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When Mayor Kevin Faulconer rolled out his plan to increase funding for Balboa Park and other regional parks with a ballot measure that wouldn’t increase taxes, it seemed like an uncontroversial idea.

Suddenly, though, there’s a burgeoning opposition to the measure, and it includes some names familiar to City Hall watchers.

Measure J extends an earlier measure that takes rent that hotels and other businesses in Mission Bay Park pay to the city, and sets it aside for projects in Mission Bay and other regional parks. But in addition to extending that measure, it would also lower the percent that has to stay in Mission Bay, and make more of it available to Balboa Park and others.

This is welcome to many Balboa Park advocates and the increased flexibility could help get some projects built. But some advocates for Mission Bay Park and the surrounding areas aren’t keen on that idea.

Former Councilwoman Donna Frye is leading the charge, as is civic volunteer Bob Ottilie, who worked with Faulconer on the initial 2008 measure that’s being extended.

“We were afraid that some subsequent council or mayor in (future) years would come and try to steal our money. So what’s happening now? Some people are making the argument that the Council and mayor are trying to steal our money,” Ottilie said.

Keeping Up With the Bananas Ballot

County voters are facing dozens of ballot measures and it is as daunting for us to cover as it is for you to consider being informed on when you cast your ballot.

That’s why it’s necessary to treat it like a marathon, Sara Libby says. Don’t look at the whole thing at once. Just take it one piece at a time.

In that vein, here’s an attempt to look at a handful of developments and details in some of the measures we and other reporters have been covering. Consider it the next chapter of our straightforward guide to all the local measures from a couple weeks ago.

Sacramento Report: Lackluster Races to the Capitol

For actual head-to-head races between candidates, San Diego’s November ballot leaves a lot to be desired.

Some of the local races people looked forward to for the last few years were settled in the June primary, and many of the legislative races to represent us in Sacramento just aren’t very competitive.

In this week’s Sacramento Report, Sara Libby checked in on some of those campaigns.

A campaign staffer for Councilman Todd Gloria’s assembly bid said it’s an opportunity to introduce him to parts of his district that don’t overlap with his current council district. Someone with Assemblywoman Toni Atkins’ campaign for the State Senate said he’s not giving away anything and they’re treating it like a competitive race.

Meanwhile, Republican Assemblyman Brian Maienschein and Assemblywoman Marie Waldron have what counts for close races, besting their rivals in June by 15 points and 20 points respectively.

In other state news, we looked at how other cities are tackling homeless issues on the ballot, and we again round up how local legislators fared this week when their bills met Gov. Jerry Brown’s pen.

VOSD Podcast: The Troubling San Diego Story that Went National

Daily Beast reporter Brandy Zadrozny joined the podcast this week to discuss her story on a group of self-declared “pick-up artists” who’ve been found guilty in a rape case that occurred in Gaslamp.

Her story describes how one woman, after prosecutors declined to take on her case, found her attacker bragging of the rape in explicit detail on the internet. She also also dives into the grotesque sub-culture that helped him hone his strategy for taking intoxicated women home from bars to rape them.

The story also revealed that the woman’s rape kit, after it was tested, connected her attacker to a previous rape. This comes a few weeks after our story on how the SDPD is defending its policy of not testing some 2,400 rape kits it collected after attacks.

Opinion: Time for the City Attorney Candidates to Say Where They Stand on Key Issues

In a new op-ed, Taisha Brown, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Democratic Club, says we still don’t know where the city attorney candidates stand on important issues facing the office, like the need for neighborhood-based attorneys, their investigative powers over police practices and sex trafficking.

The election is the time to change that, she argues.

“Our next city attorney must go beyond platitudes and slogans, she writes. “Both candidates must make their views public so they can be held accountable.”

In Other News

Postal workers in San Diego ran up $8.1 million in costs by driving nearly 7,000 miles more than they were authorized, according to a new federal report. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Filipino children are far less likely to apply to a federal program that lets unauthorized immigrants defer deportation and get work permits than their peers from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. A new program from Alliance San Diego called the Ready Now San Diego Project is looking to address the problem by reaching into the Filipino community. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego State University is in discussions with Major League Soccer to build a new stadium, smaller than the one the Chargers are trying to build downtown, that would house an MLS team and the Aztecs. (KPBS)

Andrew Keatts

I'm Andrew Keatts, a managing editor for projects and investigations at Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org...

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