The blue line has played its hand, and it’s not one you might have expected: San Diego’s police union is jumping in early and throwing its support behind a mayoral candidate.
So who is it? It’s not the sole big-league Democratic candidate. It’s not the cop-friendly district attorney, either. Instead, the union has endorsed Republican Nathan Fletcher, even though he supports the pension reform initiative, a bogeyman to labor types. “There’s more to being the mayor than just pension reform,” the head of the union said.
“Wednesday’s announcement stings two of Fletcher’s three main opponents, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Congressman Bob Filner,” writes Liam Dillon.
Dumanis, the law-and-order candidate, didn’t seek the police endorsement but asked the union to remain neutral. Filner, meanwhile, didn’t even get an interview.
The Man Behind the Doomsday Warning
Never mind “stop the insanity!” The bywords of San Diego schools are “stop the insolvency!” and school board president Richard Barrera is helping to raise the alarm about a money meltdown and a possible state takeover. (It sounds like this: HONK HONK! AOOOGAH!)
We’ll have a full Q&A with Barrera on Friday, and we’ve posted some excerpts to give you a taste of what he has to say. He’s actually calling for higher taxes on the wealthy, on corporations and perhaps even on things like booze and oil extraction.
• VOSD Radio tackles the district’s doomsday scenario and names the Goat of the Week, who you’ll also see in the last Morning Report item today.
• Reporter Will Carless alerted readers that he’s putting his rolling investigation into the district’s special ed transition on pause to jump on the insolvency story.
Beware of Bridge
About 12 percent of bridges in the country have been rated “structurally deficient,” and a bunch of them are in San Diego County, says a new report from a coalition of organizations called Transportation for America.
But the situation is far from as bad as it is elsewhere in the state. The report says 5.5 percent of the bridges in the county are deficient, the fourth best total of any county in the state. San Francisco is at the top on the worst list with more than a third of its bridges considered deficient.
You can type in your zip code here and get a look at how the bridges near you rate.
The federal highway agency says “bridges are considered structurally deficient if significant load-carrying elements need repair,” reports The Washington Post. “Rating a bridge deficient does not imply that it is likely to collapse or that it is unsafe, but that it might need closer monitoring or more frequent inspections.”
No Room at the Inn, Again
Won’t anyone lend the Arts Tix booth a hand? Somebody? Anybody?
That’s the booth at Horton Plaza where you can pick up tickets to local performances at a big discount. Similar booths in New York City draw lines of hundreds of visitors each day, all looking for last-minute Broadway show deals.
First, the booth got left out of plans for renovations at Horton Plaza. Now, it looks like a move to the nearby Balboa Theatre won’t happen either.
Darkness and Light
• Our photographer likes to wander hither and yon. (We just hope he’s spreading bread crumbs so he can find his way home once he gets to yon, which I hear is somewhere just past Dulzura.) Check out some of the photos he’s captured recently. Each one reveals an interplay of light and dark.
Problems with ‘Secure Communities’
The federal Secure Communities immigration program has come under fire recently for targeting the victims of and witnesses to crime, thereby creating a rift between residents and local law enforcement.
The North County Times tells a tale that illustrates those criticisms: Escondido police turned a 36-year-old women over to immigration authorities after she reported being the victim of domestic abuse. She says her four children, ages 3 to 17, were left to fend for themselves while she was in custody.
• Home prices are flat and housing inventory, says our Rich Toscano. “For now, though, supply and demand suggest a lack of any dramatic price movement in the months ahead,” he writes. CoronadoPatch says 2011 foreclosures are down compared to 2010.
• Years after it was first allowed by law, Mexican trucks will begin carrying goods across the border into the US. Unions oppose the this part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (MSNBC)
• KPBS visits a Somali refugee family in City Heights that is finding a way to balance food traditions, good health and an American lifestyle. One way refugees help themselves is with a community farm. For more about the special nature of the neighborhood and its people, visit Speak City Heights, a partnership between KPBS, voiceofsandiego.org, The AjA Project and Media Arts Center San Diego.
Make It Until You Fake It, Then Make It Again
Tony Krvaric, the chief of the county Republican Party, and his party have been big voices on Twitter, but both his and the GOP account were suspended last week because he created several accounts in the names of local high-profile Democrats. He even tweeted from the one named after the local Democratic county chief.
In an editorial, the U-T decried the “dreadful” state of politics these days (gadzooks!) and Krvaric’s “childish rhetoric.”
Still, Twitter seems to not want to put up with much nonsense. But it allows parody accounts, so it’s unlikely to go after the owner of @FrJuniperoSerra — a new Twitter account that seems to always be active when I’m on the computer.
Father Serra does want to have a word with you about that California mission diorama you made back in fourth grade. Tongue depressors and glue? Really? That was the best you (or your mom at 1 a.m.) could do?