It’s a sad, horrifying day in world news. We are as moved by things like the Paris terrorist attacks as anyone and our thoughts are especially with those affected most. But it’s not our role — and we have no expertise — to make sense of what happened. Here’s some local reaction gathered by KPBS.


A local Realtor group decided to hold an event in Barrio Logan this week, to coincide with a national Realtor conference happening in San Diego. They’d build planter boxes and spruce up a street in Barrio Logan, then bring Realtors and community members together to celebrate the upgrades.

It didn’t go according to plan Friday. Several businesses closed to protest the event, Andrew Keatts and Ry Rivard report. “The fact that it was put on by the Realtors association and promoted to their peers from around the country smacked of gentrification to a community that’s already concerned it’s coming,” they write. Many business owners complained that the event felt like it was mostly for outsiders.

One irony to the whole mess: The improvements the Realtor group made were almost identical to the efforts made by a local community group in Encanto recently. Both groups built planter boxes for trees and made other minor but permanent fixes. Both groups failed to obtain permits for their work. But only the local community group got threatened by the city with fines and was ordered to tear their work out. The city told Keatts the Realtor group would have to remove its work, too — but it never told the group that directly, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer was set to celebrate the Realtor group’s work Friday but didn’t show.

City Leaders 3, Potholes 0

Going out with city crews to fill potholes has become a thing San Diego politicians do. The latest to grab a shovel was Mayor Kevin Faulconer and our Liam Dillion took the opportunity to play Who Filled It Better?

Liam compares three — Faulconer, Carl DeMaio and David Alvarez — and rates their attire, skill and posture (after all, you can’t put much strain on your back if you want to be able to fill a pothole the next day).

Dillon has been ultra-serious all week, but this was just hilarious.

• Dillon was also on KPBS Roundtable to discuss the district attorney’s decision this week not to prosecute an officer for the killing of a homeless man in the Midway area and her opposition to releasing a video of it.

Podcast: Breakfast Burritos Serve No Purpose?

Dillon also made a cameo on this week’s podcast interviewing the COO of the Seattle Police Department, Mike Wagers, on how that city has implemented police body cameras. They make all the footage public.

Andy Keatts and Scott Lewis also bantered about breakfast burritos, the Chargers and SeaWorld and the hero and goat of the week.

Sacramento Report: Transparency Time

Sara Libby surveyed San Diego’s delegation in Sacramento on their priorities for transparency to lead this week’s Sacramento Report. It comes in light of the Center for Public Integrity’s big report on accountability and transparency in state houses that gave California a C-.

It includes a solid rundown on the major challenges SeaWorld is facing from state government and some more on the tension between Speaker Toni Atkins and the state senator, Marty Block, she hopes to oust.

Water Rate Hikes: It’s All Here, Drink it in

The city of San Diego’s independent budget analyst, or IBA, has completed her review of the proposed water rate hike. The city is proposing to raise water rates 41 percent over the next five years.

Basically, the IBA says the operations of the Public Utilities Department, or PUD, were in jeopardy, as was the city’s plan to recycle water, which is crucial to its plan to not be forced to dramatically improve sewage treatment.

Here it is in city speak: “Absent an increase in water rates, PUD’s current and planned work will need to be scaled back, and implementation of the Pure Water program – and the corresponding modified permit application for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant– would be jeopardized,” she wrote.

Council President Sherri Lightner and a bevy of business leaders planned to rally for the rate increase Monday morning outside City Hall. Not listed as attending: Mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose staff is leading the effort.

• Ry Rivard recently compiled the four reasons they want to increase rates and the route residents can take if they want to try to stop the hike.

• Three people who do want to stop the rate hike are South Bay leaders. In a U-T op-ed, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas and two others argue the city’s rate change is not fair. Chula Vista depends on San Diego’s recycled water.

“It’s not complicated — the city unfairly proposes to overcharge users of recycled water in the South County so that users in the North can pay less,” they wrote.

Quick News Hits

Plane noise on the peninsula is a fact of life. But rules say the planes have to stop at 11 p.m. and can start again at 6:30. inewsource found violations, however, are just not punished.

 The Padres made a big trade, sending reliever Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox. (MLB)

 Albie’s Beef Inn is officially closing Dec. 23. KPBS remembers the unique place.

 A San Ysidro school board member has resigned. (Union-Tribune)

Here is a link to the Top 10 most-read stories of the week at Voice of San Diego. And the Top Five:

1. The Refugee Who Built a Towing Empire and a Record of Crime and Lies
Nash Habib arrived in the U.S. the day he turned 18. Since then, he’s worked, fought and schemed his way to the top of the region’s towing business. (Liam Dillon)

2. The Architectural Marvel That Is … Qualcomm Stadium?
Qualcomm Stadium is considered an architectural gem in certain circles. (Kinsee Morlan)

3. The Genius of – and the Problem With – the Briggs Hotel-Tax Overhaul
A new measure being pushed by Cory Briggs and Donna Frye would remake downtown and the city’s hotel-room tax system unlike any proposal in the last decade. (Scott Lewis)

4. Building a Hotel Won’t Be Smooth Sailing for SeaWorld
SeaWorld’s plans to get into the San Diego hotel business will have to clear lots of roadblocks. (Lisa Halverstadt)

5. Students and Patients Benefit the Most From San Diego’s Biggest Nonprofits
Health care facilities and private universities dominate San Diego’s list of largest nonprofit employers. (Lisa Halverstadt)

Scott Lewis

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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