San Diego Ex-port commissioner David Malcolm, who pleaded guilty last week to felony conflict-of-interest charges stemming from his dealings with port tenant Duke Energy and agreed to pay $249,000 in restitution, has been unloading some real estate. According to county records, in October of last year, Malcolm sold a Lemon Grove commercial parcel he owned for about $1.5 million to an outfit called Holly Grove Properties of Encino, which borrowed $1 million against the land. Less than two months later, Holly Grove sold the parcel, future site of a Hollywood Video store, to Adbi Khouri of Burlingame for about $1.6 million, including the mortgage. Malcolm originally paid about $1.2 million for the property back in 1997 ... It's probably not their worst problem at the moment, but Lee and Jacqueline Peterson, parents of accused Modesto murderer Scott Peterson, have been hit with a mechanics lien for mold-removal work performed on their Solana Beach house ... Consumer Reports is out with its first-ever survey of U.S. theme parks and has some bad news for San Diego's SeaWorld: respondents said it has some of the country's worst souvenirs. Overall, the park ranked sixth, just behind Universal's "Islands Orlando." SeaWorld Orlando was fourth and Epcot Lake Buena Vista was first. Disney's Anaheim California Adventure drew up the rear ... Old-timers on the San Diego journalism scene remember George Ramos as one of the most energetic young reporters for the San Diego Union and later the San Diego edition of the Los Angeles Times. He subsequently moved on to an inner-city L.A. beat and shared part of a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and 1993. Now Ramos, 55, who was an Army lieutenant in Vietnam and the first of his family to graduate from college, has been named chairman of the journalism department at his alma mater of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ... The L.A. Weekly reports that San Diego D.A. Bonnie Dumanis was a big hit during the convention of the state's Log Cabin Republicans two weeks ago at the Riviera Resort in Palm Springs. Jeff Bissiri, new state president of the gay GOP group, hailed Dumanis as "our Sheila Kuehl," referring to the senate Democrat from L.A.'s west side. Then Dumanis, who during her campaign put up with the ignominy of being referred to by ousted mayor and radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock as a "suicidal lesbian," took the podium and told the gathering, "I can't tell you how incredibly wonderful it is to be in a roomful of gay Republicans."
Vacant thoughts Rancho Santa Fe developer Steven L. Black's Sequence Development Group has backed out of plans to build a $150 million movie-production complex in Toronto with Britain's Pinewood Shepperton Studios, the Hollywood Reporter says. Earlier this year, Black put his former home, Coronado's Crown Manor, once the residence of the late Hotel Del magnate Larry Lawrence, on the market for $16.2 million ... Another hotel bigwig, Sam Hardage -- who's had his share of dustups in local GOP circles -- is shopping around for a $166 million loan to refinance debt on 18 hotels owned by his Hardage Suite Hotels. The past chairman of the San Diego Republican Party threw a headline-making fundraiser featuring Newt Gingrich, Oliver North, and country singer Larry Gatlin at the now-defunct Planet Hollywood during the 1996 Republican convention here, all the while blasting then-mayor Susan Golding for not being partisan enough in raising cash for the struggling host committee. During 2001's primary campaign to succeed fallen city councilwoman Valerie Stallings, Hardage -- who backed Mike Pallamary, then running against Steve Danon, aide to Republican county supervisor Ron Roberts -- sent out a hit piece calling Roberts a "liberal." Democrat Donna Frye won the race. Commercial Mortgage Alert reports that the upscale Hardage hotels have been adversely impacted by the tourist slump: "The average daily rate of the 18 hotels in the portfolio last year was just over $90, while the occupancy rate was 70 percent."
Heumann being Democrat Karen Heumann, a Rancho Bernardo lawyer nominated to Mayor Dick Murphy's Chargers task force by city councilman Brian Maienschein, has announced she'll run against 75th District GOP assemblyman George Plescia. "This is a heavily Republican dominated district, so my campaign will be uphill all the way," Heumann says in a recent e-mail soliciting support. "The Republicans consider his seat the safest in the state and are content to ignore him and any potential competitors." Despite the GOP registration edge, at least one other prominent local Democrat has quietly expressed an interest in the race. Plescia is backing a bill to deny organ transplants to state prisoners. Meanwhile, over in the 76th District, ex-Gray Davis aide Vince Hall narrowly picked up the endorsement of the San Diego Democratic Club to succeed incumbent Christine Kehoe, who is running for state senate. Hall, who moved into the district after losing to Republican Shirley Horton in the 78th, is facing off against environmentalist Lori Saldana, onetime congressional candidate Wade Sanders, and pollster Heidi Von Szeliski.