Photo by Sam Hodgson
Bob McElroy, president of the Alpha Project, stands alongside homeless San Diegans living in the downtown winter shelter as they line up to collect donated goods.
We’ve been examining issues of inequality in San Diego lately, and we’re going to continue exploring the differences between us. In a new roundup, we take a look at what our recent stories have uncovered in terms of disparities in education, housing and food.
Click on the story to catch up on what we’re learning about the specific topics of education, affordable (and unaffordable) housing and food access.
How Bad Is Asthma in Barrio Logan?
The San Diego neighborhood of Barrio Logan has been in the news lately as a political battle continues over the blueprint for its future. A clogged blend of homes and industry, it’s long been poverty-stricken and an emblem for urban neglect. And that’s not all: “Barrio Logan has one of the highest rates of asthma not only in San Diego but all of California,” an activist wrote the other day.
One asthma sufferer from Barrio Logan is especially noteworthy: Councilman David Alvarez, who’s one of the two men running for mayor.
San Diego Fact Check takes a look at the activist’s claim in a new story. Turns out there’s evidence to support the claim, but it’s not quite complete enough to earn a “true” verdict. Instead, the claim is “mostly true,” although it may be entirely true.
Make sure to check out a map that shows the areas of the county that are most likely to have kids who require ER visits for asthma: They’re in the poorer parts of the county, particularly in urban San Diego.
That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a higher risk of asthma in those areas, since it’s possible that some of these kids aren’t getting treated until they’re seriously ill.
• Speaking of fact checking, a website called calnewsroom.com tries to figure out how the media came to believe — wrongly — that former Mayor Bob Filner had lost his right to vote as part of his plea deal. It seems that the detail came from a press release from the state attorney general’s office that was later revised, possibly without any mention being made of the correction.
The state actually makes it pretty difficult to prevent someone from voting, as we discovered during Filner Scandal Summer. None of the criteria, such as being on parole or in prison, applies to Filner.
City Hall News Roundup
• Irene McCormack Jackson, the onetime Filner communications director who says Filner sexually harassed her, is on unpaid leave from the city, the U-T reports.
• There’s almost always parking available in and around Balboa Park if you know where to look and don’t mind walking a bit. But taking a stroll isn’t an option for all people at all times, especially if you’re disabled or have a play to catch. That’s where the park’s trams come in, but their service has been limited.
Now, the park has debuted a new shuttle service that takes people back and forth from the Inspiration Point parking lot across Park Boulevard from the park, the U-T reports. It only operates until 6 p.m., though, so forget it if you’re heading for a late play at the Old Globe.
Another tram service continues to serve other parts of the park, including a couple stops on the west side, where parking is almost always available but not always close to the main park.
• The City Council has approved a plan to add some 600 miles of bike upgrades across the city, but it’s more of a vision than a firm commitment to spend money, the U-T reports.
Efforts to boost biking in San Diego have been largely uncontroversial, and we’ve avoided the tension over cycling that’s plagued places like New York City and San Francisco.
• The cost to taxpayers of a rogue cop has now reached at least $2.3 million, the U-T reports, thanks to a new $795,000 settlement with a woman who accused the officer of sexual assault.
Quick News Hits
• The Culture Report, our weekly look at all things artistic and cultural, examines a blending of art and science, a celebration of an art show director who died last week, a Friday the 13th fundraising drive and the cost (and benefit) of crossing the good-taste police at Facebook.
• A team of students from San Diego’s High Tech High wants to get into the business of food by making it and selling it. Lemonade stand? Far from it: They plan to run a food truck operation and are looking to get financial support through Kickstarter, VOSD food blogger Clare Leschin-Hoar reports. The students need to raise $35,000 to get the project off the ground.
“The students have been working in committees to make sure we have all aspects of the business covered: legal, finance, public relations, a cooking team, a group that will focus on sourcing local, organic and sustainable products, a video crew and more,” a teacher tells us.
• And away goes the chief of the locally based Lululemon company, which keeps making the news for all the wrong reasons, like dumb things the founder/chairman said and for making overly revealing yoga clothes.
• Bill Conti, a San Diego Symphony pops conductor and the guy who came up with the “Rocky” theme, is composing “an original piece of orchestral music about San Diego” and looking for inspiration from video submissions from the public, KPBS reports.
I didn’t get a chance to submit my own video of me singing a song that’s dear to my heart. It’s an original number that goes something like this: “On top of spaghetti … ” Oh man, now I’m hungry.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.
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