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— SDG&E workers may be taking the brunt of local anger over utility-rate hikes, but executives of Sempra Energy, the outfit that owns SDG&E, are raking in big bucks. According to public disclosures, the Sempra chairman and chief executive officer Richard Farman made more than $2 million last year. Vice chairman Stephen Baum got $1.6 million; Donald Felsinger, president of Sempra subsidiaries, collected $973,000, as did fellow executive Warren Mitchell. Executive V.P. Neil Schmale got $790,000. Just in time for the big power-rate blowup, the numbers were published in a July 17 ranking of executive salaries by the San Diego Business Journal. The paper listed Farman as the county's best-paid executive, followed by Gateway Computer mogul Ted Waitt with $1.9 million in total cash compensation.

Bad milk

A recently published study by UCSD researchers has found that many tuberculosis cases discovered among children in San Diego hospitals are due to a bacterium that infects cows and is then transmitted to humans who drink infected milk. The report, authored by associate professor William Dankner and entitled "Mycobacterium bovis as a Significant Cause of Tuberculosis in Children Residing Along the United States-Mexico Border in the Baja California Region," concludes that Mexican officials need to tighten milk-pasteurization standards or risk a wider outbreak of the deadly disease. "These data demonstrate the dramatic impact of this underappreciated cause of zoonotic TB on U.S. children at the Mexican border and underscore the need for cross-collaboration to enforce existing Mexican pasteurization laws."

Making ends meet

Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Kelley has some advice for his peers on how to pick up extra bucks on the side. According to a report in Editor & Publisher, the conservative cartoonist told attendees at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in Minneapolis last month that they ought to publish their own books ("It's not that difficult. You take a pile of cartoons and put glue on one side") and make speeches. According to E & P, Kelley "suggested that cartoonists start by giving speeches for free and then ask groups they're addressing to donate money to charity. When cartoonists have honed their presentations, he added, they can start charging. Kelley now gets $3000 a speech. Some cartoonists, such as Kelley, also do stand-up comedy." ... The planned sale by Copley Press of its Fox Valley newspaper chain in suburban Chicago has caught the attention of media watchers there. "They've been co-mingling their staffs, co-mingling management, and, more recently, co-mingling content," David Nelson, chairman of the newspaper department of Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, told the Chicago Daily Herald. "These are all signs of closing down, of slowly giving up... It all has the smell of death." Added the Herald: "In Elgin, for example, the Courier News has lost 34 percent of its circulation in the last five years even as the city has been one of the fastest growing in the Chicago area. Over a 10-year period the change is even more dramatic as it dropped from 32,722 to 17,687 circulation, a 45.9 percent plunge."

Critical acclaim

Lindbergh Field's new terminal, the $238 million project that went way over budget and continues to draw brickbats from locals for the inconvenience of its baggage arrangements, has been praised by this month's Architectural Record: "While the two rotundas that anchor Terminal 2 may fall short of formal or visual innovation, they serve to anchor a building that functions simply and elegantly. And elsewhere, such as at the arrivals hall, the project's more skillful spatial and formal articulation alludes to both the local context and an aeronautical spirit that recalls San Diego's industrial heritage." ... A San Diego outfit called Silver Bullet Solutions just picked up a Navy contract worth $25,421,514 for providing research and development on "command, control, communications, and intelligence software applications and databases," according to a recent release from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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