The words “Section 8,” which refer to a federal program that provides money funding to help needy people find inexpensive housing, isn’t universally beloved. The paperwork can be frustrating, the selection of places to live can be limited (due in part to landlords who don’t want to deal with the program), and the rules can be hard to follow.

But, as our new profile of one family shows, losing Section 8, despite all its hassles, is a burden of its own. A mother and her two school-age children have been cast from the program because of zero-tolerance regulations. Never mind that the person who broke the rules and the law, the mother’s 21-year-old son, is now gone.

• CityBeat reports that the United Way’s anti-homelessness efforts have a new chief after the old one, a former councilman, stepped down.

The United Way’s program oversees Project 25, which aims to get the costliest homeless people off the street.

• We also take a quick look at a national report that lauds an approach that helps the homeless by not only finding them places to live but also giving them resources to put their lives together.

Mayor Appoints Special Lease Adviser

The city of San Diego leases hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space in downtown San Diego and some of those leases are coming to an end. Mayor Bob Filner has tapped Commercial real-estate power player Jason Hughes as a volunteer to advise on the effort to renegotiate things, the Daily Transcript reports.

Former Mayor Jerry Sanders had rejected Hughes’ offer to help on this for free. Here’s some background on that, via the U-T. We captured some of that tension between Hughes and Sanders in this profile of Sanders’ top aide Kris Michell.

Hughes, by the way, is a supporter of VOSD and you might have seen his picture on some of our membership promotions.

We’re in the middle of a membership campaign, consider joining the club.

Airing the Notion of a Recall

U-T San Diego columnist Logan Jenkins, whose bosses would certainly love the idea of evicting Mayor Bob Filner, considers the prospect.

“The danger for Filner’s enemies is that the mayor might be ennobled as a martyr,” he writes. Funny: I had the exact same thought (the risk of martyrdom) about the now-exposed secretive smear campaign against former mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who lost to Filner.

Border Build Makes President’s Budget

Councilman David Alvarez announced that the president wants to devote some of the federal government’s next budget to finishing an expansion of the border crossing at San Ysidro. Alvarez later remarked on Twitter that he had not seen any local Republican congressional representatives oppose the plan so he was optimistic it would get through.

Meanwhile, KPBS reports on a new study that says the nation’s gross domestic product would rise by $66 million if the United States sped up border lines by hiring 33 new agents. OK, but how much would it cost to hire, train and pay that many agents plus other expenses like supervisors and facilities for them to work in?

Quick News Hits

• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who’s up for re-election in 2014, already has a challenger, the U-T reports.

• The city and school district are poised to help inner-city students get to school safely via free passes for public buses. Our story checks in on a school board meeting where students rallied to get support.

• CityBeat investigates the intimate medical inspections of abused and neglected kids at a county facility for them. An attorney says the inspections, which require a child to be unclothed, are intrusive and fail to allow parents to be present.

• Things are looking up for plans to restart the San Onofre nuke plant: “Federal regulators have signaled that running [the plant] at reduced power would not pose a significant safety risk,” the AP reports.

To learn more about the San Onofre mess, check our San Diego Explained feature.

• The Arizona Republic newspaper has posted a neat interactive graphic that tracks year-by-year changes in important law-enforcement numbers along the U.S.-Mexico border, such as number of agents and illegal crossers who managed to get past officers despite being detected.

• A city ballot measure passed in 2008 will provide funding for $2.5 million in improvements to Mission Bay Park, the U-T reports.

• There is something called the American Society of Concrete Contractors’ Decorative Concrete Council, and it really likes the new downtown library, the U-T reports.

How much concrete is in the library building? The equivalent of the weight of 1.15 million San Diegans, it turns out.

That number may need to be adjusted in a few months. I’m on a diet.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.