Last year when the VOSD staff sat down to vote on who should be named Voice of the Year, the office was divided into at least three camps. Each one argued its position. We debated, we deliberated and debated some more. We finally landed on the SeaWorld agitators for forcing a tough conversation about one of San Diego’s most iconic companies.
This year, it wasn’t even close. There were no heated debates. Mark Fabiani, the special counsel for the Chargers, is the 2015 Voice of the Year.
Whether you agree with the Chargers’ handling of the stadium saga or not, it dwarfed all other civic debates this year, for better or worse, and Fabiani was the one in the driver’s seat. The city scrambled and jumped through hoop after hoop to respond to his every charge, insinuation and demand.
Scott Lewis breaks down why Fabiani rose above all the other voices this year: He “either forced unprecedented mobilization to build a new football stadium in San Diego — almost single-handedly provoking an obsessive yearlong conversation about the dilemma — or, as a city councilman put it, he is singularly responsible for the failure of negotiations between the city and Chargers.”
Voice of the Year is not an honor. It’s just our attempt to identify those people who created a major conversation in San Diego. A lot of other folks from all types of backgrounds and perspectives made our 2015 Voice of the Year list, people who led discussions on criminal justice, infrastructure, education, arts and more. Check out the full list here.
Scenes from the (Probably) Last Chargers Game
At least they won.
Reaction to the Chargers’win Sunday was tempered by sadness and frustration as most folks said their goodbyes to the team that looks to be on its way to L.A.
Our photographer Jamie Lytle was there, and captured some great shots that capture the fans’ anger, the team’s (maybe) final moments in action and more. Check them all out in this post.
Our contributor Beau Lynott says some folks who work for the team are holding out a little hope:
Low morale at the old ballyard. Team staff I’ve talked to are holding out hope this isn’t the last game here, but don’t sound optimistic.
— yule verbena (@lemonverbena_) December 20, 2015
Most fans at the game were documenting what they assumed was a bittersweet goodbye:
Sports reporter Annie Heilbrunn caught Eric Weddle’s parents tailgating, same as always:
Fun seeing Eric Weddle’s parents in the parking lot. Been tailgating since his first year, every game. pic.twitter.com/ccgDqYERzR
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) December 20, 2015
Then there were the fans that just went for it:
— K.C. Alfred (@KCAlfredPhoto) December 20, 2015
For what it’s worth, Philip Rivers’ post-game interview with XTRA Sports 1360 was probably the best.
National Media Still Fascinated by SD’s Climate, Water Future
San Diego had a big week in the spotlight with the passage of its Climate Action Plan and the opening of the big desalination plan in Carlsbad. The national media is still excited by both.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer went on NPR to talk about how the city will achieve the lofty goals spelled out in the Climate Action Plan. He said the city plans to lead by example by converting city vehicles to electric vehicles and upgrading traffic lights to keep cars from idling. But he dodged when asked whether the city would try to punish SDG&E if it didn’t get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that some investors in the Carlsbad desalination plant don’t think the effort was worth the 18-year wait:
After waiting years for some return on his capital, Mr. Deutschman said he wouldn’t recommend desalination to other investors.
“We’re hoping the state works on some of these issues, otherwise these projects won’t be attractive to investors going forward,” he said.
Quick News Hits
• San Diego robotics experts weighed in on BB-8, the adorable new droid in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” (L.A. Times)
• The Union-Tribune reports that the city’s most prolific user of emergency services, a 70-year-old homeless man, will be released on New Year’s Eve following his arrest for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The unique terms for his release: “He will have to stay in a live-in facility or risk getting arrested again.”