You may have heard about the downside of gentrification. Critics say this happens too often: When a down-and-out neighborhood catches fire, housing prices rise as the place gets safer, cleaner and more hipster-friendly. Suddenly, the poor who’ve always lived there can’t afford their homes. They have to move out, perhaps to face the same situation in a different place.
Something along these lines seems to be happening in Solana Beach, as VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan reports. The Latino-heavy La Colonia de Eden Gardens neighborhood, which has a treasured history, is experiencing a renaissance on the development front. That means more homes (an urbanist’s dream), higher housing prices and an exodus amid the influx.
“There are so many good memories here,” a longtime resident says. “But people don’t know that. The sad thing is we don’t know these new people at all. We have to work harder to get them involved in the community.”
3 Men and a Council District
The trio of candidates in the hunt to replace termed-out Councilman Todd Gloria in the 3rd Council District — including downtown, Hillcrest, North Park and surrounding areas — have a few things in common. They’re all guys in their 30s.
But that’s about as far as the similarities go. One is gay, one is straight and one is none-of-your-beeswax, mister. Two have somewhat public profiles because they work for elected government officials; one is obscure. Two are Democrats with few apparent differences over policy, and one of them is likely to win the seat.
Some activists are supporting the gay guy because he’s the gay guy. But does sexuality matter anymore in a district that’s the gay center of the city and has been represented by a lesbian or gay councilmember for a generation but also exists in the 21st century? CityBeat talks with all the candidates, including the no-name who likes a certain billionaire for president because he’ll make changes, which could be “good or bad.” No, not Bloomberg.
One candidate promises to spend 20 percent of his time dealing with homeless issues; his main rival plans to chat with transients.
Today in Euphemisms: ‘Lawful but Awful’ Police Shootings
A law enforcement think tank is out with new recommendations about how cops can avoid “Lawful but Awful” fatal shootings. These are the ones “where police have a solid legal defense for firing a weapon, but might have avoided the killing and the public outrage that usually follows.”
The journal Governing has details on the recommendations, including this one: “When engaging a person with an edged weapon, officers should sometimes pull back to keep a safe distance. (Instead, many academies teach cadets to hold their ground and open fire out of self-defense.)”
• Crime was up last year in the city, the police say, but the cops don’t think you should freak out. One tidbit: Cops are taking quite a bit longer, an average of two hours, to respond to the lowest-priority calls. (U-T)
Uber Users Get a Break at Airport
Uber and Lyft drivers can now legally pick up passengers at the airport. No longer do the drivers have to sneak into the airport, risking confiscation of their cars as they violated the rules.
There are still hassles. The drivers can’t pick up passengers at the curb anymore; they’re now limited to zones out by the taxi and shuttle areas. And they can’t linger on airport property like taxis but instead must hang out on nearby streets, potentially wasting gas and polluting the air.
Now, at least, passengers will pay $1 less per ride, the U-T reports. The airport, which somehow needs to pay $240,000 a year to oversee the shared-ride business, has already reaped the cost due to the popularity of the ride services. So the extra $1 fee is history. But there’s still a $2.76 airport pickup fee.
News Network Gets ‘Patch’-ed Up
If you’re a local news junkie, you might remember Patch, a nationwide network of “hyperlocal” news sites run by AOL (remember them?). San Diego was a major market for Patch, and communities from Imperial Beach to Poway landed their own news sites.
Patch didn’t make much of an impact, here or elsewhere, and the national network collapsed two years ago from 540 employees to 98. Its near-demise is still notorious in the journalism and business worlds.
Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, Patch is showing signs of life by embracing something new: “a sustainable business model.” Patch seems to be trying to be both high-tech on the inside (making online news less costly) and old school on the outside (focusing in lost pets and education news). Locally, Patch still exists (here’s its Imperial Beach page) and posts quick-hit community news.
North County: GOP on GOP Action
Don’t look now: There’s an actual primary race going on locally. No, not the Dem. vs. Dem. showdown in a state Senate race down here in San Diego. That’s not a race anymore. As VOSD’s North County Report explains, two Republicans are battling it out over a GOP-heavy state Assembly district in the Oceanside-Vista-Carlsbad area. One rival is an Oceanside councilman, and the other is a stepson of Pete Wilson, the mayor-turned-senator-turned-governor.
Also in North County: Carlsbad is talking pier, an Escondido school board member is facing big criminal charges, and Oceanside is requiring a project to include a “bike cafe.” Hmm. I’ll pass on the axel grease appetizer, but the lemon handle bars sound delicious.
Opinion: Fish Farms No Slick Solution
Hubbs-SeaWorld wants to work with a private firm to create an offshore “fish farm” to produce seafood. But there are serious questions about an existing fish breeding program, as we reported. Now, San Diego Coastkeeper policy director Matt O’Malley warns in a VOSD commentary about the negatives of this kind of industrial fish production. Fish farms of this type come with “associated fecal, feed, antibiotics waste, predator and wildlife interruptions and commercial ship traffic that accompanies factory fish farms,” he writes.
Quick News Hits: Stupid Is as Stupid Goes
• San Diego officials are preparing to find homes for 1,000 homeless vets. (Times of SD)
This is among the region’s most significant efforts to end veteran homeless since it committed to that goal a couple years ago. For more, check our previous coverage about the city’s failures on the homeless veteran front.
• There’s talk of a ballot measure that would kill off the California Public Utilities Commission, which has been accused of being a tool of power companies. (U-T)
• The U-T digs into why gas costs so darn much in California compared with the rest of the country, which is enjoying rock-bottom prices.
• The U-T continues to rib the city over its new logo. This time, it’s quoting the picayune rules about the logo’s use in an 82-page guidebook and wondering if readers think the spending on all this is dumb.
• Hipster nirvana! In downtown, snobby craft beer types will now be able to bond with snooty donut types. It’s all thanks to a new era at Donut Bar. (U-T)
• Overheard yesterday in the elevator at the downtown library after a frustrated patron got off on the wrong floor: “The library is where stupid people go to get smart.”
Huh. So where do smart people go to get stupid? Eh, don’t answer that. We wouldn’t want to offend the hipster donut-eating craft-beer swillers.
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.