The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
We’ve got a major story chronicling how a San Diego police officer engaged in alleged misconduct under the noses of his superiors. But first, some breaking news from the Union-Tribune: a judge says she’s inclined to throw out the city’s agreement to remodel Balboa Park.
In a tentative ruling, Judge Judith F. Hayes said that while the agreement says it’s not binding, it “effectively constitutes an approval of the project.”
The Rogue Cop
Police officer Anthony Arevalos really liked to arrest drunk drivers, especially young, good-looking females. He’d show off their driver’s licenses, send dirty photos of those he’d stopped to fellow officers, and even gained a revealing nickname based on the women’s jail: “The Las Colinas Transport Unit.”
It seemed like his habits might have caught up with him in early 2010 when a woman complained to police. But, as we explain in a piece that shows how a cop went rogue and got away with it, nothing happened.
“The Police Department missed numerous red flags. Warning signs went ignored,” Kyle writes. “Though Arevalos was known to target female drivers, police kept him in a position of great power and limited oversight. Downtown, patrolling alone, looking for drunk women.”
In a story that will also appear in San Diego Magazine, we explore how opportunities were missed and how a rogue officer was finally caught and brought to justice.
DeMaio Swings and Misses
Councilman Carl DeMaio says he’s miffed about the city’s water-billing mess, and wants a colleague to hold a hearing. Funny thing about that: the colleague already did that, but DeMaio skipped out of the meeting before that hearing took place.
Explaining Convention Center Funding
San Diego Explained, our TV series, looks at how the proposed expansion of the convention center will be funded. It’s a complex web of financial obligations that features tourists, the port and you, the taxpayer. And guess whose level of risk is still being figured out?
McAnuff’s Superstar Rise
By the Numbers, our occasional feature about stats from the arts world, takes a gander at Des McAnuff, whose “Jesus Christ Superstar” is now playing at the La Jolla Playhouse. McAnuff, who helped the playhouse gain a worldwide reputation in the 1980s, has watched eight other of his shows go to Broadway and was just 30 years old when he took over the place. (The playhouse, that is, not Broadway, although you could say he’s done that too).
Old Caliente Racetrack Sign Gets Reprieve
After an outcry from history fans, the city has put the kibosh — for the moment — on plans to cover up a giant 1960s-era ad promoting a Tijuana racetrack on the side of a rundown theater in downtown, the U-T reports.
The “Caliente!” ad, on the side of the old California Theater, will stay in place while the city figures out whether it’s historic. The president of the sign company that wants to cover it with a beer ad is not pleased.
Ex-Pension Officer Seeks Half-Million over Sacking
A former pension officer with the county, Jeffrey Baker, wants at least $500,000 in damages, claiming he was sacked after going to the press about investments he thought were too risky, the U-T reports. The pension fund said it didn’t do anything wrong risk-wise.
News at the Speed of Brief
• The California Republican Assembly, a volunteer group, is out with its annual rating of how well state legislators met its mandates about what conservatives should support and oppose. Five legislators got perfect 100 percent scores — none were from the San Diego area — while the lowest-scoring Republican was local Assemblyman and mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, with 63 percent. The average score for Democrats in the Assembly was 2 percent.
• You may have been reading in the news about the search for the Higgs boson — that’s boson, get your mind out of the gutter – a subatomic particle that’s long been sought after. It’s also known as the “God particle,” but scientists like UCSD physicist Vivek Sharma, who’s leading an effort to find it, tells LiveScience that the term is a no-go.
“I am not particularly religious, but I find the term an ‘in your face’ affront to those who [are],” Sharma said. “I do experimental physics not GOD.”
• A San Diego entrepreneur tells Religion News Service that he sells “menorahments” — like Stars of David designed to be put atop Christmas trees — to help interfaith families celebrate the holidays.
But he doesn’t want to go too far. “I’m not trying to make Hanukkah and Christmas into one holiday,” says the businessman, whose kids celebrate both holidays. “We’re not here dressing up Hanukkah Harry or painting Santa Claus blue.”
What a mensch.