Before we get to the usual Morning Report goodness, two event reminders:
VOSD engagement editor Grant Barrett will be live-tweeting from the Move San Diego, “Measuring Sustainable Communities” breakfast and open forum this morning, starting at 8 a.m. Watch the tweets unspool here as experts discuss SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan and how to make $110 billion in transportation investments over the next 40 years.
This afternoon, VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will moderate a forum on redevelopment hosted by the South County Economic Development Council. Experts and interested parties on all sides will discuss the effects Gov. Jerry Brown’s redevelopment cuts would have on South San Diego’s cities, business community and job market, as well as possible solutions to the State budget crisis.
On with the report!
A charter school in San Diego’s Stockton neighborhood got a bad rap — one it says wasn’t deserved — as being a pretty poor place to get an education. Instead of pulling money out of it, however, the federal government more than doubled its annual budget.
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How has it been working out? Education reporter Emily Alpert went to find out, noting that the stakes are high. The influx of money is a high-profile test of how the Obama Administration approaches education reform.
As she reports, “the school has become a flashpoint in the debate over how California handled the federal money, from how it decided which schools were failing to how it divvied up the cash. And that will make its quest all the more closely watched.”
Now We Know
The governor has finally said exactly what he means regarding his plan to kill redevelopment in the state. Now the big question is: Can the city still go ahead with plans to slip through a loophole and allocate as much as $4 billion to future projects? We look for an answer. Also, we’ve got more details about a compromise plan that cities might float.
Giving New Meaning to ‘Your Local Library’
You know how rich people like to give scads of money to universities so they can admire a Thromington and Vernelda Pecklewalker III Memorial Administration Building or whatever? Now you may get a chance to get in on the money-for-naming-rights game, courtesy of the city of San Diego.
The Reader reports that the city has released a “request for information” regarding the purchase of “marketing and advertising rights,” including “naming rights at City facilities including parks, recreation centers, libraries, fire stations, police stations, lifeguard stations, etc.” The city may even send email newsletters with “promotional information” to 90,000-odd businesses (including self-employed folks) in the city.
An email newsletter with occasional advertisements in it? Why that’s absolutely ridi… Oh, wait. Um, that’s totally okay!
Smoke ’Em If You Bought ’Em
CityBeat finds that the county Republican party spent $800 on stogies last May.
Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
The city of Chula Vista is holding onto hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility tax revenue because it thinks it may be sued and have to give the money back. Yet people are still paying the taxes, as we reported last week. Investigative reporter Will Carless is still poking around with this question on his mind: Who, exactly, might sue? Not he, says a local taxpayer advocate, and an attorney says a class-action suit might be worth too little to pursue.
Cheaper Is More Expensive
Our real-estate guru and resident number-juggler Rich Toscano finds that local home prices dipped in December, but cheaper homes (the ones most likely to get askance glances from him) actually rose in value.
As mentioned above, Move San Diego is holding a forum today to discuss the future of transit in San Diego and figuring out how $110 billion should be spent over the next 40 years. To lead into the meeting, we’ve posted three commentaries about transit and transportation.
De-Exclamation-Pointed for Your Protection
Grant Barrett, our engagement editor, is back with another edition of Voices, our compilation of San Diego-related opinions from hither and, if we’re feeling especially ambitious, yon.
He helpfully dampens down the exclamation points and all-caps screaming to make comments about high-speed rail and more readable. Other topics include a proposed downtown stadium, medi-pot, neighborhood upkeep (one of our commentators keeps insisting that it’s becoming your job, not the city’s), gas prices and a confab between the mayor and the Chargers owner. The latter prompted a long U-T story that explained no one knows what they’ll talk about or what the not-so-unusual meeting — it might be the fifth in five years — actually means, although “these meetings usually mean something significant.”
Sounds like it’s time for the U-T to call a psychic.
The Non-1980s Kind of White Stuff
How uncommon is snow here? Well, a search on Google Books finds that a few authors have turned to phrases along the lines of “that’s about as likely as snow in San Diego.” (One book even said a baseball opening game “was as unpredictable as snowfall in San Diego,” whatever that means.)
But little white flakes do fall from the sky here on occasion, and not just because a tall guy with dandruff is walking by. In honor of this weekend’s chilly storm, which is expected to dip the snow level to 1,000 feet, I’m writing a story about the history of snowfall here. And by “here,” I mean local places where you don’t expect snow, like the beach and coastal areas.
Do you have memories of San Diego snow days, like the famous Dec. 13, 1967? How about photos? If so, drop me a line.
San Diegans have been through more than a few big store liquidations and closures. (Remember Crown Books? Gemco? FedMart?) Now it’s time for Borders fans to get discounts. Two local stores are closing in downtown and El Cajon. Consumerist reports that Borders stores nationally are getting mobbed (including ones that aren’t closing, due to confusion about whether they are), and some customers are going bonkers: at one location, “customers were fighting over books, literally throwing them.”
I’m ready to jump into the melee. Step away from the “Jane Eyre,” madam. Mine mine mine!