Morning Report: Planning Commission Brouhaha - Voice of San Diego

Morning Report UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

Morning Report: Planning Commission Brouhaha

Teachers shut out of seniority reform in La Jolla, yet another local election looms this week, Filner’s lauded back home, and restaurant critic gripes.

For better or worse, the mayor-as-bulldozer era continues at City Hall. This time, the Planning Commission got to experience the pressure from above as it considered a controversial plant to tear down a couple historic cottages in La Jolla.

The commission’s decision, which came last week, would be final. It was ready to vote and rejected the mayor’s request for a delay. And then the drama began. VOSD land-use reporter Andrew Keatts has the play-by-play, which had a lot to do with the changeover from old to new planning commissioners.

Wanna Teach in La Jolla? Seniority Still Rules

Teaching in La Jolla may be a dream for many San Diego schoolteachers. But they may have to wait a long time to even consider the option: Seniority rules when it comes to filling openings.

Some La Jolla parents, teachers and school staff members want to change that, VOSD education blogger Christie Ritter reports. But the teachers union has declared it a nonstarter, saying it’s not enough to just get support for the change from La Jolla teachers.

The Nuclear Option

• “Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff want to void a ruling that played a significant role in Southern California Edison’s decision to shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station,” KPBS reports. The ruling required the energy company to hold public hearings before restarting the nuke plant.

• Meanwhile, a new documentary now playing locally offers a twist on the usual environmentalist opposition to nuclear power. As KPBS reports, the film argues that getting energy from nuke plants is the best way to defend the planet from climate change.

Yup, There’s Yet Another Election

You thought you were out. But depending on where you live, off-year elections keep pulling you back in.

This time, the North County coastal city of Encinitas is asking voters to cast ballots. Its election is tomorrow, U-T San Diego columnist Logan Jenkins writes, and at issue is the electorate’s right to vote on changes to the city’s blueprint known as the General Plan.

The battle over the tiny number of interested voters is pitting green against green in one of redder-than-red North County’s most liberal cities.

“If Proposition A passes, expect more public votes and all the costly insanity they presume,” Jenkins writes. “If A loses, still lots of engagement, enough for most normal people, but possibly less litigation.”

Filner Gets a Laudatory Write-Up Back Home

Bob Filner, like many of our mayors, isn’t from here. He hails from Pittsburgh, where a local newspaper just published a gushing story about a local boy done good. “He’s widely viewed as a man of the people,” says the story, written by a Pittsburgh-area native who now lives here but may have missed the fact that lots of people didn’t vote for the guy.

The profile also says local newspapers have published headlines like “Why Can’t Mayor Filner Just Be Nicer?” An Internet search reveals only one such headline, and it’s clearly tongue-in-cheek: The story is about the media’s supposed anti-Filner bias, and the full headline is actually “Why Can’t Mayor Filner Just Be Nicer? Corporate News as Propaganda, San Diego Style.”

Quick News Hits

• Our story about San Diego’s new planning director, a bit of a star in planning circles, was the most popular article on our site over the past week. The full Top 10 list is here.

• What’s with the Pulitzer Prize-winning U-T editorial cartoonist’s insistence on making Filner look like a Jewish stereotype? Case in point.

• The county has a new $586 million courthouse in mind for downtown — the old courthouse will be torn down while the newer one will remain. The U-T reports that plans call for a video setup to allow remote court hearings and two courtrooms inside local jails.

• Ian Pike, the San Diego Reader’s restaurant critic, has a bone to pick with the folks who bring him bones to pick. In a newly published cri de coeur, he says the standards of service stink at San Diego restaurants: “I am ignored and slighted on a weekly basis, as are other diners in San Diego… Say something. Leave a scant tip. Tell the manager.”

His experience with local restaurant service isn’t mine. Here’s a (scant) tip for the affronted Pike: Maybe the problem is with the served, not the server.

Correction: Saturday’s Morning Report mischaracterized Donna Frye’s position at Californians Aware. She is the group’s president.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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