Yesterday, we revealed the first results from our dive into data about building permits and how long it takes the city to issue them. It takes a median nine for permits that don’t perfectly conform to city regulations. But the latest measurements show they are going faster than at any time in the previous decade.
Why did that happen? Andrew Keatts explains the theories. It may be going a lot faster now, in large part, because during the recession, developers left their applications in limbo, severely driving up the times it took to process them.
“The drastic drop in permitting times coincided with the recession. It also coincided with a new outline for where and how the city should grow in the future, and some modest changes to development restrictions,” wrote Keatts.
Chargers Roundup: Banking on It
An estimated 2,500 of fans rallied at Qualcomm Stadium for a new place for the bolts to play. But there wasn’t much news from the mayor’s task force they were there to address. Though the chairman did say his team was going to announce a site soon.
• Sports Business Daily hears from sources that “Goldman Sachs will finance the San Diego Chargers’ prospective move to Los Angeles, including covering any operating losses suffered by the team in the first few years in that city as well as costs for any renovations needed in a temporary venue.”
Report: S.D’s New Bishop to Turn Tide
The pope will appoint a new bishop for the San Diego diocese today, Boston Globe’s Crux news service reports, and he’s likely to represent a major transformation for local Catholics.
The new bishop, San Francisco’s Robert W. McElroy, is “a leader in the Catholic Church’s social justice wing.” While he doesn’t appear to be a liberal, he wrote in 2013 that “we are called to see the issues of abortion and poverty, marriage and immigrant rights, euthanasia and war, religious liberty and restorative justice, not as competing alternatives often set within a partisan framework, but as a complementary continuum of life and dignity.”
San Diego’s previous bishop, the late Cirilo Flores, kept a low profile during his brief term in the wake of the diocese’s sex abuse scandal.
S.D. Ribbon-Cutting Makes It Onto HBO
This week’s John Oliver news show on HBO focused on the nation’s ever-“crumbling” roads and bridges with a lengthy bit featuring a star-studded fake movie trailer for a non-disaster movie called “Infrastructure.”
Before the trailer, though, Oliver complained about how politicians love to build new things instead of fixing old things. Amid a montage of ribbon-cutting ceremonies — you don’t cut a ribbon on a bridge’s earthquake rehab — is a clip of Councilman Mark Kersey and pals, complete with giant scissors, opening a pedestrian bridge.
The irony of it all: Kersey is the City Council’s Mr. Infrastructure. No word on who’s in the pocket of Big Scissors. (Or Big Big Scissors.)
Sex Offenders Get a Break
In a San Diego case, “state corrections officials cannot impose blanket lifetime restrictions on where sex offenders may live, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case challenging a voter-approved measure that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.”
According to the Associated Press, restrictions kept sex offenders from living in about 97 percent of apartment-type housing in the county, and they’d have problems renting any of the remaining housing thanks to issues like vacancy rates and skittish landlords.
• An ex-San Diego cop is out early — very early — from his jail term regarding misconduct regarding women on the job. NBC 7 says Christopher Hays, sentenced to a year-long term on Oct. 3, was released yesterday. He seems to have gotten out thanks to good behavior.
Quick News Hits: Video Killed the Video Star
• Droughts, droughts and more droughts. That could be California’s future for the next few decades, a new study suggests. Meanwhile, there’s another potential cost of global warming: Places like San Diego could lose surf breaks.
• Nathan Fletcher — the former high-profile legislator, party flip-flopper and failed mayoral candidate — is getting divorced from his wife Mindy, a political player of her own. (NBC)
• Kensington Video is dead. Long live Kensington Video! Well, for just another extended week. The legendary video store, once a hotspot for an entire county’s filmophiles, is shutting down. But the extraordinary response from misty-eyed shop fans has convinced the owners to keep it open for a few hours each day through Saturday. (Reader)
• Researchers at UCSD and elsewhere are out with a new study that suggests a common distraction at the office — yummy munchies — could be a big distraction to those of us watching our weight: “If you’re counting calories, seemingly innocuous reminders of tempting, high-calorie food — such as an empty donut box in the middle of a conference table — can lead to worse performance on difficult tests of attention and reasoning ability,” a researcher says.
• The people behind the Monopoly Here & Now board game want folks to vote for the city of their choice. The name of the winning burg will replace Boardwalk in a future edition of the game. Hey, Hasbro! How about a southwestern city that already has a boardwalk?
Now if you’ll all just focus on the fancy happenings over on Park Place while I take the Community Chest out for a stroll… Oh hello, officer! Go to where? Do not collect what? Man, I hate this game.
Correction: We incorrectly referred to Councilman Mark Kersey as Scott Kersey. But that was wrong. So we fixed it.
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.