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Morning Report: The Engaged Voter’s Guide to the Primary

Encinitas voters cast ballots at Beacon’s Bible Church. / Photo by Ashly McGlone

There’s still time to study up before Tuesday’s primary election.

We’ve got you covered with a new reader’s guide to the biggest local races happening on Tuesday, including the crowded race to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress, the bitter and high-spending race for the District 4 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and perhaps the biggest showdown on the ticket, the race for district attorney.

Though candidates for city offices like City Council can no longer win outright in primaries, there are still some interesting contests for the top two slots happening, like in District 2, where Republican Councilwoman Lorie Zapf is facing several Democratic challengers.

And we’ve also got a rundown of two interesting South Bay contests, where voters might institute new term limits in National City and a sales tax in Chula Vista.

  • On a special episode of the VOSD Podcast, Andrew Keatts, Scott Lewis and Sara Libby break down the major races on the ballot.
  • And if you want a shot at lunch with those three, play our over/under election contest.
  • This week’s Politics Report has an update on what we know (almost nothing) about what would happen if the California Supreme Court threw out San Diego’s 2012 Proposition B, which ended guaranteed pensions for most new city of San Diego employees. Lewis and Keatts also provide an update from court on Voice of San Diego’s push to force the San Diego Unified School District to preserve hundreds of millions of archived emails that were set to be destroyed June 1. Also: A controversial housing development near Valley Center is back.
  • For our main podcast this week, Libby, Lewis and Keatts explained the significance of the new SANDAG power structure and what it means for housing policy.

China Doesn’t Want Our Recycling

Most of the recyclables that San Diegans leave on their curb end up in China. We buy a lot of manufactured goods and send our paper, plastics and metals on the returning ships.

But as the Chinese economy grows, the country’s leaders are cracking down on recyclables – like greasy pizza boxes and dirty food wrappers — that don’t meet certain standards.

Ry Rivard reports that the change in Chinese policy could end up costing San Diego several million dollars a year in lost revenue or new expenses. City officials are trying to negotiate a better deal.

China stopped accepting any recyclables from the United States in May, although that freeze is expected to be lifting in coming days. If it’s not, or if recyclers continue to have trouble meeting the new Chinese standards, recycled material could end up in landfills.

At least one municipality — Douglas County in Oregon – has suspended its recycling program as a result.

Another Pot Market in the Works

Imperial Beach is on pace to become the second city in the South Bay to recognize legal marijuana sales, although the marketplace there will be relatively small.

Proposed rules released Friday would allow for a single retail storefront, with the possibility of a second storefront.

Unlike Chula Vista, IB will not be asking voters for a special tax on marijuana in November. City Manager Andy Hall told Voice of San Diego that officials do not anticipate that one shop will cause a significant increase in public safety costs.

Hall also noted that the city is expecting to recover the costs of regulation through the permitting process. The sales tax revenues will go to the city’s general fund. A public hearing on the topic is scheduled June 6.

Coronado Bridge May Get ‘Bird Spikes’ to Deter Suicides

About 400 people have died jumping off the Coronado Bridge since it opened, but a long-term strategy to prevent suicides is still years away. In the meantime, Caltrans wants to put bird spikes on the side of the bridge as a deterrent.

Randy Dotinga writes that the agency has considered a number of barrier options, but has failed to act over the years. The bird spikes appear to be a relatively cheap option that could serve as a temporary deterrent while the agency continues to work on a longer-term solution.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and edited by Sara Libby.

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