The San Diego County Water Authority primarily provides water to the community, but recently it’s been thinking a lot about power too. The biggest project in the works is one that would create a giant battery system to help store renewable power. But there are a few problems, reports Ry Rivard.
For one, the Water Authority can’t seem to find a partner for the project, and without one, it might have to hike rates. The project’s price tag is soaring, and it might only produce minimal returns. Some of the people on the Water Authority board aren’t even sure it’s a good idea:
Mark Watton, a Water Authority board member and general manager of the Otay Water District, said with battery technology rapidly advancing, a big civil engineering project involving water may not be the future of energy storage.
“If it were my choice, I wouldn’t want to commit to a 30-year technology,” Watton said.
• Southern California power companies are definitely interested in finding ways to capture cheap energy to sell at peak hours. The huge methane leak north of Los Angeles earlier this year has prompted local power companies to look at building huge batteries to provide power for customers when normal power plants are at tapped out. (Fortune)
Op-Ed: Sí, Se Puede Change Bilingual Ed
In a new op-ed, professor Karen Cadiero-Kaplan advocates for Proposition 58, which would repeal some portions of an older California law that limits options when it comes to instructing students in languages other than English. She argues old laws haven’t been effective in improving performance of English-learning students.
“Prop. 58 would allow all families the same access to bilingual education, opening the door to more English-learners who can become proficient in English and also continue to develop their native languages,” Cadiero-Kaplan writes.
Get Wise on Pedestrian Spending
San Diego’s city auditor reported on Thursday that San Diego’s efforts to update pedestrian safety and spend on crosswalk projects are poorly coordinated and don’t take incident data into account. While some intersections that have never experienced safety problems are being updated with flashing lights and smarter systems, “some of the most dangerous intersections had not seen any of the same safety improvements,” KPBS reports.
Techies Unimpressed with Tacos and Sunshine
The New York Times looks into why San Diego is struggling to attract and keep the tech talent it craves, despite “some of the best fish tacos and year-round beach days.” The consensus is that young workers are increasingly interested in working in dense areas with lots of local character, instead of in industrial parks serviced only by chain businesses. The Times references a recent op-ed we ran from a young computer scientist listing features he and his peers are looking for in a city. A thoughtful discussion among techies ensued over at a website where they gather to chat.
Dobbs Out at Hayward
The saga continues for Stan “Data” Dobbs, the former chief financial officer of San Diego Unified who spoke very plainly (and sometimes inaccurately) with us in 2013 and who subsequently moved on to the top spot at the school district for Hayward, Calif. The Hayward board voted to terminate Dobbs on Thursday after a bunch of alleged nonsense that nobody can agree on. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Of the potentially $1.03 billion in contracts awarded by the Department of Defense on Thursday, “ninety percent of the work will be performed in San Diego, CA.” (Inside Defense)
• Incomes are on the rise nationally, but not so much around San Diego. (KPBS)
• A new report says that San Diego’s “innovation economy,” namely startups, accounts for nearly a quarter of San Diego’s gross domestic product. (NBC 7)
• A lawsuit against Trump University will not be delayed as requested by Donald Trump, and that the trial will land in a San Diego courtroom just days after the election. (Times of San Diego)
• Hundreds of Haitians have arrived through Tijuana at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro. They are seeking entry into California and border officials are struggling to find enough space for them all. (Reuters)
• San Diego Magazine dives deep into San Diego beers; specifically what shape of fancy glass we should be drinking our fine brews from. Still drinking from the can or bottle? “Enjoying beer from a glass will improve the quality of your life immeasurably—guaranteed,” they claim.
• Buried in this article about food trends is the revelation that a whopping 70 percent of San Diegans look up pictures of their to-be dinner before selecting where to dine out, which was the highest percentage of food oglers in any city surveyed.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.