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Opponents of the Plaza de Panama Project should have known it would take more than a decision from a Superior Court Judge to keep it from coming back.

Today, council president Todd Gloria sent a memo to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith looking for guidance on ways to resurrect the project.

Reads Gloria's memo:

I understand that your office has analyzed Judge Taylor's ruling and the Municipal Code and can now recommend a path by which the city council could, if it chose, overcome the legal roadblock that Judge Taylor identified so that the Plaza de Panama Project could proceed forward.

I understand that the timeline for enactment on this legislative solution is relatively short and that, if it found support with my colleagues on the City Council, could result in project completion in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration in Balboa Park.

And if the council and City wasn't able to get the project rolling in time for the 2015 party? No matter. Gloria says the project is still worth pursuing.

I continue to support the Plaza de Panama Project as approved by the City Council, and am firmly convinced, as Judge Taylor was, that its benefits far outweighs its impacts, even in regard to protecting the park's historical resources. I am also firmly convinced that the City needs to fix the problem with its Municipal Code, as identified by Judge Taylor, or it may never be able to remove parking and traffic from the Plaza.

The memo comes less than a week after the project's main proponent and financial backer, Irwin Jacobs, waved the white flag, saying he would no longer pursue the project as presented.

Of course, not everyone was pleased with Gloria's allegiance to the plan. Shortly after the memo was posted, Bruce Coons of Save Our Heritage Organization fired back with a letter of his own.

Please take a moment to express your displeasure over Councilman Gloria's attempt to end run the system and the law.

The proposed Centennial Bridge would cause significant impacts to the Balboa Park National Historic Landmark District and was opposed by thousands of San Diegans, as well as the National Park Service, the California Office of Historic Preservation, the City's own Historical Resources Board, 5 planning boards, the City's own Park and Recreation board, numerous community and historical organizations and institutions, and SOHO. The Court has now approved a writ that will compel the City to comply with its own historic preservation ordinance. We would strongly oppose any effort by the City Attorney or any members of the City Council to now attempt to pass any amendment to the existing historic preservation ordinance. The ordinance provides important protections to the City's historic resources, and no such resource is more important than Balboa Park. Such an attempt to "move the goal posts" after the case is finished and the Court has made its Order is wrong. Dr. Jacobs has said his plan is dead. We respect his decision and ask the City Council and City Attorney to do the same. The existing ordinance was the result of a detailed, public, and well-considered process some years ago that requires alterations to valued historic properties to follow well-established rules that protect them.

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monaghan Feb. 11, 2013 @ 6 p.m.

Todd Gloria knows on which side his bread is buttered.


Javajoe25 Feb. 11, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m.

Todd Gloria may know where his bread is buttered, but he better remember where his bread is bought. I seriously doubt Mr. Gloria could give a flying fig about the bridge to Balboa Park and just wants to remain on the right side of Big Daddy Jacobs. I also believe the majority of Todd Gloria's district residents live around Balboa Park and they do not want to see this hair-brained idea go forward. What is wrong with these guys?

There are so many other ways to accomplish the desired changes without altering Cabrillo Bridge, that I just have to think this is no longer a battle over "how we might get there,' but one of "who is going to get us there." In other words, we crossing the bridge on an "ego trip!"

I don't know if it is too much to hope that some additional light is going to shine on this issue. A big, fat pile of money is hard to ignore, but the collective wisdom and experience of so many knowledgeable individuals, groups, and organizations is even harder to ignore. Mr. Gloria needs to take a breath, and maybe a walk in the park, and reconsider.


HonestGovernment Feb. 13, 2013 @ 8:49 a.m.

Good comments, JavaJ, and everyone.

Off topic, but only slightly, re: the term "hair-brained." Although for centuries the spelling for members of the genus Lepus has varied between "hare" and hair," the term referring to senseless behavior refers to hares. I think you are unconsciously thinking about Gloria's and Goldsmith's apparent alliance, thus have "hair" on your brain, just as senseless hair sits on top of Goldsmith's brain.

