Pechanga Arena in the Midway District / File photo by Megan Wood

Chula Vista Fast Pitch, the fake charity that operated at Petco Park for nine years, got the boot from Sports Arena years ago, our Will Huntsberry learned. 

The reason is simple: Sports Arena officials easily verified the presumed charity wasn’t real. 

That makes three: Chula Vista Fast Pitch has operated under the presumption that it was raising money for girls’ softball in three major venues, locally – Petco, Sports Arena and Snapdragon Stadium. 

Charities staff concession stands in venues across the country and, in return, they get to keep roughly ten percent of proceeds. Chula Vista Fast Pitch was the largest group operating in Petco, as we reported last week. The group was pulling in potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. 

After learning of Voice’s reporting Snapdragon and Petco ejected Chula Vista Fast Pitch from those stadiums. Sports Arena, it turns out, didn’t need any help. 

At the time, concessions at Sports Arena were managed by a company called Levy. Within months, Levy figured out the ruse and sent Chula Vista Fast Pitch on its way, Levy confirmed.

Read the full story here. 

Bill Walton’s Still Mad at the Mayor

Former NBA star Bill Walton speaks at a press conference at the University of San Diego Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Studies on Sept. 27, 2022.
Former NBA star Bill Walton speaks at a press conference at the University of San Diego on Sept. 27, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

NBA legend and native San Diegan Bill Walton remains displeased with Mayor Todd Gloria’s homelessness response a month after police began enforcing the city’s new homeless camping ban.

Walton sent Gloria a long email early Tuesday raising a slew of questions about topics including deaths of homeless residents, what he believes is insufficient enforcement of the new city law and why the city isn’t providing more shelter.

“Please Todd Gloria,” Walton wrote. “I have some questions.”

Tuesday’s email wasn’t the longtime San Diego booster’s first long email to the mayor, as our Scott Lewis revealed last year.  After that reveal, Walton called for Gloria to resign at a September press conference.

At the time, a Gloria spokeswoman acknowledged the mayor was also frustrated with the city’s homelessness crisis but wrote in a statement that “unlike Mr. Walton, the mayor is translating that frustration into decisive, sustained action to improve the situation.”

Gloria’s office declined to comment on Walton’s latest screed.

Months after Walton’s eruption, Gloria successfully pushed for the camping ban. Signs banning tents have since gone up in multiple parts of the city that Walton cited in his latest email. As our Lisa Halverstadt reported last month, there’s even one right across the street from his home though Gloria’s team says it wasn’t a response to Walton’s complaints.

Meanwhile, San Diego police say they are slowly ramping up enforcement of the ban – though many unsheltered people are likely moving before they can be ticketed or arrested. 

North County Report: Must-read Healthcare History

Palomar Health in Escondido on May 23, 2023.
Palomar Health in Escondido on May 23, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Did you ever wonder what a health care district is?

In her newest North County Report, Tigist Layne gives us the answer. Layne has written extensively about Palomar Health, a health care district in North County, and its financial troubles. 

Health care districts are almost like a school board or city council. They are formed through the vote of citizens in a given population and then governed by elected board members. 

They were started after World War II as a means to turbocharge rural health care. At the time, rural areas had few hospitals. The market wasn’t going to create those hospitals on its own, so instead, they were created by a vote of the people – people who were willing to tax themselves, rather than go without a hospital. 

But because of Palomar’s rough finances, it’s in a tricky spot. It’s not as easy for a public hospital to open or close as it is a private one. 

Read her newsletter to find out why. 

In Other News 

  • Hey travelers, expect delays this week with the closure of Interstate 5. If you have a flight to catch, here’s a map on an alternative route. Caltrans will be doing repairs on a bridge deck over State Route 163. (Fox 5, Times of San Diego) 
  • The city of San Diego wants SeaWorld to pay $12 million in back rent. The city set a Sept. 6 deadline for that payment, but as of Wednesday afternoon SeaWorld had not responded to the City Attorney’s Office. The city voted in May to file a lawsuit against SeaWorld if the payment did not come in. (CBS 8, Union-Tribune)
  • It could get harder for parents to find childcare. KPBS reports that federal funds that helped keeps some facilities open is expiring.

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Lisa Halverstadt and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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