My main thought on this, other than "GO BOB!", is to tell Todd Gloria to think very hard about a spin on an old adage:
Remember, when you offer your 2 cents to the UT, UT says "the enemy (Todd) of my enemy (Filner) is my friend."
You gotta learn to hold your mouth, Todd. You don't want to be UT's friend. You're looking too waxed at not being the top dog. You're the lead puppy, that's all. And your sleaze factor is leaking out of your pores.
My $250 donation to SOHO's legal fund was the best investment I ever made!
Balboa Park was never perfect, and it never will be. The functioning of Balboa Park, integrating all forms of access, needs not just more study, it needs better study. Such a study need not necessarily be done at huge expense by a huge consulting firm; we have local talent that could, with the right approach, get the job done. They could hardly ignore more details that overpaid consulting firms do anyway. Good riddance to the almost insanely illogical plan that came close to being stuffed down our throats, but FAIR WARNING, an even worse one could probably be done. Pretty pictures, computer graphics, lovely models, and other "greenwash" can bamboozle enough voters to find and even more expensive boondoggle to foist upon us.
Just for grins, let's imagine what the pretty pictures for this project would have looked like had just one detail not been ignored--what the traffic REALLY would have looked like had the illustration of the Cabrillo Bridge and the right and left turns just west of the Museum of Man (MOM) been data-driven rather than fantasy-driven. There would have been a traffic jam to end all traffic jams endlessly loading the 100 year-old Cabrillo Bridge (a structure of unknowable structural integrity, not to mention gridlock on Laurel Street and Sixth Avenue and perhaps the freeway as well. Pedestrians would further slow vehicle movement, particularly because savvy drivers would clog the streets west of the park and walk, possibly in a solid stream, across the bridge. Even smarter ones would use the parking on and off Park Boulevard. Deliveries and staff ingress and egress to Balboa Park institutions would be a nightmare . . .
Yes, there's more. What about the 1915 Centennial? Closures and intra-park transportation that really works? Too cheap. No big contracts to let there. Follow the money. The BIG MONEY!
Sadly, and alas, I, and most anyone who pays attention to government affairs at the local, regional, or national level "know' how things work; not on merit or with regard to law, but to $, power, influence, position. I just got back from Argentina and if you think it is bad here................ And when deeds afoul do occur they may never come to light or receive the justice they deserve, until someone steps out of line. In particular this time it is the City Attorney's office that put their neck on the line in my viewpoint, and they lost. The City Council, except for Sheri Lightner, simply caved into a classic daddy warbucks scenario. Thus it is that I ask the obvious questions in a not so veiled attempt to make obvious glaring points without making blatant accusations. We know. They know. Everybody knows. We need to support those who stood up for what was right in the event that they suffer future indignities for their bravery.
Agreed. Only a few of those philanthropists gave their largess without some sort of benefit, psychic or otherwise, accruing to them. Some years ago, Jacobs was giving money with few strings attached to cultural groups, such as the symphony. Now all of this giving of his is politically tinged or worse, has no underlying philosophy, and smacks of personal gratification.
It gets even worse the further back in time you go with Irwin Jacobs...
Remember that midnight stadium demolition, which Golding and McGrory orchestrated to make the change to football only a fait accompli?
This avoided Henderson and Rider's efforts to have a public vote on this awful deal.
A little while later, it turned out that the re-configuration went over budget. As a result, there was a second chance to have a public vote.
In rode Jacobs...he paid the difference, got the politicians off the hook from having a vote, and got the naming rights that converted Jack Murphy into Qualcomm stadium. This is one of the cheapest naming rights deals in all of professional sports, and the city lost a huge amount of potential income through this last minute behind closed doors deal.
We could also talk about how Qualcomm stiffs its American engineers by replacing them with low-paid and under-qualified H1B visa holders, who are little more than indentured servants...modern slavery.
Or we could go further back and talk about how we the taxpayers funded the research and development of Qualcomm's technology, taking all the risk, but he then turned that into his private profit...which he uses today to buy political power.
Matt, there's a great expose waiting to be written about this misanthropic "philanthropist"...
When I saw the headline for this post, I looked up, expecting to see it listed under the "ALMOST FACTUAL NEWS" heading. Even with this ruling that was announced yesterday, I'd have expected Jacobs to want to stay the course. Mencken has come up with usual tongue-in-cheek pieces that were less outrageous than this one. As I've commented so many times before, the truth is often stranger than satire.
My guess is that Jacobs, wanting to leave a "legacy" to the city, in the form of some memorial to himself, sees that this is not the avenue. So, let's all await his next move to build some monument. Try on renaming Cowles Mountain for ol' Irwin, or Mission Bay Park (that one really could use some expensive refurbishing), or Mount Soledad, or some other major geographic feature.
Expect it to happen fast. At his age, Jacobs is running out of time, and needs to move quickly. Perhaps he will learn that buying friends, especially if they are politicians, is very costly, and not guaranteed.
We appreciate Matt Potter's clear drawing of the complicated intersection of big money and politics in our town. (And it raises a question: what's the demarcation between self-interest and philanthropy?)
We were spared a Balboa Park disaster by the Plaza de Panama decision of a courageous judge. (I'll bet when he runs for re-election, he won't be getting any $12,000 contributions from Irwin and Joan Jacobs.)
There is apparently no place that Irwin Jacobs' money hasn't gone to make friends and influence people to push through his personal pet projects. The list is long and stunning: KPBS; VoiceofSanDiego; former Mayor Jerry Sanders; lobbyists for P de P who hustled staffers at City Hall; failed mayoral candidate (and new Qualcomm employee) Nathan Fletcher; ambitious Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome; even new Mayor Bob Filner, who got a fundraiser from the lobbyist for the P de P construction company!
