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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Roundtable On Cory Briggs, One Paseo, Women In Combat

Roundtable On Cory Briggs, One Paseo, Women In Combat

Audio

Cory Briggs, One Paseo, Women In Combat

HOST:

Tom Fudge

GUESTS:

Brad Racino, inewsource

Alison St. John, KPBS News

Gretel Kovach, U-T San Diego

Transcript

Cory Briggs — Questions And Conflicts

KPBS news partner inewsource has found that Cory Briggs, a San Diego attorney who specializes in public-interest and environmental cases, is involved in some real estate transactions that some experts say are unusual, highly questionable and may even amount to fraud.

Briggs often files lawsuits against cities and developments based on their compliance with CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. inewsource discovered that Briggs’ wife works for Helix Environmental Planning, a company that has been involved on the other side of her husband's lawsuits. This fact appears to have been unknown until this week to the government entities that were sued by Briggs.

inewsource also uncovered that Briggs has filed unusual liens against homes in several California counties. Two liens were for $1.5 million each on houses worth considerably less. Legal experts question the ethics of such loans.

Briggs posted on his law firm's website an "open letter" responding to the first two inewsource stories. In it, he explained his practice of entering into deeds of trust with his clients, and wrote there is no conflict between his and his wife’s work.

One Paseo Passes

After months of campaigning, signature collecting, charges and counter-charges, the San Diego City Council approved the large, mixed-use One Paseo development for Carmel Valley.

The main issues for community opponents: additional traffic from the proposed 600 homes, shops and offices; the lack of public transit anywhere near the area; and the violation of the community plan, which calls for about one-third of the floor space approved Monday.

For the seven City Council members who voted yes, those concerns were outweighed by the city’s dwindling supply of land for development and the perceived necessity to build denser projects, as well as the addition of affordable housing units.

Construction is to start in the fall, barring lawsuits.

Marines Test Women For Combat

Only 7.6 percent of Marines are women, the lowest percentage of all the armed services. The entire Marine infantry is male. The Pentagon has eliminated restrictions on women in combat, and all services have been ordered to open all jobs to women by the end of the year or seek a waiver.

In 2012, the Marines tried to get females to enroll in its Infantry Officer Course. Few accepted, and none passed the course.

In 2013, enlisted women were experimentally allowed into infantry training, and 34 percent passed. U-T San Diego's Gretel Kovach spent time at the Marines Corps' Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with an experimental, mixed-gender ground combat task force that eventually will be rated for their readiness to perform individual and group tasks.

As the experiment goes on, questions remain. Are women strong enough for combat? Can they kill the enemy as readily as a male Marine? As a country, are we ready for women in the infantry?

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