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More Filner News; Changes For Chargers And Padres; City Ambulances Often Late

Filner Allegations, Chargers Update, Late Ambulances
More Filner News; Changes For Chargers And Padres; City Ambulances Often Late
HOSTMark SauerGUESTSSandhya Dirks, KPBS News Jay Paris, San Diego Sportswriter Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego CityBeat


Still More Filner News

The recall effort against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner suddenly became more viable with the addition of four experienced professionals to raise money and coordinate the campaign.

Added to the campaign were treasurer April Boling, fundraiser Jean Freelove, political consultant John Hoy and communications expert Rachel Laing.

There were more accusations of unwanted sexual advances by the mayor this week. They came from an arena to which Filner had devoted his congressional career: the military. On Tuesday, a caregiver to a disabled veteran came forward at a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred to detail what she described as inappropriate advances. Added to the mix were similar stories this week from women attending an April trade mission to Mexico with the mayor.

Do these latest incidents amount to sexual harassment or do they simply represent a pattern of boorish behavior?


Changes for Chargers and Padres

With a new coach, a new general manager and a very famous (or infamous) rookie, the San Diego Chargers begin the pre-season this week on anoptimistic note and with a sell-out.

At the end of the dismal 7-9 season last year, GM AJ Smith and coach Norv Turner were fired. So many fans may be thinking that at the very least, things can’t be that bad this year.

As for the Padres, the 50 game suspension of shortstop Everth Cabrera for using performance-enhancing drugs has probably put a full stop to any hopes for post-season play. But what kind of damage has the scandal done to the storied and oft-romanticized game of baseball? Will the fans ever trust the teams or the players again?

Say it ain't so, Everth.

City's Ambulances Late Without Penalty

Since 2011, a loophole in the city’s contract with ambulance provider Rural/Metro has allowed the company to arrive late without penalty to more than 20,000 of the most serious emergency calls, a San Diego CityBeat investigation has found.

The contract requires the company to arrive within 12 minutes of a call 90 percent of the time or be fined $50,000. For each call that exceeds 24 minutes, there is supposed to be a $5,000 fine.

Rural/Metro was exempted from hundreds of 24-minute response time violations and sometimes took more than 40 minutes to respond to emergency calls because of a loophole in the contract with the city. According to the contract, ambulances dispatched after 12 ambulances are already on the road are exempt from penalty.

Without the exemptions, the company’s response-time rate in 2012 was 83.4%, which would have triggered a $50,000 fine.

Improving arrival times would mean more ambulances. But Rural/Metro filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and probably can’t afford more ambulances.

Rural/Metro’s contract has been extended one year while the city figures out what it wants to do.

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