Morning Report: Version One, Sans Bob
San Diego’s missing “head nerd,” trams on the way to Balboa Park and more in our non-Filner news roundup.
We’re 14 days away from Politifest, our annual family- and craft-beer-drinking-parent-friendly festival, happening on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Liberty Station’s Central Promenade in Point Loma. After the last few turbulent weeks, our celebration of neighborhoods will be a positive look at the future of San Diego.
Care about community empowerment? Help crowdfund Politifest.
We’ve had several days of drama spurred by the allegations against Mayor Bob Filner and his responses to them.
We could spend the whole Morning Report talking about Friday’s latest developments. But I’m going to try something. If you’d like to see my Morning Report-style roundup of the all of the latest in the scandal (and there’s a lot), you can click here.
But if you’d like a break, I hereby present you a Morning Report with no more mention of Filner’s crisis.
San Diego Falling Behind on City Innovation
Big cities across the country are doing important things with data and technology. But while many of them have open-data policies and people with roles like “chief innovation officer” and “head nerd,” the city of San Diego has none of that.
This is why it matters.
Trams Coming to Balboa Park
Filner said that one of the fundamental elements of the proposed renovation of Balboa Park that Irwin Jacobs championed was implementing frequent tram services. Last month, Filner said that was still happening and that the trams were on their way.
We hadn’t heard that and wanted to verify it. Turns out, it’s true.
Grand Juries Slam Exotic School Bonds
The volunteer citizen investigators that comprise civil grand juries in counties across the state have been having a field day on the type of loans we helped expose last year in an investigation into Poway School District.
County Clerk Fights Same Sex Marriage
San Diego County Assessor/Recorder Ernie Dronenburg is challenging the state’s push to allow same-sex marriages after the Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s decision overturning California’s Proposition 8. It’s kind of a big deal. Supervisor Greg Cox released a statement Friday saying Dronenburg is acting alone, and the supervisors did not decide to do this.
Same-sex marriages have already been under way at the county since the decision, and are ongoing. And the attorney general is going to keep them going.
CityBeat writers were up in arms about the news. Dronenburg had specifically promised that he would not try to oppose same-sex marriages if the courts cleared the way for them. Todd Gloria was embarrassed and Carl DeMaio was disappointed.
What to Do With the Old Library
Earlier this week, we explored the ideas for what might happen to the old Central Library when the new one opens up in late September.
Dagny Salas shares some of our readers’ thoughts here.
Quick News Hits
• Filner vetoed his own appointments to the city employees’ retirement board, which the City Council confirmed in June. No word on whether it has to do with the huge vote that went down several weeks ago. A reminder: Lisa Halverstadt broke down how that $25 million vote, which was supposed to be a slam dunk, fell to pieces.
• As U-T San Diego explains, Filner sent us all notice Thursday now backs the expansion of the Convention Center. The project has been in limbo as he flirted with alternative plans and it faced a difficult hearing in front of the California Coastal Commission.
• Catch up on the Padres’ new leadership in our weekly Sports Report.
Quote of the Week
“Hopefully we won’t end up with the liquor store next to the elementary school or whatever the equivalent is in the ocean.”
— Kathryn Mengerink, a lecturer at the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. She was talking about land use planning needed for the ocean.