Election Day is like the Super Bowl for us. We stayed up late. We ate way too much pizza and chips. We paid the price for both. But we love it. It’s all just a rehearsal, though, for the big burrito in November. Holy smokes that’s going to be an election.
We finally got some rest and Andrew Keatts and I sat down with two smart ladies to digest what happened Tuesday night in this week’s podcast.
Laura Fink, a political consultant, and Aimee Faucett, the chief operating officer of the Chamber of Commerce broke down both what happened in San Diego’s major races but also what to look for with City Hall politics.
• I also joined the KPBS Roundtable to discuss what happened.
Journalist of the Year
The San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced Friday that our own Mario Koran will be recognized as journalist of the year.
“We chose to honor Koran both for breaking one of the biggest stories of the year that helped lead to a school board trustee’s resignation and for his comprehensive coverage of San Diego’s education that aims to fill readers’ needs,” the group said in its announcement.
I gave him a big hug.
The Future of Otay
Leaders in Otay Mesa, San Diego’s southernmost neighborhood, are still debating whether the vast swaths of land there should be developed into new homes, or space for heavily industrial businesses.
A South Bay business group thinks the land should go to industrial property, which is scarce throughout the county but provides good-paying jobs. But some developers would also like to build new housing in the area, to address another major need for the region.
There’s one big problem: City planners need to keep homes away from heavy industry, and the negative environmental effects it can create.
A community plan — finalized in 2014 after a 13-year fight — was supposed to resolve some of this tension. The final version of the plan included two new “residential villages” – a third was cut in the eastern part of the community to appease those who wanted more industrial area.
But two years later, current housing proposals continue to come under fire from those who think Otay should be reserved for industrial space. Now, as our reporter Maya Srikrishnan reports, both sides are trying to strike a compromise.
Sacramento Report: A Predictable Election and a Budget
There were no Election Day surprises for members and prospective members of San Diego’s legislative delegation, Sara Libby writes in this week’s report on the statehouse. The incumbents running for re-election – Assembly members Rocky Chavez, Brian Maienschein, Shirley Weber, Lorena Gonzalez and Marie Waldron – all came in first by wide margins. Candidates favored going into the election also had strong showings, including Toni Atkins who is in the Assembly and running for Senate and Todd Gloria, a City Council member who is running for Atkins’ Assembly seat.
Lawmakers did, though, reach a budget deal on Thursday, a week ahead of the deadline. The deal sets aside money for affordable housing and gets rid of a rule that denied welfare benefits to new children in families that already received welfare.
Bikes vs. Parking
KBPS’s Claire Trageser bikes around downtown San Diego for a story about protected bicycle lanes. The city has a plan to add more than nine miles of bike lanes but it’s facing opposition because it also eliminates nearly 500 parking spaces and narrows sidewalks.
• This is a note from Managing Editor Sara Libby and me: San Diego Unified School District’s chief public information officer made a joke to one of our reporters that we simply couldn’t laugh off.
• The Chargers submitted a ton of signatures to qualify their downtown convadium plan for the ballot in November. I got on the radio with Scott and BR on the Mighty 1090 to talk about opposition to the plan that is getting organized.
• TPM dove into the rhetoric and reality about the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, whose member Judge Gonzalo Curiel has been the subject of recent attacks from Donald Trump as he presides over the case in San Diego of Trump University.
Most-Read Stories of the Week
Here’s a link to the list of our 10 most-read pieces of the week. And below are our Top 5 (though it’s really 2-6 because you don’t need the most-read pre-election guide anymore, am I right?)
2. 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)
3. Poway Unified Paid a Financial Firm Double the Contract Amount in Half the Time
Poway Unified staff now say the $625,000 fee cap on a five-year deal with Dolinka Group was actually an annual amount, so the board really approved a $3.1 million contract in February 2014. (Ashly McGlone)
4. The Mayor Wins and the Faulconer Doctrine Gets Voter Validation
Mayor Kevin Faulconer has sketched a clear doctrine for running San Diego. Now he has a mandate and the chance to shape the city forever, but will he? (Scott Lewis)
5. Chargers Plan Opponents Pick a Name and Start Fundraising
A new committee called “No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First” is getting ready to launch a political campaign against the Chargers ballot measure. (Scott Lewis)
6. Overlooked by Insiders, Mara Elliott Emerges in City Attorney Race
Mara Elliott beat three Democratic rivals to advance to a November runoff against Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey, the Republican candidate. (Andrew Keatts)