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— Investigators for the state's joint legislative task force on government oversight are snooping around San Diego's multibillion-dollar sewer treatment program. In a letter sent late last week to the state Department of Health Services, the task force's chief consultant, Richard Steffen, asks state health regulators a series of questions regarding the safety of a city plan to mix "repurified" sewage with drinking water here. Assemblyman Howard Wayne is also weighing in on the controversial project. "It concerns me that we appear to be well down the road toward the expenditure of more than $100 million on a project that few people even know about."

Good-bye, Freddy

The other shoes are dropping at Jacor, the megamillion-dollar radio empire that snapped up ten stations here earlier this year and vowed to make corporate sports and public stadiums its number one advertising priority. Out as a weekend talk show host at Jacor's KOGO: ex-city councilman Fred Schnaubelt, long-time opponent of big, tax-financed projects like stadiums and convention centers. Peter Weissbach, another proponent of Libertarian views, has also been taken off Jacor's air. Schnaubelt's holding a farewell breakfast for listeners on 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Kearny Mesa's Jolly Roger restaurant ... Fred D'Ambrosi has landed a spot as news director at KFMB-TV, where he takes over what many consider to be the town's dumbest TV news operation. A 1977 journalism grad from the prestigious University of Missouri, D'Ambrosi fell out of his seven-year-long news director gig at Milwaukee's WISN in February after a management shakeup. Mike Drew, TV columnist for a Milwaukee newspaper, recently wrote that D'Ambrosi is "a good guy, bright and hard-working," observing that, if you're a news director, "corporate management, often headquartered across the country, may insist that you cram in more fluff, puffery, sleaze, and tease. Much of this conflicts with your journalistic instincts." KFMB is owned by a wealthy Illinois family.

Orwell was right

A San Diego lifeguard has won a $150,000 personal liability verdict against the city after he fell out of an experimental raft being tested without handholds in high surf off Ocean Beach. Christopher Ferar argued that because there were no handholds on the raft, he was thrown into the ocean, where he was struck by the propeller guard, breaking his neck and causing temporary paralysis and chronic shoulder pain. Prior to the accident, four other lifeguards were similarly ejected, but the city never warned Ferar of the danger. In its losing case, the city argued it wasn't liable for damages because Ferar was not a seaman under the federal Jones Act ... The city of Atlanta, which got mixed reviews for the way it ran last summer's Olympics, wants to get tough on downtown crime. So it's installing 24 "pan and tilt" remote-controlled cameras everywhere from Peachtree Street to Marietta Street near Centennial Olympic Park. San Diego's Cohu Electronics is picking up the tab. If the city likes the Big Brother plan, it plans to build a permanent installation.

I got Susan, babe

Congressman Sonny Bono, late of Sonny and Cher and ex-mayor of Palm Springs, is making more noise about a possible run for the U.S. Senate next year. That would pit him against state treasurer Matt Fong, car alarm magnate Darrell Issa, and San Diego's own Susan Golding, among other contenders. Asked by CNBC's Tim Russert about a possible run, Bono replied: "When I ran for the Senate before, I had $300,000 and I got 18 percent, which was pretty good for that state, you know, against Bruce Herschensohn and Tom Campbell." Meanwhile, Golding has dispatched thousands of letters to potential donors, urging them to give $1000 to be on a list of campaign sponsors. The letters went out to many members of city task forces, commissions, and advisory committees appointed by the council ... Councilwoman Barbara Warden got a national convention of bond brokers salivating here last week when she proudly told them the city would soon be issuing more than a billion dollars of new taxpayer debt to pay for a downtown library, water system fixes, and the currently stalled convention center addition.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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