The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
“Can a City Ditch the Power Company? Not Without A Fight.” That’s the New York Times take on San Diego’s plan to provide city residents with 100 percent green power by 2035. Both San Diego Gas & Electric and its parent company, Sempra Energy, are challenging the city’s efforts.
The story looks at the dispute through the eyes of two local pastors. One, Rev. Gerald Brown, helps lead a group that opposes the city’s entry into the energy market. The city is thinking about forming a new agency to buy and sell green power, known as a community choice aggregator, or CCA. Brown also leads the United African American Ministerial Action Council, which has taken money from Sempra.
The second pastor, Bishop George McKinney, said CCA opponents are attacking the city because of the financial support they received from the energy company.
“I think that the inner-city residents are being taken advantage of,” McKinney told the Times. “The cost of energy now is escalating in the community. There has to be someone who is willing to speak truth to power.”
– Ry Rivard
Sacramento Report: The Great Sanctuary Debate
State Sen. Kevin de Leon is the latest politician to add some flame to the ongoing sanctuary state debate.
De Leon wrote The California Values Act or SB 54, the state’s law restricting how and when local law enforcement agencies can work with federal immigration officials. He was in San Diego this week, and made a stop at the border. There, he spoke with a DACA recipient who lives in Escondido, a city that’s become known as “Little Arizona” for its tough stance on undocumented immigrants.
“The city of Escondido was a perfect example of why SB 54 was needed,” de Leon said. He also called the city’s mayor “overzealous” and said police officers there are “tripping over themselves to help immigration officers.”
That’s just one of the nuggets in this week’s Sacramento Report. Also in our weekly roundup of news from Sacramento: another unsuccessful attempt to expand California’s legal definition of violent crime, Republican John Cox’s harsh words for Gov. Jerry Brown and more.
Local Schools Prep for Threats
About 200 local school administrators and law enforcement leaders gathered Friday to go over the protocol for how to handle school shootings and other threats, reports NBC San Diego.
The summit was the first-ever countywide effort to coordinate how schools and law enforcement officials can better prevent school shootings and violence.
Meanwhile, a bill that would require active shooter trainings for public school students twice a year, written by state Sen. Pat Bates, who represents parts of northern San Diego County, advanced this week.
Mario Koran’s Exit Interview
Friday was Mario Koran’s last day as a reporter at Voice of San Diego.
During his five-year tenure, Koran tackled school discipline, graduation rates, bilingual education and more. His regular Learning Curve newsletter was a must-read for parents and others interested in learning more about local schools.
In 2016, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Koran “Journalist of the Year” for his work uncovering administrative scandals by a former San Diego Unified School District board trustee.
In a new episode of our Good Schools for All education podcast, Koran talks about some of the work he’s done and the challenges he’s faced as the school district began shutting him out and denying him access.
• On this week’s Voice of San Diego podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis talk about how the Port of San Diego may be moving forward with a plan to help the city get back control of the piece of land that’s crucial for the Convention Center’s bayfront expansion. And later in the show, Tommy Hough makes an appearance to talk about his run to represent District 6 on the City Council.
In Other News
• Expect to see a fleet of new zero-emission buses cruising around San Diego, plus a few other public transit upgrades. The Metropolitan Transit System landed $40.9 million in grants funded by SB 1, the law most people know as the “gas tax.” You’ve probably heard a lot about the gas tax from signature-gatherers working for Republican activists who want to repeal SB 1. They say they have enough signatures to put the repeal vote on the ballot.
• The last in a series of town hall meetings on San Diego Unified school board elections and possible reforms is happening Saturday at Lincoln High School. (KPBS)
• A public park in Carmel Valley isn’t all that public. NBC San Diego found the recreation center at the park was only open to the public for 60 hours a week in the month of April due to private event rentals and other city recreation programs.
• Rep. Darrell Issa is refunding donations, since he’s decided not to run for re-election. inewsource took a look at where some of those refunds are going.
• The Union-Tribune’s Michael Smolens isn’t convinced by the argument made in a SoccerCity-backed lawsuit that seeks to kick a competing measure, the SDSU West plan, off the ballot.
• There’s a quick local history lesson in this Washington Post book review: San Diego and lots of other cities have fought efforts to memorialize Martin Luther King Jr. Downtown’s Market Street “was renamed for King in the late 1980s, but later reverted to Market Street after nearly 80,000 petitioners put the issue on the ballot, where it won close to 60 percent of the vote.”
I actually got the chance to see one of the old King street signs that was taken down. That was years ago, when I was reporting on a flopped effort to finally memorialize the civil rights leader with a large-scale piece of public art.