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Democrats and Republicans came together to push the city’s bold plan to protect the climate by getting more people to stop driving. One of the biggest initiatives: Cut San Diego’s greenhouse emissions in half over the next 20 years, in part by getting 50 percent of people who live near certain transit stations to stop driving to work.

Here comes the hitch: The regional planning agency thinks this isn’t going to happen. Its plans anticipate much less environment-friendly commuting, and its board — including the mayor and a city councilman — will soon be asked to sign off on a less-ambitious plan. If the SANDAG plan is OK’d, it’d basically render the city’s plan moot before it even passes.

Can the politicians support both plans despite their contradictions? No way, an advocate tells VOSD’s Andrew Keatts. Yes way, says Councilman Todd Gloria.

After our story appeared, more discussion broke out on Twitter as a startled Councilman David Alvarez tried to understand what’s going on.

Who Muffled the Press in Downtown?

Oops.

The CEO whose organizations runs a cleanliness and safety program in downtown has fessed up (“we did it”) to the trashing of various newspaper boxes in the Gaslamp Quarter. An employee told CityBeat that he ripped them out of the sidewalk, not an easy task: “Internet, people don’t read anymore,” he explained, kind of.

But they do read the law. “The boxes cost between $100 and $300 each, and our publisher pays the city an annual licensing fee of $20 per box,” CityBeat reports. “All our boxes in the Gaslamp Quarter were officially tagged and registered.”

The Downtown San Diego Partnership, which runs the Clean & Safe program, is apologetic. But it’s not clear what happens now.

Coronado’s ‘Paint Stripe Pollution’ Menace

Coronado residents are outraged by bike lanes — but not because they increase car traffic or eliminate parking, the usual complaints. No, Coronadoans (Coronadans? Coronads?) are up in arms because they think bike lanes look like “graffiti,” cause “paint stripe pollution” and even produce “vertigo” if you look at them long enough.

Seriously. This is what residents said, according to KPBS, along with this: “It’s very similar to personally taking all three of my daughters to a tattoo parlor and having them completely body tattooed.”

The city responded by dumping plans for more bike lanes. The mayor of Coronado, a profile in political courage, declared: “What the public wants, they should get, and unless what they’re asking for is illegal or unethical, it’s my job to help the public meet its needs or meet its goals.”

• If fitness buffs can’t ride their bikes in Coronado, maybe they could play tennis on the roof of the convention center. I am not making this up, either.

Quick News Hits

• VOSD’s weekly North County Report offers news about a neighborhood school in Oceanside possibly closing to make way for a charter, “terrorism liaison officers” in Escondido and a possible renaissance in Vista’s long-dormant downtown.

• California icon Father Serra is now a saint, and the debate over his work continues. A USD history professor’s words to the U-T are already coming back to haunt her: She says Spanish missionaries wanted to save Indians, and their deaths of disease were “collateral damage.”

• Under a newly approved state law that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017, all kids under 2 (with some exceptions) will have to sit in rear-facing child seats in cars.

• Xconomy is out with a list of a dozen hot local startups, including one that appeared on our list of 5 to watch.

• Researchers are dumping fluorescent pink dye into the ocean off Tijuana and Imperial Beach in a bid to understand how water pollution travels up and down the coast, KPBS reports.

Don’t let those folks in Coronado find out about this. If bike lanes give them vertigo, a pink ocean is really going to make them flip their ultra-refined and well-manicured lids.

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 randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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