- Voice of San Diego - https://www.voiceofsandiego.org -

Morning Report: 101 Ash St. Accusations Still Flying Back and Forth

101 Ash St. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The landlord of 101 Ash St. is accusing the city of violating its lease – and not just for failing to pay rent but for failing to notify it of renovations made to the building [1] that likely triggered county asbestos violations.

101 Ash LLC, the entity created to facilitate a lease-to-own deal with the city, filed a notice of claim against the city last month for its failure to pay the nearly $535,000 rent it owes each month, reports VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt.

Along with that notice, which is considered a precursor to a lawsuit, La Jolla attorney Michael H. Riney sent a letter [2] alleging a series of other breaches.

Riney alleged that the city did not seek the landlord’s consent to alter the building with renovations exceeding $2 million and that the city did not provide invoices for work funded by a $5 million tenant improvement allowance from the developer. Finally, Riney said the city did not maintain a contract with an outside company to manage the property.

City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office disputed the claims this week, telling Halverstadt that the city “disagrees with Mr. Riney’s characterization of this transaction and the allegations made in his letter and has sought court intervention.”

Pete Wilson Statue Gone … for Now

The nonprofit that removed its downtown statue of former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson this week said it did so to protect the piece, and believes it represents all that’s great about San Diego.

Monday, a small group of activists for racial justice and equality held a press event and demanded that the statue be taken down.

Sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, the nonprofit that owns the statue did just that.

“All property … whether statues or real property … must be protected. With this in mind, we have decided to secure and protect the statue in a place of safe keeping,” Stephen B. Williams, the president of Horton Walk, a nonprofit that owns the statue, told VOSD in an email.

The group raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and placed the statue outside of Horton Plaza in 2007 but protests dogged them even that day. Wilson is widely credited as the most effective politician in modern San Diego history, who transformed downtown and set in motion the political culture that still has many lingering attributes of his leadership. But he went on to become governor, a perch from which he articulated major misgivings and fear about immigration.

Ultimately, he promoted Proposition 187, a measure that would have vastly curtailed the inclusion of unauthorized immigrants in California life, barred them from schools and other social benefits. It’s widely seen as the beginning of the demise of the California Republican Party and its ability to connect with Latino voters. Some have also pointed out how the proposition also galvanized young Latinos and got them active in politics in ways we’re still seeing the impacts of [3].

“He is a purveyor of hate,” said Enrique Morones, a Latino rights leader, according to the Union-Tribune.

Williams didn’t acknowledge that perspective when detailing the statue’s removal.

“As mayor in the ‘70s, Pete established the redevelopment agency to attract investment to our blighted urban core. Today, fifty years later we San Diegans have one of the most beautiful waterfront cities in the world,” Williams wrote.

But he said the statue’s future is uncertain.

“No decision has been made at this time as to when or if the statue will be returned,” he said.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.