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SDPD Chief William Lansdowne’s whole career has been accelerated by his deft ability to handle ugly controversies. Much of it was about handling problems previous leaders handed him. But now a rising tide of officer misconduct has handed him, for the first time, a major controversy to which his own decisions may have contributed.
Keegan Kyle profiled how the chief has handled tough dilemmas in the past and gives us a unique window into how he operates every day.
Side note: For once, I would like to read a profile of a leader who sleeps a lot. Seems like they’re always outdoing each other on how early they wake up. Imagine a profile like this of a high-powered CEO: “She wakes up at nine, casually reads the news, strolls to the café, and then meditates for another hour…”
Downtown Stadium as Convention Center
Union-Tribune sports columnist Nick Canepa has been writing regularly about a push to build a stadium for the Chargers that may have multiple uses. Now he writes that it’s his understanding Mayor Jerry Sanders would like a roofed football stadium to serve as an expansion of our Convention Center.
This is interesting because Sanders just released a financing plan for a $500 million expansion of the actual Convention Center. And his own task force discounted the idea that a new stadium to the west and south of Petco Park could adequately serve as either a supplement or expansion of the facility. The Convention Center’s VP Steven Johnson has been downright hostile to the Chargers’ continuing suggestions otherwise.
If Canepa’s right, the mayor is pursuing a strategy that contradicts his commitment to an expanded Convention Center. If the new stadium can handle the needs of the convention industry, then why are we building a bigger Convention Center? If it can’t, then it’s not an argument for building the new stadium.
This isn’t a side show. Fred Maas, the former CCDC chairman who’s advising the mayor on this push, told Canepa he’s going to “die trying” to make this happen.
Perspectives on SDSU’s Weber
The U-T collects thoughts on SDSU’s departing president Stephen Weber, including a blistering one from an official at the County Office of Education, who apparently can’t wait for him to go.
Qualcomm’s Suitable Heir
The New York Times profiled Paul Jacobs, the CEO of Qualcomm. The paper declares worries about nepotism when Jacobs’ father, Irwin, handed the reins to his son, officially dead. “[T]he younger Mr. Jacobs has positioned Qualcomm, which builds chips for mobile devices, to lead the smartphone chip market as consumers increasingly do their computing in their palms and not tethered to their desks,” writes the Times.
Why Todd Gloria Went from Champion to Foe of Balboa Park Plan
San Diego institutions of many kinds have been lucky to benefit from the Jacobs’ family innovations and community spirit (including voiceofsandiego.org). Last week, though, he suspended his push to remake Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.
The city had approached Jacobs to see if he would donate to a plan to remove cars from the plaza. He took that idea and made it a much more ambitious proposal. But a City Council committee last week refused to endorse it. I was curious how City Councilman Todd Gloria had gone from a champion and supporter of Jacobs’ idea to someone who said, at the City Council meeting, he had “strong concerns” about it.
So I asked him. He denied it was a “change of heart,” saying complaints about the plan made him realize it would struggle. Gloria acknowledged the city may be back to where it started when the mayor first approached Jacobs.
Redistricting Round Up
Gloria has a long history learning from, and serving, U.S. Rep. Susan Davis. It’s long been suspected he’d try to follow her to Congress. He may need to decide sooner than he thought, however, if he really does want to go to D.C.
California’s first independent redistricting committee released its first draft maps (note: the word “draft” is not insignificant).
The progressive blog Two Cathedrals called it “redistrictmas” for Democrats. And it points out Gloria now would live in the district that mayoral aspirant Bob Filner is vacating, and that Juan Vargas is already trying to represent.
It’s just one of the many intriguing insights from the many political wonks who crunched the numbers after the maps came out to see who won and lost. Here are some more to read:
• The former chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, Ron Nehring, is not nearly as worried about Rep. Brian Bilbray as some liberals think he should be. He also points out that downtown will now be shared by whomever takes Filner’s district and the district for which Bilbray will fight.
• Vladimir Kogan set about to figure out which districts were now “competitive” with the new lines. He importantly considers not just voter registration, but the likelihood of members of each party to vote.
A lot can change. Lawsuits and approval from a bipartisan commission lie in the way of these new lines.
Meeting of the Minds: Art Explained in Video
We’ve posted the latest two videos of our rapid-fire slide shows on local arts, which were the heart of our June 1 “Meeting of the Minds” event. This one features Evan Schumacher, a fan of the new, intimate and hip style of classical music pioneered Art of Élan. And this one is David Flores’ presentation of art and architecture in San Ysidro. Watching these you’ll see why the style for the event was so well received. It was simple, quick and enlightening.
• The photography in these posts came from our Sam Hodgson. He’s got the latest installment of his series about the people he meets along El Cajon Boulevard. This week, he finds Mohammad Ali, who came to boxing via Beirut. The black and whites are striking in Hodgson’s new, wider photo blog.
Mayoral Race Metaphors
We’re all a bit excited by how many big shots have entered the San Diego mayor’s race. But the U-T’s Logan Jenkins is not excited.
To explain, he grabs enough metaphors about what the race is doing to other political contests to give his colleague Canepa a run for his money as the incumbent king of unrelated imagery. Jenkins writes that the mayoral race is sucking up “mother’s milk” like a “sumo wrestler on a preschool teeter-totter” with a “naked partisan” enjoying an “appetizer in the toothsome feast.”
OK, maybe I didn’t summarize that exactly right. One thing interesting: He turns to Ron Nehring for perspective. It seems Nehring is back articulating the conservative perspective in San Diego, after his stint as the state party chairman. Is he upstaging his successor, SD GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric?
No, probably just “long in the tooth.” Or, wait, is that Filner?
No matter, it’s a great collection of images.