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Things got heated at Thursday night’s hearing for the controversial and gigantic One Paseo project developers are pushing in Carmel Valley. It’s an example of “suburban retrofitting” or “destroying Carmel Valley” depending on your point of view.
Mayor Bob Filner, he of #filnereverywhere, showed up at the Carmel Valley Planning Board to chastise the developers. The project doesn’t conform to the community plan but the community plan is from 1975.
This is the sort of controversy that will continue to play out as developers propose dense projects in areas with outdated community plans. See my explainer of the density versus old neighborhood plans problem from a couple months ago.
• Community planning maven, and Voice of San Diego member, Joe LaCava, reminded me that the city is back in the business of updating those community plans with new verve!
Homeless Woman Resists ‘Homeless Think’
This week, Kelly Bennett put into video, and on NBC, what we’ve come to understand about the homeless problem since our quest began.
And Bennett continues to have a fascinating exchange with one homeless woman, Liz Hirsch. This time, Hirsch proposes that homeless shelters be more like the comfortable coffee shop she frequents than a “psych. ward.”
And she says she’s trying not to fall into “homeless think” a state of mind where you give up trying to get out of the lifestyle.
“I could write a book with all the advice I’ve been given on how to scam the system to get beni’s and never work again,” she wrote.
• We’ve got photos of the early morning count of the homeless that hundreds of volunteers pulled of, including many elected officials and their staffs. Bennett and Sam Hodgson followed one of the teams.
• Bennett was also on NBC’s “Politically Speaking” Sunday talking about the policy issues behind all of this.
Top Five Comments of the Week
Our Top Five comments of the week lead with one about the homeless. Departing top cop Boyd Long had some provocative things to say about people who “help” the homeless one weekend. Reader Jake Vogelsang really appreciated that.
State Drafts Laws to Consider to Curb Poway-Style Borrowings
The type of borrowing that became politically toxic after our series of investigations may not be allowed in the future as the California Legislature has drafted new laws to consider to curb the practice.
The laws would limit the ratio between how much school districts have to pay back compared to how much money they actually borrow. They would require better analysis of the costs of big bonds and they would prevent the situation in Poway, where the district is not allowed to refinance its controversial deals.
• In case you missed it, Poway’s self-examination of its deal left a lot to be desired.
News Quiz Winners!
We had a lot of participation in our year-end news quiz challenge. Three people ended up getting all the questions right so we scuttled the first, second and third place categories and just gave three first place prizes.
• Alan Hoffman
• Matt Yunker
• Jeff Hammett
They’ll each get $50 at El Take It Easy in North Park. Thanks for playing.
What We Learned This Week
You aren’t happy with sidewalks: The Stumblr, our new Tumblr feeding pics of local sidewalks in disrepair, has been a hit. Councilman Kevin Faulconer said people at City Hall were listening but it’s not an easy fix: The city is liable for the sidewalks but property owners are responsible for fixing them. No, that doesn’t make sense. No, we don’t know how it changes, and neither does Faulconer.
• It’s one thing to have a bad sidewalk. San Ysidro High School students have no sidewalk and it’s kind of a problem.
School district is selling more land: Even though it botched the sale of a property at the end of last year, the largest school district in San Diego is going to try to sell land again to meet its budget. Despite tax increases and a delay of across-the-board teacher salary increases, the district says it won’t pay its bills unless it sells more land. One trustee is excited about an idea: Swap one of the pieces of land for county land and then sell the county’s land.
We have a new plan for fixing the city’s crumbling buildings and streets: It’s an admission of failure put together by new City Councilman Mark Kersey. The plan is pretty simple: The city has to figure out what it’s got, what it wants, what it can do and then get ready to do it.
Quick News Hits
• KPBS ran a profile of San Diego jazz legend Daniel Jackson. One of our performers at a Meeting of the Minds helped us understand Jackson’s legacy here.
• The San Diego Museum of Art bought a Spanish sculpture of San Diego de Alcala, using funds from a recent $7.4 million bequest. It’s San Diego de Alcala, or Saint Didacus, for whom San Diego is named.
Quote of the Week
“You’re smoking something if you think they’re going to stop for you. Some real funny stuff.” — Pacific Beach homeowner Michael Anderson on the danger posed by cars near his sidewalk-less street.
I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):
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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.