There’s a new group of suitors in town hoping to charm San Diego into greenlighting a new stadium project.

And their proposal for Mission Valley has some attractive pieces: a small stadium for an MLS team, plus housing, entertainment and a river park.

But they have a big hurdle to overcome, Scott Lewis writes.

Cities must show MLS their projects could get built quickly, yet “a project of this magnitude could take years to approve.”

The group of investors pushing the project hopes to get around the problem by going to the ballot. If backers can get the measure qualified for the ballot, local officials can simply OK it without any vote actually taking place.

“Will it work for the people who want to bring soccer to Mission Valley? It won’t be easy,” Lewis writes.

In case you missed it, Lewis and Andy Keatts vetted the stadium proposal on the latest episode of the VOSD Podcast.

Surging Elderly Population Needs New Ways to Get Around

It’s become a joke on Twitter to throw out half-baked ideas for new apps by saying something like, “Uber, but for sandwiches” or “Uber, but for term papers.”

But Claire Trageser at KPBS has details on a new venture that really could be described as “Uber, but for the elderly.” That is, it’s a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, but it’s specifically targeted toward elderly residents who don’t use smartphones.

“Its users call the company’s operators on the phone, who then dispatch an Uber or Lyft to pick them up,” Trageser writes.

The service has the potential to fill a growing need in San Diego.

Last month, Maya Srikrishnan reported that as the region’s elderly population surges, MTS Access, the service that provides on-demand rides for the elderly and disabled, has seen its ridership numbers spike.

The Mayor’s Anti-Trump Balancing Act

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has tread a fine line when it comes to President Donald Trump.

Faulconer is notoriously conflict-averse, but he’s spoken out against Trump, a fellow Republican, multiple times. Yet his criticisms, especially his recent remarks on Trump’s refugee ban, have been relatively muted. Instead of condemning the order for ripping families apart, for example, Faulconer has talked about wanting to protect “commerce” and “culture.”

Faulconer kept up the balancing act in a press conference Monday with Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum. While the gathering – where the two pledged continued cooperation – was a statement in itself, “Neither mayor mentioned Trump or his policies specifically, and didn’t offer criticism,” reports City News Service.

Meanwhile, California joined with 15 other states on Monday to file a brief supporting the state of Washington’s effort to overturn Trump’s immigration order.

Heat Stays on Kasparian

The powerful local union American Federation of Teachers has issued a statement saying Mickey Kasparian should take a leave of absence, while complaints from women who have worked for him are reviewed. Kasparian, who is very influential in San Diego politics, is the head of the local United Food and Commercial Workers and the San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council.

The statement also seemed to express frustration with the movement to oust Kasparian.

“It is imprudent to drag the entire San Diego labor movement through this difficult process, forcing parties outside of the UFCW to choose sides in a matter that, at this point, can only be resolved through the legal system,” it reads.

In December, we reviewed everything we could find out about the two biggest complaints against Kasparian.

Quick News Hits

• Our Scott Lewis hosted last week’s Politically Speaking on NBC 7 San Diego and brought in a topic up our alley: the housing crisis in San Diego. On as panelists were Councilman Scott Sherman, Councilman Chris Ward and Maya Rosas, a land-use consultant. Here’s the first part, second and third.

• Sen. Toni Atkins is pushing an affordable housing bill that’s very similar to one that failed last year. Since the bills are so similar, critics are raising the same ol’ conflict-of-interest concerns. Atkins’ wife works in affordable housing. (Union-Tribune)

Two San Diego hospitals have a bad record when it comes to patients with hip fractures. (inewsource)

John Cox, a Republican venture capitalist from Rancho Santa Fe, is exploring a run for governor. (Sacramento Bee)

La Mesa on Monday started accepting applications to open medical marijuana dispensaries. (KPBS)

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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