Roundtable: No Special Election, Toxic Plume In El Cajon, Driving Stoned
Friday, June 16, 2017
Special Election, Toxic Plume, Driving Stoned
Andrew Bowen, metro reporter, KPBS News
Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS News
Ingrid Lobet, reporter, iNewsource
Kenny Goldberg, health reporter, KPBS News
NO SPECIAL ELECTION
On Monday, the San Diego City Council on a 5-4 vote said no to the mayor’s plan for a special election this November.
The election was to have included both the SoccerCity development and Convention Center expansion.
If still alive, these issues could be on the ballot in the November 2018, general election.
FS Investors and soccer fans worry that San Diego will not get a Major League Soccer team if a stadium is not approved this year.
Council members appeared not to buy that argument and voted no for a variety of reasons.
Next week, FS Investors will present their plan to the City Council, which could approve it outright, but probably will not.
–Will FS Investors exit the scene after next week and leave the Qualcomm site to other developers?
–How can the city expand the Convention Center on property leased to a private developer?
–How actively has the mayor exercised leadership on these two projects?
EL CAJON'S TOXIC PLUME
An El Cajon aerospace company taken over in the 1960s by Ametek used a hole in the ground 10 feet deep and lined with redwood planks and a concrete floor to dump their solvents and acids into.
Ametek did this until the 1970s or 1980s.
The toxic mess flowed into the groundwater and moved downslope. In 1988, the tank was closed and 200 cubic yards of dirt removed. A ventilation system was installed by Ametek at nearby Magnolia Elementary School, and the company paid to monitor the school. It still does.
But no one monitored the mobile home parks next door to the school.
And now there is no doubt that residents there have been exposed to toxic gas that has seeped into their homes.
–How could this situation have been allowed to go on so long?
–Who is ultimately responsible?
–Is there anything residents can do to protect themselves?
A lot of people drive cars under the influence of marijuana, and there will be more when retail sales of pot arrive in California next year.
Marijuana is the drug most commonly found in drivers involved in fatal collisions. But do police know if these drivers were really impaired by using pot?
Who knows? There is no legal limit for marijuana use or impairment in California and no way to measure impairment in any case.
UC San Diego’s Center for Cannabis Research is trying to establish both a standard measurement for marijuana impairment for drivers and the criteria to detect intoxication.
Other states where pot is legal have established limits prematurely, said the center’s director, Dr. Igor Grant. And until we establish scientific measurements, for police, it remains a judgment call.
–Aren't there too many variables — strength, amount, personal health — to create valid measurements of intoxication?
–How dangerous is driving while drugged?
–How do the police judge impairment from marijuana?
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