The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
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The outfits aren’t what these four ladies normally wear to the the-a-tuh: their gowns are a shiny turquoise and their curly wigs a neon green. Yet there they were yesterday, sitting in outdoor seats at the Old Globe after dealing with what our arts editor Kelly Bennett carefully describes as “undergarment strategy.”
What’s brought this on? A commitment by a community cast — folks like these from the theater world and dozens of other people from local high schools, a YMCA, dance troupes and more. They’re all taking part in an unusual production of “Odyssey.”
We’ve been following rehearsals for the production, which finally debuts on Friday. In the words of the director, “it’s go time.” Our story includes details from yesterday’s rehearsal along with links to our previous posts about the process of bringing Homer’s words to life through musical theater.
The ladies in question, by the way, play the sirens that tempt Odysseus.
Don’t Lookie for These Loos
If you visit San Francisco, you’ll see them on the streets: Dark green stand-alone restrooms that serve the homeless and tourists who can’t find a handy place to answer the call of nature. They’re clean and convenient unless you get worried while you’re using them that you didn’t actually lock the door properly. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)
The city of San Diego has been trying to bring similar restrooms to town in an effort to clean up downtown, where transients often have nowhere to go except on the sidewalk. Specifically, the city likes the Portland Loo. As CityBeat describes it, it’s a “prefab, stainless-steel public restroom, big enough to hold a person and a bike or a mom and a stroller. Eco-friendly with its solar panels and low-flow toilet, its surfaces are graffiti-proof, and a system of louvers allows police to monitor activity inside it without infringing on privacy.”
The City Council liked the look of these loos and approved a purchase more than a year ago. But they’re not here yet, and a variety of complications may keep them away for months more.
Downtown Library Funding Still in the Hole
The good news: The boosters trying to raise money to finish the downtown library project don’t need to raise $28 million anymore, like they did a few months ago. The bad news: They still need to raise $25.5 million by January, KPBS reports.
If donors don’t step up, the city will need to either halt the $185 million library project or find funding for it elsewhere.
A library booster says advocates hope to raise another $15 million in talks with 41 potential donors. The new downtown library, which will replace the existing run-down central library, is supposed to open next summer.
Indian Tribe Wants to Evict Military Contractor
A small Indian tribe based in the North County backcountry near Warner Springs wants to rid its land of a military contractor that hoped to train soldiers in an Afghanistan-like environment, CityBeat reports. The tribe says the contractor’s 25-year lease is invalid; the contractor, the story says, alleges that the conflict “led to the arson that caused the 14,000-acre Eagle fire in July.”
Understanding the City’s Taxing Ways
Bedbugs Boot Firefighters
The crew at city fire station 29 in San Ysidro had to decamp to hotels and other stations thanks to a bedbug infestation, NBC7 San Diego reports. It’s the second time this has happened at a fire station.
The fire department spent $80,000 on bedbug eradication in the last budget cycle.
Look Out Above!
Check our recap of coverage of an art project at UCSD that will stick a crooked house onto the edge of an engineering building.
Getting to Know San Diego’s History on Foot
In a letter to the editor, reader Eileen Logue calls for neighborhood tours as a way of promoting community identity and familiarization. As I wrote in a 2009 Q&A feature, San Diego is home to an annual series of $10 neighborhood walking tours offered by an organization called Urban Safaris.
This year’s tours, which tackle a different neighborhood each Saturday, go through the end of next month. In my interview, tour leader Patty Fares talked about icons of San Diego history, including our youngest mayor, horse-tying rings in Little Italy, and the crotchety old lady whose name adorns a park and elementary school in Pacific Beach.
Bus Rides Must Be Bumpy These Days
City Council President Tony Young is getting attention for his verbal smackdown of Councilman Carl DeMaio this week. Young accused DeMaio of insulting his colleagues: “Because of your ambition, you decided to throw this entire council under the bus and I’m just letting you know that I don’t appreciate that.”
This made me wonder: when did we start talking about throwing people under the bus? Grant Barrett, a member of our staff who’s one of the nation’s leading language experts, has the answer: He’s found references to the term going back to 1984. (The phrase, by the way, is an earthy way to refer to treating someone as a scapegoat.)
Readers, take care to look out for politicians throwing each other into the bus zones near City Hall. As if traffic isn’t bad enough down there already. (Honk!)