That said, from Wikipedia, and getting back to Gloria's senseless behavior, the harebrained "hare" is most appropriate:

"Normally a shy animal, the ... hare changes its behavior in spring, when hares can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around meadows; this appears to be competition between males to attain dominance .... During this spring frenzy, hares can be seen "boxing"; one hare striking another with its paws (probably the origin of the term "mad as a March hare"). For a long time, this had been thought to be intermale competition, but closer observation has revealed it ...[ahh, nevermind]"

I can't wait till March! Someone photoshop Gloria with rabbit ears? Please?


Visduh Feb. 11, 2013 @ 7:52 p.m.

Wasn't there an old Neil Diamond hit that included the line "money talks?' Gloria may have his sights on the mayoral chair. If so, it will require big bucks, and who has those? You don't think that after pouring $2 million in to presidential race that ol' I. Jacobs might be willing to give his local supporter a few hundred thousand, do you? I do.


historymatters Feb. 11, 2013 @ 10:54 p.m.

Todd is INCREDIBLY corrupt! I have been trying to warn people about him for yrs. Just look at all my blog posts on him. This is getting serious. we need a criminal investigation into why all but 1 council member voted for something SO illegal. This is about way more than campaign cash. I guarantee u Todd is being paid off. This is a ,multi billion dollar situation because if they can destroy the landmark designation the park can be developed plain and simple. Thats what this is about. Thats what this was ALWAYS about!


nostalgic Feb. 12, 2013 @ 5:12 p.m.

Do you have a separate blog, or do you mean comments on Reader articles?


historymatters Feb. 11, 2013 @ 10:57 p.m.

There was a reason developer after developer after developer spoke at the July mtg...it wasnt because they are gonna build the ACE parking garage. its because they want the 1000 plus acres of Balboa park to develop and they will convince you by telling you its for "affordable housing" the biggest sham in this state. We ca NOT let this destructive project happen or we will lose our park forever. After all remember the planning Commis called the park "a pile of buildings" that was never intended to last this long. Dont take the park for granted. We could lose it if Todd gets his way!


historymatters Feb. 11, 2013 @ 11:03 p.m.

BTW Todd stop shutting down free speech. If you have been blocked by Todd Gloria from commenting contact me. Im trying to get the ACLU on this. He seems to think the 1st amendment is a technicality and he has veto power.


Fred Williams Feb. 13, 2013 @ 12:34 a.m.

Hey my friend...of course Todd blocked me from commenting on Facebook ages ago. Not the only politician to do this I suspect.

But how is that related to the 1st Amendment? Facebook is a private company, and they allow their customers to block who is allowed to comment on a page controlled and created by that customer.

Correct me if I'm wrong, any lawyers out there...

A better approach, legally, may be inquiring about which staffers work on the Facebook and other social media, because if their city paid work favors one political view over another...or blocks off access for protected groups, especially minorities and females (if the law is still the same as it used to be), whether or not the end result is city owned, certainly the computers and employees are paid for by the city...in which case that would seem to be a violation of municipal and state codes on misuse of government property and employees.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I think that's how the laws and regulations for public employment go in San Diego...unless they're going to claim that the Facebook pages are campaign funds paid, in which case there may be another issue to be dealt with.

Still, in principle, if you're an elected official and you put up social media pages and then prevent critical comments...that should not be allowed. Either it's an official page, open to all, or it's private and censored by the owner. If it's official, and censored, then America has a problem.


historymatters Feb. 26, 2013 @ 6:16 p.m.

Fred, you may be right. The thing w/ Todd is that he is using Facebook as his Council page so I would expect the law to be different. He is using tax dollars to update the page and hes presenting it as community outreach. A politician can not shut you down in retaliation for things you say. you and I and a ton of other people no longer have the opportunity to engage in this closed discussion about community issues. Im not sure if its legal. Certainly facebook can shut down your right to speak because they are a private comp not elected figures. Hopefully i will hear from the ACLU soon. they say it takes a few weeks to get back to you.


historymatters Feb. 26, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

If it is in fact unconstitutional I hope anyone and everyone who has been blocked will join me. It certainly is an interesting situation that has emerged w/ social media. I think the key is that he has blocked us in retaliation for things we said.


JayJzz Feb. 13, 2013 @ 4:55 p.m.

Great project ... The park has always been improved over it's 100+ years in existence .. Too bad it lost Jacobs very generous offer ...


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