Government agencies don’t holler “Get me rewrite!” like those reporters in old movies. For them, it’s more like “please work on a plan update and send a draft out for extensive review before we hold public hearings and make a series of votes before everything ends up in court.”
Definitely not as pithy as a black-and-white movie. But the message is the same: something is out of date, and we’re going to revise it. Like, say, the port of San Diego’s blueprint, known as the general plan. Parts of it are more than 30 years old, and officials say it needs more than a nip and tuck. In fact, they want to plan things out for the next five decades.
In a new story, we present five things you should know about the port’s proposed blueprint. They have to do with the range of bayside areas covered by the port (including the airport), the timing of the revision of the blueprint, and the uncertainty about when it will all be finished.
The Day in the Mayor’s Race
• The top four mayoral candidates met last night for a spirited debate sponsored by VOSD. We’ll post coverage soon, but for now you can check out this extensive KPBS summary and monitor the debate chatter on Twitter by clicking here to view posts with the hashtag #noBSmayor.
“Honestly, none of these candidates sent me screaming for the hills,” tweeted one attendee. Well, that’s a good sign! At least for the level of noise pollution in the hills.
Meanwhile, the U-T’s Chris Cantore wasn’t the only one to note the all-male contingent on stage, which he called “a bro-brah summit.” When asked, none of the candidates could explain why women were missing. (To be fair, San Diego is one of few big cities to have had not one but two elected female mayors. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, just to name a few, can’t say that. NYC and L.A. have not even had one.)
• We’re finishing our look at the candidates’ plans to fix the city’s broken roads and other infrastructure with an examination of Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s plans. Turns out he has differing views about the value of taking out loans to repair things.
• The U-T gets into the fact-checking business (hey, that’s our thing!) and dings Faulconer for touting $1 billion in pension savings that can be used to fix things. “While the claim is true in a broad sense, it fails to provide needed context and leaves the incorrect impression that the money is ready to be spent right away,” the paper says.
News in Politics: Walmart Appeal, Controversial County Clerk
• NBC San Diego broke news this week about how new fire and police department hires are going without defined death and disability coverage. Now, it reports, the city says it expects to buy policies to cover them instead of the current situation, in which the city’s general bank account would be responsible for payouts.
• A majority of the City Council voted this week to pursue a court appeal of the decision to allow a Walmart to be built in the Sherman Heights neighborhood near downtown.
“It is yet another example of Development Services staff members issuing over-the-counter permits instead of forcing the developer — a retail conglomerate, in this instance — to conduct a full environmental impact report and gain approval from local planning groups and the city’s planning commission,” the Reader reports.
• Ernest Dronenburg, who holds an obscure elected position as county clerk, made the news recently when he challenged gay marriage in the state. He’s running again, the Reader reports, and is almost certain to face major opposition.
• The city has sacked its veterans affairs director, a new position created by ex-Mayor Filner, the U-T reports. The man who held the position in the one-person office says he ended up advocating for veterans.
• Local Rep. Darrell Issa is expected to propose a moderate course on immigration reform. (Via KPBS.)
• City politics in North County can get pretty heated in places like Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista. Carlsbad? Not so much. But now, the city manager has been put on leave mysteriously, and the list of accusations against a local hospital CEO who got fired says he tried to investigate (!) the mayor of Carlsbad, the U-T reports.
It’s not clear if the two sackings are connected.
Quick News Hits: Iconic Gay Bar May Close
• VOSD’s weekly Culture Report of news in the arts and culture world is positively epic this week with links to stories about local theater, music, cocktails, beer, photography, the best bartenders and more.
• “Border Patrol agents will be allowed to continue using deadly force against rock-throwers, the chief of the agency said, despite the recommendation of a government-commissioned review to end the practice,” the AP reports.
• Bad news for local gay men: Top of the Park, the expansive rooftop bar overlooking Balboa Park at Hillcrest’s Inn at the Park, may be closing, Gay San Diego reports. The bar has been a gathering spot for hundreds of gay men (and a few of their female pals) every Friday evening for decades, but new owners look likely to shut it down.
“A loss of the iconic space would be felt community-wide,” Gay San Diego says.
• The Onion is having some fun with the controversy over treatment of animals at Sea World.
• Not too long ago, I was in Springfield, Ill., and had the local artery-clogging delicacy, the horseshoe. “Cheese sauce or gravy?” the waitress asked. “Yes,” I replied.
Turns out the horseshoe made it onto Business Insider’s map of the top sandwiches from each state in honor of this week’s National Sandwich Day. I’m sure local author Susan Russo is paying attention: she wrote the book, literally, on sandwiches (read our Q&A with her here).
The website says the French Dip is rumored to be from California, but it gives our Best Sandwich honor to the Avocado Club. Say what? That’s not even a real sandwich.
I demand a re-count. And a re-eat.
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.