For the past three years, Todd Gloria has looked at the backlog of street repairs in San Diego and thought: Man, we could really use a megabond. As San Diego City Council President, Gloria pushed for this bond as a way to fund infrastructure.
But, “now with 2016 on the horizon, Gloria has no more hope,” writes Liam Dillon.
Liam Dillon tells the story of Gloria’s inability to build much of a coalition of bond supporters. And with Mayor Faulconer against it, it couldn’t get traction.
Two alternative infrastructure plans could replace Megabond. Councilman Mark Kersey wants to formally set aside part of the city’s budget to pay for repairs and new facilities. Also, Gloria is optimistic about the chances of a sales tax hike through SANDAG to fund infrastructure in November.
Arts in San Diego: We Want You
Arts organizations fretting about an aging, rich, white audience base is nothing new. What is new, however, are the efforts to diversify their supporter bases.
That’s not an easy task. “Expanding access to the arts isn’t just about getting the same messages in front of different people, it’s often about completely rethinking how arts organizations do just about everything.” writes our Kinsee Morlan.
Those efforts could look something like an initiative Old Globe theatre embarked on last year, when it started offering free productions of Shakespeare for underserved audiences in places like homeless shelters, rehab centers and prisons.
La Jolla Playhouse, for its part, is hoping for stronger community outreach efforts to find out what people want and what kind of art might make the biggest impact.
The San Diego Opera is thinking something similar. “We’ll be using smart phone technology to talk about our plans for the future and get immediate feedback,” said new director David Bennett. “We’ll ask people to respond to what they like, what they don’t like about our repertoires and ideas for different venues and us moving around the city.”
Matt Hall in the House, in a Bowtie
In addition to the bowtie, Matthew T. Hall also had a few things to say on our podcast about his new gig as director of opinion of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He had very little to say, though, about his actual political views or priorities for the city. He will be the new face of the U-T’s views, which, in the past, were often controversial and central to the region’s civic discourse. But they’ve varied a lot as ownership has shifted over the last decade.
Hall succeeds longtime opinion director William Osborne, who also agreed to come on the podcast for an exit interview of sorts at the end of January. Hall will report directly to U-T publisher Tim Ryan, who’s actually in Los Angeles overseeing the LA Times as well.
Also on the podcast, Scott Lewis discusses the big news this week; District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ decision to release a video of the police shooting of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad in a Midway alleyway in April. Lewis details his experience at Dumanis’ strange press conference and played a clip of a moment during the Q&A portion when the district attorney, visibly annoyed, asked, “Scott, is that a real question?”
And There’s Some News on That
Hours after San Diego Police Officer Neal Browder fatally shot Fridoon Nehad, Browder told investigators he did not see any weapons on Nehad.
But, as the U-T noticed, according to an official police statement released Wednesday, Browder told investigators five days later in a formal, tape-recorded interview that he had seen a metal object in Nehad’s hand. He thought it was a knife, he said.
The most recent police investigation material, which Fridoon’s family released Wednesday, include raw footage from security cameras, photos from the alleyway in which Fridoon was killed, and a transcribed interview with Browder. You can view that material here.
• One of the pieces of news that came out of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s unprecedented press conference yesterday was that she was working with other law enforcement leaders to figure out how to release video of controversial police encounters with the public. It was a problem that wasn’t going away, she said.
“That’s why Sheriff Gore, Chief Zimmerman, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and our Office have already begun convening a working group with the Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association to update a protocol,” she said, according to her prepared remarks.
But NBC 7 San Diego reported that she is backtracking after criticism that no members of the public were included in that working group.
Now, the DA’s spokesman “said the working group has not been officially formed, has not met, and has in fact not done any work on new guidelines for release of officer body-camera video and other crime scene videos. He said no decisions have been made about the makeup of that group.”
From management: We’re going to take a few days off. The Morning Report will be back Monday. Thanks to the 638 people who have donated to our fundraising campaign this month. Our development team has been hitting the phones and checking the mail. Next week is an important week so thanks to those considering a donation still.