The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
The new Carlsbad plant that transforms seawater into drinking water is getting national attention. That’s not all: Poseidon Resources, the company behind the desalination plant, wants to expand and build in places like Huntington Beach.
Recently, a company official was challenged at an Orange County water meeting about the fact that San Diego County has too much water and will actually need to re-treat some after dumping it in a reservoir. “Despite some comments you heard tonight about water not being used or not being needed, that is not the case,” the official said.
San Diego Fact Check, our truth-seeking operation, took a look at this claim. The verdict: It’s misleading.
Debate Zinger: From Trump U to Trump Here?
If you watched last night’s wild GOP debate, you heard Senator Marco Rubio go after Donald Trump over his “fake university” where students supposedly payed $36,000 to stand next to a cardboard cut-out of you-know-who.
Yahoo News has the story about what Rubio is talking about, and there’s a yuuuge San Diego angle: Trump is being sued in federal court over his Trump University, and he’s expected to testify here in person, possibly in the middle of the presidential primary season. “It’s a case that is nonsense,” Trump declared during the debate.
Yahoo News seems a bit too willing to accept that Trump will actually show up here instead of finding a way to avoid testifying in person. On the other hand, could any human alive keep him away from a microphone?
San Diego Explained: Chargers and Their Downtown Dreams
San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC 7, explores the new San Diego Chargers bid for a football stadium in downtown instead of Mission Valley. The mayor thinks the idea stinks, but voters may ultimately get to make the call about whether a stadium and a convention center expansion (or neither or just a convention center) gets to boost the economy downtown. Hopefully voters will all get to review a personalized flow chart to figure out the options, maybe one illustrated with little footballs, dollar signs and stalled downtown traffic.
Also: The U-T digs into who will pay for a downtown football stadium.
And Scott Lewis spent a half hour or so explaining what he could about it on the radio last night with the U-T’s Matt Hall and Kevin Acee.
Learning Curve: Perennial Goals, Perennial Battle
A former school board member told our Mario Koran something like this back in 2013: “San Diegans, he said, are great at making plans, having lunches and creating task forces. They’re just terrible at actually getting anything done.”
In the latest edition of Learning Curve, Koran and VOSD’s Rachel Evans explore how this statement reflects the mission to improve the academic gap between rich and poor kids here: “despite the pattern of commitments and recommitments,” they write, “actual progress has been marginal.”
SeaWorld Says It Will Spy No More
Remember the news about how SeaWorld was spying on animal rights activists? Now, the company has fessed up and says it won’t do it again. However, a local SeaWorld employee is still working for the company after he was temporarily suspended amid reports that “PETA said he tried to incite violence among peaceful protesters while posing as an activist.”
PETA, of course, is not impressed that the employee is still with SeaWorld. (NBC 7/AP)
In District 9, Three Rivals but Little Mud
CityBeat checks in on the City Council race in District 9, which covers central city neighborhoods like Kensington, Talmadge, City Heights, the College Area and parts of southeastern San Diego.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who’s retiring, has a successor in mind: Ricardo Flores, her chief of staff. The two other main candidates are Sarah Saez, a union official, and Georgette Gómez, who’s worked for the Environmental Health Coalition.
The campaign seems to be slightly muddy so far, with Emerald facing claims that she fixed the race. Not so, she says.
Judging by the CityBeat story, issues don’t seem to separate the candidates, and it’s not clear what does other than endorsements and accusations. The most interesting tidbit in the story: “Gómez once toured California with a Spanish-punk band. She was the singer, but mostly screamed, she said.”
Gas Up, Quick!
So much for those nice low-ish gas prices. They’re expected to jump by 30 cents a gallon as soon as today as the state switches to a summer gasoline blend and quits selling a winter blend that’s been in glut mode.
On the other hand, prices per gallon will dip by 2.2 cents in July when the state eliminates a tax. (L.A. Times)
Homeless Evicted from L.A. Mini-Homes
We’re used to seeing plenty of tents housing homeless people in parts of downtown, like the areas near the ballpark. In L.A., the homeless have gone even further: Some have been living in wooden mini-houses complete with solar-powered lights. Where? On freeway overpasses.
But the city of L.A. is cracking down and confiscating the mini-houses, which were built and donated by a benefactor. They’ll be destroyed.
Bill Aims to Force Fashion to Fatten Up
Several countries have banned models from being unhealthily skinny, and now California may join them: a legislator has introduced a bill that would require models to get a doctor’s approval to work.
“The proposed bill is aimed at preventing eating disorders, an epidemic that affects as much as 40 percent of the modeling industry… and would require models to submit to routine check-ups, nutrition consultation, and medical testing to work in the state.” (Esquire)
Quick News Hits: Falling Back on Springing Forward
• Things are looking even less promising in the vote counting for that big Carlsbad shopping mall. (U-T)
• Somebody’s shooting and killing wild parrots in Point Loma.
• A free downtown shuttle, a mainstay in other cities like Denver, is finally on the way. (U-T)
• The provisions of Chelsea’s Law, which brought prominence (but no higher office) to former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, have affected the prosecutions of 22 people in the county over a recent 12-year period, City News Service reports. The law, named after 17-year-old North County murder victim Chelsea King, sets stricter rules regarding punishments and parole for convinced sex offenders.
• Steve Van Zant, a major charter school booster and former superintendent of East County’s Mountain Empire school district, has pleaded guilty to a felony political ethics charge and will face a minor punishment. The U-T explains the complicated arrangement that allowed Van Zant and the district to reap revenue when charter schools popped up in other school districts.
• California workers on paid family leave may get 60-70 percent of their earnings instead of 55 percent under a new bill. (KPBS)
• A state legislator wants California to join Hawaii and Arizona in dumping Daylight Savings Time. No word if he has a fallback position on no longer falling back.
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.