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Community choice aggregation supporters rally in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Local governments across the state are forming their own utilities to buy and sell electricity.

In San Diego, a group of several consultants worked on the math to show the city can provide greener and cheaper power than San Diego Gas & Electric.

Ry Rivard looks at the role advisers like these are set to play in local energy policy in San Diego and are already playing in Solana Beach, the first city in the county to form its own “community choice” energy agency, known as a CCA.

Most California cities – with the notable exception of Los Angeles and Sacramento – are new to the energy market. Ultimately, public officials will be in charge of big energy decisions, though they will lean on outside help, at least in the early years.

Since Solana Beach launched its own power-buying agency in  June, the city’s 7,000 electricity customers have already saved about $200,000.

But the city is also already looking ahead to a rough patch where it expects the new agency to lose money until 2022. The amount is relatively small – about $350,000 over three years – but an early sign of how hard it is to predict what will happen in the energy business.

(Disclosure: Mitch Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president for government affairs, sits on Voice of San Diego’s board of directors.)

Ethical, Whimsical Taxidermy? That’s Wild.

Whimsical, creative, adorable.

Obviously, we’re talking about a … taxidermy shop?

In the latest Culture Report, Julia Dixon Evans describes a new class of taxidermists who are mostly women, and who are devoted to bringing artistry and a strong sense of ethics to the practice.

“We wanted to make sure that any animals that do come in, they weren’t harmed in any way. So for us, it’s important as animal lovers that the animals were respected before they come here,” Simone Weinstein, co-owner of Little Dame Shop on Adams Avenue, told Evans.

Also in the Culture Report: a crucial survival guide for those braving the crowds at December Nights.

Council Moves Forward on Project Tied to Ethics Violation

The San Diego City Council this week allowed a low-income housing project in Encanto to move forward, but the project still faces some major hurdles.

A lawsuit filed by Cory Briggs is seeking to halt the project. The suit wants previous approvals for the project reversed because, as VOSD’s Andy Keatts reported in August, Phil Rath, the board chair of Civic San Diego, voted to give developer Affirmed Housing the $47 million project without disclosing he had a financial relationship with Affirmed. The city’s ethics commission called the omission “egregious” and fined Rath $11,000.

  • It was the last day at the City Council for David Alvarez, Lorie Zapf and Myrtle Cole. Councilman Mark Kersey was sad to lose at least two of them. Georgette Gomez, who is seen as the favorite for Council president, was nostalgic for the other one.
  • In case it wasn’t clear, it is now: The mayor has decided to wait for the new Council members to take their seats to request a special election for the hotel tax increase he wants to see to fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless services and streets.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Sara Libby.

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