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Roundtable: Filner Saga Rolls On; North Park vs Jack In The Box; Issa On Climate Change


Mark Sauer


Tony Perry, LA Times

Dorian Hargrove, San Diego Reader

Susan White, InsideClimate News


The Continuing Saga of Bob Filner

It's been a big couple of weeks for San Diego's mayor.

He's now been deserted by all nine members of the City Council, state Senator Darrell Steinberg, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, former Mayor/Senator/Governor Pete Wilson and nearly 80 percent of the population of San Diego.

There aren't many left in Filner's corner.

His official response on Monday to the recall effort against him included a list of his achievements and the statement that “Now is not the time to go backwards."

The recall continues to lumber forward anyway in spite of the many obstacles (deadlines and funding chief among them) strewn in its path.

Frustrated that the city has had no one to lobby state and federal agencies on its behalf for the past eight months, the council wants to strip Filner of his intergovernment responsibilities.

But wait. There's more.

Attorney Gloria Allred on Thursday offered up a city employee who has filed sexual harassment complaints against the mayor. The fading and much-derided Hooters chain said Filner is not welcome in its restaurants. And UT-TV blurred the lines by asking the mayor to resign via a musical parody of a Robin Thicke song.

Where and when will it all end?

The Mayor And The Jack In The Box

In spite of intense neighborhood opposition and zoning rules that prohibit restaurant drive-throughs for new construction, Jack in the Box is rebuilding and expanding its North Park restaurant on 30th and Upas with the drive-through window in place.

The restaurant's drive-through closes at 2:30 a.m. and offers its neighbors the added feature of early morning deliveries and trash pick-up.

The company says the new construction is a remodel and therefore the drive-through can stay. The mayor said the number of walls knocked down meant it was new construction instead of a remodel and that the company completely misled residents about expansion plans.

He said he wanted work on the project halted.

But the City Attorney's office outlined possible liability issues, and the mayor's office decided not to issue the stop-work order after all.

The company hired a local firm to get the project through City Hall.

This week, residents filed a lawsuit.

Climate Change? What Climate Change?

A coalition of local environmental groups gave San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa an award this week for being a denier of climate change. The award was in the shape of a unicorn, an animal that doesn’t exist.

The presenters handed out the award during Tuesday’s national day of action, saying Issa's voting record on almost every environmental issue is abysmal.

Last week, the California Environmental Protection Agency issued a 240-page report on the impact to the Golden State of the changing climate, including warming lakes, rising sea levels, increasing wildfires and changing eco-systems.

While most Democrats agree that climate change is a fact, Issa is among several Republican members of congress from impacted states to deny the problem.

Among deniers in the House of Representatives are Paul Gosar of Arizona, who represents the area ravaged by the June Yarnell Fire, which killed 19 firefighters; Michael Grimm of Staten Island, parts of which were blown away by Hurricane Sandy; and Scott Tipton of Colorado, a state ruined first by drought and wildfires and now by floods.

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