Roundtable Features KPBS Editors' Top Stories of 2014
Top Story: The 52nd Congressional Race
It was nasty, it was prolonged, and it was hugely expensive.
The tight race for the 52nd Congressional District finally produced a winner as Democratic incumbent Scott Peters edged out Republican Carl DeMaio. It also produced charges of sexual harassment, breaking and entering and theft.
Amidst voter fatigue with the heavy blanket of commercials, mailers and robo-calls, some questions emerged, including what effect the unsavory side issues had on the vote, Scott Peters' priorities for the next two years, and what Carl DeMaio will do with his new Super PAC.
An Operatic Top Story
When the San Diego Opera was shut down by its board in March 2014, even San Diegans who had never attended a performance were shocked.
Two months and lots of drama and angst later, the board – with a different cast of characters this time – rescinded the vote to close and instead launched the opera’s 50th, although somewhat stripped down, season.
An audit said the 2015 season is looking like it might actually be a success. But what of the next year and the year after that?
Top Story: Taxi Medallions And Uber
There are big changes afoot in the way San Diegans get around.
This year the San Diego City Council decided to deal with the problem of exploitative labor practices and low driver pay by removing the cap on the number of taxi medallions so that basically anyone can get one.
But that maneuver may be moot, eventually, as the popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft continues to grow.
Uber in particular is becoming known for its rule-breaking (some say predatory) behavior, becoming established in a city first and asking for permissions and licenses later.
There are several questions that may find answers in 2015. Will Uber be curbed?; Will cab drivers make a living wage?; Will taxis be hailed?
Top Story: A So-So Real Estate Year
The San Diego residential real-estate market is currently languishing, flat-lining or losing traction — your choice of cliche.
In November the median home price was up only 3.6 percent from a year ago, a figure which, for San Diegans who remember 2007 and 2008 fondly, might as well be zero percent.
But consider that things were worse in 2012, with growth of just 1.7 percent year over year for the month of June. That glacial pace (another apt cliche) was followed in 2013 by gains of 24.1 percent in home prices.
Are we on the cusp of another surge? If so, can we take it, given that we are one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country?
And if it turns out that there is no surge on the horizon and price increases stay pretty modest, is that a bad thing?