“The signals at La Jolla Parkway & Torrey Pines cannot handle the volume of cars.”
  • “The signals at La Jolla Parkway & Torrey Pines cannot handle the volume of cars.”
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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.”

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said it was a “historic” moment when the city approved a $785 million deal with Houston-based RIDA Development for a bayfront hotel and convention center. It was less historic when RIDA gave her $10,000 of campaign cash.

Spongie 555 via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Comments

dwbat May 16, 2018 @ 9:57 a.m.

So let's see. Last year we got an increase in our electric bills from SDGE. And "Sempra spent a total of $291,636 on lobbying" in the first quarter of 2018. Hmmm. Guess where much of that money came from.

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Cassander May 16, 2018 @ 10:10 a.m.

Regarding the VOSD position, their description should also stipulate: Be able to slant every story toward a pro-developer angle or other donors' expectations.

Anyone who has read them long enough knows it's crap for VOSD to claim that, "As a nonprofit, we are obligated to pursue a mission, not deliver returns to investors, who might earn more if writers chased quarterback controversies or salacious criminal mysteries."

The idea that somehow they are not conflicted and free of ulterior motives since they have a handful of policy-minded donors wanting espousal rather than hundreds of commercial advertisers wanting exposure reeks of guilty conscience.

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Visduh May 16, 2018 @ 3:40 p.m.

The UCSD parking and traffic are to be expected. The university is expanding its role as "research university" while adding to the student body. That is typical of UC campuses that can raise the funds for expansion. None of the campuses was designed with thousands of commuters in mind. So, you'll hear the same objections in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz, and even Santa Barbara and Riverside. They all have too few parking spaces on weekday mornings, and there's a crush of traffic then. Later in the day the lots clear out and there's plenty of parking. The campuses all charge a high fee for parking on campus, whether it is for professors, staff, or students. And parking regulations are always zealously enforced, with dozens or hundreds of citations issued daily. They all complain about their parking problems and traffic, and they build parking structures. But none ever seem to catch up with demand.

UCSD will be getting trolley service soon. The campus mavins were keeping the brakes on trolley service for a long time, never liking the proposals that were floated about how to serve the campus. Now they're all for it, or so they say. The sheer lack of space for all those cars must have brought that on. That will help with the crowding, but won't eliminate it for sure.

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dwbat May 16, 2018 @ 4:21 p.m.

So all those dockless bikes and scooters don't help? Plus Uber and Lyft?

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louisrodolico May 17, 2018 @ 4:10 a.m.

If the city were serious about transportation they would complete the planned roads in the UCSD area instead of pocketing the development impact fees they collected for these transportation projects and then using the money for their pensions. See:
http://clairemonttimes.com/2018/03/25/ceqa-judge-rules-not-to-hear-arguments-about-public-safety-and-the-regents-road-bridge/

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Visduh May 17, 2018 @ 8:38 a.m.

Very informative. I've long wondered about the ultra-vocal opposition to the Regents Road bridge. Just a quick look at a map of the area reveals that it was a missing link that would need to be built as the area filled up. It isn't the only such spot in the city. Decades ago, there was a plan to extend Tierrasanta Blvd to the east by building a bridge across the San Diego River in Mission Gorge. (It would have lined up with Princess View there.) We can safely assume the residents in Tierrasanta didn't want the street to become a major arterial between Mission Gorge and Kearny Mesa. Eventually, with the construction of Highway 52, the pressure to make another link between Santee and Kearny Mesa diminished. But when development is allowed and then the city or county refuses to complete infrastructure, such as the street grid, that's just wrong.

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aardvark May 17, 2018 @ 11:13 p.m.

The completion of Mast Blvd in Santee was another major surface street that was never completed. It was supposed to have been completed after 52 was finished. It never was.

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