The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Yeah, the Chargers are gone. But the pain still lingers for fans, and covering the team’s activities poses a tricky problem for San Diego sports journalists. Some locals will want to “hate-watch” the team from afar, checking in on Chargers news in hopes of witnessing spectacular failure. Others are so passionate about divorcing the Chargers, they threaten to leave any news outlet that mentions the team. “Before deciding how much to cover the team, local outlets say they’ll take the temperature of Chargers fans over the next year,” Jared Whitlock reports.
Everyone agrees the appetite for Chargers news is going to shrink. Radio jocks who once spent hours covering the team’s minutiae will likely find something else to talk about. The number of print journalists will likely fall to a fraction of what it was, and TV stations may rely on picking up coverage from L.A. partners. “The crowded sports market there … will likely mean not a whole lot of Chargers coverage to pick up,” Whitlock writes. And how much do the Chargers care about keeping San Diegans engaged?
“The Chargers’ director of public relations, did not return an email requesting comment,” Whitlock notes.
• The Chargers officially terminated their lease at the Q on Wednesday by paying out a $12.5 million early termination fee. (NBC 7)
• The city might like to use that early termination fee to help plug a budget deficit in the city’s general fund, instead of using it to bring down the $38 million of outstanding debt on the stadium. (Union-Tribune)
• The Union-Tribune notes a long list of philanthropic efforts that flowed from the Chargers, which will presumably follow them out of San Diego.
Buskers Fight Back
Buskers are people you encounter in public places who are performing some show or exhibiting some talent, usually in hopes you’ll drop them a cash tip. Fortune tellers, mimes, musicians, caricature artists: all buskers. In her most recent episode of Culturecast, Kinsee Morlan points out many of these individuals also share a growing frustration with the way they are permitted and policed in San Diego’s public spaces.
Some spaces like Balboa Park require permits. Others areas like the public spaces outside Petco are arbitrarily carved out and street performers are completely banned. Police issue citations to offending performers. “It is, I mean, come on face it – it’s restricting freedom of speech,” one artist told Moran. “A group of artists plans to show up to the March 14 City Council meeting and demand better treatment,” Morlan reports.
The Learning Curve: Charters and Segregation
When a group like the NAACP stands up to oppose charter schools on the grounds that they encourage racial segregation, it’s going to stir controversy. That’s exactly what happened last year, and many people have been trying to digest research ever since to understand if charter schools really are hurting efforts at integration. Mario Koran looked into San Diego’s school system and reports on how different methods and mixed data make it hard to draw an easy conclusion on whether charter schools are good or bad for minorities.
Racial groups are often concentrated in neighborhoods, complicating efforts at integration. Some neighborhoods self-segregate in particular schools when other schools nearby aren’t attractive. Formal research is inconclusive. And some charter schools actively pursue integration by holding seats for students by ZIPcode, Koran notes. It’s a boat of issues that complicate efforts in determining how charters impact racial segregation.
SANDAG’s Budget Gap: San Diego Explained
In 2004, SANDAG promised to build a bunch of new projects like expanded freeways, bus lines and trolley expansions by raising sales taxes. Voters approved, but those increased taxes haven’t ended up bringing in nearly enough money to cover all the projects. So now the agency has to figure out how to deliver on projects with far less money than planned, and Andrew Keatts teamed up with NBC 7’s Monica Dean to refresh us on how all of this started and what comes next.
San Onofre Fiasco Far From Over
The Union-Tribune’s Jeff MacDonald catches up with the state of affairs when it comes to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power station. Five years ago, overwhelming pressure caused the station to shut down after a steam generator replacement went wrong. “Now the twin reactors on the north San Diego County coast generate drama and political intrigue instead of electricity,” MacDonald writes.
That drama includes ratepayers being on the hook for billions in costs, as well as a potential criminal investigation of the agency that was supposed to oversee utility companies. Meanwhile, work continues on burying radioactive waste along the waterfront, and activists intent on stopping it are getting a day in court in March.
• A group of 46 prominent San Diegans, most of whom identify themselves as Democrats, signed a letter to labor unions and state and county Democratic parties asking for an independent investigation into the allegations against union leader Mickey Kasparian. (Union-Tribune)
• Remember the Desert Line binational railroad? It’s still moving … through the courts, lawsuit by lawsuit. (San Diego Reader)
• Some timely advice on what dangerous mushrooms to be on the lookout for now that San Diego has learned of the existence of rain. (CBS 8)
• The New York times looks into cities shunned by the NFL that are now very interested in hosting a Major League Soccer team, such as San Diego.
• The Dalai Lama himself will commence with the speeching at UCSD’s graduation in June. (KPBS)
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.