Here’s a conflict. There’s a conflict. When it comes to the controversial One Paseo project, just about everybody on the city Planning Commission — well, more than half — has a conflict of interest and can’t vote on the project.
As our Andrew Keatts puts it, “it’s always something with One Paseo.” Indeed. The lack of commission members who can actually vote could allow the project to bypass the advisory commission on its way to a City Council vote.
As you may recall, the One Paseo developers pulled their proposal for the North City project after foes launched an initiative drive to squelch a City Council vote. The developers are back with a smaller project as a compromise.
Party Like It’s 2001: Blackouts Are Now Possible
“State officials warned Tuesday that Southern California could experience as many as 14 days of blackouts this summer due to the massive methane leak in Aliso Canyon,” the L.A. Times reports.
The problem: The region will be low on natural gas because of limits at the Aliso Canyon facility. The Times says this could lead to the worst blackouts since 2001, and “millions of customers could be affected in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties.”
The summer blackouts aren’t all: We could have many more days of blackouts later in the year. But officials are trying to head off the crisis by turning to pricier power and requests that people conserve. Of course, this didn’t work well last time.
• I recently took a tour of the Palm Springs-area wind farms and was surprised to learn that the turbines turn off when it’s too windy in order to prevent damage. So what happens to solar farms when it’s too sunny? Do they switch off too?
Well, kinda sorta. They do turn the switch to “off” during some sunny days, but not because the sun is out of control. No, KQED reports, they do it because “in the spring and fall, when Californians aren’t using much air conditioning and demand for electricity is low, the surge of midday solar power is more than the state can use.”
Big Plans, Big Questions for Stadium Property
JMI Realty and its allies have big plans for the stadium property in Mission Valley if the Chargers skip town: They want to turn it into a second campus for San Diego State University. Yes, there would be a new, smaller stadium plus an amphitheater, housing, classroom buildings and more.
There are huge questions to answer. Who’s going to pay for the property? Nobody’s saying for sure. One idea: Get the city to donate it. That’s going to be quite a tough sell.
Then there’s another question: Is SDSU on board? The school’s president didn’t mention JMI Realty’s plan by name but seems to support the vision the company put forward. In a blog post following JMI’s presentation, President Elliot Hirshman wrote:
We see a future in Mission Valley with community parks and recreational opportunities, low- to medium-density housing, a small number of research/technology transfer facilities and, possibly, a stadium – one on a significantly smaller scale than Qualcomm Stadium – that could be shared by San Diego State, a Major League Soccer franchise and other community partners.
• In a VOSD commentary, Councilman Chris Cate says the Chargers want too much from taxpayers, and he’s not willing to support their plan: “While the Chargers are asking taxpayers for a multimillion-dollar subsidy, the team’s investment is minimal at best.”
State Senator: Zap Those Uber Deals!
Plenty of people have turned to Uber and Lyft because they’re cheaper and more convenient than cabs. Not so fast, says local state Sen. Ben Hueso. He wants to make it clear that the state can set their prices,and his proposed legislation advanced through the committee he chairs. He’s especially miffed about surge pricing. As the L.A. Times notes, Hueso “has long and deep ties to the taxi industry and has taken numerous steps to add regulations to [Uber and Lyft] while blocking efforts to ease them.”
Rep. Hunter Blames Son for Video Game Charges
Finally, Rep. Duncan Hunter is in the news for something other than vaping during a congressional hearing or endorsing Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean it’s good news.
“The Federal Election Commission is questioning Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, for his use of campaign funds to pay for video games on 68 separate occasions — something the congressman is attributing to a mistake by his son, followed by several unauthorized charges,” the U-T reports.
Opinion: Be More Open to Charter Schools
In a VOSD commentary, charter school industry representatives John C. Sun and Nicolas J. Watson write that charters’ biggest hurdle to opening are often local zoning laws and onerous permitting processes.
They praise the City Council for making it easier to open smaller charter schools, “but the hurdle still needs to be knocked down for charters serving more than 300 students or that are located in zones not subject to the regulation change.”
Culture Report: Convoy, of All Places, Unites Against Industry
You may know Kearny Mesa’s Convoy District as home to car dealers, TV stations and Asian food. The region is on the rise despite, but some remnants of the past remain. A cable TV company, for example, wants to build a facility full of equipment.
As our weekly Culture Report explains, a coalition interested in seeing the area grow thinks the planned Time Warner facility belongs in a more industrial area instead of one with hopes of becoming the next Little Italy.
Also in the Culture Report: Chula Vista’s Third Avenue dreams of becoming the next North Park, the late famed architect Zaha Hadid is creating a legacy in La Jolla despite opposition from the neighborhood’s famously persnickety residents and Seaport Village fans (yes, they exist) don’t like plans for a revamp.
Quick News Hits: Golly Gee Willikers, U-T!
• Critics are turning on state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who’s now running for U.S. Senate, saying she’s left behind an early commitment to a strong investigation in the San Onofre nuclear plant probe; she’s not talking. (KPBS).
Meanwhile, local Rep. Darrell Issa “asked the U.S. Energy Department to hold a forum in California to discuss how the nation should manage its nuclear waste, citing public concern with long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant,” the AP reports.
• In case you’ve been hiding under a keg for the last several years, craft beer is big in San Diego. A new estimate pegs the industry’s annual annual sales here at $851 million. That’s an average of $7.5 million per each of the 114 breweries. Of course, that’s just an average: The sizes of breweries vary dramatically.
• The U-T editorial board has issued an important ruling about Donald Trump’s border wall plan, and attention must be paid: It’s “cockamamie.”
Gadzooks! And people wonder why millennials don’t read newspapers anymore. Land o’ Goshen!
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.