Spring Campaign Update:

We had two goals when we started this month’s spring campaign: to recruit 200 new members and raise $80,000. I’m happy to report that we’ve achieved our first goal and we’re close to the second. Thanks to many of you who are reading the Morning Report right now, we’ve added 217 members and raised $76,600.

That means we have five days to raise $3,400. If you haven’t joined or donated during this campaign, please help us reach our goal by contributing now.

This funding helps us build a sustainable model for nonprofit journalism that organizations across the country are learning from and following. Thank you.

Scott Lewis

CEO, Voice of San Diego

San Diego’s Homeless Spending in Six Charts

San Diego has significantly increased funding for homeless services this year. Our Kelly Bennett broke down the the bounce for each of the shelter programs into six easy-to-digest graphics.

“There’s been a lot of money and attention paid to the city’s shelter programs since Mayor Bob Filner took office,” Bennett wrote. “Each item has been weighed on its own, but how do the various pieces fit together?”

Like Beer? Try Land Use Politics.

Next time you raise a taster of locally brewed craft beer to your lips, stop and take a look around. Where are you? It’s likely that you are in a industrial-zoned part of town where “light manufacturing” is permitted. Local brewers would like to bring their mad hops closer to your neighborhood, but Andrew Keatts reports that San Diego’s one-size-fits-all zoning laws make that difficult.

“A proposed amendment to the city’s land development code would allow breweries of 12,000 square feet, operating in industrial areas, to open tasting rooms or restaurants of more than 3,000 square feet, which is the current limitation,” Keatts reported.

Public Employee Unions Targeting Raises

The plaza in front of City Hall was occupied by representatives from most of the city’s public employee unions yesterday. They were there to present a united front in their efforts to procure a 14.5 percent across-the-board increase in non-pensionable pay over five years, reported Lisa Halverstadt.

This would be in exchange for freezing the pay that would be applied to their pensions for five years.

Active Voice: Food at the Airport, Padres and Chargers

Clare Leschin-Hoar took a sneak-peek at the restaurants that will open with the new Terminal 2 West at Lindbergh Field airport. Thrilled to see the likes of Phil’s and Tender Greens represented in the new space, Leschin-Hoar nevertheless found their choice of Mexican restaurant to be loco. “The Airport Authority’s decision to award Qdoba Mexican Grill – a fast food chain with no prior San Diego presence — a coveted restaurant spot in Terminal 2 West [is] pretty baffling,” she wrote.

• Sports blogger John Gennaro is on the hunt for someone — anyone — to blame for the recent revelation that Padres’ starting pitching “isn’t going to get better any time soon,” which has resulted in a losing streak for the team.

• Over on the 50-yard line, blogger Beau Lynott rounds up the speculation over how the new Chargers head coach and general manager will put their stamp on the team when the NFL Draft kicks off this Thursday. “It’s all pure guesswork, and any wisdom from so-called draft experts and clues from team officials should be regarded with deep suspicion,” wrote Lynott.

Questioning Prisoner Suicides in San Diego

In the most recent installment of their ongoing investigation into San Diego County’s jails, CityBeat wrapped their arms around the relatively high number of suicides occurring in the County’s jail system.

“All counted, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department recorded 16 inmate suicides between 2007 and 2012,” reported CityBeat.

Sidewalk Lawsuits Can Pay Off, After All

Liam Dillon recently told you about how you won’t get rich suing the city if you fall on a broken sidewalk. While that may be true, the San Diego Reader reported yesterday on the case of a man who biked into a shoddy sidewalk, fell, and who could now collect $175,000 from the city because of it. “The sidewalk near Smythe Elementary school has long been an issue for pedestrians and residents of San Ysidro, as is the case with countless miles of other broken segments of sidewalk in San Diego’s southernmost community,” the Reader reported.

Sanders Offers Humble Retrospective

KPBS interviewed former Mayor Jerry Sanders, who is now the CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. From the Plaza de Panama project to why he didn’t sign the embattled TMD agreement, Sanders downplays his feelings about how some of his pet projects have turned out. “You can only do what you can when you’re in office, and when you leave, it’s up to somebody else,” Sanders said. “And I don’t feel bad about that.”

If all goes as planned, the TMD agreement that began under Sanders and evolved under Filner will be signed later today. As for the Plaza de Panama, Filner proposed his own vision for the parking lot yesterday.

News Nibbles

Congratulations to Will Carless and Wendy Fry for their Golden Watchdog Award nominations for “Stories on School District Use of Capital Appreciation Bonds and Campaign Contributions to School Bond Elections.”

• U-T San Diego profiles the two candidates vying to fill the vacant Assembly seat in the 80th Assembly District.

• Filner wants to delay the bidding process for a huge contract to provide ambulance service to the city while he mulls over whether the city should rebuild an ambulance fleet of its own, the U-T reported.

• CityBeat looks back at their interviews with San Diego-based architect Graham Downes, who allegedly suffered a deadly attack last week and who is now on life-support in the hospital, pending organ donation, the U-T reported.

I’ll Have the Shark Fin and Fish Bladder Soup

A lot of people are disgusted by the cruelty involved in harvesting fins from sharks so the fins can be served in shark fin soup, which is popular in some other countries. Now, the Washington Post reports the bladder of another fish has caught the attention of California law enforcement.

Seven people have been charged with smuggling bladders of an endangered fish into California in what authorities said Wednesday may be a growing international practice in which the bladders are sold for up to $20,000 each to be used in a highly desired soup.

The bladders come from the totoaba fish, a native of Mexican waters. The fish are caught, the bladders are set out to dry, and are then added to the soup. Apparently, dried endangered fish bladder is said to increase fertility and the appearance of skin.

However, in the absence of fish bladders (or the desire to eat them), you can find a substitute substance that will help you experience similar effects if you visit any local bar. And you won’t have to eat a single internal organ! You’re welcome.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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