Let’s talk about whale sex, baby. Let’s talk about Kalia and Ulises. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things. That. May. Be. Let’s talk about whale sex.
Kalia and Ulises, in case you’re wondering, are the parents of the last orca calf born at SeaWorld. If the Coastal Commission gets its way, that calf might be one of the last. The group mandated SeaWorld must end orca breeding as a condition of getting a permit for its new expanded orca tanks.
That’s caused some strange panic over at the U-T and elsewhere. Scott Lewis decided to do a deep dive on what, exactly, is being banned and SeaWorld’s response. Turns out, SeaWorld already uses birth control for its whales, but it can’t do so long-term.
SeaWorld is, unsurprisingly, suing over the decision. Its argument for why it should be allowed to breed, however, is surprising. And it might spell the beginning of the end for the park.
Newsom Throws in for Mayor
Are you ready for another mayor’s race in which the candidates profess to be The One Who Loves Neighborhoods the Most? That’s likely what we’re in for with Gretchen Newsom’s surprise announcement this weekend that she’s running for mayor.
Newsom, a Democrat who is president of the OB Town Council and a union lobbyist, said on Facebook that “San Diego deserves a leader who will stand up for our communities.”
Newsom was praised as a “rising star” by several Council members when she came up short last year in her attempt to be the temporary replacement for Kevin Faulconer on the Council once he was elected mayor. Still, her announcement took some people by surprise, like union kingmaker Mickey Kasparian.
We had Newsom on the VOSD podcast last year to talk about her efforts to end the big Fourth of July marshmallow fight in OB.
Notoriety in Rancho Santa Fe Again
It’s starting to become its own genre. A national reporter heads to Rancho Santa Fe and finds a wealthy resident there doing something embarrassing, like arguing that rich people deserve more water than everyone else.
This time, the resident in question is Robert Shillman, whom The Intercept describes as “a wealthy donor to conservative causes.” His latest cause is making sure the U.S. shuts its doors to Syrian refugees. The reasoning, according to several Shillman Fellow writers funded by Shillman, is that “the only ‘genuine refugees’ are ‘Christian and non-Muslim’ and that the U.S. should not accept any Muslims from the conflict in Syria because those fleeing the region ‘are not victims, they are perpetrators.’”
Kersey on Megabond, Water
Councilman Mark Kersey did a sitdown with 10News where he talked about the Chargers, infrastructure, water and his effort to start a 311 system.
Kersey said he’s hoping to unveil an infrastructure financing plan “it in the next several weeks” that would go before voters in 2016, but declined to provide any details. The latest word we heard was that city leaders might be looking to a regional plan led by SANDAG.
Kersey also echoed a recent letter sent by the San Diego County Water Authority to state regulators that complained about possibly being asked to conserve water indefinitely:
“As we’ve diversified our water sources over the last 10 years, we get a lot more water from sources other than Los Angeles and the Bay Area delta than we used to. We should get credit for that. We’ve invested a lot of ratepayer money in things like the desalination plant in Carlsbad and some other efforts, we’re kicking off the Pure Water program in the city, and right now the state’s not giving the city a whole lot of credit for investing those dollars and really decreasing our reliance on imported water. So I think we really need to go to the governor and really try to get more credit from the state in that regard.”
• Wednesday night, NFL representatives are coming to town to explain to fans why the Chargers may have to move to Los Angeles.
Closed San Onofre Still Causing Problems
San Onofre is one of several closed nuclear plants around the country that are dipping into funds meant for dismantling the plants, and using them instead to store waste on the premises, “raising questions about whether there will be enough money when the time comes,” according to the Associated Press.
Adding insult to injury, storing waste on-site isn’t even a good idea, the story notes. “It would be much better to get the stuff underground where terrorists couldn’t fly a plane into it,” one expert said.
• San Onofre was one of many nuclear plants that shuttered in the past few years. Last week, CityLab took a look at a new nuclear facility opening in the Tennessee Valley — the first new plant in the U.S. in 20 years.
Quick News Hits
• Various business and economic experts from around the county weigh in on whether San Diego should ban tipping. (Union-Tribune)
• Sure, Pulitzers are nice. But how many journalists can say they have an abandoned tiger cub named in their honor? (NBC San Diego)
• The New York Times examines the way in which Indian tribes across the country are working to lessen their reliance on gambling profits. One San Diego tribe, it notes, has joined with a Sacramento tribe to create a private equity company that’s buying businesses.
A reader on Twitter tells us Albie’s Beef Inn in Mission Valley might be on its death bed. A good rule of thumb for eateries is that any place with “House of” or “Inn” in the name is gonna be good. Last time my husband and I went to Albie’s, we made our way to the hostess stand and were promptly asked, “Are you two waiting to meet your grandparents?” We were, by far, the youngest folks in the place. There’s something awesome about places like that.