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Selling homes in San Diego might get just a little bit more expensive if city leaders get their way. Andrew Keatts tracked down the likely costs that could come with a (still unwritten) piece of the new Climate Action Plan that would impact the rules of what a seller would have to do to a house to make it salable. It’s called a retrofit mandate. “How it would work and what it would require is still an open question,” Keatts wrote. But he found a similar ordinance passed in Berkeley in 1992, which provides an idea of what the law here might look like.
“Berkeley’s ordinance has seven specific requirements on energy efficiency, some of which are very cheap and others that can get pretty pricey,” Keatts reports. The requirements cover everything from water heaters to weather stripping. All told, Keatts pegs the price tag at an extra $2,o00 to $3,000, unless San Diego decides to put a cap on expenses.
The Rent Was Too Damn Low
In January, a new lease agreement between SeaWorld and the city of San Diego kicked in that was a lot like the one the park had signed in 2004. Lisa Halverstadt reports on how this year’s peaceful lease deal stood in stark contrast to the 2004 deal, which saw SeaWorld trying to negotiate a 70 percent reduction in its rent. “City leaders weren’t having it,” Halverstadt wrote. Consultants and lawyers ensued, and the city ultimately got most of what it wanted — after spending at least $100,000 fighting SeaWorld’s proposed deal.
Taxi Reform Please, and Step On It
Cab drivers are on the path to getting some, but not all, of the reforms they wanted after it was revealed that driver pay was often below minimum wage, causing drivers who lease their cabs to work an average of 71 hours a week.
The changes will come as part of a contract renewal between San Diego and the Metropolitan Transit System Board, the latter of which oversees contracts with taxi companies. Taxi drivers urged the city to take over control, but folks like Todd Gloria don’t think that would help anything. The changes will likely include a forum to settle wage disputes, tighter oversight of taxi licenses when they are transferred and a possible tightening of bookkeeping and vehicle safety records.
Watch the Minds Meet
Check out all the videos from our seventh “Meeting of the Minds.” Many of San Diego’s finest accomplishments were on display at the building in Liberty Station where it was held. There was that history of WD-40 (have you tried using it to lubricate a prosthetic limb?), and that explanation of how San Diegans are involved when the Mars Rover robot needs to take a selfie. A recounting of one plastic surgeon’s efforts to reshape the skulls of impacted kids was fascinating, but fair warning, not for the faint.
Enlightened Email Retention
As Sunshine Week (that week where we celebrate efforts for more open, transparent government) comes to a close, U-T San Diego went around surveying local governments to find out how long they keep emails around before deleting them.
This, after the city briefly threatened to start deleting all email communication older than 1 year, then decided instead to not do that. The U-T’s survey “of more than 100 governments in the area has found that a one-year retention period is generous.” The County keeps theirs for 60 days. San Marcos only keeps their emails for 30 days. And there’s another transparency problem the U-T notes: “More than half of the 106 agencies surveyed failed to turn over any of the requested documents within 10 days” as required by law.
• That time a city employee stole 1,844 car batteries from the city and didn’t get away with it.
• The interim superintendent of the San Ysidro School District is out.
• Southern California’s natural gas utilities want to add 90 miles of new pipeline across Southern California.
• $200 million in tax dollars was spent to transform an Irvine marine air station into a park, but little has actually been accomplished. A San Diego construction company is caught up in the investigation.
• Michael Robertson, the former San Diego-based MP3tunes chief executive, was in court on Wednesday, and was found liable for copyright infringement in connection with his old company.
Lying to a Child
Researchers at UC San Diego used a clever trick to find out whether kids were willing to lie to them, and found that kids who had been lied to were much more likely to lie themselves. An adult “told [the child] there was a huge bowl of candy in the next room, but then quickly confessed that was a lie to get the children to play the game,” NBC San Diego reports. Then the adult asked the kids to play a game where they had the opportunity to cheat. When asked if they had cheated, kids 5 and over who had been lied to by the adult were much more likely to lie about cheating than were kids who hadn’t been lied to.
Researchers “believe the 5 to 7-year-olds may have been simply imitating the behavior of the adult.” Sounds like a good reason to keep kids away from the nightly news.