By Doug Porter
Yes indeedy. While some people are obsessing about Friday, the 13th, I’m busy getting ready to celebrate Pi Day. It is/was Albert Einstein’s birthday. And it’s a day that reminds me of how I struggled to get through what was then called “new” math.
This year (2015) is a special year for Pi Day enthusiasts. In the mm : dd : yy format, the Pi Day, which is March, 14, ’15, will be written as, 3 – 14 – 15. These are the first 5 significant digits of Pi (3.1415).
On 3/14/15, at 9am, it will be the first 6 digits of Pi. So this will be the Pi Hour. Twenty six minutes later, it will be, the Pi Minute, reading,, 3-14-15, 9 hr 26 min (first 8 digits of Pi). Is there a Pi Second ? Five seconds later we get the first 9 digits of Pi (3.14159265).
Now comes the most dramatic Perfect Pi Moment !! … by expressing the fractional part of the Pi Seconds in the form of decimals, say, 5.35 we get up to 11 digits of Pi. Then extending the decimals infinitely, as per the digits of Pi, we will pass through the Perfect Pi Moment !!!
Pi day is also a day to remember of the great internet hoaxes of the last century: the viral emails (this was pre-social media, kids) about how the state of Alabama’s legislature redefined the value of pi from 3.14159 to 3 in order to bring it in line with Biblical precepts.
Lots of people use the day as an excuse to indulge in pies. One of the best places to celebrate would be Pie Town, New Mexico, an unincorporated area where US Route 60 crosses the continental divide.
And, yes, there is some news to mull over…
CAL Supremes Say No to County Climate Action Plan
The California Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Sierra Club v. County of San Diego.
The appellate court held the county climate action plan lacked comprehensive and enforceable greenhouse gas reduction measures, along with failing to provide deadlines on when reductions would be made.
San Diego Steering Committee Chair Debbie Hecht, in a statement released to the press, expressed gratitude to the hardworking volunteers who contributed during the administrative process and throughout the hard fought litigation:
“The groundswell of support for climate action is the real success story here. There was a time when those who spoke out about climate change weren’t heard, but that’s history. Now it’s about the solutions. I hope that all government agencies considering climate action plans get the message.”
‘Just Say No’ to Signature Gatherers
It does matter what the cause is. The hired canvassers used to collect signatures for ballot measures can’t seem to stop lying. I’ve already fielded inquiries from people saying these hired guns are saying they’re trying to stop WalMart or that this development is being built with taxpayer monies. Both claims are just crap.
In San Diego signatures are being sought to overturn the city council’s decision to approved the Paseo One mixed-use development in Carmel Valley. Council President Sherri Lightner and Supervisor Dave Roberts are supporting the canvassing effort.
“One Paseo is the opposite of smart growth. It’s dumb growth,” Lightner said. “There is no access to public transit in Carmel Valley, and the project is not bike or pedestrian friendly. Even worse, this project uses spot zoning to create a new zone that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the city.”
Lightner says the project will jam a development about the same size of UTC into an area about one-third the space without considering the impact of increased traffic. But supporters of One Paseo say otherwise.
“What’s important to know about this project is that it had six years of evaluation. The city staff said it was good. Seven out of nine council members evaluated over months and months and decided it was a good project,” One Paseo spokesperson Rachel Laing said.
I don’t know if this is smart growth or dumb growth. It looks to me like two developers using people to protect their investment (or potential investment).
I don’t care if they’re promising free ponies or saying their cause will end world hunger. The big money people have ended any faith I might have ever had in the petition/referendum/initiative process.
Just say no.
A Win for San Diegans for Open Government
I’m hesitant (I’m not big on conspiracies, but…) to make the connection here, but the inewsource investigative series aimed at activist attorney Cory Briggs certainly seems fishy. Their website says for months two reporters “combed through thousands of pages of land records, environmental impact reports, invoices and contracts and found highly questionable transactions and potential conflicts of interest.”
They’ve produced a handful of stories full of weasel words (“may”, “might”) and short on substance.
Did you know that Briggs and wife weren’t formally married, even though he referred to her as his wife? What a scandal!
Maybe there is something going on and I’m just too dense to see it.
(Disclosure: I shook Cory Brigg’s hand once and receive emailed press releases from his office from time to time.)
I do know that the Tourism Marketing District is on the cusp of losing a lawsuit filed by Briggs jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars in hotel taxes.
I do know that Briggs says the foundation for the inewsource series could have only come from a sealed deposition (which Briggs later released to the public) related to that lawsuit.
The TMD got some bad news this week when judge Joel Wohlfeil rejected their request to confiscate and search now-deceased San Diegans for Open Government activist Ian Trowbridge’s iMac computer.
