Demand for health care and mental health care in Barrio Logan is acute, and Family Health Centers of San Diego wants the city to sell it an underused parking lot to expand and meet the need.
Councilman David Alvarez is among several who think the city should re-evaluate the lot and at least see what people propose to do with it. But one influential woman, Rachael Ortiz, stands in the way.
It’s an engrossing story about long-simmering political rivalries in South Bay, land-use rules and regular old NIMBYism.
Writer Mario Koran tweeted late last night that one quote from Ortiz about Alvarez didn’t make it into the story: “We’ll see him in the arena,” she said.
Koran and Andrew Keatts reported the company’s wait for the space may soon be over, as their request to buy the land has been acknowledged by Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Faulconer’s spokesman said the mayor is “taking action and moving forward” on the issue.
Minimum Wage Increase’s Winners
Accurately discerning how many people will benefit from a minimum wage increase can be tricky, but Lisa Halverstadt pulled together the numbers to arrive at an estimate of how many people will see better pay once the various stages of minimum wage increases go into effect. Researchers “concluded at least 152,000 workers will be directly affected by the minimum wage hike and that at least 20,000 more will also get a raise,” Halverstadt reported.
• San Diego Magazine asked one local restaurateur about his opinion of the proposed minimum wage hike in San Diego. He didn’t think much of it. “Maybe [City Council President Todd Gloria] needs to open up a restaurant,” he said.
That pretty much gels with what another restaurant owner told Scott Lewis back in May.
Expansion Rejected: San Diego Explained
The expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, as it had been originally envisioned, died on Tuesday when the City Council agreed not to appeal a court decision that ruled the funding scheme for the expansion was illegal. The expansion proposal was a years long roller-coaster of language-twisting, head-spinning mystery. But Scott Lewis joined NBC San Diego’s Catherine Garcia to quickly summarize the long journey in our most recent San Diego Explained.
The contest over the expansion plan got testy at times, but all was apparently forgiven in the comments section of our story about the end of the expansion this week, where City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and activist attorney Cory Briggs exchanged compliments and congratulations over the lawsuit’s outcome. Catherine Green pulled together all the threads of an unlikely bromance between Goldsmith and Briggs.
Baby Steps on Biking Safer
The city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee met for the first time on Wednesday to discuss bicycle safety and plans for increasing ridership in the region. The committee will work with the city to suggest ways that a proposed $200 million bike infrastructure overhaul, Matthew Hose reported.
Higher Bar Needed for San Diego
When talking about climate change, one theme that is often repeated is developing sustainable practices that won’t contribute to the problem. But San Diegan Cameron Bernhardt wrote in to say that, in San Diego’s case, sustainability just won’t cut it. “Our region’s response must transcend sustainability,” he wrote. “San Diego’s approach to climate change needs to be resilient.”
Taxi Permit Free-For-All Proposed
A storm has been building in the fight between traditional taxi companies and new ride-sharing companies. The number of taxis is artificially restrained by the number of permits the government gives out, while the ride-sharing companies continue to grow and grow. KPBS reported that two San Diego leaders proposed a solution to this conflict on Thursday: stop restraining the number of taxi permits issued and let the open market work the issue out.
Meanwhile, candidate Carl DeMaio proposed a national law that would throw the full force of federal law behind the support of ride-sharing companies and break-up the taxi monopoly. (The Hill)
Schools Struggle to Keep iPads
Spending big money to get iPads in schools used to be all the rage, but it seems like it may be more of a passing fad. The LA Times reported on how the LA Unified School District is having problems keeping track of their iPads and may have already lost $2 million worth of the devices. The district has put a billion-dollar contract to buy iPads for every student on hold.
Some schools are questioning the value of tablets in the classroom altogether, opting instead for cheap laptops.
• Special elections in San Diego may soon require mail-in ballots in order to vote, thanks to a bill awaiting the governor’s signature.
• San Diego Rep. Juan Vargas recounted the details of a dinner he had with a Mexican billionaire who allegedly funneled money illegaly to San Diego politicans. (U-T)
• Have you heard? The Convention Center expansion deal is dead. Does that mean San Diego will lose Comic-Con? The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t think so.
• Meet Jason Mraz, famous San Diego pop musician and aspiring avocado farmer. (LA Times)
• Political Action Committees, or PACs, like to spend their money on winning candidates. And so, inewsource reported, they heavily prefer to back incumbent candidates like Rep. Scott Peters.
• The National Journal weighed in on exactly what kind of Republican Carl DeMaio is.
• The Del Mar Race Track saw its 16th dead horse this season on Thursday.
Tan Suit Thursday
President Obama created quite a stir when he appeared at a press conference Thursday. It wasn’t notable so much for what he said, but for what he wore. His tan-colored suit instantly caught the media’s attention and spread like wildfire on social media.
Our Council President Todd Gloria showed his solidarity by appearing in his own tan suit and holding up a reusable grocery bag. “Combining two trending topics today,” he wrote, referring to the tan suit incident and to the California Assembly’s successful vote on Thursday to phase out single-use plastic bags.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.