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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
The history of San Diego’s urban parrots, unanswered questions about the Chargers’ stadium plan and Bloody Marys might have officially gone off the deep end.
The San Diego Police Department has a retention problem. Officers leave faster than the city can hire new ones.
City leaders tried to solve the issue by offering officers better pay and benefits. That didn’t work, so now the department’s considering a new solution to stave off brain drain and keep numbers up: Hire retirees.
VOSD’s Andrew Keatts reports that the police union is circulating a proposal that would allow the city to hire back retired officers for another five years. If the policy’s eventually passed, it would come into play just as a big wave of potential retirements is on the way – Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman’s retirement among them.
Thing is, the rehired officers would collect both a pension payment and a paycheck, which brings up old fights over double-dipping.
Keatts talks with Brian Marvel, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association, who said the department needs to do something to mitigate the coming wave of departures.
“We can’t recruit our way out of attrition,” he said. “We need some breathing room while we bring additional bodies in.”
The Union-Tribune’s Dan McSwain goes on a “quest for clarity” and breaks down the Chargers’ plan to fund a new downtown stadium.
He says if the initiative passes in November it’ll protect the team’s business interests for the next three decades while leaving the taxpayers with lots of head-scratching.
For one thing, McSwain says the initiative wants voters to trust that the city will be good at managing a new convadium, despite a track record that indicates otherwise.
“Sure, the Chargers’ initiative would ensure the complex isn’t starved for cash, and the team would control stadium upkeep,” he says. “But booking and running the convention center is left to government.”
• Meanwhile, the East Village People continue their quest to come up with an attractive alternative to the Chargers’ plan by piecing together a plan of their own for the plot of land where the convadium’s being proposed.
“The Chargers invited themselves down to build in our neighborhood and it doesn’t work – it’s not going to enhance the community it’s going to ruin it,” said architect Rob Quigley, one of the group’s heaviest hitters. Andrew Keatts broke down the group’s thinking and why its members aren’t interested in a downtown stadium.
• Several seats in the city’s suites sat empty at Qualcomm Stadium and Petco Park last year because city leaders were too squeamish to dole them out. Councilman Chris Cate has a proposal to reform the system and the U-T’s editorial board is into it.
The U-T asked a handful of local economists, small business owners and other stakeholders about the big minimum wage hike coming to California. Unsurprisingly, some folks see it as the ultimate job-killer and others praise it as a great equalizer.
ICYMI, VOSD’s Sacramento contributor was there when the minimum wage bill passed and described the San Diego delegation’s involvement.
The Associated Press reports on the past, present and future of those urban parrots that somebody in San Diego has been shooting.
The birds escaped the pet trades in Mexico and now live in California and Texas, where there are now more of them than in their native country. Researchers hope the urban birds could help save the species, which is dying off in the tropics and subtropics.
Of course, the loud squawkers and annoyed nearby gun owners will have to learn to come to terms.
• Golf courses, with their big swaths of green, well-watered grass even in droughts, aren’t known for environmental friendliness. But a radical redesign of the Mission Bay Golf Course could transform it from environmentally destructive to beneficial. Proposed changes include “marshes disguised as water features,” retention ponds and more. (U-T)
• Two dozen exotic dancers from San Diego can proceed with their lawsuit against San Diego police officers, who they say held them against their will and photographed them during a compliance raid. (Los Angeles Times)
• Some San Diego Republicans don’t appreciate Donald Trump’s approach to politics. (U-T)
• The plane that crashed on I-15 this weekend has landed on that freeway before. (AP)
• Rep. Scott Peters gave a shoutout to Charter School of San Diego for winning a big national education award.
• This San Diego SeaWorld walrus from the ’80s has some flair.
• I’m a big fan of a good Bloody Mary and an even bigger fan of Bloody Mary garnish (bacon? yes please). But in this case, I think the garnish has officially been overdone.