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A note to readers: Voice of San Diego is launching its new website on Monday and taking another step in a broader shift in how we produce and plan stories. We have a lot of work to do so we’ll be taking a break from this week’s Sacramento Report and the Saturday Morning Report. Be sure to check out the new site, and a series of great stories, beginning Monday morning.

We have an affordable housing crisis. It costs a lot to live here. That’s exacerbating poverty as families must use more of their budget for housing, making a real poverty line much higher than the federal government’s measure. And it is a primary complaint of business leaders who don’t want to expand operations here because of what they would have to pay employees who expect good housing options.

Catherine Green summoned up three local experts in the field to prescribe a remedies. The answer, they all agreed, was to increase supply in the areas that people want to live.  “Without supply, our high housing costs and high cost of living is a feature, not a bug, of living in San Diego,” said policy researcher Erik Bruvold.

That’s a troubling diagnosis of the problem. We recently looked back at how San Diego had responded to the need for greater density and urbanist thinking in 2014, and the outlook was not promising.

Obstacles for Business: San Diego Explained

If it seems like we often focus on the lack of affordable housing, that’s because the issue has profound ramifications for all sorts of other things in the county. We labeled the high cost of living here as the second horseman of San Diego business challenges, because of how employers have to pay higher wages here in order for their workers to afford homes. In our most recent San Diego Explained, Lisa Halverstadt joined NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to break down all four, which also include high energy costs and painful tax rates.

• One bright spot in the local economy is apparent if you work in the technology industry. The L.A. Times notes that San Diego high-tech workers enjoy higher-than-average salaries and that the city is on the benefiting end of an uneven distribution of technology workers throughout the country.

Foie Gras Battle Royale

In the beginning, the controversial dish known as foie gras was legal. Then it wasn’t, because the way it’s made was ruled as involving animal cruelty. Then it was legal again, thanks to a bigger fight over who gets to make the food rules in this country. Now, California leaders want to go another round by appealing the last ruling which stopped the state from enforcing its ban on the dish, NBC 7 reports. You’ll recall we’ve written about foie gras before, including how some restaurants were exuberant about serving it once the ban was lifted.

Obama Wants Taxpayers Out of Stadium Game

Buried deep in President Obama’s new budget proposal is a clause putting an end to the sweet, low-cost, tax-exempt finance deals for professional sports. “The new proposal would tighten tax law and effectively bar use of these bonds to finance arenas, stadiums and other professional sports venues,” U-T San Diego reports. The Washington Post covered the issue from the perspective of a brand new soccer stadium built in Washington, D.C. using the type of bond in question. “Since municipal governments can issue bonds that are exempt from federal income tax, taxpayers nationwide ultimately help to pay back the debt, even for teams that are thousands of miles away.”

House Speaker John Boehner called the president’s budget proposal “a good laugh.”

News Nibbles

• A woman arrested with a gun and illegal drugs in her car in 2013 was a San Diego Unified principal. Despite her conviction, she still works for the district as a teacher. “There’s nothing stopping the district from putting her back in the classroom,” NBC 7 reports.

• San Diego cops are closing in on a deal for getting pay raises. (KPBS)

• Meet the lawyer who is holding California’s feet to the fire on the issue of gun permits via a key San Diego lawsuit. (California Lawyer)

• Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins laid out the many ways she imagines taxes could be increased to pay for state infrastructure needs, including vehicle fees, mileage fees, and fees attached to insurance. (Sacramento Bee)

• City leaders are starting to mull over what will become of the land being reclaimed from the De Anza Cove mobile home park in Mission Bay. (U-T)

• The San Diego Tourism Authority launched a new $9 million ad campaign focused mostly in West Coast cities. (Skift)

• The U-T reports that the world’s oldest living pet cat lives in San Diego and her name is Tiffany Two, according to Guinness officials. Tiffany Two is 26 years old, which makes him part of the feline millennial generation, also known as the fellinnials, who are widely known for their characteristic independence, penchant for napping and vague interest in bicycles.

Correction: An earlier version of this post transposed the name of the oldest living pet cat with the name of its owner.

Seth Hall is a local word amalgamator and technologist. You can email him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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