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San Diego’s many potholes get plenty of attention, even tripping up our district attorney as she got out of a car. But deteriorating sidewalks aren’t as much in the public eye, even though they buckle, crack and leave falling pedestrians with busted knees, bruised egos and worse.
We want to attract more focus to one of the most aggravating problems facing local residents and visitors — our shoddy sidewalks. As part of that effort, we’re debuting a photo blog of San Diego’s worst sidewalks.
It’s called The Stumblr and it’s on, of course, Tumblr, a micro-blogging site. We explain The Stumblr blog and more about our effort to fix San Diego’s sidewalks here. You can also drop by the introduction to our quest to understand the “nonsensical” bureaucratic and legal world of sidewalk care.
Leading Cop Slams Enabling of Homeless
Consider this bit of verbiage: “Guess what, Mr. and Mrs. Do-Gooder? You just came down from (Rancho) Peñasquitos with your troupe from church and there’s a dozen of you in a beautiful white van, you’re feeling really good about giving out sandwiches and socks and coffee?
“I love it. You’re doing God’s work. You’re not helping the homeless. You’re helping them remain homeless.”
Who said that? It’s a comment from Boyd Long, the San Diego Police assistant chief who’s leaving for a new job with a local casino. He’s been a point person on homelessness issues, and offered his perspective in an interview with Kelly Bennett last week.
Long is actually sympathetic to transients. But he believes that giveaways alone aren’t the answer. “Go to one of these agencies. Support them,” he said. “Because when that guy comes to the (agency’s) door, he gets a sandwich, he gets socks, he gets something warm to drink. And he gets a counselor. He gets a person who may find housing. He gets an attorney to talk to to help with those tickets. He gets much, much more than an enabling cup of coffee and a sandwich and a pair of socks.”
Check more of his comments here.
Explaining the City’s Bad Pension News
The city has been socked with a pension bill that’s $40 million more than projected, and its likely to cause yet another cash crunch in the city’s coffers. It could potentially spell trouble for the city’s expansion of services in areas like libraries.
What happened? We take a look in a story here: “the implementation of a pension reform initiative and lower-than-expected returns were the biggest culprits.”
• It’s been a rough honeymoon for Mayor Bob Filner, who endured “told you he was a bully”-type comments after a public outburst and is under fire for his office’s failure to answer questions from the media. (“Worst press team ever,” tweeted a U-T reporter.) He even attacked Jan Goldsmith, the city attorney, a guy who can dish it out in return.
Goldsmith tells the U-T that the mayor is “going through a period of adjustment”: “He’s now got a city attorney who tells him no. He’s got young lawyers telling him no, can’t do that, got to do it this way. He’s not used to that. And we’ve got to give him some slack.”
Letters: No Earth Day at Usual Balboa Park Location
“The word is out: we won’t be allowed to hold the 24th annual Earth Day Fair in Balboa Park’s Central Mesa, and this news has hit hard,” writes Carolyn Chase, one of the founders of San Diego EarthWorks, the nonprofit organizers of the annual Earth Day Fair in Balboa Park, in a letter.
Chase mentions reasons for the city’s refusal to allow the fair to be held in its usual location, and she calls them bogus. “In hindsight, we were foolish to take the city at their word,” she writes.
Five Months Later, Lily Pond Probe Lags
Five months ago, hundreds of locals gathered for what was to be a harmless late-night water-gun fight at Balboa Park. The gathering soon moved to the iconic lily pond.
The greenery around the pond was trampled, trash was left at the scene and the pond’s koi and turtles were supposedly “greatly stressed.”
“We will hold those who did this accountable for their actions — which may be criminal — and for every penny it costs to return this area to its original beauty,” Mayor Jerry Sanders declared at the time.
So what’s happened since? Last week, I asked the city attorney’s office for an update.
“The lily pond incident at Balboa Park is still under review,” a spokeswoman said. “It is not over, but we cannot state at this time whether there will be a criminal complaint issued.”
It might seem obvious that investigators would get in touch with local journalist Justin Hudnall, who wrote an extensive account for CityBeat, posted an account to YouTube and took photos and video at the scene.
However, he says no investigator has gotten in touch with him.
Another Hitch for Notorious Hillcrest Site
The Hillcrest community has waiting for years to discover the fate of a big property on University Avenue at Third Avenue, right in a thicket of bars, shops and restaurants. Residents hoped for badly needed parking; developers wanted a hotel. Finally, Walgreens bought the property and began building what would be the third drugstore in the area.
But construction has been halted due to a preservationists’s discovery of “Streamline Moderne” architecture uncovered by the work, Uptown News reports. There’s talk that Walgreens could incorporate the architecture in its store, which is scheduled to open in the fall.
The chain declined to make any significant comment. But you can bet that some folks there are visiting the headache relief aisle.
Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.