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Otay Mesa Energy Center
San Diego Gas & Electric may be forced to buy this natural gas power plant near the border even as it is under pressure to reduce the amount of gas it burns to make power. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego passed a law: By 2035, all the electricity used here will come from renewable sources.

To reach that goal, city leaders are considering taking the power-buying reins from San Diego Gas & Electric and starting a government-controlled energy program called community choice aggregation. Our economy relies, though, right now on natural gas. The technology is not there, yet, to keep things going all the time with sources like solar.

Burning gas contributes to climate change, though, and the city thinks it can maybe ween itself away from that kind of power quicker than the utility.

Now, as the city and SDG&E go through this debate, SDG&E could buy a $280 million gas-fired power plant.

VOSD’s Ry Rivard explains why the energy company seems poised to buy the Otay Mesa Energy Center, a 9-year-old gas plant outside of Chula Vista, even as San Diego is trying to get rid of gas power altogether.

The deal is a byproduct of terms the energy company accepted when it asked the California Public Utilities Commission if it could by a different gas plant in Escondido back in 2003. To get that plant, the company essentially opened itself up to being forced to buy the Otay gas plant, too, even it if doesn’t want it.

• In an op-ed, Ruben Barrales, Haney Hong and Jack Monger, members of the Clear the Air Coalition, argue that a CCA is not the best way toward a greener energy future. They say existing CCAs in other cities fall well short of meeting the 100 percent clean energy goal, and carry with them a high level of risk.

The piece was written in response to VOSD’s recent story about a city-funded review by an outside consultant that found SDG&E’s own plan to provide city customers with 100 percent green power is vague and “raises more questions than it answers.”

Changing Lethal Force Rules From ‘Reasonable’ to ‘Necessary’

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber has reworked a bill that addresses reporting crimes on college campuses. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Current law says a police officer can use deadly force if a “reasonable” officer would have acted in the same way if put in a similar situation.

A group of California lawmakers, led by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, want to change the state standard for use of lethal force, rewording it so officers can only shoot when “necessary.”

Weber told The Sacramento Bee that the current standard is too broad and doesn’t do enough to push officers to first try to deescalate a confrontation before shooting.

The proposed measure comes in the wake of the police shooting of Stephon Clark in south Sacramento. Clark was shot while standing in his grandmother’s backyard and holding a cell phone.

Sanctuary Church

The First Unitarian Universalist Church is now a sanctuary for some undocumented immigrants.

The church’s reverend told the Union-Tribune that the board voted in favor of the sanctuary designation in March.

The church has campuses in Hillcrest and Chula Vista, and the vote means its opening itself up to people who are actively fighting their deportation cases.

And here’s your semi-regular reminder that despite some folks calling all of San Diego a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, it isn’t one.

Culture Report: A Big Art Dump

richard allen morris painting
A painting by Richard Allen Morris. / Courtesy of R.B. Stevenson Gallery

Affordable space in San Diego isn’t easy to find. Artists, especially prolific ones who amass large bodies of work, often find themselves in a heartbreaking predicament when they run out of room to put their work – they either have to sell if off cheaply or destroy it.

In this week’s Culture Report, I write about one of San Diego’s old-guard artists who was recently evicted from his basement apartment in Golden Hill and has had to throw away piles of his work in order to fit into a smaller and more expensive apartment. Luckily, his art dealer swooped in and  grabbed a few pieces for a show opening this week at his La Jolla gallery.

Also in the weekly roundup of arts and culture news: Artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw has died, the arts commission votes to pump the brakes on inaccessible public art and more.

Green Flash Sells to Investors

Craft beer nerds across San Diego are crying into their hazy IPAs right now.

News broke Tuesday that Green Flash has been sold to a group of investors following financial problems. (Union-Tribne)

Green Flash purchased Alpine Beer Company in 2014, and it, too, will be affected by the sale.

Craft beer is still in rapid growth mode, but the explosion in breweries means fierce competition and only the fittest brewers are surviving.

In Other News

• The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 union is spending a lot of money to defend its president Mickey Kasparian agains charges of sexual misconduct. Kasparian denies any wrongdoing. (Union-Tribune)

• The San Diego official who was fired after work crews nearly scooped up a homeless person into a trash truck was rehired by the city. (Union-Tribune)

• Apparently, San Diegans like dumb band names.

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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