Parking, the closure of San Onofre, a Q&A with a top exiting staffer from San Diego Unified, expanding development and the record of San Diego’s pro sports teams.

 There’s a solution to parking shortages that doesn’t require adding supply. Recall from Economics 101 that a shortage occurs when demand for something at a specific price exceeds supply of that something at that price. As a demand curve will show you, you can achieve an equilibrium between supply and demand by raising and lowering the price. A few people would object to paying 25 cents an hour for parking during the busy periods (lunch and dinner and on the weekends), so this would effectively flatten demand for the parking lot at rush hour, provide an incentive to visit during quieter periods, provide a revenue source for beautification or other projects, and reduce the strip mall’s burden on surrounding streets.

As UCLA’s Professor Donald Shoup argues, we have our priorities completely backwards when we think people should pay market rates to live in a neighborhood but the car should live rent-free.

Are there not incentives included in the San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone program that speed up the issuance of development permits in the SDREZ areas? I seem to remember that when the SDREZ was expanded in 2008 to include most of the city south of I-8, that the Housing Impact Fees were reduced or eliminated for several types of commercial development in these areas, and development permits were to be fast-tracked. The whole point of the SDREZ was supposedly to accelerate development of industrial and commercial uses. I also question whether what Civic San Diego wants to do -“operate in areas smaller than current community planning areas to adopt what are called specific plans” – is not “spot zoning”, and, therefore, illegal.

One can be factual and disdainful in tone at the same time. For instance, to suggest that some teachers merely “stay alive” to collect annual raises, as if they contributed nothing whatsoever that year beyond breathing and remaining sentient is an insult to the vast majority of teachers who not only show up, but do their best to teach kids every day. Are some teachers lazier than others, burnt out or downright irresponsible? Yes. There are lazy, burnt out and irresponsible workers in every profession. But we know that’s probably not the case with most, and to characterize the raises as coming for “staying alive” suggests a lot of teachers are just breathing, which was the most insulting way you could have possibly phrased it.

To suggest teachers deserve to top out in their careers at the salary that a tech worker (for instance) is making a couple years into his/her career, because the school calendar is just nine months — with the inference that they’re turning down a chance to work the full year and make more — conveys a lack of value for the profession.

Don’t conflate my comment about the your snotty tone as being against discussing any changes to the system. I believe we SHOULD be talking about different systems — perhaps about paying teachers incredibly well but having rigorous evaluations and standards. But then, when we talk about evaluations, how do we account for the disparity in the “raw material” the teachers have to work with? A teacher who has mostly well-fed, well-supervised children has a far better chance of success in his classroom than a teacher with kids who are undernourished at home, have no supervision because their parents must work long hours or who are victims of abuse or neglect.

So I’m not saying “let’s not talk about this.” I’m saying, when we talk about this, we’ll get a lot further if key players in the discussion don’t feel insulted by the questions themselves.

This will be one of the first and most important time the U.S. has to face the real costs of nuclear power, which has been ignored or swept under the rug for 60 years. Is it really safe to store tons of highly radioactive depleted fuel rod nuclear waste in water ponds at the San Onofre site for the next 100 years? Who is going to be held accountable for monitoring and maintaining the nuclear waste? How much will all this cost? SCE shareholders should pay if the decommissioning funds aren’t enough.

Every so often a local writer or broadcaster, when discussing the Padres or Chargers gets into a “if we can sweep” or “if we can run the table” mode. Having been in this town a long time I know that is a fools errand. Very rarely is there a good opportunity to even have the right to think that way. Our teams are never dynasties. They win, they lose. There is rarely a reason to think that a local team, after falling behind in the standings, that they can sweep a series or run the table. Win a championship here and there, then maybe you can express optimism. Otherwise, it’s a total waste of time.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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