The City Council today will hear about the police department’s efforts to deal with a shocking string of misconduct allegations. Five officers were charged criminally, with the most severe charges including on-duty rape and sexual assault.
Our Keegan Kyle explains the questions that remain unanswered regarding an officer who’s accused of numerous crimes that allegedly took place while he was on duty.
“The scope and severity of the accusations … raise the most acute concerns about the department’s ability to monitor its own officers, who wield a tremendous amount of power and discretion in the community,” Kyle writes. Cops and prosecutors are mum on the answers, saying the case is still under investigation.
Follow Kyle on Twitter for live updates from the meeting.
Why They Occupy
We turned to the best resources for details about why the Occupy San Diego folks are protesting: the protesters themselves. Eight of them, including two former members of the military, spoke of joblessness, health-care system woes, peace and justice in Sam Hodgson’s photo essay.
“If the police come in here and shut it down, then the nine friends that I’ve lost, to me that’s in vain,” said a man who served more than 15 years in the military.
Cops have gotten into tangles with protesters elsewhere, but not here, where about six to eight officers are on duty at the protest throughout the day. Yesterday, however, the Fire Department told protesters that, for safety reasons, they couldn’t add any more tents on the ground at Golden Hall beyond the nearly 100 that are already there, NBC 7 San Diego reports.
The Occupy L.A. protest has gotten a lot of attention, even drawing visits from City Council members there who have provided “lush grass, encouraging words and ponchos.” There’s an Occupy El Centro event being planned to the east and talk of an Occupy Orange County protest.
As Slate notes, the protests share many of their locations in common. They tend to feature “high visibility, proximity to banks and city halls, and a comfy lawn (if they can get it).” San Diego’s just lacks a comfy lawn.
Ex-Mayor’s Conveniently Faulty Memory
Ex-Mayor Dick Murphy, who resigned six years ago under the weight of the city’s pension scandal, has been on a self-rehabilitation mission over the last few weeks.
He appeared on KPBS radio to promote his book and said this about the pension whistleblower: “You have to understand, Diann’s testimony took place at a public hearing on the problems with the pension system. The city manager was proposing certain solutions that really weren’t that great. But it was at a public hearing. This was not hidden at all.”
Our Andrew Donohue, who happened to be at the hearing in question in 2002, fact checked hizzoner. He finds that the former mayor is wrong, and so out of touch with the facts that he deserves a rare “Huckster Propaganda” verdict.
Mayor Rivals Ponder City Hall’s Fate
The people who work at City Hall like to call it a dump, but San Diego hasn’t been able to figure out a way to renovate or replace it.
We asked the candidates in next year’s mayoral election for their views on whether to fix City Hall, dump it or do something else.
Among the major candidates, Councilman Carl DeMaio says a new building is a “excessive and unneeded taxpayer-funded project,” and he calls for renegotiating existing leases on office space since there’s a down market. “We do not have the money!” says District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says the current City Hall doesn’t meet safety and health standards, but he declined to offer a specific solution.
Ex-Port Official Supports Tapping Port for Funds
Peter Q. Davis, a former chairman of the port district and former candidate for mayor of San Diego, is weighing in on the Convention Center expansion funding debate with a perhaps-unexpected position: he thinks the port should pony up. “The problem is, the hotel operators are on port land and hesitant to take on the port because of worries about retributions,” he writes, adding details about the relevant finances.
Digging into the Special Education Revamp
Our Will Carless continues his investigation into changes in the way San Diego district schools handle special education with an exploration of the reasons behind the new approach and the revised role of special-ed teachers. He also looks at some special-ed teachers’ worries about how the district has handled the transition.
Friends, San Diegans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Mottos
The other day, I spent an afternoon scrolling through microfilm of old newspapers while researching a story about a juicy Prohibition-era scandal at City Hall. A motto caught my eye at the top of The San Diego Union’s front page, right under the newspaper’s name: “FOR A GREATER SAN DIEGO.”
Those five words say a lot. The newspaper had a mission, and it was clearly one of boosterism. It wasn’t working for a “better” San Diego, but a “greater” one: Make the town bigger and more powerful! (Some things never change.)
The Union’s motto is long gone, as are plenty of other newspaper mottos that showed pluck (“Covers Dixie Like The Dew” — Atlanta Journal), braggadocio (“Monarch of the Dailies” — San Francisco Examiner) and even a bit too much humility (“The Great Newspaper of the Southern San Joaquin Valley” — Bakersfield Sun. In other words, there might just be a better one just to the north, folks, so keep moving.)
But some mottos remain. The New York Times has “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” while The Christian Science Monitor says its mission is “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” The Baltimore Sun brightly promises “LIGHT FOR ALL.”
That brings me to you. What slogan best fits voiceofsandiego.org? Or the Morning Report itself? I like “For a Better San Diego,” while my other idea (“Covers San Diego Like a Raggedy Old Beach Towel”) is a definite no-go with the powers that be.
Drop me a line with ideas, and check out this list of current and former newspaper slogans for inspiration. Feel free to make your suggestion serious (that’s our forte) or amusing (not our forte). But don’t make it too cheeky or they’ll end up giving you my job.
And please no plagiarism. “The Only Good Sacred Cow Is Medium Rare with Fries” has already been taken by a newspaper in Tennessee. And besides, we’re in Southern California, so a vegan-unfriendly slogan just won’t do at all.