Dryw Keltz

Dryw Keltz is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

It's not over. Chargers given time to woo San Diego

If we learned anything from this entire debacle it has to be that the NFL definitely wants a football team and a new stadium in San Diego. This deal seems to have been arranged to make Spanos stay put. They could probably bankrupt him with the relocation fee, and then they toss in an extra $100 million to sweeten the pot down here. But the NFL also obviously played a part in killing Carson as well, so Spanos could be angling to go to Inglewood knowing that he would make less money just to screw both the NFL and San Diego. It is interesting that the NFL has said that it is going to supervise the Inglewood negotiations for the two teams. I don't know which one of those (Kroenke or the NFL) is currently a greater nemesis to Spanos. It almost feels like the NFL just wants to listen in so they can nix anything Spanos proposes. Or perhaps drop some more financial bombs on him such as a "$250 million NFL negotiation fee." The city should also recognize this win and immediately drop any potential public funding out of their stadium proposal. Carson was a charade all along (even if Spanos didn't realize it at the time) and the end-game was always the public shelling out the majority of the money for a stadium down here. They dangled the LA relocation over our shoulders, and the city didn't blink. Now another deadline has been set in a desperate attempt to (once again) milk money out of taxpayers pockets with the threat of leaving. The craziest part of this whole deal is that the Chargers could play an entire season of football in San Diego as this plays out. I mean that is just weird. I don't know if there has ever been such a potentially lame duck team in the NFL...yet another sign that the city called a bluff that the league wasn't expecting them to.
— January 13, 2016 9:07 p.m.

Chargers head opposed to Inglewood move

Don, since you have followed this story so closely, do you think that even if the Chargers roll the NFL will still try to get a new stadium built here within the next ten years? My suspicion is that the league very much wants SD to host Superbowls...even if there is a new stadium in LA. I was even thinking that the NFL could have a decent amount of success using San Diego as a city with no home team that only hosted exhibition games. It would basically be a SoCal version of the London games. You load up the schedule with teams who have a great travelling fanbase (Stillers, Green Bay, Broncos) and sell the fans on the games/mini-vacation package. The Chargers apparently did this to some extent this year and it seemed to work well. It would be completely outside of the regular NFL box, but it could give the league an option for a good superbowl stadium in a temperate climate. We are only one week-long blizzard away from Superbowls in New Jersey and Minnesota becoming a thing of the past. I suspect in the future that the NFL will construct a handful of superstadiums (similar to Texas Stadium) that will rotate Superbowls in temperate climates. The other remaining stadiums will shrink in size while increasing in luxury boxes. Every seat will be great, but it will cost you at least $300-$500 to attend a game. The uber-wealthy will become season ticket holders, while the lower and middle-class will only attend games on special occasions. The proposed stadium in the east village was going to shrink and follow this model somewhat. Less seats, less fans, but better views and way more revenue.
— January 11, 2016 5:09 p.m.

Chargers head opposed to Inglewood move

The big story being overlooked by everyone is how the three home cities of teams in limbo have put the NFL in one hell of a tough spot. The league has dangled a move to LA over the heads of various cities over the years to get them to cave to demands for a publicly funded stadium. All three cities in the current scenario basically called the league's bluff, and now the league is going to have to scramble to figure out how they are gonna deal with it. There is no way that the NFL actually wanted three teams in LA...probably even two for that matter. The city does not have a proven history of filling NFL stadiums. They suffer from the same issue that San Diego does - too many transplants, the weather is too nice, too many options for a Sunday afternoon besides watching a football game. The league knows that even two teams will spread the fanbase too thin, and what will end up happening (at best) is the early days of the Lakers and the Clippers. One team does great, the other...ehhhhh. The move to LA was meant as a threat, but in reality was far from a promise. Now the league is stuck with three cities in mutiny, and they will probably have to get creative to figure out how to punish these markets for not caving to their demands. There is one thing the NFL certainly does not want, and that is to set the precedent that cities that stand up to the NFL get their way. There are plenty of other wildcards in this story (the above details about Spanos clearly not wanting to move to Inglewood being a huge one) but the most interesting aspect will be seeing how the pieces fall after Wednesday. Teams may be reshuffled to new cities, owners may be forced out, or perhaps the NFL will simply have to send the Chargers back to San Diego with egg on their face. If anything, San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland may have just shaken up the NFL in a fashion that the league has never experienced before.
— January 11, 2016 1:02 p.m.

