Trees and shrubs

— Fallen mayor and radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock is being sued by a Pacific Beach neighbor who accuses him of encroaching on her property, unlawfully bulldozing a line of Italian cypress trees, and threatening a living unit with demolition. The story began earlier this month, when Hedgecock and his contractor showed up at a piece of property he owns in the 1300 block of Grand Avenue with the intent of tearing down an old house there and building some new condos. Problem was, the neighbor claims, Hedgecock tore down things that weren't his. According to a complaint filed by the woman, Wendelle A. Rose, the ex-mayor and the "Roger and Cynthia Hedgecock Revocable Trust, Dated February 11, 1980," "ordered their agents to bulldoze and remove all vegetation and residential structures which Hedgecock claims are on their property." Rose, who says the threatened structures are actually on her side of the line and calls Hedgecock's conduct "willful and malicious," is seeking at least $100,000, "this amount being three times the value of the trees and shrubs cut down or removed or injured." On Tuesday morning, Superior Court judge Kevin Enright issued an order barring Hedgecock from tearing down any more shrubbery or the disputed buildings pending a March 2 court hearing on the matter.

Political roundabout After more than a year's wait, Governor Gray Davis is finally out with his appointments to the so-called "Commission of the Californias," a state-sponsored, binational group devoted to promoting business and cultural ties to Baja California. Among the six new appointees are termed-out ex-Democratic assemblywoman Denise Ducheny, an early Davis supporter. Also on the list is Jill Barad, the ex-Mattel honcho and Barbie champion forced out after the toymaker's earnings plunged. Davis had earlier appointed Padres co-owner Larry Lucchino to the commission. Barad also has ties to Lucchino's Padres partner and venture capitalist John Moores, a big Davis money-backer. She and Moores are on the board of Leap Wireless, the Qualcomm spinoff now building cell-phone networks south of the border. Another appointee: Joseph M. Campos of Palm Desert, a consultant with U.S. Filter, the outfit that owns Imperial Valley water rights it wants to retail to thirsty San Diego ... Meanwhile, the governor of Rhode Island has announced he will be operated on for a cancerous prostate by the same doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore who handled Lucchino's prostate surgery last year. Governor Lincoln Almond, 64, told reporters he was "very optimistic" that the operation, to be done by Dr. Patrick Walsh, would be successful. Walsh also removed the prostate of Alabama senator Jeff Sessions ... Yes, that was Cynthia Vicknair, a partner in CynKat, the political-consulting firm that helped Dick Murphy get elected mayor, with Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Padres' top P.R. man, at the exclusive Morton's steakhouse downtown.

Droning on A fleet of military drones developed by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical here are to be based at Beale Air Force base about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. The Global Hawks, which cost $45 million apiece, had been set to be hangared at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, reports the Dayton Daily News ... KPBS, the public-TV station owned and operated by San Diego State University, is set to produce a total of eight local programs in 2001, according to Public Broadcasting Report. Shows include Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar and Skin Stories, recounting the history of tattoos ... Mexican president Vicente Fox is promising a stepped-up crime-fighting effort in Baja California. "Tijuana, Mexicali, Matamoros, the borders, and Ciudad Juárez are very troublesome areas, in which there are large settlements for organized crime and drug trafficking. Hence, it is there that we shall focus our efforts and our equipment," he told the Mexico City newspaper La Reforma ... Washington Freedom soccer star Mia Hamm, married to San Diego Marine captain Christiann Corry, is searching for a place to room with goalkeeper Siri Mullinix somewhere in the District of Columbia. "We looked at 12 places so far, and I just can't believe the prices here," she told the Washington Post.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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