The Port of San Diego and Chula Vista want to make it real, real easy for developers to build on waterfront property in that city, so they paved the way for developers. All the environmental reviews, the legal hurdle-clearing, the community meetings; all the classic obstacles to waterfront development have been handled upfront, Maya Srikrishnan reports. That’s their pitch to developers, a pitch that has already yielded a few big projects.

It all came through a rare land-swap deal, where a developer agreed to hand over sensitive environmental land to the Port in exchange for land more suited for development.

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Riot

In 2014, then-Police Chief Bill Landsdowne told the City Council about police body cameras: “Everybody gets to look at them and find out if they’re acting correctly and properly.”

Apparently, the new Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman didn’t get that memo; she’s against showing police body camera videos to anyone. That is, unless they riot violently in the streets, Liam Dillon reports. She might consider turning over videos in cases “where public safety is at risk, where people are damaging property, assaulting people,” she said recently at a press conference. But recall that a protest in City Heights last year did result in some violence against police officers, and Zimmerman declined to release body camera footage even then.

It’s not just body camera videos Zimmerman is determined to keep under lock and key. We’ve been battling it out in court against the department in order to gain access to footage of an officer-involved shooting captured on a private security camera.

• There’s a sliver of silver lining here, though. Zimmerman might be open to the idea of breaking down how often body cameras contributed to sustained complaints against officers.

The Learning Curve: Tackling Teacher Tenure

On Tuesday, we’re hosting an event with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber to talk education. Weber has been a vocal supporter of changing education policy in the Assembly, even when change remains elusive. One topic on Mario Koran’s mind is the tricky issue of teacher tenure, an issue currently in play thanks to an important court case on appeal. In this week’s Learning Curve, Koran wraps up the basics of teacher tenure and what impact the court’s decision in Vergara v. California may have.

• Koran got pretty fired up about this Daily Beast article highlighting a private prison making good money locking up infants and toddlers and their mothers in a “preschooler prison.”

Illegal Donations: San Diego Explained

You know it’s illegal to donate money to political campaigns on behalf of other people, right? Some people either don’t know or don’t care, as evidenced by recent city and state investigations into tow company owners who may have done exactly that. Liam Dillon joined NBC 7’s Monica Dean to show how wrongdoers try to keep these donations hush-hush in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Bring Back Our Bosses

We mentioned this week how the staff of the Union-Tribune might be feeling a little disconnected from its parent corporation, now that its publisher is no longer anywhere nearby after Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner was fired. U-T staff are in good company; this week dozens of Los Angeles civic leaders sent an open letter to the Tribune Company, urging them to restore local leadership to the L.A. Times.

San Diego civic leaders are, no doubt, at this very moment, huddled together collaborating on their plans to express similar concern for their own daily paper.

Forfeiture Bill Fails

Thursday saw some key votes in the California Legislature, one of them being SB 443, a bill targeting what the Union-Tribune described as the “widely abused practice” of law enforcement officials taking money and property with impunity using asset forfeiture laws. The bill failed on Thursday.

To understand the havoc civil asset forfeiture can wreak on people’s lives and why many are demanding reform, check out this Washington Post investigation, and this Atlantic piece.

• Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez explained on Twitter why she thought the bill wasn’t good enough.

Fletcher, Obama Pitch Iran Deal

Former politician-turned-veterans advocate Nathan Fletcher has, as they say, a seat at the table. It’s not just figurative here, he literally has a seat at the table a few inches from President Obama. Fletcher and Obama teamed up Thursday in support of the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, USA Today reports.

Fletcher’s appearance stirred up a frenzy among local operatives who wondered whether Fletcher is planning a run against Rep. Scott Peters in 2016. Fletcher shot that rumor down directly.

News Nibbles

• San Diego has a new planning director, Andrew Keatts reports. Jeff Murphy was formerly Encinitas’ director. The Seaside Courier has details.

• Sempra Energy’s venture into Mexico is facing big challenges after a period of big success. (Bloomberg)

• One of San Diego’s craft brewers has decided their brewery will be better now that they’ve sold it to MillerCoors. (Union-Tribune)

Google is talking to the city of San Diego about bringing ultra-fast, affordable internet lines to San Diegans. They want to know if you’re interested. (Google)

• Terrible heat is sending kids home from school early, NBC 7 reports, and dogs into emergency rooms, Fox 5 reports.

• Hoping for cooler temperatures in your house? Maybe a gigantic chunk of ice will fall out of the clear sky and crash through your roof. It happens. (L.A. Times)

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated where Zimmerman discussed body cameras and her potential data collection change. It also misstated the extent of campaign finance investigations involving tow company owners.

Seth Hall is a writer and technologist. You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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