Kevin Faulconer has been out front of the debate over Barrio Logan’s community plan, insisting it could cost the city jobs.

The story behind a new pro-Faulconer mailer sheds light on Faulconer’s long tenure in office, and on the current Barrio Logan fight.

Yes, he fought to keep the big manufacturer Solar Turbines in San Diego, as the mailer touts. But as Scott Lewis explains, the whole reason the solar manufacturer felt threatened in the first place was thanks to a community plan Faulconer and a majority of the City Council OK’d.

The Return of the Empty Chair

Republicans used empty chairs against Nathan Fletcher and Bob Filner in the last mayor’s race. Now they’ve dusted the chair off and are using it against Fletcher again this time around.

In 2012, they used the empty chair to symbolize Fletcher’s missed votes in the Assembly. This time around, they’ve come to embody Fletcher’s supposed absence from his Qualcomm gig, a narrative that’s prompted some sharp jabs between Qualcomm management and the Lincoln Club.

A group that tried to hurt Carl DeMaio’s chances in the 2012 mayor’s race by highlighting his sexuality was fined by the Ethics Commission. The consultant identified by the commission has also canceled an event she was hosting for David Alvarez, who’s now running for mayor. He released a statement saying he was saddened.

• Catch up on everything else that happened in the mayor’s race this week with this handy guide.

The Battle for First (Responders)

In a new San Diego Explained segment, Liam Dillon and NBC7’s Catherine Garcia examine what’s at stake for whichever group takes over the city’s ambulance services. Rural/Metro has long provided emergency response services to the city, but the contract could be going up for bid soon.

Who Benefits from the Library

In a commentary, the Alpha Project’s Amy Gonyeau notes that “According to San Diego library surveys, by far the most common reasons people visited the old Central Library were to look for work and to find information about health care.” Those are precisely the types of uses San Diegans should be encouraging, Gonyeau writes, offering a different take from VOSD Christie Ritter, who wrote earlier this week that homeless people at the new Central Library would probably deter her from visiting again.

• Lisa Halverstadt explains the code of conduct that governs behavior in the library. She discovered some sections seem specifically targeted toward homeless visitors.

What We Learned This Week

Small developers are shaping the urban core: A small band of architect-developers is making a mark on the city by building on small lots in already developed urban areas.

We want to craft business coverage people want to read: Check out Andy Keatts’ description of how his reporting focus will be evolving to include a stronger business and economic bent.

Many SD schools sit too close to pollution: A state law passed in 2003 tried to prevent schools from building next to major roads. But 39 San Diego schools sit right next to freeways – posing a big health hazard to kids. We found, though, that for a variety of reasons, none of the schools are actually violating the law.

Del Mar is still killing squirrels: This, despite switching over to a “catch and release” program.

David Alvarez isn’t afraid to critique Jerry Sanders: He did so pretty explicitly in an interview with Liam Dillon, saying Sanders “felt he was above” answering questions from City Council members.

Quick News Hits

• Beware when grocery shopping this weekend: VOSD contributor Clare Leschin-Hoar found chicken being sold on her neighborhood market shelves even though it is part of a USDA health warning over salmonella.

(Speaking of Leschin-Hoar, she was honored on Friday at the California Journalism Awards for her work reporting on food policy issues for the website Take Part.)

• Todd Gloria plans to present a new plan for city management to the City Council later this month. The new plan aims to address some bottlenecks that became apparent during Bob Filner’s tenure. (City News Service)

Quote of the Week

“It was a culture of secrecy that I think held back our city.”

— David Alvarez, about City Hall under former Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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