The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Now that’s a boo-boo. A local economist tells us that the new stadium plan includes a mathematical error that inadvertently cut rent paid by the Chargers to the city by $80 million because the calculation didn’t include an annual increase.
What’s it mean? Depends on what the Chargers think, since they’re they ones who need to be wooed to stay.
• Unlike some places with itchy teams (us, for instance), Oakland and the surrounding county aren’t rushing to keep the Raiders in town. Why? “Elected officials are in no hurry to help the team close a $400 million funding gap, partly because taxpayers in Oakland and Alameda County are still paying millions of dollars a year for the Coliseum renovations that lured the team back in the mid-1990s. And that debt won’t be paid off until 2026.” (S.F. Chronicle)
• A lawsuit might target the Chargers if they move, and former City Attorney Mike Aguirre is involved. And Boltman too. Yes, that guy. (NBC 7)
• Failed mayoral candidate Peter Q. Davis thinks the current mayor should change his mind — and risk alienating voters during a so-far bump-free term — and stop supporting a public vote: “Leaving a public vote on the table would raise the cost to the city and may allow the Chargers to claim such a vote will fail, or take too long to hold, and thus the plan submitted is unacceptable and ‘adios,’ San Diego,” he writes in a U-T commentary.
• Three of the 10 most popular stories on our site over the past week are about the stadium, including No. 1.
VOSD Podcast: Turko!
The weekly VOSD podcast features KUSI’s Michael Turko, who inspires the adjective “titular” from a podcast co-host. Tune in to hear him say his trademark “It’s not right!”
One Man’s Solar Saga
VOSD contributor Ken Stone admits he’s never bothered to figure out whether converting his La Mesa home to solar power is saving him any money now or when he’ll break even. But, as he explains in a VOSD essay about the lessons he’s learned during the conversion, he feels great about his decision.
Among those lessons: “Get lots of bids. ‘Borrow’ the best ideas. And don’t count on your top bidder’s survival.”
• “The owner of a much-heralded solar manufacturing plant in San Diego is selling the facility,” KPBS reports. We’ve explored the sad saga of Soitec.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Then and Now
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are back in town to hold a giant event at the football stadium and clean the thing while they’re at it. Check our story and photos from 2011 to see how it all goes down. Plus take a look at our history flashback about how San Diego played a role in the early years of the Jehovah’s Witness faith: In the 1930s, the faith’s president believed “a mansion in Kensington … was supposed to house biblical patriarchs like Abraham and Moses upon their return to the earth.”
Supervisor’s Taxpayer-Funded Driving Habits
• A staffer asked for reimbursement for driving a whopping 2,000 miles while ferrying County Supervisor Dave Roberts around to events from last July through April of this year; meanwhile, the supervisor accepted $1,000 a month for his own car allowance.
This practice, uncovered by NBC 7 amid a variety of allegations against Roberts, appears to be unusual for at least a couple reasons. Other supervisors say they typically drive themselves to events.
• How many public relations people work for Roberts? It sounds like three — two courtesy of taxpayers (including an outside consultant) and one, a “crisis communications” expert, paid for by his campaign. (NBC 7)
Internal Battle Erupts at YMCA
In theory, it’s great for a nonprofit to have a board member or two who act as watchdogs. In practice, nonprofits often try to de-bark the question-raisers. U-T columnist Logan Jenkins says that seems to be going on at, of all places, the YMCA of San Diego County, which has reportedly forced the resignations of two outspoken board members.
Union-Tribune’s ‘New Course’ Under New Owner
The new U-T, now partnered with the L.A. Times and owned by its parent company, promises to “chart a new course that we believe will better represent our diverse and ever-changing community. Our role is to be ‘the conscience of the community’ — the whole community.”
But Bill Osborne, the man who’s been the editorial director since 1999, remains. He will, however, report to the publisher, not the editor, says a note from the editorial board: “This will reinforce the separation of news and opinion coverage at the newspaper,” a clear knock on the Manchester era.
• The Pennysaver is out of business, at least for the moment.
Quick News Hits: The Ladies Who Mulch
• The city is spraying millions of extra gallons of water, much of it non-recycled, on its golf courses. (U-T)
• The U-T explores why it’s taking forever for the airport and Uber and Lyft to work out a deal to allow arriving passengers to take the services home instead of relying on cabs. The New York Times looks at the issue nationally.
• The county unemployment rate has dipped to a stunning 4.8 percent. (Reader)
• Buzzfeed profiles Escondido, “one of the most unfriendly places in the country for undocumented immigrants.” Not-so-fun fact: “Immigrants in Escondido call their home ‘Little Arizona.’” That’s not praise.
• “The former manager of a taxpayer funded affordable housing complex in San Diego is the subject of an embezzlement investigation, according to the San Diego Police Department,” NBC 7 reports.
• Over on Facebook, Vintage San Diego has dug up a bunch of nifty posed photos of gussied-up members of the Chula Vista Garden Club, circa 1955.
Everything about them cries “sensible,” from their hats to their ultra-practical shoes. But a few of them show hints of spark. If my own family’s hobbies from that era are any judge, I’ll bet they played a mean game of canasta.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.