Tens of thousands of locals are registering to vote for the first time, and the biggest chunk of them are Democrats. In fact, the Dems are about 32,000 voters ahead of the Republicans countywide when it comes to new voters.
What does this mean for the June 7 election and beyond? In his bi-weekly election column, Andrew Keatts explores why so many people think it’s time to visit the ballot box … at least at some point.
Statewide, a political analyst says, 65 percent of newly registered voters are under 35. But of those who’ve already voted, just 10 percent are under 35. “It’s looking a lot more like we would expect of a traditional primary, and not yet looking like groundbreaking turnout the way it is in registration,” the analyst said.
Locally, it’s looking like a very blue election, another analyst tells us, one that could upend the conventional wisdom that dominates most San Diego elections, which says Republicans are big favorites in low-turnout June primaries. The biggest upset of all would be if Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, doesn’t win outright and avoid a November run-off. Considering the lackluster state of the mayoral race, that’s still quite a long-shot.
• VOSD’s politics podcast, San Diego Decides, focuses on the June 7 vote with a close look at the highly contested City Council and city attorney races, the city’s Proposition H and an obscure race turned hot at the County Office of Education. Plus: LBJ and cold-brew coffee.
More on Politics: Brown’s With Clinton
• As San Diego’s GOP mayor runs screaming into the night from Trump, our Democratic governor and previous presidential hopeful is happy to endorse a candidate. He’s with her, “despite a bitter history with the Clintons.” (L.A. Times)
• Rep. Duncan Hunter (the younger one), one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump instead of pretending he doesn’t exist, is urging his colleagues to “toughen up and get behind our candidate.”
Hunter also notes the obvious: “Trump is not a think-tank guy.” (Politico)
Father Joe’s Villages Responds
Last week, we reported on how the city’s year-round homeless shelter is having trouble finding permanent homes for its residents: “Father Joe’s has fallen short on goals to move at least 65 percent of clients into permanent or longer-term housing and to limit stays at the shelter to 45 days. Instead, agency data revealed Father Joe’s helped connect 53 percent of clients with longer-term housing through April and that average stays are 56 days.”
Deacon Jim Vargas, the CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, has responded.
Vargas argues the story should have focused more on the fact that the new shelter, is moving more folks into longer-term housing and serving more people than the two temporary winter tents it replaced.
Minorities Bear Brunt of Curfew Laws
A story in the Guardian begins with a scene on a southeastern San Diego street at 11 p.m. on an August night. An officer on patrol spots three teenagers trying (unsuccessfully) to hide from him: “Heads hanging, shoulders slouched, they knew they were caught. All three were soon searched, handcuffed, and put in the back of cars for the ride to the command post — a local Boys & Girls Club.”
Here, the story says, you can’t be under 18 and out after 10 p.m. with a few exceptions. Curfews have been big since the 1990s, but research suggests they hit minorities hard, and some say there’s no evidence they work. “It’s insane. No other country does this,” says a crime researcher.
The story digs deep into what happens to San Diego kids caught after curfew and how parents and residents are divided over the crackdowns. There’s data too: “In 2010, Hispanic youth accounted for 59% of all curfew arrests, as opposed to 16% for white youth. Comparatively, census figures for the same year put the city’s population at 28.8% Hispanic and 45.1% white. The data also shows that diversion programs are indeed keeping more kids of all races out of the courts.”
The Season of the Shark
More shark attacks are expected this year around the world amid warmer waters that attract more people to the beach, Reuters reports.
We’ve had fatal shark attacks here in San Diego County in the past, and a possible shark attack closed a beach in Orange County over the weekend. However, Reuters notes that fatal attacks “are so infrequent that beachgoers face a higher risk of being killed by sand collapsing as the result of over achieving sand castle builders.”
Culture Report: Arts Venture Drops by Escondido
An arts venture called A Ship in the Wood drew big crowds by combining art, music and science, but its rented home in Del Mar fell victim to demolition. Now, VOSD’s weekly Culture Report says, it’s moving inland to Escondido and a house (surrounded by 2 acres) that it will own. The new space opens this Saturday with pieces by 26 artists and even a synchronized swimming show. Eat your heart out, Esther Williams!
Also in the Culture Report: Kites over Vista, Woody Guthrie, tiny homes, Conan O’Brien fan art and parklet fever.
Quick News Hits: The Name Game, S.D-Style
• The partial San Diego transit strike continues, with several bus routes out of service and some missed reservations for transportation for disabled people. (U-T)
• The city and its firefighters have reached a contract agreement. (Times of S.D.)
• The city library system doesn’t do a good job of allocating its resources, a new audit report says, as programs in some branches draw attendees in the single digits. The library agrees. (U-T)
• Three readers emailed to chew me out over the grammar in yesterday’s Morning Report headline, “Where the Art Is At.”
That was actually an editor’s creation after my suggested headline (“Who Arted?”) didn’t pass the smell test. But the actual headline might not be the disaster these readers think it is. Smithsonian Magazine says “ending sentences with a preposition is nothing worth worrying about.” And that’s where we’re at.
Editor’s Note: Sara here. I too have embraced the idea that prepositions can end a sentence (or headline, in this case). I was inspired by this post from a while back, in which other editors agreed that it’s time to ditch the no-ending-on-a-preposition rule. Also inspiring were two late ’90s/early ’00s jams, “Where My Girls At” and “Where the Party At.”
• Yesterday’s Morning Report also included some friendly whining about aggravating local name changes. (Farewell to the Wild Animal Park, Jack Murphy Stadium, Quail Botanical Gardens, etc.)
In response, longtime local arts critic Welton Jones dropped me a line about a trend toward name bloat. “Thus the La Jolla Art Center has become, in steps, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. And the Fine Arts Gallery inflated to the San Diego Museum of Art,” he recalls. “My all-time favorite, though, is what started as a small secular school on Point Loma called California Western College and progressed by stages and through a dizzy parfait of circumstances to United States International University School of Performing and Visual Arts before its collapse.”
Or, of course, USIUSP&VA, for short. Catchy! Maybe it fell apart under the weight of its own name?
Are there any other examples of name inflation out there? Send them in. Meanwhile, I’m going to dig into this dizzy parfait of circumstances. Yum!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.