The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Just because Kevin Faulconer’s State of the City speech included at least one recycled idea doesn’t mean there weren’t some good ideas in Wednesday’s address.
Scott Lewis unpacked the mayor’s speech one more time and pulled out some of the best moments, including a fairly lengthy portion where Faulconer spoke in Spanish to officials from Tijuana, telling them he supports immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
“Faulconer seems not just to give Baja California lip service but to genuinely like it and be impressed with what can happen if we work together,” Lewis notes. The cross-border love was padded by highlights from neighborhood safety improvements and from efforts to modernize the city’s technology platform. “He promised to take the city’s website into the modern age by working with Code for America,” Lewis writes.
State of the Reactions
• Sean Karafin, vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, echoed some of Faulconer’s concerns about fixing the way the city prioritizes its many projects in a new VOSD op-ed. “Does a new fire station in Encanto take priority over potholes in Linda Vista?” Karafin writes. Other priorities include open government efforts, clean water at beaches and community plan updates, according to Karafin.
• The San Diego Chargers sat down with their president’s famous lawyer, Mark Fabiani, to air some major umbrage over the mayor’s speech, specifically Faulconer’s announcement that “Mr. San Diego 2013” Steve Cushman would advise the mayor on a Convention Center expansion. “We have only ever asked for one thing – and we asked for it at the very first meeting we had with the mayor’s staff: ‘Please do not assign Steve Cushman to work on [the stadium] issue,’” Fabiani said.
This issue has been brewing for awhile. We talked to Cushman about what the Chargers would do after they got sick of the current stadium … in 2007.
Sheriff’s Trolley Operations: San Diego Explained
Lemon Drops may be sweet and delicious candies, but the Sheriff’s dragnet operation of the same name is leaving a sour taste in some people’s mouths. Officers have been swarming the trolley stop in Lemon Grove, stopping thousands of riders and checking to see if they paid for their fare. But there’s a twist: the officers didn’t actually care about free-loading trolley riders. In our most recent San Diego Explained, Andrew Keatts joined NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to show how the police were using the trolley checkpoints to catch released prisoners who may be guilty of other crimes.
• Rebecca Rauber, who works for the ACLU of San Diego, was one of the people who took issue with the Sheriff’s operation when she witnessed it up close. “The officers were gathered in bunches around a number of people, all of whom, while I was there, were people of color,” Rauber writes in an op-ed. In response, the ACLU has set up “guerrilla Know Your Rights sessions” at the Lemon Grove trolley station.
San Diego Hosts Top Republicans
Mitt Romney and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry are in San Diego for Friday’s meeting of the Republican National Committee, the L.A. Times reports. Perry thinks doing business in California is “next to impossible,” but has threatened recently to move here (specifically to San Diego).
The L.A. Times also decided to check in on the progress of the elevator that Mitt Romney is installing for his cars in his La Jolla home. It’s going pretty well.
• A Malaysian defense contractor pleaded guilty to bribing Navy officials with lavish gifts in a massive case that’s going down in San Diego, led by U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. (Washington Post)
• The City Council’s review of San Diego’s charter, which initially intended only to clean up small details, could actually result in the whole charter being scrapped and rewritten. (KPBS)
• Port Commissioner Bob Nelson doesn’t think now is the right time to be talking about putting a huge “unsolicited” Ferris wheel on the port. (U-T)
• In L.A., suicides by jailed inmates are leading officials to consider a special unit for mentally ill patients to prevent suicide, KCET reportd. In San Diego, jail suicides just lead to story after story with no end in sight.
• The biggest names in baseball will converge on Petco Park in 2016 for the Major League’s All-Star Game.
• Checking on the status of water: Are we still in a drought? Yes, an increasingly “exceptional drought.” (NBC 7)
• Accordingly, water use in San Diego County took a big plunge in December. (KPBS)
Patron Saint of Hail Marys
The Pope will canonize Junipero Serra when he visits the U.S. in September, NBC 7 reports. Serra was “the missionary who first arrived in San Diego and brought Christianity to the western United States in the 1700s,” says NBC. Canonization is the final stage in the process of declaring an individual a saint in the Catholic faith. It is unclear what patronage Saint Junipero Serra might adopt. We already have a patron saint for craft beer brewers, and for technologists. Perhaps further specialization is in order? I hear NFL stadium builders sure could use some divine intervention.