The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
The downtown schoobrary project — a new central library-charter school combo — continues to move toward a final decision on its fate later this month. But in another sense it’s stuck in neutral: more than $32 million of its $185 million construction budget hasn’t materialized.
The mayor’s office and donors say taxpayers won’t be on the hook for it. But as we report, there are still no binding promises for anyone else to provide the funding.
How much is $32 million in the city’s budget? It’s a small chunk overall, but it equals the entire library budget for a year.
It would, of course, be an ultimate irony if building a new central library meant the city has to cut back even more on the library system’s budget. Already, the existing downtown library is closed on Saturdays, and most branches are open few hours each week.
In other news:
• Drum roll please. And the three finalists for San Diego schools superintendent are. . . um, please stand by. Your interest in the superintendent-hiring process is very important to us. For now, enjoy this musical selection until we have some news to tell you. . .
Wait, wasn’t the district supposed to hold a press conference last night to announce the names? Yes it was. And a public forum is scheduled for Thursday when they’ll be interviewed in public.
But the board decided to sleep on it until a now-rescheduled announcement tonight.
• We’ve got redevelopment news: “The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that could redraw the boundaries of its redevelopment efforts in southeastern San Diego and dramatically change how its redevelopment arm there can spend money in its blighted areas with the goal of increasing the organization’s heft.”
• More than 200 entries later, we’ve chosen the winners in voiceofsandiego.org’s second annual essay contest for local high school students.
Amy Cao, an 11th grader at La Jolla High School, was the winner and gets a $2,500 scholarship. You’ll be able to see the winning essay on Friday after we publish essays by the runners-up.
• You may have heard of the Doomsday Clock, which says how close the world is to midnight — disaster (and not just the nuclear kind). There are also a few Deficit Clocks around that show the size of the nation’s debt.
Now there’s a new clock on the scene, created by Councilman Carl DeMaio. It claims to show how much savings the city is losing by failing to fully implement managed competition.
DeMaio, who’s been touting the clock on TV, says his savings estimate is conservative. But our Fact Check analysis suggests that the clock’s accuracy is reality-challenged.
• Hazardous waste is supposed to go to special landfills and other places that can handle it. But as we reported earlier, a housing agency hasn’t been requiring contractors to confirm where they’ve dumped lead-contaminated debris. They just sent it to the Miramar Landfill.
As we report in a new post, that’s changed.
• Got a filthy neighbor next door? (Don’t look at me. I’m removing those rusted cars and ratty couches on the front lawn any day now.)
It may seem like there’s not much you can do, as we explained in a series of stories about a partially finished home in Point Loma that’s long been stuck in limbo.
Well guess what: The city won’t always stand by. San Diego, in fact, has gone after the owners of a rat-infested and debris-encrusted Encanto home. They’re facing jail and big fines.
Neighbors only had to wait for about four years.
• The earth shook our booties (and other things) the other night, inspiring us to dig into our archives. In one of our most popular San Diego Explained videos, we broke down where the local faults were and what San Diego can expect over the next few hundred years. The seismologist interviewed in the piece had sat down with us for a more extensive interview, and we explored the long (but not very deadly) history of local quakes.
If you’d like even more, U-T quizzed a local seismologist about Monday’s earthquake.
• The People’s Post has some interesting thoughts for the morning. Earlier in the week, we explained the frustrations some in Southeastern San Diego are expressing about the Coalition for Neighborhood Councils. Barry Pollard, who ran for San Diego City Council and forced sitting City Councilman Tony Young to work a bit, has some thoughts about the organization and he added a long comment on the story as well.
Elsewhere in the People’s Post: Bob Stein says a recent story about Mira Mesa’s shopping cart conundrum presented “a stimulating mixture of what makes San Diego tick.” And he offers a solution. Dylan Mann has some observations about the need for San Diego kids to get some swimming lessons. Don Wood, who’s part of a group of activists suing the port and working for a different vision of the North Embarcadero, has a report from what some had hoped would be the first of a meeting of the minds on the dilemma. And Maria Quehenberger read this story about John Gardner’s attack of a jogger — and why it was determined to be a robbery instead of an attempted rape — and offered some tips on how to stay safe if you’re a runner.
The People’s Post is a work in progress. We’ll talk more about it as we work out the kinks. If you’d like to submit a piece, simply log in at the top left of any page on our site and submit a post. Contact Summer Polacek if you’d like to start a blog.
• The Photos of the Day catch some of the sights around City Hall. You’ve never seen a parking garage look so good.
• The U-T checks in on why two councilmen were absent during Monday’s big budget vote. One called in sick and the other called in vacation.
In another City Hall story, the U-T says auditor Eduardo Luna — whose job is to oversee finances — was “horrified” to find out that he didn’t take part of a required pay cut and will return the money.
• CityBeat looks at a possible November’s ballot measure to throw out a living wage ordinance (the city would be the largest to do so), a former gang member who tries to scare others through videos on YouTube (he’s quitting) and hopes for more Asian-American influence in city politics (growing).
• Finally, CBS8 takes a look at how the San Diego County Fair plans to cope if a big earthquake hit. (This is the event formerly known as the Del Mar Fair. People will keep calling it that for the next 50 years or so.)
There are more immediate hazards to one’s health, as this NCT story explains. (Fans of the TV show “Arrested Development”: note the alleged name of the worker who’s quoted.)
The Heart Attack Café — there’s some truth in advertising for you — is offering its usual fare of chocolate-covered bacon plus “a deep-fried butter dish.” But not everything works: a meat-flavored shake didn’t go over well in the past.
It’s nice to know that fairgoers have their limits. Let’s hope their belts don’t.
Correction: The original version of this post confused outsourcing with managed competition. Hopefully that doesn’t happen a lot this fall. We regret the error.