The Morning Report
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This week, we’re highlighting your thoughts on residential density, a City Council candidate, biking, tourism and local education. Take a look at these five comments:
It’s time for San Diego to seriously invest in its inner core infrastructure to prepare for 21st century growth. Downzoning these neighborhoods is the completely wrong move, because these are the neighborhoods that are designed to support dense, walkable, low-carbon, transit-oriented development. Relying on developer fees to pay for infrastructure improvements is a horrible strategy, because you only get enough funds for construction, not maintenance, and the costs go directly to the buyer, raising the cost of housing. The time has come for San Diego to implement a sales tax increase, similar to L.A.’s 2008 Measure R (something along the lines of .25 percent or .5 percent) to pay for repairing, upgrading and building new infrastructure in the core urban neighborhoods. This includes fixing crumbling roads, repairing and upgrading water and sewer lines and funding new transit service to Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, North Park, etc. A trolley line, either on the surface or below Fifth Avenue and University Avenue to North Park, would allow increased upzoning and denser development in these neighborhoods.
This might not be popular, especially in the suburban areas, but the population growth exists whether you like it or not. Either you spend the money to allow the core neighborhoods in the city to grow, or you sit in the traffic created by all these new residents driving to Temecula or Santee every day. Doing nothing and expecting nothing to change is not an option.
As someone who worked directly with Dwayne and the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils during the years that Liam’s article covers, I can honestly say that the organization had some very good programs, helped many youth throughout southeastern San Diego and was a go-to organization for a variety of employment and training programs. I can also say that Dwayne was a strong voice and an outspoken advocate for those he supported. Dwayne ran programs that gave residents jobs, skills, food, opportunities and hope. In the time we worked together we butted heads occasionally over the limits to the federal dollars that CNC received from San Diego Workforce Partnership, but our exchanges were always professional and saw Dwayne doing his job in fighting for the best interests of the community he was serving. Anyone who truly worked with Dwayne during those days would tell you the same thing. He should be very proud of the work he did at CNC and should speak about it often during this campaign. Employment and training opportunities have never been more important to the residents of southeastern San Diego (and all of San Diego for that matter), and when it comes to these topics, Dwayne has certainly walked the walk.
I’d love to bike, but I have two kids and live in the foothills. From where I live to the main road is a 500-foot elevation change and then another 350-foot up to my daughter’s school two-and-a-half miles away. There are more hills between my house and the nearest store three-and-a-half miles away. If I lived in a flatter, more urbanized area, I would have no problem with investing in a bike and trailer and using that for neighborhood errands, but the truth is the suburbs have been built without a lot of consideration to getting around by anything other than car and neighborhood markets aren’t all that common. And as others said, it’s scary biking in San Diego. Heck, it can be scary driving with so many people still using their phones and otherwise out in la-la land.
I am not a hotelier but I play one on TV. Simply put, the hotels are in competition with one another. About the only thing the “cabal” can agree on is to come up with a mechanism that markets San Diego to potential travelers. The job of the TMD and the Tourism Authority is to get people to decide to visit San Diego. Once that decision is made then it’s up to the hotels on their own dime to get the guest to choose their hotel to stay at. Once the guest is here, the rest of San Diego benefits from the TOT tax, sales tax, attraction admissions, restaurant meals, taxi drivers, bakeries, farms, grocery stores, printers and on and on. TripAdvisor lists 241 hotels in San Diego on its website. Which ones are the greedy ones? Inquiring minds want to know.
My child has attended both a San Diego Unified School District elementary school and a charter; I still see no improvement in his education. He is now almost four years behind in his studies. The problem, to me, seems to be the lack of resources available in the classroom. Children often need more support than the teachers can give or are qualified to offer. Also, the curriculum is too advanced for the grade level, effectively creating many holes within their foundational skills. Many children cannot read and write at their grade level, and yet every year advance to the next grade. The amount of homework giving is often stressful for the child and requires a lot of support from parents. For those children whose parents are not involved in overseeing their studies, they will fall further and further behind.
Comments have been lightly edited for typos, spelling and style.
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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at email@example.com or 619.550.5669.
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