Finally, maybe less is more. Less money, less muscle, less hubris, more collaboration. And always, more courage. Thanks again, Judge.
We ARE getting "informed," Visduh. Stepping outside the box, Matt Potter is reporting the vitriol that is being directed at the first Democratic mayor of San Diego in more than a generation via much-ballyhooed "social media." I think it's a public service.
Before getting indignant, it would be a good thing to be informed. When the text of his remarks is revealed, THEN we can all judge. Between now and then, I'll stand aside.
Another thing that annoys me is this constant reference to local pols by their state/national party affiliation. Those have, for better or worse, little relevance to their actions, votes, or philosophies in dealing with the local matters on a day to day basis. So why do you, and Matt for that matter (pardon the pun) keep up this identification of non-partisan office holders by their voter registration? (Take a look at the city council record of Democrat Scott Peters--along with his wealth--and you can see what I mean.)
To get back to the matter at hand, monaghan, we still haven't heard what The Bob said to that assembled group. Until we know what he said, it is not possible to judge the "vitriol" (a standard liberal smear of anything that isn't properly PC) that they pumped out. I'll repeat my comment: when the text of his remarks is revealed, we can all judge. Do YOU know what he said that triggered all this reaction? If so, please share it.
Gettin' down low, randy. The journo challenge is not to play word games about who is commenting on other people's work product, it's to research and write something that informs. You've obviously got enough time to do the latter. Francine uses her real name on the Scott blog and doesn't worry a bit about being known for her ideas. And Filner, of all people, needs no apologists and has none. That was Sanders' game, and he was very needy in that regard. The current Outer Circle Twits and bloggers spent a large part of their day serving him. Now they are all at loose ends.
Monaghan, it's not just the UT. CityBeat and VOSD are also trying to portray Filner as incivil, hiding information, fighting the city council...
They sometimes mask this with "Dems vs Reps" as part of the story line, but none of them reveal what this is really about: Insiders vs Outsiders
For the Insiders, you've got glory seeking toadies like Todd Gloria, who has earned a reputation for being bought by special interests, especially developers and government contractors who will fund his congressional aspirations.
For the Outsiders you've got Filner and maybe Frye.
Reporters are all butt hurt that they're not getting the deferential treatment they grew accustomed to receiving from the former reporters Sanders hired to flatter them, and they're looking for any excuse to go after Filner.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but my concern is that Filner is vastly outnumbered and cannot make even one mistake...while the insiders will cover up any of their own misdeeds.
Personally, I don't like "Smiling Bob" one bit. He's annoying, arrogant, ill tempered, plastic...but he tells what he believes to be the truth, and he's got more courage than all the rest of San Diego's current politicians combined. I wish him well...
Glenn, you don't understand how things have worked in the city of SD for a long time. Legalities have had little effect on many decisions made and projects undertaken. The local superior court judges have obediently ruled in favor of the developer crowd and the corporate welfare hogs for far too long. This judge did just what few judges have done in recent memory, that is, he ruled on the merits of the case and the applicable law, and found in favor of SOHO.
While the present transportation "system" isn't perfect (in fact, it works pretty well considering the serious defects in overall design and limitations of topography), any replacement should have to demonstrate clear functional superiority. Facility capacity and scheduling are two relatively simple factors that continue to be ignored.
Some kind of intra-park transportation system is definitely needed, especially for the infirm and considering the need for remote parking for private vehicles come 2015, but facility management needs still must be met, and that means roadways, albeit perhaps restricted.
"The more you generalize about a population, the less you know about any individual in that population." --Henry Geiger
Thanks for this summary of where it all stands. The plundering of paradise goes on, and on, and on.
Waiting to see how the hairbrained validation lawsuit goes...who is the judge?
Thanks. I just tried to look it up...If the case number is 37-2012-00097148-CU-MC-CTL, then it was first assigned to Judge Timothy Taylor, but is now in Judge Jeffrey Barton's court. Don't know if this is correct. No entries have been recorded in that Register of Actions since last August.
In any case, I bet Goldsmith doesn't want to see Judge Taylor again too soon!
City Attorney Goldsmith has been commenting on the new Hotel Tax on SDROSTRA. Goldsmith gave himself a legal loophole that moved legal responsibility to the City Council for increasing taxes without the required 2/3 voter approval.
See Page 6.
"Absent clear direction from the courts or legislature, this Office advises that the City should not impose a new business-based assessment without voter approval unless the program of improvements and activities to be funded by the assessment can be limited to benefits or services provided directly to the charged businesses and not to others who are not charged."
"Please see our July 7, 2012 Memorandum of Law, which is published on our website. Read it carefully, particularly pages 6 and 9.
The July 27 memo I cite above summarizes the legal issues and specifically references the TMD. We have more reports and legal opinions published.
The issue before the city council was whether to move forward despite the risks we outline. The hotels point out that other cities competing for tourism dollars have done so and the lawyer hired by the TMD believes strongly that they have structured the TMD to meet the legal standards discussed in our memo.
The TMD and city decided to move forward, but with some protections for the city. The city is protected through an indemnity provision in the TMD operating agreement (which the mayor has not signed). In addition, the funds collected under the new TMD are frozen — not being spent — until expressly authorized by the city council."
I think it is safe to say she is more knowledgeable of these civic issues than the Mayor, the City Attorney and....well.... pretty much anyone else in town.
"Convention centers are holes in the ground that governments throw money into." Sounds quite a bit like the discussion of a new Chargers stadium.
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