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— The wife of embattled San Diego data-processing chief Roger Talamantez, under an ethics cloud for his campaign- fundraising work on behalf of city councilman Jim Madaffer, who has in turn tended Talamantez's job-related interests, is the head of UCSD's conflict-of-interest office. Delia Talamentez, who also serves on the city's Civil Service commission, appointed by Mayor Dick Murphy, co-hosted the Madaffer wingding ... An effort to rename a major thoroughfare in Hillcrest for a prominent gay activist is running into resistance from neighbors there. "Following the successful naming of Cesar Chavez Way, it's time for an outstanding member of San Diego's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community to be recognized and honored in the same fashion," says a recent letter signed by Nicole Murray-Ramirez. "City council member Toni Atkins has indicated her willingness to rededicate a street in Hillcrest in honor of a prominent GLBT community member. We believe that Jess Jessop should receive this highest honor. Centre Street in Hillcrest has been identified as the best option for this prestigious honor. It is the home address of the Center, the organization with which Jess is most closely associated." Jessop, the letter notes, was founder of the gay center for social services, now officially called the San Diego LGBT Community Center. The name of Atkins aide Jeff Gattas also appears on the letter supporting the move. But backers haven't yet convinced Barbara Brietigan, who lives in a condo on the street and is working to stop the change. "I don't think they need to re-name the whole street and make us change all of our records. They could change the name of the center. Blaine Street is a short street that goes right into the center, and changing the name of that would affect a whole lot fewer people. There are 21 units in our complex, and no one I've talked to yet is in favor of it."

School daze Some of those big-cheese school-district executives who were all set to take early retirement have agreed to wait a bit. Ex-Marine colonel Terry Smith will be receiving an emergency contract, district sources say, to stay on as chief of staff through December, while district superintendent Alan Bersin continues to search for Smith's replacement. Rick Knott, widely regarded as the brains behind the school's finances and one who knows where the budgetary bodies are buried, is also set to remain for another six months. He was briefly kicked upstairs earlier this year by ex-Navy admiral Veronica "Ronne" Froman, who abruptly walked away from a lucrative gig as the district's business and operations chief in April to take over the local Red Cross ... Termed-out San Diego state senator Dede Alpert is on the list of Democrats rumored to be interested in running for governor if the Gray Davis recall effort succeeds, reports Mark Gladstone, the former San Diego-based L.A. Times writer who now runs the Sacramento bureau of the San Jose Mercury News. Another remote possibility: Clint Eastwood, whose Carmel mayoral campaign was run by John Kern, now top aide to Mayor Dick Murphy. Meanwhile, state treasurer Phil Angelides just collected a $6000 campaign contribution for his 2006 reelection fund from San Diego's Newland Communities ... That front-page apology published last Tuesday by the North County Times for electronically editing a photograph to remove a Union-Tribune logo from the T-shirt of a ten-year-old softball player was picked up this week by Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz. Gary Hyvonen and Ed Early, the editors responsible for the gaffe, authored a NC Times sports section mea culpa: "We believed that it would not be in our paper's best interest to provide a 'front-page plug' in our own paper for our competitors. The decision, clearly, was a wrong one."

Undertow The widow of a Clifton, New Jersey, surfer is suing Oceanside's Stay Covered Surf Accessories, U.S.A., alleging that his surfboard leash, made by the company, was responsible for his drowning last year. Accountant Daniel Fraunhofer, 29, was surfing in March 2002 off the Atlantic resort town of Spring Lake on the Jersey Shore south of New York when the leash allegedly snapped. "As a direct and proximate result of the failure of the surf leash and losing his surfboard, with nothing to float onto, Daniel Fraunhofer succumbed to the surf and drowned," according to the lawsuit, as reported by the Asbury Park Press. "Like any other athlete, surfers also have a right to expect their equipment will not fail, especially when it is most needed," Gerald Clark, an attorney for Fraunhofer's wife Denise, said in a prepared statement. "In this case, the leash snapped under ordinary usage because it was defective. Had it not, Danny would be with us today." Jamie Gregory, manager for Stay Covered, said the firm would have no comment on the case. Meanwhile, Dave Gebroe, the victim's brother-in-law, was spurned by local officials when he sought to shoot scenes of a movie about Fraunhofer's death on a Manasquan beach because it would have disrupted tourists during the busy summer season ... A 27-year veteran of San Diego County's probation department is stepping into the controversial shoes of Alameda County's chief probation officer, Sylvia Johnson. Donald Blevins, 51, director of adult field services here, will be paid $125,000.

-- Matt Potter

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