Nathan Fletcher’s name may forever be linked to that of a teenage girl who was murdered in the Escondido area: Chelsea King.
Fletcher, a first-term Republican assemblyman, pushed legislation called Chelsea’s Law to boost penalties for sex offenders. Since Fletcher is running for mayor, we decided to take a look at the legacy of his signature achievement.
Authorities rarely use the law, and costs “are hard to calculate.”
Behind the Fire Station Claims
If you call 911, the city might not get to you lickety-split. A recent report said San Diego would need to build as many as 19 new fire stations to make sure authorities get to most emergencies within 7 minutes and 30 seconds.
The three main mayoral candidates agree that something needs to be done, but two of them differ about the number of stations needed. One says it’s 19, the other says 5. Which is it? We take a look in a new story.
The Day in Politics
• Accusations are flying around about honesty in the referendum petition drive to stop the new blueprint for the Barrio Logan neighborhood. We take a look at what signature gatherers can say, what they can’t, and why it’ll be hard for anyone to make a federal case (er, a state case) out of all this.
• We followed the interim mayor around for a full day recently and published a feature story with words, photos and video about what Todd Gloria was up to. In a brief follow-up, we recap an uncomfortable encounter with a citizen who’s worried that he’ll push a “a homosexual agenda,” whatever that is.
Gloria is the second openly gay person to run San Diego in the absence of an elected mayor. (The first was former Councilwoman Toni Atkins).
• He was for him, then he was against him, and now he’s for him again. That’s local resident and former Democrat Olin Hyde, who is endorsing former Councilman Carl DeMaio for Congress again after giving him the bum’s rush. Hyde explains his flip-flop-flip a VOSD commentary.
• The New York Times is out with a story about Detroit’s problems with its pension system for city employees, and it notes San Diego’s own disastrous pension mess. It notes that a former SEC chairman swooped in to figure out what went the heck wrong here and found “not mere negligence, but deliberate disregard for the law.”
The story offers this zinger: “officials outside San Diego seem not to have thought that Mr. Levitt’s message applied to them.” We’ve created a section on our site where you can add your thoughts about this story.
Did North County Transit Take Older Women for a Ride?
The local news outfit Inewsource is out with a remarkable presentation of a story about how the head of the public transit system in North County is accused in a lawsuit of illegally targeting women employees over the age of 40 for layoffs.
The story invites you to look at photos of women who have been laid off, demoted or “quit as a result of his tenure” recently and compare them to those who were recently hired. It’s disturbing to be encouraged to play a kind of hot-or-not game, but it gets the point across that there may be a major problem here.
Quick News Hits
• Bob Kelly, the CEO of the San Diego Foundation, is announcing that he is retiring today. He won’t actually depart until almost a year from now.
• CityBeat catches up with the guy who wants to reopen the only medical marijuana shop that was ever licensed by the sheriff’s department.
• The SportsInsights sports betting blog fact-checks the assumption that West Coast NFL teams (like the Chargers) do worse when they have to play back east. The verdict? “We can conclude that West Coast teams don’t meet expectations and therefore ‘play badly’ when traveling to the East Coast.” And they play “even worse after covering the spread in their previous game,” although it’s complicated: That’s not a result of their travel.
• Slate has dug up a nifty 1896 map of California for cyclists. There’s even an ad for “bicycle clothing.” (No word if bike shorts — gah! — had been invented.)
• Yesterday, we told you about Roy Bean and his perhaps-mythical tamale-assisted escape from a San Diego jail in 1851. He’s said to be an ancestor of mine, which makes it especially annoying to have to correct that item. He did become a famous Old West judge known as “The Law West of the Pecos,” but he wasn’t the “Hanging Judge.” That killer jurist was somebody else, a reader informs me. (Related story: I’m cancelling her subscription. OK, just kidding! Everybody’s free to point out my non-infallibility. Sob!)
• Breaking sort-of-news alert! Thanks to another sharp reader, we now know that the un-San-Diegan video of a road crew in a Faulconer-for-mayor TV ad was was shot in Montana (hence the pines and snow) and costs up to $79 to use.
The Faulconer ad also seems to have reversed the stock footage from left to right. Well, at least it wasn’t the other way around. Diverging from the right could be a problem for this guy.
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.