The county runs a variety of programs that are part of the local social safety net for the poor and needy. Now, the state wants to slice funding to help the homeless and uninsured and monitor public health. As much as $17 million could vanish.

But, there’s no reason to panic. The financial picture is complicated, and the county may end up with enough funding to keep certain programs on track.

Does ‘Affordable Housing’ Mean What We Think It Does?

We’ve renamed the city’s controversial “linkage fee” the “affordable housing fee.” But the fight remains the same: Should local builders pay more to fund “affordable housing”?

The head of a taxpayer advocacy group hints that the very words “affordable housing” are misleading: “The reality is that last year 63 percent of the Housing Trust Fund went to pay for transitional housing, which is in fact a different type of housing.”

San Diego Fact Check finds the claim is true. Our new story explains why and also dips into how that kind of housing works.

The (Legal) Hits Just Keep on Coming

• The state Coastal Commission, which just approved the giant expansion of the convention center, is facing a new lawsuit aimed at killing the project, the U-T reports. Among other things, the lawsuit claims “at least one unnamed coastal commissioner failed to reveal communications with the port and other parties prior to the vote,” according to the U-T.

The story notes that the project’s supports expect the expansion will be done by 2017, a mightily optimistic prediction considering all the legal drama that’s surrounding it.

• A judge will rule next week on a bid to stop the Barrio Logan referendum from reaching the ballot because signature collectors (allegedly) misled voters, KPBS reports.

Quick News Hits

• The Culture Report, our weekly compilation of links to local arts and culture stories, has a new maestro: She’s arts writer and alt-weekly columnist extraordinaire Alex Zaragoza. Her first Culture Report has details about a very unusual place to find art, a voyeuristic photographer, this week’s jazz fest and circus freaks on stage.

• Here’s something you probably didn’t know: A city law requires landlords to provide off-street parking to tenants. That goes for homes and apartments, and not just a single space either: A two-bedroom apartment gets two spaces. Well, supposedly, at least.

In a new story, 10News reports that the law is violated all over the place. But some older homes don’t need to follow the rule.

• Does a house on your block look like a dump? Here’s an idea, reports The Wall Street Journal: Hire someone to cover it with decals of fake screen doors and windows. Or cover the windows with plastic that looks like glass. Or use other reality-resistant strategies: “Nonprofits in Cincinnati and Chicago enlist local artists to paint faux facades or curtain-drawn windows on boarded-up homes in hopes of making them less conspicuous.”

• “Cities across the U.S. have been adopting new laws limiting what and how charitable groups can feed the homeless,” the Atlantic Cities blog reports Earlier this year, we reported on how local advocacy groups are pushing for better approaches other than “drive by fooding.”

• San Diego is a top city, barely, for female entrepreneurs, the Intuit Business Blog reports. We’re No. 10, while San Francisco is No. 1.

The report says about 31 percent of businesses here are owned by women; that’s among the lower numbers in the site’s Top 10 list. We’re also pretty low in the percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees. The numbers may be out of date, though: They list our unemployment rate as 10 percent, when it’s actually under 8 percent.

• The president of the nation of Azerbaijan has been re-elected president, and folks like Barack Obama have congratulated him. What’s that got to do with us? Well, an Azerbaijan news site says Todd Gloria, San Diego’s interim mayor, sent good tidings too: “Gloria expressed his endless joy over the victory of Ilham Aliyev in the presidential elections and continuation of his wise leadership which transformed Azerbaijan into a powerful state with a developing economy and international influence.”

It’s a stretch that our interim mayor said anything of the sort. Whatever the case, maybe he might want to share this “endless joy” with the rest of us?

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 and follow him on Twitter:

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

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