Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 - Evening Edition

Uploaded by KPBSSanDiego on 26.01.2012

>> JOANNE: Coming up on KPBS early edition. >> DWANE: We'll look at why our city is so
popular with candidates who need money. >> JOANNE: And did your wallet say "ouch"
the last time you went to an ATM? A new report puts San Diego near the top of
the list when it comes to fees for the cash machines.
>> DWANE: KPBS Evening Edition starts now. >> JOANNE: Hello thanks for joining us are
for this very first broadcast of KPBS Evening Edition, I'm Joanne Faryon.
>> DWANE: And I'm Dwane Brown. The city of San Diego paid out millions of
dollars in lawsuit settlements, one check went to a company it had fired for doing a
bad job. >> JOANNE: First, the president comes to San
Diego today. He was here to raise money for his reelection
campaign, Air Force One landed at Miramar this afternoon.
The flight was early so the president got to spend a few minutes shaking hands with
Marines and their families who were there to watch his arrival then he was whisked off
for a fundraiser in La Jolla with 150 guests. The president's visit to San Diego was less
than three hours. He's now in Los Angeles for a series of fund‑raising
events. KPBS reporter Marissa Cabrera has been following
this story. >>> The president attended a late lunch in
La Jolla at the home of May son and Elizabeth Phelp iss, an expensive lunch, $s 5,000 got
you in the door, 35 got you VIP seat and go this is part of a three‑day fund‑raising
tour that he's dog on the west coast. He was in Seattle yesterday, and now he's
up in L. Is S. Today. >> JOANNE: We want to show you some San Diego
numbers on fund‑raising between January and June.
If you look at this, it's Republican mitt Romney who raised the most money in San Diego,
between January and June of this year, at almost $75,000 and Obama is just behind him
at $64,000. Marissa, California is considered an ATM for
democratic candidates, with a tough economy and low polling numbers do analysts still
expect that to be the case? >> I spoke with local political consultant
Tom shepard and he says definitely. Obama has the potential of raising millions
of dollars here in San Diego county alone. The Obama administration says ‑‑ the
Obama campaign says that it plans to raise about $7 million in California and the campaign
plans to hit the $55 million mark by the end of the quarter which is September 30th.
>> JOANNE: KPBS reporter Marissa Cabrera. >> DWANE: Operating the landfill for trash
is the big story at San Diego city hall, the city is going to find a private operator for
the city's only public landfill. This is where the trash ends up the Miramar
landfill in Kearny Mesa, and this is where the Mayor Jerry Sanders wants to outsource
the work. Save money and maintain efficiency or keep
the status quo >>> We could cut costs at the landfill and
cutting there's costs could send money toward other place like rec services and other places.
>> DWANE: Mayor Jerry Sanders has the support of Lori Zaff and Kevin Faulconer.
>>> We have city employees who are ready to compete.
>>> Managed competition will not compromise the quality of operations at the landfill
and the city will continue to have full authority over environmental oversight.
This process ensures that we are providing essential city services, again, in the most
cost effective way possible. >> DWANE: Of course those are the Mayor's
fellow Republicans, they say the landfill runs efficiently, they say a private company
would be hard to monitor and could lead to environmental problems.
The next step it to call private companies to bid on the contract.
They hope to have a decision by next year. >> JOANNE: How much are you paying to take
your money out of an ATM. A new report says the ATM fees here in San
Diego are the second highest in the nation. The company says we are paying $2.70 per transaction
and the national average is $2.40, bank rates says Denver has the highest fees with an average
of $2.75, go east where it's cheapest, Cleveland had the lowest rate $2.06 per traction.
>> DWANE: Grocery workers have approved a new deal, $7 a week for individual health
insurance and $15 a week for family coverage, health insurance was a major point of contention
putting workers on the verge of a strike. The new contract covers 62,000 members, and
the chains have been negotiating separate deals with the union.
