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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
Seeking your perspective on homelessness, Manchester blows off rules again, the East County imbroglio and happy aging.
Mayor Bob Filner hasn’t promised world peace, but don’t put it past him. He’s been the prince of pledges and a dreamer to boot, with visions not of sugar plums but of ending homelessness and a bus system with the efficiency of a subway.
So which is which — a promise, or a thing that would be nice? Our Liam Dillon breaks it down for you, focusing on the happy talk and the reality regarding three Filner-ian promises about the port, solar power and diversity in hiring.
• Filner dropped by City Heights last week to attend a rally to support a new park for skateboarders. We were there. “I was just elected by the people of neighborhoods who were tired of not getting things they have deserved while downtown gets hundreds of millions of dollars, and we’re going to change that,” he told a crowd of teens.
He even came up with one clunky slogan: “Skate se puede.” (“Se peude” means “we can.”) The challenge, as always, is money. A skate park could possibly cost millions of dollars.
Questions about Homelessness
Fact Check: The Role of Small Business
Councilman Kevin Faulconer wrote a commentary recently that said small businesses employ over 60 percent of the local workforce. Is he right?
San Diego Fact Check examined the claim and finds it’s a complicated one.
First, the councilman got the information from a news report quoting the regional Chamber of Commerce. So if that’s true, where’d they get it? They don’t know.
Second, regardless of whether the number came from a report or someone’s imagination, it’s tough to determine if it’s correct. Ultimately, we gave the claim a “Barely True” verdict.
VOSD Radio: Getting Around
Here’s an idea: Make public transportation efficient, quick and cheap. Here’s another idea: Make it a serious pain to drive a car.
Should the region do one, the other, both or something else? As plans are up in the air, VOSD Radio examines what’s going on.
U-T Publisher Bypassed the Rules Again
CityBeat has figured out who’s behind a behind-the-scenes flap over cell phone reception in the Carmel Valley region: He’s none other than U-T publisher Doug Manchester, whose attempts to boost his own Verizon reception reportedly caused interference for nearby cell phone users.
As CityBeat reports, Manchester “played a two-month cat-and-mouse game with AT&T representatives and FCC enforcers who sought to shut down two unlicensed cell-phone-signal boosters installed on Manchester’s property.”
The paper says private citizens need to get permission to try to boost reception for their cell phones.
It’s not the first time Manchester has bypassed regulations. As we reported earlier this year, the hotel magnate built a vintage car museum at the U-T building — requiring the construction of a ramp and more — but didn’t bother to get the required permits from the city. (Inspectors only learned about the museum after we told them.)
And the Reader recently discovered that Manchester’s hotel, the Grand Del Mar, is only now requesting permits for a helicopter pad — a year after actually building it.
In East County Imbroglio, Many Shades of Gray
When I think of East County, one thing comes first to mind: It seems like everyone’s grandparents (including mine) have lived in La Mesa at one time or another.
Other people think of other things. A new art project/book titled “The Far East: Everything Just As It Is” calls on artists, poets and others to focus on the other side of life.
U-T columnist Matt Hall examines the book and the reaction to it, quoting project leader Justin Hudnall: “Our goal was to tell the honest truth where we acknowledge the grit and the pain that is real there. At the same time, we wanted to point out the real beauty and strength.”
The editor, who’s mighty miffed and angry enough to question the project’s funding, decried the book’s focus on “rednecks, racists, illegal immigrants, poor white trash, hookers and gun-toting gangbangers.”
Hudnall snaps that “you should own where you’re from.” Indeed.
Quick News Hits
• On KPBS, Rep. Susan Davis floated the idea of ending mortgage interest deductions, at least partially, to resolve the ongoing discussions in Washington D.C. to avert the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes and cutbacks.
• The Chargers are on track to have yet another home game blacked out because fans aren’t buying enough tickets. (U-T)
• “U.S. Customs and Border Protection has launched what it calls a comprehensive review of its officers’ use of force amid a sharp increase in fatal confrontations along the Southwest border,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Since 2010, 16 people have been killed in fatal confrontations with Border Patrol agents and customs officers, prompting unprecedented levels of scrutiny and criticism from some U.S. Congress members and border activists.”
• A new UCSD study, based on a survey of local AARP-eligible folks, finds that they’re aging pretty darned well, on the whole: On average, people aged 50-99 ranked the quality of their aging at 8.2 on a 10-point scale, NBC reports.
Of course, some of those who didn’t age well couldn’t take part because they’re dead.