They were hoping to find evidence of forgery of a membership application. The judge said their desire to fish didn’t trump Trowbridge’s partner (who now has possession of the computer) privacy rights.
From Dorian Hargrove at the Reader:
In recent weeks, privileged testimony provided during a closed-session deposition of Cory Briggs’s spouse, Sarichia Cacciatore, was leaked to inewsource. The confidential testimony revealed that Cacciatore served as an environmental consultant for city contractor, Helix Environmental. Cacciatore, it was found, played a minor role in drafting at least one environmental impact report that Briggs later sued over. Cacciatore is also listed as vice president of Briggs’s law firm.
On the day of the inewsource report, city attorney Jan Goldsmith filed a request to get the leaked transcript released. According to a statement by Goldsmith’s spokesperson (and former U-T reporter) Gerry Braun, releasing the transcript was needed in order to fulfill a public records request made by inewsource reporters just two days before.
Briggs, through attorney Marco Gonzalez, voluntarily released the testimony to the news organization and to Goldsmith. According to a subsequent report, executives from Helix
Environmental admitted that they were aware of Briggs and Cacciatore’s relationship and were assured that she had no role in the law firm.
The ruling now leaves attorneys for the Tourism Marketing District to defend the actual merits of the hotel tax.
And the ruling leaves San Diegans for Open Government free to continue to spread the gospel of transparency. AND I’m going to give them a free plug today…
Open Government Boot Camp
Next Wednesday, in association with CalAware, SDOG is staging their inaugural Open Government Boot camp.
Starting at 6pm in the MAAC Community Room (1387 Third Ave., Chula Vista) the organizers are promising guidance on filing California Public Records Act requests, understanding the Brown Act, making effective comments at government meetings, and learning to follow the money.
Weekend of Justice
It never fails. Occasionally I’ll devote some words supportive of activism around town. And just after I hit the publish button, another email announcing events comes though…
Justice for Victor Ortega & All Stolen Lives Rally/March
Saturday, March 14th, 2015 at 2pm
City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex
3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, California 92105
United Against Police Terror – San Diego is organizing :#SDSTOLENLIVES demonstrations to support local victims and their families.
Facebook Event Page * Justice for Victor FB Page
Free Our Black Men March and Prayer Vigil: Make a Stand Against Penal Code 182.5
Saturday, March 15th, 2015 at 5pm
220 W. Broadway
San Diego, California 92101
The Coalition Against Penal Code 182.5 is leading a march and prayer vigil in support of the the families that are affected by penal code 182.5, the law being used by DA Bonnie Dumanis to prosecute young black men, like Aaron Harvey and Brandon Duncan, saying that their Facebook posts and Rap recordings constitute complicity in gang crimes.
Facebook Event Page * Voice of San Diego background story
We were misled… Department of oops!
There have been a couple of stories this week (including this column) claiming the County DA’s office was refusing to process petitions for re-sentencing under the provisions of Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for drug possession and other minor offenses. We have since learned that the source for this assertion was, at best, exaggerating.
Here’s the DA’s response, which may have its own spin, but hey, we (I) screwed up, so take it at face value:
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office was ready to implement Prop 47 the day after it passed. We immediately changed the way we handle incoming cases for review, and we have already amended more than 1,196 criminal complaints for pending cases impacted by this new law. We worked with the Superior Court, Public Defender’s Office, the Sheriff and Probation Departments to develop a process to handle the potential 200,000 petitions we may receive from defendants who want their cases reviewed for resentencing. Already, more than 18,000 petitions have been filed, 3,658 have been reviewed and 1,872 petitions have been granted, the first of which was granted on November 6. It is a daunting task to review them as quickly as possible, but we’re working hard to honor the spirit and the letter of this new law. We created a countywide process to ensure each person’s petition receives the necessary legal review and our priority is reviewing the petitions from those individuals who are currently in local custody. The Public Defender’s Office is taking the lead, filing petitions on behalf of anyone currently serving a prison or jail sentence. Working together, as San Diego County always does, we are trying to make sure the cases of anyone affected by Prop 47 are being carefully reviewed. At the same time, we working to find creative solutions to engage people who commit new low-level offenses and get them into treatment options or our collaborative courts, rather than sending them to jail.
San Diego County District Attorney
On This Day: 1830 -The term “rat,” referring to a worker who betrays fellow workers, first appears in print in the New York Daily Sentinel. The newspaper was quoting a typesetter while reporting on replacement workers who had agreed to work for two-thirds of the going rate. 1988 – The board of trustees of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, chose I. King Jordan to be its first deaf president. The college is a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired. 1991 – Exxon paid $1 billion in fines and for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.
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