San Diego

Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Property Transfer for Transit Center

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Transfer Property for Midway Area Transit Center

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and representatives from SANDAG and the Navy signed off on a agreement to transfer the Navy property known as NAVWAR over to SANDAG so it can pave the way for the development of a major transit center.

Whether it’s in the Midway District or in Old Town, this is a big deal, which will allow for the redevelopment of the 72-acre property along Interstate 5.

Faulconer and SANDAG reps signed the agreement at the Pentagon with the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly.

In return SANDAG has agreed to build a “new state of the art facilities” for the Navy for NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – which used to be called SPAWARS).

Once the Navy makes the transfer of their 70 acre Old Town Campus site to SANDAG, SANDAG can begin redevelopment of the mass transit hub that could one day connect San Diego’s trolley system to the airport.

Also being planned for the site is mixed-use retail, commercial, and residential development. Signing the agreement at the Pentagon impressed our mayor.

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More on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and Charles Hatfield – ‘the Rainmaker’

January 23, 2020 by Source

Sweetwater Dam and Reservoir (Photo by Barbara Zaragoza)Editordude: The following is a reposting of a two-part series we published in 2016 by Patricia Maxwell on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and on Charles Hatfield, the “Rainmaker.”

Part 1

Originally posted Jan. 21, 2016

By Patricia Maxwell

Today’s residents of Chula Vista have much in common with citizens of a hundred years ago. Make that a thousand years or more. Southern California has always been an arid land, with cycles of drought, interspersed with wet years every now and again.

In December of 1915, San Diego’s city fathers tackled the issue from a completely different angle. They hired a rainmaker!

The impetus for their decision was the unfilled Morena Reservoir in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. A rock-filled dam had been completed in 1912, but the reservoir had yet to be filled beyond a third of its capacity. Other reservoirs in the area shared the same problem. None were filled and the city was growing.

The rainmaker, Mr. Charles Hatfield, said “I will fill the Morena Reservoir to overflowing between now and next December 20, 1916, for the sum of $10,000, in default of which I ask no compensation.”

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County Board of Supervisors District 1: A Big Change is Coming

January 23, 2020 by Doug Porter

District One Includes Point Loma and Sunset Cliffs

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Jan. 22, 2020

In 2021, for the first time in more than two decades, the 631,000 residents of District One will have a new representative on the County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Republican Greg Cox was appointed in 1995 to replace Brian Bilbray, who was moving on to the House of Representatives, has faced minimal opposition over his six terms. Now he’s termed out.

Democrats have a 72,000-person advantage in voter registration in the sprawling district, which includes the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and communities within Southeast San Diego, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs and parts of downtown San Diego. The district also includes the unincorporated communities of Bonita, Sunnyside, Lincoln Acres, and East Otay Mesa.

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Taking a Cue From Schools, Doctors and Hospital Should Color-Code Their Patients’ Conditions

January 22, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl

Twenty years ago the California State Legislature passed the Public Schools Accountability Act, leading to the creation of an Academic Performance Index. Each year, every public school was to be assigned an API score, ranging from 200 to 1000, to measure its success. Proficiency in English and Math, based on standardized test scores, were the primary measures of a school’s API.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, passed by Congress, was for all school children to become proficient in English and Math by 2014. After the failure of both of these well-intentioned efforts, the California State Board of Education has teamed up with the California Department of Education to launch still another plan to measure the quality of public schools.

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Reader Rant: The ‘100-Year Flood’ Will Come to San Diego Some Day

January 20, 2020 by Source

By Stan Levin

Through the 1960’s and 70’s I taught in the city’s public elementary schools. Each year I told my students about the history of a severe drought that San Diego had been experiencing up until late January, 1916.

A brilliant scoundrel, one Charles Hatfield, arrived on the scene, and convinced the public he could make it rain, but the distraught citizens would need to fork over $10,000 for it.

Be reminded that most of the county was watershed at the time, and the end of the line watershed was low lying Mission Valley, where rainwater from all directions ultimately found its way, and emptied into the sea downstream.

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‘Once Upon A Time’ in San Diego

January 20, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Trying to recover from the flu? Or avoid the wall-to-wall Impeachment imbroglio?

This is a pleasant, fun, and perfect distraction for anyone older than thirty.

Remember all those amazing San Diego gifts once readily available — and mostly free — but, now long gone. Try.

For example, once upon a time, kids could go the publicly-owned pitch and put golf course and learn to swing a club for free. Tap, ballet, and swim classes were also available — for free — from the City’s Park and Recreation Department.

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San Diego Has Four Open Seats for Judges on March 2020 Primary Ballot

January 17, 2020 by Doug Porter

There are four judicial seats appearing on ballots for the March primary. None of them are for incumbents. All are for seats vacated by a retiring judge. I wish it was easy to tell you who the progressive candidates are, but the way the system works makes it hard to tell.

