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— Now that Proposition 6 has taken effect, the animals at the San Diego Zoo are eating better. Prop 6 makes it a felony in California to sell horse meat for human consumption; until its passage last November, the zoo fed 125,000 pounds of horse meat to the lions and tigers and leopards every year. This year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the zoo has shifted to an all-beef menu, purportedly for "nutritional reasons." The San Francisco Zoo still feeds 450 pounds of horse meat and 180 pounds of bones to its collection of carnivores-in-residence ... Tulsa jail officials are blaming a San Diego software company for the delayed opening of their new county jail. They say a computer system designed by Epic Solutions to track inmates and their belongings has a few more glitches to be worked out.

Law of Aesthetics

Del Mar developer Steve Scola has lost a key round in his never-ending battle with the City of Del Mar over a historic house he wants to remodel. Four years ago Scola, a longtime legal nemesis of the Del Mar City Council, filed suit to force the city to issue a permit for a two-story remodeling job. A city panel claimed the development, which featured a glass-paneled roof deck, failed to comply with its design review standards, "fostering and encouraging good design which encompasses the use of harmonious materials and colors [and] compatible proportional relationships." Superior court Judge Lisa Guy-Schall agreed with Scola that the city was acting arbitrarily in withholding the permit and ordered it issued. But the city appealed, and last week the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the city was within its rights to block Scola's project. According to the ruling, Scola "was not required to convey land or pay a monetary exaction to obtain a permit; instead, the permit was denied because the proposed design was aesthetically objectionable." That drew a harsh response from James Burling, an attorney for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, who said the court's recent land-use decisions "range between atrocious and horrible."

Un-American San Diego

Now that Republicans have picked Philadelphia as their next convention site, some delegates are dissing the previous location, San Diego. "You don't have the beaches in Philadelphia, but it has more of a historic atmosphere that California didn't have," Utah delegate Arlene Ellis said. John Miller, a Connecticut delegate, said San Diego may be a "big resort city, but you don't get a feeling of an all-American city."... To doomsayers, the so-called Y2K computer bug may mean the end of civilization as we know it. But to Mitch Lathrop, partner in the big downtown law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, it's a pot of gold. This month Lathrop was named one of "the people to watch in the coming year" by Best's Review of Property-Casualty Insurance for "advising insurers and lawyers on the litigation tidal wave expected from Year 2000 glitches...he'll surface even more as the clock ticks down the hours to January 1, 2000, and a new crop of class-action lawsuits looms for insurers."

Lost Causes

Wonder whatever happened to Linda Bernhardt? She might not be well remembered by San Diego voters, who ousted her from the city council during a rough-and-tumble recall campaign over a decade ago. When San Diego Magazine went looking for her for a "Where are they now?" feature last year, they reported they couldn't find her. Now the truth can finally be told. According to a report in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Bernhardt has moved to Santa Monica, where she serves as a "planning deputy" for Los Angeles city councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, whose political consultant, Rick Taylor, also advised Bernhardt during her ill-fated San Diego political career ... A freelance writer by the name of Steve Baldwin has created a Web page devoted to what he calls "ghost sites...the great disappearing fleet of Web sites sinking beneath the waves." This month he's picking on a site produced by the "Nonlinear Science Institute" at the University of California at San Diego, citing "the number of dead links it references... almost every 'point' links to an identical 'File Not Found' message."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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