In Carmel Valley, the controversial One Paseo project has been hurtling toward an important vote at the City Council, which was scheduled for Jan. 27. But new Council presidents bring new plans, and San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner has decided to delay the vote to an unspecified date. She wants to move the meeting to Carmel Valley

It’s not the kind of thing you do to help a project and One Paseo advocates aren’t pleased.

One Paseo is a very large project and it has mobilized many of the region’s land use professional’s on both sides. Along with SeaWorld, the Chargers, the economy, it is one of the stories to watch for in 2015, as Scott Lewis explained on NBC.

‘Stingray’ Puts Hooks In Your Phone

Police phone tracing and tapping has long been a mainstay of Hollywood story lines, but when Morning Report scribe Randy Dotinga looked into how San Diego Police are using high-technology to gather evidence from cell phones, he found the reality rivals the fiction. “This isn’t your father’s cell phone surveillance,” Dotinga reported. Police use devices with reassuring names like the “Stingray,” which can grab data from phones indiscriminately over a large area in real time. If you think your phone is exempted from getting sucked up by such an information vacuum, think again. “The FBI has told U.S. senators that law enforcement doesn’t need warrants to use the surveillance devices in public,” Dotinga wrote.

What’s Bad For The Goose

For awhile, everyone got very bothered about protecting geese by banning the dish known as foie gras, which is made by harvesting the livers of geese that have been force-fed. But with a court this week overturning the two-year-old ban on importing foie gras ingredients, geese are old news, Clare Leschin-Hoar noted. “Within thirty minutes of the court’s decision, Searsucker Del Mar… had already sold their first legal appetizer portion of foie since 2012.”

Leschin-Hoar noted the juxtaposition this offers with another new law that took effect on Jan. 1: egg-laying hens now have to have enough room to spread their wings, turn around and lie down. But that law, like the foie gras ban, is likely to face courtroom challenges.

Reforming The Referendum

San Diego Councilman Todd Gloria is fed up with the constant referendum threats to the City Council’s actions and is proposing changes to the referendum process. During his time as president of the City Council, Gloria saw three of his legislative efforts successfully challenged by organized signature-gathering efforts. “An update to Barrio Logan’s community plan, an affordable housing linkage fee and an increase to the city’s minimum wage” were all stalled due to referendum threats, KPBS wrote. Gloria is proposing the changes as part of an upcoming review of San Diego’s entire charter.

We talked about the business community’s shift to using the referendum process a while back.

Boxer Out In 2016

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer announced she will not seek re-election in 2016, the Sacramento Bee reported. Speculation on who might run for her seat began immediately. Mayor Kevin Faulconer appeared on some of the lists trying to imagine who might want to replace Boxer. But Faulconer said he’s not interested, Times of San Diego reported.

News Nibbles

• We recently picked 10 local voices that provoked the biggest conversations in 2014. Then we went back for seconds. Now, the conservative blog SD Rostra has published their own list of the top-most influential folks in San Diego.

• The assistant coach at La Jolla High School who kept a brain-injured player on the field wont be coming back to coach next season, according to the La Jolla Light.

• True, we might be running out of water, but we’re also running out of money to pay people to stop using so much water. (KPBS)

• As predicted, on Thursday San Diego appeared on a list of municipalities eligible to receive “state financial assistance on major construction projects,” despite the 2012 passage of the legally-embattled Proposition A. (Times of San Diego)

• “Responding to an appeal now before the 9th Circuit, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office has effectively banned beachwear, g-strings, bikinis and Speedos that reveal any portion of the buttocks or upper thigh on city beaches.” (Huffington Post)

• All the cool kids are deleting their Facebook accounts. But when the San Diego County Sherrif’s Department tried to delete their Facebook page, a man sued to have the page and his comments restored. A judge sided with the Sheriff this week, reported UT San Diego. That leaves the Sheriff’s office with only a Twitter account and a very sad Pinterest account.

• People don’t want to vaccinate their kids, so viruses that were once thought conquered are on the rise once again. (NBC 7)

• Carlsbad got a new city-branded street sign, along with a few hundred smartphone pictures of it, apparently.

Found: Owner of Bitey, the Grumpy Toilet Snake

The now famous toilet-bowl snake, who has single-handedly  inspired all San Diegans to check twice before they sit down on the loo, has been identified by its owner, NBC 7 reported. The owner and the snake live on the floor above a marketing business, where the five-foot serpent suddenly emerged as someone was plunging the toilet. Experts believe the snake sought out the toilet in its original residence because it was shedding its skin. Or, possibly, because it knows where you live and how to get you when you least expect it.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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