With rare exceptions, incumbent judges run unopposed in the primary. In fact, unless there is announced opposition, incumbents names don’t even appear on the ballot.

One third of the 1,535 judges in the California Superior Courts compete in nonpartisan races in even numbered years. Technically the elections are for a six year long judicial “office” as opposed to an individual.

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San Diego’s Homeless Tied to Nearly 13% of All Fire Dispatch Calls

January 17, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / January 17, 2020

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.”

While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned the homeless have steadily increased.

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Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup Report for San Diego County 2019

January 15, 2020 by Source

From Surfrider / Coastkeeper Report

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County and San Diego Coastkeeper partner each year to host volunteer-powered beach cleanups across San Diego County in order to address the issue of trash on our beaches and in our oceans. In addition to hosting approximately six of these community events per month, both organizations host special cleanup events and empower individuals to host their own.

In 2019, our beach cleanups empowered 11,895 volunteers to remove 16,534 pounds of trash from our coastline. Additionally, they collected data on 237,452 separate pieces of trash.

This report, based on data from 196 separate cleanup events, provides a detailed picture of the waste we found on our beaches this year.

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4th Annual Women’s March in San Diego – Sat., Jan.18

January 15, 2020 by Source

4th Annual Women’s March – San Diego
Saturday, January 18, 2020
10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Waterfront Park (West Side)

From WMSD:

Our marchers continue to make a difference.

2020 Elections…a critical time, and Women’s March San Diego marchers are seen, heard, and powerful!

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California 78th Assembly District 2020 Preview: A Case of Name Recognition

January 14, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

Todd Gloria’s decision to run for Mayor of San Diego left the 78th Assembly District looking for a new legislator.

Comprised of coastal communities and center city neighborhoods, this is a solidly Blue district. It’s so Democratic leaning that Republicans haven’t even put up a candidate for 2020. Donald Trump won a mere 25.9% of the vote in 2016

So we have three Democrats on the primary ballot.

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San Diego Bans Marijuana Billboards Within 1,000 Feet of Children Gathering Locations

January 14, 2020 by Source

by Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / January 13, 2020

The San Diego City Council Monday approved a ban on marijuana billboards within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, public park, day care center or youth center.

The council voted 9-0 in support of the changes championed by Councilman Chris Cate after hearing from community members, most of them in favor.

Cate said the changes were necessary because state law applied to legitimate cannabis businesses advertising on billboards and is enforceable only by state officials, and not applicable to illegal cannabis businesses.

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Lime to Pull Its Scooters Out of San Diego

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Lime Scooter is pulling all of its scooters out of San Diego and says they will likely be gone by the end of January. The corporation is closing down its operations in 11 other markets as well.

Lime spokesperson Alex Youn said:

“As part of our path to profitability, Lime has made the difficult decision to exit San Diego and focus our resources on markets that allow us to meet our ambitious goals for 2020. We’re grateful to our team members, riders, Juicers and communities who supported us throughout this journey. We appreciate the partnership we’ve enjoyed with San Diego and remain hopeful we can reintroduce Lime back into the community when the time is right.”

Lime called San Diego one of the first cities to “welcome” their scooters but one of the last to develop rules. At its peak, Lime had 4500 scooters, or “devices” as some call them, in San Diego. So why is Lime leaving paradise?

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California’s 52nd Congressional District: Scott Peters 2020 Primary Challenges & Challengers

January 9, 2020 by Doug Porter

The second decade of the 21st century saw San Diego’s 52nd Congressional District change from red to blue. In 2010 it was represented by the second generation of the Republican Hunter family; in 2020 Democrat Scott Peters has a firm grip on the seat.

In part the shift in partisan outlook can be attributed to redistricting, but when Peters went up against Brian Bilbray in 2012, the GOP still had a voter registration advantage, despite redrawn boundaries.

The latest stats for the upcoming primary from the California Secretary of State show registered Republicans in third place, fifteen thousand voters behind No Party Preference and thirty five thousand behind Democrats. It’s a testament to the sagging fortunes of a political party burdened with inept local leadership and a cult figure at the top nationally.

So it’s safe to say an incumbent Democrat should feel optimistic about their chances for re-election.

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Evans Hotels Lawsuit Against Unions Over Bahia Resort Expansion Is Dismissed

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Labor Unions’ First Amendment Rights Upheld by Federal Judge

Bill Evans – the owner of Evans Hotels, which owns three major hotel resorts in San Diego, – wants to double the size of one of them, his Bahia Resort in Mission Bay. In order to accomplish this Evans would remove public parking and public access to the bay. The local community has been fighting him on this issue over the last couple of years, calling it a public-land grab. Remember, Mission Bay is public property – it belongs to all of us.

