The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Last year, VOSD was part of a group of news outlets that asked a federal court to make footage of a controversial police shooting public. That court sided with us, and soon after the DA released the tape.
But there was still a lot we didn’t know about the shooting, including whether the San Diego Police Department thought the officer involved did anything wrong or whether it was taking any steps to ensure things went differently if a similar situation arose.
The family of Fridoon Nehad, the man killed in the shooting, filed a civil lawsuit – and a sworn deposition by the officer who shot Nehad, Neal Browder, reveals a lot about how the department responded. Or didn’t respond, rather.
“Browder said he did not face any discipline from the shooting,” Andrew Keatts and I report. “He did not undergo any additional training or receive any written reprimand. None of his supervisors told him he had made any tactical mistakes. It didn’t even come up in his performance review for that year.”
Another interesting fact from Browder: He said he wasn’t interviewed by anyone in the district attorney’s office or in SDPD’s internal affairs, though both agencies investigated the shooting.
The DA declined to charge Browder with any crimes related to the shooting.
• During the shooting, Browder failed to turn on his body camera, prompting the department to change its policy so that officers are required to turn the devices on before they arrive on a scene.
There have been many attempts by the California Legislature this year to regulate body camera policies statewide. They’ve all failed, Liam Dillon reports.
Chargers Win! (Sort of)
The Chargers were able to convince both the San Diego County Democratic Party and the Lincoln Club of San Diego to remain neutral on Measure C, the hotel-room tax increase that would fund construction of a new stadium and convention center across the street from Petco Park. A majority of the Democratic Central Committee voted to oppose Measure C but not enough to make the party take a formal position. The committee did, however, vote to formally oppose Measure A, the sales-tax increase to fund transportation and open space preservation.
The Democrats also voted to officially support the Citizens Plan, Measure D, the hotel-room tax measure that has many implications for a downtown convention center, Mission Valley’s future and a potential stadium.
The Lincoln Club heard from some big guns: the Chargers’ special advisor Fred Maas and Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders in favor with Councilman Chris Cate and longtime Republican and former Council candidate April Boling opposed.
Historic Preservationist Looks Forward, Too
Heath Fox is doing something you might not expect from a guy who heads a historic preservation group: He’s thinking about the future.
The executive director of the La Jolla Historical Society is “engaging living contemporary artists and creating new exhibitions filled with new work, reaching new audiences every time he does it,” Kinsee Morlan writes in this week’s Culture Report. Fox is working on more traditional exhibits that look back at the past, too, but he thinks it’s important to look in both directions.
“One of the trends that’s happening in the field … is a more proactive approach to interaction and programming to make local history more relevant to the local community and to inform their decision-making today,” Fox said.
Also in the Culture Report this week: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is downsizing before it expands, Ducky Waddle’s Emporium in Leucadia is closing and a series of events in a Tijuana storefront plays up the “interconnectedness in the border region.”
The Root of the Denti-Cal Problem
Denti-Cal, the state’s program to fund dental care for low-income residents, has major problems. More than 10 counties aren’t accepting any new Denti-Cal patients, according to a 2014 audit, and reimbursement rates for those who do haven’t increased since 2001.
In the first of a two-part series, Capitol Public Radio examines the holes in the Denti-Cal safety net.
The report notes that “Lawmakers have acknowledged Denti-Cal’s problems. Recently, efforts to make changes have gained momentum. But those haven’t included any more state money to increase rates and attract dentists.”
San Diego Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, however, did propose a bill that would have increased reimbursement rates for Denti-Cal providers, but that measure recently died in the appropriations committee.
Now You Can Pay for District Preschool
We’ve reported a lot lately on the challenge of preschool from the shock some parents are facing when their kid reaches kindergarten to just how hard it is for poor parents to qualify for the state’s subsidized preschool program.
You have an incentive to not get raises at work to stay in the program and minimum wage increases are making that even harder.
San Diego Unified School District had a major announcement Tuesday that we’re trying to understand. The district will now allow parents who make more money to pay for the district’s preschool programs. And they’re giving away tablet computers to each preschool student enrolled to make it more attractive.
KPBS has a summary of the schools offering the program.
Quick News Hits
• Ocean Beach residents were evacuated from their homes Monday night after a gas leak. SDG&E said the cause of the leak is still unknown. (NBC San Diego)
• South Bay developer Roque de la Fuente has outlasted many of the top Republican hopefuls in his bid for president. Turns out, he’s also running for the U.S. Senate … in Florida.
• Gov. Jerry Brown’s big affordable housing proposal seems to be dead for now. The Union-Tribune examined what that means for San Diego.
• Good news for my fellow South Parkers: That Zika scare appears to have been unfounded. (NBC San Diego)