Just when you thought it was safe to delete all your stadium talk e-mails and blog posts, the Sports Arena rears its head!

On the VOSD Podcast this week, Scott Lewis describes a polling call he received that floated changes to the coastal height limit and other zoning issues. The lease for the Valley View Casino Center, or San Diego Sports Arena, or circle thing next to Kobey’s Swap Meet, is up in 2020 and sits on public land.

Hosts Lewis, Sara Libby and Andy Keatts break down what changes to these restrictions could mean for the land, the city, and who might be benefiting from it all.

Also on the podcast this week: Keatts sat down with La Mesa City Councilman Colin Parent to discuss the future of driverless vehicles, and what that would mean for the city’s infrastructure and public planning.

Parent doesn’t mince words: “That’s all the more reason to be thinking critically about whether or not we should be spending as much money on, say, roads, or instead dedicating more funds to non-car infrastructure for public transit.”

Sacramento Report: New Kids on the Block Have the Right Stuff

San Diego sent some new faces to Sacramento this session: Assemblymen Todd Gloria and Randy Voepel. Transition isn’t always easy, and a new system means a lot of changes. Sara Libby had the chance talked to Voepel and Gloria about the challenges and surprises they’ve experienced making the Sac Town Leap.

“The state does not move as fast [as the local level], and the legislative process is far more complex. As someone who is addicted to delivering results, this has been frustrating. The silver lining is that whatever positive changes I can make in Sacramento have the potential of impacting many more people.” Gloria said.

California residents probably aren’t shocked by Assemblyman Gloria’s sentiment, but knowing both San Diego delegates are shooting for collective success is a good start.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed seven bills from San Diego lawmakers this week, including Sen. Toni Atkins’ SB 2, which imposes a $75 fee on certain real estate documents in order to fund affordable housing efforts. SB 2 was part of a bigger package of bills to address the state’s housing crisis, which Brown signed in a ceremony Friday.

San Diego Opinions: CCAs, Short-Term Rentals and More

Friday was an opinion-packed day at VOSD:

• Mark Hughes argued that the review of a city-commissioned study on community choice aggregation was full of flaws, suggesting the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute wasn’t qualified to undertake the review.

• A new memorial has been proposed by San Diego’s AIDS Task Force. The location for the new memorial leaves a lot to be desired, writes Bankers Hill Community Group President Amie Hayes. Hayes argues that the proposed space at the Olive Street Park in Bankers Hill is inadequate due to lack of bathrooms, parking and space for public gatherings. Hayes also wishes that the memorial location would have been decided by the public, not task forces and advocacy groups.

• After last week’s commentary from Councilman Chris Ward suggesting the right move would be to legalize short-term rentals citywide, John Thickstun has his own suggestion: It’s time to enforce the existing law, and get rid of short-term rentals once and for all.

Around the VOSD Podcast Network

The Kept Faith: The weekly sports-focused pod gets political this week discussing #TakeAKnee, and how this plays out for the NFL, Donald Trump, and fans of both.

SD Beer Talk: This week the guys are live at Circle Nine Brewing interviewing Michael Peacock about his innovative tap system – TapCraft.

Cura Caos: After a short break, our partners from beyond the border are back with a great look in to local hip-hop, ancestry and the one and only Real J Wallace.

I Made it in San Diego: VOSD’s podcast about the people behind San Diego businesses throughout the region gets artsy: I sat down with New Village Arts Executive Director Kristianne Kurner to discuss how the theater company went from a chicken coop to a Carlsbad centerpiece.

Stories From the Outside

• The father of a special needs student at Scripps Ranch High was deported Thursday. (KTLA)

• Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are on the rise in San Diego. (NBC San Diego)

• A fancy San Diego pasta chef has won a fancy Italian pasta-making award. (Eater)

• Time is a flat circle, which is why ferret advocacy is still in the news. (Reader)

• The San Ysidro School District got hit with a malware attack. (inewsource)

Top Stories of the Week

These were the five most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Sept. 22-28. To view the full top 10 list, click here.

1. Months of Emails, Then a Mad Scramble: How the Hepatitis A Crisis Unfolded Behind the Scenes

Emails show county and city officials exchanged sporadic, cordial emails about the hepatitisA outbreak for months. Even when officials did express concern about the virus, those concerns remained mostly private. (Lisa Halverstadt)

2. Tijuana Sewage Is Not Fueling the Hep A Outbreak, But the San Diego River Might Be

The hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego has brought together a volatile cocktail of rampant speculation and uncertain science. (Ry Rivard)

3.  Some Poway Unified Employees Have Racked Up Several Years’ Worth of Vacation Pay

Some Poway Unified School District non-teaching employees have racked up several years’ worth of vacation time beyond what they’re allowed. The district’s internal controls over vacation time were found lacking in two different audits over the last year, and former Superintendent John Collins was fired, in part, for allegedly cashing out vacation time he wasn’t entitled to. (Ashly McGlone)

4.  Vacation Rentals Are Here to Stay, and It’s Time for Reasonable Regulations

The right framework for San Diego will balance the range of objectives while remaining foremost committed to safety and security. (Chris Ward)

5. City Power Brokers Restart Talks to Fund Convention Center, Homelessness Solutions

A handful of powerful city leaders from both sides of the aisle met Friday morning, renewing negotiations for tax increases to expand the Convention Center and create new revenue sources to address the city’s homelessness and affordable housing crises. (Andrew Keatts)

Dallas McLaughlin is a freelance contributor for Voice of San Diego, as well as a writer and co-host for The Kept Faith and their weekly podcast. 

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