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Roundtable: San Diego Catholic Priest Abuse Scandal Reignites

The San Diego Diocesan Pastoral Center, headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church in the San Diego Diocese, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007.
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
The San Diego Diocesan Pastoral Center, headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church in the San Diego Diocese, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007.
Roundtable: San Diego Catholic Priest Abuse Scandal Reignites
Roundtable: California's Climate Change Fight PANEL: Peter Rowe, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune Rob Nikolewski, energy reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune Rob Krier, weather reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune Tony Perry, former LA Times reporter

New details in the clergy abuse scandal in the San Diego Catholic Church. What we know about the priests and what victims are saying about the revelations. And the fight against climate change with California leading the way. We also take a look at the debate in San Diego. Plus America's longest war continues. How the U.S. mission has changed in Afghanistan over the last 17 years. High marks our PBS roundtable starts now. Welcome to our discussion of the week's top stories I'm Mark Sauer. And joining me at the PBS roundtable today reporter Peter Rowe of the San Diego Union Tribune. Rob Nikolovski energy reporter for The Union Tribune. Rob career veteran weather reporter for The Union Tribune and former Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry. Well the Diocese of San Diego has released names of eight more former priests and details of their past sexual abuse of children. This comes amid a renewed outcry in the U.S. and around the world over clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. Reporter Peter Rowe has covered the clergy abuse saga here for years and he joins us from the Utah NEWSROOM. Hi Pete. So we get a little delay here so I'll tell the audience that start with the action taken now by Bishop Robert McElroy here in San Diego. And also at the Vatican where there is renewed attention being paid to reports of sexual abuse. OK. Now this revelation involved as we said eight more priests that he ordered a review of their files. And give us an idea of who these priests are in several sorry Mark about the overlap. Yes. OK. All right. Now give us an idea who the eight priests are several are dead right. Yes at least four of them are dead. Some of them they don't know if they're dead or not. There are at least two who are still alive. OK and besides the Union Tribune and CBS Web sites where can the public learn details of these new priests and their criminal actions and the all the others in this scandal. For years one of the best places to look for information on this has been bishops Accountability dot org. It's a website devoted to this issue. All right. And what the dioceses also posted information on its Web site. OK now would the victims and their advocates have to say regarding today's revelation by Bishop McElroy and the San Diego diocese well they're encouraged to a degree. They think this is a good first step but only a first step. What they would like to see is the diocese be more transparent throw open its records and also be more contrite. You know really reaching out to the victims. All right. And this comes as American bishops meet at the Vatican with Pope Francis on this burgeoning scandal and the San Diego Bishop plans a listening tour and various San Diego communities right. Yes he's going to be roaming the diocese. He'll be stopping at eight different parishes between October 1st and November 5th. The schedule for that is again posted on the diocesan Web site. There's also a list. And today's union tribune. OK. Final question here before we let you go and again we appreciate you joining us from the NEWSROOM downtown at the at the UTI and we're sorry about the delay for our audience. But that's OK we're working with it. Remind us of that San Diego diocese settlement with abuse victims that was one of the largest in the nation right. Yes that was 11 years ago it was in September of 2007. There were 144 victims 48 priests accused of molestation. One lay person and the settlement came to a hundred and ninety eight point one million dollars. At the time it was the second largest settlement in the clergy abuse scandal. OK and I think the biggest was in Los Angeles just up the road here in California. That's correct. OK. All right. We're going to let you go. Appreciate you taking time and joining us from the NEWSROOM downtown. We're going to move on to our next topic. Thanks Peter Rowe with the Union Tribune. All right well record setting fires in California San Diego's driest August ever a monster storm slamming the Carolinas. Extreme weather phenomenon from the Arctic to Europe and the Southern Hemisphere only staunch climate skeptics fail to see the effects of climate change and leaders in California vowed to do something about it. Despite denial among certain Republicans Rob Kerr start with the weather here were super dry you had a story here about just how hot dry was in August and of course we got millions fleeing and facing this terrible tragedy in the southeast. And you know August was the hottest August we've ever had. And it goes back to 1874. And it was the second hottest month or any time of year that the city's ever had. Exceptionally dry but that's just continuing a pattern has been going on for 18 months. This year the weather year they consider to be from October 1st to September 30th this year will be the second driest year San Diego's ever had real close to the driest. And of course that leaves things very dry in the back country. Yeah and that's my next question so far in Southern California and San Diego