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Three politicians in suits gathered yesterday to say non-specific things about the ongoing talks with the Chargers over a new stadium. The negotiations, they declared, were “productive,” and a “consensus” was close. But it didn’t take long for the team to explode this mini-era of good feelings with a statement declaring that it’s impossible to get a measure on a special ballot in December.
The team says there’s just no way to get everything done without ending up in court with a high risk of losing. Nonsense, said the trio of officials we call the Three Amigos in a statement later in the afternoon, saying they can hold a “legally defensible” vote. In an ever-so-slight sign of backbone, they declared “we can get this done if the Chargers want to get it done.”
VOSD’s Scott Lewis provides analysis and says several options are possible, but not in the timeline the Chargers are demanding: “The mayor and his amigos should have admitted this weeks ago and explained the extraordinary challenge to fans and residents rather than pretend like it was a challenge they could meet.”
The LA Times’ Sam Farmer thinks there’s little hope for a stadium solution here.
• “San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob pledged Tuesday to help release detailed information about payments to a San Francisco land use expert who is helping the city and county negotiate with the San Diego Chargers for a new stadium,” reports NBC 7, which has been trying to get details without success due to city stonewalling.
• Meanwhile, we’ve put together a guide to help you understand why an infamous state environmental law (called CEQA) is playing such a major role in the stadium debate.
Padres Get Temporary Manager
The Padres have appointed a temporary manager to replace fired longtime chief Bud Black. He’s Pat Murphy, who’s managed the El Paso Chihuahuas, an unfortunately named minor-league team and Padres affiliate, and is “known for his fiery demeanor both on and off the field” and a forced resignation from his stint as a coach at Arizona State University. (NBC 7)
Inside S.D.’s Campus for Homeless Kids
The Atlantic devotes thousands of words and several big photos to a profile of San Diego’s Monarch School, a high school that mostly serves students who don’t have permanent homes. As the story’s sub-headline notes, for most seniors, “earning a diploma means leaving behind their only reliable source of food, clothing, healthcare, and more.”
One school official has abandoned a focus on college prep for students in favor of “teaching them to manage an appointment calendar, become financially literate, communicate effectively with adults, and solve problems.” (Those last few things: Hmm. Do they have any openings? Asking for a friend.)
Issa Tries, Fails to Crash Hearing
Darrell Issa, the North County congressman and former chair of the House Oversight Chairman, “tried to crash former Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s deposition before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Tuesday,” The Hill reports. But the committee’s chairman, also a Republican, escorted him out: “The pair briefly exchanged hushed words in a nearby hallway before Issa stormed off, throwing an empty soda can into a nearby trash bin.”
A Vine video of the congressman vs. congressman encounter at the Huffington Post, by the way, is more than worth the price of admission.
Power Outrage? Huge Bills Here
“In Sacramento, a family using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity last October was charged $58. Customers in Los Angeles, also served by a public utility district, paid $79,” the LA Times reports. So how’d private companies do? They charged more, with SDG&E ruling the roost bill-wise at a whopping $116.
“The comparison of rates charged by public and private electricity providers in California shows a notable discrepancy in the amounts customers pay for power, depending on where they live and which provider serves them…,” the newspaper says. “Municipal utilities say their rates are lower because there is no profit margin and their revenue is reinvested into the public service.”
An SDG&E spokeswoman said the difference is due to a variety of factors.
Insurance Leaves Poor in Lurch
If you know someone on Medi-Cal, the state insurance program for the poor, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about how hard it is to find doctors who actually accept the coverage. Many people on Medi-Cal are disabled and ill-equipped to handle the stress of jumping bureaucratic hurdles, making the situation even more dire for those who need care but can’t tolerate a complicated process to get it.
Now, a new audit discovers the obvious: the state is failing to make sure people on Medi-Cal can find doctors to cover them. Among other things, directories are “riddled with errors, including incorrect telephone numbers and listings for doctors who are no longer part of the plans,” the LA Times reports. The state can’t even handle complaints, meaning thousands of phone calls go unanswered.
Culture Report: ‘Creative Placemaking’
• If I learned that someone was “creatively placemaking” in front of my house, I might call the cops. But it turns out to be another clunky term that actually means something good: creatively and artistically putting space to good use. That’s the word from weekly VOSD Culture Report, which explains that an event called “Make Music Day San Diego” will draw upon this kind of community-boosting.
Also in the Culture Report: Body-painting, a portrait of an accused mass murderer, vegans and hope for the dearly departed Kensington Video.
• Today’s the day for the second-annual Sausage Fest, which pits 11 local “meat masters” against each other in a bid to become the Sausage King. We won’t make any remarks about any of this since the Morning Report is delicate and refined, as you know.
Quick News Hits: Fry My Cuppa
• Twenty-five local judges have licenses to carry concealed weapons. (Reveal)
• Sunday was the last press run for the Union-Tribune in San Diego. Now it’s being shipped down daily from L.A. Nice story on the scene that last night.
• Like clockwork, a bizarre, unnatural and strangely beguiling food at the fair is making national news. This year, it’s Deep-Fried Starbucks Coffee. Meanwhile, Starbucks is now providing “Mobile Order and Pay” service in San Diego. Users can order and pay for their food and drink via an app and then pick it up at Starbucks.
I looked and looked, but the app doesn’t have an option for my trademark order of “Grande Quad Nonfat Two-Pump Extra Whip Mocha, Extra-Deep-Fried.” Man, it’s hard to get good service these days.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.