The Chargers want to boost taxes on hotel customers to help pay for a new stadium/convention center expansion downtown, and they debuted their plan yesterday. You can read all 110 pages here.
All the candidates in the major City Council races made clear they opposed it with most flat-out opposing any public funds for a stadium.
The first out of the gate was Ray Ellis, the GOP City Council candidate for District 1. “We must put the priorities of our 1.4 million residents ahead of the interests of billionaires seeking taxpayer subsidies. I do not support using public money for a Chargers stadium,” said Ray Ellis. His opponent, Democrat Barbara Bry, also opposes the use of public funds for a stadium.
Several of those we surveyed, including Bry, maintained support for the Citizens Plan, the hotel-tax increase that would also help direct funds to a convention center addition in East Village. Supporters of it, including JMI Realty, have imagined the convention center campus providing a sort of foundation for a stadium.
But it seems like Bry and others want to make sure not a dime of it supports a stadium.
• How many bus yards does San Diego’s transit system need? There’s been a lot of talk about how it needs a $100 million bus yard. Now, as our Andrew Keatts reports, there’s a twist that some observers haven’t noticed: MTS is talking about a new bus yard to handle growth, not a replacement for the one that’s taking up a desirable big space downtown.
Keatts summarizes a spokesman as saying “this is all unrelated to whether the agency also needs to relocate its downtown bus yard in order to accommodate a new convention center-stadium project.”
• Oooo, snap! The NY Times responded to the NFL’s request for an article retraction with an epic burn.
In the story, the paper reported that “the N.F.L.’s concussion research was far more flawed than previously known.” A supposedly full accounting of concussions actually omitted more than 100 diagnosed concussions, “including some severe injuries to stars like quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman.”
Can’t Get a Yes? Say Hello to an Annex
A developer wants to build 550 luxury homes out by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, née the Wild Animal Park. The problem: It’s in an unincorporated area, and county zoning only allows 27 homes there. The potential solution: Get the county out of the picture.
How the heck do you do that? Become part of the city of Escondido. But that would require an annexation, our Maya Srikrishnan explains. There’s no guarantee that it’s a slam dunk, and the development — “Safari Highlands Ranch” — is still in limbo.
Jury Clears Filner
LA Times: “After deliberating for a little more than two hours, a San Diego jury said Wednesday that former Mayor Bob Filner had harassed a longtime city parks employee because of her gender, but found the harassment was neither serious nor pervasive.”
The jury awarded no damages.
Accused Teens in Riot Want Deal
“Two teenagers accused of attacking a San Diego police officer during a riot at Lincoln High School last month are asking a judge to drop the charges,” 10News reports, in return for their staying out of trouble for 6 months. A prosecutor says that’s quite unlikely.
The teens, who are not behind bars, As 10News notes, this is another case of authorities keeping the public from understanding how cops do their job: “School surveillance video and police body camera footage from the fight still has not been made public.”
The Future of Pot Sales (and Nut Allergy Notices)
Public radio’s KPCC is out with a handy Q&A about how things will change (and not change) if voters approve an initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The measure isn’t a go yet. But petitions are being gathered, and it could appear on the November ballot.
It won’t be nirvana, pot fans. Cities can still ban marijuana shops like they do now with medical pot dispensaries, and they’d be cash businesses because of federal limitations on banking.
People still wouldn’t be able to smoke in public, at least legally. Marijuana products would get tobacco-style labels, hopefully something like “Warning: you may shortly forget that you ever saw this warning,” and information about “whether the product was made in a facility that also processes nuts.”
California Theatre: A Beauty or ‘Maladroit’?
Unlike cities like San Francisco and Oakland, San Diego has no glorious 1920s movie palace left to enthrall film fans. But we used to have them, including downtown’s California Theater, dubbed the “Cathedral of the Motion Picture” when it opened some 80 years ago. Now, it’s a blighted wreck, and developers want to tear it down and build something new.
Not so fast, preservationists say. The Reader has an update on this brewing battle and notes a dissenting voice about the theater’s value. An architect’s report in 1990 describes the theater as “architecturally maladroit.” In other words, it ain’t no thing.
We last looked at plans for the theater property in 2015.
Correction: Saldaña’s No Dem
• Mayoral candidate Lori Saldaña, a former legislator, wrote in to correct yesterday’s Morning Report about her campaign’s bizarre attack on Mayor Faulconer. She’s not a “Democratic long shot,” but instead is unaffiliated with a political party. But, she acknowledged, she is indeed “a long shot.”
Hmm. Earlier this week, her campaign issued its now-infamous “SLEAZE-GATE!” press release, which quoted her campaign manager as saying Faulconer’s campaign has “done their polling and they know that Lori can win this election.”
• Also, yesterday’s Morning Report linked to a CityBeat story that reported Councilman Todd Gloria’s office was mum on his presidential preferences. Well, turns out that Gloria actually does have a favorite in the Democratic primary. Her name is Hillary Clinton.
Border Patrol Union Endorsement Is Trumptastic
• The Border Patrol labor union has endorsed a presidential candidate who promises to build a bigger and better border wall, even though that prospect — if even possible — would seem likely seem to put a lot of officers out of work. (KPBS)
• “The family of a Mexican man who died after he was shocked with a Taser and hit by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents has asked an international panel to consider whether his human rights were violated,” the L.A. Times reports. The man was killed at the San Ysidro border crossing.
Quick News Hits: Open Wide, Wild Ones!
• The Sierra Nevada snowpack is near normal, which is good news on the drought front. But don’t start taking 30-minute showers just yet. (AP)
• Two more dead parrots have been discovered in Point Loma, possible victims of the neighborhood’s serial parrot killer.
• More sand on our beaches (thanks to man) = fewer animals like clams, sand crabs and worms (thanks to man), KPBS reports.
• You ever come across a new-fangled stoplight and wonder what the heck you’re supposed to do? If you know the feeling, you may encounter it again if you’re in Encinitas. (Reader)
• Wild animals (including a couple local ones) yawn themselves silly in this collection of captivating photos put together by the L.A. Times. You will yawn too. Heck, I’ve yawned three times just writing this. For once, the Morning Report is putting me to sleep instead of you.
Also: Yawn, yawn, yawn. You’re (yawn) welcome. If this yawn-contagion experiment works, I’ll write about itching in the next column and see if that gets you all to scratch.
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.