where you've been spared Speyer we've had a few fires but nothing like they've had up north which has been a terrible year for fires already. But what are the experts saying about the period between now and the rainy season. Well in terms of if you just look at the vegetation out there it's really dry. Maybe not record dry but in the top 10 percent of the driest they've ever seen out there. But what's going to matter is what happens with the Santa Ana winds. And we have a El Nino developing and it looks like it's going to happen and that may or may not bring a lot of rain because El Nino has sort of fallen out of the reliability scale as you know a couple of years ago Schaper Nino the Godzilla El Nino that was and that turned out to be a minnow and it did nothing for us. So whether El Nino is reliable or not in terms of rainfall is one issue another issue though is that El Nino does change the weather patterns. And last year we were setup to get a lot of bad Santa Ana is that the forecasters knew that and they saw it coming. And if you remember we had bad Santa as all the way into December when we had that lilac fire up in Fallbrook and they knew that was coming this year they think with El Nino and some other factors in the atmosphere that it shouldn't be as bad of a year in terms of Santa as. The question is when will those first wedding rains come if we get wedding rains before the Santa Ana arrive will be in much better shape. But. If it waits if we don't get rain until late in the season again we're going to have another couple of bad months to look at. And you talk to the weather folks of the researchers all the time and have for years they used to hedge and be kind of vague we can't take any extreme weather event and connect that to climate change or kind of changing that tune now they. Yeah they really are. In fact it's interesting with the hurricanes now. They kind of look at them. They don't even wait until afterwards. They look at them and say well we plug in all of the global warming factors and see how much is global warming contributing to this current storm. Whereas before they would never do that they would wait several years. And yes you're correct. They they are more far more willing to attach global warming having at least some role in the fact in the conditions we're seeing now it was a few years ago they would say well maybe this is what we might expect but now they're basically saying yes global warming is playing a role here. All right Rob Eskay I want to shift over to you and tell us about that bold action that was taken in Sacramento by the governor this week. Even as Donald Trump and his Republican cronies tend to about the fossil fuel lobbyists well Jerry Brown fined Pentonville one hundred which is a bill that by 2045 the goal isn't if the goal is to have California derive 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and a more concrete way though Senate bill 100 increases utilities requirements under the renewable fuel. There are new renewable portfolio standards to 50 from 50 percent by 2030 to 60 percent. So that means utilities are going to be required to drive 60 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Total Jerry Cuthill the other day at the well outside the convention there in San Francisco people say hey you're so big into changing our ways. Stop oil drilling in this state. He didn't. He won't do they have a beef. Jerry talk big settled small. Well I think that's a matter of political debate far as that's concerned but I think some of the larger questions about trying to get to more renewables in the system there's a lot of speed bumps along that way. For example one of the biggest is the natural gas. If you take a look at the power mix in California interstate generation the largest source is natural gas. 43 percent in California. So if we're going to try to get to 100 percent renewables by 2045 there's a big question there what are we going to do about natural gas. And also related to that is as you get more renewables into the system especially solar and wind because they're intermittent sources that means that when the sun goes down then the amount of solar you get goes down. And when the wind doesn't blow you don't get any wind energy. So you're trying to integrate these intermittent sources and in an ironic sort of way when by having more intermittent sources in the system right now you are more reliant on natural gas because natural gas is dispatchable. You can use it at any time. Now you can also use that one nuclear. But as we all know that Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station up in Northern California the only nuclear power left in California that goes off line by 2025. Q You've written about these community groups. They're going to give us all the DG situation. Is that realistic encourage community choice aggregation. That alone scares me to death because we were here the last time they tried to monkey around 2000 2000 and bright elation bright. Next thing you know we had a shortage Yes Enron was Enron played in a lot of things but I like the idea of renewable all that. Is it realistic. Tell us briefly explain that. I notice I very proudly pointed out that under the the model that you have with investor owned utilities and there's three of them in California including DGT an investor owned utility basically does it all they procure the energy they also take care of customer billing. The energy exactly they transmit the energy community choice aggregation does. It just takes one part of that away but it's a big part and it's procuring the energy it's coming up with deriving this or coming up with a source of energy for a given community. Now right after the disaster from the California energy crisis and 20 2001 and 2002 the California Public Utilities Commission under direction from the state Legislature came up with the way enabled community choice aggregation to be created