Cunanan's cash

— The Chicago Tribune has reported that Andrew Cunanan, the gay Bishops School graduate suspected of conducting a nationwide killing spree, deposited and then withdrew large sums of money from two San Diego banks in the months before he disappeared. Cunanan, a frequent companion of wealthy gay La Jolla men, moved as much as $15,000 a day through his bank accounts, according to the paper, leading investigators to speculate that the fugitive may have been involved in a pyramid scheme or drug dealing.

Flush and single

Housing allowances for admirals rank right up there with sex scandals in the Navy. Divorced Vice Admiral James Perkins got into a jam when it was discovered he collected $60,000 in family-housing allowances, even though he was staying in large, rent-free military quarters while he was stationed in Guam, Panama, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Investigators cleared the admiral of misconduct because he said he had been incorrectly advised, but he'll still have to refund the money. "I asked every question and asked every expert available and was told I was eligible for the housing allowance," Perkins insisted in a written statement. Skeptics claim that Perkins knew or should have known that the payments were improper.

Web of intrigue

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed suit against three Web site operations, including one in San Diego, for alleged copyright infringement. Trade publication Media Daily reports the local offender was a site known as "Fresh Kutz," which offered hundreds of CD-quality, downloadable album cuts for free. La Jolla's Simple Network Communications Inc., the site's Internet service provider, said the offending pages have already been shut down but declined to reveal the identity of the site's operator. With the proliferation of downloadable songs on the Internet, RIAA, representing major record labels including A&M, Capitol, Geffen, Island, MCA, Sony, and Warner, has vowed to get tough. The British rock band Oasis is also threatening to go after about 75 independent Web sites that have appropriated their work. Some of those operators have formed Oasis Webmasters for Internet Freedom (OWIF) and vowed to fight back ... Execs at Warner Brothers got their noses out of joint when an amateur movie reviewer managed to get into the San Diego sneak preview of the latest Batman flick and called it a lemon on his Web site. The bum review was picked up by People magazine and caused a few sleepless moments at Warner Brothers before the pic cleaned up at the box office the next weekend.

Droning right along

TRW's Hunter aerial drone, long one of ex-congresswoman Lynn Schenk's favorite causes, comes in for a drubbing on the pages of Washington Monthly. The Hunter, homegrown at TRW's Rancho Bernardo plant, was sold as a cheap alternative to sending manned airplanes over war zones. But, the Monthly says, "The Hunter was so complicated, its operators couldn't even fly it straight," and it crashed 19 times. Both navy and army brass refused to accept it. After the program was cancelled last year, at a cost of $667 million, a Pentagon inspector general's report concluded that the Hunter "did not conform to contract requirements, operator safety was at risk, reliability was inadequate, and the system was never subjected to operational testing." Still, a few remaining Hunters live on in limited operations over Bosnia, the Monthly says. Chula Vista connection 58 pounds of pot were found last week stuffed into car batteries shipped to a phony car dealership in Puerto Rico. The sender: a Chula Vista "industrial supplies company," say San Juan police. Arrests are expected "shortly" ... Second Harvest, a network of charities that bills itself as providing food to the poor, holds its convention this week at La Jolla's posh Hyatt Regency hotel ... Sources at San Diego's city hall say the city council is quietly setting up a television studio where it can promote itself over cable TV. Cost to taxpayers is estimated at more than $330,000 ... San Diego was the only city in California to drop in Money magazine's annual "Best Places" list. It went from 16 to 28.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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