Female vets accuse Filner of wrongdoing; Fire threatens San Jacinto towns; Millennium battle over earthquake threat

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Official portrait of Bob Filner, mayor of San Diego

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Filner scandal. Thirteen! That’s the number of women now accusing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.

The latest allegations may be the most damaging yet for the embattled mayor. Several female veterans – including a wounded marine and two women who were victims of sexual assault while they were in the military – say Filner harassed them. The women say that when Filner was a Congressman he either touched them or asked them for dates at an event that was supposed to bring attention to sexual assaults in the military.

KPBS reporter Sandhya Dirks told KCRW that the accusations show a disturbing pattern.

“There’s this power dynamic at play that seems to be something we see in every single one of the incidents that’s been reported,” Dirks said. “And we’re not talking about women who aren’t powerful: We have a Navy rear admiral; we have people who are very prominent in the San Diego community.

Filner began attending a two-week behavioral therapy program this week and has not commented on the latest allegations. He has fended off calls his resignation – saying he engaged in bad behavior but did not doing anything illegal.

Yesterday, Filner’s lawyers asked that a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former communications director be moved out of San Diego because they mayor can’t get a fair trial there. New York Times

Silver Fire. A fast-moving wildfire burning out of control in the mountains above Banning almost doubled overnight, growing to 10,000 acres . Five San Jacinto Mountain communities are under mandatory evacuation this morning as the blaze remains at zero percent containment. Officials say at least a dozen structures have burned. Two firefighters have been hospitalized with undisclosed injuries and a resident suffered burns and had to be air lifted to safety. More than 1,000 firefighters are on the scene. They are being challenged by winds that gusted up to 30 miles an hour overnight. KCBS

Seismic danger? Opponents of a pair of planned Hollywood towers are demanding that an independent panel conduct a study of potential earthquake dangers on the site – instead of a consultant picked by the developer. Millennium Partners agreed to undertake a seismic review after state geologists warned that an earthquake fault may lie directly beneath the towers. But neighborhood groups that oppose the project say that isn’t good enough. Yesterday, they asked for what they called a “neutral” group to conduct the study. Millennium has already received City Council approval to erect 39- and- 35-story towers near the Capitol Records building. L.A. Daily News

Impound policy. Activists are calling on the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to follow the LAPD’s lead and stop impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. They want an end to policies that allow deputies to confiscate cars and trucks when drivers are pulled over for a minor traffic violation, such as not wearing a seat belt. Vehicles can be impounded for 30 days or longer and it can cost drivers $1,000 or more to get them back. Some immigrant rights groups say impound policy unfairly targets those living in the country illegally. The new LAPD policy prohibits officers from seizing cars at routine traffic stops if the unlicensed driver can call someone with a license to pick up the vehicle. L.A. Times

Street repairs. An L.A. City Council Committee has approved a comprehensive study that steps back from an initial proposal to take out a huge bond to repair city streets. The “Save Our Streets LA” plan would address about 8,700 miles of street lanes, looking at how much money improvements will cost, and where that money will come from. Possibilities include vehicle license and gasoline fees, or even grants. A proposal by two council members for a $3 billion bond to raise money to repair streets has so far failed to get off the ground. L.A. Daily News