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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
What we learned this week.
Ever consider suing the city over one of its dilapidated sidewalks? Even if you have a seemingly slam-dunk case, you’re not likely to win a lot of money, if you even win at all, writes Liam Dillon. Dillon examined years’ worth of lawsuits over sidewalk falls — one person got a paltry $25 payout.
Uptown is creeping toward an an update to its community plan, though it’s a slow-going process. So is the process of even learning about it, Andy Keatts explains: The neighborhood planning group doesn’t post its minutes online until more than a month after it meets, making it difficult to learn what direction the plan is taking.
The Insanity of NFL Fans
What makes NFL fans believe they can predict next year’s outcomes before crucial events like the draft have even happened? Pure insanity, concludes John Gennaro in the weekly Sports Report. He also navigates some draft predictions, and details his surprising role in this week’s “Rain Man” controversy.
Notes of Sadness
On our Active Voice blog, Libby Weber highlights Patrick Walders, the choral director at SDSU who has explored grief and loss through song in works performed in Connecticut after the Newtown shootings, and will do so again this weekend following the Boston Marathon bombings.
‘What Do We Do? What Should We Do?’
Golden Hill resident Jake Vogelsang writes in to describe his frustration in dealing with the local homeless population. He believes that all the money and effort poured into local programs isn’t worth it: “There is no program that I am aware of that can be pointed to as being definitively and measurably successful.”
• Sister Tricia Cruise offers a different take: It might be our definition of success, she writes, that is the problem.
What We Learned This Week
Todd Gloria Might Have Tampered in Planning Process: A jury sided with a North Park school that alleged City Councilman Todd Gloria pressured city staffers to change a report that cleared the way for the City Council to deny a construction project. Gloria denies any wrongdoing. The city planner who changed the report said the instance marked the first time in 10 years he’d ever been asked to revise one of his conclusions.
• In our Comments of the Week, a reader who lives near the school says it has been a bad neighbor and that it “made it clear from the beginning that they weren’t going to consider alternatives to acquiring the space.”
SD Unified Has an Assessment Plan in the Works: Early this week Will Carless identified three big hurdles to implementing San Diego Unified’s “12 Indicators of Quality Schools.” At the time, district officials said incoming Superintendent Cindy Marten would be starting from scratch in terms of creating and executing the plan to measure which schools are actually faring well, and which are struggling.
But it turns out that’s not true — a draft document leaked to us later in the week reveals the district has indeed started to spell out how it plans to measure schools. District Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson said the draft is just a working document.
Mayors Budget Underscores His Priorities: Bob Filner’s first city budget managed to fit in some new expenses — like more cops and a year-round presence for the winter homeless tent — despite a looming deficit. Some local wonks weighed in on what the numbers mean to them, and Lisa Halverstadt examined how the budget squared with some of Filner’s campaign promises in this progress report.
Quick News Hits
• The Atlantic Cities has posted an amazing interactive graphic that shows how segregation levels have changed in various cities since 1970. The San Diego region went from 76.5 percent segregation to 47.5 percent.
• A law professor has some scathing words for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith — particularly some of his tactics in the substantially equal pension suit: “You don’t file a motion of summary judgment and withdraw it at the last moment,” Arnold Rosenberg, a litigator who now teaches at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, told the Daily Transcript. “To be very honest, that’s kind of amateurish. That’s not something I’d expect good litigators to do.”
• Meanwhile, one person still has faith in Jan Goldsmith’s lawyering: Jan Goldsmith. The city attorney tells San Diego Newsroom he won’t be running for mayor because “my passion is the law.”
• Mayor Bob Filner’s budget proposal includes funding for a vast North County river park that’s been struggling financially since former Mayor Jerry Sanders backed out of a regional funding arrangement a couple years back. (U-T San Diego)
Quote of the Week
“I live in a 300-square-foot studio apartment. If I’m on the take, I’m not doing it right.” — Councilman Todd Gloria, on a local school’s suggestion he rejected its expansion plan to satisfy campaign donors.
Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at email@example.com or 619.325.0526.
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