With many of the bombshell revelations Andrew Keatts has reported about SANDAG, the agency in its official responses suggested it was just as surprised as the public to learn about some of the details.
When we reported that SANDAG misled voters on the 2004 TransNet measure by saying it would bring in more than $14 billion when the agency really expected only $12.9 billion, a SANDAG official confirmed the story was true but suggested it was a misunderstanding its officials were learning about for the first time. Now we know that’s not true.
Now, Keatts has obtained an internal presentation that shows SANDAG staffers explicitly knew at least nine months ago it had misled voters on the 2004 ballot, but never mentioned it to the SANDAG board of directors despite having talked about the very subject several times over the last year.
The presentation also makes clear that the agency knew one of its primary responses to its forecasting scandal — that the recession is the real reason its numbers have been so off — isn’t true, either. The agency had already revised down the amount of money it expected to raise from TransNet, without telling voters, years before the recession hit.
OB Takes Aim at Target
Here in my South Park neighborhood, Target Express has been quietly and unremarkably providing an easy place to buy shampoo and paper towels for almost two years now. It’s a far different scene than what protesters who opposed the store predicted. The traffic, chaos and havoc they all predicted never materialized.
Now the same fight is brewing in Ocean Beach, which is even more opposed to any corporate presence in the neighborhood.
In a new analysis piece, our contributor Dallas McLaughlin talked to folks on both sides of the issue and suggests it’s not impossible for Target to exist and for locals to still support local businesses nearby.
The OB Starbucks drew plenty of protests before it opened, after all. It’s still there, but so are lots of other local coffee joints, many of which are often packed, McLaughlin points out.
“That’s because locals have chosen to continually support those places instead of only spending money there when they’re facing threat of closure.”
Border Mayors Still Hate Border Wall
Mayors of U.S. and Mexican towns along the border were in town last week for a U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association gathering, and the Union-Tribune’s Sandra Dibble spoke to several of the U.S. mayors about their biggest concerns, and, unsurprisingly, they were united in their hatred for a border wall.
Most echoed a theme that’s been driven home in San Diego by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Mayor Jerry Sanders and others: the need for more connections and collaborations, not less.
“We have a very active trade zone in our city, and we realize the benefits,” said Mayor James Darling of McAllen, Texas. “We want to tweak it and make it better.”
• The New York Times has a cool post pairing colorful photos and interviews taken in Tijuana in May and June. The collection highlights everything from donkeys painted like zebras and Tijuana’s Pride parade to more mundane but beautiful scenes like a mother carrying her daughter across the street.
Quick News Hits
• The Union-Tribune sheds some light on the Mexican Mafia prison gang in advance of a big trial coming to San Diego Superior Court.
• A bill in the state Legislature would push back school start times to after 8:30 a.m. In case you’re wondering why school starts so early and why it’s so hard to move back start times, Mario Koran has got you covered. (Associated Press)
San Diego is preparing for its first football season without the Chargers. Union-Tribune data reporter Daniel Wheaton finds the Chargers are still San Diego’s most popular NFL team.
• Tents to house to the homeless is an idea that’s making a comeback, and it’s picking up support. (Union-Tribune)
• Bus drivers and mechanics for the North County Transit District say they’re owed thousands of dollars from First Transit, a national company that has a contract with NCTD to operate the bus system. (inewsource)