Both proponents and opponents of the Plaza de Panama overhaul are confident they will succeed.
Two opponents of the project have filed separate lawsuits hoping to thwart it. But city staff and outside consultants are simultaneously moving forward with design plans and other construction documents.
Lisa Halverstadt updates us on the project, checking in with those working to push the project forward and those looking to stop it in its tracks.
Halverstadt reports that the city expects construction bids to go out later this year and for construction to start in March 2018 – both later than initially expected. But despite the delays, the city, the Plaza de Panama Committee and consultants working on the project are confident they’ll prevail against legal challenges.
Opponents of the project are just as confident in their efforts to halt the project. There are two separate trials set to begin on complaints related to the project next month and in late September.
Sacramento Report: Affordable Housing Bill Clears Major Hurdle
Sen. Toni Atkins’ bill to fund construction of affordable housing through a $75 fee on certain real estate documents passed the Senate Thursday, clearing the two-thirds vote threshold needed.
Because it would provide a much-needed funds for low-income housing construction, the bill was one of the most crucial among the more than 100 housing bills proposed in the legislature this session, writes Sara Libby in her weekly round-up of state politics.
Also in this week’s Sacramento Report Ry Rivard writes about a bill that would make government outsourcing to private companies and nonprofits more difficult and more on the San Diego Association of Governments attempts to put forth its own measure to counter the state reform bill
• Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher also wrote a fiery Facebook post in support of the state’s reform bill AB 805.
Dumanis’ Last Day
Friday was Bonnie Dumanis’ last day as district attorney. She stepped down and is considering running for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors.
The Union-Tribune’s Dana Littlefield has a deep dive into her career as the county’s top prosecutor – a position she’s held since 2003. Littlefield details Dumanis’ history as a public figure, including some of her biggest controversies.
We’ve delved into some of those controversies, particularly Dumanis’ involvement in a campaign finance scandal in which Mexican businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura donated lots of money to her 2012 mayoral bid.
VOSD Radio: More Housing? Maybe!
In this week’s VOSD podcast, Andrew Keatts speaks with David Graham, the city’s deputy chief operating officer for neighborhood services, to break down how the “Housing SD” plan laid out by the mayor last month will address the city’s affordable housing shortage.
Keatts and Scott Lewis also report on other stories we’ve been following, like the future of SANDAG, why the Chargers left and the mayor’s involvement in SoccerCity.
Quick News Hits
• Modern Times is aiming to become California’s first employee-owned brewery. (Eater San Diego)
• Sweetwater Union High School District says it sold 8,800 aging iPads after an inewsource story found that nearly 90 percent of the iPads purchased by the district in 2012 were classified as lost, stolen or damaged. (inewsource)
• SDG&E is rolling out new rate plans for customers based on what time of day they use electricity. (10News)
• This must-read from the L.A. Times uses the history of those iconic freeway signs of crossing immigrants and their disappearance in San Diego to show how we’ve become less of a crossing point for undocumented immigrants.
Most Popular Stories
These were the top five most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of June 30 to July 7. To see the full top 10, click here.
Public defender Geneviéve Jones-Wright, in her career history and perspective, would change direction from the law-and-order, tough-on-crime mindset that has dominated district attorney races not just in San Diego, but around the country. (Andrew Keatts)
Armed Union troops and Confederate wannabes faced off here in 1861. (Randy Dotinga)
Three times in the past 30 years, SDG&E has outmaneuvered local politicians looking to disrupt the company’s power monopoly. Now, SDG&E faces another round of competition from local governments across the county. (Ry Rivard)
California Sen. Kamala Harris has quickly become an outspoken opponent of Republicans’ immigration policies. In an email interview with VOSD, Harris discussed deported veterans, private detention centers and waiving polygraph tests for potential border agents. (Brooke Binkowski )
Anger builds over Chinese Historical Museum director’s ouster, neighbors aren’t fans of the Observatory North Park, Suzie’s Farm calls it quits and more in our weekly roundup of the region’s arts and culture news. (Kinsee Morlan