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The city of San Diego attracted national attention for its bipartisan Climate Action Plan, which aims to protect the environment over decades. But now, a coalition of environmentalists, including Nicole Capretz, one of the architects of the much-ballyhooed plan, is threatening to go to court.
The critics say the community plans for four neighborhoods need to be rewritten. If the plans can’t show how they’ll reduce greenhouse gasses as the climate plan requires, they say, the city will need to spend money on things like bike lanes and transit improvements.
If these concerns are correct, writes our Andrew Keatts, they suggest that the city might not be able to accomplish two things at once: accommodating a growing population — fitting more people into smaller spaces is a goal of the plan — and cutting back on pollution. “Or it might just mean the city must dramatically reconsider its commitment to improving transit enough to make its promised reductions possible.”
In the big picture, he writes, “it’s a reminder that while the plan was met with pride from city officials and acclaim from national outlets, actually implementing it will be an ongoing challenge.”
The city isn’t talking, but meetings to find a solution are planned. The community plans in question are for San Ysidro, North Park, Uptown and Golden Hill.
• In cities like San Francisco, the YIMBY crowd — “Yes in My Back Yard” — want more neighbors in order to protect the environment by preventing urban sprawl and all the pollution it causes from cars.
In a new article, Bloomberg News finds that many liberals are Not In My Back Yard types. “Nimbys often have another idea for how to lower rents — kick industry out of their cities. Though this policy invariably ends up hurting the urban poor and working class, it is often painted as a ‘progressive’ approach, especially in California. It also happens to be bad for regional and national productivity.”
Rents for one-bedroom apartments in San Francisco cost around $3,500 a month, according to Bloomberg. “Unlike progressives in New York City, who are often big supporters of density, San Francisco progressives have decided to focus on kicking the tech industry out of the city.”
• While renters have it quite bad in San Diego when it comes to costs, the U-T finds that renters in other parts of the state (like Santa Barbara) have it even worse.
Police Release Details on Fatal Shooting
A prosecutor told a court Tuesday that a suspect shot San Diego Police officer Jonathan “J.D.” De Guzman point blank, killing him as he sat in the driver’s seat of his police car with his seat belt on, the U-T reports.
The shooting last Thursday night also injured another officer, Wade Irwin. He was shot in the throat and is expected to recover.
The officers had approached two men on the street in the Southcrest neighborhood when one of them opened fire.
Police tracked a blood trail to the suspect, who was shot himself and appeared in court from a hospital bed. The suspect is a felon who’s been convicted of several offenses.
Lilac Hills Ranch Goes on Ballot
The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to officially add Lilac Hills Ranch to November’s ballot.
The controversial 1,700-home development near Valley Center was working its way through the county permitting process a year ago when several problems arose for the developer. Instead of risking getting turned down by the county, the developers turned to the ballot.
Back when the project was being vetted by the county, planning staff noted several potential issues that the developer would need to address, including building a new fire station and a new school to accommodate the influx of people and bringing certain roads up to county safety standards. Many of those improvements are not included in the initiative.
— Maya Srikrishnan
• A bulging ballot full of initiatives could cause overruns in election costs this fall. (KPBS)
S.D. Could Be Really Transparent, But …
Inewsource discovers that a 1992 law would make San Diego one of the most open cities in the country. Well, if just anyone would bother to follow it: “The policy mandates every company doing business with the city disclose the name and identity of everyone involved in the transaction — whether directly or indirectly — along with the ‘precise nature’ of those interests.”
The city works with hundreds of companies and spends $3 billion a year, but getting full information about them, at least the 38 contacted by Inewsource, turned out to be impossible.
Fire Danger Expected to Be Bad Again
The wildfire risk for this summer and early fall is projected to be “above average.” (U-T)
• The website 538 says fires are getting closer to Southern California homes as space vanishes between cities and wildlands. We recently reported on how many large developments are moving forward in the local areas most prone to wildfire.
Legal Roundup: Purple Heart Left Behind
• “San Diego police hope to find the person who left a Purple Heart at the police memorial downtown where candles continue to burn in honor of the SDPD officer who was gunned down last week,” the U-T reports. The Purple Heart appears to be real, unlike the one that somebody gave to Donald Trump this week.
• The now-famous local federal judge in the Trump University case won’t let the media see the recorded deposition of Trump himself.
Trump attacked the judge, the American-born Gonzalo Curiel, because of his Mexican heritage. Curiel said the release of the video could harm the case by getting widespread media attention and making it harder to find a neutral jury.
Culture Report: Turning Tupac Into Theater
VOSD’s weekly Culture Report leads off with a check-in with Gill Sotu, a poet, performer and musician who now has another title — playwright. His local play, “The Best Goodbye,” features hip-hop musicians on the night that Tupac Shakur died in 1996.
He’s hoping to make works of art and performance full-time. “It’s really scary,” he says. “But I was put on this earth to do this — to create and to connect people.”
Also in the Culture Report: Yet another look at Tijuana’s renaissance, eyebrow obsession and the return of sensory deprivation tanks.
The idea of the tanks is to float nude in water as a way to reduce pain and stress. It may help with personal development too.
I’d like to personally develop a way to float stress-lessly through the 2016 campaign. For some reason, though, water isn’t the liquid that people are recommending.
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 (asja.org). Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.