The Morning Report
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The last time Luis Alberto Antonio Armenta spoke with someone, he told them he was going to Balboa Park. The next day, no one had heard from him. Calls from his mother went unanswered and he didn’t show up to work.
The following day, May 28, 2021, Luis’ body was found inside his parked car in Hillcrest.
He was lying face down on the passenger seat with his face on the floorboard and his feet over the headrest, according to a police report. He was missing a shoe and some of his personal belongings, family members said.
His death was ruled accidental from a meth overdose. But the circumstances surrounding his death, and clues discovered by the family, have haunted them ever since. Family members believe that the police wrote off his death as an overdose, without concern for finding out if he was with someone the night of his death.
Luis’ case is currently closed, but his family has decided to take matters into their own hands. They got their hands on security footage that shows an unknown man driving Luis’ car the night he died and a note at his memorial that read: “This man was murdered ask the blue house!”
In a new story, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña explains what we know about Luis’ case and his family’s search for answers. Read more here.
A Big Day for Vacation Rental Rules
Wednesday could be a pivotal day in the city’s long-running quest to regulate vacation rentals.
State coastal commissioners are scheduled to review proposed vacation rental rules approved by the City Council last year aiming to dramatically curtail rentals.
The Union-Tribune previously reported that commission staffers recommended that appointed commissioners sign off on the regulations that require approval from the state Coastal Commission to be implemented in coastal communities most frustrated by increasing numbers of Airbnbs and other rentals. The city has opted to wait until the Coastal Commission approves the new rules before moving forward with them throughout the city.
If commissioners give their stamp of approval Wednesday, the regulations could go into effect later this year following years of failed regulatory attempts.
For more details on the new rules and the city’s future implementation plans, bookmark this city webpage.
Elsewhere along the coast: The Union-Tribune reports the Coastal Commission is threatening to crack down if the North County Transit District moves forward with a plan to install a fence along railroad tracks on the Del Mar bluffs without first getting a permit to do so.
Dems Endorse Candidate They Previously Shunned
Mike Schaefer won a seat on the California Board of Equalization in 2018, representing San Diego County and much of Southern California. As Jesse Marx reported, Schaefer was in the right place at the right time and rode a blue wave into office without the backing of fellow Democrats.
That was then, this is now. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Schaefer got the party’s endorsement for his re-election bid. After his 2018 victory, he began hiring local politicos.
The 84-year-old has a long career — he’s run unsuccessfully for seats in multiple states — and what the newspaper dubbed “an ignominious past … that includes spousal abuse, legal sanctions for being a slumlord and a restraining order keeping him away from an actor on a beloved TV sitcom.” While serving on the San Diego City Council in the early 1970s, he was accused (and ultimately acquitted) in a Yellow Cab bribery scandal.
Schaefer’s chief deputy told the Chronicle that voters in 2022 shouldn’t focus on his past but on his performance on the tax board. Schaefer said he worked with the governor to help small businesses avoid tax penalties during COVID.
In Other News
- The Union-Tribune reports that advocates representing Chaldean residents have sued the county over a redistricting plan that split parts of El Cajon from the rest of East County, a move that they argue politically disenfranchises the community.
- Several former employees of the city’s new ambulance provider told 10 News they believe the company is falling short and records show Falck hasn’t always been able to schedule ambulances as often as it pledged in its city contract.
- Times of San Diego reports that regional grocery workers unions are signaling that they may proceed with a strike later this month following failures to finalize a new contract with wage increases that workers are seeking.
- The Union-Tribune reveals that a county review board investigation found a 33-year-old man who died in county jail last year should never have been booked and that a deputy failed to carefully check whether the man had ingested a foreign object.
- San Diego police said Tuesday that crime increased 13 percent in 2021. (Times of San Diego)
This Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Lisa Halverstadt and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Megan Wood.