and under community choice aggregation. Just as an eighth just community a community whether it's a town or a county or a combination thereof or a city like San Diego right they can they can form. Through a joint powers agreement they can they can form an entity that can derive an order or they can go out and purchase the energy that that community is going to use. So they used that if they do that that means the elected officials ultimately have the final say in what gets procured. Now the advocates say that this is very much the same model as a public utility model that while St. with Department of Water and Power has opened up in Los Angeles that smug Sacramento Municipal Utility District I believe it is the name of Sacramento that the CCS follow that same sort of pattern that that same sort of model. And so this is not necessarily unprecedented ground but among the critics they say well if you're going to have elected officials making the final decisions then that makes a lot of people nervous that they can't seem to read the meter right can't you can't pay the streets. People die because they can't get there right now advocates will point out and it's true that many almost all of CA's they get a third party company to go out and they procure the energy and they take care of all the nuts and bolts but ultimately the decision is up to the elected officials political leaders. Well that sets us up because the city council is going to be taking this up soon here in San Diego we're going to talk about that in a second but we do have a bite from Assemblyman Todd Gloria of course former city councilman. Let's hear what he has to say about this. TC's are operating in many communities across California already many of them are smaller than San Diego but other big cities like Los Angeles have already kind of adopted this as the path that they're going down we need to do this in San Diego. And again my understanding is the city is close to considering that. Again if you believe as I do that this is urgent we need to take action now. All right. So he's certainly in favor of it. Tell us about the council is going to be a big debate and a big knockdown drag out of the city hall. I think so. The underly over or overlain all this is the fact that San Diego has a climate action plan where the San Diego community of San Diego by 2035 wants to go to 100 percent renewables and see CEA's its advocates say are very good way of doing that. And generally speaking CCJ across the state are able to drive are able to to procurer. A little bit greener sources of energy at either comparable or slightly less prices than the than the investor owned utilities the oldest CCI is up in Marin County and they've been able to do that is worked up there at that small place. So it has worked so far in that respect. So in San Diego we've got this climate action plan. It's. By the time. They expect to possibly bring this up by the end of this year. Yet again this gets a little bit complicated but what everyone's waiting on right now is that there's a an exit fee if you're if you're going to have a thesea where you already have a utility investor owned utility in place. They've already made investments to procure energy to build solar plants things like that. And in order to. Even out the costs you have that that the FCC has to pay an exit fee. Now that's determined by the California Public Utilities Commission. They're having a big discussion about that. They were supposed to vote on it last Thursday. They put it off until September 27. We'll see what happens there. Again this gets complicated but the CCJ want to make sure that that exit fee remains relatively low because it will because the Cecils have to end up paying that and customers. Yeah. Yeah exactly. And if and if it's high then that undercuts a lot of the incentive to get SCCA. Now if it's too low. Utilities complain and say look we made all these investments many of them. Directed by the California Public Utilities Commission and the legislature. We've got to cover that cost more and we have to cover that. All right. We're out of time on this but it's a little risky. That doesn't sound like San Diego city government. Yeah but I think it might pass. All right well we're going to watch for that and watch for the follow up stories of by no means that we were at the end of season. We are going to move on. Well this week marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Next month marks the 17th year of the war in Afghanistan. It's lasted nearly three times as long as American fighting in World War One and World War II combined. More than 2200 Americans have been killed and at least eight hundred forty billion dollars have been spent on the war and rebuilding efforts there. Yet the war in Afghanistan barely registers for most Americans or the media question long since Beghe. Why are we still there. So Tony it's a long winded introduction here and it's a long war. How does the military today define our mission in much the same. Way to Camp Pendleton. Sure. And still and in two to Afghanistan 2001 right after the. Then it was full on combat with the Northern Alliance those were Afghan allies who wanted to bring down the Taliban wanted to oust Al Qaeda and who joined forces some of the American Special Forces to riding horses because that's how you do it. Marines weren't they they used tanks and such. But. Then it's full on combat and remained that way for some period of time particularly in the Helmand province where the Marines from Pendleton were out in the western. It is now quite different. We had a hundred thousand troops at one time. Now 14000 and we have pulled back from the countryside. And our job now is helping provide safety for big cities Kabul for example guys in Islamabad for example and to train Tooter if you will hold the hand of the Afghan forces and that's really difficult and there's no end in sight. However the president