The American measles outbreak began at Disneyland and has spread to the San Diego region. We’re home to about 12 percent of 107 cases, and counting.
The total may not sound like a lot, but it’s a huge number for just a few weeks and could push the nation past the nearly 600 cases reported last year, the highest number since 1996. We’ve compiled five things to know about the outbreak.
Among other things, we point out the local schools with the lowest kindergarten vaccination rates and we remember a 2008 La Jolla-based outbreak — caused by an unvaccinated child — that nearly robbed a baby of his life. His mother later told public radio about her fury at the anti-vaccination crowd.
Lights Out In Logan Heights
VOSD’s Liam Dillon dropped by Logan Heights and talked to a woman who has lived on her streetlight-free block for decades. Unfortunately, she “will not be getting streetlights on her block anytime soon if the city’s budget numbers hold true. The same goes for almost every block in the city that needs streetlights.”
In fact, the city thinks it needs more than $250 million worth of streetlight upgrades over the next five years, but it doesn’t expect to spend even $4 million. By the way, there’s a big debate over whether streetlights actually contribute to safety. One theory says they actually make crime worse. But they do seem to make people feel safer and, CityLab writes, they increase “a sense of community, and community pride,” at least where people prefer to shed light on the subject.
Todd Gloria and David Alvarez, two Democratic San Diego City Council members, blasted the mayor for not making his new Citizens Stadium Advisory Group a public, official commission that has to maintain open records.
And after arguing on Twitter all weekend, Scott Lewis explained in a commentary why the group should have been public and why it’s about more than just transparency. For one thing, as a secret private group, it can’t get legal advice from the city.
Two members of the task force spoke to KPBS Monday.
• Political polling in San Diego has a reliability problem, so it’s wise to look at surveys with a spice cabinet full of salt. Even if it’s quite a bit off reality, however, a new U-T/10News poll seems to hold bad news for anyone who wants taxpayers to pitch in on a new football stadium: A whopping 63 percent of San Diegans said they don’t like the idea. Meanwhile, more than 61 percent wanted to keep the current stadium or repair it.
• The blog SB Nation snarkily comes up with scenarios about what the other 30 NFL teams would do at the end of a close Super Bowl game at second down and 1. If you didn’t watch the game, the Seahawks made a controversial choice.
The Chargers, the blog said, would do this: “Philip Rivers sneak, spontaneously combusts after he scores.”
Politics Roundup: Ruckus over Referendums
• One former San Diego mayor, a Republican, likes referendums, those petition drives that keep torpedoing plans of liberals. A potential mayor has another point of view. Public radio’s California Report talks to them both and each takes a different perspective on what they mean for democracy.
• The U-T talks to the new chairman of the port.
• Local Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bid to force pro sports teams to treat cheerleaders like employees is making national news.
Quick News Hits: Medical Mess
• A combination of “widespread confusion, enrollment glitches and a revolving door of health officials” are threatening the state’s efforts to make it cheaper to pay for the treatment of expensive patients who are on both Medicare and Medicaid. (L.A. Times)
• “Inmate populations are falling in once-overcrowded California county jails since voters decided in November that certain drug and property crimes should be treated as misdemeanors instead of felonies,” the AP reports. San Diego County is among those with fewer inmates.
• Fewer people are golfing these days, and local golf courses are suffering because of it. (KPBS)
• A Cub Scout hike along the coast turned up naked people — surprise! — at Black’s Beach, the famous home of naked beachgoers. A parent was shocked: “I was nauseated because I’ve never seen just a bunch of nude people walking around holding hands, strange people that I don’t know.” (CBS 8)
• A headline says this: “Warmer Ocean Temperature Leads to Explosion of Hot Pink Sea Slug Population Off Northern California Coast.” And I say this: Hot pink? Fabulous! Click!
The slugs normally hang around L.A. and San Diego, Tech Times says, but they and their hot-pink selves have moved north. They’re officially known as Hopkins’ Rose nudibranch sea slugs, named after a friend of oceanography named Hopkins and the color of pink roses.
I’d wear hot pink in honor of these slugs, but I really would like to leave the house today without causing a massive public spectacle. Maybe Valentine’s Day!
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.