The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
On the surface, the San Diego Padres put on a happy face when they are talking about their relationship with the Chargers. “There’s no anti-Chargers feeling at all,” said Ron Fowler, chairman of the Padres ownership group. “We want to keep the Chargers in San Diego.”
Fowler opened up to our Scott Lewis, who had been looking into why the Padres abstained from a vote at the Chamber of Commerce last week to endorse the Chargers plan to build a stadium in East Village. Fowler laid out the serious issues simmering between the two teams.
One big issue: parking. The proposed site for a new stadium is currently a parking lot leased by the Padres. The Chargers have assured the Padres those parking spots will be replaced, somehow. “The Padres want to get that in writing,” Lewis writes. Another issue has arisen over two giant digital billboards proposed for the new stadium; unlike the Padres’ billboards, the new Chargers’ signs would face outward to the neighborhood and would be allowed to stay on until 2 a.m Due to restrictive sign ordinances, nobody else is allowed to do that — including the Padres. But voters could override that by approving the Chargers’ ballot measure.
• Fowler appeared on the Mighty 1090 to follow up Lewis’ report.
Balboa Park Plan Costs Rise
A 2012 plan to remove traffic from the Plaza de Panama section of Balboa Park was estimated at the time to cost $45 million to construct. Lisa Halverstadt reports city staff is making an educated guess that the plan, resurrected, will cost around $75 million now.
“Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s staff still has to settle on how much the city should throw at the newly-revived project,” Halverstadt reports. The city has already approved spending up to a million dollars to nail down early construction plans, which will provide more specific clarity on how much more the project will cost.
City staff told Halverstadt the increased costs stem from requirements to pay workers higher wages, new stormwater regulations and a generally more competitive business climate.
The earlier version of the plan imagined paid parking at the new garage would cover the city’s portion. It’s not clear what exactly the city will do now. “We think the city’s contribution will have to be more than it was before,” said Katherine Johnston, the mayor’s director of infrastructure and budget policy.
Evictions In Otay Mesa
For a mere $370 per month, you too could have been living in squalor on unincorporated land in Otay Mesa up until now. But now it’s too late, and that’s because San Diego County has decided Melvyn Ingalls, vice chairman of the Otay Mesa Planning Group, must evict from his land all the people renting from him after he ignored years of warnings and citations. Residents on the property live without sewer or electric services provided, and in some cases reside on land that was created by covering over a giant pile of trash. That land is rapidly sinking.
“Hopefully I’m contributing to society, but not everybody sees it,” Ingalls told inewsource.
Voter Guides Could Get Thinner
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith issued a memo on Thursday that lays out a legal argument for not printing out the entire text of the Citizen’s Plan and the Citizen’s Initiative in the voter pamphlet. Usually ballot measures such as those two are required to be printed in full and mailed to voters. But in November’s “Bananas Ballot”, the sheer size of the statewide and local voter guides is starting to look like something akin to the Bible combined with War and Peace, if you prefaced them with Moby Dick.
All that said, the city attorney concluded the preferred method is to bite the bullet and just print all the things.
Hiking A Torrey Pine
One woman desperately wanted to save an old, large Torrey Pine tree located in the Ocean Beach neighborhood from being cut down by the city. So up the Torrey Pine she climbed, where tree removal crews found her when they arrived on Thursday, not to be moved. OB Rag lauded her as a hero of Ocean Beach.
Slain Officer Memorial
After a huge memorial on Thursday drew crowds with attendees from all over the country, NBC 7 reports another public service is set to be held for slain San Diego police officer Jonathan De Guzman on Friday morning, followed by a burial ceremony. Large crowds are again expected and authorities are warning commuters the funeral procession is likely to impact traffic in the area.
• City auditors have confirmed something potentially criminal has been going on with how people are hired in San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. They city says they’ll look into it and report back in about a year. (KPBS)
• Don’t you worry, millenials. We know we aren’t building enough housing for you to afford to live here, so we’re building a ton of hotels for you instead! (Union-Tribune)
• Attendance numbers and revenues were both down at SeaWorld again. (Union-Tribune)
• Using “microgrids,” San Diego is showing the nation what the future of power generation could look like. (KPBS)
• The San Diego County Board of Education selected Edward Velasquez as the interim county superintendent on Wednesday. (NBC 7)
• Unionized grocery workers in Southern California have reached a tentative deal with Albertsons, Vons and Ralphs. A boycott and strike were in the works.
• Researchers have confirmed that sharks aren’t actually very scary unless people are looking at sharks while also listening to ominous music. (CNET)
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.