Joining the community fight against the Bahia expansion were a couple of San Diego labor organizations, Unite Here Local 30 and the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council.

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Duncan Hunter to Resign From Congress on Monday, Jan.13

January 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Republican who has been representing the 50th District in Congress, declared he will officially resign from Congress on Monday, January 13.

It was in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom sent Tuesday, Jan. 7 that he made the official notification.

On December 3 Hunter pleaded guilty to a felony involving campaign spending. He’s expected to be sentenced March 17.

Indicted in August 2018, after serving in Congress for ten years, he faced 60 federal counts as he and Margaret Hunter, his wife and former campaign manager, were accused of stealing $250,000 of campaign funds, using the monies for family vacations – including at least one to Italy – , groceries, his extramarital affairs and other non-campaign uses, including airfare for a pet rabbit.

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Urge SeaWorld to Send Orcas to Sea Sanctuaries and End Its Use of Animals

January 7, 2020 by Source

From PETA:

It’s been years since the release of the documentary Blackfish—whose “star,” Tilikum, died after 33 years in a concrete tank — but orcas at SeaWorld are still swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth by gnawing in frustration on the concrete corners and metal bars of their cramped tanks.

Other dolphins are still being impregnated, sometimes forcibly after being drugged, and 140 of them are packed into just seven tanks. Trainers use them as surfboards, riding on their backs and standing on their faces in cruel and demeaning circus-style shows. Facing mounting criticism, SeaWorld ended its sordid orca-breeding program — but this does nothing for the 20 orcas and hundreds of other dolphins, whales, and other animals who are suffering in the company’s tanks right now.

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San Diego City Attorney Puts Brakes on Changes Proposed for Neighborhood Planning Committees

January 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mara Elliott, San Diego’s City Attorney, has pushed the brakes down on a series of changes that have been speeding through the bureaucratic hoops as proposals for the city’s neighborhood planning committees.

In a legal analysis certain to frustrate those forces pushing for the changes, Elliott’s office stated that city policies actually have granted the groups an independent status that may force limitations to any new rules imposed on them. Proponents of the new rules claim

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It’s Time to Pay Attention! California Primary Two Months Away

January 3, 2020 by Doug Porter

California’s Primary is just two months away – March 3. In just over a month a supermajority of California voters will begin voting by mail for candidates and issues in the 2020 primary.

We citizens get the opportunity to vote twice in 2020. Traditional polling places will be open on March 3 (Primary) and November 3 (General election).

Our state has made it incredibly easy to perform the action of casting a ballot. What’s not so easy is deciding who to vote for, particularly once you get past the big name contests.

First off, you need to ask yourself:

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Final EIR Ready for San Diego Airport Changes

January 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego airport authority has released a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the San Diego International Airport’s proposed plan.

This is the plan, of course, – the one that has been presented here and there about the replacement of Terminal One with a new terminal with up to 30 gates. It involves circulation and road “improvements” naturally, plus modifications to Terminal Two, and the construction of a five-story parking structure next to Terminal One. There are links to the documents at the end of this post.

Here’s the official language:

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All of San Diego’s Congressional Reps Voted to Impeach – Except Hunter, Who Is Barred from Voting

December 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The four members of San Diego County’s Democratic Congressional delegation all voted for impeachment on that historical date when the vote was taken: Wednesday, Dec. 18. Reps. Susan Davis, Mike Levin, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, all Democrats, voted to impeach Trump on both articles — abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The lone Republican, Duncan Hunter, was barred from voting due to his recent guilty plea to federal corruption charges.

When Rep. Susan Davis got up before the microphone, she was fairly brief and abrupt (actually sounding like she had laryngitis), and said:

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San Diego City Council Bans Scooters on Boardwalks from Mission Beach to La Jolla, Not Ocean Beach

December 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In a close vote last Monday, December 16, the San Diego City Council voted to ban scooters and other motorized devices along the boardwalks from Mission Beach to La Jolla. The ban does not include Ocean Beach. It could be argued OB doesn’t really have a “boardwalk” or the one it has is very short.

At any rate, Councilwoman Barbara Bry has been pushing for a ban – and she got four other votes on Monday: Jen Campbell of District 2 – who reportedly strongly supported the proposal – , Monica Montgomery, Vivian Moreno and Mark Kersey. And Council President Georgette Gómez, Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Scott Sherman voted in opposition.

Bry is, of course, running for Mayor; Gomez is running for Susan Davis’ 53rd Congressional seat,

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U.S. Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling Protecting Homeless People

December 19, 2019 by Source

The US Supreme Court on Monday, Dec. 16, upheld protections for people who sleep or camp outdoors, after refusing to hear a case over whether cities could criminalize homelessness.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place an appeals court ruling that says the Constitution does not allow cities to prosecute people for sleeping or camping outside unless the city provides shelter for every single unhoused person in their jurisdiction.

