The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Ed Harris wants to be mayor of a more affordable San Diego. One of the ways he thinks we can make San Diego more affordable is to build housing more densely inside our neighborhoods. “We need to build,” Harris recently said. And he’s not just talking about building Downtown. “We can do density in a lot of areas,” Harris said.
Andrew Keatts notes Harris’ current view on density is much different than just two years ago while he was on City Council. That’s when he mustered a large group of Bay Ho residents to block the city’s initial steps to plan for growth around a new trolley station in Clairemont. The opponents to the plan were successful, and Harris boiled down his opposition. “Density belongs downtown,” he said in 2014.
“Just saying ‘density belongs downtown’ doesn’t allow us to meet our needs as a region,” Harris now tells Keatts.
Last Resort: Sue Them
When a government agency refuses to produce public records on request, sometimes the only thing we can do is to take them to court and ask a judge to force their compliance. That’s the case with our new lawsuit against San Diego Unified School District. When Mario Koran was reporting on the troubling activities of former San Diego Unified board member Marne Foster, he received some redacted records from the district, which they argued needed to be kept secret. They haven’t budged on it since.
We disagree. “We believe the public’s right to know outweighs the district’s right to privacy in this case,” Koran writes.
The Learning Curve: New Curvature
Over the last year of reporting on schools via his regular column The Learning Curve, Koran has been exposed to many of the biggest challenges San Diego schools face. Neighborhood schools are often unpopular. Parent engagement is low. “It all paints a pretty dim picture,” Koran notes. That’s why we’re expanding the reach of The Learning Curve to include more student voices, more expert voices, and lengthier reporting into substantial issues. The Learning Curve will still be about answering the questions you send in. “It’s also about finding an answer to broader questions,” Koran writes.
• In our most recent episode of Good Schools For All, we’re talking about individualized lesson plans developed for each student, and about Thrive Public school, a charter school that mixes personalized lesson plans with technology to achieve maximum learning. Thrive’s CEO Nicole Assisi brags about her youngsters thusly: “Kindergartners will show me these bar graphs and say, ‘Hey Nicole, check it out, this is where I was before and right now I’m rocking it in geometry.”
Convadium Is The Only Real Option
Writer Dan McLellan chimes in with his commentary about how the Chargers’ proposed mixed-use stadium and convention center expansion is the only realistic approach left for expanding the convention center. “An expansion attached to the current Convention Center isn’t likely at all, so why are some folks still talking about it?” McLellan asks. “It’s time we embrace the solution we have and allow San Diego to step into the future.”
Neighbors Forced Into Homelessness
At a recent planning board meeting, mayoral candidate Lori Saldaña writes how she was shocked to see the room full of older adults who had apparently been told to attend the meeting to find out more about plans to destroy their homes. “These were the faces of the residents of Pacific Village Apartments complex in Rancho Peñasquitos,” Saldaña writes. “The complex is scheduled to be demolished.” She argues that many who end up living on the streets are our elder neighbors who have been priced out of proper housing.
Stark Differences In City Attorney Hopefuls
KPBS asked the city attorney candidates for their views on a few issues. On the question of when to release police body camera videos, Hickey wants to “balance public access to information with due process,” wherease Pease will “immediately release footage whenever there is a question.”
On how to help close the city’s infrastructure deficit, Cabrera thinks the city attorney should stick to “providing advice and counsel to the Mayor and City Council as they work to close the deficit,” while Castellanos would rather work with a bunch of city departments to “immediately evaluate the city’s ability to finance or otherwise pay for infrastructure repairs and improvements and then provide a menu of options to the Mayor and City Council.” For her part, Elliot said she would use the city attorney’s office to “strengthen the economy and attract jobs.”
Here Comes The Trump Train
Fresh off the news that he has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, Donald Trump will rally at the San Diego Convention Center on Friday. Gaslamp businesses are eager to serve the crowds Trump will bring (10 news), and the police have blocked off a big part of Harbor Drive for Trump supporters to make great again. But the Union-Tribune reports there’s also a big protest area, regrettably referred to in modern parlance as a “free speech zone,” presumably outside of which your speech may cost you. Will it be full of low energy individuals with no cards to play? Local police say they’re “ready to respond” to crowds. (CBS 8)
• Trump’s opponents spent some time making up those clever signs you always see pictured. (KPBS)
• Trump’s more quotable local opponents jumped on a conference call to besmirch his name. (Times of San Diego)
• A recent skirmish between the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was just human error, the league’s investigation found.
• State Senator Ben Hueso’s name showed up in this story about an assemblyman accused of domestic abuse. Hueso denied any knowledge of the abuse. (LA Times)
• One San Diego woman is talking about her plans to end her own life once it becomes legal to do so in June. (KPBS)
• In the contest for which mayoral candidate can raise the most money, Kevin Faulconer has no real rivals. (inewsource)
Agree to Disagree
When University of San Diego School of Law professor Gail Heriot went to testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee this week, she first filed a written statement that compared transgender children to kids who pretend that they are Russian princesses or owls. “We are teaching young people a terrible lesson,” Heriot wrote, in “indulging fantasies.”
U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren decided to air her own beliefs about the witness. “You are an ignorant bigot,” Lofgren said, her finger pointing to Heriot, in a rare moment of a politician saying precisely what they are thinking at the exact moment they think it.
Seth Hall is a local writer and owl. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.