The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
No school district in San Diego County has attracted more attention for the way it borrows money than Poway Unified. Want to understand why the local agency’s billion-dollar bond made national headlines? Read this.
Big Convention Center Vote Coming
The plan to raise the hotel-room tax and cobble together other sources of funds for a $520 million expansion of the Convention Center is going to the City Council Monday for approval.
The move to raise hotel room taxes without a vote of the people still needs to be approved by a judge.
Liam Dillon explains all you need to know about it. For months, the City Council has pushed the project piecemeal, refusing to say it was voting on the full financing plan. That’s not the case Monday.
U-T CEO Threatens to Use Newspaper to Kill Port
In an August email, U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch threatened Port Commissioner Scott Peters: Either the port would cooperate with the U-T’s vision for the waterfront, or there would be consequences.
Lynch told Peters that the port should include a provision in a new lease with Dole Food Company that would allow it to move Dole’s operations to National City should the U-T’s vision for the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal gain momentum.
“Otherwise, this will become a major issue in the campaigns and the UT will be forced to lead a campaign to disband the PORT,” Lynch wrote to Peters.
The U-T’s new owners have done a lot of weird things since taking over. But this was the most blatant use of the newspaper as a weapon for a development project I’ve yet seen.
Peters gave us the full email after KPBS and Investigative Newsource posted a truncated version of it and we requested the full exchange.
Peters explained more in this KPBS interview. He said the “U-T is coming after us” and that Lynch’s threat didn’t affect his vote.
It got a bit weirder: Lynch suggested to KPBS that the email exchange had been doctored.
• KPBS’ Brad Racino did a handy video explainer of the economics at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Quick News Hits
• Ruben Barrales is leaving the CEO post at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
• Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm and a major philanthropist, endorsed Carl DeMaio for mayor. Jacob is a prominent Democrat who has given millions to support President Obama and other causes.
• There have been some great previews of Politifest (happening Saturday in Liberty Station!) CityBeat called it a “a five-hour hootenanny of citizenship” and the San Diego Free Press called it a “Super Mall of ideas, all waiting for you.” And SDGLN.com explains that, even if all the civic stuff bores you, there’s always the beer garden.. Thanks, guys.
• Super-amazing volunteer Carrie Knoblock, one of the many volunteers making Politifest possible, created this nice map of the grounds. It’s going to be a blast. I only wish I could just attend it rather than be emceeing.
• We already told you about the finalists to the Politifest Idea Tournament. Now you can read what local high school students came up with in the Idea Tournament — Junior Edition. The three finalists in the junior edition will get one minute a piece on Saturday at Politifest to sell their idea to a panel before the crowd votes. The winner gets a surprise pack from SDG&E and VOSD.
• The Water Authority has released its plans for water desalination and what it might cost you.
• San Diego’s Independent Budget analyst has put together a simple citizen’s guide to the capital improvement program.
• Another reader canceled her U-T subscription.
• And a reader ponders how much of a boost Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s endorsement gives Scott Peters as he runs for Congress.
Disclosure: Irwin Jacobs is a major supporter of Voice of San Diego.