Morning Report: SDSU, We Want Your Docs
We’re suing San Diego State University for withholding public records that may show how the university plans to expand its campus into Mission Valley, build a river park and a new stadium – all without raising student tuition and fees.
In November, voters approved a measure that essentially forces the city to sell the Qualcomm Stadium site to the university.
Before the election, SDSU officials and allies promised that the university would not have to raise student tuition or fees to pay for the development, even though that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. They would get money from private partners, donors or the largesse of the California State University system, of which SDSU is a part.
During the weeks leading up to the election and in the months since, university officials declined to provide details showing how they could be sure they will protect students from any price hikes.
For months, we’ve sought these records. At one point, after we threatened to sue, the university released some contracts we had requested, but the core financial documents have not been made public.
“Effectively, the university determined that the public had no right to know how their funds were being expended in furtherance of the school’s campus expansion efforts, what city residents could expect in return for one of its most valuable properties, and whether the university had accurately calculated the costs and sources of revenue for its purchase and development of the site,” Voice’s attorney, Felix Tinkov wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday.
The university insists it is complying with the state’s public records law.
In a statement released after the lawsuit became public, the university said it had spent over $1.5 million on “consultants and partners” between January 2017 and October 2018. In the statement, the university said it had a plan to recoup that money from the revenue generated by development on the site.
San Diego Loses Its Mind Over Manny News
Sports talk radio pre-empted national shows for the first time since the Chargers announced they were leaving. Commenters across the country noted San Diego’s beauty and obvious resplendence. Some fans went to Petco Park just to be there.
The occasion? The Padres shocked the sports world Tuesday by agreeing to sign one of the two mega-star free agents available, third baseman Manny Machado, to the largest contract ever offered to a professional baseball player. That may be eclipsed by the contract the other star player on the market, Bryce Harper, signs. But for now, the Padres ownership had put to rest a flurry of sneers that they were not investing in the team some 15 years after the city built a new ballpark on that promise. The news sent Padres players in Peoria for Spring Training dancing and made it possible for Padres fans to dream that just maybe, with the best young prospects in baseball, ownership committed to this kind of investment and talent already on the team, a World Series was imaginable in the next few years.
Of course, this all happened and then the Padres ownership said there was no deal. Then Major League Baseball itself deleted a tweet confirming that the deal had been done and showing Machado in a Padres uniform. So maybe it’s not done and this was just a cruel troll of this beleaguered town.
Lawmakers Urge Action Following DMV Report
Following our Tuesday story detailing the ways in which federal immigration authorities can access DMV databases to collect information on unauthorized immigrants, including those who have not committed any crimes, the author of the state law that allows immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses urged the governor at other top lawmakers to act.
“As the author of Assembly Bill 60 in 2013, I was troubled to read in the Voice of San Diego today that ICE may be misusing DMV data for immigration enforcement in California, including targeting persons who have no criminal history,” former Assemblyman Luis Alejo, now a supervisor in Monterey County, wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom. “If not addressed expeditiously, these incidents will have a chilling effect in immigrant communities across the state and immigrants would be less inclined to apply for or renew their AB60 licenses in the future.”
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez reiterated her concern on Twitter: “This is unacceptable & we are working with the administration to see if there is a way to stop it.”
NBC San Diego has more details on one man facing deportation who “said those agents had a copy of his AB 60 driver’s license photo when they pulled him over.”
‘San Diego’s Poetry Scene Is Pretty Dynamic’
When we think about poetry, we don’t often think about characters or narrative.
But San Diego writer Jennifer Minniti-Shippey’s “poetry toes the line between fiction and nonfiction in a way that short stories or essays often don’t have permission to do,” Julia Dixon Evans writes in this week’s Culture Report.
Minniti-Shippey has a new full-length collection out called “After the Tour,” and she talked with Dixon Evans about it, plus her work as an educator in San Diego.
“San Diego’s poetry scene is pretty dynamic,” Minniti-Shippey said. “It definitely does not speak with only one voice, which i think is really powerful and exciting.”
In Other News
- A federal lawsuit argues dockless scooters impede disabled residents from using the public right of way. (KPBS)
- Lots of Democrats have announced 2020 bids for the County Board of Supervisors — Republicans, not so much. (Union-Tribune)
- Customs and Border Protection announced in a press release that it will begin the “secondary wall project” in San Diego this week.
- The Sacramento Bee has details on the 47 cities out of compliance with state housing laws, and notes ““Encinitas is just the kind of place Gavin Newsom might want to sue.” In the Sacramento Report, Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, who represents Encinitas, explained why she thinks the governor should go easy on the city.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.