The Morning Report
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Today we’re launching our spring campaign to raise $100,000 by April 30. This campaign will play an important role in VOSD’s plans to grow later this year. If we can raise $100,000 based on what we’re doing right now, we can build a strong case for doing even more. Please donate now!

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Whether it’s a “super bus,” a “diet trolley” or just “the rapid,” the point of the new bus rapid transit system that will run through Mid-City is to make transit a more attractive option to more people. Andrew Keatts looked into the new system and found that officials anticipate an estimated 20 percent time savings for riders of the new system. “The whole aim of the rapid is to create a trolley on tires,” said one SANDAG official.

The new system will have fewer stops and will employ some technological wizardry, allowing bus drivers to control traffic signals if their super bus is running behind. And the new system’s street-side stations will be more welcoming, too. But not everyone is enamored with what they see as a continuation of the car-centric focus on transportation. “We will continue to fall further behind in having a working transit system since we are spending much more on freeways, parking and other auto-centric travel,” said Jack Shu, of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation.

The Cost of Success

San Diego State University is digging into the pockets of students to the tune of $400 starting next semester under the label of a “Student Success Fee.” Ana Ceballos ran the numbers on the new fee, which is designed to fund the hiring of a whole host of new professors. “SDSU has almost 11 percent fewer students now than it did in 2008,” she reports. Years of budget cuts dictated those previous measures, and SDSU says hundreds of teachers and classes were cut along with those students. “The new student fee is expected to bring in about $13 million more annually to the university’s budget,” Ceballos writes.

We’re Going Places Together

Voice of San Diego is partnering with its Minnesota-based cousin MinnPost to launch a serious effort to dramatically increase membership for both organizations. Working together and with Knight Foundation, we’re embarking on project to leverage technology and other innovative ideas to further engage and attract both new and existing members.

“We’ll need a membership of many thousands of people and managing them requires technology that we are fortunate to now be able to implement,” said Voice’s CEO Scott Lewis.

Opera’s Last Act Extended

The San Diego Opera board of directors has stopped the countdown to closure for now, the U-T reports. The board decided to extend the effort to liquidate from April 14 to April 29 in order to satisfy eight board members’ request for more information.

Meanwhile, details about the inner workings of the opera continue to emerge, including this KPBS coverage noting a February investigation into a hostile work environment claim at the opera. Board members are interested in reading the results of the investigation that was to look into the management style of the general director and deputy general director, who were previously married. One employee described management as “closed, unwilling to dialogue, a top-down management style and micromanaging,” KPBS notes.

News Nibbles

• It isn’t just orca whale shows that the California legislature aims to ban. They’re also interested in banning plastic bags, the filters on cigarettes and even facial scrubs that contain so-called “microbeads,” among other things. (Sacramento Bee)

• inewsource contrasted San Diego County’s campaign filing system with the city of San Diego’s system to show how outdated the county’s paper-based system is.

• Monday was the deadline to sign up for Covered California, the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

• Give that Encinitas woman back her medical marijuana, the Supreme Court told an Arizona sheriff on Monday.

• Joe Panetta, CEO of Biocom, talked with the U-T about how to keep the biotech industry booming in San Diego.

• Once a virus-on-the-run, measles is making a big comeback in California due to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

• The New York Times picked up on the story of San Diego local celebrity Slomo, who is really Pacific Beach resident Dr. John Kitchin, avid slow-motion roller-blader.

Downtown at Terminal Velocity

I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to skydive into Petco Park, so I guess I’ll just have to settle for joining the Navy’s parachute team, the Leap Frogs, via this first-person video they shot on Sunday when they jumped from an airplane into Petco Park for the Padres home opener. The video offers a truly unique view of downtown.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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