The Morning Report
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Join us this evening for One Voice at a Time with Cindy Marten, the incoming superintendent of San Diego Unified School District.
You don’t have to be a parent to care about this discussion. A healthy school district impacts everything from home prices to economic growth. The event will take place at the Ken Cinema. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. tonight and the conversation will start promptly at 7 p.m. Learn more and register here.
Reactions to the Mayor’s Balboa Park Plan
The fighting. The protests. The lawsuits. Yes, we’re talking about the most divisive issue in recent San Diego history: car traffic in Balboa Park.
Strangely, Mayor Bob Filner’s recent proposal to shut down the Cabrillo Bridge on weekends and eliminate parking in the Plaza de Panama was met with much less resistance than any past efforts. Critics and supporters both seem to appreciate that the changes are temporary and flexible. The mayor has assured the public that the new rules are an experiment.
Lisa Halverstadt rounded up some provocative reaction about the closure, including a few creative ideas for what can be done with the new open space this summer.
VIDEO: Escalating Problems for SD Streets
Liam Dillon made an appearance on NBC 7 San Diego’s “Politically Speaking” Sunday to discuss the failing road infrastructure across San Diego. A recent auditor’s report discussed during the program pointed out that the current repair system is ineffective and inefficient, a point highlighted by Dillon and fellow guest, City Councilman Mark Kersey.
The numbers are startling: At its current rate, the city is not keeping up baseline repairs, which means the entire system will continue deteriorating year after year. Take a look at this clip from Sunday’s program to see the full discussion.
The Deal on Five-Year Pacts: Fact Check TV
In this installment of Fact Check TV, Lisa Halverstadt and Scott Lewis took a closer look at a recent claim from Filner that a five-year contract with the city’s labor unions would create a $25 million budget surplus for the next two years. The claim seemed a little too good to be true, so we compared some numbers in the new 2014 city budget proposal. The results were surprising, and it looks like Filner may be onto something.
In this segment, we also took a look at another bold claim from the mayor in a recent press release regarding the tax agreement with local hotels. In the statement, Filner says “the agreement guarantees upwards of $3 million per year.” He didn’t get nearly as lucky with that one.
VOSD Radio: The Limits to SD Unified’s Bond Spending
In this week’s VOSD Radio program Scott Lewis and Will Carless took on a wide variety of issues, ranging from homelessness to education and medical marijuana. Be sure to check out the witty banter and savvy analysis from these two in here.
Most Popular Stories This Week
It was a colorful week in news here at VOSD. Our most popular story includes some shocking photos of a DEA raid at the One on One Patient Association medical marijuana dispensary. The top 10 also included some analysis of recent union labor demands, zoning for beer production, the complexities of recall elections and San Diego’s most hotly debated cultural issue: Mexican food. Check out all 10 stories here.
• San Diego County’s new registrar of voters is questioning whether costly special elections are worthwhile, reports KPBS. He’d like to take a look at options for the generally low-turnout races, but any changes would need to be approved by the state legislature. As we wrote earlier this year, differing rules can complicate efforts to save cash. The city of San Diego did manage to combine its upcoming District 4 special election with a state Assembly race, which will save cash and streamline the process.
• San Diego lawyer Judy Clarke has been appointed to defend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the trial for the Boston Marathon bombing. Clarke has had great success at securing life sentences for high-profile defendants facing the death penalty. Past clients have included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooter Jared Loughner, and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.
• A new PBS Frontline report reveals the drama surrounding the examination of Junior Seau’s brain has been influenced by the NFL in an effort to control the guidelines for the analysis. U-T San Diego also published an extensive review of Seau’s legacy this week, to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.
• Sempra Energy has announced plans to leave its iconic downtown headquarters in 2015, according to Hughes Marino. The energy giant is in talks to begin construction on a new 300,000 sq. ft. project next to Petco Park.
• San Diego Unified School District announced that Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson will be retiring in June, according to the U-T. Rhinerson is retiring alongside Superintendent Bill Kowba, who will be succeeded by Cindy Marten on July 1.
• The U-T reports that officials at Lindbergh Field botched a $400,000 lawsuit settlement, eventually spending more than $1.8 million to fight the case. The case involved the disposal of toxic materials found during the expansion and improvements to Terminal 2.
• The U-T notes the changing tides in San Diego’s acceptance of recycled wastewater. The paper reports that nearly 73 percent of San Diegans now support wastewater conversion, up from less than 25 percent a decade ago.