San Diego If it's good enough for TV factories, why not prisons? That seems to be the logic behind a proposal to build a privately run jail in Tijuana to house Mexican inmates currently occupying California prisons. According to a $17,000 consultant's report commissioned by the state of California, 2000 to 4000 undocumented Mexican immigrants convicted of felonies in California could be shipped back across the border to serve out their terms in their country of origin. That would make a small dent in the ranks of more than 19,000 Mexican nationals currently imprisoned in California. With an average annual cost of $21,000 per prisoner, housing the undocumented felons currently comes to $466 million a year, reports the Sacramento Bee. That number is expected to double within ten years ... The estate of Democratic multimillionaire Larry Lawrence has put his treasured China Basin Landing office complex on the market, with an asking price of $85 million, or $125 a square foot. The San Francisco property, a 70-year-old converted warehouse, happens to be right across the street from the soon-to-be-built Giants baseball park, a location that Lawrence heirs are counting on to bring top dollar.
Politicians and their money
Campaign gaffes seem to be contagious with early Republican senatorial candidates. Last month state Treasurer Matt Fong put out a news release claiming he had the endorsement of ex-president George Bush when it turned out that Bush had done no such thing. Now it's Mayor Susan Golding, who was forced last week to destroy hundreds of fundraising letters set to be mailed to business fat cats. The letters claimed that San Bernardino Congressman Jerry Lewis, a regional favorite, had dropped out of the race, when in actuality Lewis still hasn't given up on the idea of running for the seat. Golding consultant Tom Shepard told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that "one of our fundraisers had gotten word, obviously erroneously, that Congressman Lewis had told someone that he was not going to run." ... The campaign of a Pennsylvania superior court judicial candidate has picked up $5000 from lawyer Bill Lerach of Rancho Santa Fe. As famous for his big-dollar contributions to Bill Clinton as for his shareholder derivative lawsuits, the well-heeled Lerach is listed as a donor to Debra Todd, a Pittsburgh lawyer who emerged as the winning Democrat in the May primary. In addition to Lerach's money, Todd listed debts of more than $158,000, most in loans from herself, reports The Legal Intelligencer.
To clone or not to clone
San Diego, famous for its high-tech bio-feats, is about to get another first: the International Canine Genetics frozen semen storage facility. First established in Malvern, Pennsylvania, the one-of-a-kind sperm bank was bought out last year by Kearny Mesa's Synbiotics Corp. Dog semen collected from freezing centers around the country is first frozen by liquid nitrogen and then dispatched to Malvern. Synbiotics is building a new facility here to handle an increasing demand for storage space ... A Syracuse University geography professor claims that San Diego is one of the riskiest cities in America. Mark Monmonier, a self-styled "risk mapper," reasons that "warm weather is attractive to affluent retirees and house-breakers," making the area "especially hazardous" for burglary and violent crime. His new book is called Cartographies of Danger: Mapping Hazards in America.
Mayor Susan Golding is going around the state telling would-be supporters that her goal is to make San Diego "the Nordstrom's of government," reports the San Jose Mercury News ... The average Joe Citizen is expected to conserve water as part of his civic duty, but big corporations expect a little more. The city of San Diego has just agreed to pay $700,000 to the NutraSweet Kelco Company, an outfit that runs a seaweed refining plant in Barrio Logan. In return, the company "shall design and construct a modification of its facilities so it will use seawater for manufacturing purposes," says a city report.
Contributor: Matt Potter