National City does more than sell automobiles on the famed Mile of Cars. The South Bay city is home to a marine terminal that serves as a way station for hundreds of thousands of imported and exported cars each year.
The Port district has big dreams for this big business. It wants to give more land to the Pasha Automotive Services vehicle importer company and reconfigure a rail line. But National City’s mayor is crying foul, as VOSD’s Ashly McGlone reports.
“We get all the negatives without much of the positives,” said Mayor Ron Morrison, who wants more public access near the water. Now, the property is “behind barbed wire and the guys have .32s on their belts.”
Will the city get what it wants? It doesn’t look good for Morrison since the Port seems to be lined up against him, but the city will still present an alternative plan.
Chargers Aren’t Sweatin’ Looming City Deadline
Next week, the Chargers and San Diego officials will present to NFL owners in Chicago and both sides are offering up competing public opinion polls, reports Scott Lewis. The mayor and his allies have a poll that shows a bare majority of San Diegans supports the government paying one-third the cost of a new stadium. The Chargers appear to be testing how far south that support goes when you clarify where the money is coming from.
More importantly, perhaps, is that the city has a mid-September deadline to come to terms with the Chargers or else its plan to hold an election in January — the reason we’re rushing through an environmental study right now — won’t work. And yet, it seems pretty clear the Chargers have no intention of coming on board by then.
News About News: It’s a Boy!
The VOSD Morning Report has a new sibling who’s going to make the Morning Report feel old and start drinking its dinner: The North County Report, a guide to all things news-worthy in the huge chunk of land that encompasses cities like Escondido, Poway, Oceanside and Del Mar plus parts of San Diego itself.
It’ll appear on Wednesdays, and the first edition of the North County Report, written by new VOSD contributor Jeremy Ogul, features links to stories about landfill battles, the perplexing Route 78/Interstate 5 interchange and the state of water conservation in the wealthy town that’s home to the nation’s most notorious water guzzlers.
Politics Roundup: A Chilly Reception
• Local legislator Lorena Gonzalez and former Mayor Jerry Sanders met in Sacramento during a hearing but “the mood was icy,” CityBeat reports. They’re on opposite sides of a legislative battle over whether the powers of San Diego’s urban renewal agency should be trimmed.
“San Diego is the only city in California that outsources permitting and planning functions to a nonprofit,” CityBeat reports. “The city not only funds Civic San Diego, the mayor appoints its president as well as eight of its nine board directors.”
• Former Councilwoman Donna Frye is weighing in on the controversy over the city’s Ethics Commission, via CityBeat: “Get rid of the mayor and city council participating in the appointment of people who are going to provide enforcement actions on you. That is not the best thing to do.”
• No, officials say, San Diego isn’t an undocumented- immigrant-friendly “Sanctuary City,” nor is the county. (U-T)
• A City Council committee gave a big ¯\(°_°)/¯ to plans to boost water rates. (City News Service)
Sports Writer Lets Loose
• Councilwoman Marti Emerald went on KPBS to talk about her opposition to city spending on a new Chargers stadium.
• AP sports writer Bernie Wilson, who covers the Chargers, let loose on sports radio with his thoughts about the stadium mess.
A few of his choice remarks:
Regarding the current football stadium, “the city bears a lot of the blame on this. Politicians should never be allowed near any sports activities. It’s not in danger of collapsing, but it is a dump.”
“The Chargers stomped away from the negotiating table like a 4-year-old back in mid-June.”
Why won’t the Rose Bowl take the team temporarily? “They don’t want the trash and stuff that comes with it. The NFL likes to project the Park Avenue crowd. But it’s a less-than-desirable crown. I was a frat boy 30 years ago, but you have to grow up at some point. The parking lot of Qualcomm is like the Kappa Sig house before the game.”
Quick News Hits: Pacifica Beach?!
• We have a pretty young population, especially compared with competing cities like San Francisco, a new report says. But we also pay the highest power rates of any big city in the state. We recently explored how electricity bills are hobbling local businesses.
• The chief executive of San Diego-Based WD-40 talks to the L.A. Times about his company’s slick success. Fun facts: The formula for WD-40 is locked in a vault here, the concentrate for the lubricant is only made in San Diego and three other places and people have used WD-40 to unstuck a python from the bottom of a bus and to keep squirrels from running up a pole to a bird feeder.
For more trivia to keep in your back pocket, watch University of San Diego professor Iris Engstrand talk about WD-40 at one of our Meeting of the Minds last year.
• From the slick to the not-so-slick: The Another Broken Egg Cafe restaurant chain is coming to San Diego, and it has announced plans to open up in local places like “Pacifica Beach and San Bernardino.”
In a word: Splat!
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.