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As the throngs of costumed masses descend once more unto the Gaslamp Quarter for the Comic-Con convention, you might be wondering how it’s going with that whole convention center expansion thingy we’ve been talking about since … forever. It’s not going well.
Lisa Halverstadt and Ashly McGlone have pulled together the definitive FAQ. The convention center is basically locked; it can’t go up, and it can’t expand on either side (or at least not without major courtroom fights). Land immediately across the street has problems too. That leaves only a big parking lot located about half-a-mile away as a likely site for “expansion”.
Perhaps Comic-Con could shuttle convention-goers in an unending stream of jet engine-powered batmobiles? Doesn’t seem green enough. To the bat-trolley, Robin!
Learning Curve: Just The Vax
This week’s Learning Curve steps into the fray of the vaccination controversy in California. Mario Koran notes how a recently passed law will change vaccination requirements in 2016, eliminating vaccination exemptions for people who don’t like them for reasons of personal belief. Strong feelings abound on the side of anti-vaccine folks, Koran notes, but “the science just isn’t on their side.”
Water Fight! San Diego Explained
A couple of water agencies that serve San Diegans just cannot figure out how to get along. Despite their common goal of providing water to the San Diego area, the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District are at each other’s throats, spending millions on legal battles. Ry Rivard and NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia laid out what is going on between the two public agencies in our most recent San Diego Explained.
Podcast: Farm-to-Table Fraud
Our weekly podcast is out and and it’s chock-full of Comic-Con and Convention Center talk, subtle humor from all the names you know and a special appearance this week from Troy Johnson. Johnson writes about food for San Diego Magazine and has recently found himself in a watchdog role after he called out local restaurants for lying about using locally farmed ingredients on their menus. You can listen through our website, but why not listen through iTunes and leave us a rating instead?
Fighting Vice in El Cajon
If your community is suffering from crime happening around establishments that sell alcohol, you might want to consider passing tougher regulations on the booze sellers. That was the message from Daniel Skiles, who wrote in with commentary over how El Cajon labored for years to control crime around businesses that sell alcohol. In the end, efforts at self-regulating simply didn’t work. “The citizens of El Cajon had had enough,” Skiles wrote, and in 2013 they passed a law allowing punitive measures against the worst offending businesses. “That changed everything,” Skiles writes.
This is a thread of discussion began by our recent profile of Mark Arabo, who’s rise in influence included a major response to these laws.
Weed on Wheels
Are you bummed by strict medical marijuana dispensary rules that keep pot shops out of your neighborhood? A new smartphone app called Eaze has come to the rescue in San Diego, making it easy to get medical marijuana delivered to your home by shopping from a menu of products and placing an order, very much like ordering pizza. You can’t yet order pizza and marijuana from the same place, though (business idea!).
No medical marijuana card? No problem! A “certified, a licensed physician” will get on video chat with you and approve you on-the-spot, assuming you have qualifying ailments, according to NBC 7.
NFL Sidelines Chargers Star
Chargers’ star player Antonio Gates was suspended by the NFL on Thursday “for violating its policy on performance enhancing substances,” ESPN reports. He’ll miss four games.
Former Chargers player Shawne Merriman took to Facebook to blame unregulated supplement companies for the problem. “I just want to inform people that it doesn’t say ‘Steroids’ on the back of these supplements,” Merriman writes.
It’s hard to picture how things could be going worse for San Diego sports fans. At least SDSU’s basketball stock is high.
Saving Water: Corgi Approved
• The San Diego lawyer famous for defending notorious killers like Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and others will receive an award in July, the U-T reports. Judy Clarke will receive the John Frank Award from the 9th Circuit Courts during its annual conference, where an estimated 600 judges, lawyers and staff will gather in a private conference.
• The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has been awarded $31.9 million in grants to increase capacity on the trolley system. (NBC 7)
• What’s next for Councilwoman Marti Emerald after she vacates her position? Chillin’ in Imperial Beach, she says. (Times of San Diego)
• Local investigators inewsource continue to publish their series of stories looking into the business dealings of activist attorney Cory Briggs.
• Had a bike stolen recently? Cops busted some bike thieves recently and will be showing off the stolen booty on July 9, the U-T reports.
• It’s 2015: about time to take references to “lynching” out of California law. (U-T)
• A San Diego couple, married for 75 years, fulfilled their final dream in June by dying peacefully in each other’s arms. (People)
Boom or Bust?
Around this time each year San Diegans get to thinkin’ about a little fireworks incident we experienced in 2012 that got a lot of attention. When 18 minutes-worth of fireworks all went off in the span of 30 seconds, the result was either the most intense fireworks display you’ve ever seen, or the most disappointing. Thrillist finally wrote the history of the Big Boom (they call it a “fail”), pulling together all the players that were there on that incredible night three years past, to let them tell what happened. “It reminded me of Vietnam,” said one tugboat captain.
The Big Bay Boom fireworks are once again scheduled to take place on July 4th, and NBC 7 has directions on how to attend. KPBS also has a round-up of locations around the county where you can see fireworks.