The parolees are coming.

The state is releasing thousands of prisoners due to overcrowding and budget cuts. And the communities of Southeastern San Diego are bracing for their arrival.

As we report, the influx of ex-cons “has been a topic of conversation at social service agencies, informal places like trolley stops and the local Starbucks, and at a recent debate between City Council candidates.”

“That’s our brothers, cousins, uncles, sisters. That’s our families,” said one local woman who helps returning prisoners find jobs. “Of course we’re talking about it. That is us.”

But there’s a problem, she says: “We’re elated to have our loved ones back amongst us, but we’re left with this broken person with all these needs and no resources.”

Our story looks at challenges facing both the community and these returning prisoners. The county may get as many as 2,000-3,000 more ex-cons than usual over the next two years thanks to revised parole and early release programs.

In other news:

  • In response to our query, a top county official responds to a critical federal report about the local food stamp program, saying the report is outdated and “reflects a system in flux.”
  • In another post, we look at the federal government’s food-stamp review and its criticism that the county is failing to follow civil-rights protocols. As we report, the feds “found that the civil rights training for food stamps workers has been ‘inconsistent and not conducted on a regular basis.’ The report found some ’employees don’t recall ever receiving’ the training, and those who did couldn’t remember what was covered.”
  • Have you got a loud neighbor or one who fills his eyesore yard with junk? If you live in San Diego, it may take longer to get someone to come out and pay attention.

    “City officials have intervened in neighborhood code disputes far less frequently than just two years ago,” we report. “If this year’s pace continues, the city will investigate nearly half as many cases in 2010 compared to 2008.”

    It’s a matter of money and priorities. “In 2008, for example, city officials investigated noise that generated at least two complaints. Now, it takes at least three complaints.”

  • As we reported last week, San Diego provides reclaimed water to golf courses, homeowners associations and biotechs, but the price of that water has not gone up even though the customers have seemed to expect it to and residents have had to absorb major increases for their water.

    We asked the city about this weeks ago and finally got a response. Funny thing: the city provides plenty of details but refuses to answer an important question.

  • Meanwhile, a mayoral spokesman complained about our citations of a confidential draft study, which he says isn’t accurate. Oddly enough, the analysts behind the supposedly incorrect draft study are scheduled to be rehired for $50,000 to redo it.
  • The Photo of the Day has pictures from Coachella, where it tried to avoid the brown acid. Oops, wrong music festival. At this one, everyone tried to avoid the areas with poor cell service.
  • If you read the Morning Report yesterday, you learned that our CEO, Scott Lewis, would like to jump off the Ocean Beach Pier. He may have his chance: he’s gotten a couple offers to take part in training programs that will allow him to take a flying leap (ahem) this summer.

    What’s that they say about long walks and short piers?

  • A programming note: You won’t see me in this space for the next week, but don’t worry: I haven’t been fired (gah) or promoted to management (double-gah). I’m just heading to a journalism conference.

    Feel free to insert your own corny jokes and snarky remarks into the Morning Report in my absence. And remember: If the brain boost you get from reading the Morning Report lasts more than four hours, please consult a physician.


  • In the U-T: “A state agency that investigated the death of a Chargers’ game-day employee who fell from a Qualcomm Stadium press box/coaches’ booth last fall said that more than a dozen viewing-box windows at the facility are unsafe and must have protective barriers installed.”
  • Also in the U-T: “Lawyers representing the family of slain Poway teenager Chelsea King have asked a judge to expand a gag order barring authorities from making public comments or disseminating documents and photographs related to the murder investigation.”

    The U-T says the lawyers want an order that “would ban the release of any photographs, reports, documents, information or opinion regarding Chelsea King.”

  • There’s new talk of saving beach fire pits: The La Jolla Light reports that a local foundation “is willing to pay for beach fire pits in La Jolla if other donors and community foundations are willing to follow suit in their communities.”
  • Thar she blows: There’s another whale in the bay. (KFMB-TV)
  • CityBeat takes a close look at Assembly candidate (and San Diego Councilman) Ben Hueso’s campaign contributions and says a planned homeless center is promising but not promising enough.
  • Will Parson, a local freelance photographer who’s worked with, has posted dozens of photos from his trip to view earthquake damage in Mexicali and Calexico with structural engineering faculty and students from UCSD.
  • Finally, the Bay Area’s Contra Costa Times ran a story about how more retirees are expected to spend their golden years in Mexico. A 2004 study suggested there may be 500,000-600,000 Americans living south of the border.

    The story mentions a Livermore couple who bought a home between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco and are happy with their decision. “I can unplug,” says the wife.

If only someone could unplug their horrendously ugly house, seen in a photo with the story. (My eyes! My eyes!)


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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