The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.

It’s a great time to open a new restaurant.

No, that’s not a misprint or the headline of a puffy press release from the restaurant association. It’s actually true, or so say San Diego eateries that have managed to not only keep afloat but expand.

Hodad’s, Wine Steals, Pizza Port and Urban Solace are among the local restaurants that have opened new locations or plan to do so soon.

As our story explains, “their decisions demonstrate the benefits of expanding in a downturn — when the price for leasing or buying a new location can be just right.”

In other news:

  • We received word yesterday that prominent San Diegan Midge Costanza, a former advisor to President Jimmy Carter and now an aide to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, was in grave condition in the hospital.

    Bob Nelson, the chairman of the Convention Center Corporation, sent in word she was struggling along with a note. He called her a “hero to liberal women and gays of all plumbing.” More about her here.

  • San Diego’s Euclid Elementary in City Heights should be, at least judging by expectations, a stinker of a school.

    Its students aren’t just poor, but really poor. Most of them don’t speak English well, if at all. And it isn’t anything fancy like a magnet or charter school.

    Still, “Euclid racks up some of the highest test scores in the state for schools with high numbers of English learners and poor students, rivaling schools in middle class areas. Teachers rarely leave and suspensions are rare. Children giddily rattle off vocabulary words to Principal Vickie Jacobson on the playground.”

    Did the school make some big drastic and expensive change? Nope. We tell its story.

  • Many in the Latino community continue to be petrified by widely spread rumors that major immigration raids are coming. We wrote about fear in the Linda Vista community earlier this week, and the NCT has a new story about panic among Escondido residents.

    In a follow-up, we take a closer look at the rumors and how they’re being spread.

  • The county pension board is still moving toward outsourcing its investment staff. But the pension’s investor in chief, who’s a contractor himself and wants the action, “will be forced to submit a competitive bid and stay out of the process of reviewing them.”
  • There was a surprise at City Hall: the city’s “number two financial guru resigned abruptly Wednesday, a month before the city budget is due.” Does that mean he’s free to do my taxes?
  • We’ve been writing this week (here and here) about how the district attorney’s office wants to charge voiceofsandiego.org $1,354 for public records. We feel the charge is inappropriate, and open-records specialists agree with us.

    Now, the DA’s office has sent in an extensive response that attempts to rebut several of our arguments.

    A spokesman writes that the DA’s office is committed to transparency and “to protecting the taxpayer from having to foot the bill for a significant amount of time and resources responding to what often amounts to a fishing expedition.”

    But most of what they’re charging us — about $1,000 — is not staff time, not programming time or equipment but just the cost of a computer server extracting the data and running a program for supposedly 16 hours. How do they get to the $1,000? By adding up every possible related cost including the electricity (because they’d be off without our request?) and, yes, the shelves the servers sit on. 

  • How walkable is your neighborhood? We’ve discovered tool on the web that will help you find out.
  • Guess what: We could use a hand. But it looks like San Diego’s mayor and police chief already have a big one. The Photo of the Day, which needs an amusing caption from the wits and wags among you, explains.

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T has yet another disturbing story about the suspect in the Chelsea King murder: “Time after time, he came in contact with law enforcement. Time after time, he walked away.”
  • In the NCT: “A federal judge in New York dismissed a $150 million lawsuit the San Diego County Employee Retirement Association brought against the collapsed hedge fund Amaranth Investors, the retirement association announced Thursday.” An appeal is planned.
  • Finally, “Classmates.com has agreed to pay more than $9.5 million to settle a class-action suit that accused the website of duping customers into signing up for paid services,” pcmag.com reports.

A San Diego man named Anthony Michaels sued in 2008, saying classmates.com told him old classmates were trying to find him, so he signed up for an account. But nobody actually wanted to find him. Instead of just developing crippling self-esteem issues like a normal person, he went to court. He’ll get $2,500 in the settlement. 

In a related story, I’m going to have a word with Disneyland about that “Happiest Place on Earth” promise.

— RANDY DOTINGA   

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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