Ex-Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman may no longer be the city’s top cop but misleading statistics she used to lobby against an expansion of marijuana licenses are still being used to dissuade local governments from allowing marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.
Last year, when she was still head of SDPD, Zimmerman described to the San Diego City Council what she said were 272 police radio calls at medical marijuana dispensaries over a two-and-a-half-year period as proof of public-safety concerns associated with them. Those statistics have since come up in regulatory discussions elsewhere in the county.
But Zimmerman’s numbers are deceiving. Jesse Marx found that more than a quarter of the 272 reports were tied to neighboring businesses, and only a fifth cited dispensaries as the location of a potential crime. Serious offenses may have been linked to some of the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries – including assaults and robberies – but those types of emergencies represented only a small portion of the total.
San Diego’s Storm Drain Problem Is Worse Than Its Streets Problem
The city’s got a major crisis underground that’s mostly under the radar.
A recent city audit found the city has a $459 million funding shortfall for stormwater infrastructure despite the fact that much of the city’s infrastructure could break any time. These underground pipes and tunnels handle water on the ground after it rains.
KPBS talked to city officials and advocates about what the city is – and isn’t – doing to address a crisis that’s far more dire than the city’s struggle to address crumbling streets and sidewalks.
Two years ago, another report recommended raising city fees on single-family homes to pay for stormwater needs but as Ry Rivard has also documented, city officials haven’t been eager to push it. At the time, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office said if raising fees requires voter approval, the city would deal with that in 2022. The mayor leaves office at the end of 2020.
- One problem San Diego doesn’t have, write SoNo Neighborhood Alliance board members Vernita Gutierrez, Kate Callen and Stephanie Jennings in a new-op-ed, is with its planning groups. The trio argues that criticisms of volunteer planning groups reveal a lack of understanding about their concerns with new developments.
The Vacation Rental Proposal Has Landed
Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s team has posted a staff report and ordinance language for his pitch to regulate short-term vacation rentals.
The mayor proposes allowing residents to rent out their entire primary residence six months a year and a second residence year-round. The new language released by the city clarifies that out-of-town property owners could get a license for one property. The mayor has suggested an annual $949 license fee for those rentals. San Diegans who remain on site while hosting guests would only be required to register with the city.
The staff report to the City Council cites data from a December report that VOSD requested from San Francisco-based Host Compliance, which has provided rental data to dozens of other cities.
One new figure in the city report: Host Compliance estimated that about 1,500 homes citywide function as year-round short-term rentals.
The City Council’s set to vote on Faulconer’s proposal on July 16. If the City Council approves those regulations, they’d begin going into effect by October 2019.
It’s Still Not Going Well for Padres Radio Station
The Padres’ flagship radio station is still embarrassing the city’s only major professional sports team. Entercom launched 97.3 The Machine in March, positioning it as stereotype of sports talk misogyny that quickly became a punchline for thinking sports fans. It hired Dan Sileo, a radio host who has faced multiple accusations of sexism, racism and anti-semitism. Then another host promoted his show by joking about suicides on the Coronado Bridge, leading to his departure and the decision to rebrand the station as 97.3 The Fan. Now, it turns out Sileo’s morning show has a 0.0 rating in its target demographic, putting it behind both of the other sports talk stations in town, the Reader reports.
- Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders will continue leading the business group through 2020, the Chamber announced Thursday.
- Mother Jones zooms in on San Diego’s struggle to move homeless San Diegans out of city-funded tent shelters and into housing.
- Café Chloe, a much-loved French bistro in East Village, is closing amid struggles to deal with state wage laws, including one that bars tip credits for servers. (San Diego Magazine)
- Chula Vista police have begun deploying drones to search for suspects and conduct search warrants. (NBC 7)
- A Normal Heights nonprofit plans to launch a network of churches and homes willing to temporarily house asylum-seekers across the county. (KPBS)
- San Diego’s airport is set to unveil a new wing for international arrivals on Saturday. (CBS 8)
- Sempra is poised to sell its renewable energy holdings after activists investors pushed them to unload. (Times of San Diego)
- National City is trying to lure Mexican craft breweries. (Union-Tribune)
- Adela de la Torre’s first day as San Diego State University’s new president was Thursday. Here are all the things SDSU’s first female permanent president did on her first day. (Daily Aztec)
- Ramona resident Dan Jauregui, aka Boltman, is debating whether to auction off his famous costume or to retire the Chargers mascot altogether following the team’s move to Los Angeles and his own clash with stadium security in Carson. (Times of San Diego)
- These are the San Diego neighborhoods where rent is rising the fastest. (10News)
The Morning Report was written and compiled by Lisa Halverstadt and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.