The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
You might never have heard of Earl Jentz. Don’t feel bad.
Even if you have heard of Earl Jentz, you might not know what to think of him. You’re not alone.
Jentz has become an absolute force in the rough and tumble world of Chula Vista politics, injecting loads of money into ballot propositions (such as the one that gave the South Bay city an elected city attorney) and candidates (such as failed mayoral aspirant Steve Castaneda).
Republican Mayor Cheryl Cox has called his spending unconscionable. But those on the other side aren’t really sure what to make of him either. Scott Lewis explores the motivations and influence of the South Bay enigma.
• Lewis clearly had a long flight to the East Coast because he’s been prolific this week. He also explained why it’s important to talk about the schoobrary’s $32.5 million gap.
And political reporter Liam Dillon got involved, too, breaking down the vital numbers to follow in the schoobrary story and showing a few of the ways the city managed to keep the price tag under $185 million. (One helpful guide: It’s called “value engineering,” which is a more distinguished way of saying “cheaper materials.”) The story contained this telling quote:
“All the components that were in the original package are still there, they’re just different.”
• The latest round of Union-Tribune newsroom layoffs includes plenty of familiar bylines, including columnist Ruben Navarrette and reporters Jeff Ristine, Anne Krueger and Leslie Berestein.
What makes this round different? This is the first one done under new Editor Jeff Light. He offered up his vision for the future in this editor’s note in the paper.
• Fred West is getting a divorce — from his house.
West is underwater and walking away, and we’re telling his story as he goes through it.
• City Councilman Carl DeMaio is rarely silent.
But it’s all crickets on the question of whether his new ballot initiative repeals the city’s five-year-old living wage ordinance, which requires city contractors to pay above a certain wage.
Nearly everyone else who’s looked at the measure thinks it does.
The councilman wasn’t quiet yesterday overall though. DeMaio and City Councilwoman Marti Emerald had a legendary throw down on KPBS’ These Days.
• Rich Toscano is back with a new graph. The verdict: Foreclosures are still piling up.
• The county pension system’s attempts to create a nonprofit and avoid salary caps for its investment employees faces two big hurdles.
• Medical marijuana advocates are complaining about a proposed fee of up to $20,000 the county of San Diego may levy on dispensaries in addition to what the North County Times is describing today as a “lengthy list of requirements that include disclosing the addresses of pot providers.”
Check out our San Diego Explained video for the lowdown on the whole medical marijuana conundrum.
• Former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre had some success suing former advisors and lawyers who worked with the city and its pension system, but the U-T reminds us today he failed in his attempt to roll back hundreds of millions of dollars worth of benefit enhancements for city workers. The paper writes that, on the contrary, a different approach from current City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has had more success though modest. But will it stick?
The U-T is also reporting that SDG&E still plans to cut power to backcountry residents and businesses if winds pick up during fire season.
• First the Copley family sold its smaller newspapers. Then they sold the flagship, the Union-Tribune.
Now, the storied Copley collection of historical Americana artifacts is on the block.
Some of the highlights: An early edition of the Declaration of Independence, an unfinished Mark Twain manuscript and the very chair where Abraham Lincoln sat as he learned he would be president.
Historical pieces of Americana, indeed.
In related news, my family’s collection of velvet Elvis paintings and rusty tin Coca Cola signs have just been sold to TJI Friday’s.
— ANDREW DONOHUE