The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Imagine a major earthquake rattling San Diego. I know, earthquakes in California. Wild idea.
SDSU’s Love Library is one of nearly 180 public buildings in the state that have been judged dangerous to occupy during a major earthquake.
But since 2009, no new seismic retrofitting efforts have begun anywhere in the state because of the chronic budget crisis. Yet at the same time, new buildings have broken ground because they received private philanthropic support.
Check out SDSU’s reaction and the rest of the intriguing story from our partners at California Watch.
- Do you know what a short sale is? Last year, 18 percent of the local houses listed for sale were short sales. Check out our explainer of how it all works. Short sales are bound to be an even bigger share of the market this year as thousands of homeowners grapple with the fact that they owe more money on their homes than they are worth. The federal government is considering a plan that could make short sales easier to absorb.
- We have another edition of San Diego Fact Check TV up for your viewing.
- The Union-Tribune had a good idea. It profiled about a half-dozen San Diegans to explain how the health-care overhaul enacted by Congress yesterday will affect people here. It was a great exercise. But it only briefly mentioned one very important aspect of the change with impacts locally.
What is that? Yesterday, House Democrats signed off on the Senate version of health care and sent it to the president. But they also approved a set of tweaks to it that now go back to the Senate. The tweaks include $28 billion in fees on the pharmaceutical industry. That’s $5 billion more than the Senate bill. Last week, the industry, including dozens of local biotechs, had to decide whether to still support it even with the increased fee.
They decided to keep backing it through the Biotechnology Industry Organization, of which several San Diego companies are part. Why did they support it? From the NY Times: “… the nation’s drug makers are happy with the health care package over all, and for good reason: the government would spend an estimated $37.6 billion over 10 years filling a Medicare drug coverage gap known as the doughnut hole.” This means soon seniors will get a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, the kind local biotechs make money producing.
That benefit will be one of the first of the incremental changes to take effect with the legislation.
- Saturday we directed you to news broken on a comics blog that Doug Manchester’s Hyatt downtown had decided to schedule a major conference — the AHA Health Forum Leadership Summit — over the exact same weekend that the city hosts Comic-Con next door. As if to punctuate what’s at stake, the LA Times added to the drumbeat of stories about Comic-Con potentially being lured to Anaheim or Los Angeles.
- The Blue San Diego blog reports that Stephen Whitburn, who’s running challenging Ron Roberts’ re-election campaign for county supervisor, has hired veteran political consultant Jennifer Tierney.
Tierney actually lives in Virginia but she ran the successful City Council campaigns for Todd Gloria and Sherri Lightner in 2008. She also has helped District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis become the most powerful local politician.
Tierney will face off against Tom Shepard, who is the political consultant for all the county supervisors.
- Pensions & Investments has an update from a more investment-nerd angle about what the county pension is now going to do to outsource its advising staff and re-align its asset allocation.
- Finally, if you missed it last week, our star education reporter Emily Alpert explained on video — stick figures and all — how teachers end up at the schools they do. It’s another example of our San Diego Explained series with NBC San Diego. The series runs every Tuesday during the 6 p.m. news on NBC 7/39.
I love it primarily because the series has already helped me learn so much and all I have to do is sit back and watch.
Now that I can handle — and so can you. And that’s the point.
— SCOTT LEWIS