A few weeks ago, a clear split emerged in the ol’ VOSD office.
A reporter who shall go unnamed received a press release for an event featuring pop singer Jason Derulo. “Does the name Jason Derulo mean anything to anyone?” this person asked. Some of us were shocked, as Jason Derulo is, of course, a very famous singer whose music is ubiquitous and who can not wear a shirt like nobody’s business. But a good number of reporters said something along the lines of “Never heard of him.”
I realized, though, that there’s a tradeoff to knowing who Jason Derulo is, and it’s one I’m reminded of constantly in this office. It’s that I’m the one who gives a blank, unknowing stare when my coworkers bring up their favorite podcasts. When I work out, I listen to music. When I drive, I listen to music. I simply haven’t figured out when or where I can work podcasts into my routine. Now, that’s about to change, in a way.
“Local Woman Hates Podcasts, Has Her Own” — that’s the fake headline Andy Keatts wrote to describe where I’m at right now.
Next week, I’m kicking off a new podcast, along with Ry Rivard, called San Diego Decides, where we’ll talk about all things elections. The business of governing the city is our site’s bread and butter, and something Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis cover extensively in our flagship VOSD podcast. But elections, man, they’re their own animals. So Ry and I plan to break down some of the individual races and ballot measures San Diegans will weigh in on this year, as well as some bigger issues — the mechanics of voting and how that’s changing, who’s pumping money into these races and more.
So stay tuned, and here’s hoping you’ve figured out a way to carve out some time for podcasts. (If so, please, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!)
What VOSD Learned This Week
When you think about Balboa Park, you might think of the zoo, hiking trails, dog parks and gorgeous architecture. But Lisa Halverstadt describes some less savory features that need attention: an enormous repair backlog that’s causing issues like leaking pee (seriously!), a lack of leadership and direction for the park and even dying trees.
Other trees throughout the city died sudden deaths one weekend in January thanks to a perfect storm of bad circumstances.
All along in the Chargers stadium saga, Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been gritting his teeth through a smile, insisting that his dealings with the team were great and productive. Finally, the charade is over now that the team has endorsed Cory Briggs’ Citizens’ Plan. The mayor and the team are now openly adversarial, which is actually kind of refreshing.
On the VOSD Podcast, Erik Bruvold talked about potential pitfalls within the plan to build a stadium and Convention Center expansion downtown.
While lots of folks, including us, were giving close scrutiny to SDPD’s body camera policies, MTS quietly outfitted its officers with cameras – but never got around to writing a policy guiding their use or release to the public. Now the private security officers MTS hires on contract will wear the cameras too, only it’s written into their contract that footage will stay private.
The candidates running for county supervisor in District 3 all want to limit new development (but they’ll still take developers’ money, natch).
An official for Poseidon, the company that built the Carlsbad desalination plant, told Orange County residents that San Diego isn’t dealing with any excess water issues – except, you know, we are.
The San Diego Unified board, whose members have all been backed by the teachers union, picked a new member who’s likely to keep things unified.
What I’m Reading
Reporters and the Paper of Record
• Sometimes reporters doggedly hunt down stories, and sometimes the stories fall right in their laps. The latter is what happened to the New York Times Frugal Traveler columnist, who was traveling on the discount bus line Megabus when his bus caught fire – then exploded.
• Speaking of reporters in the Times, our Mario Koran wrote a beautiful essay on the redemptive power of journalism as part of his application for the Times’ David Carr fellowship. He shared it here. (Medium)
• A 50-year-old South Carolina woman went to a hospital after experiencing nausea. No one knows how but she was arrested there for unpaid court fines. A day later, she was dead – deprived of water in her jail cell, and after officials ignored her pleas for help. An absolute atrocity. (Post and Courier)
• Remember that brash class of tea party Republicans who stormed into the House in 2010? Several of them are quietly leaving town. The frustrations and disappointments they share here are quite revealing. (The Atlantic)
Happy Oscars Day!
• Watching “Spotlight” was inspiring and humbling. Watching “The Martian” was just fun. And Slate does an awesome job explaining why watching “The Revenant” was absolutely miserable. (Certainly this means it’s a lock to win best picture.)
• These accounts of what it’s like to not be a white dude working in Hollywood are all worth reading. But Mindy Kaling’s entries are on another level. (New York Times)
Line of the Week
“He was also known, on occasion, to dissent.” – A beautifully understated line in Chief Justice John Roberts’ tribute to Justice Antonin Scalia.