Morning Report: Growing the County’s Carbon-Cutting Efforts

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Morning Report: Growing the County’s Carbon-Cutting Efforts

Bae Alvarez, coordinator of the Carbon Sink Project at Solidarity Farms in Pauma Valley, handles a soil test. / Photo by Joseph Griffin

San Diego County recently committed itself to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2035. Now, some in the county are looking for local ways to aid that effort by sucking carbon from the atmosphere and burying it for good.

Those efforts, though, are running up against tight restrictions on the types of projects already approved for those activities, like replanting a forest, capturing landfill gas or growing rice in flooded fields.

In a new story, MacKenzie Elmer outlines ongoing attempts to expand that list of approved activities. Farmers like Bea Alvarez and Elle Igoe, for instance, are pursuing carbon farming, an increasingly popular process of growing crops that keep as much carbon in the soil as possible.

The county says it’s open to building this sort of activity into its long-term climate action plan, but bemoans that it does not yet have sufficient data to quantify, monitor and report the amount of carbon the practice can sequester. 

San Diego’s Quest for Iconic Structures

San Diego is known for its iconic scenes — we’ve got beaches, Balboa Park and the downtown skyline just to name a few. But that hasn’t stopped some from wanting more.

Proposals for new tourist destinations in recent years have included a 400-foot ferris wheel with “interactive lights,” a massive waterfront observation tower and titanium/steel “Wings of Freedom” at the bay that reminded some critics of bunny ears and feminine hygiene products.

Why, you ask? VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga explains in his latest story on our city’s eternal quest to be more iconic than we already are.

“We feel that we have to do something to identify ourselves,” said one former city architect. “So these impulses come up for towers, for wings, for Ferris wheels or what have you, because other places have done that. We feel the need to copy something that’s identified as iconic.”

The Mid-Cycle Cycle Is Underway

Since the November election, San Diego has seen plenty of political developments that indicated we won’t have the luxury of stepping away from electoral politics until 2022.

Tuesday was a big day for making those realities official.

First, former Mayor Kevin Faulconer took the leap and declared his campaign for governor, if indeed the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom successfully qualifies. To launch his campaign, Faulconer drove to L.A. for a press conference in front of two schools, a private one that’s open, and a public one that’s closed. If Faulconer rides a recall to the governor’s mansion, it will put an appropriate bow on his political career to date. When he won elections to be SDSU’s class president, a city councilman and the mayor, Faulconer did so after the guy ahead of him flamed out, as former Voice reporter Liam Dillon outlined back in 2013.

The other statewide political news out of San Diego: after naming California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to her new position, Newsom Tuesday announced a special election to fill her vacated seat in the state Assembly, as the Union-Tribune covered. The primary election will be on April 6, and the general election will be on June 8.

And Sacramento had nothing to do with this one: Proponents of an effort to recall Council President Jen Campbell have published their intent to do so in a local paper, starting a 120-day period during which they need to collect 14,000 signatures from district residents who support the cause, based on the number of registered voters in the district as of the last election.Recall proponents last year drafted on anger at Campbell from progressive activists who opposed her selection as Council president over Councilwoman Monica Montgomery-Steppe, but the recall notice cites the cause for removal that she took closed-door meetings with special interests, and damaged her constituents’ quality of life, as the Union-Tribune reported.

In Other News

  • The county opened its fourth vaccine superstation Tuesday at the Grossmont Center Mall in La Mesa. Another will open on the UC San Diego campus next week where officials say they will have the capacity to immunize 5,000 people a day. (KPBS/Union-Tribune)
  • Records obtained by NBC 7 show the fiancee of a Cathedral Catholic High School teacher killed Monday outside of his home had sought protection from her ex-boyfriend, now the chief suspect in the murder investigation. A judge had denied the fiancee’s request for protection, finding that the ex-boyfriend was not a serious threat.  

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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