By Hailey Persinger
Here's a photo-op you won't mind missing: San Diego's red-light camera program is history.
Mayor Bob Filner has already made good on his campaign promise to remove the 15 cameras from intersections across the city, opting not to renew a contract with the makers of the equipment.
"Taking red light cameras down will...put officers whose job was to review the video back on the street," says Filner. "That's where I'd rather see them: educating people and ensuring laws are followed."
The controversial program, under which automated cameras snapped photos of vehicles as they rolled through intersections late, had been in place since 1998. Those caught red-lighted were mailed tickets for nearly $500.
Violators captured on camera prior to February 1 still have to pay their tickets, but now drivers who run red lights might get a good old-fashioned meet-and-greet with a cop.
"The Chief [William Lansdowne] feels that personal contact between an officer and a motorist offers additional benefits that a camera cannot," says SDPD spokesperson Lt. Andra Brown. Smile!
Mattress company gets in bed with Chula Vista concert venue
If you're still calling it "Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre," you're living in the past.
Mattress retailer Sleep Train just inked a five-year deal with Live Nation Entertainment that changes the name of the 20,000-seat Chula Vista concert venue (born in 1998 as Coors Amphitheatre) to Sleep Train Amphitheatre.
Sleep Train founder/CEO Dale Carlsen says the partnership "allows us to deepen our connection with the San Diego area community and extend the reach of our award-winning Foster Kids Program with the addition of in-venue events."
Big news from the 49th state
Time to pop some mini-bottles - Alaska Airlines is set to open a new flight attendant base in San Diego April 1.
The move will spare roughly 200 employees the hassle of commuting to Los Angeles to team up with flight crews. It will also save the company about a million bucks a year in travel costs.
The bonus for passengers: eliminating flights to L.A. means flight attendants - and the flights they staff - are more likely to be on time. The bonus for Sarah Palin: now maybe she'll be able to see Russia from San Diego, too.