The legal decision comes as soaring rents and deepening economic inequality have led homelessness rates to soar in some U.S. cities.[Including San Diego which has the fourth largest population of people who are homeless in the country.]

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Russia to Offer Trump Asylum If Things Go Badly for Him

December 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

If things go badly for Trump, Russia is getting ready to offer him asylum – much like they did to the former president of Ukraine when he was forced to flee to Russia in 2014 after the Ukrainian people threw him out. Okay, it was meant mockingly, but one never knows.

Over at the Daily Beast, reporter Julia Davis offered an in-depth look at various instances of Russian state TV’s reporting on Trump, in a post entitled, “Russia’s State TV Calls Trump Their ‘Agent’”. Davis reported on how Russian state TV does not even pretend anymore as they openly call Trump their ‘agent’ — and joke about offering him asylum

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Mayor Mayor on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

December 16, 2019 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / Dec. 13, 2019

I know what you’re thinking: we’ve got plenty of time to make up our minds about who to choose to be San Diego’s next mayor. No rush, right? Wrong!

Let’s get the timing straight. The primary election is coming up sooner than you think—the date is March 3, 2020. Then the top two winners will face off in the November 3 general election.

Now, let’s get the candidates straight. The frontrunners for mayor are Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria — both are Democrats. Civic activist Tasha Williamson is also in the running– for some voters she represents a protest statement. There’s also Republican candidate Scott Sherman— he’s the disgruntled candidate who voices cynical disgust for city government

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Impeach Trump Rally in San Diego Turns Out Hundreds

December 16, 2019 by Staff

An impeach Trump rally was held in San Diego, Sunday, December 15, in front of the San Diego County Admin Building off Harbor Drive. Reportedly, at least 400 San Diegans joined in the event – to send a message to Congress and the Senate.

The rally was part of the nationwide “Nobody Is Above the Law” protests.

This national mobilization is part of a massive, grassroots effort to ensure Congress holds Donald Trump accountable for using military aid to pressure Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections.

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San Diego to End All Facial Recognition Programs

December 13, 2019 by Source

Editordude: A group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF, just announced that due to their efforts, San Diego will cease all face recognition programs being used by more than thirty agencies in San Diego County.

In an article posted December 11 by Dave Maass – who used to write for Voice of San Diego – the face recognition system will be suspended on January 1, 2020. Maass called the programs “one of the largest, longest running, and most controversial face recognition programs operated by local law enforcement in the United States.” This is so important, we have to run the full article:

By Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

We just stopped one of the largest, longest running, and most controversial face recognition programs operated by local law enforcement in the United States.

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County Supervisor Abandons Effort to Make Developer-Friendly Updates to Official Description of Anti-Sprawl ‘SOS’ Ballot Measure

December 10, 2019 by Source

From SOS:

In a striking reversal, San Diego Supervisor Jim Desmond withdrew his last-minute proposal to change the ballot question for the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative that will appear in the March 2020 election voter guide.

The decision to withdraw the proposed changes was announced at this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Desmond’s proposed amendments closely reflected the misleading messaging of the “No on SOS” campaign, which is funded primarily by the Building Industry Association, an advocacy organization for the building industry.

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AMAZON and UPS: A Failed Marriage

December 9, 2019 by Source

By Richard Riehl

It was a dark and stormy night at the Riehl’s a couple of weeks ago, when Karen told me her ancient computer keyboard had been misbehaving. I suspected it only needed dusting, but unable to find our compressed air canister, I ordered a new keyboard from Amazon. It arrived the next day.

A few days later, I ordered a four-pack of Falcon Dust Off Electronics Compressed Gas Dusters. Amazon wouldn’t sell me just one. Buying four online was easier than driving to the nearest CVS store to pick one up.

Judging by how seldom we use them, our four new keyboard dusters will last longer than both of us. I must have inherited my security issues from my father. At my age, Dad wore a belt, plus suspenders.

Two weeks after my order, Amazon notified me that my package could not be delivered. I was told to check with UPS to find out why.

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Starting the Holidays with a Bit of History and Food from the Garden

December 5, 2019 by Staff

by Kathy Blavatt

The season changed as cold weather has arrived.

In November, my husband and I attended a Congress of History San Diego and Imperial County board meeting at Barona Indian Reservation. After the meeting was adjourned, we toured the school and the children’s native garden, which included a lovely mural.

After our visit to the native garden, we headed over to the Barona Museum.

The museum showcases Indian utilitarian and fine artwork displays, maps, and historical displays.

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