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— A city-subsidized plan to build executive jets at Montgomery Field may end up costing local taxpayers a bundle in lost revenue. Century Aerospace, a tiny Albuquerque-based outfit that has yet to build an airplane, is having a problem raising the $50 million it needs to put together a prototype and get government certification, reports the Albuquerque Journal. So they turned to San Diego, which is said to be negotiating with the company. "They've made us an offer," company president Bill Northrup told the paper. What kind of offer? A nice juicy vacant lot adjoining city-owned Montgomery Field. "The particular piece of property being considered by Century would provide the company with cash income because of the office building Century would like to build there. The company would lease space there to other businesses to generate income. That money could then be funneled back into the development of Century's jet," reports the Journal. At the same time Century is poor-mouthing it, the company also claims to have orders for 50 jets worth more than $135 million ... Is state senator Steve Peace really a Republican? The question has been frequently asked by San Diegans who notice the glowing coverage the Chula Vista Democrat gets in the Union-Tribune and his pro-business legislation. Maybe that's why the Bond Buyer, a national newspaper for the financial trade, was confused, referring last week to "a bill sponsored by San Diego Republican Senator Steve Peace."

Bad Guys

A fundamentalist minister from Illinois, convicted in 1992 of having sex with half a dozen teenage boys he had lured to a Chula Vista hotel from Tijuana during missionary outings there, has died in Graham Correctional Center near Waukegan. The Reverend Lloyd Ray Davis, founder of the Christian Fellowship, Inc., was busted after an investigation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service into claims by some former followers that Davis recruited the boys in Mexico, stashed them in a house owned by the church in Southeast San Diego, and later took them back to Illinois for sexual purposes. Davis, 63, died last week of natural causes, the Chicago Daily Herald reported. The paper added that supporters of Davis had unsuccessfully tried to get him released last year on grounds he was suffering from heart disease, renal failure, and diabetes. A statement issued by church general pastor Peter Paine, Davis's son-in-law, said, "As George Washington was to the United States of America, so is Pastor L.R. Davis to the Christian Fellowship Church. He will be greatly missed for his strength, wisdom, and great leadership."... The United States lost another round last week in its battle to have accused drug trafficker and associate of the notorious Arellano Félix gang Everardo Arturo Paez Martinez extradited from Mexico to San Diego for trial. This time it was Mexico's supreme court that blocked the extradition, ruling that it did not affect Mexican national "affairs of interest and transcendence." The matter now goes back to a lower court for hearing. Paez Martinez is well connected in Mexico, once married to a daughter of Tijuana millionaire and power broker Alfonso Bustamante Jr. Two weeks after Paez Martinez was busted by Mexican Federales in November 1997, Jésus Blancornelas of the Tijuana newsweekly Zeta, was ambushed by gunmen. The crusading publisher barely survived.

Toilet Paper

The San Diego City Council says it's washed its hands of the so-called "toilet-to-tap" plan to turn the city's treated sewage into drinking water. Not so the Fresno Bee, whose editorial writers think we ought to be taking our medicine and liking it. "The city of San Diego was poised to be a water recycling pioneer in California until city leaders simply couldn't swallow the politics. That's too bad." The paper blamed the program's demise on "political antics" and claimed "astronauts in the space station will be drinking their own wastewater after it undergoes a similar treatment process. That may help indoctrinate a skittish San Diego, as would a drought that dramatically curtailed supplies while boosting rates." Somehow, the editorial failed to make mention of the millions of acre-feet of water from the state water project used by Fresno-based agribusiness each year.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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