Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley on Aug. 28, 2023.
Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley on Aug. 28, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Yesterday, our Will Huntsberry broke the news about Chula Vista Fast Pitch, a charity that no longer exists but has been taking a cut of proceeds at Petco Park concession stands for almost a decade. It turns out, Petco Park wasn’t the only one.

San Diego State University’s new Snapdragon Stadium, which hosts college football games, concerts and soon, San Diego’s new Major League Soccer team, also contracted with Chula Vista Fast Pitch.

Some background: Venues across the country like Petco Park and Snapdragon often recruit charities to provide staffing at concession stands. Those charities then get to keep a certain percentage of concessions revenue.

At Petco Park, it’s estimated that Chula Vista Fast Pitch took home around $370,000 in only a five-month period earlier this year. But Chula Vista Fast Pitch isn’t a real charity.

At one point, a nonprofit by a similar name did exist, but it shut down in 2014.

Since then, two men have been using the name to contract with stadiums and take hundreds of thousands of dollars each year – money that could have gone to other, real charities at the stadiums.

Read the full story here.

County Supes Weigh-In On Water Divorce 

San Diego County Water Authority meeting in Kearny Mesa on July 27, 2023.

The County Board of Supervisors will vote today on whether to support a bill that would make it harder for two rural water districts to buy cheaper water elsewhere. 

Supervisor Joel Anderson, a Republican who represents much of southeast San Diego County, wants the board to support the legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner, a Democrat from Encinitas. The bill is backed by the city of San Diego and powerful labor unions who say these departing water districts would burden the others that remain in San Diego with costs to support water projects.

Note: Votes like this generally have no material policy impact other than to show political support. Anderson served on the Local Agency Formation Commission which gave the Rainbow Municipal Water District and Fallbrook Public Utilities District the green light to leave the San Diego County Water Authority back in July. Anderson voted against their departure, despite many of the Republicans on the board voting in favor of it. 

“While I applaud water districts for working hard to save their constituents money, it should never be at their neighbor’s expense,” Anderson told Voice of San Diego in a statement.

The bill, AB 399, would require everyone in the county have a say in the divorce. Under current law, only the water district’s customers need to vote to solidify their departure from the San Diego service area. 

The Water Authority’s board chair recently asked the County Registrar of Voters to stall a November election on the matter by the two departing water districts. The Registrar declined. 

Border Report: Tijuana’s Migrant Shelters Are Struggling 

Jeanne from Congo (left), Dorotea Sosa (center) and Suzianne from Haiti (right) while working in the kitchen at Refugio Salesiano Don Bosco in Tijuana on Aug. 24, 2023.

Tijuana’s migrant shelters provide thousands a lifeline. But the organizations that run them are scrambling for resources themselves, writes Voice contributor Sandra Dibble. 

She recently visited one shelter in eastern Tijuana that was alive with laughter and chatter. Dozens of migrants, all women and children, were starting their day. They hailed from Central America, southern Mexico, the Caribbean and Africa. 

The organizers of Centro Salesiano Project told Dibble that donations have plummeted since January. But people still need the organization. “They keep coming and coming,” said one coordinator. 

Read the Border Report here.

A San Diego Judge Is Suing the County

San Diego California Superior Court in downtown on April 28, 2023.

San Diego County’s chief public defender, Randy Mize, retired a couple of months ago leaving his coveted seat open for the taking. But there has since been a surprising development: a sitting San Diego Superior Court Judge wants the job, and he’s suing the county for it.

The judge is Michael Washington, who is assigned to a criminal trial department in Vista. He believes he should be eligible to apply for the job because he used to be an attorney before being a judge. The public defender job asks for applicants that were practicing attorneys the year preceding the public defender start date.

The lawsuit could result in all sorts of complications for what cases Washington can preside over as a judge moving forward.

It has also halted the hiring process, and it’s unclear when the case will be resolved.

Read the full story here. 

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, MacKenzie Elmer and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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