The officials who run the Port are playing what may be a legally risky game: They’re planning to build without having a full plan for building.

At issue: The future of Harbor Island and the area currently occupied by Seaport Village. The Port District has been getting proposals from developers about what to do with the land, and officials could start making final decisions as early as today. The potential problem, as our Andrew Keatts reports: “Neither of those decisions will be bound by a long-term master plan for all the land the Port governs. In fact, they will shape that master plan as it goes forward.”

Cory Briggs, the environmental attorney who has a long history of making government agencies kneel, is threatening to sue. He says the master plan needs to come first before major decisions are made.

What’s the Port thinking? It’s “determined it can address the issue if it makes sure all of the projects it selects are consistent with the vision statement, which is the basis for the eventual master plan,” Keatts reports. “Then, it’ll take those projects and write them into the new, master plan for the entire region.”

Speaking of Briggs, he says his Citizens’ Plan initiative regarding a football stadium has made the November ballot.

Local Political Roundup

“San Diego Rep. Scott Peters and his family have been involved in a series of donation exchanges with the families of other congressional candidates, apparently legal trade-offs that allowed more money to flow to each campaign than might be allowed under contribution limits,” the U-T reports. The U-T found 21 “dollar-for-dollar swaps.”

In other politics news, the City Council — for now — isn’t going to ask voters to make “city business conducted by employees on private devices, such as cell phones and personal computers, subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.” The council wants to wait to run things by the city’s labor unions. (U-T)

It looks like voters will, however, get to vote on an 8 percent gross-receipts tax for marijuana shops if state voters approve legalizing recreational marijuana. (City News Service, KPBS)

The voter-approved hike in the minimum wage takes effect in the city on Monday. The minimum wage will rise by 50 cents to $10.50 and will grow again to $11.50 when 2017 arrives. The state minimum wage, however, may eventually outpace the city’s. (KPBS)

• Politico has a new story about GOP political operatives dreading their party’s national convention thanks to the guy at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump.

Among those concerned is Jason Roe, a San Diego-based political consultant who is the primary strategist for Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other local elected officials. He had supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican primary and has refused to get on board with Trump, and now says he won’t be attending the convention.

“I don’t want anything close to the appearance of supporting Trump,”  Roe told Politico. “This ship can sink without me as a passenger.”

A University of San Diego alum is targeting two fellow alumni, weight-loss queen Jenny Craig and ex-publisher Doug Manchester, for supporting Donald Trump. He wants their names removed from USD buildings. (Times of S.D.)

Meanwhile, Trump has a fundraiser scheduled for Rancho Santa Fe today.

Manchester predicts it will raise $4 million, which might be a record for Trump’s campaign. He says Trump will “be the first true capitalist ever elected to the presidency of the United States,” which would be news to the businessmen who served as president like the 20th century’s two oil company executives, haberdasher, newspaper publisher, peanut farmer, banker and more. Or the other presidents who worked as plantation and slave owners. (U-T)

Crime Roundup: Inside the Homeless Killings

The Washington Post rounds up news from several media outlets about San Diego’s serial killer of the homeless. A suspect was released earlier this week because authorities believed they didn’t have enough evidence to keep him in custody.

KPBS examines the deadly toll of meth in the county. In 2014, people from age 17 to 70 died by overdosing on the drug.

 A trial is under way for a man who allegedly shot and nearly killed CBS 8 sports anchor Kyle Kraska in Scripps Ranch last year. Prosecutors allege the man was infuriated by a dispute over payment for work at Kraska’s house. (U-T via L.A. Times)

Is the famous hijacker D.B. Cooper living on a 45-foot cruiser in San Diego Bay called “Poverty Sucks”? Maybe!

That’s the word from a new History Channel documentary and book. “This guy is connected to 60 towns in 28 states, six careers, three families and so far, 16 identities,” says a co-author of the book. The man’s attorney says he’s not D.B.

A local video has gone viral: It shows a scary encounter between a photographer and a furious driver in East County’s Ramona. The driver has been arrested. (U-T)

Culture Report: Bringing Classical Music to Kids

VOSD’s weekly Culture Report tells the story of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, which is making big changes to turn around from mostly serving rich kids. A pilot program in Chula Vista has paid dividends, as the symphony’s chief explained at our Meeting of the Minds event Tuesday evening.

Also in the Culture Report: The LGBT Pride Parade and Festival, comedian Steve Martin on stage and the future of the pop-up Quartyard park.

Quick News Hits: Make It (Poke)stop!

Joe Biden likes baseball: The vice president (or at least his staff) wrote a U-T commentary about the awesomeness of America’s pastime: “I remember the first game I played … I was 8 years old. My new jersey with a car dealer logo came down to my knees and over my elbows, but I felt it fit perfectly.”

Biden is going to be in town today to talk about trade.

“The manager of the state’s electric grid on Tuesday released studies that show its proposed expansion would save consumers $1.5 billion and help with the state’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030,” the L.A. Times reports. Critics, however, say the California Independent System Operator’s plans should do more to support local power generation, such as through rooftop solar.

If you spend much time online, you’re likely being bombarded by posts about Pokemon Go. And if you’re a millennial, you’re likely to actually have a handle on what it is. The rest of us, it seems, are just suffering through the news about players wandering all over the place in search of gawd-knows-what.

Want to know more? Slate has details about how the game works and takes note of the weird things that have happened to players, like the discovery of a body and a spree of robberies.

The New York Times notes that not everyone is happy to be part of the game. Officials at the Holocaust Museum and the Auschwitz Memorial are appalled that their buildings are part of the game, and they want users to be respectful and go away.

Locally, you can even hire a driver on Craigslist to take you to Pokemon locations. Sure, that sounds legit!

The U-T has created a map of places around town where players go to play the game on their phones. “Pokestops” and “gyms” are all over the city of San Diego at places like a University Heights gay bar, Balboa Park’s Cabrillo Bridge and downtown’s Central Library.

My personal favorite place on the map: a downtown site identified as “Some Statue.” You know the one. It shows, um, a person, probably. Doing a thing. Or not. In bronze, or maybe granite. Unforgettable, actually!

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also a board member and ex-national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors ( Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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