The Morning Report
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It’s been an undeniably rough start Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Goldsmith. Since Filner took office, the two have collided over issue after issue, often publicly and rarely with any delicacy.
Lisa Halverstadt and graphic artist Amy Krone lined up an easy to follow timeline of the two elected officials’ interactions in the recent months. The most recent dust-up between them is over Filner’s proposal to eliminate several positions from the city attorney’s office. “Filner’s first budget proposal suggests Goldsmith lay off 13 staffers to trim $1.4 million. Goldsmith denounced those potential cuts at a Wednesday meeting and the City Council seemed to largely take his side,” Halverstadt wrote.
Despite City Council’s distaste for Filner’s proposal, the mayor balked at the suggestion that he drop the unpopular cuts from his proposed budget. “[Goldsmith] makes too many mistakes,” Filner said. Our Scott Lewis recently catalogued the city attorney’s biggest letdowns.
Development Director Steps Down
Andrew Keatts broke down what is going on behind yesterday’s resignation of Development Services Director Kelly Broughton. “Given Filner’s desire to overhaul the [department’s]arrangement, maybe the biggest surprise from Thursday’s announcement… is that didn’t happen sooner,” Keatts wrote. The mayor envisions separating the city’s planning department from the development services department, led by Broughton, so that each can focus more specifically on their missions.
Broughton will head to Chula Vista to take on a similar role. Many insiders on Twitter expressed their admiration for Broughton’s work during his time working for San Diego. Others were glad to see him go.
VOSD Nets Top Watchdog Award
Voice of San Diego’s Will Carless and NBC 7 San Diego’s Wendy Fry won the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s annual watchdog award for print/electronic media for their coverage of local school bond campaigns and bond deals, including coverage of Poway Unified’s now-infamous billion-dollar bond deal and this in-depth investigation revealing the close ties between major donors to school bond campaigns and the companies that win work once school bonds are passed.
Poway Unified also won the best of the best Grand Golden Fleece award for the bond deal that Carless turned into a national story. Poway leaders were the only winners of the notorious shaming sheep not to send anyone to the stage. Carless collected their little sheep for them.
Here’s the U-T San Diego write-up of the awards. And 10 News’ take on the night’s losers.
Gaps In Homeless Shelter Funding: San Diego Explained
Kelly Bennett was on hand Thursday for a press conference where Mayor Filner spoke once again about ending homelessness for veterans in San Diego. Bennett Filner about funding the homeless veterans tent in Point Loma year-round. “Filner acknowledged that’s not in his proposed budget — ‘yet,’” she wrote.
Bennett partnered with NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to explain the gaps in the city’s effort to keep homeless shelters city-wide open year round in our most recent San Diego Explained.
City Heights Ballroom Restoration Uncertain
David Chau has for years been trying to restore an historic ballroom located in City Heights at the corner of University and Euclid. He was awarded some redevelopment money to help him restore the building, but then redevelopment collapsed in 2011. Brian Myers and Megan Burks reported that funding could be restored for the project, but competition is a lot tougher now. He would “be up against infrastructure projects residents have long rallied for — better sidewalks, more streetlights and fewer neglected foreclosures,” they wrote.
Active Voices: Padres, Food and SD New Music
John Gennaro wonders if the Padres’ fountain of youth is to credit for their recent winning streak, and Clare Leschin-Hoar fills you in on all the delectable food news that rose to the top in San Diego this week. Libby Weber wrote about how San Diego New Music is moving forward since the sudden death of their young executive director, Nathan Brock.
Readers Respond In Pictures and Words
Our readers love to make their voices heard in different ways. Andres Ripa submitted our newest addition to The Stumblr photo blog, where San Diegans are documenting our city’s crumbling sidewalks. And Megan Kucharski, Carl Nelson, and Jill Delavega all sent in their ideas in to our Dear Superintendent project picturing what they think new San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten should focus on.
• Livia Borak, president of League of Conservation Voters San Diego, wrote in with her yearly report on the grades given to San Diego officials by that group, which were very low last year in the group’s review of 2011. “The average grade for 2012 rose to a C. That’s not something to brag about, but at least it’s a passing grade,” Borak wrote.
End of La Jolla Stench In Sight
The stench that has caused such a stink around the La Jolla Cove may finally be coming to an end. Mayor Filner on Thursday told the La Jolla Light that the city has “someone who’s an expert at vacuuming this stuff up who we’re going to hire,” they reported. He’s referring to the scourge of animal excrement that coats the rocks near the cove. Filner said he hopes to get the vacuuming done by Memorial Day.
Vacuums sound a little more high-tech than Mayor Filner’s original proposal on how to clean up the mess. “They are trying to restrain me from going up and hosing everything down. I’m gonna give it a little time to work before I do it,” Filner joked in January.
Halting the Stadium Pollution Clean-up
San Diego is suing the Regional Water Quality Control Board, demanding that it stop permitting Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to dump polluted water into the Murphy Canyon Creek. Kinder Morgan has been pumping polluted water out from underneath Qualcomm Stadium, and City Attorney Goldsmith claims they are only partially treating the water before dumping it into the nearby canyon. “We ask the water board to stop treating Kinder Morgan as the victim in this and do its job,” Goldsmith said.
• Your electric bill is going up soon.
• Food trucks are locked in a battle with restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, and City Council President Todd Gloria is getting involved, reported KPBS.
• Someone may want to tell Google Maps that the proposal to build a bypass bridge in Balboa Park isn’t going to happen, and it’s certainly not already there.
A Strange Conversation
In case you’ve been missing it, U-T reporter Matt Hall has been publishing a unique brand of stories over at the paper’s website under the label “The Conversation.” Highlights from this week include “31 ways to mark the milestone of your 10,000th tweet,” and “10 stellar video parodies to mark Star Wars Day May 4th.”
And last night, Hall sent a breaking news alert to UT subscribers for this most important news: “Chula Vista native named Playboy’s Playmate of the Year.”
The Morning Report congratulates Hall on the scoop.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist, and genealogists are still researching whether he shares any negligible ancestry with Matt Hall. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.