The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Earlier this month, U-T San Diego’s editorial board newspaper turned its attention to the once-obscure local office known as county assessor/recorder/clerk, which jumped into the spotlight last year thanks to a flap over the issuing of marriage certificates to gay people.
The newspaper declared this in an endorsement editorial: “Here’s all you really need to know: Incumbent Ernie Dronenburg is the only one of the four candidates who, at least as of a couple weeks ago, even met the legal requirement that this officeholder be a certified property appraiser.”
We ran this claim through San Diego Fact Check and rated it as Misleading. Yes, anyone who holds this office has to be certified as a property appraiser, but you have to work for the county assessor’s office or the state Board of Equalization to get one. It’s routine for elected county assessors to get certified after they’re in office.
The U-T is standing by the editorial and disputes the Fact Check verdict.
Ex-Cop: SDPD Turns a Blind Eye on Chargers
We discovered an eyebrow-raising nugget from a newly unsealed document in a case against convicted cop Anthony Arevalos: He claims SDPD officers are directed not to issue tickets to other cops, city attorneys and … Chargers players.
Attorneys for the plaintiff in the case, one of Arevalos’ victims, were trying to determine who would get breaks from officers. Arevalos said Chargers players and their families were among those were told not to give tickets to. An SDPD spokesman, and a spokeswoman for former SDPD Chief and Mayor Jerry Sanders said the allegation isn’t true.
Certainly, Arevalos is an untrustworthy source. But his statement is curious given that it comes out of the blue, and that lawyers never asked about the Chargers.
Uncovering the City Memo on an Annoying Attorney
Earlier this week, we detailed what a pest local environmental attorney Cory Briggs is to Southern California’s city officials and developers. He’s made a bundle by forcing developers and municipalities to follow environmental laws in a variety of ways.
As we reveal in a new story, the City Council asked for and got a confidential memo about Briggs that discloses his win-loss-settlement-pending record. In other words, his batting average.
Commissioning such a memo is a weird move, said former Councilwoman Donna Frye.
“I have never heard of anything like it before,” Frye said.
• The city’s auditor wants the city to pay his legal bills for when his office got accused in a messy case involving a workplace injury, the U-T reports. You can read our coverage of this issue here and here.
Chula Vista: We’re Not That Bad, People!
A recent poll shows that San Diego County residents don’t think many good thoughts about Chula Vista, the county’s second-largest city, if they think about it at all: Of those surveyed, 60 percent have a negative perception and a third have no opinion.
Never mind that Chula Vista is one of the safest cities of its size in the country.
We’re spear-heading an effort to improve “news literacy” in Chula Vista. Meanwhile, a forum will be held on Friday from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Civic Center Library to discuss this topic: “Chula Vista — The Good, The Bad and The Just Plain Wrong.”
• Chula Vista might get to run the Olympics Training Center. (NBC 7)
Quick News Hits
• Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio’s campaign office has been vandalized. (U-T)
• The San Diego school district is bidding farewell to a whopping 471 teachers thanks to early retirement deals. Seniority will still matter big-time, though.
• CityBeat takes a look at the people affected by the potential demise of a program that aims to help local homeless people who require the most expensive treatment and services. We told you about Project 25’s troubles earlier this month.
• Controversy. Tierrasanta. These are words that typically don’t go together … Until now. “Urban guerrillas” carved canyon trails in Tierrasanta, the Reader reports, but no good deed goes unpunished in this town.
• Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is quoting Eminem on Twitter. Why? Because of — and I’m not making this up — the “The Healthy Baby Bottom Act of 2014.” Gonzalez introduced the bill, which would mandate funding for poor families to purchase diapers.
• Remember Balboa Park’s botched centennial? Who could forget! (Trust me, I’ve been trying.) Well, a party is still being planned, and will now include a “Spring Back to 1915” weekend, the U-T reports.
If you like dipping into San Diego’s past, check the Facebook page of Vintage San Diego, which celebrates our history.
The page regularly posts old photos, including this nifty one of downtown San Diego around 1904.
Commenters note that this could be a Midwestern town if it wasn’t for the ocean in the background and the palm trees in the foreground. (No wonder I like to refer to San Diego as “Des Moines by the Sea.”)
One commenter has his eyes on the prize: “Imagine all the available parking!”
Oh, I am imagining, I am! Anybody got a time machine that has room for me and my car? And maybe a gas station and a mechanic too?
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president-elect of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.