states clearly does not favor this mission. He wants out Department of Defense wants out. They are doing everything but beg the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and cut some sort of agreement. The language has changed we're now talking the generals are talking. This is a civil war because the Taliban are back. They're resurgent. They are in control of a large segment of the country including Helmand province where Marines from Camp Pendleton fought and died to take it over. Well the Taliban is back and we want to help. And it's tough noting as you did just what's happening over there you get conflicting stories conflicting reporting it's really difficult to gauge exactly what's going on on the ground. Absolutely. The numbers are all over the place although I don't find any numbers that say wow were really getting into town there. All the numbers are bad the ones put out by the government are less bad than the ones putting out by Native Nations and others and there's a lot of there's some good on the ground reporting there Times Washington Post and some others are doing awfully good on the ground reporting. Time magazine did an awful good piece on the on the fight in Ghazni which is about 60 miles from Kabul. A lot of good. Not a lot of good reporting. There used to be a lot more that's another issue. Right I think only the New York Times has recently expanded the reporting but all other news agencies seem to be falling back. That's true. The post is still there Associate Press Corps is still there and few or no Al-Jazeera is there and they did some pretty good stuff. Secretary of Defense Jim Madis Marine general for marine general Camp Pendleton. He has said it is time to shift our focus to what he calls the near peer adversaries Russia and China those in the future are our enemies potentially and we'd better get ready for it he says there is no God given right for Americans to win every battle. We'd better get ready he launched a big effort to increase the lethality. Of American troops that is to say their ability to kill the enemy if needed. So let's keep shifting his interest. All this discussion of a mission in interest that does bring us to a nice sound bite. Here we got the U.S. military wanted to press on. This is General Robert Neller commandant of the Marine Corps he was in San Diego this week to hear his take on this. I think. It would be easy to say we should just walk away. But I think the consequences of that may be worse than than what's going on now. So we'll we've got a strategy we're executing the strategy. You know again Afghanistan is going to have elections here in October and will continue to support the Afghan government with the goal of the matter. Make sure the Taliban understand there's a better way that we can end this. They can be involved politically and militarily. That's the management take on that met her there five years ago two years ago somebody now let's support them and so that they can get on their feet and and deal with this civil war. Assessing the Afghan military and whether they can do it is really difficult. They've got they are kept in fighting Gosney and it took American Special Forces to go in at some risk and with some effort to take back over that city which is only 60 miles from Kabul and it kind of gets back to what we were talking about a moment ago which is of the numbers. There are some estimates as many a third as a third of the size of that Afghan force is a ghost force. They're not even really there. But that's true all over the place. It's true North and South Korea that professes that UC San Diego will tell you there. But in terms of the Afghan forces some are good and fight brave and take the fight to the enemy as they should it's their country some not so much and some frankly I remember the fight in the Marjah American marines fighting good Afghan forces fighting and some Afghan forces sitting in cars provided by the American taxpayer. Smoking marijuana is like a Cheech and Chong movie. It was awful. And I think that is still a problem. Drug use and corruption incompetency is still a major problem in their military and in their government. Some good good battalions some not so bad. So we got about a minute less left in this segment. Some talk this summer about the Afghan government holding peace talks that was alluded to by the general there any likelihood that maybe there'll be some overall settlement and we get out we'll tell them just Friday issued a statement that there's only one way out for the Americans legally. Now that doesn't sound like a group that wants to negotiate. That could be just talk. The problem is who is the Taliban. There is this is not the German army. World War II if you can kill Hitler you're fine. Who runs the Taliban a whole bunch of folks. This is Modern Warfare. Anybody who can strap together some dynamite and walk into a into a shopping area or a wrestling tournament they did they can cause massive death and they and that undermines the credibility of the government. Well we are out of time of what we'll watch for that another story to follow up here. It's a big year in the news. Well that does wrap up another week of stories that the PBS roundtable I'd like to thank my guest Peter wrote the San Diego Union Tribune. Robin Thicke Lusca of the Union Tribune. Rob career of the Union Tribune a lot of union tribune folks with us today and Tony Perry formerly of The Los Angeles Times. Reminder all the stories we discuss today are available on our website KPP. STOP OH Archie and Mark Sauer thanks for joining us today on the roundtable. New details in the clergy abuse scandal in the San Diego Catholic Church. What we know about the priests and what victims are saying about the revelations. And the fight against climate change with California leading the way. We also take a look at the debate in San Diego. Plus America's longest war continues. How the U.S. mission has