In the midst of Hurricane Harvey’s flooding of Houston, you might have seen a rash of stories about how the city of San Diego would not let local lifeguards go to help. The lifeguards had helped during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Ashly McGlone dove in to figure out what really was behind the long-simmering dispute between lifeguards and their bosses in the Fire Department. This was obviously another chapter in that.

McGlone unraveled the intriguing backstory of a bureaucratic beef that dates back a while now and covers rivalries about who gets to save people on the cliffs and where water rescue calls are answered.

U.S Attorney Hopefuls Wait and Wait

Not too long ago, the two top legal authorities in San Diego County were women — one more woman than appears in all the 42 nominees for U.S. attorney positions submitted by the Trump administration.

We don’t have a nominee yet, although this isn’t unusual at the beginning of presidential administrations, and the top federal prosecutor job in our district is vacant, although acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson is filling in.

It looks like the top prospects are all male, the U-T reports: “A short list of applicants has emerged, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Bettwy, Adam Braverman, Mark Conover, Paul Starita and Michael Wheat, as well as former Los Angeles Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Brewer, now in private practice, and Deputy District Attorney Mark Amador.”


We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Darrell Issa are involved in the selection process, but “while traditionally U.S. attorney finalists trickle up … to the White House for vetting, sources say the Trump Administration has been proactively reviewing candidates on its own.”

Critics to City: Slow Your Roll on Power Switch

A bunch of political heavy hitters, including a former mayor, have created a coalition that wants the city to slow on its move toward “community choice aggregation,” KPBS reports. They’re “questioning a potential plan to let the city buy power separately from San Diego Gas & Electric.”

“Committee members are concerned the city will create a plan that ends up costing taxpayers more than the current system,” KPBS reports. “They are asking the city council not to advance the next stage of the proposal in January: developing a business plan.”

Community choice aggregation is a clunky term for a complicated plan to move the city toward renewable energy in a bid to combat climate change. Essentially, as we reported in an FAQ earlier this year, “the city government and a Fortune 500 company are on a collision course. The cost, reliability and environmental consequences of everyone’s electricity is on the line.”

Border Report: What’s Next for Dreamers

This week’s Border Report checks in with a one of those undocumented immigrants who came here as a child and now faces the threat of deportation. Itzel Guillen works for an advocacy group, and she says the president’s hope to tie Dreamer protections to increased border security is “a sinister form of blackmail.”

Plus: California’s sanctuary state bid, tough times in the news for the Border Patrol, a border wall update and more.

Quick News Hits: Out of Prison, Onto the Bookshelves

There’s been another attack of a homeless person this time of a man who was attacked before dawn on Saturday in a North Park alley while he was sleeping. The victim, beaten with a skateboard, is on life support; the suspect allegedly drove away. (U-T via L.A. Times)

A series of attacks last year, mostly on homeless men, left eight injured and 4 more dead. A man is facing charges.

The International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees settle here, “is searching for a new executive director little more than a week after the organization’s national office found the affiliate had violated housing policies.” (KPBS)

There’s a big legal battle over the $1 billion estate of prominent local philanthropist Conrad Prebys and its exclusion of his only child, Eric, the U-T reports. “That disinheritance is at the heart of a court fight that is brewing… between directors of the Conrad Prebys Foundation, which is due to receive the bulk of the estate and distribute it to charities.”

Local Chargers TV ratings were low on Sunday, not surprising since they skipped town, the U-T reports. But Chargers ratings here have been lower, even when they called San Diego home.

Fallen San Diego politicians really love to write books when they’re out of office or prison. Former Mayor Bob Filner came out with one earlier this year, now ranked as the 2046th best seller in Amazon in the Civics & Citizenship category. Filner blamed the establishment and downtown insiders for his demise.

In 2011, former Mayor Dick Murphy came out with a book called “San Diego’s Judge Mayor: How Murphy’s Law Blindsided Leadership With 2020 Vision.”

Now, former Councilman and former inmate Ralph Inzunza, snared in the strippergate scandal, has written a novel called “The Camp,” the Reader reports. According to the publisher, “the protagonist is a law-and-order, nerdy politician, former Deputy Mayor of a large California city, who goes to prison for ‘dishonest service of government,’ and is feeling sorry for himself until the minute he steps inside the fence… [his] survival instincts and political skills lead him to gain respect among his peers and become the consiglieri in situs.”

Hmm. Sounds familiar.

The publisher also provides some familiar-sounding blaming of the downtown establishment for Inzunza’s real-life problems: “After two years of elective office, the downtown power brokers decided they had seen enough of his activism… and he was indicted on frivolous charges.”

On a side note, “Downtown Power Brokers” sounds like a 1970s potboiler featuring steamy interludes at the El Cortez Hotel and overheated business meetings at the Grant Grill.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

    This article relates to: Morning Report, News

    Written by Randy Dotinga

    Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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