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We stumbled over another interesting tidbit about San Diego’s decrepit sidewalks: The city doesn’t know how many sidewalks exist. Turns out the 5,000 miles number that’s been cited was made up.

That’s soon to change: Friday marked the kickoff of an elaborate sidewalk survey that will help the city document and prioritize sidewalk issues. (Bonus: Surveyors will also take note of the number of nearby trees, and issues that might cause drainage problems.) Here’s NBC on the effort and KPBS.

Plugging a $47 Million Hole

Back in 2011, City Councilman David Alvarez took the new strong-mayor system out for a spin. The new structure gave the City Council a bigger role in shaping the city budget, and Alvarez wrote up a bunch of ideas on how to tackle the looming budget deficit. Some of those ideas made their way into then-Mayor Jerry Sanders’ budget, which plugged a $47 million deficit – though it’s not clear if Sanders got them from Alvarez, or from some other sources with the same ideas.

Fast-forward to 2014: Alvarez, who’s running for mayor, says in the new voter information guide that hesolved a $47 million budget deficit.”

As Lisa Halverstadt finds in a new Fact Check, there’s a whole lot of context missing from that claim.

A Rollercoaster Week in SD Sports

John Gennaro walks us through a week of high highs and low lows: The Chargers and Aztecs’ big wins, and the grief of losing Jerry Coleman, in this week’s Sports Report.

What We Learned This Week

• San Diego police often fail to follow their own rules on tracking racial data at traffic stops.

• Speaking of traffic stops – police can pull you over if they see you commit a crime, or if they have reasonable suspicion to believe you committed one. They can’t pull you over based on a hunch, a general profile of a criminal in the area or because they don’t like the color of your car.

• Local business leaders don’t support what they call the “jobs-killing tax” – but they do theoretically support six other taxes that would accomplish the same thing (the thing being funding affordable housing), among other alternatives to the fee hike the City Council recently passed.

• One expert thinks San Diego’s schools are the best in the country. That might not actually be great news.

Quick News Hits

• Chris Brewster writes in a new commentary: If you liked Jan Goldsmith’s decision to sue SDCERS, you’ll love his decision to draw out a separate case involving some SDCERS board members. Brewster argues both unnecessarily wasted city money.

• Inewsource has updated its report on how much money each mayoral candidate has received, and where the donations are coming from. The outlet said committees supporting David Alvarez received $324,600 from unions “last week alone.”

• Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says the Barrio Logan community plan some groups and City Councilman Keven Faulconer want to throw out won’t push the Navy out of San Diego as some have warned. (Daily Transcript)

The Daily Beast seizes on our racial profiling investigation in a new blog post: “The main point, however, is that ‘driving while black’ is a real phenomenon that can be observed and measured,” Jamelle Bouie writes.

Quote of the Week

“The damaging thing, the hurtful thing, is to have individuals that we work with question our loyalty because we are out trying to solve a problem, trying to mend a fence.” – Benjamin Kelson, head of the San Diego Black Police Officers Association, on race relations within SDPD and the community at large.

Sara Libby

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

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