changed in Afghanistan over the last 17 years. High marks our PBS roundtable starts now. Welcome to our discussion of the week's top stories I'm Mark Sauer. And joining me at the PBS roundtable today reporter Peter Rowe of the San Diego Union Tribune. Rob Nikolovski energy reporter for The Union Tribune. Rob career veteran weather reporter for The Union Tribune and former Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry. Well the Diocese of San Diego has released names of eight more former priests and details of their past sexual abuse of children. This comes amid a renewed outcry in the U.S. and around the world over clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. Reporter Peter Rowe has covered the clergy abuse saga here for years and he joins us from the Utah NEWSROOM. Hi Pete. So we get a little delay here so I'll tell the audience that start with the action taken now by Bishop Robert McElroy here in San Diego. And also at the Vatican where there is renewed attention being paid to reports of sexual abuse. OK. Now this revelation involved as we said eight more priests that he ordered a review of their files. And give us an idea of who these priests are in several sorry Mark about the overlap. Yes. OK. All right. Now give us an idea who the eight priests are several are dead right. Yes at least four of them are dead. Some of them they don't know if they're dead or not. There are at least two who are still alive. OK and besides the Union Tribune and CBS Web sites where can the public learn details of these new priests and their criminal actions and the all the others in this scandal. For years one of the best places to look for information on this has been bishops Accountability dot org. It's a website devoted to this issue. All right. And what the dioceses also posted information on its Web site. OK now would the victims and their advocates have to say regarding today's revelation by Bishop McElroy and the San Diego diocese well they're encouraged to a degree. They think this is a good first step but only a first step. What they would like to see is the diocese be more transparent throw open its records and also be more contrite. You know really reaching out to the victims. All right. And this comes as American bishops meet at the Vatican with Pope Francis on this burgeoning scandal and the San Diego Bishop plans a listening tour and various San Diego communities right. Yes he's going to be roaming the diocese. He'll be stopping at eight different parishes between October 1st and November 5th. The schedule for that is again posted on the diocesan Web site. There's also a list. And today's union tribune. OK. Final question here before we let you go and again we appreciate you joining us from the NEWSROOM downtown at the at the UTI and we're sorry about the delay for our audience. But that's OK we're working with it. Remind us of that San Diego diocese settlement with abuse victims that was one of the largest in the nation right. Yes that was 11 years ago it was in September of 2007. There were 144 victims 48 priests accused of molestation. One lay person and the settlement came to a hundred and ninety eight point one million dollars. At the time it was the second largest settlement in the clergy abuse scandal. OK and I think the biggest was in Los Angeles just up the road here in California. That's correct. OK. All right. We're going to let you go. Appreciate you taking time and joining us from the NEWSROOM downtown. We're going to move on to our next topic. Thanks Peter Rowe with the Union Tribune. All right well record setting fires in California San Diego's driest August ever a monster storm slamming the Carolinas. Extreme weather phenomenon from the Arctic to Europe and the Southern Hemisphere only staunch climate skeptics fail to see the effects of climate change and leaders in California vowed to do something about it. Despite denial among certain Republicans Rob Kerr start with the weather here were super dry you had a story here about just how hot dry was in August and of course we got millions fleeing and facing this terrible tragedy in the southeast. And you know August was the hottest August we've ever had. And it goes back to 1874. And it was the second hottest month or any time of year that the city's ever had. Exceptionally dry but that's just continuing a pattern has been going on for 18 months. This year the weather year they consider to be from October 1st to September 30th this year will be the second driest year San Diego's ever had real close to the driest. And of course that leaves things very dry in the back country. Yeah and that's my next question so far in Southern California and San Diego where you've been spared Speyer we've had a few fires but nothing like they've had up north which has been a terrible year for fires already. But what are the experts saying about the period between now and the rainy season. Well in terms of if you just look at the vegetation out there it's really dry. Maybe not record dry but in the top 10 percent of the driest they've ever seen out there. But what's going to matter is what happens with the Santa Ana winds. And we have a El Nino developing and it looks like it's going to happen and that may or may not bring a lot of rain because El Nino has sort of fallen out of the reliability scale as you know a couple of years ago Schaper Nino the Godzilla El Nino that was and that turned out to be a minnow and it did nothing for us. So whether El Nino is reliable or not in terms of rainfall is one issue another issue though is that El Nino does change the weather patterns. And last year we were setup to get a lot of bad Santa Ana is that the forecasters knew that and they saw it coming. And if you remember we had bad Santa as all the way into December when we had that lilac fire up in Fallbrook and they knew that was coming this year they think with El Nino and some other factors in the atmosphere that