The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
At the least, it’s a smelly nuisance. At the worst, it’s what an attorney describes as a “life safety issue.”
Either way, residents of a downtown condo building want the smell of sewer gas to disappear from their building. After all, a consultant found that the levels of hydrogen sulfide — which has the pungent rotten-egg smell of sulfur — were at dangerous levels.
But fixing the problem is taking a while, and the homeowners association is going to court against the city (which has clammed up) and the developer of the Grande North Complex (which blames the city).
In other news:
- In the dark comedy “Serial Mom,” the main character disposes of a non-curbside-recycler in a decidedly less-than-neighborly fashion. San Diego has its own stern approach: mandatory recycling.
Now, new numbers suggest the strategy is succeeding. Mayor Jerry Sanders announced Tuesday that San Diegans are diverting 64 percent of their trash — keeping it away from the not-long-for-this-world Miramar Landfill. There’s a twist: some of that garbage is uneaten food that’s being turning into compost.
So far, only seven sources — including a couple universities, Petco Park and Sea World — are recycling their unconsumed hot dogs, veggie burritos and fish tacos. But the city hopes to triple the amount of food that it recycles within the next year.
- Last week, San Diego’s chief operating officer asked city councilmembers to come up with alternative sites for a winter homeless shelter by Monday.
The catch: the sites had to be in their own districts. The council had just declared that it wanted staff to look into alternatives other than downtown, where residents are tired of having a shelter around.
This week, council members refused to follow instructions.
Not exactly profiles in courage, right? That’s one way of looking at it, but there’s debate over whether sending the homeless somewhere other than downtown makes any sense.
- With last week’s pension-board decision not to lower the city’s payment into the system, the city announced Tuesday it was strengthening an existing hiring freeze and will cancel future police and fire academies. The city’s memo even has an exclamation point at the end of that news.
So to be clear, there was a hiring freeze in place. Now it’s really frozen like that old bag of peas in your freezer — thaw it if you dare.
- A report suggests that parents who don’t live in downtown aren’t terribly interested in being wooed there by a new school, although they might perk up in certain situations.
What does this mean for the proposed library/charter high school? Surprisingly, nothing.
- In commentary, columnist Scott Lewis provides background on the city pension mess, reminding us how we got here.
“City management and employee unions expressly didn’t want to talk about the consequences of the deals they were making,” he writes. “They figured that we’d all find out eventually. And they were right.”
- Elsewhere: The county won’t investigate ACORN, the community organizing group whose seemingly shady practices have been getting national attention, but it will assist a wider probe into whether ACORN fraudulently registered voters. (UT) And the city of San Diego will refund $11 million in processing fees to landlords. (UT)
The Navy is investigating the case of a gay sailor — now a student at the University of San Diego — who was “abused by fellow servicemen in Bahrain for two years until he sought a discharge by coming out to his commanding officer.” (AP)
A media organization called Youth Radio broke Joseph Rocha’s story last month, documenting extensive hazing and abuse in a dog-handling unit.
Despite all he’s been through, the ex-sailor says he’d like to return to the military as a Marine officer.