Rousing Ratings, Border Separations and the Convention Center Catch: San Diego Summarized | 6-25-18
Welcome to San Diego Summarized where each week we examine headlines from around the city:
This week we kick off with reports of San Diego's widespread viewing of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. According to The Washington Post's Steven Goff, San Diego posted a 5.8 rating for Saturday's match between Mexico and South Korea, coming in only behind Washington, and ahead of cities like New York, Los Angeles and Austin.
For Mexico vs South Korea— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 24, 2018
1. Washington 6.2
2. San Diego 5.8
3. Austin 5.7
4. LA 5.3
5. NY 5.1
While some fear-mongers would have you believe that soccer will never take off in this country, much less this city, the reality is that soccer has already arrived. In between the lines of San Diego's World Cup ratings, viewing parties all across the city have sprung up as communities congregate to celebrate the beautiful game.
This past weekend, throngs of people gathered at Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co. in Chula Vista to watch El Tri take on South Korea. The event doubled as a food drive benefitting the San Diego Food Bank, and attendees were encouraged to drop off either cash or canned donations.
There were three TV screens on in the place, but there were certainly more than three pairs of eyes watching as Mexico all but clinched their place in the knock out round of the competition.
With the United States not competing this time around, many who would otherwise have supported the red, white and blue have opted to cheer on our neighbors to the south. Such camaraderie is particularly uplifting in the face of some of the headlines coming out of the White House these days.
Speaking of said headlines, the Voice of San Diego's Maya Srikrishnan has been covering what’s behind the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border, how it’s playing out in San Diego.
In a well-researched piece, Srikrishnan details several important questions such as why are families being separated at the border? Are families legally seeking asylum being separated? How do children and parents reunite? What do we know about what’s happening specifically at the San Diego border? What is happening next? And perhaps most importantly, information on how one can get involved.
Expect this debate to rumble on.
Lastly, we take a look at the latest news from the proposed Convention Center Expansion. To recap, everyone agrees the Convention Center needs to be expanded. For a long time, the specifics of how and where exactly to expand have been debated. Activists have settled on a Citizens' Initiative process that will raise funds for construction of an expansion by raising the existing Transient Occupancy Tax and using those monies to construct on the Fifth Avenue Landing site that is just behind where the Convention Center sits today.
However, as Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis details in the weekly Politics Report, the signature gathering effort appears to be dragging somewhat.
Most campaigns attempting to put measures on a November ballot try to get their petitions turned in by June 1. Maybe a few days later.
It allows time for the registrar to count signatures. It also allows for supporters (or opponents) to pay for a full count, if the small sample the registrar reviews somehow disqualifies them.
By any normal deadline, supporters gathering signatures for a petition to put the hotel-room tax hike to expand the Convention Center on the ballot should have turned them in by now. But they haven’t.
The U-T wrote about what seems like a scramble to close the deal.
All’s well, organizers say. The signatures are coming on Monday.
This is all made even more troubling by the fact that the city has recently agreed an eye-watering deal to acquire the Fifth Avenue Landing site from a couple of local businessmen who have designs on building a hotel on that same parcel in mind. San Diego has agreed to stump up about $33 million just to re-acquire the property.
If the Convention Center Expansion doesn't even make the November ballot this would likely be the single most San Diegan thing San Diego has ever done.
The worst-case scenario has the city losing the $5.3 million deposit it’s making on land for the Convention Center expansion. The city attorney says she’s not worried. The partnership says they get the money now in all scenarios. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯— Scott Lewis (@vosdscott) June 23, 2018
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