The Morning Report
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What should we do with those undocumented immigrant kids who are alone in this country? Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, a Republican, has finally provided a clear answer: Don’t give them hearings about asylum, don’t screen them to see if they’re being trafficked, just send them home already.
That’s the word from his spokesman to our Scott Lewis, who tried to get DeMaio to offer some clarity about his position. In a new story, Lewis provides perspective about the wider problem in Central America: “If DeMaio is interested in finding the root of this problem, he can’t stop at our border.”
Rep. Scott Peters, an incumbent Democrat, is touting immigration reform, but what he has in mind would do little to affect this situation. As for the kids here now, he thinks they deserve a hearing.
• From the That’ll Be the Day Department: In an editorial, CityBeat dreams the impossible dream by suggesting that Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, open the city to those undocumented and unaccompanied children and put them up comfortably: “For goodness’ sake, can we just treat them with some dignity and kindness while they’re here?”
Dumanis Finally Coughs Up Letter
Remember when District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said she barely knew the moneyman at the center of the campaign finance scandal but it later turned out she’d met with him at least twice and write a college recommendation letter for his son? After being pressured by several local outlets, she finally disclosed the letter Wednesday with an in-your-face to her media critics: She gave it up on KUSI, which didn’t join its counterparts in threatening to sue for its disclosure.
In a new story, we look at several ways that the disclosed letter digs Dumanis in deeper: Her insistence that she wrote the recommendation as a favor to Ernesto Encinas reveals Dumanis’ close ties with the man who’s pleaded guilty to his role in the scandal, and her willingness to trust her name and that of her office to him. Nor does Dumanis’ argument that the letter demonstrates she didn’t actually know the young man she was commending pass the smell test.
The U-T has more details about what’s in the letter. Even the newspaper’s Republican-friendly editorial page is not thrilled with the “petty” way Dumanis has handled this. “She may be a good DA, but she can be politically tone-deaf.”
Trolley Stations and Density Are BFF
People mostly like public transit. But they’re not always big on fitting more residents into neighborhoods to be served by buses and trolleys. Some may even wonder if density boosts use of public transit.
We decided to take a look, and found “there’s a strong correlation between daily activity at trolley stations and the number of people who live within a half mile of each station … It turns out the relationship between building directly around a trolley station and people actually deciding to use the trolley isn’t just conventional wisdom.”
Politics Roundup: Fines and Fees
• Business types and the city have come back with a new proposed affordable housing fee, the U-T reports. It won’t boost fees on developers by very much or raise very much — only enough to build about 37 units.
In fact, the fees would only return to their 1996 levels.
How S.D. Lost Its School Chief
Terry Grier, the no-nonsense former San Diego schools superintendent, tells a reporter that his wrangling with miffed teachers (“they went bonzos and have never forgiven me”) resulted in a public berating that infuriated his wife. She learned about a job at the Houston school district: “She convinced me to talk to them, so I followed up the next morning. I was on the plane that afternoon.”
• In a VOSD commentary, South Bay teacher Steve Rodriguez calls for a better system to evaluate teachers with a special focus on those who serve as leaders.
Sierra Club’s Still Set on Boil
CityBeat digs into the infighting within the local chapter of the Sierra Club.
Earlier this year, the national organization suspended the chapter for four years because of “ongoing conflicts and divisions.” The dispute has ended up in court.
Pastor Fights Fire with Brimstone
Earlier this week, an openly gay former Episcopal bishop bashed La Mesa’s Skyline megachurch, a leading force against gay marriage. The Rev. Gene Robinson writes of attending a service devoted to creating fear about liberals: “if you left that service feeling hopeful, at peace with God, and eager to help the poor and needy, then you weren’t paying attention.”
Pastor Jim Garlow sent a lengthy response to Times of San Diego. While he described Robinson as a friend, Garlow denies his church is fearful and said it — unlike liberal churches — has been welcoming to critics.
Garlow also mentions the Episcopal Church’s decline, declares that “boldness is walking in truth when the prevailing culture mocks you for it,” and says “those who have contributed to the moral and economic decline of America should have fear for the fact that they will someday stand before God and be held accountable for their actions.”
Quick News Hits: Pizza Toppings on the Hoof
• The Padres still stink and will continue to stink, VOSD sports blogger John Gennaro writes. Trouble on the general-manager front isn’t helping.
• NBC 7 finds that pedestrian deaths in the city are on the rise.
• The airport is working on a new “parking plaza” near Terminal 2. What’s a parking “plaza”? Does it come with a promenade where ladies can stroll with parasols? Nope. It’s just a three-story parking garage, apparently.
People who complain about Lindbergh Field apparently think parking is the biggest hassle. Not the overpriced bottled water? I demand a recount!
• Beach vs. Beach: A CityBeat columnist and Obecian bashes his neighbors to the north in Pacific Beach as a “Denny’s- and Dominoes-dominated, Fartburger-franchising, one-hundred-and-eleven-7-Eleven-having, no-beach-seeing, mom-and-pop-shop massacre.”
• Self-Righteous vs. Self-Righteous: A Washington Post contributor rails against the menace of lawless cyclists — a growing topic of debate in major cities like San Diego — but ends up sounding like a huge bully himself.
• Anchovies are appearing in droves off La Jolla in the highest levels in 30 years, the U-T reports.
Yawn. Call me when we’re awash in Canadian bacon.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.