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Across the middle swath of the city, outbreaks of bitter neighborly discord are breaking out. The issue: Bright lights and loud noise from high-school football stadiums that exist or are on their way.
VOSD’s Ashly McGlone dug into the quarrels around Point Loma, Crawford and Clairemont high schools. Residents are picking sides, signing petitions, planting lawn signs and pressuring politicians.
The stadium lights are under attack — and promoting a backlash from sports supporters — because they are coming to more high schools thanks to the district’s borrowing of money to build and repair campuses. Clairemont High got an improved stadium, and neighbors raised the alarm. Now, residents near other schools are warning that they’re next.
The sleep-ruining bright lights, which aren’t limited to Friday football games, aren’t the only problem. Our story explains how they got permits and what angry residents — including one who knows “we come off like Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace” — can do about it.
Opinion: Numbers Miss Roots of Violence
Last week, we published a Q-and-A with L.A. Times reporter Jill Leovy, whose bestselling new book “Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America,” rejects liberal and conservative assumptions about urban violence. In a VOSD commentary, San Diego Compassion Project co-founder Tasha Williamson writes that the interview is “disappointing.”
“Data does not tell the whole story,” she says, adding that “collaboration and discussions happening in certain areas across the city have not only helped curb violence, but have also broken down barriers between police and community to build better relationships.”
We Coulda Warned Ya, SeaWorld
SeaWorld could use some new social-media advisers. As it steps up its bid to look like a kind and generous steward of sea animals, the company told folks on Twitter to ask questions with the hashtag #AskSeaWorld.
“I’ll give you one guess as to how that went over,” a Slate analysis says. “As easy as it is to make fun of SeaWorld here, the real question is why any company still thinks hosting an open Twitter forum could be good for public relations.” It didn’t help that SeaWorld’s Twitter account got snarky and weird in response to troll-a-palooza. (Troll-a-chella? Trollmageddon? OK, I’ll stop.)
City Attorney: I’m OK with Risk
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is the guest for the latest edition of the VOSD podcast. He provides a unique perspective about his job and the wisdom of allowing his client — city leaders — to make risky decisions: “Some people think, when it’s in the gray area, city attorney, if you don’t really like what they’re doing, the risk they’re taking, don’t sign off on it. Then there’s some who say, well it’s the client who takes that risk. I’m of the latter.”
The dispute is another example of the city’s troubled attempts to make the city more bike-friendly. While parking can almost always be found in Hillcrest, although often for a price and perhaps a few blocks away from a destination, the local business association says support for cyclists shouldn’t come at the cost of parking spaces and the potential for lost business.
Fun fact from the U-T story: There’s a local planning official named Charles “Muggs” Stoll.
Bolts on Top (No, Not in the Standings)
Readers love reading about the Chargers: Six of the 10 most popular stories on our site last week were connected in some way to the battle over a new football stadium. The top story: A Fact Check that scorches the top Chargers spokesman for a series of bogus claims.
Meanwhile, U-T columnist Logan Jenkins praises the prospects for a city-county stadium partnership. He continues to support the idea of renovating the existing football stadium: “Yes, the Chargers will hate it. They’ll trash talk the Q, call it a ‘dump.’ (Respected local architects strongly disagree.)”
Quick News Hits: Wait, We’re What?!
• The U-T is out with an extensive article pondering the past, present and future of the Barrio Logan neighborhood.
• The legal challenge to San Diego County’s tight rein on the issuing of concealed weapons is going to be tied up in court for a while longer. (Courthouse News Service)
• Somehow, we crammed 41,000 more people into our fair county from mid-2013 to mid-2014. (Times of SD)
• How much does it cost for the city to buy a 15-year-old pine tree? About $2,000, and that doesn’t even include planting. (La Jolla Light)
• Another weird San Diego story has gone viral — this one about that teacher’s assistant who allegedly went rogue in the classroom. “Hooray!” declared a commenter on Gawker. “It wasn’t Florida for once!” Then another commentator dropped a bomb via the nuclear option: “San Diego is California’s Florida.”
Hey! We can hear you! Others rushed to our defense, sort of, declaring that San Bernardino (San Berdoo if you’re nasty) deserves that honor, or Bakersfield or Chico. “San Diego, no. Perhaps El Cajon,” added another reader, helpfully.
Gee, thanks for the support. I mean, we’re not the kind of Florida-type loonie-land where some company would try out a photo booth called a “Selfie Station.” Oh gosh, we totally are.
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.