>> JOANNE: There will be early morning excitement on the shores of camp Pendleton tomorrow,
the Marines are staging dawn blitz, this is a look at last year's dawn blitz, the Marine
Corp says this exercise helps to enhance its amphibious operations, and it's scheduled
to run through October 3rd. >> DWANE: San Diego could have about 10 fewer
public schools next fall, school district officials are getting feedback now.
Hallie has been covering this story. Why is the district looking to close schools
now? >> Well, they are looking to cut money from
the budget and the district officials are saying every option has to be on the table
and they're hoping by closing 10 schools they will be able to save about $5 million a year.
And in the context of a $1 billion annual budget that may not seem like a lot, that
could pay enough teacher salaries to keep them low across the district
>> DWANE: How and when will the district decide the fate of these schools?
>> A district committee has been meeting since is January to find ten neighborhoods with
schools that meet the criteria for closure and that had to do with enrollment and student
test scores over the last 5 years and several other factors.
They have made recommendations for 10 neighborhoods and they're now getting feedback on those
recommendations and the communities can reject those recommendations, make their own suggestions,
accept what the committee's proposing and the committee will bring its final recommendations
to the board in November and the board will vote on them in December.
>> DWANE: That's KPBS education reporter, Kyla Calvert.
>> JOANNE: Many of us are used to storing information and photos through the computer.
Now we are seeing something similar to scientists who want to share their research on line they
call it SDSC cloud and officials say it's the largest of its kind, they say it can handle
all sizes of files from small document collections to trillions of pages of text.
The service is being used by departments at UC San Diego.
>> DWANE: Pacific Beach has long been a place in San Diego to relax, soak in the atmosphere
and have a few drinks but should there be restrictions on the number of places where
you can get those drinks? Coming up the debate over liquor licenses
in Pacific Beach. >> JOANNE: What if you got fired for doing
a bad job, Sued your former employer and settled for nearly $2 million?
That's what happened earlier in year when a software company called Axon reached a $1.9
million settlement with the city of San Diego. We will speak with one of the reporters who
broke that story and the assistant city attorney next.
But first here is the set up. >>> In 2007 the city awarded an 18.8 million
contract to Axon to replace their outdated financial computer system, a year later they
were fired over delays and cost overruns, in 2009 Axon filed a $6 million suit against
the city, and this year the city settled for $1.9 million.
>> JOANNE: Kelly, why did they decide to settle instead of litigate?
>> I think the judge decided it was going to trial and the city wasn't successful in
getting it dismissed so the city had to weigh whether it wanted to site or go ahead and
settle it and not take the risk that a jury would come back with a higher verdict.
>> JOANNE: The work that this company was hired to do, that work hasn't been completed.
They were on for about a year and then the city fired them because they felt that they
weren't meeting deadlines and they were over budget so basically Axon was fired and then
ultimately it filed a lawsuit against the city.
>> JOANNE: You looked at all settlements so far this year, reached by the city.
And you totaled that amount. What did you find?
>> The total was >>> We didn't agree, they filed a lawsuit
against us, we proceeded in court to the try to get that lawsuit dismissed, and we were
not successful. The Court determined that we were going to
go to trial in that case. So Joe Coleone who is the city attorney, practicing
law for 35 years did an analysis of that case, forget the risk and determined that we should
have a settlement >> JOANNE: So it was cheaper to settle the
case? >> Could have been.
>> JOANNE: You don't know? >> We don't know, the risk was involved, it
was high, and we would certainly have extra expenses associated with that, we could also
have had a settlement that was much larger than $1.9 million.
>> JOANNE: There were probably people at home right now thinking isn't it a matter of principle,
isn't this a company that did taxpayers wrong, they can walk away with $2 million of our
money. They're going to ask the city attorney, there
is something wrong with that. >>> Certainly that's one way to look at it
it it but as attorneys we have to look at things objectively, we don't make decisions
in a vacuum, we look at it, Jan goldsmith has set high stands for our office and we
have followed those standards, the Mayor looks at it, the risk adjuster looks at it and the
city council makes the decision on whether to go forward or is settle.
