The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
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Fletcher’s the Target of Rivals: This week saw the first televised mayoral debate and the best takeaways from it. Among them, Councilman Carl DeMaio used the opportunity to level an accusation that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher was under investigation by the Ethics Commission. Most fines by the commission are explained away as errors and minor issues. But during campaign season, the commission’s actions suddenly become very serious. The investigation turned out not to be legit.

• At a downtown debate Friday, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis attacked Fletcher for his notorious late-night deal lifting the cap on redevelopment downtown. The arrangement usurped a long public process, infuriated county officials and contributed to community disgust over secretive downtown dealmaking. We spent many weeks unraveling the scandal.

DeMaio has also hammered Fletcher on it.

But a few things to watch in future discussions: Is Dumanis saying she wouldn’t have done the deal like this? It was her prized endorser, Mayor Jerry Sanders, who requested it.

And while DeMaio was furious with city officials who made the deal happen, he did not join former Councilwoman Donna Frye and Councilwoman Marti Emerald when they moved to undo the deal. He voted with Councilman Kevin Faulconer to leave it be. As Faulconer explained then: “So as much as I dislike the process, I can’t oppose result.”

Historic Murals Are Coming Out of Storage: This week, our culture and ideas maven Kelly Bennett joined forces with her counterpart at KPBS, Angela Carone, to tell the story of the former Aztec Brewing Co. Its extraordinary murals were almost lost when developers demolished the old building where it used to share and brew its beer. NBC 7 San Diego’s Ken Kramer, he from the incomparable “About San Diego” series, took the story and ran in his own unique way. Bennett and Carone also explained why this piqued their interest in two videos posted on our arts section.

District 7 Has Distinct Options for a Representative: We continued our push to understand the major issues in each of the districts choosing a new City Council representative. In District 7 this week, we took those issues to the three men hoping to make it to the City Council. Rik Hauptfeld, the lesser known of the three, is hoping his charm will overcome the disadvantage of not having a traditional coalition of interests behind him. Scott Sherman, the GOP choice, is singing a fiscal conservative tune that he hopes will resonate as it has for the man who helped get him into politics, Carl DeMaio. And Mat Kostrinsky, the choice of labor and Democrats, is not promising the moon, just realistic progress.

• Rob Davis spent last week in District 5, which includes Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. Stay tuned as he poses the community’s concerns to Mark Kersey, the only person who decided to run for City Council to replace DeMaio.

• And next week Keegan Kyle heads to District 1 — La Jolla, University City, Carmel Valley and Torrey Pines. Help him get to know the issues and people there.

Top 5 Comments of the Week

Dagny Salas has again collected the week’s Top 5 comments. My favorite is Dale Peterson’s simple one-liner on our reader’s guide to City Council candidate Scott Sherman:

“Not every solution to the challenges facing District 7 requires a cement mixer.”

Peterson, by the way, is a Voice of San Diego member. Are you? We launched a whole new member-benefit program this week. Check it out here.

• Salas has also posted her weekly reading list compiled from staff and readers.

Letters: Curfew Sweeps Divisive?

In letters, Diana Ross, from the City Heights advocacy group Mid-City CAN has penned a response to Keegan Kyle’s latest examination of the Police Department’s curfew sweeps in select San Diego neighborhoods. She said the sweeps have divided City Heights with no evidence they are worth it.

“If the sweeps are effective, should we duplicate them in other areas? If the sweeps are not effective, are there other things we can do?” she wrote.

• Murtaza Baxamusa makes a plea to fund affordable housing projects with a new fee on real estate transactions. The Legislature is considering this.

Scientist Did Not Wow Court on Ticket

The U-T has debunked the story that went national this week about a UC San Diego professor who supposedly wowed a court with his proof about the science of motion and got out of a traffic ticket.

The court commissioner said the ruling wasn’t based on the physics argument.

“It was based on the officer’s view … The officer, wasn’t close enough to the intersection to have a good view.”

Quick News Hits

• Gas prices in San Diego have gone down 22 of the last 23 days, CBS8 reports. If you didn’t see our San Diego Explained about why gas prices are higher here than most other places, you might appreciate it.

• A PBS documentary and ongoing lawsuit is drawing national attention to the death of Anastacio Hernandez-Rojas at the border. Reuters can bring you up to speed here. And here’s the PBS “Need to Know” episode that ran last night. Hernandez-Rojas’ family is pushing for criminal charges and more investigation into his death.

• Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have found what they say is the first treatment for cocaine overdoses, writes the LA Times.

Quote of the Week

“We want our air clean, our roads black and our parks green.”

— Bob Ilko, a Scripps Ranch resident, talking about priorities in District 5.

You can contact me directly at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!): twitter.com/vosdscott.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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