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Freeloader’s Dream

Is Edison’s Nightmare

If Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric run true to form, they may someday be picking up the tab for golf fees, fancy dinners and Super Bowl tickets for voters in San Diego.

As detailed by Times reporter Daniel M. Weintraub, the two utilities have lavish budgets to ensure that legislators in Sacramento are well-fed, well-watered and well-entertained: ski weekends, country club golf dates, dinner and drinks at capital nightspots, sporting tickets, anything their sybaritic hearts desire.

If the Edison buyout of SDG&E; is to be accomplished, it may take approval from San Diego voters, presumably making them eligible for the utilities’ largess. So far, Edison’s public strategy has been let-'em-eat-advertising, but that could change if voters decide to exercise Section 103 of the City Charter.

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Section 103 grants voters the power to mount a referendum on any City Council action involving a city franchise--like that held by SDG&E; to sell its wares to customers within the city limits.

The city attorney says that, for Edison to swallow SDG&E;, the council would have to switch the franchise to Edison. That’s hardly a slam-dunk. At the mayor’s State of the City address, the audience cheered when Edison’s logo and ad were shown marked by red slashes.

Still, assuming the council votes to switch the franchise, the voters then get their own shot at killing the buyout. Under the charter, a petition drive netting 26,000 signatures--5% of registered voters--would force the council to either reverse itself or hold a public vote.

Assistant City Atty. Curtis Fitzpatrick says that, if the franchise issue is put on the ballot, the buyout goes on hold. It could be a wait of months or a year or more until the next regularly scheduled election.

During this limbo period, one assumes, the goodies would cascade freely to San Diego voters to encourage kinder, gentler feelings toward Edison and SDG&E.;

Imagine it! Ski lodges packed with freeloading San Diego voters, ditto the Super Bowl and World Series. Free meals at fine restaurants. The golf courses at La Costa and Rancho Santa Fe open to all, gratis.

The possibilities are positively electric.

Is Mexico on the Map?

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San Diego schools are replacing a slew of maps and globes that are 30 years old or more. They’re worn and outdated; population figures are all wrong; half the countries of Africa and several in Asia have different names.

The school board Tuesday voted to sell the castoffs to the Tijuana school district for $10. “It’s better that they’re used this way than just thrown away at the dump,” said Supt. Tom Payzant.

Something Fishy in Tacos

The four Soviets set to visit San Marcos soon as part of the “Soviets, Meet Middle America” program may return home with an appreciation for a North County delicacy: fish tacos.

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Rubio’s Deli-Mex restaurant in San Marcos is donating a load of fish tacos for a party being thrown for the visitors. To make them feel at ease, the recipe will use Stolichnaya vodka, instead of beer.

Power to the Golf Fans

What is it about golf fans that turns them into tattletales?

At the 1987 Shearson Lehman Brothers Andy Williams Open at Torrey Pines, a television viewer finked on Craig Stadler after spotting him improperly using a towel to keep his knees dry as he kneeled for a shot from a difficult lie. Stadler was disqualified.

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Last Friday, the Gotcha Patrol bagged Arnold Palmer at the Tournament of Champions at La Costa. Palmer was penalized two strokes after a spectator noticed that he hit from the wrong tee--10 yards behind the correct tee.

John Ruedi, the pro for 24 years at the course in Coronado, explains that many fans know the rules better than tour players and seem to delight in pointing out their violations, however minor.

“Golf is the only sport where the fans can influence events by telling something to an official,” Ruedi said. “Try that in pro football someday, and see how far you get.”


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