>> JOANNE: I want to touch briefly on other numbers that Kelly's report talked about,
more than $13 million in settlements, a high number, already you've reached last year's
amount, why? >> There is no way to compare from year‑to‑year,
obviously cases happen at different times and this year we had $1.9 for Axon and another
$1.5 settlement at the beginning of the year, that's not typical.
We don't expect there to be a doubling of that over the year, as a matter of fact, we
did a quick analysis last Friday and we project that may bail out $21 million and if you take
out the two settlements, it's about $million which is about what ‑‑ $17 million, which
is about what we paid out last year >> JOANNE: Thank you for being here.
>>> My pleasure. >> JOANNE: Thanking consumer confidence is
make it go tough for San Diego stores to make sales, shoppers are holding on to their money
hoping to ride out the economic pinch. In our series on the economy and you, KPBS
reporter Eric Andrews finds some stores are benefit and go that's helping to create jobs.
>>> Vera loves to find a bargain and she is doing what she can to stretch the budget.
>>> You have to cut back these days, it's between groceries going up, gas going up,
people losing jobs, you can never be comfortable so you have to be prepared and learn how to
cut back and budget yourself. This is one way to do it.
>>> The struggling economy is flattening sales numbers at most stores but not at the goodwill
in Santee, it racked up more than $1 million last year, it's organized and designed to
look like a typical retailer. >>> We try to keep everything separated, the
shorts, skirts, pants, so it. >>> Cathy McDaniel has worked here for a year
now. >>> This past year things have boomed in this
year and for goodwill in general. We have unbelievable amounts of customers
some days, people can't find places to park, it's unbelievable.
>>> Sales are up 9% over last year, goodwill's Sharon Corrigan says it's helping.
>>> It's been good for us, when people are down sizing or retiring and getting rid of
things that's beneficial to us because there are good things that they just don't have
room for anymore so they'll bring 'em to us. >>> One of the keys here is to turn this kind
of economic activity into jobs, another thing that's valuable during this economic downturn.
>>> At every step of our process there are people that are working as a result of those
donations so we're like the circle of life, you give us the things you no longer want
and need we transport them, sort them, all of that requires labor.
>>> Corrigan says jobs is what goodwill is about.
They three more than 60,000 people in San Diego county alone.
She says they are looking to open more stores and that means more jobs.
The rescue mission runs three secondhand stores in San Diego, manager James Pope says sales
are up 30% and there is increased traffic >>> People want to make the dollar stretch
so they're start to go find our stores and not just ours but thrift stores in general.
>>> A sluggish economy cuts into donations and the thrift stores rely on donations to
fill their shelves. >> JOANNE: It's not uncommon tore the sea
side neighborhood of Pacific Beach to be called a "party town" but how much is too much?
My next guests are at odds over how many liquor licenses should be issued.
Scott Chippen is a 35‑year are not, Todd brown is the other than of a bar in downtown
P.B. Scott, you helped author a planning group
report on the number of liquor licenses in the community, what do you find?
>> Well, for years people have wondered why Pacific Beach is the way it is, you described
it as a party town, everyone likes to have fun and everybody wants to have fun in their
community but the question is, is drunken behavior, and DUIs and crime related to alcohol
and other types of crime, are those appropriate and is that really the only way to party?
>> JOANNE: So your report said there were something like more than 60 liquor licenses
issued, according to zoning laws should be 10 and you've link that had to higher crime
rates? >> You can look at Pacific Beach as a whole
or just the business district. If you look at the concentrated business area
a few blocks represent the vast majority of the alcohol‑related crime and a couple of
residential blocks next to those. If you can 5, 10 blocks away from the central
business district the crime is incredibly low but right in that district we have 18
times city wide average crime, 5 times the general crime and in the community of Pacific
Beach we typically have between 600 and 650 DUIs a year
>> JOANNE: Todd, you own a bar in Pacific Beach, how do you respond?
