Fifteen years ago, San Diego spoke pretty clearly: The airport should stay put.
Since then, the airport’s been graced with fewer take-offs and landings but far more passengers (thanks, big planes!), Ashly McGlone reports. And the agency that runs the airport, which began as a fledgling standalone stripped away from the Port, is now a force with lots of money and a slate of new projects to oversee.
One irony McGlone sussed out: Steve Peace, the legislator who helped create the Airport Authority as a standalone entity, originally intended for it to eventually be folded into other transit agencies. That never happened — meaning a move intended to consolidate government bureaucracy ended up creating a large new agency.
City officials have been talking about asking voters in 2016 to let them borrow a ton of money to fix San Diego’s decaying streets and sidewalks. So how’s that going? It’s not, VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports.
But don’t give up yet on infrastructure fixes: “The city might have to settle for latching onto a parallel attempt to raise taxes countywide by the San Diego Association of Governments, a regional planning agency whose board is made up of leaders from around the county.”
• Construction is beginning on freeway-level transit stations in Mid-City. We haven’t had these before. Pro-tip from someone who knows: Beware all elevators on public transit everywhere. (NBC 7)
Canepa: Carpetbaggers Don’t Get It
It can be a dangerous game to insult non-natives in a place like San Diego, where just about everybody seems to be from somewhere else. But U-T sports writer Nick Canepa, best known for his impersonation of a cranky old-timer yelling at kids on his lawn, does just that in a new column. He suggests out-of-towners simply can’t understand how the arrival of the Chargers in 1961 changed the city’s “small-time persona.”
He also rips those who think Comic-Con has more value than a pro football team: “The Chargers are one of our vital organs. Comic-Con is a little toe … If the Chargers leave, we lose part of our soul.”
Sez me: Better than losing part of our bank accounts.
• Meanwhile, the Reader, which is prone to more hysteria than just about any other publication in town, mocks Canepa in an article titled “Hysteria won’t build a stadium.”
Alt Weekly Acts Like Alt Weekly
CityBeat used to focus heavily on politics, but it has new leadership and has been changing its focus. This week, it’s out with a very alt-weekly as-told-to article by an anonymous “Budtender” who works at a marijuana shop. The clerk smokes on the job, makes $10 an hour with no health insurance and doesn’t work very hard. And there’s this: “I’m snobby about my weed. I don’t want to smoke it all day and barely be high. I want to take two bong hits and be done.”
Congressman: Slap Sanctuary Cities
There’s been a glut of news over the murder of a woman in San Francisco, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant. The suspect was earlier released from custody because San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” that declines to turn over immigrants to federal officials in some cases.
Turns out that the same thing could have happened in San Diego County, KPBS reports, because the sheriff’s department has a similar policy. The state limits law enforcement agencies too when the feds ask them to detain people.
Now, local Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (the son of the former Republican congressman) says the feds should withhold money from states or cities that don’t follow the requests. He plans to introduce legislation to this effect.
Local Officials Go National
• VOSD Managing editor Sara Libby examines local legislator Lorena Gonzalez’s accomplishments over at The Atlantic, and says the Democrat is “setting the national agenda”: “Gonzalez has had a hand in many of the high-profile laws to come out of the state in the last two years.”
Even Gonzalez’s failed legislation pays off through attention, Libby writes. There’s more in the story, including details about the legislator’s encounter with an actress who opposes mandatory vaccinations and this: “Gonzalez seemed to revel in the hate mail and nasty phone calls that poured in as a response to her first failed diaper bill.”
• Gonzalez represents a minority-heavy Assembly district along the border. As it turns out, Latinos now officially outnumber whites in California. (L.A. Times)
That stat caused a gross reaction from a Chula Vista Council aide on Twitter.
• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis tweeted a photo of her talking to CNN about ex-Gov. Arnonld Schwarzenegger’s controversial move granting clemency to the killer of a young man at San Diego State. She’d earlier declined to talk to the L.A. Times for a story that turned out to be critical of her.
More Powerful Than a Locomotive!
• The transit folks would like to remind Comic-Con goers (plus some sports fans) that they can buy trolley tickets on their smartphones. Just keep this in mind if you’re out riding public transit for the first time: “There are no upgrades or free transfers to or from the trolley or other buses.”
• While cleaning out my garage the other day, I found a carbon copy of a letter I’d written to a friend in the summer of 1990. The letter mentioned that a pal was in town for some comics conference.
Never mind what a “carbon copy” was, whippersnapper readers. The point is that people like me could live here and not even know Comic-Con had a name. Now, it’s a lot harder to be clueless. Thanks to a nifty photo retrospective in the L.A. Times, however, you can reminisce about those much-quieter days.
• Comic-Con visitors love their Airbnb. Big time. (NBC 7)
Police Helicopters Say What?
I’m going to reminisce once again, getting my mandated monthly Morning Report quota of memories out of the way. (They run a tight ship at VOSD). Back in the day, I worked at a newspaper newsroom where the reporters all feared the soft-talking receptionist. She’d deliver important messages like this: “Mumble mumble … triple-homicide … mumble mumble … immediately. Bye!”
Sound familiar? If you’re like me and live in San Diego’s urban core, you’ve probably heard many police helicopters overhead searching for lost kids, suspects and God knows what else. The messages typically go something like this: “Bzzzz scritch scritch … escaped elephant … mumble … seek cover! Run for your … mumble.”
Now, the cops are going to use the Nextdoor service (already helping locals keep an eye on one another) to let residents know what the heck they’re saying up there.
Hopefully we will be able to breathe more easily next time the choppers thwap-thwap overhead. Tough beans, any and all escaped elephants!
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.