Drones gone wild, Manchester late again, state pols like to spend in San Diego

Drone monitoring without supervision
  • Drone monitoring without supervision

Leaky drones

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which surveils San Diego from the skies with costly state-of-the-art drones, is not being mindful enough of the privacy and security of the citizenry below. So concludes a September 21 audit report from the Inspector General’s office at the Department of Homeland Security. Based at the agency’s newly-expanded Air and Marine Operations Center which opened March 22 in Riverside, the unmanned vehicles prowl the border and along the coast with video cameras and an array of high-tech sensors, “to identify and coordinate the interception of drug smugglers and undocumented migrants crossing U.S. borders on foot, land, and sea.”

Manchester: "Did I say 2021? I meant 2022."

Manchester: "Did I say 2021? I meant 2022."


Eight “interconnected software utilities and computer subsystems,” per the document, have been deployed to “facilitate network connectivity and sharing of mission-support data collected from unmanned aircraft among data analysts, field operators, and CBP law-enforcement decision makers.”

Sacramento city councilman Eric Guerra dropped some serious change in San Diego.

Sacramento city councilman Eric Guerra dropped some serious change in San Diego.


But auditors discovered that the agency hasn’t “ensured effective safeguards for information, such as images and video, collected on and transmitted” by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, including the Poway-made MQ-9 Predator B. “Continuous monitoring to facilitate effective security incident handling, reporting, and remediation was lacking, while system maintenance and oversight of contractor personnel were inconsistent.” In one case, “we observed instances where contractor employees in key operational roles had limited or no Government supervision.” In other instances, “contractors were unsure of who their Government supervisors were.” As a result, the report concludes, “mission operations were at increased risk of compromise by trusted insiders and external sources.” Notes the document, “without proper privacy protections, any sensitive privacy information in existence could be lost, stolen, or compromised.”

Economic devils

Those waiting for Doug Manchester to open his two-acre waterfront plaza, one of the pledges made to get approval for the so-called Navy Broadway redevelopment complex, will have to be patient. The La Jolla developer and Republican kingpin who used to own the Union-Tribune took out an eight-page special section in the paper’s September 23 Sunday edition, saying the park won’t be done until 2022. That’s a year after the estimated completion date of what Manchester refers to as a “Five-Star Luxury Boutique Hotel,” without furnishing any names. “After 12 years of patience and perseverance, Manchester is thrilled to move forward with Manchester Pacific Gateway, which broke ground on June 1, 2018,” says the advertisement, though an announcement of financing for the project, repeatedly promised last year, has yet to happen. Onsite activity thus far has been limited to tearing down World War II-era military buildings. “We are ready to recruit the best talent, businesses, retail, and hospitality to San Diego to positively impact our economic growth and create new jobs.”

Sacramento cash

A campaign committee for Sacramento city councilman Eric Guerra dropped some serious change in San Diego during February’s state Democratic convention here, according to filings with Sacramento’s city clerk. Eric Guerra for City Council 2016 spent $151 at the Water Grill on February 24 and the next day $143 for a tab at the Cafe Sevilla. Room expenses at the Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown cost the committee $835. Last week the peripatetic councilman was on a junket in Germany to sell automakers there on setting up shop in the state’s capital city, reports Capital Public Radio.

Third degree

Presumably it has nothing to do with the city council, but San Diego Police are looking for someone to “conduct complex interviews and interrogations involving the use of polygraph devices for determining truthfulness,” per a job posting for an Interview & Interrogation Specialist III. The position pays from $64,313.60 to $77,542.40 annually. “Selected candidates will undergo a comprehensive character and background investigation, including a polygraph examination and fingerprint check prior to hire,” according to the notice. “Felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, or use of any illegal drugs may be disqualifying.” Highly desired: “Current membership in the American Polygraph Association, the American Association of Police Polygraphists, or other state polygraph association.”

Meanwhile, the city, continuing to wrestle with such mundane issues as correct water meter reading, also is seeking a new employee to weigh in on cultural fronts. A September 21 job posting for Arts Management Associate says the new hire will undertake “public art project management and arts and culture funding program management,” along with handling “customer concerns” and “special events.” Among other desired qualifications, candidates must have a “proven track record of regular, sustained engagement with the arts and culture community.” Pay will range from $55,848 to $67,496 a year.

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How long did it take Dougie to get financing for his hotel in Austin? He seems to be having more and more trouble finding funding for his projects.

He follows the Trump financing playbook: Always use somebody's else's money. But apparently the Austin hotel project was not considered a good investment by his usual players.

Very interesting. You know, the last time I checked, which was very recently, Manchester's ambassadorship nomination, which under Senate rules had been returned to trump at the end of the last session, had not been sent back to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for consideration. I guess it doesn't look so good for Dougie's Bahamian gig.

Oh, boo-hoo, Dougie won't be able to claim the honorific of "Mr. Ambassador". For a guy with his track record, that sort of thing should have been a non-starter, but it wasn't. He has an ego that demanded some sort of record of official service, even if it was nothing more than being ambassador to an insignificant place like the Bahamas. But Don Bauder did point out that the Bahamas is a hotbed of money stashes and tax evasion.

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