The Morning Report
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City Attorney Jan Goldsmith would like you to know that his office prosecuted thousands of DUI cases last year and won convictions in more than 99 percent of cases.
VOSD’s fact-checking department would like you to know this claim is Misleading.
As we report in a new Fact Check, the city attorney’s back-patting statement implies that all those drunken drivers were popped in court for drunken driving. But they weren’t. In 2012 and 2013, at least 20 percent of convictions in DUI cases were for another kind of charge other than drunken driving. These were often the results of plea bargains.
The state calculates DUI conviction rates and only includes actual DUI convictions. To do otherwise, a DMV research specialist tells us, would be misleading.
VOSD Radio: Legislator Checks on Immigrants
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is the guest on the latest edition of the VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast. She talks about San Diego’s minimum wage debate and her experiences visiting a facility that’s holding many of the undocumented immigrant children who’ve been flooding the country.
The show also features the Heroes of the Week, an unusual combo of the port district and the county board of supervisors. They get a gold star for helping fishermen to sell their seafood at the waterfront. (Our story about the dockside market was the most popular on our site last week. Check the full Top 10 list here.)
As for the Goat of the Week, he’s a local publisher who hung an intern out to dry.
The Dead Tell No Tales (But They Might Vote)
Chicago we ain’t. Except … The U-T discovers that death hasn’t stopped several local registered voters from sending in ballots. Two voters in particular have repeatedly voted in recent years despite not being alive.
“Every second of the day, people are dying, people are moving, people are turning 18, and there’s always going to be lag time updating the voter rolls,” says Michael Vu, the registrar of voters. But some of these people have been dead for years.
Prosecution is a possibility for whoever has been casting ballots in the name of the dearly departed.
• Speaking of voter irregularities, “opponents of a proposal to split California into six states lodged a complaint Thursday alleging “several instances” of fraud during the circulation of petitions to put the measure on the 2016 state ballot,” the L.A. Times reports.
The Six Californias plan, which would expand the U.S. to 55 states, has produced nationwide mockery.
Expert: Drought Will Probably Worsen
The L.A. Times quotes a climatologist who predicts the state’s drought will deepen this summer. Meanwhile, “a U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday showed 81% of California in the category of extreme drought or worse, up from 78%. Three months ago, it was 68%.”
Digging into Timken’s Boss-Sacking
Why did the tiny, free and widely respected Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park dump its director after only a few years on the job and hire a “visiting director” who will remain in New York City and only work part-time for the museum?
KPBS digs into the mystery and talks to the museum board’s president, who says the new director, who’s 80, will focus more on fundraising and less on curating: “Sometimes it’s just time to repot a plant.”
1951 Book Cover Is an Eye-Opener
Neil Morgan, our city premier newspaperman and a co-founder of Voice of San Diego, died earlier this year. He leaves quite a legacy as an editor, columnist and reporter. Among his many projects: a 1951 mini-book called “My San Diego,” complete with forewords by media personality Art Linkletter, actor Gregory Peck and best-selling local author Max Miller, all bigshots with ties to San Diego.
A copy of the book, now available on eBay, reveals its unusual cover: In the background, the San Diego skyline as seen from a ship on the bay. In the foreground, for no particular reason, stands a Hitchcockian blonde looking pensive on the deck.
Someone could write a thesis about what this cover tells us about that time, that place and the role of women as accessories. “The sultry Water Goddess surveying men and mackerel,” snarked a sly reader when the Vintage San Diego page on Facebook took note of the cover last week.
It’s a nice turn of phrase. Somewhere, Neil Morgan is grinning.
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.