4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Mordant Mordida

— Did San Diego utility giant Sempra Corp. pay $410,000 in bribes to a Mexican company in order to expedite construction of a natural gas pipeline it wanted to build from San Diego to Rosarito? So charges David Crain, an 18-year veteran of Sempra who left the company 5 years ago and has filed a complaint with the state's Public Utility Commission (PUC) alleging the bribery. According to an account in last week's Electricity Daily, Crain claims that Sempra and its previous component companies, SoCal Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric, forked over the bribe money, plus a promise of a $1.4 million bonus, to a "political influence firm" called Aleman Velasco y Asociados. The complaint says that firm was supposed to "eliminate competition for the gas pipeline from Southern California to Baja California," namely Texas-based El Paso Natural Gas, which wanted to build its own pipeline to supply a large electrical generating plant in Rosarito. Clark also alleges that Sempra violated federal money-laundering laws and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Sempra spokesman Michael Clark was quoted by the newsletter as confirming that the money was paid to the Mexican firm but that the company's dealings with Aleman Velasco were "perfectly legal." He claimed that Clark's complaint with the PUC was just a legal tactic in an ongoing wrongful termination suit against Sempra. Once manager of competitive analysis at SoCal Gas, Crain now heads the markets and strategies group at Fluor Corp. in Irvine, the newsletter says.

Q Would Be Proud

A Coronado-based Navy SEAL team is hard at work on a super-secret project to develop a new, high-tech underwater weapons-carrying bag, reports Jane's Defense Weekly. The new device, "designed to provide protection for individual combat weapons during underwater and surf transit operations," according to Jane's, is being tested by "Training Cell and platoon members from SEAL Team Three." Three different types of weapons bags reportedly are being tried out by the SEALs on dives near San Clemente Island. "The weapons bags are sealed with waterproof zippers and equipped with oral inflation tubes to allow the combat swimmer to establish neutral weapon buoyancy.... Different waterproof bag designs reportedly include both a 'shoot-through' bag configured to carry the 5.56mm M4 carbine as well as a larger waterproof bag capable of carrying the 7.62mm M60 machine gun. At least one version, believed to be the M4 carbine model, is also equipped with an integral glove that would allow the operator to fire the weapon without removing it from the protective bag."

Sweating the Small Stuff

A staffer at the Union-Tribune wants to set the record straight. Tom Mallory, identified as the U-T's "weekend/enterprise editor," wrote a letter to Editor & Publisher, pointing out that the U-T had been misidentified in a story about circulation troubles at the country's major daily newspapers, including the U-T. Calling the E&P story "an excellent overview of dropping circulation figures among large daily newspapers," Mallory went on to say, "I wanted to point out, however, that the chart gave the name of our newspaper as the San Diego Union. As you probably know, the San Diego Union and the San Diego Tribune merged into one paper in 1992 and has since been called the San Diego Union-Tribune. We've come a long way since then, steadily improving our content, our product, and our presentation, and we're now a much better paper than we were as two. We'd really appreciate it if all references to our newspaper used the full name, though you can feel free to leave off the period in our masthead."

Small Consolation

Lakeside demolition contractor Patrick Clauss, who has been hired to blow up the historic Mapes Hotel in downtown Reno, has an offer for those historic preservationists who have been fighting to save the 12-story brick building. He will sell bricks and other artifacts from the doomed structure for a buck apiece. The Mapes is on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that failed to convince the Reno City Council to save it. Implosion is set for January 30.

Contributor: Matt Potter

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Mikkeller Global taps San Diego as the site for its 15-year anniversary celebration

20 breweries, 70 brews at Mikkeller's 15th anniversary
Next Article

The massive, small molcajete at La Sinaloense

How regionally inspired mariscos fill a restaurant patio in La Presa

— Did San Diego utility giant Sempra Corp. pay $410,000 in bribes to a Mexican company in order to expedite construction of a natural gas pipeline it wanted to build from San Diego to Rosarito? So charges David Crain, an 18-year veteran of Sempra who left the company 5 years ago and has filed a complaint with the state's Public Utility Commission (PUC) alleging the bribery. According to an account in last week's Electricity Daily, Crain claims that Sempra and its previous component companies, SoCal Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric, forked over the bribe money, plus a promise of a $1.4 million bonus, to a "political influence firm" called Aleman Velasco y Asociados. The complaint says that firm was supposed to "eliminate competition for the gas pipeline from Southern California to Baja California," namely Texas-based El Paso Natural Gas, which wanted to build its own pipeline to supply a large electrical generating plant in Rosarito. Clark also alleges that Sempra violated federal money-laundering laws and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Sempra spokesman Michael Clark was quoted by the newsletter as confirming that the money was paid to the Mexican firm but that the company's dealings with Aleman Velasco were "perfectly legal." He claimed that Clark's complaint with the PUC was just a legal tactic in an ongoing wrongful termination suit against Sempra. Once manager of competitive analysis at SoCal Gas, Crain now heads the markets and strategies group at Fluor Corp. in Irvine, the newsletter says.

Q Would Be Proud

A Coronado-based Navy SEAL team is hard at work on a super-secret project to develop a new, high-tech underwater weapons-carrying bag, reports Jane's Defense Weekly. The new device, "designed to provide protection for individual combat weapons during underwater and surf transit operations," according to Jane's, is being tested by "Training Cell and platoon members from SEAL Team Three." Three different types of weapons bags reportedly are being tried out by the SEALs on dives near San Clemente Island. "The weapons bags are sealed with waterproof zippers and equipped with oral inflation tubes to allow the combat swimmer to establish neutral weapon buoyancy.... Different waterproof bag designs reportedly include both a 'shoot-through' bag configured to carry the 5.56mm M4 carbine as well as a larger waterproof bag capable of carrying the 7.62mm M60 machine gun. At least one version, believed to be the M4 carbine model, is also equipped with an integral glove that would allow the operator to fire the weapon without removing it from the protective bag."

Sweating the Small Stuff

A staffer at the Union-Tribune wants to set the record straight. Tom Mallory, identified as the U-T's "weekend/enterprise editor," wrote a letter to Editor & Publisher, pointing out that the U-T had been misidentified in a story about circulation troubles at the country's major daily newspapers, including the U-T. Calling the E&P story "an excellent overview of dropping circulation figures among large daily newspapers," Mallory went on to say, "I wanted to point out, however, that the chart gave the name of our newspaper as the San Diego Union. As you probably know, the San Diego Union and the San Diego Tribune merged into one paper in 1992 and has since been called the San Diego Union-Tribune. We've come a long way since then, steadily improving our content, our product, and our presentation, and we're now a much better paper than we were as two. We'd really appreciate it if all references to our newspaper used the full name, though you can feel free to leave off the period in our masthead."

Small Consolation

Lakeside demolition contractor Patrick Clauss, who has been hired to blow up the historic Mapes Hotel in downtown Reno, has an offer for those historic preservationists who have been fighting to save the 12-story brick building. He will sell bricks and other artifacts from the doomed structure for a buck apiece. The Mapes is on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that failed to convince the Reno City Council to save it. Implosion is set for January 30.

Contributor: Matt Potter

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

In brilliant capstone to its declarations on racism and vaccine misinformation, Board of Supervisors declares “the twisted darkness that lurks in the depths of every human heart” a public health crisi

Supernatural Supervisors
Next Article

San Franciscans and others driving San Diego's real estate

Tired of the homeless along Van Ness
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close