During a stormy weekend at the end of January, almost 550 trees fell throughout San Diego, causing widespread property damaged and even a fatality.

As VOSD contributor Jennifer McEntee points out, it undid a lot of work the city has been doing to increase the local tree population.

In 2002, San Diego’s tree canopy was estimated to be between 4 and 7 percent, but the goal is to have a tree canopy of 35 percent by 2035, McEntee writes.

Don’t let the occasional big storm discourage the tree planting, we just need to be smarter about it. The city needs to make sure it plants the right tree species in the right places. And if you have trees, make sure to prune them.

Breasts, Beer and the Shrimp Boy Clean-Up

State Sen. Bates is introducing a bill to close a loophole in campaign contribution limits in light of corruption charges against former state senator Leland Yee.

Yee was sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of promising guns and votes in exchange for campaign contributions. An FBI sting operation involving alleged Chinatown mobster Ramond “Shrimp Boy” Chow caught Yee, who had used the legal loophole that Bates intends to close that allows unlimited campaign contributions to candidate-controlled ballot measure committees.

Bates said the bill is “aimed at closing loopholes that are attractive when people have significant troubles” and could “remove that temptation that when we get in those situations, may pull us in the wrong direction.”

In this week’s Sacramento Report, Anita Chabria also looks at a bill introduced by Assemblyman Brian Jones that would allow breweries and other establishments to host club meetings for home brewers. As of now, breweries can’t allow patrons to drink anything they’ve brewed and brought in themselves.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is refusing to give up her fight to reform workers compensation laws for women who lose their breasts to cancer. Her bill was vetoed by the governor last year, but Gonzalez said she’ll bring the bill back until it passes.

Podcast: Digging Into the Convadium

Alongside Erik Bruvold, leader of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts explore the unintended consequences of the latest “convadium” developments for San Diegans, hoteliers and sports teams in this week’s podcast.

They also talk about Civic San Diego’s comprehensive downtown mobility plan, which is trying to make it easier to live downtown without a car.

VOSD Commentary: The Density of North Park Has Already Increased Once

Stephen Hon, a 30-year North Park resident and president of the North Park Historical Society, describes his concerns with the recent North Park Community Plan draft and its plans to increase density throughout major sections of North Park.

North Park already went through one density increase in the ‘60s and ‘70s when hundreds of single family homes were demolished and replaced with six- or eight-unit apartment complexes.

“I am opposed to North Park being subjected to a second round of increased densification and further loss of irreplaceable historic resources,” Hon writes.

Quick News Hits:

• San Diego-based biotech company, Illumina (aka the Google of DNA sequencing), already generates 90 percent of all the DNA sequence data today. But less than .01 percent of the world’s population has been sequenced thus far, so the company is making moves to maintain its stronghold as more people get genetic tests. (Wired)

• What are Norman Doors? San Diego’s Don Norman is featured in great explainer of bad door design. (Vox)

• Tijuana’s police chief resigned Friday for unknown reasons. (KPBS)

• The San Diego Convention Center hired a new president and CEO, Clifford “Rip” Rippletoe from Kentucky. Rippletoe previously oversaw the Kentucky Exposition Center, which is the 6th largest convention center in the United States.

Most-Read Stories of the Week

Our list of the 10 most-read VOSD stories of the week is here. Below are the Top 5:

  1. Officers Violently Arrested a Man for Trespassing at MTS — Except He Worked There
    MTS officers arrested Allen Koka in a violent encounter even after a supervisor confirmed he worked there. (Andrew Keatts and Ry Rivard)
  2. The New Battle Between the Mayor and Chargers Opens
    The Chargers announced support of the so-called Citizens Plan to increase the hotel-room tax and block the mayor’s preferred Convention Center expansion. (Scott Lewis)
  3. The Biggest Challenges Facing Balboa Park
    San Diego’s prized park faces significant challenges, from the drought to unfulfilled plans and parking woes. (Lisa Halverstadt)
  4. ‘You Would Have to Be a Complete Idiot to Be Openly Pro-Development’
    All three candidates running for the County Board of Supervisors’ District 3 seat say new development must be restricted. (Maya Srikrishnan)
  5. Opinion: More Density in North Park, Please
    A denser North Park would mean a greater variety of small businesses so that we don’t have to go very far to get the things we want and need. (Dennis Stein)

Maya was Voice of San Diego’s Associate Editor of Civic Education. She reported on marginalized communities in San Diego and oversees Voice’s explanatory...

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