The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the city will pitch three temporary tents in Barrio Logan, Midway and East Village to house people who are homeless.
As Lisa Halverstadt reports, those three sites had actually been on city officials’ radar all along.
Faulconer pledged quick action on the homeless issue back in January. By June, he explained the lack of progress by saying it was important to do things right and get buy-in. By that time, city officials had already looked at many sites for homeless shelters and ruled them out.
But now, Faulconer and others have been spurred to action by San Diego’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak, which is making international headlines.
The crisis appears to have tilted the scales for Faulconer toward action over waiting for consensus:
City leaders didn’t have to wait for the conditions on the streets to get so bad before finally springing into action. “Lives are on the line. We need to take action,” he said Wednesday.
“The city could have moved forward sooner,” Halverstadt writes.
• After Wednesday’s press conference announcing the tents, a City Council committee unanimously directed the city attorney’s office to draft an emergency declaration over San Diego’s lack of shelter space. So what does that mean? Councilman Chris Ward said the declaration could help the city access additional state and federal funding. The Anaheim City Council also unanimously voted to declare a state of emergency on its growing homeless issue Wednesday. (Times of San Diego, OC Register)
‘All We Want Is an AIDS Memorial’
In 1994, a proposed AIDS memorial for Balboa Park got close to being built in Balboa Park before it was ultimately killed by the City Council at the time.
Two decades later, there’s finally some real momentum, and it looks like an AIDS memorial will finally get built, but not everyone’s on board with the latest iteration.
In my latest story, I talked to Glen Schmidt, the landscape architect who designed the old AIDS memorial for Balboa Park, and asked him what he thought about the new plans for a much smaller AIDS memorial in a new neighborhood park in Banker’s Hill.
“It’s significant enough of an issue and affects a significant amount of people in our community,” he said. “It deserves more than to be hidden in small pocket park buried in the community.”
I also talked to other folks who have some issues with the new memorial.
Meanwhile, longtime LGBT activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez, a member of the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force that’s pushing the project, said he thinks the new park is a fine location, and that he’s just glad it’s finally going to get done.
• From the VOSD archives: Read about a local doctor who’s been involved in the AIDS battle since the beginning, or explore the role of AIDS in San Diego politics.
North County Love for SANDAG Reform Bill
AB 805 passed the state Legislature this week and is on the governor’s desk.
The bill, which would restructure voting at the San Diego Association of Governments and bring a series of oversight changes to regional planning agency, hasn’t been popular with the region’s smaller cities that say they’d be stripped of power.
But this week, Encinitas became the first city in North County – and one of the only small cities in the region – to support it. This latest North County Report highlights that story by The Coast News, plus links to other news about the world’s first talking sex robot that was designed by a company in San Marcos, the latest on a pregnant Oceanside woman who was detained then released by ICE and more.
• In more news from the north, the race for California’s 49th Congressional District, which includes northern coastal areas of San Diego County, is going to be intense. Political editors at the Los Angeles Times have pegged Rep. Darrell Issa as the state’s most vulnerable House incumbent. In case you’re wondering, they’ve ranked Rep. Duncan Hunter as No. 8 despite the shade his opponents will likely throw at him thanks to his questionable campaign expenses.
The Battle Over ‘Comic Con’ Isn’t Over
Is “comic con” a generic term? That question is at the root of San Diego Comic-Con International’s lawsuit against rivals in Salt Lake City. San Diego Comic Con says Salt Lake Comic Con is guilty of trademark violation, while Salt Lake says there are dozens of events using the term.
The Associated Press reports that a judge’s split decision handed down Tuesday means the case could go before a jury in November.
• Two other pieces of arts and culture news: the San Diego International Airport held a press conference Wednesday touting the latest addition to its growing public art collection, and local arts writer and poet Charlene Baldridge died. (Times of San Diego, Union-Tribune)
Trolling the Chargers
Former Chargers fan Joseph Macrae raised $10,000 via an online crowdfunding campaign to pay for a billboard meant to taunt the Los Angeles Chargers, reports Yahoo Sports.
Macrae says there will be five billboard images in all. The first shows NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with the words “No Freaking Loyalty” written on it, and it’ll be posted near the Chargers’ temporary stadium in Carson.
• The future of the Chargers’ former home is still unclear. San Diego State University’s director of athletics told the Union-Tribune that the school wants to roll out its plans for a new multi-use stadium for the Aztecs and possibly a Major League Soccer team by Dec. 1.
The Reader’s Don Bauder says the SDSU plan should get preference over the private investor’s plan for the site. But he says the school should leave the actual stadium right where it is.
“There is no reason on earth that San Diego State should tear down Qualcomm and build a new stadium,” he writes. “Qualcomm is an architectural wonder, an icon.” Architects agree!
Quick News Hits
• Halla Razak, the head of the city’s water department, is leaving to become general manager of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in western San Bernardino County. Razak led the water department for four years and helped advance the city’s water recycling project, which is expected to eventually provide a third of the city’s drinking water. Vic Bianes, an engineer and manager, will fill in for her temporarily until a full-time replacement is named.
• In a press release, the city announced that it’s developing a new strategic plan that will “help welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees into the community.”
• Read dueling Union-Tribune op-eds about California’s twin tunnels project: pro here, con here. For background, Ry Rivard recently broke down some major unknowns about the multibillion-dollar project.