Yelp giveth, and Yelp taketh away

Great article on a great topic. I knew that many small businesses (especially restaurants) have been grumbling about Yelp, but I thought it was just due to negative reviews. It's interesting to learn that Yelp simply filters out the reviews they want to filter out, and keeps what works for them. I just noticed that the site gives the option to sort reviews by the date they were written ("Newest First" etc) and I will always use this method to navigate their reviews from now on. It's still a downer to think that even new reviews can be deleted almost immediately after they are written though. There is definitely a Big Brother feel to Yelp's algorithm in this sense. It would just be better if the site posted all the reviews in order from newest to oldest, then give the option to sort for 'best," "worst," "oldest," etc. An algorithm doesn't really make sense for their reviews because, once you find out there is an algorithm for their reviews, it just leaves you wondering, "Why in the world does a website need an algorithm for how they post reviews?" Just post the reviews in order...especially for restaurants. Menus change, staffs change, owners change, the negative or positive review from two years ago might just be completely irrelevant today. Of course, groups could pile on negative reviews in unison, so even the "newest reviews first" system has its flaws. The fact that they just randomly delete some reviews that don't fit their ALGORITHM (UGHHHHHH) is just pure awfulness. The multiple reports about Yelp advertising badgering is pretty disheartening as well. It just feels like the algorithm is an excuse to be able to manipulate the reviews however they wish, while remaining under the guise of it being some technological marvel of negative vs. positive review placement. Just more silicon valley tech BS hiding behind the sacred algorithm to eliminate any semblance of transparency. Yelp should tread carefully regarding how they treat both their businesses and their reviewers...the Facebook to their MySpace might be just around the corner.
— October 7, 2015 7:50 p.m.

AirBnB, the elephant in the room

Yikes. It seems like the city should have just written new laws specific to AirBnB operators instead of going after them using bed and breakfast code requirements. As Smith clearly states here, there is no breakfast portion of her business. Technically, this ruling sets the precedent that anybody who lets a buddy stay in their apartment for a case beer could be prosecuted under this same law. The sample apartment would most likely have a kitchen, and that kitchen would have (at one time or another) most likely served a meal commonly referred to as "breakfast." I have no issue with the city going after AirBnB operators if they decide they don't approve of the idea of the short-term rentals. If you don't like it, just outlaw it. It's simple. You may have to deal with an excess of anger from local constituents and potential tourists, but if you are clearly against something, come up with some laws that specifically state how clearly against this thing you are. This case is akin to arresting someone for jaywalking who is just out jogging because you want to outlaw jogging, but since there are no specific laws against jogging you just chose the closest illegal activity. Are all the drivers working for rideshares in danger of losing lawsuits since they don't follow the same operating codes as cab drivers? Both services pick up passengers and transfer them to destinations for a fee. One could argue they are remotely similar. If anything, this ruling shows that cities like San Diego need to do a better job of staying ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies such as AirBnB and Uber. If you see something coming that you don't like, either outlaw it or regulate it quick. If you wait too long and start retroactively going after individuals operating legally within the city you're just going to look silly. All this ruling shows is that the city is either too scared to outlaw AirBnB, or too afraid to deal with the wrath of a handful of neighbors dealing with two extra cars parked on their block.
— August 10, 2015 4:38 p.m.

Rattlesnakes percolating from dry Clairemont canyons

I've been mountain biking for about 15 years around the San Diego vicinity and the Daley Ranch has by and far the greatest concentration of snakes I have ever encountered. Roasting heat, lots of rocks...it's snake heaven. One of my favorite memories from riding up there occurred on a late-spring day. It was one of the first really hot days heading into summer. We drive into the parking lot, start unloading our bikes, and a guy with only a handful of teeth left comes walking up to us holding a rattlesnake he had just decapitated on one of the trails. "OHHHHH THEY'RE OUT THERE TODAY!!!" he tells us. It was straight out of Deliverance, but, in all honesty, a very nice warning, because there were rattlers all over the place that day! It was nuts. Mission Trails can be really nasty as well on those first scorching hot days of the summer. One time I bailed on a ride in the East Elliot area after seeing five different snakes within the first five minutes of the ride. (I really should mention here that I am not the biggest fan of snakes.) Probably a couple of rattlers plus a trio of large red racers. Those snakes live up to their name...they can haul! The funny thing about the red racers is that I hadn't seen them out there before that day, and I haven't seen them out there since. I have seen a handful of snakes at Florida Canyon, Tecolote Canyon, and Lake Hodges as well, but nothing along the lines of the concentration to be found at Mission Trails or the Daley Ranch. I am always amazed by how many people run the trails and walk dogs at Mission Trails. It's such a minefield of rattlers. You really have to keep a sharp lookout on the trails. If you don't like snakes, avoid these places on the initial 85 degree-plus days of the late spring/early summer. That's when they seem to really come out in force.
— August 10, 2015 3:56 p.m.

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