More than a quarter-billion has flowed from two philanthropic foundations into the neighborhood of City Heights since 2000. Megan Burks set out to understand how that sum has impacted the lives of the 70,000 residents in that neighborhood, but discovered that measuring the impact of charity isn’t always possible.

“What we quickly found out is that change isn’t as black and white as numbers,” Burks wrote. While the data does show how City Heights residents are more likely to live in poverty than residents of the county, some people are using a different measure for success. “There needs to be proof of short-term wins along the way,” one research expert said.

Climate Plan Envy

Chula Vista is eyeing San Diego’s new Climate Action Plan and is thinking about upping its own plan to match the sharply defined goals that were set forth in San Diego’s proposal.

Two Chula Vista City Council members are mulling “a statement in Chula Vista’s updated Climate Action Plan that sets an achievement goal for making the city dependent on 100 percent renewable energy,” reports VOSD’s Bianca Bruno.

San Diego recently set that goal and gave itself a deadline of 2035. The technology to implement that kind of plan in Chula Vista is probably available, but it comes with political risk that the city’s mayor may not be willing to bear. “Some aspirations are just so unreachable with what we know now,” Mayor Cheryl Cox said.

Business Groups: San Diego Explained

We often highlight the antics and efforts of groups like the Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and CONNECT on our site. But what is it that these organizations actually do?

All of them are focused on advocating for businesses in San Diego, but each one is often focused on specific industries or specific efforts. Media partner NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia sifted through the alphabet soup of membership organizations in San Diego to show how each of them operates in a distinct space in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Justice for All

A “documented gang member” from San Diego is in jail for releasing a rap album that featured an image of a gun on the cover. Prosecutors say the album makes 33-year-old Brandon Duncan a person who “willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang.” (L.A. Times)

Meanwhile, two former San Diego police officers pleaded guilty to stealing and selling prescription painkillers while on duty, the L.A. Times reports.

News Nibbles

• University of California’s Board of Regents voted on Thursday to start raising tuition by as much as 5 percent a year for the next five years. The tuition hikes came amid student protests and opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown, KPBS reports. Speaker Toni Atkins spoke out against the cuts on Twitter and  earlier this week in the Sacramento Bee.

• Students aren’t the only ones who will soon have higher bills. Regulators unanimously approved an agreement that puts electricity ratepayers on the hook for $3.3 billion over 10 years to pay for the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power station. (Fox 5)

• UC San Diego political science professor Zoltan Hajnal opines in the New York Times that President Obama’s move to change immigration rules is “the right thing to do.” The AP notes that several major TV networks decided Obama’s statement wasn’t important enough to break into sitcoms and reality shows. (San Diego 6)

• San Diego has hired a new chief data officer, KUSI reports. Mayor Kevin Faulconer told us earlier this week he was waiting to make this hire in order to fulfill a promise he made to create a public records task force for the city.

• The race for a City Council seat in Chula Vista has officially ended in a tie. (NBC 7)

• The man who funneled illegal campaign contributions to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will no longer be monitored with GPS, and he can travel outside the county. (U-T)

• The FBI is investigating accusations that the Calexico police union and city officials have been operating “exactly like the Mafioso in New York.” (NBC 7)

Who’s Idea Was This?

Two young boys from San Diego took the internet by storm this week as they sat in front of a camera covered in paint and were interrogated about their crimes of playing inside the paint they found. The YouTube video, which made was featured on the popular website BuzzFeed, has been watched more than 4 million times, the U-T notes.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist.  You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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