The Chargers aren’t into the idea of building a new football stadium in Mission Valley and would prefer one downtown. For one thing, their chief spokesman has said, the site near the current stadium “is polluted by a huge plume that has leaked from the gas tanks there.”
As San Diego Fact Check notes, that claim is bogus. So bogus, in fact, that it gets a rare “Huckster Propaganda” verdict: Yes, there was a big gas plume there, a kind of underground river of petroleum ickiness, but it’s gone now. The Chargers almost certainly know this.
The Bolts spokesman scores poorly on another pair of claims examined by San Diego Fact Check. He gets an “unfounded” for suggesting that certain fix-it costs could be in the cards and a “misleading” for saying developers could be scared off by the prospect of more litigation.
• The committee advising the mayor about prospects for a new football stadium is playing hardball: It’s sticking with its decision to favor Mission Valley, come heck or high (flood) water. “Mission Valley is the superior site. It’s cheaper, quicker, easier,” the committee chairman said. “Anyone who believes that a stadium downtown can be done more cheaply and more quickly is delusional.” An AP story includes other comments showing the task force’s interest in pushing back against the team.
• “Like the central vampire in a gothic romance, the idea of a Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego may not be nearly as dead as it looks,” writes U-T columnist Dan McSwain.
• The NFL has killed off blackouts: It won’t block local viewers from watching games when they aren’t sold out. The threat of blackouts used to drive Chargers fans nuts. The league had no blackouts in the 2014-2015 season, The Wall Street Journal says.
Former U-T Editor Jerry Warren Dies
Jerry Warren, a top newspaperman in San Diego for two decades, has died at the age of 84. A genial man, the former Navy officer became editor of The San Diego Union in 1975 and served as editor of the merged San Diego Union-Tribune from 1992-1995.
He was in charge as the papers shed their rock-ribbed, mid-century-style conservatism. As editor, “Warren was caught between a restive staff eager to cover provocative stories and an owner with little taste for controversy,” the U-T says. In one case, he supported an expose of the local Catholic diocese, prompting the University of San Diego to sever its ties with publisher Helen Copley after the story came out. But, as one former reporter puts it, the Navy and the GOP often remained off limits.
The New York Times examines his work for President Nixon as a spokesman: “He served under Ronald L. Ziegler, Nixon’s press secretary, and loved the perks of power: the limousines, the red telephone in the family home connecting him to the White House.” But Watergate “demoralized him.” His daughter told the Times that “he was very wounded. Such a betrayal.”
After his stint at the U-T, Warren turned to spirituality in his final years in Virginia and became a theologian. “He was searching for a closer relationship to God, and his faith was increasingly important to him,” his daughter told the U-T. “He just felt called.”
Supervisor Jacobs: ‘I Won’t Be Bullied’
State Sen. Joel Anderson, who wants voters to fire longtime County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and put him in her place, has landed a big chunk of change from the county GOP.
Right before campaign contribution limits went into effect, the party gave him $200,000 in an attempt to force Jacobs to quit running. All signs in this hot East County race point to “not gonna happen”: “I won’t be bullied out of office,” she tells the U-T.
State News: Meet the ‘Jackass’ Measure
Some yahoo has paid $200 to file a California ballot measure that calls for gays “be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” Oh, crazy people. What should we do with you?
A former politician has an idea: She planned to file her own ballot measure called the “Intolerant Jackass Act.” It requires sensitivity training and a fine for … well, you know. Don’t expect either measure to make it on the ballot.
• Thanks to the drought, “the state’s agriculture industry has likely begun a long-term decline.” (Slate)
• The state is overhauling preparedness planning for tsunamis. (L.A. Times)
• Gov. Kevin Faulconer? Maybe! (SacBee)
Quick News Hits: Airport Hits Bottom
• SeaWorld is fighting back against a tidal wave of negative publicity with an ad campaign “showcasing the company’s care of killer whales and rebutting the claims of its harshest critics.” (U-T)
• The battle over bike lanes in Hillcrest is getting nastier. (Reader)
• The Guardian newspaper takes a deep look at a major weakness of police statistics nationwide: No one tracks how many people are killed by police.
• For the second year in a row, a national survey says cell service at Lindbergh Field stinks. Really, really stinks: The airport ranked 50th out of 50 major U.S. airports. (The Memphis airport topped the list.)
I’ve never had a problem getting a signal at the airport. But at 6-foot-7, I might be my very own cell tower.
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.