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

The local Roman Catholic church’s priest sex-abuse scandal was supposed to be all but over. In 2007, the San Diego diocese agreed to pay almost $200 million in damages to 144 alleged victims. Only a few loose ends remained, or so it seemed.

But now, just as the world’s eyes are on the Pope and his handling of cases of molestation by priests, a pair of new court cases may put the San Diego diocese’s reputation and bank balance in jeopardy once again.

Two men are suing the diocese, charging it failed to protect them from priests when they were children in the 1970s. Their claims are unusual because they say their service in the military allows them to bypass legal hurdles that closed off more suits over long-ago abuse.

A judge agrees and is allowing the cases to go forward toward trials that could allow an unprecedented public airing of charges against the diocese.

In other news:

  • Thanks to a unanimous vote by the San Diego City Council, many new apartments and condominiums will have to include individual water meters. The law goes into effect June 1.

    Using a story out of his own daily life, Rob Davis previously broke down why individual meters can help toward water conservation.

  • The Thorne’s hairstreak butterfly, a purty little thing that only calls San Diego County home and has been threatened by wildfires, may be on its way to becoming a recognized endangered species. As our story reports, the butterfly ” feeds exclusively on the rare Tecate cypress tree, and its population is only known to exist around Otay Mountain, which has been hit twice by fire in the last seven years.”
  • The City Heights neighborhood is full of people finding creative ways to lug around their belongings. We asked folks who use wire pushcarts about their lives and what they’re carrying, like the lady who put hers in a shopping cart at a grocery store. The resulting story, complete with lots of photos, tells plenty of personal tales about those ubiquitous and useful carts.
  • Don’t worry, we’re not going to annoy you with any “shake, rattle and roll” clichés. (Oops, too late.) But we do have another earthquake story, this one about the history of quakes in San Diego.

    In recorded history, there have only been a few local humdingers, including one in 1862 that spawned what an L.A. newspaper called a “day of terror.” (Even back then, they were overly dramatic up there.)

    Another quake, off Oceanside in 1986, was fairly small magnitude-wise but caused lots of damage and spelled disaster for an elderly downtown San Diego man surrounded by thousands of books. And one that gave San Diego a good shaking in 1892 seems to have been centered near where Sunday’s quake erupted.

  • Speaking of quakes, you may have read our roundup of quake-related material on the internet and clicked on a link to a YouTube video supposedly showing a couple young guys hanging out as the quake hit. There’s talk that the video may be fake, and some folks are giving it a closer look.

    Those vertical blinds: is the wind blowing them at the end of the video, the only time they move, or is that the quake? And why is the video so short when the quake lasted for longer than 30 seconds? You be the judge.

  • The Photo of the Day will have you seeing double. (By the way, check the wording on the USA Today newsbox: “Via Satellite.” That sounds about as current and relevant as saying “via telegraph and telephonic lines.”)
  • Catch up with last Friday’s edition of Fact Check TV, which examined claims about health care, test scores and more.

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T explains local earthquake dynamics. Who knew that areas around Mission Bay and Mission Valley shake more than, say, La Mesa?
  • It’s a neighborhood nightmare: the guy down the street who’s easily aggravated, seemingly dangerous and won’t go away. The U-T and NCT suggest this scenario may explain why a man apparently shot two of his neighbors to death on Sunday in a Poway cul-de-sac. Deputies shot and killed the man.
  • Also in the U-T: “The city of San Diego would close the Children’s Pool beach to the public between Dec. 15 and May 15 each year to protect seals during their pupping season and put up a rope barrier year-round under a proposal approved Monday by a City Council committee.”
  • An amateur moviemaker’s documentary about the 1978 PSA crash in North Park will make its premiere here this week, the U-T says. The article includes two of the many remarkable photos of the crash’s aftermath. San Diego Magazine published a detailed and thoughtful story about the crash in 1998.
  • The NCT reports that County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, who’s been under fire for taking gifts from arts groups that she’s given county money to, is no longer taking gifts.
  • Finally, Facebook says San Diego is one of its top 10 cities — clocking in at eighth — when it comes to the number of users. That’s not too surprising, considering that San Diego’s the nation’s ninth largest city. It looks like more than half of us are on Facebook.

    Feel free to friend us at our Facebook page, and we promise we’ll read every single one of your daily status updates, even the ones about that funny thing your cat just did. Because we’re just that into you.

— 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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