it shouldn't be as bad of a year in terms of Santa as. The question is when will those first wedding rains come if we get wedding rains before the Santa Ana arrive will be in much better shape. But. If it waits if we don't get rain until late in the season again we're going to have another couple of bad months to look at. And you talk to the weather folks of the researchers all the time and have for years they used to hedge and be kind of vague we can't take any extreme weather event and connect that to climate change or kind of changing that tune now they. Yeah they really are. In fact it's interesting with the hurricanes now. They kind of look at them. They don't even wait until afterwards. They look at them and say well we plug in all of the global warming factors and see how much is global warming contributing to this current storm. Whereas before they would never do that they would wait several years. And yes you're correct. They they are more far more willing to attach global warming having at least some role in the fact in the conditions we're seeing now it was a few years ago they would say well maybe this is what we might expect but now they're basically saying yes global warming is playing a role here. All right Rob Eskay I want to shift over to you and tell us about that bold action that was taken in Sacramento by the governor this week. Even as Donald Trump and his Republican cronies tend to about the fossil fuel lobbyists well Jerry Brown fined Pentonville one hundred which is a bill that by 2045 the goal isn't if the goal is to have California derive 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and a more concrete way though Senate bill 100 increases utilities requirements under the renewable fuel. There are new renewable portfolio standards to 50 from 50 percent by 2030 to 60 percent. So that means utilities are going to be required to drive 60 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Total Jerry Cuthill the other day at the well outside the convention there in San Francisco people say hey you're so big into changing our ways. Stop oil drilling in this state. He didn't. He won't do they have a beef. Jerry talk big settled small. Well I think that's a matter of political debate far as that's concerned but I think some of the larger questions about trying to get to more renewables in the system there's a lot of speed bumps along that way. For example one of the biggest is the natural gas. If you take a look at the power mix in California interstate generation the largest source is natural gas. 43 percent in California. So if we're going to try to get to 100 percent renewables by 2045 there's a big question there what are we going to do about natural gas. And also related to that is as you get more renewables into the system especially solar and wind because they're intermittent sources that means that when the sun goes down then the amount of solar you get goes down. And when the wind doesn't blow you don't get any wind energy. So you're trying to integrate these intermittent sources and in an ironic sort of way when by having more intermittent sources in the system right now you are more reliant on natural gas because natural gas is dispatchable. You can use it at any time. Now you can also use that one nuclear. But as we all know that Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station up in Northern California the only nuclear power left in California that goes off line by 2025. Q You've written about these community groups. They're going to give us all the DG situation. Is that realistic encourage community choice aggregation. That alone scares me to death because we were here the last time they tried to monkey around 2000 2000 and bright elation bright. Next thing you know we had a shortage Yes Enron was Enron played in a lot of things but I like the idea of renewable all that. Is it realistic. Tell us briefly explain that. I notice I very proudly pointed out that under the the model that you have with investor owned utilities and there's three of them in California including DGT an investor owned utility basically does it all they procure the energy they also take care of customer billing. The energy exactly they transmit the energy community choice aggregation does. It just takes one part of that away but it's a big part and it's procuring the energy it's coming up with deriving this or coming up with a source of energy for a given community. Now right after the disaster from the California energy crisis and 20 2001 and 2002 the California Public Utilities Commission under direction from the state Legislature came up with the way enabled community choice aggregation to be created and under community choice aggregation. Just as an eighth just community a community whether it's a town or a county or a combination thereof or a city like San Diego right they can they can form. Through a joint powers agreement they can they can form an entity that can derive an order or they can go out and purchase the energy that that community is going to use. So they used that if they do that that means the elected officials ultimately have the final say in what gets procured. Now the advocates say that this is very much the same model as a public utility model that while St. with Department of Water and Power has opened up in Los Angeles that smug Sacramento Municipal Utility District I believe it is the name of Sacramento that the CCS follow that same sort of pattern that that same sort of model. And so this is not necessarily unprecedented ground but among the critics they say well if you're going to have elected officials making the final decisions then that makes a lot of people nervous that they can't seem to read the meter right can't you can't pay the streets. People die because they can't get there right now advocates will point out and it's true that many almost all of CA's they get a third party company to go out and they