A few weeks ago I saw the horrendous romantic comedy “How to Be Single.” (It was free at the Navy base, OK?)
In one of the first scenes, Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” blares as the main character rides across the Manhattan Bridge in a taxi, unsure of herself but ready to take a leap in the big city.
So, yeah, I cheesily blared the same song as I rode across the Manhattan Bridge in a taxi earlier this week, unsure of how I wound up headed to a journalism conference all about editing complex financial topics.
In the run-up to the conference, my anxiety started to mount about navigating the subway, and about whether I was qualified to be in a room talking about pensions and budget intricacies when journalists from places like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters – outlets that cover this stuff every day – would be there too.
But as the sessions began, speaker after speaker began to lecture the group over how often the press either misunderstands financial issues, or ignores them altogether. There was just one place all those speakers seemed to think was doing a decent job. And it wasn’t Reuters, or the Wall Street Journal. One after the other, they’d click their Power Point slides over to a Voice of San Diego story.
They loved this piece from Liam Dillon explaining how the city wants to fund infrastructure improvements. And many of them held up Will Carless’ story on Poway’s capital appreciation bond as the pinnacle of watchdog financial journalism.
By the end of the last session, I glided out of there glowing with pride and amused by how simple it was to get back to my hotel by subway.
Basically what I’m telling you is that over the course of the last 48 hours, I lived a generic romantic comedy plot: A scrappy young girl goes into New York a little scared but emerges cool and confident. With T-Swift pulsing in the background the whole time.
What VOSD Learned This Week
I don’t blame you if you think each week brings with it more rumblings about a Chargers stadium, and that time is a flat circle until, eventually, you die.
This week, at first blush, might seem like more of the same – but, my friends – it was not! This week brought real news, a real plan and some very real criticism.
First, Andy Keatts revealed that MTS has opened conversations with the Chargers over relocating its massive bus yard in order to accommodate a downtown convadium. It wasn’t the first bit of outreach the agency had done. Its lawyer had even tried last year to get the Chargers to jump on the purchase of nearby properties that might have helped relocate the bus yard.
That’s one of many hurdles once thought insurmountable that now seem, uh, mountable?
Speaking of MTS bus yards, the one that will need to move for the Chargers is not the same one that’s on a list of prospective transportation projects that could be funded with a SANDAG bond measure.
Then came the Chargers’ hurried plan to finance the convadium. City leaders universally panned the plan.
The minimum wage hike dominated the news in Sacramento (and the rest of the state) this week, and San Diego leaders dominated the fight over pushing it through.
We’ve heard a lot lately about the many needs in Balboa Park and the lack of money to pay for them. The San Diego Zoo, though, is one place within the park that does have money flowing in – and some city leaders wish it’d share the wealth.
We’ve seen lots of development projects in North County try to get the rules changed to allow their projects, via amendments to the county general plan. One project in Escondido is pursuing a different route: It’s trying to get the city of Escondido to annex the land, so that the project is subject to Escondido rules instead of county rules.
Old things made new: San Diego institution King Stahlman Bail Bonds is now run by Stahlman’s son, Junior Stahlman, who talked with us about how much the business has changed.
San Diego’s Film Commission closed up shop in 2013. Now Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Dave Roberts are envisioning a reboot, with some changes.
What I’m Reading
• Late last year I read Jessica Knoll’s bestseller “Luckiest Girl Alive,” and I’m gonna be straight with you, I hated it. That’s why I was surprised to find myself blown away by Knoll’s essay this week in Lenny, in which she reveals a pivotal gang rape scene in the book happened to her in real life. The essay is an incredible read – far better than the book.
• A new generation of TV watchers is going crazy for … “Friends” ? (Vulture)
• Sad Ben Affleck is sad. (Seriously, just read everything Anne Helen Peterson writes.) (Buzzfeed)
• Need a refresher on the details of the Hillary Clinton email scandal? The Washington Post does a deep dive on how the whole thing took root. Over at the Guardian, newly minted columnist Jill Abramson, who’s covered Clinton for decades, surprised many by writing that she believes Clinton to be “fundamentally honest.”
Line of the Week
“I didn’t do it on purpose.” – My hometown hero, author Beverly Cleary, on turning 100.