Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!
Note: We recently brought you a story (and pictures) about a house that will be hoisted in its entirety to the top of a seven-story UCSD engineering building. The hoisting will occur today and Kelly Bennett will be on the scene and live-tweeting her description of events as they happen. If you’re interested, you can follow her: @kellyrbennett.
“Wings” Sets San Diego Aflutter
One way to get this town abuzz is to propose a couple of oddly shaped 500 foot sculptures over the waterfront, apparently. Our article on Thursday inspired many readers to lend their comments, but that was only the beginning. Our Fix San Diego section, where community members write in to tell us their ideas for a better city, is full of letters with your thoughts about the proposed landmark for one reason or another.
While he admits that San Diego needs a veterans memorial, Bob Stein thinks that the proposed sculpture will project San Diego as “a place that worships war planes”. Others have complained of what they see as the sculpture’s lack of aesthetics or functionality. Our Kelly Bennett sums up the reaction from San Diegans across multiple discussions.
The Occupy Grab Bag
Five protesters involved with Occupy San Diego were arrested this weekend at Civic Center Plaza. Police told the U-T one was arrested for lodging in the plaza and another was arrested on suspicion of battery against another protester. Two others were arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated in public while the last arrest occurred after a man spit at officers and kicked a sergeant.
• But the LA Times paints the arrests in a different light, reporting that the arrests happened at a homeless encampment that has succeeded Occupy San Diego, and that all five arrests were for public drunkenness.
• Photographer Sam Hodgson visited both the Occupy San Diego and Occupy Los Angeles encampments and was fascinated by the stark contrast between the two. You can check out his photos from Occupy LA and contrast them for yourself with the pictures he took of Occupy San Diego in October.
We Fact Check True Stuff, Too!
Last week, we told you about a lively debate at the San Diego Unified School Board meeting between board members over how to apportion money to under-privileged schools. During that debate, board member Shelia Jackson claimed that there wasn’t an International Baccalaureate program at any high school south of Interstate 8.
This claim raised Emily Alpert’s eyebrow and caused her to go on a fact-checking mission, the results of which you can read here. I wouldn’t dream of spoiling the surprise, nor deprive you of a chance to see one of our adorable Pinocchios.
• As we’ve reported, board member Scott Barnett has a plan to save the district from insolvency. Barnett said he would use a combination of salary cuts and tax increases to keep the district solvent. He defended the plan and confirmed to Scott Lewis that he’d pursue the tax hikes and a separate construction bond as well, which would also raise property taxes.
Last night, Barnett laid out the specifics of the salary cuts he would impose, ranging from 1.75 percent cuts for the lowest-earning employees to 12.75 percent cuts from top earners. (U-T)
Fact Check TV & The Most Expensive Milk You’ll Ever Drop
Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue took to the airwaves with their own fact checks yesterday, explaining the truth behind Nathan Fletcher’s claims about a La Jolla lifeguard tower, as well as a business owner’s claims about how much vacant industrial land remains in Barrio Logan. The truth is out there, and it’s in this week’s Fact Check TV.
• Finally, for your last fact check consideration, La Mesa Patch reported they are having difficulty verifying claims made by Rep. Duncan Hunter that spilling milk on a factory floor could result in a $5,000 per day fine. Had it been true, I think it might have justified a few shed tears.
Very Grand for Jerry Sanders
Two bits of news turned the focus on Mayor Jerry Sanders on Monday. First, a lawsuit against the city over trash pickup had been withdrawn. During the last fiscal year, Sanders revoked the free trash pickup for over 14,000 homes on private roads. Homeowners sued, saying the mayor didn’t have the authority to unilaterally make that call. The case gained attention due to the Prop D debate and the controversy over the “People’s Ordinance” which guarantees free trash pickup — for single-family homes — on public streets. (La Jolla Light)
Remember to review our explainer of the situation and the People’s Ordinance, our survey of mayoral candidates querying whether they would let it stand or act to force single family home residents to pay the same fees apartment and condo dwellers. We also asked about City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s proposal that the city simply stop service to residents in single-family homes and let private companies take over the role.
The mayor also got national attention by joining Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and governors across the country in petitioning Congress to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. “The federal government should not be in the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it does not,” said the letter. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Up The Street and Around The Corner
Two reporters hit the street yesterday to keep you connected to the city’s inner workings. In her latest installment to the series “Will Call”, Roxana Popescu writes about the ticket booth at Horton Plaza that sells theater tickets to last-minute patrons. “Cut prices and exploit people’s last-minute availability and find success,” she writes.
Meanwhile, Adrian Florido takes you to Kensington to find out what it takes to save a neighborhood’s historic street lamps. With the city moving to underground power lines, these homeowners are learning both how to organize and what a “maintenance assessment district” is. Brush up on your MAD knowledge from our previous coverage on the topic.
How to Ship a Whale Internationally
It took “a padded unit filled with thousands of gallons of water, a SeaWorld veterinarian, a trainer, an animal care specialist, a cargo plane and a flatbed truck,” but San Diego finally received a very special shipment from Ontario. “Ike”, a 9-year-old killer whale, had been entrusted to the Marineland park in exchange for four beluga whales. While his method of travel may not have been as inspiring as a freed Willy, the trip was successful and Ike is acclimating to his new environment at Sea World. (NBC 7/39)
Seth Hall can be reached at email@example.com.