District Attorney candidate Robert Brewer and supporters wave signs in Little Italy.

The White House wants Bob Brewer to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.

If the veteran attorney secures confirmation, he’ll be overseeing federal prosecutors in San Diego and Imperial counties. The role would plop him right into the middle of the chaos resulting from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ zero-tolerance immigration policy, the federal-state disconnect on marijuana and more.

VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt and Sara Libby break down three things to know about Brewer’s background.

The CliffsNotes: Brewer’s had a long legal career, but not tons of prosecutorial experience. He ran for district attorney against Bonnie Dumanis in 2014, but lost. And as an attorney for Sempra, he tangled with the Mexican businessman who illegally donated money to local politicians’ campaigns in 2014.

Activist Hospitalized After Council Meeting Arrest

Tasha Williamson, a community activist who was arrested for disrupting a public meeting in National City Tuesday night, said she was taken to the hospital after the encounter at her own request.

She and others were demanding more information on the death of Earl McNeil, a black man who was restrained by National City police in May and later died in a hospital.

“We will shut National City down,” Williamson told officials at the meeting. “You will look like Ferguson when we are done. We are tired of the brutality that continues to happen.”

Williamson told me that she suffered muscle strains from being pulled around by handcuffs. Both she and her attorney, Monica Montgomery, allege they were prevented from talking to one another while Williamson was in police custody.

A National City police spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Jesse Marx

Sanctuary Showdown

A federal judge in Sacramento heard arguments in the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s so-called sanctuary laws Wednesday, the L.A. Times reports.

For a refresher on what laws are being challenged, here is an explainer on SB 54 and the other two laws at the center of the lawsuit, which deal with immigration detention facilities and work audits.

  • A report links deaths at immigration detention centers, including two at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, to subpar medical care. (Union-Tribune)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris will tour the Otay Mesa Detention Center Friday.

Fox News Host Seizes on U-T’s Description of Child Migrant Facility

On Monday night, after receiving pushback for describing facilities where children separated from their families are kept “summer camps,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham invoked reporting from the Union-Tribune. U-T immigration reporter Kate Morrissey likened a facility she toured to a “boarding school.”

But Morrissey said on Facebook Live that Ingraham “grossly misstated what the story said or what the story was trying to convey. She took two words from the story very much out of context of the whole or even the first three paragraphs.”

Stephen Colbert and the Union-Tribune’s Luis Gomez also weighed in to set the record straight.
“Where the children go afterwards doesn’t really have anything to do with the trauma from being taken from your family members or the trauma from having made the journey all the way here from your home country,” Morrisey said in the Facebook video. “I try really hard to be as fair as I possibly can in this very complex and very emotional beat, and I’m not going to overplay something I don’t see happening,” she said.

San Diego Unified: Charter School Out, Condos In

Innovations Academy in Scripps Ranch. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

The San Diego Unified School District Board voted this week to close and relocate a charter school, then lease the property the charter was renting to a developer with plans to build luxury apartments.

The deal has its critics. Some neighbors oppose the new project because of worries about parking and other impacts, and others don’t like the part of the deal that requires the district to spend $20 million so the charter school it’s forcing out can build a new location, NBC 7 reports.

As we pointed out about the deal in 2016, “in doing so, the district is eliminating a potential home for charter schools, and is spending down the share of money charter schools have to construct new ones.”

In Other News

  • The California Coastal Commission rejected Del Mar’s short-term vacation rental rules for being too severe, Ruarri Serpa reports in this week’s North County Report. The city wanted to require visitors to stay a minimum of seven days and wanted residents to open their homes for no more than 28 days annually.
  • A City Council committee is looking into creating a permit and fee system for the companies that own all the shareable bikes and scooters you see everywhere. Application fees and bike removal fees could help the city pay for enforcement efforts and other things that would keep the bikes and scooters from causing problems. (Time of San Diego)
  • Hundreds of FieldTurf customers across the country – most of them public agencies like schools – have artificial turf fields that are falling apart. The company is suing the supplier it says is responsible for the defective product, but rather than just replacing the turf, FieldTurf gets many of its customers to spend more money on upgrades, writes the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. VOSD’s Ashly McGlone investigated the San Diego County public schools that funneled tens of millions of dollars to FieldTurf’s defective product, and revealed how the company demanded schools pay more money for a sturdier replacement.
  • Lemon Grove approved its first medical marijuana dispensary Tuesday. Last year, residents in Lemon Grove and La Mesa voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, but the rollout has been rocky. Both cities prohibit dispensaries from being too close to places like schools, churches, public parks and day care centers. It turns out that day care centers are all over the place, which left little land that actually allowed dispensaries. And in Lemon Grove, a man who wanted to open a dispensary there has accused a councilman of assault; an investigation and lawsuit are underway.
  • A new downtown waterfront park is one big step closer to being built. (Fox5)

Corrections

Wednesday’s Morning Report misstated the possible increase to city water bills in order for the city to address stormwater issues. The increase would be about $9 a month on average.

The Morning Report was written and compiled by Maya Srikrishnan and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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