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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
Last hours of tent city, a dead gorilla, a traffic-snarling
drama, missing tickets, fixing roads and more in our daily news
A single tent remains at Civic Center Plaza, serving as a symbol of the Occupy San Diego movement.
The lone blue shelter is a result of a compromise between police and protesters who have been camped out at the concourse for the last week and police. SDPD demanded the encampment clear out by Friday morning. (U-T)
Though an agreement was reached, the mood was tense most of the day with officers making two arrests and using pepper spray on some protesters. You can see NBC San Diego’s video of police facing off with the group on Friday afternoon. Also, catch up on how Occupy San Diego has evolved over the last week via Sam Hodgson’s photo essay and read OB Rag’s recounting of the mood and actions of police and occupiers as the midnight deadline approached.
Though the tents are gone, people are still gathering at Civic Center Plaza without them and there are plans for an Occupy North County gathering in Encinitas. (NC Times)
From Highbrow to Lowenbrau
In Southern California, art is a fancy room filled with neon blue light. To others, it’s a chair made out of old Budweiser cans. Arts Editor Kelly Bennett takes us behind the scenes of the two local “Pacific Standard Time” shows exploring life in Southern California after World War II.
One’s happening at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, where they had to bring in construction crews to redesign museum space. The other, craftier exhibit opens this weekend at Balboa Park’s Mingei International Museum.
University Avenue Non-Jumper
While so much attention was being directed at the Occupy San Diego protesters, a man threatening to jump off the University Avenue overpass onto Route 163 caused the most disruption on Friday.
The man, who had been a manager at local medical marijuana collectives, had a list of political demands for District Attorney and mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis. After a seven-hour ordeal that closed Highway 163 and caused traffic delays throughout most of central San Diego, the man surrendered and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. (U-T)
No Spot for the ArtsTix Booth?
One of the only reasons people go to the front side of Horton Plaza is for the ArtsTix booth (and you thought I was going to say Sam Goody).
The colorful, stand-alone booth has served as a place to buy discount theater, dance and music performance tickets for more than 20 years. But it’s excluded from the proposed Horton Plaza renovation.
Kelly Bennett explores the future of the beloved booth and whether that means the end of the program.
“It’s a good location, it’s an icon,” said Bruce Warren of the Performing Arts League, the organization that runs the booth. “That’s where people go.”
John Boehner in San Diego
First Ashton Kutcher, then Prince Harry and now House Speaker John Boehner is making a stop in San Diego.
The Ohio congressman is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for fellow congressman Brian Bilbray on Saturday evening. He’s hoping to get support for Bilbray, who is facing competition by high-profile candidates including former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, Port of San Diego Chairman Scott Peters and fellow Republican John Stahl, who has early tea party support.
The fundraiser, happening in Coronado, costs $500 for the general reception and $2,500 for a Congressional Round Table. (U-T)
Food Desert No More
For many years, southeastern San Diego was considered a “food desert,” housing more fast food restaurants than healthy markets and gardens.
But then Diane Moss got involved.
“Southeastern San Diego always gets tagged as a community with lots of problems. So here was another negative tag people put on this community,” she said.
With a lot of hard work and persistence, her neighborhood now has a weekly farmer’s market in Chollas View and she broke ground on a community garden in Mount Hope.
Neighborhoods reporter Adrian Florido sits down with Moss and gets to the heart of why she’s so dedicated to helping her community get access to fresh food.
Fixing San Diego Streets
Political writer Liam Dillon explains two facts and two myths about the city’s street repair backlog. For example, it’s a myth the city isn’t doing anything about repair delays.
That’s his latest piece in an ongoing look at the money, bureaucracy and politics behind road repair (and disrepair).
On Sunday, Dillon’s full report explained how San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his administration made numerous promises during the past four years about road repairs and how they would spend a $100 million loan aimed at fixing the city’s worst infrastructure problems. It also explained they haven’t kept them.
On Wednesday, he used a sinkhole in University City to illustrate the city of San Diego’s huge backlog of infrastructure repairs. It knows it has them but, oftentimes, it doesn’t know exactly what it needs to fix.
Dear Port District, Please Send $60 Million
Hoping to fill a funding gap for an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, Mayor Jerry Sanders plans to ask the Port District to put up $60 million for the $550 million project.
Port Commission Chairman Scott Peters told the U-T that he thinks a contribution of $3 million a year over 20 years is a reasonable sum.
“My feeling is that the people who benefit from the Convention Center should be responsible for paying for it so we needed to know what the impact was on the port’s bottom line,” he said. “That could be from a new hotel or from increased bookings in our existing hotels on port property.”
Those Affected by School Closure
San Diego Unified School District is considering closing 10 schools next year in order to cut at least $58 million from the budget. KPBS talks to the kids, educators and parents at Cadman Elementary in Bay Ho about their school being on the chopping block.
A 32-year-old gorilla named Alberta died on Thursday night at San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Though she was being monitored for a hurt shoulder, the cause of death is unknown and is being investigated.
The popular gorilla is being mourned by staff, which remembers her as a “unique character” that was hand-raised by humans. (San Diego Zoo)
Please contact Nina Garin at firstname.lastname@example.org.