The fate of the big Lilac Hills Ranch development in inland North County is still up in the air as opponents stand ready to sue.

The County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to have its staff do an impartial analysis of the Lilac Hills Ranch initiative before it votes on whether to send the measure to the ballot in November.

As we’ve explained before, the initiative allows the developers to circumvent some fixes they would have needed to make if they’d stuck with the normal county permitting process. The report will explain what some of those differences are and the lingering problems the project faces.

The report should be ready by July 29, and the supervisors will vote on whether to send the measure to the ballot, or approve it outright, at their Aug. 2 meeting.

As Maya Srikrishnan reports, neighbors of the massive would-be development plan to sue the county if supervisors ultimately decide to approve the project without letting voters have a say.

Opinion: Mayor Needs to Walk the Walk

In a VOSD commentary, Charity Apostolic Church bishop Cornelius Bowser, also religious affairs coordinator for the National Action Network, calls on Mayor Kevin Faulconer to stop “putting politics before people” and reverse his opposition to Prop. 57, which aims to reform the state’s criminal justice system.

“He is misleading the public when he says, ‘people convicted of domestic violence, hate crimes and human trafficking would be among those eligible for early release.’ He also said, ‘Prop. 57 would make it easier for criminals who have committed deplorable, violent crimes to be eligible for early release,’” Bowser writes. “This is misinformation intended to scare the public, not inform. Our communities will not react to scare tactics that seek to perpetuate a system that is broken.”

Now on Stage: Immigration Education

The chief of San Diego Theatres, an organization that helps link performers with local venues, has taken on an unexpected cause: educating immigrants about how to become American citizens.

As our Kinsee Morlan explains, the president/CEO of the organization realized recently that many of her employees aren’t citizens, and she could help. “‘Our arts community is really great at outreach, could we also be great at in-reach?” Elizabeth Doran said. “So I thought, even if only four people come forward and take advantage of this workshop, I would feel great about that.”

The organization will even offer small loans to employees to help them with the costs of applying for citizenship.

In this week’s VOSD Culture Report, we hear about an unexpected hitch for Comic-Con: It’s become so big and popular that “mini-conventions” are setting up shop elsewhere in downtown, threatening to actually pull attendees away from the big show.

A turf war has developed over available space in downtown, and Comic-Con is actually worried that a Convention Center expansion could come with an annex that could draw away even more people (unless Comic-Con uses it).

This wrinkle is something else to consider as the city debates whether to expand the convention center by creating an annex elsewhere.

We already know that Comic-Con and other conventions have said they prefer an expansion at the existing Convention Center site. Now comes the issue of whether Comic-Con will be miffed that another big venue is nearby.

Also in the Culture Report: a Zine Fest in Tijuana, opera on the road (and near the tracks) and some actual good news about the Pokemon Go craze.

California’s GOP Delegation Falls Ill

The L.A. Times has this report: “At least a dozen California GOP staff members at the Republican National Convention have been quarantined in their hotel rooms after becoming ill with what appears to be a highly contagious norovirus, also known as the cruise-ship virus, according to officials from both the California GOP and local health agencies.”

The afflicted attendees, stuck at a hotel 60 miles from Cleveland, are on the mend. Meanwhile, the hotel now has “large towers of hand sanitizer,” and all 550 members of the delegation have been advised to not shake hands with one another.

An infant who went on the trip from California may have been Patient Zero for the outbreak.

Catholic Bishop: Eliminate Death Penalty

Robert McElroy, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, is an outspoken man of the cloth in the spirit of Pope Francis. On KPBS Tuesday, he spoke against the death penalty and in favor of Prop. 62, which would eliminate it in California.

McElroy mentioned Black Lives Matter and the murders of police officers and spoke of a “cycle of violence.” He said: “The death penalty itself is a violent act; it’s the taking of a human life. One of the great problems in our society, which I really never thought we’d have to face, is the fact that we now know that many innocent people have been put to death in our society.”

The suspect in the serial killings of homeless men could face the death penalty. (City News Service)

Border Apprehension Numbers: O Canada?

A bare majority of the 264,165 undocumented immigrants captured at the U.S.-Mexico border during the first six months of the year weren’t from Mexico, the U-T reports.

About as many came came from other countries in Central and South America, although there were a few thousand arrestees from places like India, China and Romania. Also, the U-T says, “six Canadians took the long way back home.

Quick News Hits

“A $4.6 million penalty against the city of San Diego was proposed Tuesday by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for the city’s alleged failure to make sure construction sites did not prevent the pollution of local waterways,” City News Service reports. The city can agree to the penalty, fight it or try to negotiate a settlement.

The mayor of Tijuana is warning about the safety of a temporary pedestrian ramp at a new border crossing. (KPBS)

Balboa Park is hugely popular among Pokemon Go players. NBC 7 hears from a viewer who says the Rose Garden has been left worse for wear but couldn’t confirm the report.

Does Taco Tuesday mean that tacos are on discount all day on, you know, Tuesdays? A U-T reporter wondered about that after visiting downtown’s Las Panchos de Charley, prompting an extensive Twitter discussion including a comment that this (accurately) is a “first-world outrage.” (Note for non-Twitter denizens: This is the kind of excitement you’re missing.)

The even bigger question than the meaning of Taco Tuesday is this: What the heck does Panchos de Charley mean?

Pancho is a nickname for Francisco, but that doesn’t make much sense in this context. Maybe it means “Charley’s hot dogs,” another possible interpretation. Or perhaps it’s just a misspelling of “poncho.”

Hey! Who wants to go to “Charley’s Sweater-like Garment” for lunch? It’s Taco Part-of-Tuesday!

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 is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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