Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's Leadership Time Now Kevin!

As reported today in the UT, the opponents of the Alcohol Beach Ban, yesterday delivered over 45,000 signatures to the city clerk's office. They needed to deliver a little more than 30,000 signatures to either force the City Council to rescind the ban, or to place it on the ballot.[Link]

Prior to last Labor Day's alcohol-induced riot at Mission Beach, district 2 council member Kevin Faulconer had always been ambivalent regarding an alcohol ban on the beach. However, never one to miss an opportunity to have his face on television, Faulconer quickly seized the issue. He worked with other council members and the city attorney's office to draft an ordinance and to have the council pass it last November.[Link]

If the city council decides to put the ban on the ballot, it is going to be interesting to see how much council member Faulconer is going to take the lead on it now. As a candidate, he has shown himself to be a prolific fundraiser. I wonder how much of his political capital he is willing to put on the line to get the measure passed. It is going to be interesting to see what happens now.

Smoking Crack over at Red County

I saw this post from a Mr. Murphy over at Red County regarding the local Democratic Party and City Attorney Mike Aguirre. In his post Mr Murphy asserts:

Over the past couple of weeks there has been some discussion inside the Democrat Party about the endorsement - or lack thereof - of Democrat City Attorney Mike Aguirre. If it happens, it isn't going to be soon. There was some thought among Democrat leaders to put the issue back up for discussion in January or February.[Link]

Now I don't know where Mr. Murphy gets his information from, but I can tell you from people I know who serve on the Executive Board of the county Democratic Party Central Committee what they have told me. Since Mike Aguirre failed to get the early incumbent endorsement the subject of another vote for him has not been on either the December or January meeting agendas. I'm told that Aguirre's next opportunity for the Democratic Party endorsement will be in March, when the other Democrats in the race for City Attorney will also get to go before the central committee for the endorsement.

Score One for Duncan

I guess Duncan Hunter's strategy to bypass the Iowa Caucuses in favor of the Wyoming Caucuses today paid off. The Congressman earned 9% of today's vote and 1 delegate [Link] toward the GOP nomination. He only need 1190 more to win the nomination.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday - Quick Hits

Limit on alcohol usage in Balboa Park wins first vote last night. UT

Report by Utilities Commission finds 50 negative impacts with Sunrise Powerlink. UT VOSD

Federal Judge rules that the Navy must adopt measures to protect marine mammals during sonar exercise off the California coast. UT

City of Chula Vista suing owners of mobile home park to force payment of fines and fess owed. UT

Delay of North County Sprinter due to safety and security concerns from state. UT

NCTD has $4 million shortfall for current fiscal year. UT

Tri-city Medical Center unveils $778 million proposal for expansion. UT

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thursday - Quick Hits

Officials at Chula Vista Veteran's Home battle pathogen that has caused 71 residents to become ill. UT

Opponents of Alcohol Beach ban face deadline of tomorrow to turn in enough signatures to get the ban place on the ballot. UT

Sheriff's department has new helicopter, to assist in law enforcement and fire fighting. UT

Panel to consider proposal to further restrict alcohol usage in Balboa Park. UT

Middle school in Oceanside, that took two years to be built, and had been delayed for 6-months is scheduled to open in February. UT

Audit reveals that San Diego Unified used Federal funds for low income students to pay one time bonuses to retires. VOSD

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

OC Residents to Drink Treated Sewage

This morning's LA Times has an article regarding the Orange County Water District's $490 million sewage filtration treatment facility that is awaiting final approval from state health officials before it goes online later this month. The facility will purify effluent from a neighboring treatment plant, and then pump it into the groundwater basin that the county's 2.3 million residents draw their water from.[Link]

When the plant is fully operational, it will be able to reclaim 130 million gallons of water that would other wise be release into the ocean.
Officials say the final product is as clean as distilled water and so pure that lime has to be added to it to keep it from leaching minerals out of concrete pipes, thus weakening them.[Link]
It is nice to see that the folks up in the O.C. are willing to invest in the proven technology to augment our dwindling water supplies. Mayor Sanders could learn a thing or two from the folks up in the O.C.

Wednesday - Quick Hits

What is the rush? Owner of downtown warehouse, that burned down the other night starts demolition before cause has been determined. UT

New passport rules creates an environment of confuse. UT

USD exceeded its fundraising goal for the year. UT

Otay land owner sues Federal goverment for devaluing his property. UT

Shadowridge residents in Vista favor inclusion on Tri-city Hospital district. UT

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Laws

Courtesy of the UT, here's a list of new laws taking effect today.


