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If you travel around the U.S., you’ve probably encountered some handy connections between airports and rail lines. It may be a long walk to get to a subway or a train that connects to a subway (looking at you, JFK and Chicago Midway), but you can do it.
Not so much in San Diego.
Voila! Change is coming, sort of. As VOSD’s Ashly McGlone reports, “come October, Green Line trolley passengers will be able to get off at the Middletown Station, walk 400 feet down West Palm Street and cross over Pacific Highway to a new airport shuttle stop.” The shuttle will have its own road to the airport.
Our story looks at the long-term future for public transit at the airport and changes afoot at the airport itself, where a badly needed rebuild of annoyingly cramped Terminal 1 (home to Southwest) is on the drawing board.
• In a previous Morning Report, we misstated the station where the shuttle will connect to the Trolley. It’s Middletown, not Washington Street.
• The underdog has out-Ubered Uber! Lyft, the Avis of rent-a-ride car services, apparently tried harder and has landed a deal to pick up (and not just drop off) passengers at the airport. Until now, only renegade Uber and Lyft drivers and those with special licenses did pickups as the airport worked to protect passengers from the services (which are more convenient and cheaper than cabs) via red tape. It’s only a pilot program, however. (U-T)
Charter School’s Troubles Continue
VOSD’s Mario Koran tells the story of Harriet Tubman Village Charter School. The successful College Area campus has been struggling with strife and drama among leadership and now, the district is worried because one parent has managed to wrest almost total control of the whole place away from the people who once led its board and staff.
In a scathing report, the district recommends major changes to the charter school. But it can’t mandate them.
“In order for Tubman to thrive, it will have to shake off its image as a problem child,” Koran writes. “For all the school’s conflicts, and regardless of who is to blame, a charter school’s reputation is its most important currency.”
State Finally Gets Water Act Together
“California’s drought-stricken cities set a record for water conservation, reducing usage 29 percent in May,” the AP reports. San Diego performed well too, cutting its water use by a bit more than a quarter compared to May 2013.
This is just one month, and weather patterns and other factors affect water usage, so don’t get too excited. But there’s plenty of good news. Even the water district that serves Rancho Santa Fe, the national poster child for water-hogging rich people behaving badly, managed to cut its use by more than 40 percent.
• Here’s a helpful city infographic explaining when you can water your lawn.
Taxpayers Fund $565-an-Hour Stadium Attorney
The county has finally coughed up the cost of an environmental attorney who’s helping with Chargers stadium negotiations. He’s Michael Zischke, and he’s making $565 an hour. Two other attorneys will make $410 an hour, NBC 7 reports.
NBC 7 adds: “Newly released documents from the City of San Diego show another firm, Barrett Sports Group, LLC will complete a financial model review for a potential stadium for $75,000 plus direct cost of travel expenses. One contract for $50,000 will be completed by BSG to look at revenue streams for selling things like luxury suites, club seats and naming rights. A second contract, worth $25,000, will analyze stadium operating expenses and revenues.”
We Follow Social Media So You Don’t Have to
• Councilman Mark Kersey is a poet, but no one should know it, based on this little ditty.
• After plenty of news coverage and outreach via a Facebook page, that woman found with amnesia in Carlsbad has been reunited with her identity. (NBC 7)
Growing Pains, from C.V. to S.D.
• Chula Vista, the county’s second-largest city, is looking to add more residents and homes to the sprawling Eastlake area. Not everyone loves the idea. (U-T)
• Some residents in the Golden Hill area have become less supportive of plans to expand Highway 94: They want a bus stop and maybe a smaller expansion project, and they might succeed thanks to political support. (CityBeat)
To hear Monique Lopez of the Environmental Health Coalition talk about the expansion, check a recent VOSD podcast about 23 minutes in.
The Naval Air Station North Island has held the first Navy LGBT celebration on the West Coast. (KPBS)
Closed Records, Open Lawsuits
Not-so-fun Fact: You could get sued yourself for merely requesting public records. (Columbia Journalism Review)
Lookie Loos Get New Sights to See
Google’s Street View is now offering a visual tour of Silver Strand State Beach.
Just Us (Not So Closely Packed) Chickens
Capital Public Radio drops by a poultry farm near San Diego to check on how chickens are faring seven years after a state proposition ordered farmers to provide them more space by 2015.
Chickens now get about the space of a dinner plate to walk around in, enough to lie down and spread their wings. They seem to like it. “They sing more when they’re in the cage-free house versus the caged house and it’s because they’re more social,” a local farmer says, adding that it’s a bit like a “chicken Disneyland.”
The scariest ride, I hear, is Pirates of the Rotisserie Grill.
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.