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The neighborhood around Market and Euclid is five miles east of downtown and even more distant from prosperity.
This is a place where poverty is high and the daily struggles of life are in plain view. Now, a nonprofit group wants to develop a village worth $500 million, a showplace for urban renewal. An arm of the Jacobs Family Foundation has already bought 52 acres of land and plans to build 1,000 homes.
Lots of locals think the project is great, but not everybody. Some have grown suspicious of the organization’s ever-expanding role and collection of property that has made it such an influential player in the community’s future.
In other news:
• A city ethics panel has proposed a $25,000 fine for Nancy Graham, the city’s former downtown redevelopment chief. She’d faced a maximum $170,000 fine in regard to conflicts of interest.
After her resignation, two major projects went bye-bye. But the panel said it “does not intend to hold her fully responsible” for everything that “befell” the city and the agency when she was around.
• In City Hall Crisis news: The city attorney says it will be mighty complicated to (legally) create a ballot measure that would ask voters to boost their sales taxes in return for financial reform at City Hall
• Also: Councilmembers Donna Frye and Todd Gloria have released their proposed language for a ballot measure. Our post slings some lingo that’s been floating around, including “Reform Before Revenue” (catchy-ish!) and “Dash for Cash Sales Tax Hike” (decidedly non-catchy).
In a related story: I ran into a panhandler at Starbucks in Hillcrest yesterday. He asked for $3 to ride the bus. I gave him $2. He insisted on $3. I gave him another $1. With his powers of successful insistence, he should work for the sales tax campaign (or against it).
• We’ll be covering today’s City Council meeting about the ballot mesaure live via Twitter.
• In education, the San Diego school board deadlocked on whether to cut $917,000 by laying off employees who aren’t teachers. The decision could spell trouble for both the district’s budget and its credit rating.
• How many resources would a resource-hog hog if a resource-hog would hog resources?
In this case, a “resource hog” is a homeless person. In some cases, a single transient can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for medical care and other public services.
A local homeless advocate says transients can cost taxpayers $150,000-$450,000 a year, raising the obvious question: wouldn’t it be cheaper to house them and give them regular care?
But is this number correct? We’ve run it through the fact-check-erizer and have a verdict.
• Spare or strike or gutter ball? The best of our Photos of the Day is one of those: decide for yourself. Meanwhile: where’s my athlete’s foot spray?
• Farmers are worried that a possible countywide quarantine on agricultural products is in the works after the discovery of an “invasive moth” near Balboa Park. If that happens, it would be hassle for farmers to get permission to distribute produce they’ve grown. And it could be illegal for ordinary citizens to remove certain fruits and vegetables (or even grass cuttings) from their yards, the U-T says.
• The giant proposal to remake the bayfront is back, this time with more park space. The previous proposal got rejected by state coastal officials, who will take a crack at the new plan. (U-T)
• There’s been a lot of chatter about how the sacking of a single U-T writer supposedly dealt a deadly blow to local arts coverage. Arts writers like CityBeat’s Kinsee Morlan disagree with this view. She posted this: “arts coverage, at least in this city, seems to be doing just fine. For now.”
She also reports some news: The U-T is trying to improve its arts coverage through arts bloggers and partnerships with other media.
• Speaking of this topic, our newly appointed arts editor is soliciting names for her new blog about all things art-y. The best suggestion so far came via Twitter: “Who Arted?”
Immature people — well, OK, an immature person — thought that was hilarious and offered a bribe to the arts editor to actually use the name. As is her wont, she rejected my request. (No wonder. You offered pocket change and the courtesy mints you scooped up in a hotel lobby. —Ed.)
Do you have any ideas about a snappy blog title? Send them along. Heck, we could always call it “Artsy F…” Oh never mind.