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Elisabeth Kimmel's pre-jail pleas for mercy

Today, finally, the You-Tee ran a piece on her and the guilty plea bargain that wasn't downplayed or hidden. It was on Page 1, and actually seemed to report the case in some degree of completeness. It mentioned the claims of her defense team that her arrest--in La Jolla--was brutal and caused a "cardiac injury." As to whether that was in any documented wasn't mentioned. The defense team called her transgressions a "dark moment in a life of goodness." Typical defense attorney-speak was that. That "moment" ran for six years, as Matt mentions. Personally, I doubted that she was in any way an unwitting victim of Singer, and at least the plea means that she is admitting her guilt, although her plea specifically disavowed any bribery. (She gave Singer the funds; he did the bribing is how the story would go.) That six week detention at Club Fed is more than i expected to be levied on a billionaire, or at least someone whose net worth is very close to that figure. Leave it to Matt to dig out more details, utterly unflattering, about her character and dealings with people. It would be so interesting to hear from some of her business associates about her way of runnning the family media empire, especially in San Diego. There's a final question I have. How did her husband, an attorney and former prosecutor, avoid indictment? Everything reported so far indicates that he was well aware of what she was up to, and went along with it.
— December 10, 2021 8:32 p.m.

MTS can't get enough bus drivers

This CEO isn't your usual public bureaucrat; she admits that things are haywire when they are. She is so unlike her late predecessor, a smooth-talking dude who always portrayed the situation at MTS as perfect, or nearly so. She doesn't claim to be transparent, she is transparent with her comments. We all should appreciate that sort of dealing with the public and encourage it. As to the pay being offered, about $20 an hour, it doesn't sound all that attractive now. Decades ago the pay for San Diego Transit (what MTS was called at the time) drivers were taking down over $20K a year typically, equating to about $10 an hour. With the high cost of housing, utilities, and a host of other household expenses in SD now, this starting wage is barely a living wage. I have to wonder what the turnout of applicants would be if the pay started at, say, $25 an hour. This woman is one of the highest paid public employees in the county, maybe the highest paid. Her late predecessor was earning roughly four times the salary of the mayor of SD. Her salary must be comparable to his. For that kind of reward, I hope that she really takes the job seriously. One chronic problem was that MTS could not keep its buses on schedule, with long delays and then two or even three buses on the same routs all showing up within about two minutes. If she can solve that issue, it would encourage more folks to ride the Coaster in from No County to work, and make that train an even bigger success. Many potential riders of the Coaster need a MTS bus to cover that last mile, and it needs to run on time.
— December 9, 2021 9:12 a.m.

Times are swell at The Shell

From my isolated perch in No County, I am often left behind on names of places and things in central SD. This one is such a case. Here the heck is Jacobs Park? And what is the Rady shell? This whole thing comes across the way many earlier naming binges have gone, especially the always generous Jacobs clan of modern-day robber barons. My guess is that Jacobs Park is in or near the area formerly called Embarcadero Marina Park adjacent to the former Seaport Village, and that the shell is located there. But you know, so little has been said or reported about such developments in recent years that nobody can be totally certain. It seems that ol' Irwin and his wife and offspring want to stick that name on as many things as possible, a way of guaranteeing that they will all live forever. Jacobs this, Jacobs that, Rady this, Jacobs whatever, and one more Rady something seems to be the norm now. If either of those names were associated with doing something altruistic or publicly beneficial in their earlier years, it would be one thing, but that isn't the case. Both Jacobs and Rady went fullbore to enrich themselves and then much later on, started the philanthropy. In the case of the Jacobs gang, much of the giving has recently been directed into politics, often in the face of plenty of local opposition. Far back in time ol' Irwin and and wife gave over $100 million to the symphony, which if spent and managed could keep it viable for another century or longer. But now, it seems that the orchestra is still trying to keep up. Makes ya' wondah, doesn't ti?
— November 5, 2021 8:12 p.m.

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