The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
Feast on details of the upcoming concert by Cheryl Seppala, who started playing the organ in the 1960s when she was only 7. Organs — the kind that you play in a church or even a movie theater — have gone out of style, she acknowledges.
But she hasn’t given up on the business, even though the number of organ stores on El Cajon Boulevard has dwindled from five to the one that she co-owns. She and her husband will give a performance this weekend. (They’re the ones who used to play at a restaurant called Organ Power Pizza.)
Balboa Park’s Car-Happy Plaza
A goal of the folks who want to remodel Balboa Park is to push cars out of the Plaza de Panama. Supporters say as many as 7,000 cars drive through the plaza each day, and San Diego Fact Check finds the claim is true.
You might know the plaza better as the place between the Museum of Art and the Organ Pavilion where you can hardly ever find parking.
For now, though, the plan seems to be back at the drawing board stage. Irwin Jacobs, a major force behind the current park remodeling plan, suspended his efforts earlier this week after a City Council committee expressed skepticism about it.
To see what the plaza used to look like before it went car-crazy, check this history flashback from our archives.
• City Council President Tony Young revived talk of a huge new municipal building, though the $293.5 million, 19-story city hall previously failed to happen. The Navy and a development corporation are being floated as possible tenants. Young is still trying to figure out if the new ideas “pencil out.” (U-T)
• A labor union was fined by San Diego’s ethics commission for failing to properly disclose its sponsorship of campaign literature supporting Howard Wayne in his run for City Council. (U-T)
• Grocery workers are thisclose to a strike over benefits. (KPBS)
Audit Dings Student Governments
A new audit reports that some of the student government organizations in the San Diego district’s middle and high schools don’t properly keep track of cash. “People are handing them money without proper backup,” an auditor said. This isn’t the first time the district has faced problems regarding student government financing.
In other school news, we take a closer look at how promised raises affect the district’s attempts to get its finances in order. Should plans take into account a possible extra $32 million from the state, even though it’s not in-pocket yet?
• In an op-ed, Allen Hemphill argues that libraries are unnecessary relics and a waste of public money “The library isn’t free, and it is not right to continue supporting an unneeded entertainment venue. Of course it is used. Anything that is free will be oversubscribed. You can give away a boatload of scorpions in bottles if they are free.”
• One of our community contributors, Don Wood, says we have an unfriendly waterfront. The South Embarcadero walls off the bay with buildings that cater to tourists, he says, and the North Embarcadero caters to cruise ships and their operational needs at the cost of properly catering to people.
Photos that Hit Where You Live
San Pasqual, Nestor, Rolando, Linda Vista, Clairemont: These San Diego neighborhoods don’t have quite the cachet of more high-profile parts of the city. That’s why we thought they were worth visiting over the past couple weeks.
Our reporter-photographer team of Adrian Florido and Sam Hodgson found quirky stories in each part of town, from the rural world left after wildfires to the fuss over a skating rink. Now, Hodgson has compiled more photographs from his cross-city journey. Among other things, they show parts of the city that you may never come across in your regular travels.
Navy’s Swastika Building
In honor of a naughty prank that just came to light thanks to a satellite image, a New Zealand website notes several other surprising views from above. On the list: a group of buildings at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado that looked — and still looks — like a swastika on Google Earth.
Wait, wasn’t the Navy supposed to spend $625,000 to change the way the buildings look? A 2010 story from an Israeli newspaper says the Navy didn’t actually go with that approach — it would actually have cost several times that — and was looking for another plan. For now, the swastika remains in view on the Internet.
What a Stinker
In yesterday’s Morning Report, I wrote an “extended monologue,” as one of our staffers put it, about the stinky skunk menace in my neighborhood. I also appealed to my councilman for help via Twitter. Todd Gloria’s response: “If you’re certain this isn’t a personal hygiene issue, you should contact County Animal Control.”
Always with the delegating, those politicians!
Beware of LA’s ‘Carmageddon’
Oh goodie gumdrops: There’s another doomsday to worry about. A big chunk of the 405 freeway through Los Angeles will shut down on the weekend of July 16-17, creating what’s expected to be the mother of all traffic jams. Even the Getty museum will close because of the expected mess.
So it will be a good time to avoid LA. (No smart-aleck remarks about how it’s always a good time. Slightly amusing cracks are my job, people). Here’s hoping this doomsday — already dubbed “Carmageddon” — gets postponed like the last one.