When it comes to running the city, one might assume that the City Council wouldn’t just be in the loop, it would be the loop. That would be a bad assumption, as the council learned last month when the city’s downtown redevelopment agency worked out a deal with the state to sequester property tax money. The council had no idea what was going on.
The City Council, which thinks the agency went rogue, spent Monday trying to figure out what it didn’t know and when it didn’t know it. There was plenty of bipartisan agency-slamming and talk about whether the agency’s head deserves to keep his job. It’s a rather moot point: he’s leaving.
In Other News:
• City Council President Ben Hueso has just a month left on the job before he leaves to become a state legislator. But his office still has work to do, it seems, and he thinks three former campaign workers — who worked or volunteered for him or his brother — are just the people to do it. He’s hired each of them.
A spokeswoman for Ben Hueso says there’s work to be done — “high-priority, time-sensitive work,” including archiving. (That’s not normally a high-priority, time-sensitive work in my own office, but then I’m not leaving either.)
• We like to earn your support by making a difference, and it looks like we may have done just that. In the wake of our story last week, a city councilman and local nonprofit advocates are pushing for ways to help a group of Cambodian refugees who were recently evicted from their community farm on city-owned land in southeastern San Diego after 26 years. “My community is good-food-poor,” said City Councilman Tony Young, referring to how it’s hard for some residents to find healthy food. “We might as well let residents take it into their own hands.”
• The city’s curbside recycling bins are finally going to get some culture: At long last, they’ll accept plastic yogurt containers. And that’s not all: they’ll also take cottage cheese containers, plastic crates, plastic kitty litter containers and berry baskets. Plus: Lawn chairs! Although it’ll take some creativity to fit one into a recycling bin.
• Our backstage spy, the man who’s returned to play the Grinch at the Old Globe, offers more thoughts about how things are going. The best part of this post is the photo of the actor with Grinchian gloves on.
• We’ve posted images of the conversation we hosted last week between two stars of the local technology world — Qualcomm co-founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs and entrepreneur Bill Stensrud. We’ll post video soon.
• Our CEO and columnist Scott Lewis takes a look at the comments he’s received since his weekend column examining the tangled finances revolving around the Convention Center’s expansion. He also mocked the center’s newly released plans to create a rooftop park by calling it the “Chia Center.” Maybe he’s just jealous that it won’t be bare on top?
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• The latest edition of Fact Check TV looks at welfare fraud (it’s not as common as was reported) and where vehicles are most likely to be stolen in the city (look south). We also examine Councilman Ben Hueso’s Fact Check track record (not the best).
• Chargers owner owner Alex Spanos has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to sell a minority stake in the team, according to a news report. We summarize the news and provide some extra context.
• Finally, an Oceanside man’s standoff with San Diego airport security staffers last weekend is still in the news: the TSA is investigating, and he may face a big fat fine for refusing both a security body scan and a patdown. In a piece from public radio’s “Marketplace,” you can hear him talking to a security employee: “I don’t understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.”
I had a patdown myself at the airport a couple weeks ago after I accidentally went through the body scanner without holding my wallet in the air, as required, in a “stick-up” pose. A polite TSA staffer told me he’d pat down my “buttocks” — what, no dinner first? — and offered me the option of going to a private area. I declined.
Nate Silver, a well-known blogger about political polls, says his experience with a body scanner and patdown at the San Diego airport was somewhat more aggravating, and he notices a new poll saying 81 percent of Americans surveyed like the body scanners.
Meanwhile, AOL News thinks the refusenik’s “Don’t touch my junk” line will become a top 21st century catchphrase, ranking up there with “Don’t taze me, bro!” and “Imma let you finish…”
If you’re not up to date on current vernacular, suffice it to say that “junk” in this context doesn’t refer to trash or, for that matter, any junk in anyone’s trunk. And that’s all Imma gonna tell you.