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VOSD Podcast: The Port Considers a Payoff and Tommy Hough's Council Push

On this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis talk about how the Port may be moving forward with a plan to help the city get back control of the piece of land that’s crucial for the Convention Center’s bayfront expansion.

Tommy Hough

Tommy Hough is running for a seat on the San Diego City Council. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego leaders really want to expand the Convention Center. But there’s a coveted piece of bayfront land the city needs, and right now there’s a plan to build a hotel on it.

The property is owned by the state of California, managed by the Port of San Diego and currently leased by a private development firm, Fifth Avenue Landing.

On this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis talk about how the Port may be moving forward with a plan to help the city get back control of the piece of land that’s crucial for the Convention Center’s bayfront expansion.

Also on the show: disingenuous claims by local Republican politicians who say SB 54, one of California’s so-called sanctuary state policies, has prompted federal agents to go into neighborhoods to arrest non-criminal undocumented immigrants; why Mark Arabo, the longtime leader of a trade group that represents hundreds of regional corner stores, is still fuming after a harsh Superior Court ruling that found he abused his role; and the San Diego Police Department’s massive database that uses license plate scanning technology to track where cars go in the region, and how the department may not be following state privacy policies.

Tommy Hough makes an appearance in the second half of the show to talk about his run to represent District 6 on the City Council. The former radio host said that as a City Council member, he’d push for more infill development.

“We’ve got to find a way to get people out of their cars and undo the need for these lengthy commutes,” he said.

He said other issues central to his campaign include improving public transit, finding more effective solutions to homelessness and implementing strict regulations on short-term regulations.

Hero of the Week

Mario Koran is the hero this week. After a five-year run, our education reporter is leaving Voice of San Diego and the city to relocate with his family to Wisconsin. His coverage of the San Diego Unified School District has shed light on graduation rates, revealed scandals by a board trustee and more.

Goat of the Week

Karel Spikes is the goat this week. The San Diego entertainer has filed nine civil rights lawsuits against properties hosting unlicensed cannabis dispensaries. Owners of unpermitted marijuana storefronts have a high incentive to settle the suits instead of going to court. The system itself is also a bit of a goat: There aren’t enough permitted dispensaries to meet demand, so unpermitted ones abound, which creates weird situations like these.

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