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A conceptual rendering of SDSU West’s river park plan. / Image courtesy of SDSU
A conceptual rendering of SDSU West’s river park plan. / Image courtesy of SDSU

Even if SDSU West — Measure G — fails, SDSU officials are committed to taking over the land and establishing SDSU Mission Valley. The university really is busting at the seams. It has friends in high places in the California State University system, which has endorsed its vision.

It could not be better situated to pull of an expansion.

What’s less clear is how the university would pay for the land and development costs its going to take on to implement that vision.

Our Ry Rivard examined the university’s needs and ideas.

University officials declined to share with him documents and plans for how they’d come up with the first $550 million to buy the land, prepare it and fund a new park along the San Diego River. Oh and then there’s the new stadium for Aztec football.

One of its consultants laid out a plan for Rivard for part of the site and why the university is confident it can insulate students from the new costs. 

In the end, a vote for SDSU may come down to a belief in the promise of higher education, rather than any specific building here or there.

Group Sues San Diego Unified Over Board Election Process

A group called Parents for Quality Education has sued the San Diego Unified School District and others in an attempt to change the way the school board conducts elections.

Right now, school board members run in a small subdistrict during the primary, then face voters citywide in the general election. The lawsuit argues that forcing candidates to run citywide, instead of solely in the subdistricts, dilutes the voting power of minorities and therefore violates the California Voting Rights Act.

Several cities throughout San Diego County have switched to subdistrict-only elections in the face of Voting Rights Act lawsuits or the threat of one.

San Diego Unified’s unique election process has meant many people vying for these important spots stroll onto the school board unopposed. Running citywide is so expensive that it deters many candidates, and virtually ensures that someone without teachers union support has no chance.

Though there’s currently a measure on the local ballot to institute term limits for school board members, the board and the City Council declined to pursue subdistrict-only elections.

Bry Announces She Opposes Rent Control Measure

Several local leaders have decided not to weigh in on Proposition 10, the statewide ballot measure that would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act and allow cities to implement stronger rent control measures.

But City Councilwoman Barbara Bry is not one of them – she explains in a new VOSD op-ed that she is against the measure.

“Sadly, history and an enormous volume of research into this problem have shown that rent control does not create more housing – and creating housing is the primary solution to the pain that so many Californians are feeling,” she writes.

Money Laundering Bust Pays Off for Local Police

San Diego law enforcement groups will get millions of dollars thanks to a plea deal that forced a bank to forfeit $368.7 million “after it admitted to not investigating or reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious transactions that were likely linked to organized crime in Mexico,” Maya Srikrishnan reports in this week’s Border Report.

Groups like SDPD and Chula Vista PD helped investigate the case, so they’re getting a cut.

Two experts explained to Srikrishnan the types of laundering most likely to happen along San Diego’s border with Mexico and how investigators probe those cases.

“We follow the money, so one of the first things we try to see is how a person is banking, how they’re spending their money, where their money is coming from, so by nature, we always go and look at the bank records first,” one IRS agent told us.

Signature Gathering Battles Break Out

Well, just as we predicted, a scuffle has broken out in the signature gathering world over the Newland Sierra project near San Marcos. The project, which would create 2,100 homes, did not conform to county zoning laws. It has also generated some environmental concerns. But county supervisors approved the change to their plans last week. This kind of thing happens but it doesn’t always have opposition as fierce and as resourced as this one.

As expected, the owners of Golden Door resort hired signature gatherers to force the supervisors’ decision to a voter referendum.

And, as expected, the Newland Sierra backers have hired people to show up and dissuade people from signing the petitions. Often called “blockers” the anti-signature gatherers have the same First Amendment rights as their rivals (and also the same ability to drive grocery store managers bananas).

A sample of the literature Newland Sierra’s paid blockers are handing out. / Image via Latham & Watkins
A sample of the literature Newland Sierra’s paid blockers are handing out. / Image via Latham & Watkins

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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