It’s not just bosses with low-paid staffs who will be stuck with the bill if San Diego boosts its minimum wage. Taxpayers will need to pay for enforcement to make sure those bosses are following the law.

How will that work? It’s not quite clear yet since a report is still in the works. But we can gain some good insight into the possibilities by examining the city’s existing wage cops.

Check our findings in a new story. As we discover, the city already has staff members who enforce the living wage ordinance and the prevailing wage ordinance, which set rules about pay for city contractors. Among other things, the wage cops investigate complaints, go to construction sites and hold training sessions.

College Path for Somali Refugees Is Female-Centered

Back in Somalia, girls often stay home as their brothers go to school. As we report in a new story, that’s not the case for the Somali refugees who have found new homes in communities like City Heights.

“Leaders in the local Somali community say refugee boys are at much higher risk of dropping out than the general school population, especially if they’re a Somali Bantu ethnic minority, which came to the U.S. more recently,” we report. “They say boys often are drawn into fights and, like many refugees, lack resources and struggle with language.”

The gender shift is creating tensions and spawning theories about why it exists.

Law Enforcement Roundup: Sheriff Just Says No

• Sheriff Bill Gore is quoted in a New York Times story about how sheriffs “are openly rejecting the Obama administration policy of holding noncitizens who are accused or convicted of crimes for extra time, which for years has enabled the federal government to begin deportation proceedings for thousands of immigrants.”

Gore says a federal judge’s ruling ties his hands. “If they want to take someone into federal custody, they can decide to do that, but I am not going to keep holding somebody because they ask me to, and nothing more than that.”

• The U-T offers a helpful scorecard of the the South Bay corruption scandal, which ensnarled elected and non-elected school officials plus contractors. Eighteen people were convicted but on only 22 of 250 charges. One school superintendent faces seven months in jail.

• San Francisco is fighting for prisoner rights by dramatically reducing the exorbitant costs of inmate phone calls in its jail system, the Los Angeles Times reports: “The cost of a 15-minute collect in-state regional call, such as those to a neighboring county, will drop by 70%, to $4.05 from $13.35. A 15-minute collect local call will now cost $2.75 instead of $4.45 — a 38% drop.”

An assemblyman is pushing legislation to lower the price of the calls and dismisses opposition from an association of sheriffs worried about losing income: “I think there are better ways to fund it other than taxing grandma.”

Foe’s Inside View of Influential Megachurch

Back when I attended it as a kid, La Mesa’s Skyline Church was definitely evangelical but hadn’t yet become a conservative political force. Now, it’s one of the most politically influential “megachurches” in the country, having played a major role in the organization support of 2008’s anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8.

In the Daily Beast, V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, describes visiting Skyline Church for a debate about gay issues. He writes that the massive church building “is one of the most welcoming places I’ve ever been,” the seats complete with cup holders for coffee from the cafe: “I am struck by the starkness of the worship space: no windows, all black, no cross or stained glass, and not a single sign that this is a place of worship.”

The service, he writes, begins with excitement. “But soon, the mood turns dark. In between the uplifting songs, the message is: they’re coming to get us.” “They” refers to “liberal and godless forces on every side.”

Quick News Hits: Not So Sparkling

• The weekly list of our Top 10 most popular stories leads off with an exclusive about a meeting between the sheriff, the district attorney and the accused moneyman in the campaign finance scandal.

• The annual Ocean Beach marshmallow fight returned to its roots as a subdued affair after a big effort to keep it from becoming violent and hazardous as it has in the past. (NBC 7)

• Animal shelters got triple the normal number of stray dogs on Saturday as canines got freaked out by fireworks. (CBS 8)

• It was an exciting Fourth of July evening here in Normal Heights. Partygoers lit a bunch of loud fireworks, repeatedly startling every sentient being on the block, until a furious neighbor told them to knock it off or she’d call the cops.

Hey, miffed person down the street: Can you get in touch about your Neighbor of the Year trophy?

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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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