About 15 years separate North County natives Vu Dang and Scott Eveland. But they share a grim bond of injuries on high-school football fields and devastating brain damage.
“In each case, according to their lawyers and family, football coaches ignored warning signs they were already injured and insisted they play,” VOSD’s Mario Koran reports. “Their injuries were then exacerbated, and each narrowly survived after doctors removed pieces of their skulls and tended to their bleeding brains.”
Vu, the victim of an injury in Escondido in 1992, went to visit Eveland after the latter was injured in 2007. “I was meant to be there,” Vu tells us. By coincidence, Vu suffered his concussion while playing against San Marcos High, Eveland’s own team.
There’s a big difference between the two victims. Vu recovered, for the most part. Eveland, whose case was a media sensation, did not, for the most part.
Click here for more of our extensive coverage of the concussion controversy.
The NFL Relocation Gauntlet
Beau Lynott read the NFL rules so you don’t have to. Lynott put together this reader’s guide on the fees, rules and votes the Chargers would have to maneuver through if they want to move to Carson. It’s also a nice primer on previous team moves and how the Chargers’ termination fee here compares to how much the city still owes on the last renovation of Qualcomm Stadium.
Another Weird Twist in Azano Case
As we continue to unravel the bizarre story of the Mexican businessman accused in a widespread campaign finance scandal, a new twist popped up in court papers this week. José Susumo Azano Matsura, the man at the center of the case, claims that someone connected to the feds told him to get lost. Not just to get lost from San Diego but from the U.S. entirely.
What’s going on? The court filing uses murky language: “A person who was at that time acting undercover on behalf on the government informed Mr. Azano, through a third person that he should flee from the United States.” Later, an attorney clarified that “we’re not saying that someone acting on behalf of the United States (government) told him to flee, but someone with connections to the United States asked him to flee.”
Azano is accused of illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to local politicians.
Chargers Update: (Don’t) Go, Team!
• While the natives are increasingly restless, with a growing number of San Diegans seeming to turn against the Chargers management, the team itself seems to remain popular. That’s one explanation about why the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to support keeping the team here. The measure has “no practical effect.” (L.A. Times)
• Before the vote, Councilmen David Alvarez and Todd Gloria issued a memo about budget-related issues regarding a possible future football stadium.
• The president of San Diego State, whose Aztecs football team uses the stadium, met with the mayor’s stadium advisory group Tuesday. No news was made. The future of the Aztecs is one of the less-discussed issues in the Chargers drama: If the Bolts leave the football stadium, will the city be willing to maintain it for use by the Aztecs?
• A state legislator and doctors are pushing for a bill to ban the use of chewing tobacco at all pro and amateur baseball games, even ones played locally by adults. The L.A. Times says it’s already banned at minor league games.
The late Padres star Tony Gwynn blamed his salivary gland cancer on tobacco use. It’s not clear how the ban would be enforced.
It’s Sweeps Month in TV-land. How can we tell? CBS 8 exposes how the mayor has satellite TV in his mayoral SUV (a “command vehicle”), and the city spends $5 more a month than it needs to do get the “entertainment package.”
This might be the most excitement about a mayoral car since San Diego’s mayor in 1934 got criticism for his city-funded Lincoln sedan/“royal coach.” He became the city’s most scandalous mayor in history (yes, even more than you-know-who) by drunkenly hitting another car in Mission Hills, injuring people and trying to cover up the hit-and-run. He ultimately landed in jail.
Quick News Hits
• “The city of San Diego is working to update its plans for how to handle major disasters — from terrorist attacks to hazardous materials spills to natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires,” KPBS reports. “It’s also beefing up the training of city employees on what to do during an emergency.”
• Thanks to a referendum effort, the state’s plastic bag ban is on hold until voters decide what to do about it in November 2016. (AP)
• VOSD’s weekly Culture Report tackles a museum exhibit about our shared humanity, the vandalism of a Beatles mural in North Park whimsical garden art and a visit by writer Joyce Carol Oates.
• We’ll get a tiny reduction in gas prices this summer, just six cents a gallon. (U-T)
• The woman who stole a CHP vehicle last fall and tried to drive it while handcuffed will spend several years in prison, a judge ruled Tuesday. A chase ended when she crashed into cars near the football stadium. A mother in one of the cars was injured, and her 11-year-old daughter wrote a letter to the driver in court.
“I just think you need to clean your act up,” the girl wrote, according to the U-T. “And you know how many people you let down. I hope you learned your lesson.”
Well put. Wonder if she’s available to draft a letter to the Chargers management.
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.