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The Airport Authority is expected to get approval this week from the California Coastal Commission to build a large, $80 million parking structure. But the agency had to agree to a curious condition: It must encourage airport passengers not to use it.
The Coastal Commission didn’t understand why the garage was needed along North Harbor Drive. Airport managers had previously decided the garage shouldn’t be built to encourage people to use public transit and other means. They changed their minds and our Ashly McGlone unraveled the peculiar compromise.
Save the Environment Via Bulldozer
A leading local environmentalist wants to kill an East County valley, temporarily, in order to save it. Sound weird? Some local residents near the Lakeside-area valley think so: They believe the guy is nuts to support a mining operation that goes by the Orwellian name El Monte Nature Preserve. VOSD’s Ry Rivard has the story about a bid to fix a valley by reclaiming it via — yes — mining.
“The thing that has put a bad taste in their mouth is not a single sand mining company in Lakeside has fulfilled its promise — not a single one of them,” says a critic. But supporters say money from mining will boost nature.
Chargers Committed to Los Angeles – Really Now
The Chargers’ representative trying to pull off a stadium in Carson, Carmen Policy, told reporters outside of the NFL’s owners meeting something that resonated on sports talk radio all afternoon.
“The Chargers and Raiders are committed to Los Angeles,” he said.
Policy was speaking after presenting the Chargers’ plan for Carson to NFL owners. The L.A. Times’ Sam Farmer says Chargers owner Dean Spanos has the upper hand in the race for L.A. against the Rams.
“Although his colleagues won’t say it publicly, Spanos has the strongest backing of the three relocation-minded owners,” Farmer wrote. But he also explained why Rams owner Stan Kroenke has a strong case to move too, and that the league could be heading toward a clash.
One NFL owner said the odds of a team being in L.A. next year are better than 50-50. At a press conference, NFL executives San Diego leaders have to somehow eliminate the risks for the Chargers if they hope to keep the team.
• The images of the proposed new football stadium make it look like it’s covered in some kind of high-tech bubble wrap. What’s going on? This may be a sun-shading or what the U-T describes as “a ‘kinetic skin’ of metal plates hinged at the top that flutter when the wind blows.”
Huge Fine in Airbnb Case
A judge has issued a fine — almost $25,000 — against a woman in the Burlingame neighborhood who stood accused of illegally hosting guests via Airbnb. The woman, who listed rooms in her house for a bit more than a year, spawned complaints from neighbors.
She argued that she wasn’t operating a bed-and-breakfast, the Reader reports, because she didn’t give food to her short-time guests. The judge disagreed because “it is the type of establishment where breakfast is typically served.”
The woman’s attorney, frequent VOSD commentator Omar Passons, disagrees with the ruling and says it puts homeowners at risk “if you rent rooms, home-swap, share, couch-surf, open your home to foreign exchange students or the military” for less than 30 days.
State Politics Roundup
The governor has agreed to strike the word “alien” (as in immigrants) from the state’s labor code, reflecting a decades-long trend to get the phrase “illegal alien” out of public discourse. The L.A. Times says this reflects an ongoing immigrant-friendly evolution of the law in the state: “The various benefits, rights and protections add up to something experts liken to a kind of California citizenship.
• It’s now up to the governor to decide whether to approve legislation that makes it clear that the public can record cops on the job.
For more, check our recent story that offers the “definitive guide” to your rights when you deal with the police. Among other things, there are limitations regarding what police can ask about regarding your criminal history and when they can enter your home.
• A DMV bribery scandal has erupted, this one involving bribes from truck drivers seeking illegal licenses. (AP)
Quick News Hits: Copy Cats
• Just 25 percent of households in the county can afford to buy a median-priced home here. (Keep in mind that the median price, almost $548,000, is not the average.)
“To afford a house in San Diego County, a household would require a minimum annual income of $108,390 to make monthly payments of $2,700 — including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.95 percent interest rate,” City News Service reports.
• In a big shift regarding its car-friendly culture, “the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a sweeping transportation plan that calls for the addition of hundreds of miles of new bicycle lanes, bus-only lanes and other road redesigns over the next 20 years.” (L.A. Times)
• There are more surprises in that football stadium report that we told you about earlier. Our Scott Lewis noticed male faces that keep appearing again and again in a single depiction of the stadium “crowd.”
And I spotted identical clumps of “players” who appear on the field four times. Just click here to see what I mean.
Of course, mistakes like these can’t possibly be signs of a report put together too quickly under pressure. Of course, mistakes like these can’t possibly be signs of…
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.