Democrats are still digesting the news that Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and State Sen. Marty Block are apparently heading for a political clash.

Sara Libby has all the analysis about the battle in one place in this week’s Sacramento Report, which also explains how the state’s new redevelopment deal works and why San Diego’s getting a hefty check from Sacramento because of it.

I went on KPBS Roundtable to discuss the Atkins-Block battle. inewsource has an analysis of where Block and Atkins have gotten their money. (Hint: The same kinds of sources!)

We all thought that 2016 would have some intense electoral battles but I, at least, certainly didn’t anticipate this would be one of them.

As the Sacramento Report makes clear, nobody can identify a policy disagreement between Atkins and Block. Atkins’ team is making the case that she will simply lead better and that a woman will represent women’s issues better, not just be a reliable vote.

They are also clearly putting major pressure on Block to bow out. Stay tuned.

Say What? Sheriff’s Crazy Good Homicide Clearance Rate

Crime statistics published earlier this year disclosed that the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has a “homicide clearance rate” of 250 percent for 2013. Yes, 250 percent for just one year.

Randy Dotinga, in the latest of his “What’s the Deal?” posts, explains how that’s possible. A 100 percent clearance rate might be a balance between cases and clearances. So how do they do better than that? Basically, if they solve old crimes, it counts to the rate for the year they solved it.

• The New York Times reports that police departments are increasingly using complex algorithms to identify likely criminals before they commit a serious crime. These “preventative policing” programs are relatively ineffective, though, especially considering the tensions they create within specific communities.

Our Andrew Keatts revealed earlier this year that the Sheriff’s Department is experimenting with precisely this type of program. Here’s what he found about Operation Lemon Drop, which targeted trolley passengers:

But the effort to track and target people who’ve been released from jail raises concerns in concept and in practice. There’s the creepy “Minority Report”-esque “pre-crime” element. Plus, Operation Lemon Drop’s final numbers show that only 1 percent of people contacted by law enforcement were ultimately arrested, including some for misdemeanors.

Port Is Fighting for the Right to Build Expensive Hotels

The Port of San Diego really wants new hotels on Harbor Island but doesn’t want to promise they’ll be affordable. Port commissioners voted Sept. 8 to sue the California Coastal Commission for denying its Harbor Island hotel plans, which include adding up to three new hotels with 500 rooms.

At issue is a little-known and not-too-effective Coastal Act mandate that requires coastal accommodations for middle- and low-income visitors, not just those who can afford $600 room rates. Commissioners Marshall Merrifield and Ann Moore opposed the lawsuit, and Rafael Castellanos recused himself. For a refresher on the lodging debate, read this U-T post.

Water Rates, Explained

Our Ry Rivard and Monica Dean from NBC 7 San Diego took to our weekly San Diego Explained segment to break down what factors into water rates and why they’re climbing with no end in sight. Half of San Diego County’s water agencies are proposing rate increases.

Quick News Hits

• SeaWorld has earned the support of staff of the California Coastal Commission in its bid to overhaul and expand its tanks for orcas. Animal rights activists, unsurprisingly, are not pleased. The commission itself could override staff but that would be a big deal.

• Those bizarre quotes from Coronado from residents complaining about bike lanes are now going national (here’s another, and another). (Citylab, USA Today, Mediaite)

• KPBS says San Diego State is building its own downtown.

• Tijuanenses are wondering why we’re having so much trouble building a stadium.

• Scientists say our ocean waters are the warmest they’ve been since 1931.

• So this giant scandal rocking carmaker Volkswagon actually first came to light … here. LA Weekly describes how a workshop in San Diego sponsored by the California Air Resources Board brought the issue to the Board’s attention. But the regulators didn’t do anything about it for a while.

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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