Roundtable: Pot Clinics, Multicultural Casting, City Auditor
Friday, July 27, 2012
Aired 7/27/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Guests: David Ogul, North County Times
Angela Carone, KPBS News Arts Reporter
Matt Clark, UT San Diego
Medical Pot Issue Still Smouldering: On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge stopped the eviction of San Diego’s only licensed medical marijuana dispensary while it undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative was given 45 days before it must shut its doors.
In the last few days, the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach voted through their city councils to put measures on the November ballot allowing sales of medical marijuana there.
Those cities as well as Encinitas, La Mesa and Lemon Grove have been targeted by petition drives from the group Citizens for Patients Rights seeking approval of medical marijuana sales. No city in the county currently has rules allowing such sales. They were targeted because each had a large percentage of yes votes on the medical marijuana Proposition 19 in 2010.
Petitioners collected more than three times the number of signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot in Del Mar and Solana Beach. The issue here is the federal government vs. the state. If the citizens of Del Mar vote to allow marijuana sales there, what is the point -- if the U.S. Attorney disagrees, which begs the question of what Citizens for Patients Rights is trying to accomplish.
La Jolla Playhouse Apologizes: On Sunday, something extraordinary happened at the La Jolla Playhouse: Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and director Moisés Kaufman apologized for hurt feelings resulting from the Playhouse casting of “The Nightingale.”
The “Page to Stage” musical is set in a mythological version of ancient China, but has a multi-racial cast of 12 with just two actors of Asian descent. None of the male leads is Asian. Members of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition and others in the audience noted that Asian American actors are all but invisible in New York and Hollywood. The casting, they said, amounted to salt in the open wound caused by years of being overlooked – and underbooked.
Director Moisés Kaufman said the creative team wanted to create a multicultural, mythological version of ancient China and perhaps did a poor job of conveying that goal.
City Auditor Getting Pushback from Departments: San Diego’s independent City Auditor, Eduardo Luna, told the City Council Audit Committee this month that he is meeting resistance from city departments – particularly Real Estate and Development Services -- as he tries to do his job.
Luna has issues with two departments. In the midst of the audit of the Real Estate Department, Luna and his auditors were moved to a dilapidated building and told his office would have to cover repairs. Luna told the city council that Development Services withheld information to insure that the auditors presented an inaccurate report on construction permit fees.
The report he did present estimated that one of every five construction permit applications is inaccurate, either over- or underbilled. but Luna said he lacked enough information to give a total dollar figure for the mistakes. The head of the Development Services department disagreed with the audit. Accusations of intimidation and retaliation are flying between the auditor and those he audits.