The San Diego leaders fighting Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to kill redevelopment have a simple, digestible argument: Sacramento should get its grubby hands off of our local money and solve its own problems.
Looks like Brown, though, might have just one-upped them.
He’s framing the debate in a different way: His plan takes $1 billion away from redevelopment and gives it to the state’s ailing schools. Scott Lewis takes that a step further and shows how education was originally supposed to be the very check and balance against redevelopment abuse, but Prop. 13 did away with that.
People like Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Kevin Faulconer have big dreams for San Diego’s redevelopment money — things like Convention Center expansions and football stadiums — and are fighting hard against the governor.
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“But Brown has now illustrated better than ever before that the money for these dreams comes from education more than anything,” Lewis writes. “The state will continue to plow money into education but it’s time for downtown and other redevelopment areas to do their part.”
And the Blight Beat Goes On
• Faulconer got six of his colleagues to join him in waving their fists at the governor on Monday night, though they have yet to engage in the last-second redevelopment binges that other cities have enjoyed.
• Our Liam Dillon, meanwhile, is waving his fist right back at the city’s downtown redevelopment agency. He’s begun our latest public records battle — Blight Watch.
That agency, the Centre City Development Corp., has refused to turn over documents that go to the very core of the agency’s continued existence. Agencies have 10 days to turn over documents after a public records request except in extraordinary circumstances. It’s been than seven weeks and all we’re hearing is that “it’s complicated.”
We’ll be dialing up the pressure this week to ensure that the public records do indeed become public.
• There’s another aspect of redevelopment suddenly getting attention now that it’s in jeopardy: affordable housing.
One CCDC official recently made the bold claim that his agency had created more affordable housing units than all of Los Angeles’ redevelopment areas combined. We fact checked it and here’s what we found: A big fat “false.”
Decision Time at Juarez Elementary
Teachers, parents and the principal sat down on Friday morning at Serra Mesa’s Juarez Elementary to make a decision: Let one of their 10 teachers go or do away with special small group sessions credited with boosting the school’s test scores.
It’s one of the many agonizing decisions being made district-wide as schools deal with the new budgeting freedom (and burden) handed to them by the school board.
In the end, Juarez is like family, they decided. So they’ll keep the teacher and hope they can find more money later for the hourly classes. Education reporter Emily Alpert has been following Juarez as it manages these decisions. This was her final installment for now, but she plans on following up with the school throughout the year.
• Also in education: San Diego Unified staff want eight of the 11 watchdogs for its $2.1 billion bond to come from specific groups, such as the builders and Chamber of Commerce. Currently the watchdogs are just chosen based on their specialties.
Water Rates Shoot Up, Again
Yesterday the City Council raised water rates by 6.4 percent, marking a 67 percent jump since 2007. Monday’s increase pencils out to a $4.33 jump for the average residential user. (Union-Tribune)
More Music on the Brain
• We’re having a great time pulling on this string about music and the brain. The latest: full video from a jam-packed event with three leading researchers about how the mind processes beat.
• Arts editor Kelly Bennett also looks at orchestra’s attempts to stay relevant to a changing audience, highlighting a groundbreaking new Frank Gehry concert hall in Miami and exploring UCSD’s own Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.
When We Mess Up
We have a new corrections page containing our most recent stories that have been corrected or clarified, as I note in a new blog post. We hope it gives you another outlet to know when a story has changed. We also make a note of all corrections in our @voiceofsandiego Twitter account and from our individual reporter’s accounts.
A Sensitive Car of the Future
The University of California, San Diego is teaming with carmaker Audi to work on the car of the future, one that parses “large amounts of real-time data coming from the driver and the urban surroundings to plan smarter trips,” says The New York Times’ car blog Wheels.
“Understanding the driver’s habits and patterns will also ensure better prediction technology. Researchers at U.C. San Diego are working on systems that would help a car study its driver’s habits through a system of onboard sensors and cameras … The goal is to get the car to adapt to the driver, whereas today, it’s the other way around.”
How those sensors will adapt to an overabundance of middle finger?