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Another roundup of commentary and opinion from the San Diego-ish Internet:
• Thomas Sowell writes at Real Clear Politics that bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka make a lot more sense than ones between between San Francisco and Los Angeles because the Japanese cities have millions more people.
“‘High-speed rail,’” he says, “is simply another set of lofty words to justify continued expansion of government spending. So are words like ‘investment in education’ or ‘investment’ in any number of other things, which serve the same political purpose.”
Rep. Darrell Issa apparently agrees, remarking alongside his Facebook link to Sowell’s piece, “They didn’t call it the billion dollar boondoggle for nothing.” (I changed that from all uppercase to stop the screaming).
In response, someone with the dubious name of “Eye Gee” (apparently a Stooges fan), responded to Issa: “CALIFORNIA DOES NOT FEAR THE FUTURE and the future is high speed rail! We need it, for jobs, to develop our Central Valley, and when was the last time you drove up the I-5, Rep. Issa??? It’s a NIGHTMARE — too many cars!” (I removed some exclamation marks so that nobody loses an eye).
• The Union-Tribune reported that Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers president Dean Spanos would meet to discuss — What? A new stadium? Open-ended trips to the City of Angels? How to drain a riparian backfield? Well, we can only guess, really. U-T reporter Matt Hall had a dickens of a time trying to get folks to talk. Emailing back-and-forth with Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani and mayoral spokesman Darren Pudgil looks like it was as much fun as a tonsillectomy.
We posted a link to that on our Facebook page, to which someone from Historic Barrio District Promotions remarked, “Not that Mayor Sanders thinks we have an opinion, but East of PETCO Park is too close to our neighborhoods. We don’t want to become downtown’s overflow parking. Let’s keep the Chargers, but put them somewhere else. It’s our turn to say, ‘Not in Our Back Yard.’”
Fabiani, by the way, told the L.A. Times that “elimination of the city’s redevelopment agency would ‘make the downtown San Diego stadium idea nearly impossible to implement.’”
L.A. Times reader “baseballbuff” finds it curious that San Diego seems to need so much stadium help when LA doesn’t. “If you look at the stadium proposal in L.A., which would be far more lucrative than a stadium in San Diego, the city is not contributing a large sum of money, except through bonds which would be paid back. So why should anyone expect the city of San Diego to pay for a stadium that would generate less revenue than one being privately built in L.A?”
On our Facebook page, Colleen Garton put her stadium preferences in stark terms: “Let’s kill redevelopment and focus on essential services and paying off some debts. Our city is bankrupt and the state is in just as much trouble. How much higher do people want their taxes to go to pay for all this?”
• “If you want to protect or enhance your neighborhood, you need to do it,” writes voiceofsandiego.org CEO Scott Lewis. “Voters have regularly approved new fees for what are basically mini-governments: associations called maintenance assessment and business improvement districts. They collect fees from property owners and businesses and use them for what increasingly look like services a city might normally provide.”
Reader Sean Crotty says “The problem with ‘self-help’ service provision is that it typically exacerbates inequality in the city because those areas that need the greatest help are least capable of providing it. It also represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between city governments and their constituents. This change has troubling implications for the democratic process as well.”
• SanDiego.com relays that Montana may be the first state to reverse its medical marijuana law and suggests San Diego, a “large medical marijuana community,” will be watching closely. To which Melissa Barnes replies, “I never knew there were so many twenty year olds with glaucoma! Just legalize it!” One poll — take it with a grain of salt (don’t smoke it) — says that Montanans oppose the repeal, but the Montana House approved repeal of the law just a few days ago.
• No, you can’t “unlike” rising gas prices on Facebook. And watch your spellchecker, lest “White House” be turned into “whorehouse,” as it did for Cara Kelley.