Morning Report: L.A. Stadium Charges Ahead - Voice of San Diego

Morning Report

Morning Report: L.A. Stadium Charges Ahead

Los Angeles stadium process speeds up, new crosswalk on
dangerous street, a Filner fact check and more of the day’s top
news.

 

If San Diegans seem chipper this morning, it’s probably because the Chargers won its first game of the season against the Vikings yesterday (see Sam Hodgson’s photos from the field).

But the question is whether the team will remain in San Diego for long, especially now that Farmers Field in Los Angeles beckons more aggressively.

A new bill could fast-track a football stadium in downtown LA by requiring that environmental legal challenges be resolved within 205 days. The news amounted to a major victory for advocates of the LA stadium.

President Timothy J. Leiweke of AEG, which is developing the stadium, told The Los Angeles Times that approval of the bill, which still requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, “sends a very, very strong message to the NFL that Farmers Field will happen.”

“We can now focus our efforts on securing an NFL team for Los Angeles,” Leiweke said.

The way the bill passed has left some people cold, however. A Los Angeles Times editorial called it “the right result by the wrong process” because it’s “bad policy to offer special treatment to certain projects.”

Beverly Hills City Councilman John Mirisch agrees, saying that “advocating special legislation to benefit one specific project” is “just not fair, and while those familiar with the undue influence of lobbyists in getting favors throughout all levels of government might roll their eyes and think ‘Get real, son,’ I happen to believe that fairness is a highly underestimated commodity.”

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The Planning and Conservation League called the legislation, and similar bills, “hastily crafted and poorly thought-out.”

Meanwhile, The U-T’s Michael Gardner wrote about a broader bill that could help the expansion of a convention center and the construction of a stadium in San Diego.

Blackout’s Lingering Effects

Three days after the blackout and many plastic bottles later (because who actually boiled their water?) it’s now fine to drink, brush your teeth and wash dishes from the tap. The boil water advisory in eight San Diego neighborhoods was lifted Sunday, though beaches in North and South counties remained closed due to sewage spills.

In case you’re wondering what it’s like to be the guy who caused San Diego’s biggest power outage in history, well, no one really knows — his identity is being kept secret by state officials and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 387. (U-T)

Still, the Arizona utility worker has some pretty understanding neighbors.

“It could have happened to any of us at work,” said a Yuma resident. “We all make mistakes. His just might have affected more people than ours.”

San Diegans (especially certain ones stuck in an elevator with two small children) may not be so quick to forgive.

Crosswalk For Colina Park

In Colina Park — sometimes called Little Mogadishu because of its large Somali population — 20 people have been injured crossing the street along University Avenue in five years.

But last week, the city’s transportation department painted a new crosswalk with the expectation that it will help avoid further incidents. Parking spots were also eliminated so pedestrians see oncoming traffic better and a left-turn lane was transformed into a pedestrian refuge.

Adrian Florido found that some members of the City Heights neighborhood aren’t completely satisfied.

“It’s still too fast and dangerous for the people,” an area businessman said. “Either put stop signs here or change the speed limit.”

Remembering 9/11

On the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, San Diegans took time to reflect — by hanging flags, participating in public ceremonies and posting Facebook messages about where they were on that September morning.

Many, including Mayor Jerry Sanders, attended an emotional memorial ceremony aboard the USS Midway. (NBC San Diego)

False Claim on Port’s Congestion

As part of his proposal to boost San Diego’s commercial shipping hub at the forefront of his plan to improve the local economy, Congressman Bob Filner said ships have to wait six days before they can dock in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. If that were true, it might be a good argument to further develop San Diego’s port.

But San Diego Fact Check found that statement to be false. Filner’s information is based on a 2004 labor shortage; currently there’s no wait for cargo ships to enter Southern California’s two main ports.

Community Theater

A renowned theater like the Old Globe often prides itself on hiring the finest equity actors it can find.

But its new version of Homer’s “Odyssey” will feature an ensemble of regular folks from high schools, dance troupes and even local YMCA chapters. Kelly Bennett spoke with director Lear deBessonet, who wants to create a town full of distinct personalities for the production, which opens at the end of the month.

Supermarket Signatures

If that guy outside your supermarket looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen him on TV talking about pensions.

Mayoral hopeful, Carl DeMaio, has been chatting up shoppers in hopes of getting enough signatures to put his proposed pension initiative on the ballot. His plan could end guaranteed pensions for most new city hires and give them a 401(k)-style plan instead.

“I will work tirelessly on achieving reform every single day,” he said. “This ballot measure drive — win, lose or draw — is illustrative of how I’m going to approach the job as mayor.” (U-T)

New Assessment Tests in Escondido

Escondido elementary and middle school students next will soon take a Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test that can help gauge their academic progress.

The assessment test can find where students need to improve and measures their performance against others in the district and in the country. It also shared results with parents and helps teachers set educational goals. (NC Times)

Please contact Nina Garin at ngarin@hotmail.com.

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