Morning Report: Carlsbad Desal Plant Faces Next Round of Scrutiny - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Carlsbad Desal Plant Faces Next Round of Scrutiny

Haitian immigrants are among those flocking to the San Ysidro border crossing, a strange spat involving MTS and a doorway and a sad diagnosis for Gao Gao.

Carlsbad’s new desalination plant is no stranger to navigating hurdles.

Before opening last year, the plant faced a barrage of regulatory reviews and legal challenges related to its environmental impacts.

VOSD’s Ry Rivard has the latest on a new set of questions and concerns from regulators and environmentalist groups. Some of the challenges could make its already expensive water even pricier.

The concerns include impending changes in how the plant sucks in ocean water, the salty byproduct the plant spits out into the ocean and debates about its significant energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The plant will soon need its own connection directly into the ocean, instead of piggybacking off a nearby power plant, as it does now. That will require a new permit — and more money.

“The costs associated with the new intake are already turning out to be more expensive than expected and will raise rates at least slightly across San Diego County,” Rivard writes.

Water officials say what they say every time the cost of the plant and its water is raised: It’s all worth it to have a steady, drought-proof supply.

More Than Just a Door

There’s a strange legal battle brewing over a plot of land near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The owners of the building housing the McDonald’s located right next to the international border in San Ysidro have lodged complaints against the Metropolitan Transit System, which owns land behind the building. In turn, MTS is pointing fingers back.

The Union-Tribune’s Greg Moran explains each side’s complaints, which includes a spat over a doorway.

Of course, the door is just the entry to larger issues, like a lease agreement that’s making some folks uncomfortable and some allegedly questionable actions by MTS.

Those Jagged Rocks

A Union-Tribune letter writer says those jagged rocks placed in an underpass in Sherman Heights to keep homeless people away are a long overdue solution to the city’s spike in homeless encampments downtown.

VOSD contributor Kelly Davis broke the news last week that the jagged rocks had been placed there by the city as part of the preparations for the All-Star Game happening downtown in July. The city had claimed the rocks were a response to complaints by Sherman Heights residents.

Lots of people have opinions when it comes to this story. It’s interesting to read the comments on VOSD’s story and compare them with those accompanying the article that ran in the Los Angles Times.

Following the Flow of Haitian Migrants

Dire economic conditions in Haiti are reportedly behind the recent spike of Haitians showing up at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The U-T continued its coverage of the story by pulling stats and talking with some of the migrants who’ve been using a church in Normal Heights for temporary relief from their long journeys.

Weekend News Roundup

Kids sometimes get paid to carry drugs across the international border. The U-T reports on the phenomenon and says a program geared toward warning high school students in the region about it is making some progress.

Rep. Scott Peters is giving back some, but not all of the money donated to his campaign by Babulal “Bob” Bera and some of Bera’s immediate family members. The Orange County man pleaded guilty to two felony counts of election fraud in May.

It looks like Tijuana has a new mayor. (U-T)

Gao Gao, an elderly giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, has been diagnosed with an incurable heart problem. (AP)

Yup, it’s hot. (U-T)

That’s not June gloom in the air, it’s smoke. There’s a fire burning by the U.S.-Mexico border near Potrero. (NBC San Diego)

San Diego Social Media Moments

This San Diego sportscaster says folks at the U.S Open yelled “Hold the door!” at first tee instead of the standard “You da’ man!” And I believe him. Because “Game of Thrones” is that good.

Here’s a heart-wrenching shot of a family at the border fence on Father’s Day.

Macaron frappes are a thing, apparently.

This eye-catching truck camper is a thing, too. It’s been hanging out in Shelter Island and Point Loma in recent weeks. I talked to the guy behind it. He’s a grandpa and he said the rolling work of art took him seven years to complete.

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