procure the energy and they take care of all the nuts and bolts but ultimately the decision is up to the elected officials political leaders. Well that sets us up because the city council is going to be taking this up soon here in San Diego we're going to talk about that in a second but we do have a bite from Assemblyman Todd Gloria of course former city councilman. Let's hear what he has to say about this. TC's are operating in many communities across California already many of them are smaller than San Diego but other big cities like Los Angeles have already kind of adopted this as the path that they're going down we need to do this in San Diego. And again my understanding is the city is close to considering that. Again if you believe as I do that this is urgent we need to take action now. All right. So he's certainly in favor of it. Tell us about the council is going to be a big debate and a big knockdown drag out of the city hall. I think so. The underly over or overlain all this is the fact that San Diego has a climate action plan where the San Diego community of San Diego by 2035 wants to go to 100 percent renewables and see CEA's its advocates say are very good way of doing that. And generally speaking CCJ across the state are able to drive are able to to procurer. A little bit greener sources of energy at either comparable or slightly less prices than the than the investor owned utilities the oldest CCI is up in Marin County and they've been able to do that is worked up there at that small place. So it has worked so far in that respect. So in San Diego we've got this climate action plan. It's. By the time. They expect to possibly bring this up by the end of this year. Yet again this gets a little bit complicated but what everyone's waiting on right now is that there's a an exit fee if you're if you're going to have a thesea where you already have a utility investor owned utility in place. They've already made investments to procure energy to build solar plants things like that. And in order to. Even out the costs you have that that the FCC has to pay an exit fee. Now that's determined by the California Public Utilities Commission. They're having a big discussion about that. They were supposed to vote on it last Thursday. They put it off until September 27. We'll see what happens there. Again this gets complicated but the CCJ want to make sure that that exit fee remains relatively low because it will because the Cecils have to end up paying that and customers. Yeah. Yeah exactly. And if and if it's high then that undercuts a lot of the incentive to get SCCA. Now if it's too low. Utilities complain and say look we made all these investments many of them. Directed by the California Public Utilities Commission and the legislature. We've got to cover that cost more and we have to cover that. All right. We're out of time on this but it's a little risky. That doesn't sound like San Diego city government. Yeah but I think it might pass. All right well we're going to watch for that and watch for the follow up stories of by no means that we were at the end of season. We are going to move on. Well this week marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Next month marks the 17th year of the war in Afghanistan. It's lasted nearly three times as long as American fighting in World War One and World War II combined. More than 2200 Americans have been killed and at least eight hundred forty billion dollars have been spent on the war and rebuilding efforts there. Yet the war in Afghanistan barely registers for most Americans or the media question long since Beghe. Why are we still there. So Tony it's a long winded introduction here and it's a long war. How does the military today define our mission in much the same. Way to Camp Pendleton. Sure. And still and in two to Afghanistan 2001 right after the. Then it was full on combat with the Northern Alliance those were Afghan allies who wanted to bring down the Taliban wanted to oust Al Qaeda and who joined forces some of the American Special Forces to riding horses because that's how you do it. Marines weren't they they used tanks and such. But. Then it's full on combat and remained that way for some period of time particularly in the Helmand province where the Marines from Pendleton were out in the western. It is now quite different. We had a hundred thousand troops at one time. Now 14000 and we have pulled back from the countryside. And our job now is helping provide safety for big cities Kabul for example guys in Islamabad for example and to train Tooter if you will hold the hand of the Afghan forces and that's really difficult and there's no end in sight. However the president states clearly does not favor this mission. He wants out Department of Defense wants out. They are doing everything but beg the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and cut some sort of agreement. The language has changed we're now talking the generals are talking. This is a civil war because the Taliban are back. They're resurgent. They are in control of a large segment of the country including Helmand province where Marines from Camp Pendleton fought and died to take it over. Well the Taliban is back and we want to help. And it's tough noting as you did just what's happening over there you get conflicting stories conflicting reporting it's really difficult to gauge exactly what's going on on the ground. Absolutely. The numbers are all over the place although I don't find any numbers that say wow were really getting into town there. All the numbers are bad the ones put out by the government are less bad than the ones putting out by Native Nations and others and there's a lot of there's some good on the ground reporting there Times Washington Post and some others are doing awfully good on the ground reporting. Time magazine did an awful good piece on the on the fight in Ghazni which is about 60 miles from Kabul. A lot of good. Not