Morning Report: A Debacle of Arts and Taxes at NTC
Why schools aren’t backing the governor big-time, a company in
trouble, S&M community fears law and SD’s sports woes.
There’s a grand vision for the arts district in the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma. But now there’s a big obstacle too: unexpected property tax bills.
The nonprofit foundation leading the charge created several for-profit sub-companies to get federal tax breaks when they were getting going. But that, much to their surprise, no longer made them free from paying property tax.
Now, arts organizations there are facing a sudden and significant jump in their rent.
The city is going to pay more than $1 million to cover some of the past bills. However, as Kelly Bennett reports, “going forward, those taxes … could price out the very organizations these buildings were rehabilitated to house.”
Why the Silence of the Schools?
Local school districts are not exactly rushing to support the governor’s plan to kill redevelopment, which is designed to pump billions into education. In fact, they’re silent or close to it when asked if they’re with the program.
That’s more than just peculiar, a lobbyist and consultant says: “they ought to be ashamed of themselves.” Liam Dillon and Emily Alpert explain what’s going on: “Schools’ reluctance to aggressively back the proposal stems from confusion over how the state funds education and subsidizes development, murkiness on how exactly ending redevelopment would work and a lack of trust in the state to follow through on its plans.”
Where’s the $40 Million?
The energy company that runs the South Bay Power Plant is also tasked with cleaning it up at a cost of $40 million. The problem: the company is having lots of big problems, including the resignations of its entire board of directors and its two top executives. Will Carless examines what happens if it goes under and tries to find out whether that $40 million is in a safe place.
The city’s controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, “will cost San Diego taxpayers nearly $150 million over the next few decades but was still labeled ‘cost neutral’ in a long-awaited independent analysis of the benefit,” the U-T reports. That confirms what we’d been told two weeks ago when we tried to figure out why the report hadn’t been made public yet.
A Graphic Look at School Disabilities
We’ve created a graphic that will help you get a handle on our story earlier this week about how the number of special-ed students in San Diego schools has dipped. The graphic shows which categories of disabilities are falling or rising in numbers.
“Some of the disabilities with the biggest drops are the same ones that have been tagged in San Diego for unusually high numbers of minority students, such as emotional disturbance and speech impairments,” education reporter Emily Alpert writes. “Yet autism is way up.”
Nope, No Big Boon for Cities
City News Service reported on the fight over redevelopment and said “the governor wants to redirect all the tax money to the general funds of cities.” San Diego Fact Check says that’s false.
Senator, a (Safe) Word?
State Sen. Christine Kehoe is pushing to crack down on domestic violence with a new law regarding attempted strangulation and suffocation. But, as CityBeat reports, a unique community is worried: the “the kink and fetish lobby” fears the law will pose problems for those who engage in consensual activities that involve control of breathing.
City Contract’s Cost ‘Alarmingly High’
In an editorial, CityBeat questions the City Council’s approval of changes to a consulting contract, now worth about $464,000, for “technical assistance” in efforts to house the homeless downtown. It’s unclear, the newspaper said, why the downtown redevelopment agency “needs consultants to point the way toward homelessness solutions,” especially considering that there’s already a Housing Commission. It adds that the contract’s cost is “alarmingly high.”
Nope, Not a Banksy
It made the front page of the U-T and got more attention than any piece of local art that I can think of other than the girly surfer statue in Cardiff that keeps getting dressed up. But the graffiti on the side of a taco shop in Oceanside wasn’t actually by the artist known as Banksy, the person (his identity is kept hidden) who made an Oscar-nominated documentary called “Exit Through The Gift Shop” and a nifty “Simpsons” intro. So says Banksy’s public relations firm, KPBS reports.
I must be getting old. I remember when graffiti vandals weren’t famous, didn’t hire p.r. firms, and were generally a pain in the neck.
Photographer Sam Hodgson took a trip down to the Tijuana River Valley on assignment and was riding in a truck through a flooded area that didn’t look too dangerous. Then: Bam! His strangely beautiful photo captures the moment when water met windshield.
A Mistake (with Marmaduke & Co.) Was Made
A concerned Morning Report reader (I’m still waiting to one day get a note from an unconcerned reader) wrote in on Tuesday wondering what happened to the U-T’s comics pages. They’d run the same comics two days in a row. Comic-a culpa, the U-T said yesterday, blaming a production error. If you’d like to see the comics you might have missed (that nosy old crone Mary Worth is making trouble again!), try page C8 in the online edition of Tuesday’s paper. It’s available for free.
SD’s Legacy of Sports Misery
San Diego is making the national news (and not just because, as Stephen Colbert noticed the other night, a prolific local 70-year-old has become the oldest person to be inducted into a hall of fame devoted to the adult film industry). San Diego has landed in fifth place on the annual Forbes list of the 10 most miserable sports cities.
“The city is credited with having four professional sports franchises over the last 75 seasons (Clippers and Rockets included) and have compiled just 1 championship (1963 AFL Title) in the last 93 professional seasons,” notes the boltsfromtheblue.com blog. There might be some debate over whether the Clippers were professional but that’s another story.
Well, you know what they say. Just wait ’til the next 93 seasons!