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— This hasn't been the easiest of years for wealthy Rancho Santa Fe denizen Allen Paulson, what with the September blow-up of his deal to take over the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and the October bankruptcy of Rand Paulson Energy, following two fiery oil-well blowouts last summer in Mississippi, along with a disappointing dry hole in Armenia in July. Now comes news that a twin-engine Learjet owned by IMP, Inc., a Florida corporation with a San Diego County address, which the 76-year-old Paulson is listed as president of, was almost wiped out in a belly-up landing last Thursday morning at Los Angeles International Airport. After skidding for more than a mile along the runway, seven people reportedly scrambled from the jet uninjured as the plane came to a stop and burst into flames . "The Learjet reported electrical problems, made a low pass, and went around and landed on its belly. The landing gear didn't function," an airport spokeswoman told reporters. One of the airport's four major runways was closed for six hours. The plane had been bound for Van Nuys from San Diego when it was forced to make the emergency landing in L.A. It was not known whether Paulson, the founder of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., which makes executive jets, was in the plane that crashed. Both that jet and a 1995 20-seat Gulfstream G-V are registered at the same Rancho Santa Fe post office box. Paulson is also famous for breeding race horses at his Brookside Farms, which produced the famous Cigar ... Another Lear flying out of San Diego had better luck than Paulson's. A new, company-owned Learjet 45 racked up a new transcontinental speed record in late November when it flew to Washington, D.C., in 4.3 hours.

Susan's adventures in D.C.

Mayor Susan Golding, who has been spending a lot of time away from town recently, popped up in Washington, D.C., last week to give a speech at the Heritage Foundation's "Livable Cities Conference." The 34 other speakers included Milwaukee mayor John Norquis and eggheads like Joel Kotkin. As reviewed by David Brooks in the conservative Weekly Standard, Golding's San Diego boosterism came out a definite also-ran: "San Diego's Susan Golding delivered an inappropriate speech in full advertisements-for-myself mode. Wonks don't brag, and we feel our intelligence is being insulted when politicians brag at us.... A number of the subsequent analysts rained on the impression that cities are enjoying a full-scale resurgence." While in the nation's capital, Republican Golding talked to the Washington Post about her opinion of impeachment. Herself a victim of a politically straying husband (Democrat Richard Silberman, who was busted for money laundering), Golding seemed to sympathize with Hillary Clinton. " 'In San Diego, voters are more worried about the economic crises in Asia and South America than about impeachment,' said Mayor Susan Golding. She fears her party is threatened by the perception that it is obsessed with scandal. 'Nowhere I go is it discussed,' she said. 'It's not that people think he did a good thing, it's just not what's on people's minds. They want to know where we're going' and what the GOP agenda is."

War Web

San Diego high-tech outfits were in full war mode last week. INTERVU Inc., a company that provides the technology for live video feeds over the Internet, bragged in a news release that it helped enable distribution of "all CNN.com's live video coverage of the military strikes on Iraq to global viewers during the day or night, and at home or at work" ... For those troubled by war, next month Dr. Kevin Grold, a Del Mar shrink, is offering a "Therapy Event," featuring a "Live Psychotherapy Session on the Internet!" according to his news release. "NOW for the first time anywhere, the public can see for itself what happens behind closed doors. A client will be chosen from among applicants on the Internet. A Scholarship program has been set up to pay for thier [sic] first 5 sessions of therapy.... Therapy watchers will be able to interact and give their comments via a chat room."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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