The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
“Floppy-haired” storm water enforcement may be coming to a street near you.
The clipboard-bearing inspectors-in-plaid would step up their attempts to catch people who let water run off their property and flow into storm drains, according to one Escondido official. Ry Rivard looked into storm water rules, which are the lesser-known step-cousins of those drought restrictions everyone knows about these days. “The regulations seemingly have nothing to do with the drought, but they can be used to crack down on overuse of water,” Rivard reports.
Storm water rules affect people who have let polluted water run down the street from sprinklers and hoses, or from washing their cars in their driveway. The harm may sound small, but the fines bite. After offenders have been warned, “they’ll face fines that start at $100,” Rivard notes.
Tenants Strike Back
An effort to help tenants who are being subjected to unsafe housing conditions by their landlords is now under way, thanks to our recent report highlighting disturbing living conditions that renters were forced to accept.
Megan Burks reports the new program’s first order of business is to let tenants file complaints about unsafe conditions to the city in their native language. That may sound like small potatoes, but a large number of affected tenants aren’t native English-speakers.
“The city has added a translation function to its web page for Code Enforcement,” Burks reports. The next step: more inspectors out in the community.
The Summer Slide’s an Uphill Battle
While kids are hitting up playground slides, water slides and those giant inflatable carnival slides over the summer, they’re sliding away from all the good stuff they learned during the school year.
In The Learning Curve this week, Mario Koran visits a thriving summer program at Chollas-Mead Elementary. “More than 80 percent of the kids who attend this program make gains in reading by the end of summer,” Koran reports.
So why don’t programs like this exist all over town? Because that would mean finding $15 million. “That’s what (school board trustee Richard) Barrera says it would cost to expand a program like the one at Chollas-Mead to more than 30 schools in high-poverty areas, as district officials hope to do.”
Shortcut to Stadium: San Diego Explained
San Diego is now dumping a couple million dollars to study the environmental impact of building a new stadium in Mission Valley. Launching that study is a chess move the city hopes will corner the Chargers into negotiations.
But if we really wanted to build a new stadium, there are a couple of more tried-and-true paths the city could take. Scott Lewis joined NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to discuss what the fastest ways to a new stadium would be in our most recent San Diego Explained
• The small city of Carson, head-over-heels in love with the idea of a potential NFL stadium being built there, wants to make its nonexistent stadium feel at home by naming a nearby street “Stadium Way.” But that means a political battle to rename the street, which a previous mayor (who is now the city clerk) fought hard to name after himself as evidence of his indisputable greatness.
If no stadium is ever built on Stadium Way, the street would presumably revert to its destined name, Hubris Lane.
Rough Roads Ahead
California has a major road repair problem, according to a new report by a national transportation research group. Five cities in California held prominent positions in lists that ranked both the poorest roads and the costs suffered by drivers who drive on those poor roads.
Fifty-one percent of San Diego’s roads are in poor condition, and it costs motorists an average of $843 annually to deal with that fact, according to the report.
Once upon a time, a mythical “megabond” was being discussed that would help pay to repair everything that ails us in San Diego. With that idea dying or dead, our only hope seems to be a plan that addresses the needs of our larger region.
• You can add another item to that roads wish list: Some folks would really like to bring our traffic signals into the modern era, which could help with congestion, trip times and the associated pollution. (Fox 5)
• The “Salt Lake Comic Con” is now an official trademark, although the new trademark’s impact on a naming dispute between San Diego’s Comic-Con and Salt Lake’s isn’t totally clear. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Jacquie Atkinson, who is vying to oust Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in the 2016 election, isn’t doing very well raising funds for her campaign. (inewsource)
• A year-long body camera study by the U.S. Border Patrol is finally done. The results? You’re on a need-to-know basis, and you don’t need to know. (Buzzfeed)
• Complex Magazine’s advice to tourists on how to enjoy San Diego like a local has some decent suggestions; nary a whale or California burrito in sight.
• When City Attorney Jan Goldsmith gives you a LOL on Twitter, rest assured, it is genuine.
O Say Can You Sing?
It’s 25 years later and we are still talking about that fateful day when Roseanne Barr stepped up to sing the National Anthem at a Padres game. At the time, they were playing at the stadium known as Jack Murphy, and Barr’s infamously screeching tribute, punctuated by a spit and a crotch-grab, went over with San Diegans like a proposed tax increase.
Even then-President George Bush condemned the performance. “I started too high,” Barr explains to The Washington Post, while also enumerating the havoc the incident wreaked upon her personal life.