101 Ash St. / File photo by Adriana Heldiz

Tuesday, the San Diego City Council decided to settle the lawsuit it filed against Cisterra Development and CGA Capital, the owners of 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza, the two towers adjacent to City Hall. 

The settlement, its terms, the legal merits and the politics got a lot of attention. But over the past five weeks since the proposed settlement was announced, city leaders became much more comfortable talking about the main reason they wanted the settlement: They wanted the city to own the two buildings outright. 

A lot of people, including the city attorney, pointed out that one of them is uninhabitable. 

That’s quite alright: They wanted the buildings so they could embark on one of the largest, most complicated, most ambitious real estate development plans the city has undertaken. 

As Scott Lewis lays out in a new essay, city leaders want to redevelop the entire civic core surrounding City Hall. They already gave themselves a deadline to lay out how it will go: Oct. 31. And they think it will have thousands of units of housing, a new City Hall, a new fire station, new Civic Theatre and much much more. 

Read more about the perhaps under-discussed extraordinarily ambitious undertaking the city has given itself. 

The Learning Curve is Back (Again)

After a brief hiatus following Will Huntsberry’s promotion to senior investigative reporter, Voice of San Diego’s education newsletter The Learning Curve is back. 

In his first entry, former intern Jakob McWhinney, who has taken over the education beat, writes about what drew him to journalism and the transformational potential of education. 

He aims to approach education reporting in a more holistic way that embraces all of the learning that occurs both in and out of the classroom.

Read McWhinney’s first newsletter here. Subscribe to The Learning Curve here.

University Agrees to Stay Quiet About Sexual Harassment Claims

The CSU San Marco Title IX office has found that two professors engaged in sexual harassment against students. Though the professors denied the claims, officials concluded their version of events weren’t credible.

Even so, the Los Angeles Times reports, the university agreed to generous settlements with the professors, “which included voluntary resignations, paid administrative leave and, in one case, expunging records of disciplinary action from his personnel file.” The university agreed not to volunteer any information about the Title IX investigations. 

It is, the newspaper notes, only the latest in a series of scandals that have called into question the CSU system’s handling of misconduct claims.

For years, Voice of San Diego has documented similar cases in schools across the region. Last year, we reported that a different CSU San Marcos professor was reassigned after an investigation found he sexually harassed his former teacher’s aide and three other students. 

In Other News 

  • The city of San Diego took a key step toward reviving its ban on polystyrene foam food containers, which poison marine life and damage the health of people who eat seafood. Enforcement of the ban, approved nearly three years ago, was delayed due to a lawsuit. (Union-Tribune) 
  • inewsource analyzed invoices and found that San Diego County spent more money on security at a COVID-19 hotel shelter than on food for people isolating there. 
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of a couple who sued members of the Poway Unified School District Board of Trustees for blocking them on social media. The court found that by blocking the couple on accounts it considered public forums the trustees violated the First Amendment. (This Bloomberg story is paywalled but U-T reporter Greg Moran also tweeted a screenshot of the ruling.) 
  • National City may be getting its first marijuana lounge soon. (NBC 7)
  • After mounting public pressure, U.S. Customs & Border Protection have altered plans to rebuild the border fence at Friendship Park. The original plans would have ended the long-standing ability of individuals to physically interact with those on the other side, but officials have confirmed that new plans would preserve that tradition. (NBC 7)

The Morning Report was written by Scott Lewis, Jakob McWhinney and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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