San Diego Gas and Electric wants you to know the existing natural gas line that carries gas into San Diego is safe, with nothing to be worried about. But they also want to build a new, larger gas line into San Diego precisely because that same safe line, built in 1949, may not be safe enough.
Because of a 2010 explosion, new regulations require the utility to either test the existing line for needed repairs, put a new line in, or figure out how to shut it down. SDG&E wants to build a new $600 million line and increase natural gas rates to pay for it. “Early estimates suggest that residential customers might see their bill increase by just 22 cents per month, but a large wholesale customer might see a particular rate they pay increase by 50 percent,” our Ry Rivard reports.
• SDG&E has to get its pipeline plans approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, which is tasked with keeping utility companies on the straight and narrow. One big problem, though: a state audit released on Thursday says the CPUC “doesn’t guard against the appearance of improper influence from utilities when making decisions, fails to fully disclose important communications and skirts state rules when handing out contracts,” the LA Times reports.
• Even so, SDG&E still wants to get out from underneath some of the commission’s rules that govern how utility companies are allowed to lobby. (Union-Tribune)
The Learning Curve: Tell Us About Being An English-Learner
Mario Koran is out with a call to the community to help us understand the obstacles and challenges faced by students who are learning English and who speak Spanish at home. “Each year tens of thousands of English-learners… fail to make academic progress in San Diego schools,” Koran writes. “That’s why Voice of San Diego is in the midst of creating an advisory group focused on English-learners to help us understand the issues these students face.”
We’re looking for students, teachers, experts, parents and community leaders who are willing to help us understand the barriers English-learners face, how neighborhoods impact them, and what kind of solutions are working (or not working). If you’re interested, start off with an email introducing yourself to email@example.com.
• We’re talking special education on the most recent episode of our show Good Schools For All. When it comes to special ed, early identification and intervention are crucial. But not all families know how to access the resources to help them identify needs or receive special education assistance. Shana Cohen, assistant professor of education studies at UC San Diego, and attorney Seth Schwartz join us to provide a primer on the philosophy and bureaucratic terms involved along with the biggest worries about kids falling through the cracks.
• KPBS checked in with teachers to find out which apps they are loving the most in this new era of high-tech education.
Recalling Electeds: San Diego Explained
In November, voters will be asked whether to approve Measure E, which sets up new rules for elected officials and sets up guidelines for how elected officials can be removed from office. After struggling with options for removing former Mayor Filner, city officials assembled Measure E’s new rules to more easily oust top elected officials who are convicted of a felony, or who go missing. Ashly McGlone and NBC 7’s Monica Dean unpacked Measure E, which also proposes new requirements for qualifications to become city attorney, in our most recent San Diego Explained.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is busy doing press events with a future city councilwoman, meanwhile he still hasn’t explained what his vision is for the future of downtown San Diego. No, he hasn’t offered an opinion on the Chargers’ Measure C. However, he did endorse Proposition 51. This is the state school bond program the U-T just called an “awful idea.”
As far as we can tell, the mayor is against Measure A and supports Measure J and Propositions 51 and 57. Those hotel tax hikes though seem to have his tongue tied.
Judges Blast Briggs
Cory Briggs, the attorney best known recently for helping stop the waterfront expansion of the Convention Center, was slammed Thursday by a three-justice panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal in a published opinion, inewsource reports. In the opinion, the judges unanimously agreed Briggs’ conduct in a case before the court was “clearly unethical and possibly criminal.” In the case, the justices say Briggs represented a corporation that he knew had been suspended by the state, and was therefore not entitled to attorney fees he had been awarded by the lower court. Collecting attorney fees in public interest lawsuits is how Briggs makes his living.
Briggs is appealing the decision, calling the court’s ruling a “mistake.”
• Briggs is one of the architects of Measure D, which, among other things, would authorize the city to sell the land under Qualcomm Stadium to SDSU. Now, a Twitter user revealed that the university is testing the market for a new football stadium for itself that could also serve professional soccer.
• It’s harder to eat healthy, fresh foods when you have to run for your life to get across a dangerous road to where the market is. (KPBS)
• A flood of immigrants from Haiti have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. The federal government is stepping up its deportations of Haitian immigrants in response. (KPBS)
• Pups orphaned by the Louisiana floods are finding new homes in San Diego. (NBC 7)
• The short time it takes to sell a home in North Park has made it one of the top 10 hottest neighborhoods for real estate in the entire country. (Times of San Diego)
• San Diego is playing a part in launching the vision of the first female professional baseball player into the nation’s consciousness. The TV show “Pitch” aired on FOX Thursday night, depicting the lead actress as a pitcher who gets called up to play for the Padres. You’ll see Petco on screen, but the series is actually shooting in Dodger Stadium and in San Francisco’s ballpark.