The way many Chargers fans see it, longtime team special counsel Mark Fabiani is a menacing, white-haired ghoul standing in the way of a deal to keep the team in San Diego.

Fabiani, who’s long represented Chargers owner Dean Spanos in stadium talks, has come up with reason after reason why it’d be hard to build a stadium here and some local politicians and the people who work for them have been demanding a new team negotiator.

What they’re not mentioning: Fabiani has a point. Getting taxpayer support for a new stadium and surviving likely environmental challenges won’t be easy, Scott Lewis writes. He examines the obsession with Fabiani over what is the real story of what’s going on: The NFL is a ruthless business and it is clashing right now with San Diego’s skeptical public and political leaders.

• Eric Grubman, the NFL exec leading league strategy on the Los Angeles front, talked to the LA Times after this week’s three-hour meetings with furious fans in San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland. His takeaway on that fan feedback? “For them, I think it was very cathartic, and you heard that in their voices in three cities.”

• Lewis and Andrew Keatts discussed the vitriol being targeted at Fabiani – and the (at least relative) lack thereof toward the Spanos and the Chargers organization – during this week’s VOSD Podcast. The conversation took a spooky turn when the duo chatted with CityBeat’s Ryan Bradford about his book “Horror Business” and why people are drawn to things that scare them.

That Other Guy Haunting Stadium Talks

Prominent local attorney Cory Briggs, who’s best known for his efforts to stop things, just unveiled an amended version of the initiative he’s said could help finance a Convention Center expansion and a downtown Chargers stadium. Briggs told the Union-Tribune the updated measure would protect the Mission Valley site – the city’s current stadium site of choice – from drawn out environmental court fights per an exemption Gov. Jerry Brown already signed off on but require the city to build that new Mission Valley stadium without taxpayer help.

The Latest Sacramento Skirmishes

Policy (and yes, political) battles are a constant reality in Sacramento and we’re all over them in the latest Sacramento Report.

Sara Libby offers a quick play-by-play of both the debate surrounding one year old Prop. 47, which sought to make some felony offenses misdemeanors with the goal of reducing the prison population, and the continuing all-out brawl between Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins and Sen. Marty Block, who both want the same seat. And Ry Rivard offers an update on two increasing water beefs.

News Nibbles

• Earlier this week, Lewis chatted with now two-time District 1 City Council candidate Ray Ellis, who revealed he still supports philanthropist Irwin Jacobs’ past plan to remake Balboa Park and that he wasn’t cool with Faulconer’s decision to drop $2.1 million on that rushed environmental review for a Mission Valley stadium.

The city of San Diego has offered more details on the police shooting of a man in the Midway area, including some of the officer’s statement.

• So San Diego didn’t win that Olympic bid last year. Consolation prize: The 2017 World Beach Games. (Associated Press)

• Ex-Mexican national soccer team coach Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera could be the new Tijuana Xolos head coach. (Union-Tribune)

• Little Italy’s new 10-story parking garage, which spans a full city block, opened Friday and a new project in Mission Valley is set to cover more than five acres with new apartments and retail. (San Diego Magazine)

• Finally, San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez’s staff wins the Best City Hall Group Costume Posted on Twitter Award. Pretty solid Star Wars interpretation. But Alvarez admitted before that he had never actually seen Star Wars.

Our Top Five

Stories about SeaWorld’s recent woes topped the list of this week’s top five most-read stories. Check out the full Top 10 here.

1. City Numbers Reveal the Extent of SeaWorld San Diego’s Sinking Performance
SeaWorld San Diego’s rent payments to the city of San Diego and its attendance are down as the company faces challenges nationwide. (Lisa Halverstadt)

2. Let’s Talk About Whale Sex – and SeaWorld’s Fight for Their Right to Have It
SeaWorld’s argument for why a ban on orca breeding is such an injustice might come back to haunt them. (Scott Lewis)

3. Fixing Up Neighborhoods Is Easier Said Than Done — Just Ask This Group
An Encanto community group tried to revitalize a neglected neighborhood space. Now city bureaucracy has thrown the whole thing into jeopardy. (Andrew Keatts)

4. Chula Vista Is a College Town in Search of a College
Despite years of setbacks, Chula Vista still has hope it will someday be home to a four-year university. (Maya Srikrishnan)

5. ‘We’d Have to Have Rocks in Our Head to Tell Them the Neighborhood School Isn’t Good’
A real estate agent says she has no idea why Superintendent Cindy Marten told a story about her trashing Franklin Elementary to prospective home-buyers. (Mario Koran)

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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