No Class Reunion

Having seen her bid for a U.S. Senate seat -- and subsequent political career -- immolated by the Chargers ticket-guarantee scandal, among other foibles, Susan Golding quietly retired from politics late last year. But the ex-San Diego mayor spins a different story in a recent note to the alumni magazine of Minnesota's Carleton College, her alma mater. "I completed my second term as mayor of San Diego. Due to term limits, I could not run for that office again, and I chose not to run for anything else. After 20 years in public office, I needed a change. I joined the boards of several technology corporations, one of which is going to an initial public offering -- yes, even now -- which is exciting. I am also involved in the start of a new community bank and have a new corporation. I just returned from Budapest, Nigeria, and South Africa, where I worked with the newly elected officials on the practical side of political democracy. I finally have time to write and feel as though I have a new life." ... Dartmouth alum Steve Kelley, the Union-Tribune's fired political cartoonist, is set to bare his soul at a meeting of Ivy League & Company, a social club of local alumni from Ivy League schools, along with the Seven Sisters and Stanford.

Fat chicks aren't easy Wealthy Rancho Santa Fe investor Stan Foster, father-in-law of city schools chief Alan Bersin, is out with yet another new venture: Torrid, a gothic clothing chain for overweight teenage girls. An offshoot of the Foster family's Hot Topic, which features goth-style wearables, nose rings, and other accessories for the high school set, "Torrid will address the fashion void that exists for junior women wearing sizes 14-16," according to a company release. "Today's junior demands that fashion be for everyone and that personal style be attributed to attitude, not size." Adds the release, with no apparent tongue in cheek: "Torrid will be 'first to market' in this expanding niche." ... Meanwhile, Bersin's wife, attorney Lisa Foster, is said to be seeking an appointment to the Superior Court bench here ... Speaking of fat, Bersin's San Diego Unified School District cafeterias are getting mixed nutritional marks in a survey conducted by a national group of scientists. "They do have quite a few days with chicken nuggets, beef teriyaki nuggets, and baloney and cheese sandwiches," says Jen Keller, nutritionist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. "They could be offering more vegetarian or meatless dishes on a regular basis to help lower the cholesterol and increase the nutrients. Why not go to a veggie burger or a tofu hotdog more regularly?" On the other hand, notes Keller, "They were the only school district in our survey using textured vegetable protein to replace up to 25 percent of beef and chicken in their nuggets, patties, and spaghetti sauce. That was one tactic they used in lowering the fat in their menus."

Real estate signs That abandoned SDG&E power plant across Broadway from the Santa Fe Depot is for sale. At various times, plans have called for the hulking antique to be converted into an aquarium or a hotel, so far with no success. In December 1999, it was reported that Monaghan Co. LLC of Phoenix had bought the building from SDG&E for $7.8 million two years earlier and was planning to build a $100 million, 625-room luxury hotel, a proposal that raised considerable skepticism even at the time, considering the difficulty of arranging hotel financing. In the current climate, the job looks even tougher. If the city can't find someone to build a hotel on the power-plant site, there'll be one less hotel to provide the so-called transient occupancy taxes counted on by the city council to pay for the new Padres stadium ... A "For Sale" sign in front of former city councilman Tom Hom's Golden Hill mansion says the dwelling is in escrow. Hom was the earliest promoter of the Gaslamp Quarter ... A 69-year-old stock swindler from La Jolla has been sentenced to a 41-month prison term after conviction in a Bay Area stock-manipulation scheme, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. James A. Merriam, who used to live in Tiburon, allegedly conspired to boost the price of his investment company's stock in a so-called "pump and dump" scheme.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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