The pressure’s rising once again in the fight over the future of the Chargers in San Diego, but it’s not clear who’s feeling the heat in the light of some more news out of Los Angeles.
The owner of the St. Louis Rams announced plans to build an L.A.-area stadium yesterday, one that could become home to the Rams or — if Missouri succeeds in its bid to keep the team around — woo a team like the Chargers. There’s long been lots of talk and no action in L.A., but this time might be different since the “move marks the first time an existing team owner has controlled a local site large enough for a stadium and parking,” the L.A. Times says.
When might the Chargers bolt? As soon as 2016, even if a stadium is not ready, since L.A. has other places where they could play. But the Chargers officially are frowning at the idea of any team (except them, presumably) playing in L.A. because it could swipe fans. And the Chargers already have a fairly weak fan base by one newly released measurement.
Here was our San Diego Explained on how a deal might come together, and where.
So whom will be under pressure now? The Chargers? The city, which wants to help the team get a new stadium and stick around but without the bad press of a too-cozy deal? As the L.A. Times notes, “any new stadium proposal in San Diego would be put to a vote and would, under the California Constitution, require two-thirds approval — an extraordinarily difficult standard.” Stay tuned.
Dumanis Plans to Stick Around. Forever.
County Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn were sworn in yesterday for their final terms since they can’t legally run again. They’ve both been in office about 20 years. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, meanwhile, was also sworn in and announced that she plans to run again for her office — a fifth term — in 2018. (City News Service)
Brown Has Green Focus for New Term
Gov. Jerry Brown was also sworn in for his fourth and last term, “proposing sweeping changes to address global climate change while offering a measured approach to targeting the state’s long-term financial liabilities.” Brown, by the way, is “now 76… the state’s oldest-ever governor. He also is its longest-ever chief executive, surpassing Earl Warren in late 2013.” (Sacramento Bee)
Speaking of the environment, Brown is a big supporter of California’s bullet train project, which moves into the construction phase this week. Officials have a nice depiction of how it will look once it gets to San Diego, but the reality of it actually getting here is another matter.
Commentary: Don’t Blame the Law When It’s Broken
In a commentary for us, much-feared attorney Cory Briggs — the local guy who earns a living holding cities and developers accountable to environmental laws — says the state’s environmental protection law isn’t to blame for things like congestion in Mission Valley.
The CEQA law’s “primary focus is on disclosing the bad aspects of development decisions,” he writes. “It leaves the ultimate decision-making to public officials… the next time someone blames a development decision on CEQA, be sure to ask whether the person is objecting to transparency, democracy or both. These are all CEQA added to the outcome.”
Who Won 1915’s S.D. vs. S.F. Fight?
The L.A. Times has a long and engaging story about 1915’s two battling world expositions in California. San Francisco’s was much larger, no surprise considering its size and influence. But San Diego’s has had more lasting impact: “The city with the brighter lights and bigger crowds… isn’t the one that ended up with the larger architectural legacy.”
Fun fact: The late local historian Richard Amero, Balboa Park’s leading chronicler, once complained of “the deranged phantasmagoria” of types of architecture in the center to the park. (Looking at you, Timken Museum of Art!)
Quick News Hits: Gloria’s Zinger
• Border Patrol and customs agents have killed at least 46 people over the past 10 years, the New Republic reports, and “almost all the victims were people of color, most were unarmed, and seven of those killed were 18 years old or younger.” No one’s been disciplined, although some cases are still open.
• San Diego has a “craft beer attorney” who “specializes in helping brewers trademark ideas and also settle disputes,” NPR reports. There’s a fight among those craft breweries popping up everywhere over “the same hopcentric puns and catchphrases for their beers.”
• Old-timers will remember the commercial jingle for the Ford dealership at “Fairmount and El Cajon!” Now, a YMCA is taking over the space in City Heights and will open this month. (KPBS)
• Look who dropped the mic! Councilman Todd Gloria prefers that the Morning Report not refer to him as “demoted” from his job as council president. (As you may recall, there was quite a bit of fuss about his demotion.) Instead, as he noted on Twitter yesterday, “I’ve been ‘unchained.’” Picking up on a local Twitter meme, he included a “cc” to “@sdfact” — VOSD’s own Fact Check department. Hmm. Do we have a “Remains to Be Seen” verdict?
• An exercise physiologist from San Diego’s Miramar community college appears in a Reuters story with a quote about the new emphasis on “standup desks” to get people off their rear ends as they work: “Researchers have said that sitting is the new smoking.”
Oh dear. For those of us addicted to our chairs, this sounds like it means that our 12-step program will involve actual steps.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.