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In brief: Group wants humpbacks taken off endangered list

Sat., Aug. 31, 2013, midnight

Honolulu – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched a review of whether it should take North Pacific humpback whales off the endangered species list.

NOAA Fisheries is responding to a petition filed by a group of Hawaii fishermen saying the whale should no longer be classified as endangered because its population has steadily grown since the international community banned commercial whaling nearly 50 years ago.

There are more than 21,000 humpback whales in the North Pacific, compared with about 1,400 in the mid-1960s.

The Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition Inc. filed the petition in April. It seeks to have NOAA Fisheries first classify humpback whales in the northern Pacific Ocean as a distinct population. Then, it asks the agency to declare that population is no longer endangered.

Matt Romney says he won’t run for San Diego mayor

San Diego – Matt Romney, son of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said Friday that he would not be a candidate to succeed San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

In an email to the Los Angeles Times, Romney said he had been asked “by some friends in the local R (Republican) party to consider running and not dismiss it out of hand.”

“Out of respect for them, I agreed not to rule it out until today after allowing for some discussions. It’s now safe to say that I will not run for mayor.”

Romney, 41, is senior vice president for capital markets at Excel Trust Inc. His residence appears to be just outside the city limits, but he could have moved; his parents own a home in nearby La Jolla.

When Romney’s name was listed by a pollster among potential candidates, it created buzz within media and political circles.

Filner, a Democrat, resigned Friday under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.

Republican leaders are hoping to rally around a single candidate in the Nov. 19 special election in hopes of overcoming a voter registration disadvantage. Democrats comprise 40 percent of registered voters within the city; voters who decline to state a party comprise 27 percent; and Republicans are 26 percent.

“Our fine city needs a good mayor, and I hope that the election allows us to unite around a principled leader,” Romney said in his email.


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