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Sedrick Murhula Ntwali, who escaped with his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and eventually made his way to San Diego, has a pretty ridiculous resume for a 24-year-old: He started his own nonprofit at age 17 to ease tensions between refugee groups in his Ugandan refugee camp. This week, ahead of World Refugee Day, Ntwali is in Washington, D.C. to ask members of Congress to boost funds for refugees. Oh, and he also put the finishing touches on an art installation honoring refugees earlier this week.
Ntwali talked with Megan Burks about the challenges – and joys – of being a refugee in the United States. He said refugees in San Diego face three big challenges: finding housing, job opportunities and integration into a brand new society.
Police: Preventing Hit-and-Runs Is Basically Impossible
Once a month, Rudy Delgado heads to the intersection where his friend and roommate was killed in a hit-and-run accident, and presses passers-by to come forward to help solve the case.
Delgado’s situation is a painful reminder that when it comes to hit-and-run accidents, police (and victims) focus almost entirely on catching the perpetrators – not preventing incidents in the first place.
That’s because there are no solid patterns that could help police take preventative measures, Mario Koran reports. And harsh punishments for hit-and-run drivers who are caught don’t do much to deter other drivers, research shows.
• The U-T has more on the city’s big pedestrian safety study. One big takeaway: “Pedestrians in San Diego’s lower-income neighborhoods are 10 times more likely to get hit by a vehicle than pedestrians in higher-income areas.”
Stuck in Neutral
The city and MTS finally have a new five-year contract for the taxi industry – but it ensures taxi drivers are basically stuck with the status quo.
The contract means “no new protections against low wages, long work hours and alleged retaliation from cab company owners,” reports Megan Burks.
But language in the contract does open the door for city-led reforms.
What We Learned This Week
• The two ZIP codes with the highest number of hit-and-runs over the last five years are 91950 and 92102, which cover National City and parts of Golden Hill and South Park.
• The Valley View Casino Center got a $4 million facelift.
• San Diego is a pricey place to live, but it’s not the second most-expensive city in the U.S.
• No, San Diego Unified is not about to hand out pink slips.
• Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants more houses in San Diego.
Quick News Hits
• What is a startup, anyway? Brant Cooper explains. (Xconomy)
• City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole has started a legal fund to defend herself against a lawsuit from her former opponent, Dwayne Crenshaw. Crenshaw filed suit over that false crack attack during their campaign for District 4. (San Diego Reader)
• A Washington Post investigation into drone crashes found that “among the models that crashed most often is the MQ-1 Predator, the Air Force drone manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, of San Diego.”
• W. Mark Leslie, a longtime telecom exec, will be the new president and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. (U-T San Diego)
Quote of the Week
“San Diego needed some good news. We were ready to have someone with integrity at the helm of the ship. I don’t have to agree with everything Faulconer has ever done to support him. I just felt like the time was right for him … Quite honestly I prolonged my stay in San Diego just for the special election.” — Chad Michael Terry, aka Faulconer Man.