Plenty of folks oppose a proposed tax hike that would fund a plethora of regional transportation related projects.
The measure, which will appear on the November ballot, is backed by the San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning agency. Many of the objections to the plan center on how the estimated $18.2 billion it would raise over the next 40 years would be distributed.
Environmentalists, for example, want a bigger chunk of the change to fund public transportation, biking and walking projects rather than freeway expansions.
Then there’s a group of North County leaders who think the region they represent is getting shortchanged under the plan.
VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan fact checks one of the most outspoken of them, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, who claims SANDAG’s ballot measure allocates too much for public-transit projects in San Diego and not enough for highways in his neck of the woods.
Srikrishnan goes on a fact-finding mission that helps provide some much-needed context to Abed’s criticism.
Her verdict: Though Abed’s right on some of the numbers, he’s omitting the fact that a huge share of North County residents don’t work where they live, meaning projects built in San Diego benefit those residents too.
• In his latest column, the Union-Tribune’s Dan McSwain asks Mayor Kevin Faulconer why he’s opposed to SANDAG’s half-cent sales tax. McSwain uses the mayor’s opposition as an in to talk about what he calls the region’s infrastructure crisis and to explain why he thinks local leaders have historically dragged their feet when it comes to solving those issues.
Opinion: Dumanis Doesn’t Get Tech
The Apple-versus-FBI debate that came up earlier this year was another prominent example of privacy concerns running up against security concerns.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and her colleagues are weighing in on that debate by supporting a new federal bill that would require tech companies to provide law enforcement access to their products when any court ordered them to.
In a new VOSD op-ed, Dave Maass argues that the bill would put people’s private data at risk.
Maass says Dumanis doesn’t have a very impressive track record when it comes to understanding secure technology. Plus, he says, experts agree that so-called encrypted data that doesn’t leave backdoors open for law officials is essential to keeping consumers’ data protected.
Weekend News Roundup
• The Independent Voter Projects calls Mayor Kevin Faulconer the “most progressive, moderate Republican in the U.S.” who’s helping drive the GOP brand to the left.
• CNN’s Heroes segment gives a nod to a local woman who started a nonprofit that’s built more than a thousand free homes for people living in Tijuana‘s shantytowns.
• Basketball pioneer Bill Walton’s been bronzed. (U-T)
• Move over Chargers, there’s a new professional rugby team in town. (U-T)
• I’m a sucker for romance mysteries like this one involving a local couple’s lost love letters. (San Diego CBS 8)
• The U-T’s Peter Rowe dives into the high maintenance cost and some of the inevitable vulnerabilities of the current border fence.
• EvoNexus, a tech incubator that provides entrepreneurs with free office space and other support, is trying to turn Southern California into a viable alternative to Silicon Valley. (U-T)
• As Germany’s so-called beer-purity law celebrates 500 years, Stone Brewing’s founder Greg Koch prepares to open a new brewery and restaurant in southern Berlin. The New York Times checks in with Koch, who says he not only knows all about reinheitsgebot, the law dictating which ingredients can be in a brew and still be labeled German, but he knows how to spell the word, too.
• This Olympic hopeful currently training in Chula Vista is good with arrows and spears. (New York Times)
• UC San Diego wants to add 6,000 students and two to three new colleges on its La Jolla campus and the school says it can raise a record $2 billion in private donations to fund the expansion. The U-T reports that the fundraising campaign is off to a rocky start.
• Attorney General Kamala Harris is in the middle of a bid for U.S Senate. The U-T reports that some folks are wondering if Harris’ political aspirations are getting in the way of her office’s once avid, now watered-down public corruption investigation of the California Public Utilities Commission. A spokesperson for Harris says the office remains committed to the case.
San Diego Social Media Moments
• Check out almost 30 photos from San Diego’s annual Plastic Fantastic Corvette car show.
• Bummed I missed this dog fashion show that happened at Harrah’s Resort over the weekend.
• Looks like folks are having fun at the new Horton Plaza Park.