How marine detectives work an oil spill

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Illustration by Adriana Heldiz

The Coast Guard recently announced that it is investigating two separate cases of “reported shards” off the coast of San Diego – rainbow-colored oily damage floating above the water, one off Point Loma and the other off San Clemente.

So, uh, how do you investigate a splinter of oil?

In a new room, MacKenzie Elmer of VOSD set out to understand the process.

“It turns out that the job of figuring out who maybe threw something bad into the ocean is a lot like solving any big crime – it takes a good job of detective work,” she writes.

This includes ocean forensics, if you will: “Marine detectives analyze samples of suspicious spills using a mass spectrometer, a relatively old technology that can identify the types of molecules in a sample by detonating it through heat and magnets. “

In addition, photographic evidence: “NOAA satellite analyst Matt Coverdale told me that the satellites did not get good images of the June 19 spill, as far as he can tell. This could be because the satellite, which rotates the Earth, simply did not pass over this area or the day was cloudy.

It is also possible that there was no villain. Sometimes oil will naturally spill into water as it weaves its way through cracks in the ocean floor and rises to the surface.

101 Ash, CCP Lenders Are Not Satisfied

Last week the city made legal bombs to withdraw from its 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza leases and recover more than $ 44 million in payments following the revelation that a former “volunteer” real estate consultant who worked on transactions paid over $ 9.4 million.

The lenders who provided seller intermediary Cisterra Development with initial liquidity to complete the two capital leases are not happy with this news.

The unique structure of the deals the city is now seeking to reverse means investors in those leases are now being warned that the city has no intention of paying them rent. Worse, the city wants to recover the rent checks that investors have already received.

City COO Jay Goldstone has confirmed the city is suspending rent payments in a thursday letter to Cisterra and its lenders.

Kyle Gore, managing director of CGA Capital and its subsidiary CGA Servicing, which represents lenders, sent VOSD a stern statement on Friday.

“The withholding of rent payment at Civic Center Plaza and 101 Ash Street is in violation of the terms set out in the lease and accepted by the city,” Gore wrote. “The lender is reviewing the city’s recent legal records and will review their claims, but will vigorously pursue all appeals in court.”

Lisa Halverstadt from VOSD previously revealed that a trust representing big-power lenders, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, Assurity Life Insurance Company and CGA Capital, demanded to be paid weeks after the city decided to suspend rent payments 101 Ash the last year.

In other news

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and edited by Scott Lewis.

How Marine Detectives Work During an Oil Spill


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