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Comments made by Frankie

San Diego D-Day Paratrooper Remembers Historic Jump 70 Years Ago

I heard this beautiful report today on the car radio. I was amazed that this 92-year-old man, a former history teacher right here in South Bay, had dropped into France on D-Day miles from where he was supposed to be and survived, never to talk about this searing experience until now.
Thank you, Mr. Rice, for your service and your story and thanks also to reporter Susan Murphy.

June 6, 2014 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Balboa Park Centennial Committee Members Apologize For Failure

1. Love ya, Peking Duck.
2. Note that the public relations professionals -- Braun last week and Clay this week -- do all the talking, making the requisite "apologies."
3. Where is committee CEO JULIE DUBICK who pulled down big bucks for lunching with people? When she first started in politics (losing a school board race) she always used to say she wanted "to give back." Well, now's her chance.

March 24, 2014 at 9:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego City Council Votes To Maintain Salary Levels

What is Bob Ottilie's brand of snake oil? I have never heard such outrageous spinning of a plan to get City Councilmembers off the hook of having to make the decision to grant themselves a pay raise. Why doesn't KPBS include a spokesperson for the other point of view on the same program?

I disagree with Ottilie: we "lost" Councilman Tony Young to the Red Cross, not because of the pay differential, but because Young lost his personal commitment to continue serving his Latino and African-American constituents.The Red Cross grass was greener. Now we've just learned that Young has left the Red Cross, too, after a brief tenure. It will be interesting to see what his next steppingstone, um, job is.I'll bet it pays more than the Red Cross gig.

Ottilie says the system is dysfunctional, therefore change the City Charter to "pay to attract" the "best people" to run for public office? Once again a corporate model is held up as the model for public service -- in this instance, it's city government as previously it was public education. We need good people in public life, and good people are not bought by big paychecks: they are attracted by the challenges of community service.

Ottilie dares call his notion of proposed $175,000 Council salaries "good government reform" and he calls the citizens/voters of this city "shareholders." He compares San Diego City Council salaries to salaries paid by high-flying private enterprise. Pushing for a popular vote on such a Charter change will require an expensive campaign to get it passed, and we can expect special interests -- not "shareholders" --to be paying those bills.

March 11, 2014 at 11:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Soledad Cross Battle Might Be Heading To Supreme Court

Thank you, mlcred, for correcting KPBS' misrepresentation about the Mt. Soledad Christian Cross. The site was commonly used for Easter sunrise services until it was ginned into a "war memorial" by La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club owner Bill Kellogg and others in the "Mt. Soledad Memorial Association" after 1989.

And thank you, Flagsrus, for your suggestion that would be embraced by everyone on both sides of this contentious issue.

March 6, 2014 at 11:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Balboa Park Centennial Planning Group Disbands

If doubletalk has been Gerry Braun's business since he left the U-T and became Mayor Sanders' flack-in-chief, then his interview today with Maureen Cavanaugh, as the "transition director" of the "non-profit"centennial Balboa Park Celebration Inc., is the zenith of his career.

The organization's directors were put in place by Mayor Sanders in 2011 but only in 2014 were their extraordinary monthly salaries revealed in the U-T. Now Braun is dismantling the failed organization and handing it over to new Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria, hoping they "will turn this around" in time for the centennial next year.

Maureen forgot to ask, but I assume Braun is still getting paid at least $8000/month to wind things down. His pal Julie Dubick, Mayor Sanders' chief of staff -- who scored $15,000/month as the group's executive director -- has moved on to for-profit corporate pastures. Remember, we're talking monthly salaries from 2011 to 2014.

Braun defended this wholesale rip-off of public money -- for accomplishing less-than-zero -- when Maureen mentioned "outrage over these salaries." Braun paused and actually said, "Salaries are based on skill-sets, not outcomes."

When Maureen asked point-blank how much of the $2.8 million is left, Braun dodged, saying that he was gathering financial reports, disclosures, copies of checks. He said, "All information will be made public as soon as we pull it together." One wonders how long that will take,.

March 5, 2014 at 11:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Mayoral Candidates' Personal Finances

Congratulations on this excellent detailed story.
Next time you do work of this calibre, I would hope to read it before the last week of the campaign, as many voters have already cast their ballots by mail.
Still, impartially and well done.
(Please let us know if Faulconer is getting a tax freebie on that unregistered boat at the Yacht Club.)

February 7, 2014 at 11:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alvarez, Faulconer Go Negative In First San Diego Mayoral Debate

KPBS needs to come up with an alternative political analyst to Carl Luna from Mesa College. Surely there are other political science profs to chat with Maureen Cavanaugh.

After today's mayoral "debate" on the radio, Luna had one valuable suggestion: debate moderators need to follow-up and insist when candidates dodge giving a direct answer.

Otherwise, Luna sounds enamored with ambitious interim mayor Todd Gloria; still misses vanquished Nathan Fletcher; and even yearns for the comic relief of Mike Aguirre. Plus, Luna says he doesn't reside in San Diego. Let's hear from some qualified opinionator who has skin in the game.

January 16, 2014 at 1:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Notice Of Appeal Filed Against Removal Of Mt. Soledad Cross

You forgot to note that former GOP stalwarts Mayor Jerry Sanders and conservative Congressmen Duncan Hunter Sr. and Brian Bilbray engineered the "sale" of the ground under the Christian Cross from the City of San Diego to the federal government, with the
United States Navy as custodian. Disgraceful acts, but the legal wiggle room is diminishing.

December 20, 2013 at 4:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Nathan Fletcher Readies For Mayor's Race

Based on Nathan's comments about his political party quick-change artistry, it was the kids who made him do it. (We always fall for young fathers who cite devotion to their kids as the reason for their relentless pursuit of political office.)

News flash for Nathan Fletcher: the Mayor's office has nothing to do with the San Diego Unified School District -- unless of course, your patron is Irwin Jacobs who tried and failed to take over the Board of Education a few years ago. Maybe, if elected, Fletcher will be Jacobs' stalking horse for a public school privatization takeover.

August 28, 2013 at 11:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Benefits, Risks And Ethical Concerns Of Drones

KPBS today panders to the growing local drone-making industry with this program. It is no surprise.

Maureen promises to call them "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" to scrub those unpleasant connotations of (very) long-distance spying and killing with which drones are correctly associated.

Personally, I don't WANT police deploying one of these devices from the trunk of an officer's car to assist in "locating" a suspect who might be on the run through backyards in my neighborhood. Also, I don't want cop-drones to be armed with crowd-control devices such as tear gas.

It's all beyond the pale.

August 7, 2013 at 9:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )