The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
If you’ve seen the commercials for Measure C, the Chargers’ plan to build a convadium, the pitch to voters is that it’s “about more than football”: Former Mayor Jerry Sanders says the stadium will bring jobs and civic pride with it, too.
But the pitch the Chargers are making to city leaders behind closed doors is a little different: The Chargers “have made it a kind of loyalty test – a plea that San Diego leaders show their support for the football team,” writes Scott Lewis.
Even if the measure doesn’t garner two-thirds of voter support, which it might need to pass, Chargers owner Dean Spanos sounds like he’ll assess the amount of votes for a future decision about whether to pack up for L.A. (There’s a small chance that if the measure gets more than 50 percent of the vote, but not two thirds, it could become law.)
Many prominent groups and individuals, however, have decided to oppose C. The verdict is still out, though, on Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who has weighed in on a few state proposals but has been unwilling or unable to make a decision on something that “would have long-term, extraordinary consequences on the city he manages.”
• One of those prominent voices who has made a decision against Measure C is architect Rob Quigley, the man behind San Diego’s renowned Central Library.
In a new commentary for us, Quigley lays out his case: “NFL stadiums, unlike baseball parks, simply are not physically or functionally compatible with a city’s urban core. Even the city of Phoenix refused to put one next to its baseball park downtown. So did San Francisco. And no city has ever proposed locating a NFL stadium directly adjacent to its central library.”
The Demise of Toussaint Academy
Father Joe’s Villages has always been quick over the years to tout Toussaint Academy, its program that houses and educates homeless teens, to the media and the public.
So it was a big surprise when the homeless provider announced abruptly that it was shuttering Toussaint.
Lisa Halverstadt dug into the decision and found “a lack of funding and decreased demand for the Toussaint program led the nonprofit to make the difficult decision. The closure will be part of a larger shift Father Joe’s has said will provide dozens more permanent housing opportunities for homeless San Diegans.”
That doesn’t mean it’s been easy for those close to the program. Family members and teachers worry the kids enrolled will have to return to potentially dangerous situations.
Father Joe Carroll, the founder and president emeritus of Father Joe’s, told Halverstadt he simply couldn’t bring himself to go to Toussaint’s farewell party.
“It hurts too much to see it close,” Carroll said.
Hickey-Dumanis Feud Emerges in City Attorney Race
Robert Hickey’s rocky relationship with his boss, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, is the focus of a new attack ad against his bid to be the next city attorney.
Dumanis hasn’t endorsed Hickey, and she demoted him after he didn’t endorse her 2014 re-election campaign. Hickey and a past supervisor have said his demotion couldn’t have been performance-based.
Now, their relationship is the subject of an attack ad from a political committee supporting Mara Elliott, Hickey’s Democratic opponent. As of its most recent campaign filing, the committee had only one donation: $25,000 from the local chapter of the electrical workers union.
Dumanis issued a statement last year saying there were multiple strong candidates running for city attorney and she may revisit an endorsement later. With just over a month before the election, and a new ad out highlighting her feud with Hickey, she may be under increased pressure to do so.
Hickey advanced through the June primary relatively unscathed, as four Democrats battled to join him in the November runoff.
“Elliott needs a negative campaign to distract from the fact that she’s never tried a single criminal case, yet wants to oversee an office that handles 30,000 per year,” said Sara Kamiab, Hickey’s campaign manager.
— Andrew Keatts
Anger Lingers in El Cajon
Protests continued in El Cajon over the weekend as demonstrators expressed anger and sadness at the death of Alfred Olango. Law enforcement officers released video footage of the encounter that led to Olango’s death on Friday.
KPBS reports that 17 people were arrested in El Cajon Saturday night after police declared an unlawful assembly as the protests turned violent.
Protests were also held in downtown San Diego.
• The Union-Tribune’s Dana Littlefield has a nice analysis tying the anger over the El Cajon shootings to the broader national anger over the many deaths of black men at the hands of police. “Many people of color say their trust in the police erodes a bit more each time news breaks of another shooting, even when — and perhaps, especially when — authorities determine the shooting was justified,” she writes.
• Los Angeles police shot and killed an 18-year-old man on Saturday. Police have said they recovered a gun from the scene, but haven’t released details about what happened just before police opened fire. (L.A. Times)
Union-Tribune Ownership Change Called ‘Imminent’
A lot of national news observers took the Union-Tribune’s unprecedented decision to endorse a Democrat, Hillary Clinton, for president as yet another sign of how disgusted established Republicans are with the party’s nominee. But it was more of a story about the U-T’s revolving door of ownership. The previous publisher, Doug Manchester, is a major supporter of, and donor to, Donald Trump. Had he not sold the paper last year, he undoubtedly would have ensured it endorsed Trump.
And now, it looks like the U-T may have its fifth owner in the last seven years. Politico’s Ken Doctor reports that a deal between the U-T’s parent company, tronc, and Gannett is “imminent.” Gannett’s pursuit of tronc, which owns the U-T, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune and others, has been long and difficult. Nieman Lab’s Josh Benton noted the company’s stock has lost 30 percent of its value since it first started hunting tronc in April.
100 Years of Lions, Tigers and Bears
As San Diego’s Zoo turns the big 1-0-0, John Wilkens and Lori Weisberg examines the state of the zoo in 2016.
They note that SeaWorld has radically changed its entertainment offerings amid concern for its orcas, Ringling Bros. has stopped using elephants in its performances and the recent death of the gorilla Harambe has ignited new concerns about animals in captivity.
“Amid the shifting public attitudes about how animals are treated, zoos and aquariums everywhere are putting their focus on conservation,” they write.
Here are a few of our greatest hits involving the zoo from the last few years:
• We shed light on a little-known stream of taxpayer money that keeps the zoo sitting pretty even as the rest of Balboa Park racks up hundreds of millions in maintenance needs.
• Here’s the real deal with the parking situation at the zoo.
• And we fleshed out why zoos were able to largely avoid the criticism directed at SeaWorld in the wake of “Blackfish.”
• This seems like as good an opportunity as any for me to link to my fave part of the zoo, the dogs who are best friends with some cheetahs. Please look to these guys as a shining example of embracing your neighbors, differences and all, as this election drags on.