We’ve Been Arguing About Balboa Park Improvement for Some Time: In 1953, a columnist at the San Diego Union wrote the following: “Almost every proposal to locate something in the park has met with opposition — even the things that today are regarded as the park’s prime assets.”

Indeed. We began our series this week about Balboa Park’s history with that writer’s words.

Then there was my favorite insight: The reminder that Kate Sessions, the horticulturist considered the mother of the park, once commercialized 32 acres of the park. Her plant-selling counterparts looked enviously at the deal. In case you missed it, Congressman Bob Filner, running for mayor, raised Sessions from the dead in the most recent debate over the park’s future. She’d be rolling in her grave about current plans, he said.

The Cabrillo Bridge itself, and what it stood for, was once thought of as an atrocious idea.

Cost of Uninsured Is Rising: Keegan Kyle tallied the costs to local hospitals of so-called uncompensated care, the difference between the cost to take care of people and what either insurance or the government provides.

The results were startling: hospitals reported handling five times as many patients who couldn’t pay as they did in 2001. “Last year, area hospitals reported $628 million in uncompensated care — about five times as much as a decade earlier,” Kyle wrote.

This followed my attempt at explaining how the government already requires that we take care of uninsured patients, however poorly this care turns out for them and for the economy.

Mayoral Candidates Have Five Moments and Five Flips: Politics reporter Liam Dillon collected five classic Bob Filner moments, including the Sessions resurrection. Dillon also collected five of Carl DeMaio’s flips as he appeals to the general election voter pool.

• Dillon also sent the two candidates a questionnaire on open government principles and confronted them about some issues that have come up.

Sally Ride Was an Inspiration: Not everyone remembered Sally Ride or was even alive when she became the first American woman in space. But even those who were valued our collection of things we learned about Ride this week. After her career as an astronaut, she settled in as a UC San Diego scientist and advocate for girls interested in science.

They Might Not Tell You the School Bond Is a Tax: San Diego’s largest school district is placing another construction bond on the November ballot. It would raise property taxes by $60 per every $100,000 in property a person owns. So for a $400,000 house, it’s an increase of $240 a year.

I wondered months ago what the polling would show if they actually told those surveyed what it would do to their property taxes.

Turns out, it would have hurt. But the consultant leading the campaign to pass the bond says polling shows it above the needed 55 percent anyway. He’s not going to go out of his way, though, to tell voters about the impact to their tax bill.

Someone else can do that.

Quick News Hits

• San Diego’s Proposition B, passed in June, is in legal jeopardy. The AP is reporting that a judge may suspend the measure while unions fight it in court.

• Filner, once opposed to the measure, has decided to try to make these legal fights moot and get it implemented (U-T San Diego).

• Dennis Avery, a philanthropist who commissioned “artistic replicas of prehistoric creatures for a quirky sculpture garden in the desert of Borrego Springs” died in San Diego, according to the LA Times. The heir to the Avery Dennison Corp. fortunte, Avery was a former associate dean at Cal Western School of Law and an assistant city attorney.

“Internationally, Avery funded an AIDS clinic in China, a drug rehabilitation center in Hong Kong and a library in Honduras. In San Diego, Avery and his wife, Sally Tsui Wong-Avery, were backers of a Chinese bilingual school, donating $6 million at one point,” Tony Perry writes in the LA Times.

Number of the Week


— Number of patients at area hospitals over the last decade whose bills weren’t covered by health insurance or government subsidies.

Quote of the Week

“Yes, San Diego got a park in 1868, but from that day forward the question of whether or not we can keep it has been on the table.”

— University of San Diego law professor Nancy Carol Carter, who’s researched Balboa Park’s history.

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. 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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