The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Last week, readers were appalled that a Hillcrest man decided to fix a pothole in front of his house when he couldn’t get the city to do it. It was, some thought, just another example of city services that have gone to pot.
But was it really? Did the city actually botch things? A postmortem reveals that its computer system certainly didn’t help matters, and no one followed up when the man’s request for a repair turned out to be problematic.
In Other News:
• The mayor says San Diego has made it much easier for small businesses to bid for construction contracts. San Diego Fact Check analyzes the claim and declares it to be true.
• State wiretapping appears to allow people to videotape goings-on at airports, and the Transportation Security Administration definitely does. But Lindbergh Field itself does not, as a passenger discovered Friday in yet another nationally publicized incident. An open-government advocate told us that the policy seems to be illegal. Now there’s another twist: Yesterday, an airport spokeswoman told the media via email that the airport is reviewing its policy. No further details were available.
• Gas-powered bicycles have inspired our editorial cartoonist Ashley Pingree Lewis to imagine the next generation of fossil-fuel-fueled devices.
• What should a newcomer read to catch up on the spirit of San Diego? Our readers recommended a bunch of books from the past 60 years to our engagement editor Grant Barrett, ranging from novels to a biography of garden guru Kate Sessions (who’s said to have been quite a piece of work) and Under the Perfect Sun, an expose of our corrupt history (from the perspective of the left) that’s not universally appreciated.
There are many more books about San Diego, both novels (including a number of mysteries) and non-fiction books. Let us know about your favorites. (I’m a big fan of the wry 1930s bestseller I Cover the Waterfront, by a young San Diego reporter, and fawned over it earlier this year.)
• Real-estate and economy columnist Rich Toscano has bubbles in — er, on — the brain. He says San Diego employment increased in October, but this may be more due to seasonal effects than actual strength in the job market. The good news is that the crucial “non-bubble” portion of the economy appears to be on the mend.
• Correction: Yesterday’s Morning Report incorrectly stated that a judge created an agreement that allows police to cite homeless people for sleeping in public if there’s shelter room available. Actually, attorneys came up with the agreement.
• The county says the percentage of all eligible people who are enrolled in its food stamp program has grown from below 30 percent to about 40 percent, and about 10,000 people are applying for food stamps a month. That’s up from 4,000 in the days before the economy sputtered, KPBS reports.
But the county is still behind Imperial County, which is next door: it provides food stamps to almost 60 percent of eligible people. For background on gaps in San Diego County’s safety net for the poor, check our investigative series.
• Tony Young is likely to be the next president of the City Council. (KPBS)
• Current City Council President Ben Hueso is trying to rush a quick appointment of a new San Diego Unified Port Commissioner one week before he leaves office, much to the dislike of some fellow members of the council. (U-T)
• Oopsy-daisy: an attorney who’s represented East County’s Grossmont hospital district since 1992 says he made a mistake by advising its board to hold a closed-door meeting to discuss a board member’s attempt to unresign. An open-government organization made a stink, and the attorney now says he won’t charge the district (at $160 an hour) for dealing with the group’s complaints. The board president says she supports the attorney. (Patch.com)
• Somebody dumped a 32-inch shark, possibly from the waters off San Diego, into a canal in Yuma. (I’ll stand by while you process that.) There’s no explanation.
• Finally, a resident brought a suspicious package to the Escondido Police Department yesterday, the NCT reports, and left it in his car outside. Cops evacuated the lobby, closed the parking lot and called for assistance. The package turned out to be a can of salmon.
It’s definitely time to ban this guy from the Fish of the Month Club.