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One summer night last year, a woman came home to her downtown apartment to find a cop in uniform trying to get in past the security door. She didn’t feel comfortable letting him in so she tried to get in without him. But he came through anyway — he was checking out a domestic violence call — and arrested her for resisting an officer. (She was never charged.)
The woman claims she was manhandled and treated poorly. People differ on exactly what happened, but one thing is clear: The police have heard complaints about the incident, but they didn’t pursue them until VOSD reporter Liam Dillon started looking into the case, which comes as the department faces a number of allegations about the way officers behave and how the department responds to complaints.
• Meanwhile, “The independent commission monitoring San Diego County law enforcement is two years behind schedule on its legally required annual reports, leaving taxpayers with an outdated and incomplete picture of conduct by deputy sheriffs and probation officers,” the U-T reports. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob says the situation is “unfortunate.”
A county spokeswoman said the Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board has other priorities right now.
From the Left, Liberal NIMBYs Get Punched
Marco Gonzalez, a leading local environmental attorney and one of the liberal avengers who led the charge against Mayor Bob Filner, is out for blood. But not from a renegade developer or a politician gone rogue. This time, his target is people you’d assume would be on his side: activists and former clients. In particular, those who are fighting development projects that he considers to be environmentally friendly even if they’re, you know, being built instead of not existing at all.
“When the lights are really low, and the groups are really small, it’s, ‘Don’t bring the brown people here, don’t let the poor people in, let’s build a big gate around our little castle, because it’s really nice and pretty and we don’t want them to mess it up,”‘ he said at a panel discussion last week. “And that’s what I’m fighting.”
VOSD reporter Andrew Keatts was the moderator of the discussion, and he’s compiled excerpts of Gonzalez’s comments. As Keatts notes, this all reflects an “emerging fissure in the liberal coalition between those who favor the creation of environmentally friendly, middle-class housing along transportation corridors, and those who oppose wealthy developers imposing themselves on existing communities.”
Election Roundup: Nothing to See Here
• Ho, meet hum: The local races for seats in the state Legislature are a foregone conclusion in almost all cases. Ten of 11 seats are up, the U-T reports, but observers don’t expect any of the nine incumbents to be knocked out or even mildly rattled, even state Sen. Ben Hueso, whose DUI arrest shouldn’t hurt his chances. There is one open seat, a state Senate seat that represents a small slice of North County but is mainly based in Orange County, where both candidates live.
Due to the changing of boundaries, by the way, one state senator — Republican Joel Anderson — is running to represent a different district. The incumbent state senator, Republican Mark Wyland, can’t run because he’s reached his limit of terms.
• The U-T checks with both sides of the battle over Prop. 1, the massive statewide water bond that would allow the state to borrow $7.5 billion.
Even Ebola Divides Peters and DeMaio
• It’s not clear whether Congress will have an actual role in the debate over whether the U.S. should fight the Ebola virus by banning flights from West Africa. Turns out there aren’t very many direct flights in the first place, and the man who brought the disease to the U.S. made a stop in Belgium on the way. Still, congressional candidates are now expected to weigh in.
Taking a middle stance, Rep. Scott Peters tells the U-T that the ban deserves consideration, while Republican challenger Carl DeMaio goes all in: He’s fully behind a ban, and “also called for mandatory quarantines for individuals flying from Ebola-stricken countries through visa and travel itinerary checks.”
• If you’ve somehow missed all the excitement in the Peters/DeMaio race, the LA Times has a basic run-down.
N.Y. Times Blows Kiss to Tijuana
A Southern California writer heads south of the border and finds a city that Mexicans are finding plenty of reasons to love, he reports in The New York Times: “Tijuana is not pretty. A city of 1.3 million people, it is chaotic, grimy, unplanned, loud, and it smells bad … But Tijuana’s beauty lies deeper, and has to do with why the town is flourishing now.”
Sure, “Tijuana does have a brutal, cynical side,” and the criminal underworld grew in power until a few years ago. But the story says the city’s appeal is that it offers a kind of America for Mexicans: A place where dreams can come true for “folks beaten down by Mexico.”
For more on the ways in which Tijuana is flourishing lately, check our story from last week and stop by our border-themed Meeting of the Minds event this week.
Quick News Hits: Bookworms Say Hooray
• The U-T editorial section mourns the late Carlsbad Mayor Claude “Bud” Lewis, who served for a whopping 24 years as mayor of the coastal city and became one of North County’s most influential politicians. Lewis died last week.
• The San Diego Public Library is giving a big boost to its sparse hours: As of Nov. 8, branch libraries will be open at least until 6 p.m. every weekday (they now close at 5:30 p.m. except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Some libraries will be open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Meanwhile, the grand new Central Library in downtown will lose its 7-8 p.m. hours twice a week but will be open more hours overall. The libraries still aren’t open as much as the city library was in 1915, when the reading room accepted readers from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. But it’s a start, and we nerds can quietly (shh!) rejoice.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.