This post has been updated.

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When a handful of Logan Heights residents wanted to get involved in the neighborhood, they turned to the city’s process for updating community plans. But the planning jargon and the fact that a few property owners dominated the process turned them off.

Now neighbors have gotten together to bring a park to life, and they’re doing it with little help — or interference — from the city.

The park “will have a playhouse, small amphitheater for movie nights and tables to eat pupusas and tacos from nearby restaurants,” VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports. “Organizers are aiming to finish in September, after 500 volunteers pitch in for six building days. That would mean the whole thing — concept, fundraising, planning, permitting and construction — could be done in just over a year.”

Keatts chronicles the history of the park effort, whose roots lie in an effort to beautify the area and clean up a junk-filled alley. Now, the park is on the way with temporary buildings that are cheaper and limit red tape too.

$100M Here, $100M There, Pretty Soon …

Join the thousands of VOSD Podcast listeners each week and listen to VOSD staff and local VIPs pore over the week’s local news. In the latest edition, our journalists mock the obtuse remark from the guy in charge of the mayor’s stadium advisory committee who asked, “Why would you spend $700 (million) when you can spend a few hundred million more and get a brand new facility?”

Also up for discussion: The possible role for the county government (and county taxpayers) in bringing the stadium to life and thoughts from guest Bruce Reznik of the San Diego Housing Federation.

• Our handy rundown of the Chargers stadium drama tops our list of VOSD’s 10 most popular stories of the past week.

Death, Taxes Filner

Guess who refuses to go away? While the local intelligentsia still exchanges stories of ex-mayor sightings, Bob Filner hasn’t been in the public eye much since he resigned, even after his house arrest ended. But he has shown up for at least one deposition, and the U-T finds that five lawsuits against him are still pending. (One other one, with his former spokeswoman, was settled for $250,000. The late Peggy Shannon, who was humiliated by the mayor, accepted a public apology, putting the lie to Filner apologists who claimed his accusers were just out for money.)

In one case, an executive assistant said the mayor locked her in an office kitchen and demanded sex. Another, an advocate against domestic violence, said the mayor “kissed, massaged, groped, and made sexual advances and sexual comments” at an elementary school in 2013. There’s a federal lawsuit too involving two women you may remember: a nurse and a wounded Marine veteran who sought assistance from him.

About this case, the U-T writes, “the legal wrangling has grown particularly nasty over the past several months, with claims of attorney misconduct, obstructive behavior, disputes over discovery, and a renewed effort to have City Attorney Jan Goldsmith deposed.”

Water Wasters May Get Reprieve

One way to make people conserve water is to jack up prices per unit when they use more of it: Kind of like if they decided to fight obesity by charging you $4 for your first pint of Ben & Jerry’s and $8 for your second. (Nobody get this idea, please. Just forget it immediately.)

But a court case from Orange County that’s awaiting a ruling could spell trouble for this way of doing things and, potentially, for water-saving overall. (San Francisco Chronicle)

• You may hear from folks who think it would be grand to stop using so much water to raise livestock in California. No more factory farming = drought solved, and healthier diets to boot! Yay! Well, longtime alternative-newspaper answerman Cecil Adams replies to those (surely mythical) “sanctimonious vegetarians” by writing that Big Agriculture is the problem, not Big Meat.

“Industrialized farming of meat and vegetables has been incredibly successful at feeding people,” he said. “But there are also plenty of costs that aren’t factored into those prices.” And while we’ll be paying those prices eventually, we can’t return to the good ol’ days.

Fire Taxes Won’t Dry Up Soon

State legislators won’t dump those controversial taxes on rural residents to pay for fire-fighting, but property owners may get more time to pay them, and a lawsuit could spell trouble. (Press-Enterprise)

• Due to worries about fires, open flames are now banned in much of the county’s backcountry. (Ramona Sentinel)

Quick News Hits: Look Who’s Talking

• Donations are bringing more body cameras to Chula Vista cops. (Fox 5)

• “Some eight months after Wayne Darbeau departed from his job as CEO of the Port of San Diego, he got a going-away party” organized by managers. He was sacked amid scandal; top bosses were instructed to not tell workers about the party via official email, and they even got “speaking points” about what to say to let people know about it. (U-T)

• It’s a sign of the times that two big-city Republican mayors, San Diego’s Kevin Faulconer and the mayor of Indianapolis, were sharply critical of Indiana’s new law that may allow discrimination against gays. Faulconer, in fact, briefly restricted city-funded travel to Indiana in protest.

Um, are there a lot of government confabs in Indy, South Bend, Gary and, I don’t know, Bloomington? (My mental supply of Indiana cities is a bit low.) Of course not, the U-T finds. A spokesman could only find a single city-funded trip for one person.

• As we told you last week, former Councilman Carl DeMaio has a new gig: He’s co-hosting a talk show on KOGO.

The U-T notes that DeMaio promises fact-checking of the local news media.” Who, us? Uh-oh. If you need me, I’ll be hiding under my bed and muttering “Huckster Propaganda” to myself.

Correction: An earlier version of this Morning Report quoted from an item by U-T San Diego columnist Logan Jenkins, “MiraCosta Chief Buries Lead,” regarding the settlement of a lawsuit by the former president of MiraCosta College. A lawyer for the former president asserts Jenkins’ quotes imply that the former president’s claims lacked merit. The Morning Report did not intend to convey that implication and apologizes if anyone drew that inference. Court decisions upheld the viability of the claims, and they were ultimately settled by the college’s Board of Trustees by making payment to the former president.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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