Should law be patched together in the middle of the night when hardly anyone is watching? Sacramento seems to think so: in a last-minute move that sent local eyebrows skyward, the state legislature slipped a bill into budget negotiations Thursday night that would pave the way for San Diego’s downtown redevelopment agency to more easily pay to build a downtown football stadium.
This is hardly a case of simple bureaucracy at work. As we report, the mayor’s promised “transparent process” over this issue is now history, and the effect of the deal on the city’s day-to-day budget is unknown, just as voters begin considering boosting their sales taxes to bail out the city. On top of all that, “the deal was done in stunning secrecy.”
The assemblyman who spearheaded the deal defends his move, saying it’s a big job creator, but acknowledges that the county wasn’t thrilled about the idea. County supervisors issued statements, with one saying the deal could actually spell trouble for the stadium.
Also: the city attorney says a public vote on the stadium won’t be necessary if only redevelopment funds are used to build it. The city’s head of redevelopment says this deal will save the city money.
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In Other News:
• The message of the hospice movement is a simple one: Death need not be painful to your mind or your body. It’s a challenge to the traditional way of looking at medical care at the end of life, which is often focused purely on survival.
In this week’s Q&A feature, we hear from a local hospice leader about dying and the challenges facing the terminally ill. While the process can be tough, especially dealing with spiritual pain, he says many patients find their final days to be the most rewarding of their lives.
• A man opened fire at Carlsbad’s Kelly Elementary School, and two second-grade girls suffered minor injuries when they were grazed by bullets.
The suspected shooter, who apparently could have caused extensive destruction, is in custody. A neighbor and construction workers captured him, the NCT and U-T report, with one driving his truck into the suspect. A trail of blood led the principal and a neighbor to the victims.
• Bizarre Event of the Week Alertapp: Today, porn star Ron Jeremy — yes, that Ron Jeremy — will face off against an anti-porn preacher in a debate at The Rock Church in Point Loma. This isn’t new: the two have a “well-oiled traveling show,” reports KPBS in a story featuring not-so-sly references to the porn business.
Not-so-sly references in a story? Hey, that’s my job!
What We Learned This Week:
• D Is for (Some) Delighted Biz Folks: Prop. D got a boost — a big endorsement from a local chamber of commerce — after the City Council made a promise (non-binding, mind you) to find more ways to save money.
The business community as a whole is still divided, however, with some mightily opposed. Meanwhile, we examined the financial reform plans — such as they are — of Prop. D foes.
• His Name Is … Making the News: Local businessman Vince Mudd helped draft a financial recovery plan that the City Council loved. Who is this guy?
The Coffee Collection (engaging stories to read over a cup of coffee with just a hint of coconut syrup):
• Data Overload: A few weeks ago, the LA Times freaked out teachers by rating their performance. Could that happen here?
We look at the roiling debate over using data to figure out whether individual teachers are doing a good job and check on what San Diego schools are doing with the numbers.
• Pretty Tricky: Back in 1972, San Diego hoped for a big moment in the national spotlight: its very own GOP national convention. But a White House bribery scandal unleashed a flood of bad publicity, not to mention an assassination plot (for real). The convention went bye-bye. A author of a new book explains what went wrong.
If you’d like to read more about President Nixon’s war with a muckraking newspaper columnist, The Christian Science Monitor has printed other excerpts of my interview with the author.
Quote of the Week: “They dumped San Diego just to avoid the stigma of scandal.” — author Mark Feldstein on the GOP and the scandal that cost San Diego the 1972 GOP convention.