Not all of San Diego’s public art is all that public.
Roughly a dozen of the city’s 500 public artworks are located at water plants or pump stations. The public can’t easily get inside those plants though, because of security concerns following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“One time to see [Robert Millar’s] work at the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant, I hopped a fence and snuck a look at it,” said artist Robin Brailsford, who was commissioned by the city to add her own artwork, “Stream of Consciousness / Body of Water,” to the Miramar Water Treatment plant when it was upgraded and expanded a few years ago.
San Diego’s public art ends up in these weird and not-so-public locations based on the way the city pays for new pieces, Morlan reports as part of her series on public art.
VOSD Podcast: Police, Trump and Free Speech
In this week’s podcast, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk with David Loy, from the American Civil Liberties Union, about the San Diego Police Department’s big, militarized response to the anti-Trump rally. The question they explore: Just how do officials make the determination that a protest or crowd has become an unlawful assembly?
Education Reform Bills Still Alive in the Assembly
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber is still pushing to make meaningful teacher evaluations happen, and a new bill is so far still alive, Sara Libby writes in her weekly report on statehouse goings-on. Another bill from Weber that would establish an accountability system for schools across the state also passed the Assembly this week. Last year, education reform measures from Weber generated a lot of intense debate but ultimately fell short.
Libby also explains a deadline Friday lawmakers had to hit to advance their bills. I lay out what Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had to say about the drought and California water policy as they swung through the state in the past week or so.
MTS to Make Fare Cards Comprehensible
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System has a terribly convoluted way of charging for fare cards. Now, it plans to change things by November.
Unlike most public transit systems, riders can’t currently put, say, $20 on a card and have $20 worth of rides to use when they please. Instead, they have to choose from a variety of confusing package deals. Now, MTS says its cards will be able to work like other cities’ public transit fare cards. Of course, MTS has some hoops through which to jump: KPBS reports that MTS has a timeline for upgrading the cards that includes things like “testing it in lab simulations” and “marketing its rollout.”
In Other News
• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis released videos of eight shootings involving police officers, as well as details on two other cases, the Union-Tribune reports in a story that includes the videos. We’ve previously noted that Dumanis has a policy of selectively releasing such videos.
• The San Diego judge being attacked by Trump once had to live in hiding from Mexican cartel assassins, the New York Times reports.
• Tijuana is also gearing up for an election. The Union-Tribune’s Sandra Dibble writes about the issues in the mayoral race which all sound pretty familiar to anyone north of the border — “the need for more schools, higher salaries, better trash collection, paved streets, more street lighting and stronger efforts against crime and government corruption.” Another familiar challenge: voter apathy. A dozen candidates are running to be the city’s mayor, including one notorious former police chief we recently profiled.
This Week’s Top Stories
Here’s our weekly post of the 10 most-read pieces of the week. Here are the top five:
1. Every Piece of Public Art in San Diego, Mapped
One thing the map makes clear: Public art is hardly distributed equally throughout the city. (Kinsee Morlan)
2. The Worst Mailers of 2016 … So Far
All in all, it’s been a pretty tame cycle. But some political mail pieces stand out for their badness. (Scott Lewis)
3. How the Registration Boom Will Play Out on Election Day
Nearly 183,000 county residents had joined voter rolls as of May 14. The surge has especially benefited Democrats. Of the new local registrants, 77,000 have been Democrats while 45,000 are Republicans and 49,000 aren’t part of a party. (Andrew Keatts)
4. Why We’re Suing San Diego Unified
VOSD made a series of requests for emails related to former school board Trustee Marne Foster, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Superintendent Cindy Marten and former principal Mitzi Lizarraga. The district complied with the requests, but redacted a number of records, arguing the information needed to remain confidential. The relevant legal question is whether the public’s right to know outweighs the agency’s right to protect information that could potentially cause it harm. (Mario Koran)
5. Culture Report: A Ship in the Woods Anchors in Escondido
Visualizing the public art pieces across San Diego, summer events to add to your to-do list, home prices are rising in Barrio Logan and more in our weekly roundup of arts and culture news. (Kinsee Morlan)