The Morning Report
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When the helmets of the two junior varsity football players collided, they made an audible crack. One of the players had sustained a serious brain injury that has now put his future as a student in jeopardy.
This is what the video of a La Jolla High game last fall shows. We obtained a copy of the video, which reveals some — but not all — about what happened that day to a young man we’re calling Blake. His case has spawned a major dispute over whether coaches took proper care of him.
“By the time he took himself out of the game, Blake’s head injury was very serious. He has missed more than three months of school,” VOSD’s Mario Koran reports.
The video also reveals a major problem with a claim made by the team’s coach. Meanwhile, newly released emails show that school officials were almost immediately aware of the incident.
• Scott Lewis is moderating a forum on “The Future of Football” next Thursday at Francis Parker School. The topic: With the ongoing brain injury crisis, will kids play high school football in 2025? We’ll explore if how the game could change so that might survive even as parents — and lawyers — grapple with injuries like Blake’s.
Confirmed panelists include Roger Blake, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, David Casey Jr., an attorney from the law firm that represented Junior Seau’s family, NBC 7 San Diego sports anchor Jim Laslavic and Howard Taras, professor of pediatrics at UC-San Diego. For details on tickets, click here.
MIA: 2012 Report on Stadium Prospects
CityBeat columnist John Lamb wonders whatever happened to a city-funded 2012 report about ways to build a new $800 million football stadium in downtown near the baseball stadium. The report apparently infuriated the Chargers because of its heavy reliance on taxpayer money, a potential no-sale proposition. (More specifically, a source tells Lamb that the top Chargers spokesman went “ape shit.”)
A source tells Lamb, as he reports it, that “while some urged public divulgence, it was decided that the city officially would not take physical receipt of the report, lest someone request it through public-records law.”
• The baseball stadium downtown will comply with new league rules by installing walk-through metal detectors for fans. It won’t be airport-style with belts and shoes removed, but fans will have to take out metal objects like cell phones. Meanwhile, parking rates during games are zooming up to a range from $20-$30; they’d previously ranged from $20-$25. (U-T)
State May Crack Down on Anti-Vaxxers
State legislators want to see California make it harder for parents to get exemptions from the law regarding vaccinations of their children. Now, parents can fairly easily opt out, and about 13,500 got approved exemptions last year.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times finds that many child-care centers in California — including some in the upscale coastal neighborhoods of San Diego County — have low vaccination rates. A total of about 130 in the county have rates under 92 percent; that’s considered the minimum to be safe and protect against an outbreak. We looked at the measles/vaccination issue in a news roundup story earlier this week.
• Local legislator Toni Atkins, the speaker of the state Assembly, wants drivers to pay new fees to fund almost $2 billion in road improvements. (L.A. Times)
• New state legislation calls for the eviction of a statue of Father Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall in favor of a statue of the late San Diego astronaut Sally Ride. Each state is allowed to place two statues in the hall; California’s other one is of President Reagan.
Ride would reportedly be the first LGBT person to be honored in the hall of statues. The idea is to bring the Serra statue back to California where it will be displayed. It’s not clear if there’s any connection to the controversy over the possibility of sainthood for Serra.
• New state legislation aims to clamp down on solitary confinement for juveniles in custody, CityBeat reports. San Diego County juvenile facilities appear to put minors in solitary confinement even though officials say they don’t.
• “San Diego avoided at least $30 million in additional pension costs by settling on Tuesday a lawsuit claiming discrimination against unmarried retired employees,” the U-T reports, based on comments from city officials. The case has to do with a retiree who “claims that the city subsidizes pension benefits for married employees by providing a spousal pension benefit without forcing workers to contribute enough to cover that benefit.”
Opinion: Not Every Millennial Lands in North Park
You might have impression that every Millennial in town is a hipster who wants to live in North Park or Ocean Beach to sip craft beer while watching the mustaches go by. But Justin DeCesare, a real estate broker and City Council candidate, says people aged 18-35 are popping up in other neighborhoods too, like his own Tierrasanta.
As the city moves forward and figures out where people might live, “it’s not as black-and-white as urban vs. suburban, car vs. transit for Millennials,” DeCesare writes in a VOSD commentary. Like people of any age, some young people move to suburban-type neighborhoods because “they’re looking for safety, quality neighborhood schools and store options. Sometimes that means they sacrifice public transit access and walkability.”
Quick News Hits: Extra, ($25M) Extra!
• The La Jolla mansion once owned by the newspaper magnate Copley family is for sale: $25 million gets you seven bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms and garages for a dozen cars. No car elevator, however, at least as far as we know.
• The remote East County community of San Diego Country Estates, out by Ramona, is one of the 10 worst places to be a commuter in the state, a new report says. On the bright side when it comes to getting around, San Diego is one of the top cities in the country in terms of having services like Uber and Lyft.
• Scientists from San Diego State and UC San Diego are out with research that delves into how baleen whales — the earth’s largest animals — communicate with each other via low-frequency signals. Their sensitive skulls seem to be the key: They pick up vibrations and shunt these signals to bones in the ear.
Hmm. Maybe I need to pay more respect to a few local boneheads. And baleen whales too!
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.