The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Yesterday, our most popular story was this map of where crime rose and fell in San Diego last year.
Today we’re filtering the data even more specifically for the distinct sections of City Heights. “While the number of property crimes decreased by 3 percent citywide, police reported a 4 percent increase in property crimes in City Heights last year,” our Keegan Kyle reports. “It’s not clear what caused the shift.”
You can follow our City Heights collaboration with KPBS, Media Arts Center and the Aja Project at Speak City Heights. We’re all focusing on public safety for the next few months.
Correction: The Morning Report’s summary yesterday of the visual depiction of crime rates in San Diego included several errors. Crime went down in the neighborhood of Barrio Logan, not up, while it barely changed in Mission Valley as a whole. (I had only looked at the western half of Mission Valley, where it went up.)
Also: the police don’t call several neighborhoods “Gangland.” That was our play on the name of a TV show. We apologize for the errors.
U-T Won’t Be a Newspaper
The newspaper has an existing partnership with 10News.
A TV station would increase the U-T’s dominance of the local news market. The Federal Communications Commission might jump in if the U-T actually tries to buy a TV station, since it generally forbids companies from owning both a newspaper and a TV station in markets like San Diego.
However, the FCC does make exceptions (although such partnerships face a “heavy burden”) and there’s talk that it may make it easier for such deals to happen. The LA Times has more details about possible FCC changes.
When Minds Met
Wednesday night brought the second installment of Meeting of the Minds, our presentation of gurus highlighting the latest and greatest in the local arts and culture scene. We took portraits of several attendees at the packed house and asked about what stuck with them.
Charlie Compuesto of Paradise Hills, meanwhile, was impressed by the depth of the city’s jazz history: “I’ve always known that San Diego had something with jazz, but to see how rich we are with music is something else.”
We’ve also collected the many tweets about the event. “Fantastic group of journalists, artists, museum people,” writes Maren Dougherty, while Vanessa Dinning appreciates “learning so much about how creative and brilliant people are… San Diego is bubbling with creativity.”
SD Explained Probes Special Ed
San Diego schools spend $257 million of its $1.1 billion budget on special education — a full $124 million more than it gets from the state for the service. The costs have been skyrocketing even though special ed enrollment has fallen.
The district doesn’t know why.
We headed to a local Italian joint to use pizza dough to show you what’s going on. Charter schools saw their costs to work with the district’s special ed program double, from $440 per student in 2004 to $888 per student now. Then they found an alternative.
• We also recently collected your top comments from that investigation into the costs of special education.
Speaking of Commentary
• Attorney Pat Shea reacted to the latest discussion whether the city could explore bankruptcy to address its liabilities and protect services. “It is a process of rational adjustments to acute or chronic debt to achieve solvency/liquidity. It could be equally employed in the support of municipal employee interests as it could any other interest group of policy sector. It’s about math, not politics,” he writes.
• Two readers had responses to a recent letter advocating that some schools take a more blue-collar approach.
• Reader Barry Naiditch is supportive of the public getting a chance to privately finance a new Chargers stadium through some kind of public offering. An idea that Scott Lewis has been trying to flesh out.
• Speaking of a Chargers stadium, Lewis recently posited that the San Diego Association of Governments may be key to publicly financing a stadium or even raising a tax to do it. The quasi-government is charged with planning and transportation. The U-T listened in on its recent retreat and Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani and Sandag officials batted the idea around a bit.
“SANDAG could become involved in an effort to pay for transportation-related infrastructure improvements or a replacement bus yard, but it seems unlikely the agency’s revenues — a mix of federal, state and, via the TransNet sales tax, local dollars — would be used for stadium construction,” wrote Matt Hall.
Filner Unplugged… in La Mesa?
Local liberals have been wondering why Rep. Bob Filner, the only major Democrat running for mayor, has been so sluggish about getting his campaign up and running. “He’s got to get moving,” CityBeat editorialized.
Filner did make an appearance this week in front of local Democrats … in La Mesa, which is not part of San Diego. As patch.com reports, the man who’s been short on details about his plans for San Diego had a lot to say:
• He said a regional commitment to converting all public buildings to solar in just five years. The story doesn’t say whether he offered details about exactly who’d pay for that or how.
• He “said he could fix San Diego’s pension mess by refinancing the debt through what he called pension obligation bonds. Filner likened his plan to a family refinancing its house from a 15- to a 30-year loan to save on monthly payments and thus have money to pay for their child’s college education.”
• He said keeping the Democratic vote united will help him get through the primary election in June and survive to reach the November election. “We don’t need as much money because you always beat money with people.”
You can follow all of our mayoral news here.
Dozens Lose Status in North County Indian Tribe
The Pala Band of Mission Indians, whose members can make $150,000 a year from proceeds from the North County tribe’s casino, has expelled 154 people, 15 percent of its total number, the NC Times reports. It’s not clear why the members were thrown out, but it may have something to do with bloodlines.
Top Golfer Targets Anonymous Slime-Slinger
Phil Mickelson, a top professional golfer, last year asked the San Diego court system to force Yahoo to cough up the identify of someone who’s anonymously smeared him online, the U-T reports. A judge allowed him to subpoena Yahoo, which released to him the name of a person in Montreal but not information like his or her address.
Very interesting. I’ve been mystified myself by a reader who keeps sending me anonymous emails about things I should do better. Jeez, who could this “Mom” person possibly be?