The Morning Report
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This week, Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought The Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune from Tronc, a Chicago-based media publishing company that owns papers across the country.
On a new episode of the Voice of San Diego Podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt discuss what the paper’s new owner might mean for San Diegans.
The U-T has changed hands several times over the last decade. Each new owner has made big shifts at the paper, changes that were often most visible on the editorial pages, or with the investment in its staff and coverage areas.
There seems to be a wave of cautious optimism washing over the city as Soon-Shiong takes the reins. So far, the billionaire has talked about the important role that strong, local journalism plays, and he’s signaled that he intends to let the papers preserve their missions and independence.
Also on the podcast, Halverstadt and Keatts talk about pot, and how the legalization of it is disrupting local government and playing a role in this year’s top law enforcement races.
Saldaña Push for a Progressive County Vision
In the second half of the show, the hosts talk to Lori Saldaña, who’s running for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ Fourth District, about the issues motivating her.
Saldaña talks about her change from an Independent to a registered Democrat after her outspoken criticism of the local Democratic Party’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations against former Mayor Bob Filner. She also offers her take on the turmoil in the local organized labor movement surrounding sexual harassment allegations against Mickey Kasparian and gives her thoughts on affordable housing, homelessness, public health, the county’s cannabis ban and more.
She also addressed how she would handle being the lone progressive on the county board if she wins. She said she’s confident she can get buy-in from the rest of the Republican supervisors on issues like clean energy and affordable housing.
“What I intend to bring forward is not just policies that will be voted down by colleagues,” she said. “I can find some common ground. Not a hundred percent of the time, but certainly on some issues that are important.”
Hero of the Week
This week’s hero is VOSD contributor and freelance journalist Kelly Davis and the attorneys at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton who represented her pro-bono after she was hit with a demand from the county to give up notes, interviews and recordings linked to a series of investigative stories about the stunning death toll in San Diego-area jails.
Goat of the Week
The city’s water department gets the goat this week. Residents facing exorbitant water bills have recently inundated the city with complaints, and the city’s handling of the issue has been lackluster at best.