fire blame game. “The company says it may need $463.9 million from customers to cover settlements.”
But what about a pending court case that seeks to prove SDG&E acted negligently? An SDG&E spokeswoman says that doesn’t matter: “Our ability to recover these costs should not depend on whether we have performed our responsibilities perfectly.”
District and Teachers Union Unite
Marty Block, a local Democratic assemblyman, plans to introduce legislation to move up the date by which San Diego Unified must warn teachers about possible layoffs.
That means school districts would have more time to figure out their finances and not give the false alarms to teachers that are blamed for causing so much disruption.
The teachers union today is scheduled to join San Diego Unified in supporting the push, a move that signals a warming in a relationship that, as we explained just last week, had become increasingly confrontational.
Pothole Trips Up the District Attorney
Potholes are a big topic on the mayoral campaign trail, and now comes news that one of them felled a mayoral candidate herself.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis told an audience that she got tripped up while getting out of her car thanks to a pothole that was about the size of a fist.
“I didn’t sue the city,” she joked.
All the mayoral candidates want the city to get cracking on a $900 million infrastructure backlog. Now, as our Liam Dillon reports, local business types have a solution. “The plan would identify and finance repairs for crumbling streets, new affordable housing developments, fire stations and other community improvements. Its supporters hope a lengthy development process will garner neighborhood support.”
Illness Forces Opera Conductor off Duty
The San Diego Opera’s resident conductor won’t be on hand for the production of “Moby-Dick,” which opens on Saturday, due to illness. A conductor who just led the orchestra for “Moby-Dick” performances in Calgary, will fill her place and just arrived for a rehearsal last night.
Meanwhile, we’ve posted the second in a series of videos provided by the opera about the production. The first looked at how the production will help a singer fly, and the new one follows the orchestra during rehearsal.
Port Not Hot on U-T San Diego’s Waterfront Plan
The Port of San Diego reiterated its desire to keep the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in tact on Tuesday, in essense rejecting the new U-T San Diego’s waterfront mega-plan for a stadium, Convention Center, arena, civic icon and man-made beaches.
The paper reported that no one spoke in favor of its proposal at the board meeting, while retired military leaders, labor and port tenants urged the status quo.
In an editorial, the newspaper wasn’t happy. “Port officials were curt, dismissive and sarcastic in responding to two U-T San Diego editorials of Jan. 22 that called for a public discussion of a new, much more ambitious vision of the downtown waterfront,” the paper said.
There was also that other editorial, the Jan. 31 one in which the paper accused the port of being Enron-like.
Callista and Her Hairdo Visit San Diego
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s wife Callista made the national news yesterday by speaking publicly and introducing herself at a Smashburger restaurant here in San Diego.
She didn’t say much, The Washington Post reports, but it’s a first for her to talk publicly at length.
Local Republican women said it’s about time. “Any woman who we’re looking at as a potential president’s wife, they need to show who they are and not just kind of stand there,” one told the Post.
Newt, meanwhile, went to the Zoo.
Fairgrounds Critic Is Targeted, Quits Board
A member of the Del Mar Fairgrounds board of directors, “who exposed various questionable management practices since taking office in August,” has quit amid questions that fairgrounds officials raised about him, U-T San Diego reports.
The fairgrounds management has been under fire over various issues in recent months, such as an unusual decision to ignore a state edict and continue a policy regarding payouts of vacation time to staff members. In recent weeks, fairgrounds officials returned the favor to the board member, Tom Chino, and began raising questions about his relationship to a law firm that’s suing the fairgrounds, the U-T says.
Pretend You Didn’t Hear This Idea
The U-T thinks that’s a peachy idea, while some members of the local art community are positively aghast. As for me, I’m worried that it will stand there and insult my artistic sensibilities, if I have any.
A reader has a new idea about what to do with it: “Maybe that butt-insky architect could arrange financing to move it up to Mt. Soledad to replace the controversial Christian cross.”
I responded with some helpful advice: “Don’t give them any ideas, woman!”