a lot of good reporting. There used to be a lot more that's another issue. Right I think only the New York Times has recently expanded the reporting but all other news agencies seem to be falling back. That's true. The post is still there Associate Press Corps is still there and few or no Al-Jazeera is there and they did some pretty good stuff. Secretary of Defense Jim Madis Marine general for marine general Camp Pendleton. He has said it is time to shift our focus to what he calls the near peer adversaries Russia and China those in the future are our enemies potentially and we'd better get ready for it he says there is no God given right for Americans to win every battle. We'd better get ready he launched a big effort to increase the lethality. Of American troops that is to say their ability to kill the enemy if needed. So let's keep shifting his interest. All this discussion of a mission in interest that does bring us to a nice sound bite. Here we got the U.S. military wanted to press on. This is General Robert Neller commandant of the Marine Corps he was in San Diego this week to hear his take on this. I think. It would be easy to say we should just walk away. But I think the consequences of that may be worse than than what's going on now. So we'll we've got a strategy we're executing the strategy. You know again Afghanistan is going to have elections here in October and will continue to support the Afghan government with the goal of the matter. Make sure the Taliban understand there's a better way that we can end this. They can be involved politically and militarily. That's the management take on that met her there five years ago two years ago somebody now let's support them and so that they can get on their feet and and deal with this civil war. Assessing the Afghan military and whether they can do it is really difficult. They've got they are kept in fighting Gosney and it took American Special Forces to go in at some risk and with some effort to take back over that city which is only 60 miles from Kabul and it kind of gets back to what we were talking about a moment ago which is of the numbers. There are some estimates as many a third as a third of the size of that Afghan force is a ghost force. They're not even really there. But that's true all over the place. It's true North and South Korea that professes that UC San Diego will tell you there. But in terms of the Afghan forces some are good and fight brave and take the fight to the enemy as they should it's their country some not so much and some frankly I remember the fight in the Marjah American marines fighting good Afghan forces fighting and some Afghan forces sitting in cars provided by the American taxpayer. Smoking marijuana is like a Cheech and Chong movie. It was awful. And I think that is still a problem. Drug use and corruption incompetency is still a major problem in their military and in their government. Some good good battalions some not so bad. So we got about a minute less left in this segment. Some talk this summer about the Afghan government holding peace talks that was alluded to by the general there any likelihood that maybe there'll be some overall settlement and we get out we'll tell them just Friday issued a statement that there's only one way out for the Americans legally. Now that doesn't sound like a group that wants to negotiate. That could be just talk. The problem is who is the Taliban. There is this is not the German army. World War II if you can kill Hitler you're fine. Who runs the Taliban a whole bunch of folks. This is Modern Warfare. Anybody who can strap together some dynamite and walk into a into a shopping area or a wrestling tournament they did they can cause massive death and they and that undermines the credibility of the government. Well we are out of time of what we'll watch for that another story to follow up here. It's a big year in the news. Well that does wrap up another week of stories that the PBS roundtable I'd like to thank my guest Peter wrote the San Diego Union Tribune. Robin Thicke Lusca of the Union Tribune. Rob career of the Union Tribune a lot of union tribune folks with us today and Tony Perry formerly of The Los Angeles Times. Reminder all the stories we discuss today are available on our website KPP. STOP OH Archie and Mark Sauer thanks for joining us today on the roundtable.

Clergy Abuse

There are new questions in the clergy abuse scandal in the Diocese of San Diego after church leaders added eight priests to the list of alleged sexual predators suspected of molesting children. Pope Francis met with a delegation of American bishops and cardinals Thursday to discuss how to deal with the growing number of sex abuse cases in the church. What’s next for the Diocese of San Diego? What do victims and advocates have to say?

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Climate Change Fight

This was a big week for climate change initiatives in California with Gov. Jerry Brown leading the charge. He signed into law an ambitious zero-carbon benchmark for 2045 and kicked-off a global climate summit in San Francisco. Community choice may transform how ratepayers and local governments obtain and pay for energy. San Diego will soon decide whether to adopt the format. Meanwhile, the Carolinas and the East Coast brace for impact from a monster storm system that is fueled by warmer waters in the Atlantic.

RELATED: Global Summit Rebukes Trump, Cheers On Work To Aid Climate

War in Afghanistan

This week marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Also, America’s longest war continues with no end in sight. The war in Afghanistan has lasted nearly three times as long as World War I and World War II combined. Where is the war heading and how is it changing under President Trump? What is the current terrorist threat and does it justify the ongoing cost in lives and money? We do a status check on a war that has long faded from the headlines.