The remnants of the fatal accident in North Park littered the street: a scarf, a pair of black gloves, a blood-soaked pea coat. But the white sedan, the one in the wrong lane that rammed into a motorcycle, was nowhere to be found. Months later, it’s still missing.
This is often the case with fatal hit-and-run accidents in San Diego: The drivers vanish and are never caught.
In a new VOSD investigation, reporter Mario Koran examines the growing hit-and-run problem: “In San Diego County, 11 pedestrians or bicyclists have been hit and killed this year by drivers who fled the scene, the data show. That’s already one more death than the average for five previous years, which is 10. And it’s only June.”
Cops often can’t solve the cases. And even if they do, there’s no guarantee that a hit-and-run driver will get much of a punishment.
More Insight into Police Misconduct Rules
The U-T finds disturbing details in newly unsealed testimony in the case of San Diego’s most scandalous cop. One revelation: According to a police official, the department never had a rule requiring cops to report misconduct by other officers; it now has one.
Meanwhile, former Mayor Jerry Sanders, who previously served as police chief, once again denies that there was any policy against ticketing people in law enforcement or Chargers players. We broke the story about those unproven allegations last month.
Library Hours Come, Library Hours Go
The city is preparing to expand hours at libraries and swimming pools, the U-T reports, which sounds like good news.
But there’s one big hitch that no one’s mentioned: Under a proposed schedule, no public library in San Diego will ever be open past 7 p.m. The current schedule has fewer hours but keeps libraries open until 8 p.m. twice a week.
A mayoral spokesman tells me that “the proposed additional hours allow for the maximized number of open hours for the greatest number of users during morning, early evening and weekend hours.” He said the new hours are expected to go into effect by the early fall or earlier.
At least one library fan is furious about the hours and a plan to use money for an after-school program instead of new books and other materials.
• The VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast features Chris Wahl, a lobbyist who’s been a major player in the fight over the future of the Barrio Logan neighborhood. Take a listen here, and catch thoughts from two of our journalists about how a low-key council race could get pretty nasty over the next few months.
Quick News Hits
• We’re on the road to drinking recycled sewage water. Texas Monthly magazine reports on a city there — Wichita Falls — that’s on the same path. “Assuming it passes all the state tests, we’re at a point now where we have no other options,” says one local who admits being grossed out at first.
• The San Diego airport’s renovated Terminal 2 is looking pretty snazzy. But Terminal 1 — home to flights on low-cost airline Soutwest — is still crowded and awkward despite some improvements. The agency that runs the airport wants to replace the whole thing, and it’s floating plans to do just that, KPBS reports.
The airport also wants to improve parking and reduce the annoying traffic on Harbor Drive.
• The San Diego Opera is adding even more shows to its next season, KPBS reports.
• Uh-oh. Chula Vista is “boring” again.
• With a little help from their human friends, Ricochet the Surfing Dog hit the waves at La Jolla Shores beach in a “paddle-out” to honor a teenage brain cancer victim. Before passing away, he’d gotten to meet with Ricochet, who surfs with the disabled and other people with special needs.
Ricochet the Surfing Dog has now written a “pawtobiography.”
Oh great. Now my feline wants to write a “petmoir” titled “Cat, Interrupted.” He’d better not mention that unfortunate stuck-in-the-door-jamb incident.
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.