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— A plan to build executive jets at a plant beside the runway at Montgomery Field has been scrubbed because, sponsors claim, neighbors didn't like it. But city sources say that the real reason the deal came undone was that the city of San Diego's plan to subsidize the venture by leasing it airport land on the cheap was prematurely exposed. Back in April, Bill Northrup, president of Century Aerospace Corp. of Albuquerque, New Mexico, told the Albuquerque Journal that San Diego has "made us an offer." According to the paper's account, "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." But when San Diego locals, including neighbors opposed to the plan, found out about the sweetheart deal, it rapidly unraveled. Don Coburn, head of sales and marketing for Century, said the deal was nixed because of "too much opposition from the community," according to the magazine Business and Commercial Aviation. "Both the proposed Montgomery Field and Brown Field locations received thumbs-down responses from airport neighbors."

The Carlsbad Four

A bunch of trash-hauling consultants based in Carlsbad were busted by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles last week for their role in a multimillion-dollar bribery scandal in San Bernardino County. Those accused include ex-San Bernardino County administrative officer James J. Hlawek; his predecessor, Harry M. Mays; ex-Treasurer/Tax Collector Thomas O'Donnell; County Investment Officer Sol Levin; and Kenneth J. Walsh, vice president of Norcal Waste Systems. San Diego resident Ronald Canham, a management consultant, was also charged. At a press conference announcing the charges last week, U.S. Attorney Alejandro N. Mayorkas said all of the accused had agreed to plead guilty to the charges, which stemmed from a $20 million trash-hauling contract between San Bernardino County and Norcal Waste Systems, which also does business in San Diego County. In exchange for greasing the way for approval of the contract, Hlawek allegedly received tens of thousands of dollars in cash, gifts, and a trip to London. He quit his job and moved to Carlsbad and became a consultant when the scandal first came to light in August 1998. Mays, who was accused of paying some of the bribes, also lives in Carlsbad, along with O'Donnell and Walsh. Levin lives in Redlands. San Diego's Canham, who allegedly paid $10,000 in cash to Hlawek in exchange for getting a $94,000 motivational-training contract from the county, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Feds say the investigation is ongoing.

Sugar Daddy

The New York Daily News had the scoop Sunday: KNSD-TV anchor Bree Walker is separating from hubby Jim Lampley, currently a boxing analyst on HBO. "We're just trying to figure out who we are, trying to reassess," Walker was quoted as saying. "We're not making any decisions beyond that. We have complicated lives, and we're just trying to work it all out." ... Records show that Padres owner John Moores sold a house he owned in Sugarland, Texas, to Akinola Olajuwon, brother of the Hall of Fame-bound basketball player Hakeem. Akinola, an ex-stockbroker for Merrill, Lynch, is now CEO of Olajuwon Holdings, which, among other assets, owns 73 Denny's restaurants in 13 states. Olajuwon took out a $750,000 loan to pay for the abode ... That plan to close down the San Diego office of the Naval Audit Service as part of a Navy-wide economy move has set off a raging war within the agency. According to the publication Navy News and Undersea Technology, the 300 employees scattered through 19 auditing field offices including San Diego are being forced to choose between early retirement, a one-time cash severance payout, or moving to Washington, D.C. An unidentified auditor told the magazine, "The consolidation plan seriously erodes the trust, productivity, and overall climate within our agency. The plan is ill conceived, inefficient and counterproductive to internal audit."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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