Roundtable: Navy/Broadway; Orchestra Nova; Bilbray/Peters; Lightner/Ellis
Navy Waterfront Project May Finally Sail: The Navy's downtown project, more than 25 years in the making, got a big boost this week when a federal judge ruled against a lawsuit filed by the Navy-Broadway Coalition.
The group sued to stop the project on the grounds that the issue of terrorism wasn’t properly addressed by the designers. The project features a new San Diego headquarters for the Navy and eight blocks of offices and hotels.
In 2006, the Navy selected developer Doug Manchester to develop the complex because he offered to build the Navy’s new San Diego headquarters for free in exchange for the right to develop the rest of the prime waterfront property located across from the Star of India.
Opponents have objected to Manchester’s plans for high-rise buildings as well as a lack of open space. Organized labor believes that Manchester will build and staff the complex with non-union workers who receive lower pay and benefits than union workers.
The California Coastal Commission has said it would like to review the plans it previously approved in 1986 because there have been many changes in the area since. Pending appeals or other legal obstacles, the project may actually get underway in the foreseeable future.
Jung Ho Pak Exits Abruptly: Having failed to get orchestra members to agree to his proposed hiring plan, Jung Ho Pak resigned as the artistic director and conductor of Orchestra Nova on Wednesday, two days before the season was to open. The opening concerts were cancelled.
After six months of talks, the orchestra and its musicians were still at loggerheads over Pak’s desire to reduce the size of the core orchestra and hire the remainder of the musicians on a concert-by-concert basis. Pak wanted to be able to hire musicians who would play with visible emotion.
Last season’s concerts sold out, even though the orchestra was filled with the very same musicians Pak wanted to replace. Nevertheless, the Orchestra Nova board was completely behind him in his desire to remake the orchestra.
Nova CEO Beverly Lambert has said she was worried worried the musicians would strike this weekend; the musicians say they were planning to play.
Peters, Bilbray Battle Over the 52nd: The race for who will represent the newly redistricted 52nd Congressional District is both close and contentious.
Republican Brian Bilbray has represented the 50th District since he won a special election in 2006 to fill the seat vacated by Randy Cunningham. Redistricting put him in the 52nd District and into a challenge by Democrat Scott Peters. Scott Peters has been a San Diego City Councilmember and is currently a Port Commissioner.
Negative ads placed by super-PACs and both parties have been a big part of the race. In puboic forums, including on KPBS, the candidates have disagreed on Social Security, border issues, the Affordable Care Act, taxes, releasing tax information, and pension reform.
Peters has a fundraising edge because he has loaned himself $2 million. Voter registration is close to even among Republicans and Democrats in the 52nd.
Lightner, Ellis Vie For Important City Seat: Technically non-partisan, the San Diego City Council is currently divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
The election for the District 1 seat will determine which way the Council leans, making it either easier or more difficult for the new mayor to get his agenda through.
Sherri Lightner, a Democrat, is the incumbent, but she has alienated labor. Republican Ray Ellis got more votes than Lightner in the primary and is seen as part of DeMaio’s slate of preferred candidates. The two differ on the Plaza de Panama project for Balboa Park and whether or not to build a bridge over Rose Canyon.