This is the first installment of Fix This, an inewsource feature that invites the people who live and work in San Diego County to help power our reporting when it comes to fixing the region’s infrastructure issues.
Investigative reporter Mary Plummer is leading the effort, with assistance from interns and other inewsource staffers. You can help us by letting us know about everything from a pesky pothole at the end of your street to a fire hazard you spot in a park. Just email the team at FixThis@inewsource.org.
We’ll be following on your tips and posting answers in stories like this one. Your help could even be key to our next big investigation.
We are kicking off our Fix This coverage with a question from reader Peter Doft about a construction site on Friars Road.
“What’s going on with the portion of Friars Road west of the trolley tracks as you approach Sea World Drive. It’s been under construction for years yet no one is ever working there. A real eyesore.”
You can’t miss what Doft is asking about if you’re on Friars Road between Morena Boulevard and SeaWorld Drive. The road has been cut down to two lanes, with the other lanes used to store heavy equipment and stacks of construction material.
The reason for that “eyesore” Doft sees — the San Diego River Double Track project.
Construction workers are adding about one mile of railroad track from Tecolote Road to the Old Town Transit Center, replacing a decades-old rail bridge that crosses the San Diego River and building a light-rail line for the Mid-Coast Trolley.
The new railroad track will provide a second track to allow multiple trains to pass through the area. With the current setup, trains crossing the San Diego River bridge can’t pass at the same time.
The San Diego Association of Governments started building the $94 million double-track project in 2016 and expects it to be finished next August. Federal funds and the countywide half-cent TransNet sales tax are paying for the transportation improvements.
As for why Doft doesn’t see much construction work going on at the site, some of it’s done at night.
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Percentages are based on 15 total survey responses. The numbers include full-time and part-time staff, full-time fellows and full-time and part-time interns.
Percentages are based on 15 completed survey responses to this question.
Percentages are based on 15 completed survey responses to this question.
|Gender Identity||Gender Identity||Gender Identity|
|Sexual Orientation||Sexual Orientation||Sexual Orientation|
|Not specified||7%||Not specified||7%|
|Speak a language beyond English at home||33%||Speak a language beyond English at home||18%||Speak a language beyond English at home||75%|
|Hispanic or Latinx||20%||Two or more races||18%||Hispanic or Latinx||50%|
|Two or more races||13%||Hispanic or Latinx||9%|
|60 or older||13%||60 or older||9%||60 or older||25%|
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Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer, editor and founder of inewsource. She founded inewsource in the summer of 2009, following a successful reporting and editing career in newspapers. She retired from The San Diego Union-Tribune, where she had been a reporter, Metro Editor and finally the senior editor for Metro and Watchdog Journalism. In addition to department oversight, Hearn personally managed a four-person watchdog team, composed of two data specialists and two investigative reporters. Hearn was a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University in 1994-95. She focused on juvenile justice and drug control policy, a natural course to follow her years as a courts and legal affairs reporter at the San Diego Union and then the Union-Tribune.
Hearn became Metro Editor in 1999 and oversaw regional and city news coverage, which included the city of San Diego’s financial debacle and near bankruptcy. Reporters and editors on Metro during her tenure were part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories that exposed Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham and led to his imprisonment.
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Mark J. Rochester began as inewsource managing editor in April 2021, having served as editor in chief at Type Investigations, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in Manhattan. He was previously senior news director for investigations at the Detroit Free Press. Both newsrooms, he notes, shared a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and their investigative journalism often received national recognition for exposing problems impacting communities of color.
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