The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Just a few weeks ago, the city fretted over the potential release of the disturbing video of an officer killing a man in a controversial shooting case. Release the video, the city warned, and jurors would be biased, so a judge shouldn’t do it.
Now, the video is out, and the city has changed its tune, as the family of the slain man raises the issue of bias in the other direction after a big public push to defend the officer. Let’s look at City Position, Take Two. “San Diego officials are saying the opposite: The region has plenty of available jurors,” VOSD’s Liam Dillon reports. The city believes the civil case against the officer should be heard right here instead of being moved, never mind the video’s release and its previous fear of “tainting” of jurors.
Another bit of news: The city commissioned a poll which found that two-thirds of those surveyed hadn’t heard about the case, and “overwhelmingly those that were aware of the case are neutral or positive” toward the lawsuit filed by the slain man’s family.
• The Washington Post has finished its count of fatal police shootings in 2015 and believes that 984 people were killed.
That’s “well more than double the average number reported annually by the FBI over the past decade.” It doesn’t seem to be an indication of a sudden increase, but instead proof that the feds do a poor job of tracking fatal police shootings.
• A group called Women Occupy San Diego wants to make the police department’s civilian review board more independent, and it’s pushing for a November ballot measure to do that.
• In a VOSD commentary, Lynn Sharpe Underwood, former executive director of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, says the city lacks a strategy to prevent violence and poverty. But she identifies several programs that can make a difference in needy areas.
NFL Sportscaster: Be a Man, Spanos!
Look who’s squawking: John Lynch Jr. — local guy, Fox Sports color analyst, former NFL player, son of a former Union-Tribune CEO — is speaking his mind about the Chargers. Team owner Dean Spanos needs to “be a man” in his dealings with team fans here.
“You own the team,” he told 1090 AM. “You can do what you want. But be a man. Get out and say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing. We’re going to L.A. because it’s the best business opportunity’ instead of hiding behind a web site.”
Lynch — who is, remember, a TV sports analyst — also lights into team spokesman Mark Fabiani, who does nothing and gets nothing accomplished except “but getting paid a lot of money.”
• LA Times writer Sam Farmer offered a helpful Q&A on where things stand.
• Expect a decision next week on the Chargers fate.
• The Chargers wanted to get the hell out of an “apathetic” SoCal town and move to a place where the team could get appreciated for once. So the Bolts moved… from L.A. to San Diego. SanDiegoYesterday.com has the story from 1961.
Quandary for Parents Who Care
Many San Diego parents are wrestling with a question: Do they have an obligation to send their kids to a bad school?
“The Ethicist” at the NY Times tackles this issue in response to a question from a reader who writes: “My instinct is that our higher duty is to our son. But I am also painfully aware that this kind of my-kid-comes-first mentality is exactly what created poor urban schools to begin with.”
The answer: “You don’t owe it to all the other children in your neighborhood to give their interests the same weight as their parents do.”
North County Report: Pot Punted
North County cities are just saying no to medical marijuana, says VOSD’s weekly North County Report. In other news, legal granny flats aren’t going gangbusters in Encinitas, traffic should move more smoothly in Carlsbad and Oceanside schools have motivation on the mind.
• A vote over the mammoth and controversial Lilac Hills Ranch project in North County has been indefinitely stalled because of a state Supreme Court court ruling over environmental reports. The news might also be related to the confirmation by the state’s ethics watchdog that Supervisor Bill Horn, a staunch supporter of the Lilac Hills effort, cannot vote on it. (U-T)
First Senate District 39 Debate
Toni Atkins and Marty Block, two members of the Legislature who pretty much share the exact same position on issues, are fighting for the seat Block currently occupies in the Senate. They had their first debate and KPBS’ Claire Trageser was kind of enough to attend it for us all.
Atkins and Block were competing in particular Wednesday for the endorsement of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club endorsement. But wouldn’t you know it, the club held a vote and it came up a tie. No endorsement.
Quick News Hits: Calming the Storm
• CityBeat profiles the new head of the county’s gay Republican club, Derrick Roach, a prominent GOP activist known for his political flame-throwing and espionage but not (until now) his sexual orientation. (CityBeat)
• Border Patrol officers are doing more with facial recognition and eye-scanning technology, KPBS reports. An ACLU attorney worries about the potential for abuse.
• “The judge who has overseen the matter of the San Onofre nuclear plant failure for the California Public Utilities Commission has stepped down amid the ongoing criminal investigation at the agency,” the U-T reports. The judge is retiring, but that’s not the entire story: The judge herself has been part of a probe.
• Amid the storm, CityBeat reports, “our city now actually has fewer inclement weather shelter spots available for homeless individuals than it did during the winter of 2014-15.”
• ”This is not a bashful El Niño,” says a NASA climatologist. “This is a brash El Niño.”
Temper, El Niño. Temper! Breathe deep, take a yoga class, or just pop a couple Xanax like the rest of us. Even better: Have you heard of “craft beer”? Don’t worry. You may less than a year old, but nobody’s gonna dare card you.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.