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Morning Report: Details on the Deal to Secure Key Convention Center Expansion Land

The San Diego Convention Center / Photo by Sam Hodgson

An expanded Convention Center might be a thing that actually happens.

VOSD’s Scott Lewis got the terms of the deal for Fifth Avenue Landing, the land needed for the bayfront expansion of the Convention Center.

The city and the Port of San Diego, which manages the lease on the land, are nearing a settlement for the crucial piece of property. It would mean paying the partnership who holds the lease more than $32 million. They’ll get $5 million immediately and the rest would be paid if the initiative to expand the Convention Center passes in November. It’s a significantly larger payout than the $12.5 million plus interest the city could have secured the land for four years ago before abruptly stopping payments.

Here’s why the deal was made: The two men who control the lease were working on building a hotel that would have blocked the long-envisioned plan for expanding the Convention Center.

What’s next: The deal is being considered at both the Port and the City Council June 12. It’s unclear what will happen if the initiative gets more than 50 percent of the vote but fails to get two-thirds.

County to Deploy Controversial Drug

County ambulances will soon carry fentanyl, a synthetic drug infamous for its role the nation’s opioid crisis.

NBC 7 reports the county has decided to use the controversial drug as a replacement for morphine, which has been in short supply following the September hurricane in Puerto Rico.

The county’s EMS director promises use of fentanyl will be carefully monitored and stored.

Meanwhile, Kinsee Morlan has reported on the county’s reluctance to quickly distribute 6,600 doses of naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

Morlan and NBC 7’s Monica Dean break down the reasons for the hold-up in a new video explainer.

An update from Kinsee: The county reached out to me Thursday to tell me that 2,502 doses of naloxone have now been distributed to seven community partners.

Opinion: Fix — Don’t Ban — Bike-shares

A recent explosion of bike-sharing businesses has also drawn an explosion of frustration – from concerns about bikes blocking sidewalks to failures to follow the rules of the road.

A row of LimeBikes in Barrio Logan. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Attorney Sam Mazzeo argues in a new op-ed that the community should work together to solve problems that have emerged rather than evict the bikes.

Today in Politics

  • Attention folks who still need to do lots of research before the June 5 primary: KPBS and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund teamed on a guide laying out where local candidates stand on major issues.
  • The Marshall Project zeroed in on a series of California district attorney elections, including San Diego’s, dominated by debates over criminal justice reform.
  • A new poll shows Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox with major leads over other contenders for governor ahead of the next month’s primary.
  • The two Democratic candidates vying to replace City Council President Myrtle Cole have some criticisms of the councilwoman’s tenure. (Union-Tribune)

About Those Gray Skies

This tourist’s take on the truth about San Diego’s supposedly perfect weather is on point: “Just flew home after spending 5 days in overcast, 66 deg weather in San Diego. All the locals kept talking about “May Gray,” “June Gloom,” & “No Sky July.” Hey @SanDiegoCounty, this is what blue skies, sunshine, and 76 degree weather looks like in @PierceCo WA in May.”

Here’s one thing about San Diego that’s not a lie: Our pandas are cute, especially when they eat bamboo.

In Other News

  • The citizens board that probes complaints against the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department could begin inspecting county jails annually after an advocacy group laid out concerns about a wave of deaths in county facilities, the U-T reports.
  • There’s a construction boom in the East Village and more than 10,000 new apartments will open over the next few years. (10News)
  • Researchers at the San Diego Zoo Institute are leading the charge when it comes to resurrecting the nearly extinct white rhinos using advancements in assisted reproduction or cloning technologies. (New York Times)
  • SDSU’s top academic officer has mysteriously resigned. (Union-Tribune)
  • A state court agency has paid out more than $600,000 since 2011 to investigate and settle claims of sexual harassment against judges and court employees. (Union-Tribune)
  • Last week, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association publicly shamed the San Diego Association of Governments for spending $61 million on its bike safety program that, so far, has resulted in less than four miles of bike projects. This week, KPBS reports that the SANDAG board is set to vote on a budget that contains more delays for bike projects.
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