>> I think it's important for everyone to remember that statistics can be ripped in
whatever way you want them to, right? Think about the fact that saying the number
of licenses are overconcentrated there are more in La Jolla than there are in Pacific
Beach and they only have 2,000 more residents than we do, we have a tremendous amount of
people coming into the community to enjoy the community and the beach and you can't
pair us to a place like Santee because 100,000 people don't go there to enjoy the beach for
the weekend and I think it's important to realize.
Do we have problems? Absolutely but our industry down there I've
never seen it operate better, I think the operators that we have down there and the
efforts that we put forth to move forward with the community and the police department
are better than they've ever been >> JOANNE: Isn't one of the issues that you
have restaurants that have a liquor license for 30 years they were restaurants, new owner
buys it and extends the hours, keeps the license, it morphs into a bar, isn't that what happened
with your business? >> Scott utilizes me and my business as an
example of that but the fact is we didn't increase the number of licenses in that area
when I came in, that license has been longstanding for fifty years and we change the aspects
of the license itself but I'll tell you right now we have a full kitchen staff with full
healthcare benefits and we do ten times the amount of food service that the last operators
did for the ten years previous to my business so we are absolutely a restaurant.
Do we sell more alcohol than those businesses did?
Absolutely, but we operate responsibly as many places do and the alcohol and food service
is part of both. >> JOANNE: Scott didn't you lead the booze
ban on the beach? Is this part of an overall mission that you
don't like the drinking at Pacific Beach? >> No and some people do think that's what
we're trying to do, San Diego is the last city in the United States with an urban beach
that still allowed alcohol and most got rid of their alcohol in the beach in the 70s,
but the issue is 18 times city wide average alcohol crime.
Has the crime gone down near the beach as a result of an alcohol‑free beach policy?
Absolutely, but 18 times is still not a good number to consider the baseline, we should
be moving that number down, too >> JOANNE: Scott, I know that your group wanted
your recommendation which was to limit licenses, recommendations about how late you can offer
alcohol and you wanted your city council member to bring this up before the council and your
council member is Kevin Foulkner and he sent us a statement.
He said a vast majority of Pacific Beach restaurants and bars act responsibly and are good neighbors.
I'm committed to crack down on establishments that are causing safety problems requiring
conditional use permits from all establishments does not incentive good favor, but creates
more red tape. I'm going to leave the last word with you,
Todd. If the city decides in the end to bring in
tighter restrictions, quickly, what would that do for business in P.B.?
>> It would make it tougher and the reason he's not doing it is it wouldn't be effective
and it would be a government overlay zone that would create a tremendous amount of stagnant
business in the district. The business owners down there want the same
thing that Scott wants, it's just that this is not the answer.
>> JOANNE: Todd brown you are the owner of Bubb's dive bar in Pacific Beach and Scott,
you're the member of the Pacific Beach planning group, thank you so much for being here.
>>> Thanks. >> JOANNE: We will come to the public square.
Here on evening edition. We invite you to weigh in on what you see
and hear on KPBS and in your community. We follow up on our coverage and share your
feedback. We'll also be working with other organizations
around town like the media arts center and voice of San Diego.
We want to kick off tonight's public square with a question about politics and your pocketbook.
We saw earlier the president was in San Diego
to raise money for his campaign. California is often thought of as a cash cow
for political donations. We want to ask you, do you plan to contribute
to a political campaign this election season? How do you think high unemployment and economic
worries will affect campaign contributions? There are several ways you can join the conversation.
You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and of course you can email us at
We would love to here from you. >> DWANE: Here is a recap of tonight's top
stories as Joanne mentioned, president Obama made a quick stop in San Diego today he attended
a fund racing event in La Jolla. A dubious honor from, they
say we have the second highest ATM transaction fees in the nation.
$2.75. And the city is council will move ahead with
bidding, critics say a private company would be hard to monitor and could lead to environmental
and financial problems. You
can watch and comment on any of the stories you saw tonight on our web site
>> JOANNE: Thank you for joining us, we leave you
the forecast. >> DWANE: Good night.