As an Aug. 2 deadline looms for county supervisors to decide whether to approve the contentious Lilac Hills project outright or send it on to voters, a critical report is due to be released Friday that will showcase important differences in the current plan compared to the plan from last year. The developer’s old plan was a product of negotiation and was meant to be pushed through via a straight board decision. Now, the developer has enough signatures to put its own version of the project right in front of voters.

Maya Srikrishan reports the difference between the two plans could be significant. The developer, Accretive, has used the new plan to free themselves of several obligations they originally had accepted, like unpopular road widening requirements and a commitment to build a new fire station. “Going the initiative route means the developers can circumvent those obstacles,” Srikrishnan writes.

Many families who move into a newly developed Lilac Hills neighborhood will have school-aged children who would like to attend a local school. Building a school was originally a requirement the County Board of Supervisors stuck Accretive with, but that plan is out. The plan Accretive wants to put to voters is less clear on who is on the hook to build a school, Srikrishnan reports in a separate post.

Chamber Endorses Chargers Plan

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors had a packed meeting Thursday. A few candidates for office, including a congessman were there hoping for the Chamber’s endorsement.

But the real draw was the Spanos family and their associates, who had come to request the Chamber’s endorsement, after week’s of study, of the v0ter initiative that would raise the hotel-room tax in the city of San Diego and use the money to build a convadium in East Village. It’s a stadium plan the Chargers are vowing to spend millions to get two-thirds of voters to approve.

They got the endorsement.

But Aimee Faucett, the Chamber’s COO, told our Scott Lewis that everyone in the room recognized that two-thirds was going to be a hard threshold to overcome. Faucett said the Chargers were quite aware of the odds too but it was worth pursuing and here’s why:

“If there’s decent support for it in the business community and the voters, it will signal to the Chargers they are wanted in the community and we should all regroup if it doesn’t pass and figure out another option,” she said.

The Learning Curve: Homework for Preschoolers

Parents who read Lewis’ piece from earlier this week about the “kindergarten shock” might be stressing a bit. But, take heart. Mario Koran looks into how Common Core is impacting kids at the earliest stages of their education and reassures us that it’s not as bad as it may sound. “It’s helpful to remove the phrase ‘Common Core’ and think of the new standards as expectations,” Koran writes.

In our latest episode of Good Schools For All, we catch up with Rob Atterbury of ConnectEd to talk about “linked learning.” That’s an approach some schools are taking to prepare students for both college and careers at the same time by offering out-of-class experiences that help get kids interested in possible career paths.

Water Rights: San Diego Explained

California splits up water taken from Lake Mead with Nevada and Arizona, but we have first dibs. In a new edition of San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC 7 San Diego, Ry Rivard and Monica Dean explain that California’s water rights from the lake are so secure, Arizona’s portion would have to run dry before our portion would be impacted. But as Lake Mead dries up, California came to the negotiating table and may opt to give up some of our rights as part of negotiations. We discuss how that could impact San Diego in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Jacobs Center Faces Uncertain Funding Future

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has been serving the southeastern community of San Diego for many years with programs and by offering spaces for businesses.  The Jacobs family who started the center has contributed $100 million, but they imagined their funding being finished by 2030. KPBS reports the center has now reclassified itself as a public charity instead of a private foundation, and will spent the next decade finding a replacement for the vast majority of their current funding. “In 2014… it received just under $16 million in contributions, with $15 million coming from the Jacobs family,” KPBS writes.

The Jacobs Center has long had ambitious plans for the neighborhood it resides in. This isn’t the first time they’ve faced financial turmoil, either.

SDPD Officer Killed, Another Wounded

Late Thursday night, word came out that two San Diego Police Department officers had been shot in Southcrest. At a short 3 a.m. news conference, Chief Shelley Zimmerman confirmed that one of them died and the other was undergoing surgery. The shooting happened after a traffic stop. The officer who died was part of the gang suppression unit. One suspect was in custody.

Cole Criticized For Race Comments

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole has apologized for comments she made during a recent meeting that were interpreted by some as blaming black people for violence and defending police who use racial profiling. When commenting on who police are going to stop when pursuing shooters, Cole said “They’re going to stop an African-American. That’s who they’re going to stop, because those are the ones (who are) shooting.” Some folks are planning to protest against her despite the apology. (KPBS)

News Nibbles

• The Navy will name a new oil ship after gay rights activist icon Harvey Milk.

• One of the few casinos operating within city limits was raided by the FBI on Wednesday in connection with an organized crime investigation. (

The trial against Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura and his alleged illegal contributions to local political campaigns has begun. (Union-Tribune)

• I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but Disneyland closing down their amazing Tower of Terror ride in 2017 is terrible news and everyone here should know about it (SDGLN).

• Police departments are locked in some kind of dance competition with one another. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department took it up a notch. The explosions start around the five minute mark. (NBC 7)

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at or tweet him your dance videos: @loteck.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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