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Coverage of homelessness feels like it comes in waves – big surges where it’s all anyone talks about, and long ebbs where it fades from view.

This week was a surge. Our pal and VOSD veteran Kelly Bennett checked back in on a big investigation she worked on two years ago, and found that a federal funding formula is still screwing San Diego. But, local advocates say they’ve seen lots of progress in other ways.

San Diego also played host to a national conference on homelessness this week.

This Mother Jones story was getting a lot of buzz this week. It describes a Utah program that’s found success in eliminating homelessness by providing permanent housing. (This sounds like a no-brainer, but the “Housing First” model is actually a relatively new phenomenon; earlier models focused first on drug treatment, job placement, mental health services, etc. before housing a person.) The program is getting rave reviews, including from conservative politicians who like how much money it saves.

San Diego’s already experimented with such a program. Here, it’s called Project 25. It’s worked well in San Diego just like it has in Utah. Last year when we checked in, the program was in the final stretch of its three-year pilot program and was scrambling to secure more funding. It looks like it got some.

Friday News Dump

Pensions …

Two retired Sweetwater school district administrators got ongoing pension checks even as they resumed full-time work leading the district under six-figure consultant contracts. The state has kindly informed them that they must pay back a lot of money, thanks to new rules aimed at preventing abuse of the system. (Editor’s note: How pumped are you that Ashly McGlone is part of the VOSD team?)

… and Paseos (OK, One Paseo)

In the lobbying war over a plan to build One Paseo, a mixed-use development in Carmel Valley, the owners of a nearby shopping center say two lawsuits were just meant to silence their opposition.

It didn’t work. Donahue Schriber, the firm that owns nearby Del Mar Highlands Town Center, still spent $1.2 million opposing One Paseo in the last six months of 2014.

… and Politicians, oh my!

In this week’s Sacramento Report, I round up the big issues that might make it onto your 2016 ballot, and break down the latest news in the California Senate Race.

What VOSD Learned This Week

The city’s tactics for handling code complaints from tenants – it knocks complaints out one by one – lets repeat offenders maintain illegal conditions. Mayor Kevin Faulconer says he’ll devote more money to the problem. Meanwhile, the landlord we examined started trying to unload his properties soon after the investigation published.

Bike-sharing stations are finally open. But the problems that kept it delayed seem to have been replaced with a whole new set.

The guy in charge of rules for high school sports in California says schools can’t do much to prevent concussions without more money.

There are a few narrow circumstances that let police come into your home with no warrant.

Sempra’s big $1 billion natural gas plant sits mostly unused.

The Chargers are panicking on the stadium front. That could explain the bomb they dropped about a Los Angeles stadium deal involving the Raiders. Mayor Kevin Faulconer is mad, but he’s trying to give the team what it wants anyway. Oh, and the city’s claim that the Chargers pay $2.5 million in rent – yeah, that’s misleading.

Relevant to San Diegans Who Consume Food

Many a think piece has been written about the emergence of data-centric news sites like Vox, 538 and The Upshot.

They all present data in visual, easy-to-understand ways. They all like to explain news events and topics. But they all seem to have developed another more specific trait, too. They’re obsessed with burritos.

The latest evidence: The Upshot has a new piece this week about the calories in the most common Chipotle orders. 538 has an ongoing pursuit of the best burrito in the country – with a formula that arguably handicaps San Diego (though there are several local contenders). Vox has covered Chipotle almost as if it’s its own beat, and has analyzed other burrito-related items too.

There are two important takeaways here: 1) As a citizen of one of the world’s greatest burrito destinations, you might consider checking these sites for important burrito analysis. 2) There are people who get paid to write about burritos, which means I need to re-evaluate some of the choices I’ve made.

What I’m Reading

On Sports: RIP Jerome Kersey. Fat Jameis Winston is fat. The Onion on the NFL Combine. Special Crossfit jeans are a thing that exists.

On Music: New Drake. Tink will take over the world. The case against honoring “Glory” at the Oscars this weekend. Vox’s Pop-Up Video treatment of Taylor Swift is amazing.

On Media: There’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and David Carr, and there’s the rest of us. Perd Hapley, arguably the best “Parks and Rec” character, was an actual newsman in San Diego. Meet the reporter who took down Oregon’s governor. Zadie Smith on writing.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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