July 18, 2012 – Local news media are falling all over themselves to report impending doom for San Diego’s economy should the automatic 10%, across-the-board budget reductions in the military budget mandated by the “sequestration” process that Congress created as a solution to the budget standoff last summer. Mayor Jerry Sanders was in Washington Tuesday to plead our city’s case. Never mind that the Office of Management and Budget has not yet released guidance about how the automatic cuts would be implemented or that it’s widely assumed that President Obama will exercise a legal option to exempt military personnel funding from the cuts.
The UT-SD’s contribution to the manufactured hysteria was the proposed headline in an early morning version (I’m sure it’s fixed now) of an online story (warning: paywall ahead!) about the potential reductions that read:
AEROSPACE XX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX
XXXXXXX XXXX CUTS WOULD HIT S.D., STATE HARD
Report forecasts effects of federal spending reductions
In past reductions of force San Diego has actually benefited as operations were consolidated into the region’s robust military/industrial infrastructure. Behind the scenes what all this squawking is really about are proposals that would move the military into a 21st Century fighting force, one that the Pentagon says would acknowledge post-cold war realities. Old line (mostly retired) military officers see these plans as a dismantling of the armed forces. They’d rather be building battleships and massing large ground forces. Of course, the funding crisis at hand could be mitigated somewhat if Congress could simply agree to President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the top 1% of taxpayers. But that doesn’t seem to be an option for these folks.
One thing that we do agree with Mayor Sanders on… San Diego’s been ranked among the Top Five Beer Cities in America by Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. Citing the fact that these five cities selected offered the best concentration of breweries, tasting rooms, bars, bottle shops and gastropubs, the travel guide called them the perfect places for beer-soaked adventures. The rankings, in order, were Portland (Oregon), New York City, San Diego, Asheville (N. Carolina), and Chicago.
IB pot dispensary law may get sidetracked… The Imperial Beach City Council will be considering regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries today, but don’t count on any action, even though consideration was brought about via voter petitions. The Safe Access Ordinance in question was proposed by the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, who collected enough voter signatures to force city action. If accepted, the law would strike down a ban passed by the council one year ago. In 2010, 54% of Imperial Beach voters supported an initiative (Proposition 19) proposing legalization of marijuana. The City Council is supposed to decide whether to put the ordinance to a vote or approve it outright. However, they may refuse to act, claiming that such a law may expose Imperial Beach employees to Federal prosecutions.
A council staff report has raised questions about a court decision (Pack v. City of Long Beach) that says dispensary regulation could lead to the prosecution of city employees “on the theory that giving a permit amounts to knowingly facilitating narcotics transactions.” A NY Times article several weeks back reported that U.S. Attorneys have sent out letters warning city staff and officials that they can be prosecuted should dispensary regulations be enacted. Proponents of regulation say these warnings are simply a scare tactic.
Secret documents from the archives of the Boy Scouts of America released last month suggestion that the organization was aware of 35 specific cases of sexual abuse allegations relating to San Diego chapters but failed to share the information with law enforcement officials. KGTV (10News) reporter Mitch Blacher told KPBS news yesterday that the documents contain allegations of sexual abuse from 1971 to 1991. The 10News report can be seen here.
The fight for open government escalates… San Diegans for Open Government announced on Monday that it was suing the State government over the recent suspension of requirements related with the Brown Act. The suspension eliminates funding that re-reimburses cities and agencies for costs associated with public posting of agendas 72 hours before meetings. City Councilwoman Marti Emerald has issued a statement saying that she’s requesting an emergency resolution be considered by the San Diego City Council on July 24th that would assure continued compliance with the Brown act by local agencies. And former Councilwoman Donna Frye has released a letter calling for citizens to support Emerald’s efforts and proposed legislation in Sacramento (currently mired in the Appropriations Committee) that would place a measure on the ballot for a constitutional amendment that would require provide public notice of meetings and disclosure of any actions taken by government entities.
GOP Congressman’s facts debunked… Kudos to Voice of San Diego for Fact Checking Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s claim in a “survey” to constituents that, “The President’s health care law requires taxpayer funding for abortion and abortion-related services”. The verdict, viaPolitiFact was “False”. Aaaah…. fact based reality, what a beautiful thing.
The Tweet of The Day: Goes to Kelly Davis at SD City Beat for catching Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio’s goofup on Twitter:
Kelly Davis @citybeatkelly Started 3 wks ago. RT @carldemaio: Extremely excited for Summer Pops to start! A great San Diego tradition to celebrate music and local arts
As the San Diego Symphony’s website notes, the series started July 4th.
On This Day… In 1936 the first Oscar Meyer Wienermobile rolled out of General Body Company’s factory in Chicago. In 1971 New Zealand and Australia announced they would pull their troops out of Vietnam. In 1988 a California appeals court upheld a lower courts’ decision to dismiss a case against Ozzy Osbourne and CBS Records. In 1984 a teenager allegedly killed himself after listening to Ozzy’s “Suicide Solution.”
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.