Morning Report: New UCSD Chief Has a Warning

Morning Report: New UCSD Chief Has a Warning

Photo by Sam Hodgson

UCSD Corridor

Pradeep Khosla, chancellor of UCSD, has a fairly new job and a very new vision for one of the top public universities in the country: Khosla wants to use education as a battering ram against poverty to stop what he views as our country’s slide into Third World status.

But there are other things on his mind too, like budget cuts, a desire to refocus UCSD on students first, and boosting the reputation of liberal arts departments that aren’t as well-respected as the ones that teach science.

Khosla reveals his priorities and his strategies to help them come through in a new VOSD interview.

VOSD Radio: The Startup Tango

On the latest edition of VOSD Radio, local entrepreneur Kelly Abbott talks about his company’s sale to a large competitor and that pledge he now has to now oblige to push money back into the local tech infrastructure.

Also on VOSD Radio: Affordable housing, the Hero of the Week (an ex-mayor), the Goat of the Week (a not-so-ex city attorney) and more.

U-T Launches New Stadium Push

• The U-T editorial board’s approach to San Diego’s future — build, build, BUILD!! — will take on new life over the next few weeks as the paper’s owners lay out a case for a new stadium.

In the first of several editorials, the paper says the current football stadium is “leakier, creakier and less suitable than ever” and it’s time for “a new multipurpose stadium be built in a private-public partnership.”

The meaning of “multipurpose” remains to be disclosed. “We will also explain in broad terms how a stadium might be financed without breaking the backs of taxpayers,” the paper promises.

• Time Magazine uses an information graphic to show how “new stadiums don’t necessarily mean more wins,” at least among pro football and baseball stadiums built since 1997. The Padres and their new-ish stadium are a success story, sort of, in the graphic: The team’s had more victories but a more expensive stadium too.

Second Opinion: Will Feds Help if Your Work Plan’s Pricey?

Second Opinion, our series of questions-and-answers about health care reform, checks in with an Ocean Beach couple that’s wondering whether the federal government will step in to help them afford medical insurance. The wife can get coverage through their work, but it’s expensive.

The answer: Not in their case.

Quick News Hits

• In a VOSD commentary, UPforEd chairman Stephen D. Rosen responds to a story about his organization’s tensions with the San Diego teachers union and complains that the union chief won’t return requests for a meeting.

In the big picture, he writes, “despite some steep odds, notable progress has been made in getting parents involved and shining a light on areas needing improvement.”

• Tijuana has a new mayor. Dr. Jorge Astiazaran.

• Is there a San Diego-area company that can provide reasonable and effective planning and execution of the mammoth 2015 Balboa Park centennial celebration? If there is, the event’s organizers aren’t into it. As the U-T reports, they’re cutting its relationship with an L.A.-based production company in favor of hiring another L.A.-based production company. A spokesman said one company handled creative production, while the other will take care of event production.

We wrote about the changes in plans and open questions about the year-long event earlier this year.

• ”An Ocean Beach man is facing a felony charge and three years behind bars — for trimming some shrubbery” where homeless people took up residence, the U-T reports. It sounds mighty similar to the city’s bizarre and failed heavy-duty prosecution of a man who protested the banking industry by drawing on the sidewalk, but this court case comes courtesy of the county district attorney.

• Oh, U-T. Quite a prep sports headline the other day: “Christian crosses up Hilltop.”

• It was quite a weekend for sunsets, as you can see here and here.

• Kids gathered recently to celebrate the 40th birthday of a pygmy hippo named Hannah Shirley that lives at a Ramona animal sanctuary. Hippos typically don’t live past their early 40s, according to the Ramona Sentinel.

Unfortunately, the 500-pound hippo didn’t react well to being sung to. “It actually scared her. She ran away when we sang the second verse,” the sanctuary director said.

I hope the verse wasn’t something like “Happy Birthday, dear Hannah Shirley… and please be aware that hippos typically don’t live past their early 40s.”

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.


Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president-elect of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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2 comments
Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

When I read the op-ed on a new Chargers’ stadium yesterday, just before the first blackout in the NFL this year and a loss that put the playoffs off the dream list once again, I almost regurgitated my Bloody Mary. Big Daddy (or whatever he likes to be called) is simply out to lunch on this issue. The OWNERSHIP is the problem, not the stadium, not the fans, not even the team.

People forget that the stadium was expanded in 1997, creating over 10,000 additional seats for which there was no obvious demand, in addition to ruining it for baseball. If you believe that was Susan Golding’s idea, that’s possible, but she must have gotten a clue from Alex Spanos, her presumed Senatorial campaign financier until she crashed and burned politically.

It was only a couple of years later that Spanos began whining for new digs after the city had spent about 70 mil improving what he had, a debt that won’t be paid off any time soon regardless of what happens to Qualcomm stadium. He and his son have beaten the drum raw, and that’s what the taxpayer’s tempers have become as they’ve watched hapless coaches and general managers, mediocre teams and few playoff appearances. But help is on the way: Dean Spanos is now grooming his two sons to manage the team. Uh, yeah.

Several years ago the city tried to work out a deal to build a new stadium on the Qualcomm site but Spanos backed off, hired former presidential spin doctor Mark Fabiani as his point person and resumed the whining. Meanwhile, the Chargers have experienced the highest number of blackouts in the NFL. Why? Given the much worse attendance at Jacksonville and continuing poor attendance at Tampa Bay, among others, how do you escape the conclusion that Spanos is a cheapskate compared to other owners when it comes to buying up unsold tickets so fans can watch the game on TV?

It could be true that the stadium is too large, and a significantly smaller, fancier stadium would actually increase revenue because there are quite a few people in San Diego who might pay sharply higher ticket and parking prices if the team were a winner, but how does this translate into an obligation for the taxpayers to enter into a “public/private partnership” to pay for a new stadium?

The only thing in the op-ed piece I agree with is that any investment by taxpayers must be a county wide deal. We got screwed on Petco Park, and the voters are not quite stupid enough to let that happen again.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

When I read the op-ed on a new Chargers’ stadium yesterday, just before the first blackout in the NFL this year and a loss that put the playoffs off the dream list once again, I almost regurgitated my Bloody Mary. Big Daddy (or whatever he likes to be called) is simply out to lunch on this issue. The OWNERSHIP is the problem, not the stadium, not the fans, not even the team.

People forget that the stadium was expanded in 1997, creating over 10,000 additional seats for which there was no obvious demand, in addition to ruining it for baseball. If you believe that was Susan Golding’s idea, that’s possible, but she must have gotten a clue from Alex Spanos, her presumed Senatorial campaign financier until she crashed and burned politically.

It was only a couple of years later that Spanos began whining for new digs after the city had spent about 70 mil improving what he had, a debt that won’t be paid off any time soon regardless of what happens to Qualcomm stadium. He and his son have beaten the drum raw, and that’s what the taxpayer’s tempers have become as they’ve watched hapless coaches and general managers, mediocre teams and few playoff appearances. But help is on the way: Dean Spanos is now grooming his two sons to manage the team. Uh, yeah.

Several years ago the city tried to work out a deal to build a new stadium on the Qualcomm site but Spanos backed off, hired former presidential spin doctor Mark Fabiani as his point person and resumed the whining. Meanwhile, the Chargers have experienced the highest number of blackouts in the NFL. Why? Given the much worse attendance at Jacksonville and continuing poor attendance at Tampa Bay, among others, how do you escape the conclusion that Spanos is a cheapskate compared to other owners when it comes to buying up unsold tickets so fans can watch the game on TV?

It could be true that the stadium is too large, and a significantly smaller, fancier stadium would actually increase revenue because there are quite a few people in San Diego who might pay sharply higher ticket and parking prices if the team were a winner, but how does this translate into an obligation for the taxpayers to enter into a “public/private partnership” to pay for a new stadium?

The only thing in the op-ed piece I agree with is that any investment by taxpayers must be a county wide deal. We got screwed on Petco Park, and the voters are not quite stupid enough to let that happen again.