Job of Voice The Voice of San Diego news and opinion website is seeking “an investigative reporter to dig into issues of education quality, inequity, youth issues and related criminal justice storylines.” Adds the online job post, “Even in this large city, San Diego, and this diverse region, there are far too few journalists focused on schools, youths and inequality in educational systems. This writer would need to build a knowledge base rapidly and over time maintain several investigations.”
The non-profit website’s chairman is Buzz Woolley, a wealthy La Jollan who has long been a big-money backer of efforts to expand the role of charter schools in public education and strip teachers’ unions of their ability to raise campaign money through dues. The Voice’s former education writer Mario Koran — widely credited with a series of 2016 exposes that forced the resignation of Marne Foster, elected with teacher’s union backing to the San Diego Unified board of education — recently departed for Wisconsin. Meanwhile, with advertising shrinking and morale eroding, a small glimmer of good news has penetrated the San Diego Union-Tribune in the form of a May 1 help-wanted solicitation for a new “cops and courts team” reporter. “An ideal candidate would be an aggressive yet careful reporter who is quick to go to a crime scene, fire, or court hearing. This person should be able to write quickly and accurately on deadline, pull together broader stories on public safety issues and trends and work collaboratively with other members of the team on larger breaking news stories, such as wildfires, plane crashes and major arrests.”
Historic juice Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said it was a “historic” moment when the city council voted unanimously last month to approve a $785 million deal with Houston-based RIDA Development for a bayfront hotel and convention center. “Good things come to those who wait,” she was quoted as saying in an April 28 Union-Tribune story. A consultant questioned whether the city-subsidized project was “fully feasible,” adding, “They will need to tighten their development budget or achieve better revenue projections, lower operating expenses in order to achieve an industry standard return.” Not mentioned was $10,000 of campaign cash provided by RIDA to the 2016 Salas Ballot Measure Committee, For a Better, Safer Chula Vista. Also, city campaign disclosure records reveal, Salas’s reelection bid picked up $330 contributions from each of five Houston-based RIDA executives last October 18, with another arriving December 28.
La Jolla trashed La Jolla has problems with UCSD, according to Bill Allen, the antique airplane pilot, whose father Willis Allen was the namesake of the luxury real estate brokerage. “We have not only trash issues, but the traffic is so bad now it is very difficult to get into or out of La Jolla,” complained Allen in an email last July to Mauricio Medina, a La Jolla High alumnus and aide to city councilwoman Barbara Bry. “The signals at La Jolla Parkway & Torrey Pines cannot handle the volume of cars.” Beseeched Allen in the exchange, obtained from the city under provisions of the California Public Records Act, “Stop UCSD from expanding their campus — proposed adding 4000 staff & students as well. The University charges 8 dollars a day parking for students and that is why so many neighborhoods are inundated with parking in front of residents’ homes.”
San Diego’s Sempra Energy, which lost its bid before the California Public Utilities Commission to limit the firm’s exposure to millions of dollars in wildfire liability damages, sat down with a commission member for a March 13 meal in San Diego paid for the company. Per the firm’s April 30 lobbying disclosure filing, public utility commissioner Carla Peterman joined California Energy Commissioners Janea Scott and David Hochschild, California Air Resource Board chair Mary Nichols, and California Independent System Operator board member Mark Ferron for a $42.56-a-plate session catered by Eurest Dining. In November the state’s public utilities commission denied a bid by Sempra-owned San Diego Gas & Electric to recover from utility customers $379 million in 2007 wildfire damage costs, but the utility continues to seek redress. During the first three months of this year, Sempra spent a total of $291,636 on lobbying.