Two top San Diego officials and two real-estate gurus went to the giant Qualcomm company in search of support for a massive project based around a new football stadium in Mission Valley. They didn’t get what they wanted, VOSD’s Scott Lewis reveals in a new report. Instead, a Qualcomm vice president blistered them with complaints about mistreatment by the city and a promise that the company would never build here again.

The meeting — featuring Councilman Scott Sherman and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith — degenerated into a series of Qualcomm complaints about sluggishness regarding traffic fixes at the same time as the city shows favoritism toward other companies.

• Think about Mission Valley for a second. What things come first to mind? Shopping, restaurants, sports, maybe. Flooding, perhaps. And, of course, cars: Lots and lots of them.

So let’s add 6,000 more residential units. That’s the idea proposed by Councilman Scott Sherman along with real-estate consultant Gary London. (They were both at that disastrous Qualcomm meeting described above.)

London, who helped craft the plan, says such a move is good for San Diegans, if a bit counter-intuitive. In a VOSD commentary, he writes that traffic is an issue, but it’s part of the “ordinary tension” of big projects like this. And besides, he believes, the region is going to have to fit in more than 230,000 housing units by 2030 since growth is “inevitable.” In other words: We have no choice.

City & County, Sittin’ in a Tree …

Today, the City Council and county board of supervisors will consider a tentative joint agreement “to split the cost of retaining lawyers and other consultants necessary for a stadium project.” This will cost no more than $500,000, split equally. (City News Service)

• The stadium task force is going to chat by phone with “the NFL’s point man for Los Angeles,” and then a few of them will meet with him personally. (AP)

• The NFL is surveying Chargers fans about their stadium thoughts. All of their stadium thoughts and then some: The survey has 145 questions. (U-T)

Outsourcing Your Airbnb-ing

San Diego is on tap to be served by a startup that will offer Airbnb hosts a guaranteed income. In return, the service rents out your room for you. Of course, there’s an initial charge and, eventually, a commission. The service, called Pillow, says it plans to serve San Diego sometime this year. (BuzzFeed)

For background on how the city is handling the red tape of Airbnb, check our previous coverage.

Belmont Park Lease Gets OK

The City Council approved an updated lease for the Belmont Park property, but legal snarls may tie the city up in court. (City News Service)

As we reported last year, the city was in a big hurry to approve the amended lease thanks to pressure from the company that owns the park, but then it wasn’t in a rush anymore: “The fact that the deal happened even without rushing through a new lease bolsters some skepticism that the deal ever needed to be locked in so quickly.”

Lentil Me This

You’ve heard about how alfalfa hay and almonds are sucking California dry by using huge shares of the state’s water supply. The L.A. Times looks at how much water is needed to grow other kinds of foods per ounce.

Sorry, meat-eaters: Beef is a big water consumer. But consider this, vegans: Lentils and chickpeas require more water per ounce of food than chicken and pork. Asparagus chugs more water per ounce than watermelon and chicken too. As for peas and cherries, they’re an absolute menace, at least compared with the low amount of water needed to produce eggs.

And what about your BLT for lunch? Pork uses the most water, followed by wheat bread, while lettuce and tomatoes require barely any at all.

Quick News Hits: Meet the McHospital

• “The Florida Court of Appeal upheld a $1-billion judgment against San Diego developer Nicolas Marsch III in a lawsuit by Miami home builder Lennar Corp. accusing him of extortion and defamation.” (L.A. Times)

• Vanity Fair profiles local attorney Judy Clarke, “the Most Ferocious Lawyer in America.” She’s now defending the accused Boston Marathon bomber and previously helped the Unabomber, murderer Susan Smith and the Arizona massacre gunman avoid being put to death.

• While there’s been plenty of research into the effects of a boost in the minimum wage, Los Angeles County — which is considering a hike, just like San Diego — thinks the issue needs a study. Only unincorporated parts of that county would be affected; GOP control of the county board of supervisors here makes a similar move impossible.

• In a new TV ad campaign, SeaWorld says it takes great care of killer whales. A U-T commenter rebuts with “it’s nice to see a forced labor prison taking good care of their inmates.” (U-T)

• While Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego has made efforts to offer healthier food, its McDonald’s restaurant is getting more attention, and once again it’s not for the high quality of its Big Macs. A physician group thinks in-hospital fast-food joints are terrible ideas (buzzkills!) and it finds two of them in the county. The other is another McD’s at Naval Medical Center.

Could be worse (or better, depending on your point of view). A children’s hospital in Georgia actually allows McDonald’s food to be delivered to patients in their beds. Speaking as a guy who got his tonsils out at our own Children’s Hospital, it must be said: A Happy Meal sure would have beat the heck out of cherry Jell-O.

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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

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