The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
We’re out today with a special investigation on how long it is taking San Diego emergency responders to arrive after calls comes in.
It’s often far too long.
“By their own standard, first responders have arrived late across the city more than 37,000 times to cardiac arrests, chokings, shootings and other highest-priority incidents during a 21-month period ending in March,” Liam Dillon reports in a new investigative story. “That’s an average of more than two times an hour, every day. If you add lower-priority incidents to the list, the rate almost doubles.”
Some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods are suffering the brunt of slow emergency services and broken promises by city leaders. Our story doesn’t just report numbers, however. It also describes how actual people have been affected.
Your chances of survival aren’t great if you suffer from cardiac arrest in the hospital. The odds are even worse in the outside world, and they zoom up the longer it takes for paramedics to get to you: the risk of dying grows 7-10 percent every minute that you aren’t treated.
The Weekend in Filner
• The U-T examines the tough road for women who seek damages after claiming they’ve been sexually harassed. The paper says the most controversial part of such suits is “an exhaustive inquiry into the accuser.”
• Twitter’s been buzzing with three bits of Filner news: Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to tell him to step down, the creation of a new sheriff’s hotline where people can report his misconduct (oh to have been a fly on the wall at the big-honcho planning meeting) and his scheduled speech next month at a fundraiser for the National Women Veterans Association.
The fundraiser’s theme is opposition to sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence. Filner won’t get an award as scheduled, but he’s still expected to speak. The head of the association spoke at a press conference over the weekend and said the event is “going to be very, extremely uncomfortable for him,” the U-T reported.
Attendees will get to ask him questions, she said, adding that he’d better show up or else: “We helped get him into office, and we can help get him out.”
• Hey, where’s my filet knife? Oh, looks like Councilman Todd Gloria borrowed it. He said this to the LA Times about people who don’t believe the mayor was a sexual harasser: “They’re the modern-day birthers.”
• U-T columnist Logan Jenkins offers a perceptive look at the widening canyon over Filner that’s dividing local Democrats (“#demsinactualdisarray,” tweeted D.C. reporter Dave Weigel, who likes to point out Democratic successes with an ironic #demsindisarray hash tag).
Jenkins notes a 24-24 vote (“arguably the most emotionally freighted vote in the local liberal party’s history”) among local Dem leaders: “On this existential acid test, the party’s personality is split in perfect polarization. Yin for resign-you-perv; yang for due-process-and-the-Fifth-Amendment.
• The NYT’s Gail Collins, the Morning Report’s favorite columnist, checks in on the Filner mess and rips our “terrible government.” She also talks to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who notes Filner’s notoriously abrasive personality: “Everybody knew he had a kind of East Coast demeanor.” (“New Yorkers might have taken offense at that remark, but we are in the Weiner-Spitzer summer,” Collins writes.)
• The U-T editorial board comes up with a “Filner Gallery of Shame” — politicos who deserve blame for the mess he (and we) are in. Funny thing: former mayoral candidate and U-T golden boy Carl DeMaio is missing, even though his campaign worked to make sure Filner advanced out of the primary. (DeMaio’s campaign boosted Filner in the primary because they thought he’d be a lousy opponent in the general election. KPBS spilled the details.)
• DeMaio has a big decision to make. Maybe.
• Filner has made a point of not talking to some local TV stations about his scandal. One of them, NBC San Diego, repaid the favor by demanding answers from him at an event over the weekend. He declined and jumped into a car that promptly ran through a red light. You can watch it all here.
Foes Line Up Quickly Against County Clerk
Guess who’s been added to the might-he-be-recalled list? One Ernest J. Dronenburg, the county assessor-recorder-clerk, or “chief county paper shuffler” as the U-T put it a few years ago: he “As assessor-recorder-clerk, elected in November, he oversees nearly 500 employees who keep track of births, deaths, marriages and deeds. But his most important job is to appraise nearly 980,000 parcels of land in San Diego County so property taxes can be fairly levied annually.”
Dronenburg’s rarely in the news (although he did garner a story during his 2010 race by failing to file proper paperwork). But talk about his recall began immediately on Friday in the wake of news that he’d asked the state Supreme Court to stop allowing gay marriages pending more legal wrangling over Prop. 8.
Dronenburg told the U-T that 20 county clerks were planning to join him, and all he wants is clarity. However, the paper says he worked on his legal petition with an attorney known for his advocacy for conservative and anti-gay-rights causes.
Quick News Hits
• Our health care reform Q&A series continues with a look at whether a tiny business has to offer insurance to its workers.
• The New York Times explores the military’s struggle with sexual assault and goes to Oceanside to do it.
• Every single story on the VOSD weekly Top 10 most popular list is dominated by you-know-who.
• I dropped by Balboa Park yesterday and drove through the newly pedestrian-friendly Plaza de Panama. My first thought: “This is what everyone’s gone bananas over?” My second thought: the plaza is more friendly to cars too since the lanes are more straightforward and less confusing.
Meanwhile, my eye caught the marquee at the Air & Space Museum nearby. It promises the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! exhibit is “weird,” “wacky” and “odd.”
Yawn. We live in San Diego. These days, we don’t even need to leave the house.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.