The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
If you’re seeking a permit to build a project in San Diego, it will likely take either one month or closer to a year. That stark discrepancy is on display in Andrew Keatts’ latest revelation from his investigation into the performance of the city’s development services department.
So what’s the difference? Community plans. If a project fits a community plan, no problem. If not, pull up a chair, Mr. Developer, it’s going to be a while.
But community plans are dreadfully outdated in many parts of the city.change the threshold of what can be permitted easily and what will need that extensive community review.
The developers behind Carmel Valley’s divisive One Paseo project have suddenly swung their attention to professional sports. Yes, fresh off its victory at the City Council, Kilroy Realty is paying for a petition drive to support keeping the Chargers in town.
Funny story: This signature-gathering effort, which is essentially meaningless, is being launched at the same time as opponents of One Paseo start their own petition drive. The anti-One Paseo drive actually has teeth, potentially: They want to force the council to reverse itself or put the project up to a public vote.
What’s going on? VOSD’s Scott Lewis knows, and he explains that “Kilroy wants to make it as hard as possible for its opponents.” Darn right it does. It’s trying to lure paid signature gatherers outside the city limits so they won’t be around to work on the One Paseo petition, which requires signatures from city residents.
“Signature gatherers — and more importantly, the people who can pay them — have become their own branch of San Diego government,” Lewis writes.
• Lewis has been making the rounds on sports radio. Here he is on XTRA Sports 1360 Tuesday with the Loose Canyons predicting that, while the Chargers want a Bentley of a stadium, the city is likely to offer the team a BMW.
• About that football stadium: How about fixing up the one we have? Hardly anyone’s been talking about this idea (although the discussion has shifted from a new stadium downtown to a new one in Mission Valley), and some dismiss it entirely. But U-T columnist Logan Jenkins says “a surgically enhanced” stadium may be just the ticket.
U-T on the Block Once Again?
The sound you hear is all those fingers crossing in the U-T newsroom. News came yesterday that another bidder may be going after the U-T newspaper empire: This time it’s the Tribune Company, which owns the L.A. Times and once, back in the day, owned the now-defunct daily paper in Escondido.
The report, by veteran national media watcher Ken Doctor, says a deal was supposed to have been finalized as soon as yesterday but it’s now tied up over the paper’s hefty obligations to pay pensions to former employees. “The purchase price would likely be in the range of $80-90 million, with the buyer also assuming the pension obligations of the U-T, estimated at more than $60 million,” he reports. “If Tribune were to finally close the deal, it would be exclusive of the real estate on which the newspaper sits, itself worth an estimated $35-50 million.”
A Tribune bid could spell the end of an effort by a coalition of local wealthy people to buy the paper and turn it into a non-profit.
The story notes that the eccentric U-T publisher is known as “Papa Doug,” “the almost-universal appellation that seems normal in San Diego and bizarre to the rest of us.” Here’s a Fact Check for you: It doesn’t seem “normal” here, as least to those of us who aren’t the publisher’s children.
More about the New Catholic Bishop
The new San Diego-area Catholic bishop’s focus on the poor and needy is getting more attention from the national media as new of his installation spreads. Robert McElroy, who will come here from San Francisco, focuses on mercy and said that “to be judgmental is a cardinal sin for religion. It is easy for the church to get lost in the rules, but pastoral theology trumps rules,” says the National Catholic Reporter. He’s also said that poverty deserves a place next to abortion among the church’s priorities in the U.S.
Attorney’s ‘Wife’ Isn’t His Wife
Much-feared local attorney Cory Briggs, the subject of an intensive investigation by inewsource tried to keep information about his wife private. She’s VP of his legal firm and has worked for a company to produce at least one environmental report that he’s sued over.
Yesterday’s news: Turns out she’s not his wife. They aren’t married. It’s not clear what this means, if anything, to all the hubbub over whether he has a conflict of interest. Inewsource also provided a new timeline of its reporting efforts, although it doesn’t explain why this is important.
Quick News Hits: Get to Work!
• VOSD’s weekly Culture Report puts on its reporter’s hat (with a “PRESS” card and everything!) and delves into drama that’s engulfing the City Ballet of San Diego. Also: gallery space for black artists, a maritime photo exhibit and a theater group’s trip to the tattoo parlor.
• A San Diego native, whose parents live in Ocean Beach, has just joined the list of billionaires. (10News)
• Junket alert! Several local state legislators went to Hawaii and stayed at $350-night-hotels to attend a conference partially funded by a bunch of groups like prison guards, Eli Lilly, a tobacco company and more. The sponsors paid an average of $2,500 in expenses. (LA Times)
• Sheriff’s deputies may get body cameras. (NBC 7)
• News flash! Some San Diegans aren’t too smart. And some nitwits who do stupid stunts to embarrass ordinary folks on television are annoying.
• Another one of those city-ranking reports is out, and this one says San Diegans are significantly harder-working (they rank at No. 51) than those lazybones down in… Chula Vista (No. 89). The hardest-working city is Anchorage, the report says, and the laziest is Burlington, Vt.
You know I love ya, but get it together, Chula Vistans. Stop slacking and scoring poorly on a possibly-bogus national ranking. Next thing you know you’ll be chugging maple syrup and have one brother named Darryl and another brother named Darryl! (Kids: Ask your parents.)
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.