San Diego E-mail may have arrived at the San Diego City Council, but that hasn't improved the clarity of the messages some councilmembers are sending with it. Example number one: the fuss over bumper stickers on city-owned vehicles that appear to tout the library sales tax measure set to go before voters next month. When an irate citizen e-mailed Councilwoman Christine Kehoe about the stickers, which say, "Libraries Change Lives, Support Your Local Library," she e-mailed back: "Dear Chuck, according to the City Attorney this is not illegal because the bumper sticker promotes the use of a city service. It does not say to vote one way or another. We also have placed bumper stickers on city-owned vehicles regarding domestic violence prevention and awareness. I appreciate your vigilance. If [you] would like to look into this further, you may want to contact the city attorney directly at 533-5640." But when a reporter e-mailed Kehoe with the same question, her e-mail response was: "You'll have to check with the City Manager. I don't have any information on this. Christine." Finally, the angry constituent got an unsolicited e-mail from none other than Mayor Susan Golding: "Actually, neither myself nor my staff were involved with the placement of these bumper stickers on City vehicles, and I did not learn about it until after it was done. It is my understanding they were placed with the approval of the City Manager's office in response to a request made by the San Diego Literacy Council, and they were paid for by the Literacy Council. Thank you again for expressing your concerns about these stickers."
Put a Condom on It
San Diego's own Tony Valenzuela, a gay model known for his outspoken views about sex and AIDS, is cover boy this month for POZ magazine, a nationally circulated glossy monthly aimed at HIV-positive readers. But Valenzuela's nude appearance on the back of a black stallion has set off a fierce controversy over his public advocacy of so-called "barebacking," the growing practice among some gays of having group-sex parties without condoms. Walter Armstrong, the magazine's editor in chief, told the San Francisco Chronicle that "the cover photo definitely turns him into a sex object. I understand people's criticisms. We wanted to provoke people. We're willing to take the heat for that." But national AIDS activist Daniel Zingale complained to the paper that "anything that glamorizes putting your own health at risk is irresponsible and threatens to unravel all our progress." The bareback sex parties are advertised over the Internet. Coincidentally, a San Diego latex glovemaker known as Safeskin was said last week to be thinking of taking over London International Group, the world's largest producer of branded condoms.
Bordering on Cash Flow
Developer Sam Marasco, who's putting together that controversial "Border Gateway" project in San Ysidro, is stepping up the tempo. He's reported to have hired some of the top lobbyists in the border-crossing business to convince government officials on both sides of the border to drop their opposition to the plan ... Two local sports moguls are making their preferences for presidential candidates known early. Republican Chargers owner Alex Spanos, along with Irvine mega-developer Don Bren, are said to be backing Texas governor George W. Bush. Padres owner John Moores, a sometime Democrat and one-time Clinton backer who reportedly re-registered as an independent during his campaign for a taxpayer-supported downtown ballpark, has announced he plans to raise $1 million for Democrat Bill Bradley, the former New York Knicks star and ex-U.S. senator from New Jersey. "He's not going to be a spellbinding orator," Moores told the Washington Post. "It's not within him to do that. But everyone will sense he is above lying. And he won't even brag about it. He's sort of the anti-politician." The Post missed the fact that Bradley and Moores's Padres partner Larry Lucchino played basketball together at Princeton.
Contributor: Matt Potter