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A SANDAG analysis of the proposed SoccerCity project, which will go before voters in 2018, shows the development would generate more traffic than developers predicted. That’s bad news for the project, but it might be worse news for the city as it pursues its ambitious climate goals, Andrew Keatts reports in a new story.
That’s because the SoccerCity project is precisely the kind of development the city says it needs in order to his its big climate goals: The project is dense, and close to a trolley stop. Yet SANDAG predicts “Just under 17 percent of people commuting to or from SoccerCity are going to take transit, walk or ride a bike,” Keatts reports, compared to the city’s vision of 50 percent of people who live near a transit stop commuting by transit, bike or walking by 2035. “It raises difficult questions for local decision-makers. One is whether they can trust SANDAG’s analysis. If the answer is yes, then they may have to reconsider just how achievable the city’s transportation goals really are.”
The developer and other environmental advocates, however, say SANDAG’s analysis methods are flawed.
“The analysis shouldn’t matter, because they’re looking at the wrong thing,” said La Mesa City Councilman Colin Parent, who also heads a transit advocacy group.
Mayor Helps Give Labor Leader Seat on Convention Center Board
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer appointed labor leader Carol Kim to the Convention Center Corp. board of directors and the City Council approved her Tuesday. Kim is the political director of the San Diego Building Trades Council, a coalition of construction unions that helped tank the mayor’s push this summer for a special vote on expanding the Convention Center.
She will take the seat held by Stephen Cushman, the mayor’s point man on expanding the Convention Center for several years.
In September, we reported on negotiations behind the scene between labor leaders, activists and boosters of a Convention Center expansion. A push to get an initiative on next year’s ballot to raise hotel room taxes for the expansion could start up in 2018.
Border Arrests Are Down but Deportation Arrests Are Up
Arrests by Border Patrol agents, which tend to happen at or very near the actual border, have plummeted in the last year while arrests by ICE officers have skyrocketed, according to new numbers released Tuesday.
“The numbers released by the government Tuesday show that deportation officers are taking Trump’s call for an immigration crackdown to heart, even without the funding increase that the president has sought from Congress for more hiring,” the Associated Press reports.
Remember, though, that there’s a difference between arrests by deportation officers and actual deportations.
As VOSD’s Maya Srikishnan recently reported, deportations are actually down despite the surge in arrests. That’s because “immigration courts are fighting severe backlogs that are preventing cases from moving through the system.”
San Ysidro Finally Gets Some Public Art Love
San Ysidro, like many neighborhoods in San Diego outside of Balboa Park and downtown, is a public art desert. But that’s about to change, thanks to a new initiative that aims to bolster public art in four areas across the city, Kinsee Morlan writes in this week’s Culture Report.
San Ysidro resident Chris Sanchez told Morlan he’s glad the city is finally giving his neighborhood some attention: “It’s a community that someway, somehow, has always been ignored when it comes to public art and other city services,” said Sanchez. “It deserves the same opportunities as any other community.”
Also in the Culture Report: San Diego is establishing itself as a hub for arts programs aimed at veterans, artist James Hubbell has a new exhibition, it’s “Nutcracker” season and more.
A Bad Day and a Bad Year for Wildfires
It’s been an especially bad year for California wildfires: More than 1 million acres have been scorched so far, according to new data released Tuesday.
“State Fire Chief Ken Pimlott has told lawmakers that climate change is spawning more and bigger wildfires. Blazes on land under Cal Fire’s protection this year have burned more than twice the recent five-year average,” reports the Associated Press.
If you need that driven home, check out these stunning photos of the fast-moving fire that swept through Ventura County on Tuesday, via the Los Angeles Times.
Here in San Diego, SDG&E cut off power to an area in the backcountry Tuesday as a precautionary measure as the wildfire threat ramped up, the Union-Tribune reports.
Two years ago, we pulled together all the major development projects in the county seeking approval, even though they’re in severe wild fire risk areas.
In Other News
- A decision on a massive housing project in Escondido will likely be delayed until mid-2018. (Union-Tribune)
- The City Council agreed to a deal Tuesday to give San Diego Police officers a big pay raise. (Times of San Diego)
- KPBS broke down the plans to makeover De Anza Cove.
- This is a cool refresher on the Battle of Pasqual, the bloodiest battle of the Mexican-American War, which happened near San Diego. (Golden Stater)