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From Wastewater to Lots of Drinking Water

When San Diego County’s water wonks signed off on long-range plans last week, local environmentalists said the Water Authority should focus more on conservation and wastewater recycling programs than desalination and other pricey water sources.

The San Diego Bay Council, a coalition of environmental groups, pointed to San Diego’s water recycling project as a good model to follow and used an impressive stat to buttress their point: That recycling program alone could cover as much as 40 percent of the city needs.

Lisa Halverstadt gives that impressive statistic the fact check treatment and finds it’s mostly true.

Locals-Only Centennial Means No $2M From TMD

The Tourism Marketing District already dropped $1 million on the failed Balboa Park Centennial extravaganza. But a scaled-back celebration, which Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria announced the broad outline for this week, means things get a little tricky for the additional $2 million the TMD had set aside.

From Andrew Keatts’ story: “Based on those new plans, most of that money will end up going to promotional efforts for other organizations in the city.”

But wait! There’s still hope some dollars will go to the park. The city is considering a partnership with the TMD to play up Balboa Park itself as a tourist destination.

“So, TMD money would not go to promoting an event,” mayoral spokesman Matt Awbrey told us. “It’ll go instead to promoting the park as a destination.”

San Diego’s Startup Cheerleader

Forbes’ recent declaration that our fine city is the No.1 place to launch a startup inspired both debate and back-patting in our business community.

One of the local cheerleaders was Lisa Gordon, who works as the city’s small business ambassador. Gordon’s role is all about touting city programs meant to help startups and entrepreneurs as they navigate complex city processes.

But Gordon has a unique challenge of her own: Getting those startup leaders to find her in the first place.

In a new Q-and-A, Ana Ceballos chatted with Gordon about her role and what she sees as San Diego’s booming industry: home-based businesses.

What We Learned This Week

• Gang homicides are down, but there might be more than what you see in the news.

• A growing coalition wants to keep a close eye on how San Diego Unified spends new funds.

The Mid-City Rapid is coming soon and provides a glimpse of the future of local public transit.

•A judge thinks there’s enough evidence of a “code of silence” within SDPD for a jury to hear about it. (And we’re holding a panel on the future of the department.)

•The fate of the pared-down Balboa Park centennial now rests with the Balboa Park Conservancy.

Quick News Hits

• John Gennaro puts the Padres’ 1-2 record to start the season into perspective in this week’s Sports Report.

• An ex-Sweetwater superintendent and a former school board member pleaded guilty to accepting gifts in exchange for pushing forward multimillion-dollar school bond construction contracts.

• Former Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley wants the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate campaign donations to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Quote of the Week

“The only thing Slomo loves more than being in the zone is talking about the zone.” – Filmmaker Josh Izenberg, on his new documentary on Pacific Beach legend Slomo (aka Dr. John Kitchin)

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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