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

With SDSU’s new and improved offer for the Mission Valley stadium land, it seems like a deal with the city is imminent. 

But until it’s done, the public should recognize the magnitude of the moment, Scott Lewis writes in a new piece.

“This sale is not only about getting a fair and equitable deal for the city of San Diego. The transaction represents perhaps the city’s only chance to truly influence what happens on the land,” Lewis writes. “The moment the deal is done, the university will have only one true master: its own trustees.”

Labor unions, for one, have recognized this and have pushed for project-labor agreements to ensure construction workers of new projects on the land flow through union halls.

Taxpayer representatives, Lewis writes, should take similar steps and work to ensure the public gets its best deal out of this moment too.

The Politifest Mayoral Debate

This past weekend at Politifest, we hosted a mayoral debate on the topics dominating public policy debates in San Diego: housing, homelessness, transportation – and scooters.

City Councilwoman Barbara Bry, Assemblyman Todd Gloria and activist Tasha Williamson sat down with Voice of San Diego’s Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts for a heated discussion on all of the above.

Among the highlights of the live podcast now posted on our fine news website: Bry and Gloria’s differing stances on the Metropolitan Transit System’s Elevate SD ballot measure – and scooters – and Williamson’s unforgettable response to the scooter conversation.

“We are talking about scooters and bikes so passionately,” Williamson said, “but I can’t get police officers to stop killing people.”

  • Speaking of scooters, NBC 7 San Diego reports that the Mission Beach Improvement Committee took matters into their own hands earlier this week when the city said it didn’t have the bandwidth to add more scooter speed limit signage at the Mission Beach Boardwalk.
  • Back to Politifest: We’ve got one more podcast to share. Liam Dillon moderated a fascinating discussion about our state’s housing crisis. You can listen to Dillon’s conversation with Senate Bill 50 author Sen. Scott Wiener, whose controversial legislation would allow for increased density near transit, city development services director Elyse Lowe, SANDAG chief economist Ray Major and Circulate San Diego policy director Maya Rosas here.

A New North County Report(er)

VOSD’s Kayla Jimenez, who has spent more than a year investigating sexual misconduct in schools, is excited to refocus on North County and take the helm of our bi-weekly roundup of North County news.

In this week’s North County Report, Jimenez lays out the tension continuing to play out in Carlsbad following Councilwoman Barbara Hamilton’s departure, North County-related highlights from Politifest and more.

Look for more updates from Jimenez in coming weeks. She’s eager to get to know North County cities, leaders, readers and coffee shops so send her a note if you’ve got story tips, java suggestions or just want to say hi.

Blackouts Continue Amid Wildfire Warnings

Tens of thousands of San Diegans from communities including El Cajon, Fallbrook and Poway were left without power Wednesday as San Diego Gas & Electric sought to limit the risk of wildfires amid expected dry, windy weather.

Those outages led several school districts to shut down Wednesday, leading at least one superintendent to grapple with whether he will need to extend the school year to address the closures.

Patrick Hefflin, superintendent of Julian Union High School District, told KPBS she’s concerned the district may need to extend the district’s school year into June to meet state requirements even with the two emergency days the district had already added to the calendar.

At least five school districts, including Julian, announced they would remain closed on Thursday. 

News Roundup

  • City officials and community leaders want to transform a stretch of Fifth Avenue downtown from a car-filled roadway to an eight-block pedestrian plaza known as the Gaslamp Promenade. (Union Tribune)
  • San Marcos’ email system is down following a suspected cyberattack. (NBC 7) 
  • The labor-affiliated Invest in San Diego Families Coalition is calling for an audit of grants awarded by County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar following a Union-Tribune story uncovering possible conflicts of interest between Gaspar and a charity that received county grant money. (Union-Tribune)
  • County supervisors approved a program on Wednesday to make environmentally friendly vehicles and other transportation options more accessible to low-income San Diegans. (Times of San Diego)
  • City planners are pitching new rules meant to help religious institutions build housing in their parking lots. (KPBS)
  • The Southwestern College Sun, the school’s newspaper, is suing the college district in hopes of forcing the release of an internal probe of a 2013 campus shooting involving the district’s former police chief. (NBC 7)
  • The Nationals won the World Series Wednesday night and pitcher Steven Strasburg was recognized as the MVP, which means that former SDSU athletes were MVPs of both the NBA Finals (Kawhi Leonard) and World Series this year.

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, and edited by Sara Libby.

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