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In 2013 the city of San Diego was defending police officer Anthony Arevalos against a lawsuit filed by a woman he had sexually victimized while on duty. Court documents revealed how part of the city’s defense was to claim that by giving Arevalos her underwear, the woman had bribed a police officer, and was therefore the one who was in the wrong.
That argument didn’t fly once the public got wind of it, but it stuck with Sara Libby, who recently had the opportunity to ask the two candidates for city attorney, Mara Elliott and Robert Hickey, where they stood on victim-blaming. Where, Libby asked, was the line between effectively defending your client and acting in a professional way that San Diegans don’t find abhorrent?
Hickey advised staying far away from that line, arguing that victim-blaming was a bad defense. Elliott, however, initially appeared to defend the city’s argument, saying the city attorney must defend their client. “If that was a true statement, it needed to be stated,” Elliott said. But Elliott also said she wasn’t too familiar with the details of the case, and that if the underwear bribe claim was false, “of course we shouldn’t be advocating for somebody to propose something that is false.” Later in the week, after Elliott had reviewed the case, her campaign said she rejected the city’s panty bribe claim. “It is never appropriate to blame the victim,” Elliott’s campaign manager told Libby. “This argument was not appropriate.”
The Learning Curve: Return of Teacher Churn
The annual drama of teacher churn inside San Diego Unified is once again in full effect, leaving students and parents shaking their heads at an opaque process confusing to everyone involved. Mario Koran refreshes on why teacher churn happens (teachers are suddenly reassigned to go where student attendance demands it) and breaks down what the process for picking schools and teachers looks like. The teacher shuffle is “a long process that starts in the spring,” Koran writes, and is impacted by any number of factors from students not showing up to portable classrooms closing down.
“The start-of-the-year-teacher-shuffle may be one of the few topics that parents, school board members and district employees recognize as problematic,” Koran reports.
Encinitas’ Measure T: San Diego Explained
Encinitas’ Measure T is an effort to bring Encinitas into compliance with California law requiring affordable housing by increasing housing density in some parts of the city. In our most recent San Diego Explained, Maya Srikrishnan and NBC 7’s Monica Dean point out how Enicinitas residents have, until now, fended off similar efforts to increase density. After a public process, the city has now brought Measure T to voters in an attempt to get the city in line.
Opinion: Quigley Bad, Spanos Good
In a new op-ed, special adviser to the Chargers Fred Maas comes out strongly in favor of Measure C and building a stadium by attacking one of the measure’s most outspoken opponents, local architect Rob Quigley. Maas calls Quigley a NIMBY and a “small town undertaker” and says Quigley’s opposition to the downtown stadium project “is the height of hypocrisy and self-interest.”
Maas writes the costs to replace parking and the MTS bus yard alone are staggering and make Quigley’s concept of an education-oriented city center unrealistic. Measure C “provides $650 million from the Spanos family and the NFL, and they should be heralded, not vilified,” Maas writes.
Rep. Hunter Presses for Private Ship
Six days before the Coast Guard was to have an acquisition hearing in front of a subcommittee chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter, private contributors connected to a shipbuilder donated $18,000 to Hunter’s campaign. At the hearing, Hunter advocated for the idea of the Coast Guard buying or leasing a private ship owned by the same shipbuilder associates who had so generously donated. In a letter, Hunter estimated the private ship to be “$33 million per year to lease, or $150 million to buy.”
• County supervisor candidate Kristin Gaspar has revoked her endorsement of Donald Trump. (KPBS)
• Bernie Sanders had a big rally in National City in March. That city sent him a nearly $30,000 bill for police and other services rendered during the event. (NBC 7)
• San Diego’s Measure A proposes a tax increase to pay for transit infrastructure and isn’t popular with environmentalists. Los Angeles’ Measure M is a similar idea and enjoys environmentalist support. KPBS looks into why the two measures are viewed so differently.
• Rural Metro has fallen short on meeting required response times in several zones in San Diego, so they must pay fines and submit a plan to fix it. It’s just the latest chapter in a long, unending ambulance saga. (NBC 7)
• “Restructuring” and “layoffs” are not terms you usually hear in the context of craft brewing, but Stone Brewing announced they’ve recently done both. (NBC 7)
• Fusion has this story of the travails of trying to find a date across the border using smartphone apps. I bet young lovers can really dig deep and get to know each other during that three-hour border wait.