The Morning Report
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Shelley Zimmerman, the current police chief, must retire next March because she already began taking a pension. As our Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby report in a new story, the identities of the members of a hiring committee and the job candidates will remain confidential.
They talked to the city’s chief operating officer, Scott Chadwick.
“The city isn’t going to announce a shortlist of finalists ahead of the decision, he said, because candidates currently employed elsewhere deserve privacy,” our story reports. “And it won’t announce who is on the hiring panel, he said, because he doesn’t want them to be lobbied by special interests or the candidates themselves.”
It’s how a lot of cities do it. It’s why a lot of them are criticized too.
“At this point, it’s entirely a secret process,” Councilman David Alvarez said. “It’s not a public process at all.”
Alvarez and activists also want more public hearings south of the 8. He and the other council members will get to vote for or against the mayor’s nominee for the job.
Arts Center Shut Over Fire Safety
City officials have shut down The Glashaus in Barrio Logan because of fire and safety concerns, and the galleries and artist studios there will need to get out before the building is demolished next month, our Kinsee Morlan reports.
The building on Main Street has been in business for nearly a decade, but the construction inside wasn’t legal. The city effort, by the way, wasn’t a direct response to Oakland’s deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire last year. The city’s been trying to force improvements for years.
The evicted artists, including at least one who worked with kilns, are worried that they won’t find an affordable place to go.
I Made It in San Diego Podcast: The 3D Shoe Lady
If the shoe fits… maybe it’s a 3D custom model created by a local company called Feetz, which lets customers use a smartphone app to order one-of-a-kind shoes created with 3D printers.
The latest edition of VOSD’s “I Made It in San Diego” podcast profiles the company’s founder, Lucy Beard, and explores how she worked through challenges like getting investors.
Opinion: Taxes Aren’t Solution to Housing Crisis
In a VOSD commentary, Mark Powell, a member of board of directors for the San Diego Association of Realtors and the San Diego County Board of Education, writes that higher taxes aren’t the solution to California’s housing crisis. Since the average San Diego can’t afford a typical home, and that’s not likely to change, “there is something government can do to help: Stop raising taxes and ease up on onerous lending constraints.”
• The lack of affordable housing is set to get worse, KPBS reports, as thousands of local homes are set to lose their affordability status when rent controls on them come to an end. Meanwhile, 10News says the feds have told the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad and San Diego County that funding for Section 8 housing vouchers is going to dip by 3 percent
Politics Roundup: National City vs. Bernie Sanders?
• National City is involved in a lawsuit against the Bernie Sanders campaign for $31,000 the city says it’s owed for costs related to a rally last year. (NBC 7)
• Turns out yet another monument on city property, this one again in Horton Plaza, has a tie to the Confederacy. CityBeat columnist John R. Lamb found this one, a four-foot-tall “milestone” marker from 1923 placed in honor of the cross-country “Lee Highway,” named after Robert E. Lee. This one may stay, however, since the “Lee” is barely noticeable.
• Five national monuments in California, but none here, may be cut or shrunk by the Trump administration. (AP)
North County Report: Escondido Debates a Privately Run Library
Critics don’t like plans to privatize Escondido’s library, and there’s talk that some volunteers will stop volunteering. In response, the city manager says it would be “ironic” if volunteers abandoned “needy patrons simply in protest of this proposed decision.”
The library drama is the lead story in this week’s VOSD North County Report.
Plus: More debate over how picky the agencies that help the homeless can be about their clients in order to get federal funds, the vanishing median along Vista Village Drive, a possible hack of Oceanside power customers and a San Onofre power plant cameo on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.” (This is still the best San Onofre cameo, however.)
Quick News Hits: Inside the City’s Weird Spending
• A New York Times story provides more insight into the big shakeup in the newsroom of the once highly respected L.A. Times, the sister paper of the U-T. Among those purged is the publisher/editor, Davan Maharaj, who apparently didn’t get along with his bosses at the media company known as Tronc (which sounds like the name of a robotic dinosaur).
• Variety has a juicier take.
• “A San Diego federal judge wants to expedite the case of a young ‘dreamer’ who claims to have been wrongfully removed to Mexico despite his protected status, with a trial that could happen in as little as six weeks,” the U-T reports.
• Tony Hawk skated around Mission Beach giving away free skateboards Wednesday. Couldn’t get more San Diego than that.
• Skyline Church, the local evangelical megachurch best known as being a major force behind the anti-gay Prop. 8, is doing something peculiar: It’s appointed an envoy to the United Nations as part of an effort to reach world leaders.
The envoy is former congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachman, who can’t stand the UN. (Times of S.D.)
• Cheap Costco surfboards are a thing, although plenty of surfers can’t stand them. (New Yorker)
• The U-T digs into a database of items charged to city credit cards and is waiting for answers on some of the charges, including $4,200 for decorative driftwood, $1,550 for a putting green and putters, $70.22 for movie tickets, $204 for “stress balls,” almost $2,000 for athletic shoes and $304 for a big pair of ceremonial scissors for ribbon-cutting ceremonies. (Sounds like a boon for Big Scissor.)
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.