The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Good news: There are just nine days until we stop telling you how many days are left until Politifest, San Diego’s premier civic engagement festival!
You might come to hang out with politicians, activists and journalists. Or maybe you’d like to meet representatives of community organizations. Or perhaps a kid-friendly (and beer-friendly) day out in the sun appeals to you.
There’s another possibility: You want to talk and hear about the you-know-what regarding you-know-who. We’ve got you covered: We’ll have special programming devoted to the simple question: What do we do now?
Join us on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Liberty Station in Point Loma. It’s a free event but please donate to help us raise the last few thousand dollars we need to put it on.
Three days, three accusers: Another woman went public yesterday with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Mayor Filner. The mayor’s newly minted chief of staff left his job after just nine days. And the invitation to him to give speak at a gala about sexual harassment and assault in the military — an awkward juxtaposition that got national attention — was officially revoked.
Filner announced the appointment of Lee Burdick, an attorney and former port commissioner, as his new chief of staff. Tony Buckles, who’d had the job for just more than a week and has a long history of working for Filner, is out. The mayor is trying to communicate that this was the plan all along but Liam Dillon found that nothing indicated Buckles was going to be chief of staff for such a short time.
Burdick gave an interview to Fox 5 San Diego. She said she too will comply with a new policy forbidding the mayor to be alone with any woman on city property. She told the station that this was as much to protect the mayor as anyone else.
• The third alleged victim of sexual harassment by the mayor came forward yesterday to tell how then-Rep. Filner came on to her at a Marie Callendar’s in Chula Vista. KPBS has the details. She revealed more in an interview with the U-T.
• The allegations against Filner are painting the picture of a patten of behavior that can make a legal defense harder for the mayor. We explore the common threads.
• We found that a state agency has received a second complaint about Filner.
• A women veterans group won’t let Filner speak after all. (U-T San Diego).
• Democratic leaders are once again meeting on a tonight to decide if they’ll ask Filner to quit. In an email to members of the Central Committee, chair Francine Busby said the urgent request for a second meeting on the topic came “in light of new information.”
• Dillon describes how the harassment scandal has come full circle from vague accusations (by former Filner allies) to a vague defense (by Filner himself.)
• Many have wondered where complaints can go about the mayor himself. After all, he controls nearly all the city’s bureaucracy. We lay out all the options available to city employees and how it all works in a new explainer.
The Rest of the Day in Filner
• Lani Lutar, the former head of a local taxpayer advocacy group who now runs a non-profit environmentalist group, tells the U-T that she’s appalled by her friend Walt Ekard, who’s now the city’s chief operating officer: “I’m beyond disappointed because (Ekard) is emboldening a monster.”
• MSNBC looked at the Filner drama in depth.
• Filner has lost the Socialists.
• CityBeat columnist John Lamb has a sharp analysis of how the tide has shifted for Filner. He notes that in “Republican-land,” “city staffers continue to blame the molasses pace of city business on the Filner escapades, all the while spending most of their working days trying to out-clever themselves on social media.” (Wait, there might be something scurrilous about out-clever-ing via the Internet? Say it ain’t so, John!)
• Cynthia Morgan, executive committee member for Run Women Run, weighs in on the Filner mess in a commentary in response to an earlier submission saying calls to resign weren’t appropriate yet. “We have the right to demand Filner’s resignation. We cannot allow someone to remain in office who is unfit to be a leader.”
Chula Vista’s McCann Suffers Major Injuries
Former Chula Vista City Councilman John McCann, who is a Sweetwater schools trustee, was in a terrible head-on collision Tuesday on Telegraph Canyon Road.
Homeless Center Claim Is False
“A homeless shelter is inappropriate because: Rachel’s Women’s Facility is located less than two blocks away. It is well under capacity. A redundant facility is not helpful,” said a group of downtown residents in the East Village area. But their claim, San Diego Fact Check finds, is false.
And Away Goes ‘Data’ Dobbs
You may recall that the San Diego school district’s top finance official got in hot water after being a bit too open with us in an interview. Well, Stan “Data” Dobbs is set to take a new job as interim superintendent of the school district in Hayward, north of San Jose, the Mercury News reports.
At last report, he’d gone on “family leave.”
County Supe Blasts County Clerk
County Supervisor Ron Roberts is miffed that the county assessor/clerk/recorder went rogue and enlisted a prominent attorney in anti-gay causes to help file a legal request (which was rejected) seeking court guidance on same-sex marriages. He says via Facebook that “we will be reviewing this matter with county attorneys during a closed session next week.”
What’s Next for Plaza de Panama?
The mayor drew extensive praise from supporters when he opened up much of Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama to pedestrians. So now what? It’s a pretty blank canvas now. That sparked a discussion in our comments section about how to fill the empty space. What about small tables and chairs like several parks in New York City?
Our compilation of comments inspired another discussion.
Commentary: How to Make the Innovation Economy Sustainable
Local scientist Susan M. Baxter identifies what’s key to a healthy biotech hub: higher education, financial support for research and new ideas, a sound business climate. It helps, too, she writes, if innovators know that a “critical mass” of jobs is available at different points in their professional and personal lives.
Catch up how we’ve been exploring possible roadblocks to the success of San Diego’s innovation economy. We had a good turnout and discussion at our event discussing these issues last night at Evo Nexus downtown.
No Fedora for Me: My Hard-Boiled Flub
Making a mistake like this is, to borrow Raymond Chandler’s description of a certain blonde character, enough “to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.”
In yesterday’s Morning Report, I noted Chandler’s 125th birthday was this week and that he’d written “The Maltese Falcon.” Nope. That author, of course, was Dashiell Hammett. Next time I won’t be so scrambled when it comes to hard-boiled fiction.
Speaking of Chandler: Newspaperman Neil Morgan, one of the founders of Voice of San Diego, was a close friend of his during his La Jolla days and tried to help the author recover from severe alcoholism. Historian Kevin Starr tells some of the story here.
What are the limits — and responsibilities — of friendship and loyalty? They were certainly on Morgan’s mind back then. And now, with so many allies trying to figure out what to do about a politician in peril, lots of local folks are pondering the same thing.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.