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Chula Vista seems to have more than its share of problems: The libraries are barely open. (Four hours on Saturday at the main one is all residents get on the weekend.) There seems to be just one tree maintenance worker for the city of about a quarter million and less than one graffiti guy (he does it just one day a week).
So it seems more than a bit odd that the city wants to take on a new $70 million job: dismantling a power plant and cleaning up the resulting mess full of potentially toxic gunk. Why wouldn’t it just let someone else do it?
Because, as investigative reporter Will Carless puts it, “done right, the project could land the city with a multimillion dollar windfall that it could then use to further pretty up the bay front and prepare it for potential developer suitors. Of course, done wrong, the deal could land Chula Vista in a whole pile of hurt.”
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Carless had some trouble reporting this story, thanks in part to city officials seem in the dark about how an apparent deal will work or even that one is in the works. But the dealmakers say there is a deal, and they’re waiting for the city to get with the program.
Sign Language for Your Tot
They’re not deaf, but thousands of San Diego babies aged 6 to 15 months have still learned sign language thanks to Joann Woolley, a local “mompreneur.” Her clients are parents who want their kids to develop a form of language early on and maybe even converse with their moms and dads.
In this week’s Q&A, Woolley tells us about the logistics (how do you sign with your own hands when they’re full?), the competition (programs that use invented hand gestures but not American Sign Language), and the compassion behind the communication (“What we all ultimately want in life is to be understood”).
Beach Blanket Binge Drinking
Who hates boozers on the beach? Everybody raise your hands! You too, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach. Anyone? Put your beer down and pay attention. Hello?
Voters in those neighborhoods were definitely in favor of allowing beach drinking. That’s the latest finding from San Diego Fact Check, which evidence supporting a claim that those neighborhoods overwhelming stood behind the legality of beach drinking in 2008 when the issue was on the ballot. La Jollans, however, mostly wanted the boozers to take a hike.
Teachers, DeMaio and More Lewd-Weatherman Humor
The latest edition of Voices, a compilation of commentary across the San Diego landscape, finds opinions about teacher pay (a suggested $100,000 each), a councilman (uncompromising), a disgraced local TV weatherman (still titter-worthy) and Planned Parenthood’s unfortunate run-in (with a phony pimp and prostitute).
Not all commenters are gracious and charitable. How did we get to a place where trolls get to spread bile via the internet? I ponder a link to talk radio in a column for the North County Times. Can the online world can make a stand for civility and declare a moratorium on snarky jokes about that weatherman? (Psst! If you’ve got a really good one, you know how to reach me.)
What We Learned This Week:
• Not So Blighty
Walk around Liberty Station, the sparkling new complex in Point Loma that replaced the Naval Training Center, and it may take a while to find anything ramshackle and run-down (unless I’m bringing down the property values by making a visit). Even so, it may get tens of millions of dollars earmarked for urban renewal, including lots of money to fix historic buildings.
Really? Is it still a mess in need of fixing? This is another twist in redevelopment’s ongoing fight for its life, a battle that features local city officials (they’re appealing to advocates for the poor), their compromise plan (possibly dead on arrival at the governor’s office) and the governor’s own now-detailed plan.
• Hurry Up and Wait, Artist!
Some of us can’t bear to have a great idea and then sit on it for more than, I don’t know, 3.5 seconds. Consider the plight of artists who work on public art projects: They may have a great project proposal and then wait years for it to reach reality. The artists behind the public art planned for the downtown library know this all too well.
The Coffee Collection (engaging stories to savor over a cup of herbal tea)
• The King of Hoards The city’s spent years been trying to get a homeowner in the Mount Hope to clean up his mammoth collection of junk. Finally, a judge said go ahead: take it all away. We were on hand to find the personal story behind the eyesore.
• Can It Cut the Mustard? A San Diego charter school doesn’t think it’s done a poor job, but it doesn’t really matter: it got a huge influx of federal money anyway. Is it making a difference?
Quote of the Week:
“… City facilities including parks, recreation centers, libraries, fire stations, police stations, lifeguard stations, etc.” — places in San Diego that might have their naming rights sold, according to a city “request for information” noticed by the Reader.