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We’ve been hearing the same tune for decades: we need more places to put our trash, and voters must approve landfills to meet our dump needs. But VOSD’s Ry Rivard uncovers a crucial fact that mangles the melody: We’re not actually running out of space to put our trash.
“The dire warnings and the growing list of projects to contain all our garbage are at odds with our trashy reality,” he writes. “The county’s landfill capacity has more than doubled since the 1990s, though San Diegans are sending less trash to landfills and the city has an ambitious plan to cut the amount even further.”
• Getting rid of trash has long been a major preoccupation of San Diego officials, dating back to the late 19th century when the odor of a wharf full of trash — the ocean was a handy dumping ground — made sailors woozy. Check our history flashback for more details, including the need to separate local trash back then (no, not for recycling), the arrest of a garbage collector over “cess-pools of fever germs,” and our infamous trash-to-trough porcine scandal.
Goal Met on Convention Hotel Nights
We have news that offers insight into the ongoing bad blood between the Convention Center and the city’s tourism agency. “For the first time since it took over bookings for the Convention Center in 2012, the San Diego Tourism Authority met the goals spelled out in its contract and booked more than 1 million hotel room nights for convention-goers last year,” VOSD’s Ashly McGlone reports.
The convention center met or exceeded targets when it was in charge, and it thinks it should still have the job. But the City Council handed over the role to the tourism agency, which is run by a board stacked with plenty of hotel people. The tourism agency has the job for another year at least.
S.D. & NFL Bro Out
Government likes to move at the pace of a snail with no particular place to be, but the city is poised to do the utterly remarkable: Get work done on the double. It plans to have an environmental impact report for a new stadium ready for a flood of public comment by Aug. 10. Yes, about two weeks from now.
Meanwhile, local leaders met with the NFL here yesterday, and held another press conference to reveal little but show that they’re working on it. The pitch “included assurances from state Assembly speaker Toni Atkins that she would help expedite any potential litigation related to environmental approvals,” the Union-Tribune reports. VOSD’s Sara Libby, ever on the prowl for “San Diego brotos” — no-ladies in photos of gatherings of important people — notes that we had a good one yesterday. (Atkins apparently didn’t show up for reporters’ questions.)
Twitter broke out into a rousing discussion about the depth of Atkins’ involvement and support of the mayor, county supervisor and city attorney’s effort to keep the team. If she’s pledging to fast-track the permitting of the new stadium they’re planning, does that mean she actually supports what they are planning?
Here’s where the discussion started, with Liam Dillon’s contested translation of Atkins’ position on the matter.
Politics Roundup: Not So ‘Smart’
CalWatchdog.com’s Chris Reed, an editorial writer with the Union-Tribune, digs into the county’s epic pension saga, which he says has ripped into the narrative of “county smart, city dumb” when it comes to handling public money.
As the story notes, the county has finally dumped its lead investment guru after years of controversy.
• Great news for those who can’t parallel park. (Can I get an amen, other big drivers of big cars?): The city has approved a plan to pull parking spaces off University Avenue in the North Park area and replace them with diagonal spots on side streets. The idea is to make the street more friendly to transit and pedestrians. (Union-Tribune)
• The city wants to help you visualize its budget.
• Something does not compute: New York City is going to entirely rebuild LaGuardia Airport for $4 billion, while renovations at our much-less-busy airport’s cramped and annoying Terminal 1 alone are going to run to more than $2 billion?
Balboa Park Debate Has Familiar Ring
There are calls for more parking in Balboa Park, perhaps including a resurrection of the dormant Jacobs plan, although there always seems to be open parking spaces somewhere. It’s a matter of helping people find them and either walk or take a shuttle when you’re, say, herding a bunch of children or nursing a sore knee. There’s the rub, according to some of the folks debating on Twitter whether more parking is actually needed.
Two Balboa Park leaders gave hesitant support for the dormant Jacobs plan for the park during our podcast last week, with the new CEO of the Balboa Park Conservancy saying parking management — not necessarily a lack of spaces — may be the main problem.
Culture Report: Farewell, for Now
The Culture Report, the Morning Report’s pesky younger sister (“Mommm! The Culture Report is looking at me!”), is going on hiatus. In the last edition for a while, VOSD contributor Alex Zaragoza — who will continue to write about arts for us — checks in with the biggest local arts cheerleaders for their thoughts about exciting things happening in arts and culture.
“Groups like the Rising Arts Leaders and more informally Drinking About Museums are creating opportunities for people to get out of their professional silos and cross-pollinate,” says Kara West, arts guru at the library. “ Sure, collaboration is a long road, and we have miles to go in San Diego, but progress moves at the speed of trust, and a lot of cultural organizations are realizing we serve our communities more effectively by turning outward.”
• KPBS remembers influential local architect Robert Mosher, who has died at the age of 94. Mosher designed the look of the Coronado bridge among other San Diego-area landmarks and was “a champion of simple, modern design.”
Quick News Hits: In the Green
• The San Diego Food Bank hopes to save a bundle via solar power. (NBC 7)
• As more rains come, wildfires have been higher in number but less severe in California this year. (AP)
• The L.A. City Council has banned the possession of certain firearm magazines, a move that goes beyond state law and is certain to end up in court, the L.A. Times reports. “People who want to defend their families don’t need a 100-round drum magazine and an automatic weapon to do it,” a councilman said. There’s already a twist: A proposed exemption for some retired cops.
• The first episode of the reality show “I Am Cait,” starring Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), features her visit to the family of Kyler Cade Prescott, a San Diego transgender child who committed suicide in May at the age of 14. Jenner attended a memorial service for Kyler, who reportedly had a supportive family but faced bullying. (Fox 5, US Weekly)
• A San Diego man is suing TV’s Conan O’Brien, accusing his show of stealing jokes. (Times of San Diego)
• A news outfit called AJ+ is out with a video report about a lawn painter in Fresno. Yes, a lawn painter, a guy who spray-paints brown lawns green and says it’s similar to painting a house. However, the news report says the green paint fades away over time, just like hair dye, so you’d need to redo it.
Gives new meaning to “your roots are showing,” doesn’t it?
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.