Southern California breaking news and trends

Late '50s San Diego power plant is imploded [Video]

Associated Press

The South Bay Power Plant in San Diego before it was imploded.

In a matter of minutes, a hulking power plant that loomed over San Diego Bay since the late 1950s has been demolished.

The implosion early Saturday — which had been months in the planning — turned the mighty structure into a smoking heap of concrete. The goal is to one day turn the site into a park.

Kayakers and other onlookers positioned themselves to watch the implosion of the 165-foot structure and say goodbye to a bit of local history

UT San Diego says the South Bay Power Plant collapsed after 200 pounds of charges ignited 300 pounds of dynamite strategically embedded in steel beams.

Tanya M. Castaneda of the Port of San Diego, which owns the plant, says the $40 million demolition will dramatically open up bay views and make way for plans for a public park and economic development.


Construction to start on W. hemisphere's largest seawater desalination plant

Desalination plant

Photo credit:

A rendering of the Carlsbad Desalination Project Site at Encina Power Station.

Construction is set to begin on Poseidon's enormous desalination plant in Carlsbad after financing for the project closed this week. 

The San Diego County Water Authority announced that project financing for the Seawater Desalination Project closed successfully "bringing with it $734 million in tax-exempt bond financing to build the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant and a related 10-mile pipeline." 

Grading on the NRG Energy site is set to begin within days. The facility should be completed and operating in 2016. 

The Carlsbad-based facility is expected to produce 50 million gallons a day —  surpassing output at plants in Trinidad and Tobago— and is set to supply approximately seven percent of the region's  water consumers by 2020.

Building costs for the plant and pipeline — which connects to the Water Authority’s aqueduct in San Marcos — are estimated near $1 billion. 


Boo boo beach: 41 stingray injuries in one day in La Jolla

stingrays stingray sign beach shuffle

Photo by Eric Ritter via Flickr Creative Commons

UT San Diego reports that paramedics and lifeguards treated 41 beachgoers for stingray-related injuries on Wednesday. Lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said the majority of the run-ins occured at La Jolla Shores.

Everhart said stingrays are common in the area this time of year, and though the numer of injuries is high, it's not unusual. 

Officials set up a triage area where the limping lot could soak their afflicted body parts in buckets of hot water to help ease the pain. At least one person was taken to a hospital with a non life-threatening wound.

Stingrays congregating in mild, coastal waters are often found partially buried in sand, and camouflaged from predators and ocean-wading humans.

People are urged to announce themselves to the hiding, cartilaginous fishes by shuffling their feet along the sandy bottom as they enter and exit the water. The animals will often sense the vibration and calmly swim away. "It doesn’t always work, but it is usually a deterrent," said Everhart.


Extremely loud, incredibly close: Best video yet of San Diego's fireworks apocalypse (Warning: Loud)

fireworks san diego

Screenshot via YouTube

"Night becomes day," says YouTube user  who uploaded the best yet documentation of San Diego's mega fireworks explosion on the Fourth of July.

Shot on a Canon 60D DSLR, according to the video description, the dramatic imagary elicited a number of colorful reactions from users, from "ATTTTOOOMMIICCC HOLOOOCAUUSSSTTTT!," to "How is this a failure? It was amazing...," to "Come on ! There are tens of thousands of fireworks all around the planet. Which one will you REALLY remember by the end of the year," to "That wasn't fireworks.. basically a bomb."

One thing commenters did agree on, however, was that the video is very, very, very, loud ("Let's say a prayer for all the headphone users," ie).

For the love of hearing, please take off your headphones before watching this.


Student ate glass, drank urine when DEA forgot him in a cell for 5 days

Daniel Chong appears at a news conference where he discussed his detention by the DEA during a news conference on May 1, 2012 in San Diego. Chong, a U.S. college student, was forgotten by federal drug agents and left in a holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet says he drank his own urine to survive.

A UC San Diego student detained in a drug bust on April 21 says he was forgotten in federal holding cell for five days without food, water or a bathroom. 

Daniel Chong, an Engineering major says he kicked, screamed and cried in the windowless cell and could hear people on the other side of the door.

Eugene Iredale, the attorney representing Chong, says his client drank his own urine to survive and ate glass and methamphetamine that had been accidentally left in the cell.

He plans to file a lawsuit on Chong's behalf against the DEA. Initial paperwork was submitted today, reports the L.A. Times. Iredale also hopes Chong will be able to make up the exams he missed while incarcerated.

Chong, who taken into custody during a drug sweep of a suspected Ecstasy distribution operation was reportedly to be released after authorities determined he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.