You might remember a story Voice of San Diego broke eight years ago.
The Southeastern Economic Development Corp., or SEDC, used taxpayer redevelopment funds to subsidize affordable housing units. They were meant to be for-sale units, which people would purchase. SEDC was supposed to make sure the prices of the units were controlled. But the agency and the builder simply failed to file a crucial document with the county.
As a result, the owners of the homes were able to sell them for major profits in the real-estate mania. The affordable homes, subsidized by the government, were affordable no more.
The newly appointed chief of the city’s urban renewal agency, Civic San Diego, is Reese Jarrett. It was his company that made the crucial error.
Jarrett would not comment eight years ago, but he did Tuesday. He blames a lack of coordination between his company and SEDC.
For more about Jarrett’s back story, read this CityBeat article.
Cop Review’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
San Diego’s powers-that-be have been quick to use the term “independent audit” to describe an ongoing external review of the police department. But, as we explain in a new story, there’s no probe, no investigation, no audit.
Instead, the external review is just that — it’s a review by an outside firm, in this case one that has close ties to police officials here.
There is an FBI investigation afoot. But it involves individual officers sexual assaults, among other crimes, not the whole department.
It’s Summertime, and Free Meals Go Uneaten
An estimated 7 in 10 local schoolkids who are eligible for free meals don’t show up to eat them during the summer. Now, local Rep. Susan Davis is pushing a bill that would allow parents to get food stamps during the summer and avoid having to send their children to a library or recreation center to get free meals.
Our story has details about her plan.
Culture Report: Airport Art Guru to Fly Away
If you haven’t heard much complaining about public art at the airport recently, you have art program manager Constance White to thank. Her emphasis on “fun, funky and new” art has revitalized the art that tourists see when they land here, although there have been a miss or two among the many hits.
Now, as VOSD’s weekly Culture Report notes, White is moving on. She has a new job in North Carolina.
Also in the Culture Report: An “insanely random and fun” art project that involves the 15th century and Michael Jackson, a new “kinetic” sculpture at a hospital (be careful about yelling “clear!” when you’re in the victinity), a play called “Ether Dome” (apparently not featuring Curious George), and a Geezer/Weezer combo.
Quick News Hits
• “The California Coastal Commission filed a last-minute appeal to a judge’s ruling on the $1.3 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway project, the biggest private development planned on the downtown waterfront,” the U-T reports.
• Governor Brown told an audience in Mexico City that the border wait here is “unconscionable,” but it’s not clear what he’ll do about it. (Sacramento Bee)
• Meanwhile, KPBS explores why kids aren’t fleeing one Central American country.
• Don’t look now, feral pigs. The end may be near. (U-T)
• Not too long ago, someone suggested that the local architecture community’s annual “Onions & Orchids” awards lose the “Onion” part and become all-positive. Fortunately, that idea didn’t go anywhere. The awards still honor fabulous buildings and diss eyesores.
It’s nomination time again, KPBS reports. I’ll be throwing in a suggestion or two in the Onion category. (Yeah, looking at you, Kensington.)
Besides the O&Os, there are plenty of Best Of contests in San Diego each year. So far, no one’s created a category for Best Morning News Round-Up. If there ever is one (hint), please remember to vote early and often.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.