Morning Report: Shipbuilder's Secret Hearing-Stacking Plan

Morning Report

Morning Report: Shipbuilder's Secret Hearing-Stacking Plan

Company discussed stacking council hearing, Faulconer turns up short in fact-checking, Republican vs. Republican in court, and WD-40 turns 60.

City leaders will debate the future of Barrio Logan today, and the neighborhood’s maritime industry is hoping San Diego’s leaders protect their interests. As VOSD reporting reveals, one shipbuilder discussed stacking the deck by paying employees overtime if they attend the City Council hearing.

Internal emails show that Continental Maritime of San Diego, Barrio Logan shipyard’s three major employers, discussed offering to pay up to 50 employees for their time and provide them lunch and dinner if they attend the Council hearing.

It’s not clear whether the company put the plan into effect, nor is it clear whether such a plan would be legal. Our story, by VOSD land-use reporter Andrew Keatts, reveals what the emails say, what the company isn’t saying and what the law requires.

The Day in the Mayoral Campaign

• “When it comes to ballot measures I’ve supported or campaigned against, I’ve always been with the majority of San Diego voters on Election Day,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer declared the other day in our op-ed section. That suggests his views are sympatico with those of voters. But, as San Diego Fact Check finds, his claim is false.

Yes, voters were with him on various local ballot measures. But he took a stand on other types of measures too, and voters didn’t always agree with him on those.

• iNewsource, the investigative reporting outfit, has created a handy database that allows people to track the biggest donors to candidates in the mayoral race. It will be updated daily.

• Faulconer is looking to buy local TV ad time, the Reader reports. They’ll run starting on Oct. 5 through Nov. 18. The special election is Nov. 19; a run-off is required if no one gets more than half the votes.

Republican vs. Republican, This Time in Court

• One of the often-broken rules of being a Republican is that you don’t criticize other Republicans. But what about suing another GOPer? It might be time for a guideline on that: An Orange County legislator is suing state Sen. Mark Wyland, who represents a big chunk of North County, for libel.

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, who represents part of Orange County and previously represented a bit of San Diego County too, says Wyland “verbally attacked and bullied her to gain an advantage in their California Board of Equalization race,” The Sacramento Bee reports.

Harkey is specifically targeting Wyland over comments he allegedly made about a big lawsuit against her husband and his investment company. Wyland says he won’t be bullied into “not telling the victims’ story.”

Quick News Hits

VOSD Radio examines the mayor’s race and once again raps a certain local newspaper publisher.

• A coalition of local government agencies says in court papers that it would be dangerous to cough up information from its extraordinary database about where local vehicles have been, the U-T reports.

As CityBeat reported earlier this year, local cops “have quietly used a network of sophisticated devices called license-plate readers to monitor and record the movements of thousands of everyday drivers.” Thirty-six million scans in the county alone had been preserved and stored away, potentially for years.

• Two San Diego-area residents are on the latest Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the United States. One is Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, the La Jolla philanthropist who gives to a variety of local organizations, including VOSD. He’s at No. 342 with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. The other is Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer of Rancho Santa Fe, who inherited money related to the Cargill agriculture-business company. She’s at No. 122 with an estimated net worth of $3.8 billion.

• A few weeks ago, I talked with journalist Joshuah Bearman, author of the magazine story that became the Oscar-winning movie “Argo.” He’s now out with a mini e-book about the true-life story of a 1970s-era drug ring born in the upscale enclave of Coronado. His story, published by an online journalism outfit known as The Atavist, is now available for free. To read it, click here.

• Hooray! The Horton Plaza mall, which already forces drivers to remember if they’re a fruit or a vegetable (no comment from me on that), is ending its flirtation with required paid parking and going back to allowing three hours of free parking with validation.

• Yesterday’s Morning Report discussed ways to describe the 2007 incident at Pacific Beach that helped spawn a ban on booze at the shore. One VOSD reader offered “donnybrook,” which has a neat origin story, while a couple others won my heart with “brew-haha.”

• Here’s something you may not know: Our region is a leader in making things go smoothly. There’s Biofilm, for instance, best known for making an intimate product said to be inspired by the space program. And there’s San Diego’s very own WD-40, which is turning 60.

The U-T, which loves to celebrate business, notes the company’s anniversary with a package of stories. They examine the company’s history, its “secret sauce” and the unusual uses that people have found for the product. Among them: “Removes crayon from walls,” “spray on bathroom mirror to keep it from fogging” and “free a naked burglar stuck in a chimney.” (Handy!)

The product is best known, of course, for fixing things that squeak and fail to work properly. Hey, WD-40! Got a few tons you could send to City Hall?

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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