What’s that sculpture in Mission Hills, that statue in Balboa Park, that big mirrored ball near the edge of downtown? Who made the piece titled “Night Scene of Digester” at the Point Loma Wastewater Plant, “Plaza Piedras” at a San Ysidro pump station or “Three Palms” at the Metro Biosolids Center?
Now you can find out easily. VOSD has created a first-of-its-kind map of public art in the city of San Diego. And it’s revealing in more ways than one. As our Kinsee Morlan explains, “public art is hardly distributed equally throughout the city.”
Indeed, poor neighborhoods have little if any public art.
There are some caveats to that, of course. City Council District 3 is home to Balboa Park and the Central Library, which both house many public art pieces that are intended for residents from all over the city to enjoy. Still, the city’s Commission or Arts and Culture says it does take location into account “and will do so even more in the future.”
Bernal and the GOP, Sittin’ in a Tree …
The race to replace termed-out Councilman Todd Gloria has produced some strange bedfellows in the city’s District 3. One of the two major Democratic candidates is cozy with the GOP, business types and developers.
In fact, Anthony Bernal, who works in Gloria’s office, even has the support of the most influential Republican in town (Mayor Kevin Faulconer) and the most notorious (hotel magnate/former Union-Tribune owner Doug Manchester).
What’s going on here? We assigned our Lisa Halverstadt to investigate. The establishment, she finds, says it supports Bernal because “he has been the guy at the city working with them,” assisting with attempts to snip red tape.
Of course, it helps that Bernal isn’t a liberal Democrat on every issue. For one, he opposes boosting the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Supporters of Bernal’s opponent, legislative staffer Chris Ward, are bashing him over his GOP connections, especially his ties to Manchester, who was a big force behind the anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8 but later apologized to the gay community.
Politics Roundup: Clinton in California
• We’ve seen Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, but Hillary Clinton hasn’t had a major campaign event in San Diego so far. That could change: She’ll be in California from next Thursday through Sunday, looking to avoid an upset. (Washington Post)
• As Trump promotes a border wall, the U-T visits the border on both sides in search of how the existing fences affect residents who live near them. “Before the wall was built, the flow was easier. People just went back and forth,” says a Mexico immigration researcher. Now, people tend to pick a side.
• “A federal judge is ordering the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump,” the U-T reports.
The judge is San Diego’s Gonzalo Curiel. Trump tweeted yesterday that the judge “is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump.”
• The New York Times explores why Gov. Jerry Brown has been such a success and why the state Democratic Party “stands as a model of electoral success and cohesion.”
Trump Aftermath: Questions on Cops
Not everyone’s a fan of the San Diego police response to Trump protesters last Friday. An anti-Trump protest organizer told the Union-Tribune that his allies ran into several Trump fans who had concealed weapons.
The police report 35 arrests, including one of long-shot city attorney candidate Brian Pease. He’s a left-leaning activist who was caught on video when cops attacked him as he walked backwardsin front of a line of approaching cops in riot gear. “They didn’t have any right under the First Amendment to do that,” Pease told the paper.
He told NBC 7 that he was “held for 10 hours in a cramped, filthy jail cell with 20 other individuals similarly falsely arrested until our bail of $500 each was processed.” The station paraphrased him as saying the police should have only “arrested those protesters who were directly involved in the violence, but let the others protest peacefully.” Pease took his criticisms a step further on Twitter, where he said the San Diego County jail was not just like a concentration camp, “it IS a concentration camp for poor.”
The police department didn’t directly respond to NBC 7’s questions about Pease’s arrest but lavished praise on itself for the behavior of its officers.
Quick News Hits: This Plant’s Lemon Pledge-y
• The L.A. Times finds that cities could find ways to get around the governor’s new proposed policy that aims to boost affordable housing by making it easier for developers to build in some situations.
• AIDS is still killing dozens of people each year in San Diego County. (Inewsource)
• “Head-sized maroon flowers smelling like lemon furniture polish are now blooming on the unusual Giant Dutchman’s Pipe Vine at the San Diego Botanic Garden,” Times of S.D. reports.
As you spend a few minutes unpacking that sentence, keep in mind that this is not the botanical garden in Balboa Park. It’s the one in Encinitas formerly known as Quail Botanical Gardens.
Turns out there’s been a lot of renaming going on lately. The Wild Animal Park is now the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is quite a mouthful. The Del Mar Fair is now the San Diego County Fair. And back in the day, the Mission Valley stadium changed from Jack Murphy Stadium to another mouthful: San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Later, Murphy got ditched.
Feel free to add San Diego to your own name and declare yourself to be a treasured local landmark. Just be ready for all the “formerly known as” jokes, most of which will come from me.
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.