  • Drivers convicted of serious traffic violations, such as drunken driving, will no longer be able to automatically erase the blemish on their DMV driving record by attending a traffic school. Most insurers use DMV records to set individual rates.
  • Products to shield licenses from red-light cameras, toll-booth cameras or other license-plate readers are banned from sale.
  • Fines for illegally parking in spaces reserved for the disabled can lead to significantly higher fines, up to $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for three or more tickets. The current fine is $250.
  • First-time drunken drivers who cause fatal accidents will no longer be able to plead ignorance to avoid gross vehicular manslaughter or second-degree murder convictions.


  • The state will launch a rebate program for businesses and homeowners who invest in solar-powered water heaters, financed through an estimated 13-cent surcharge on monthly gas bills.
  • A $1 fee on every new car sold will fill a special account to reimburse customers forced to make two payments when unscrupulous dealerships fail to pay off the loan balance on a trade-in.


  • Hunters cannot use lead bullets in endangered condor territory, which mostly stretches along the coast from Los Angeles to Ventura and in some parts of the Eastern Sierra range, starting with the fall season.
  • The California Energy Commission must develop tougher efficiency standards for light bulbs by the end of 2008.


  • Most hospitals will have to provide hearing tests for newborn children. More than 100,000 children born every year were not being screened.
  • Raw milk will face tougher bacteria standards, a law some producers say will be difficult to meet.
  • Costume jewelry mostly marketed to teenagers and children containing high levels of hazardous lead can no longer be sold in California after March 1.


  • Local governments cannot force landlords to refuse to rent to illegal immigrants – a response to a since-discarded Escondido City Council ordinance.
  • Licensed contractors cannot refuse gay or disabled customers.
  • Tanning salons are required to obtain written permission from a parent or guardian, in person, before a minor younger than 14 can enter a booth.


  • Most businesses with 25 or more employees must provide spouses with up to 10 days of unpaid time off when a husband or wife returns home temporarily from military duty overseas.
  • National Guard members will be eligible to join the state pension system.
  • Service members will receive enrollment priority in the California State University system, but not in the University of California system.

Horse racing

  • An additional 45 satellite wagering sites will be allowed to open.
  • Jockeys, who now earn minimum riding fees of between $33 and $105 each time they race depending on the size of the purse, will be guaranteed more money.


  • A new husband who wants to take his wife's last name can declare that intention on county-issued marriage licenses, rather than go through an arduous legal process.
  • Parents of stillborn children can request a special certificate recognizing the child and family, under the Missing Angels Act.
  • Pets can be included in protective orders in domestic violence cases.

Monday, December 31, 2007

South Bay Summit

December 28, 2007

Dear Democrat:

We have a tremendous opportunity in 2008 to organize, win elections, and build a new generation of Democratic leadership in South San Diego County – if we are all united and working together to advance the values we share.

The four of us are writing to invite you to a South Bay Summit on Saturday, January 12, sponsored by the San Diego County Democratic Party.

At this event we plan to identify the significant work that needs to be done by Democrats in the South Bay, from voter registration and turnout to coalition-building and candidate development.

Most importantly, we hope to take full advantage of the energy coming out of this Presidential election year. With your help, we can unite and mobilize Democrats to make the South Bay a center of Democratic strength for San Diego County and all of California.

Invitations to the Summit are going out to elected officials, Party representatives, and other community leaders in the region. It will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Downtown Chula Vista Library (365 F Street, 91910[Map]). Light refreshments will be provided.

Please R.S.V.P. and direct any questions you might have to Julian Quinonez in the Party office at (858) 277-3367 or Thank you for joining us in this unprecedented effort.

Sincerely Yours,

Jess Durfee, Chair San Diego County Democratic Party

Hon. Bob Filner, Member of Congress 51st District-CA

Hon. Denise Moreno Ducheny, California State Senator District 40th

Hon. Mary Salas, California Assembly Member District 79th

When all Else Fail, Sue Your Customers!

Via TPM: The Recording Industry has decided that copying your own personal CDs onto your computer is considered illegal. As reported in the Washington Post this morning:

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.[Link]

The recording industry is desperately trying to hold onto their business model, that they have reaped billions of dollars in profit over the years. So instead of bracing the new technology and trying to build a new business model from it, they choose to sue their customer. Brilliant thinking.

Monday - Quick Hits

MTS fares are scheduled to rise with start of new year on Tuesday. UT

New lobbying rules go into effect tomorrow for city of San Diego. UT

Sweetwater Education Foundation executive director is stepping down in June. UT

Balboa Park's iconic California Tower will under go $1.25 million in renovation. UT

A former trash-recycling building in San Marcos to be recycled in to studio production center if entertainment industry veteran gets his way. UT