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We got a bunch of community leaders together on Thursday to talk about solutions to homelessness, not in the structural long-term sense, but in the urgent and immediate sense that homeless people experience. Proposals to solve homelessness often envision complex and costly approaches that can take years to pan out. Meanwhile, the city struggles to meet the daily basic needs of a growing homeless population. What to do?

“If I could wave a wand and build thousands of units overnight that have wrap-around services, that’s what I would do,” Councilman Todd Gloria said. Gloria argued that city resources need to be focused on solutions that provide long-term, “housing first” approaches to homelessness, and he resisted ideas like shifting attention to building a new, 500-bed homeless intake facility.

That housing first model requires extensive partnerships with willing landlords who can offer up rentals. “How are we going to address the housing first model right now because the inventory’s not there?” asked Alpha Project COO Amy Gonyeau. Other participants suggested legalizing tent cities and allowing the homeless to self-govern them, or turning dilapidated motels into homeless housing. The discussion was a partnership with Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, and if you couldn’t make it, you’re in luck! We caught the entire discussion on video.

The Learning Curve: Kids Are Out of School. Now What?

It’s summertime, which means many school-aged children are cut loose from their rigorous learning regiment and experience schedules set free from classroom hours. But while children dream of free time, parents puzzle over what to do to keep their kids safe, educated and entertained. “It’s a deceptively complicated question that vexes parents of all backgrounds,” Mario Koran writes.

He’s compiled a list of solutions to the puzzle, many of them free, including camps offered by local schools. “San Diego Unified offers summer programs at 25 schools in the district,” Koran reports. Outside of school district programs, the YMCA and public libraries are good options as well.

In the latest episode of our show “Good Schools for All” you’ll hear us talking with Candy Smiley, president of Poway Federation of Teachers, about how Poway has set up its teacher evaluations to get teachers the help they need to improve.

Bilingual Kids: San Diego Explained

Sherman Elementary is doing something unique in San Diego: It’s trying to get all students literate in both Spanish and English by the end of fifth grade. The school is very nearly achieving that goal by delivering a “50/50” approach where students learn half of the day in either language. Mario Koran and NBC 7’s Monica Dean discuss how Sherman has accomplished this and how a state ballot initiative in November, if passed, could allow more schools to follow the same path in our most recent San Diego Explained.

The Upside of Homeless Rocks

Logan Heights resident John R. Mireles had a different response than many in the public when he learned the city had installed rocks along Imperial Avenue in order to displace the homeless. While many in the public condemned the move, Mireles’s first response was “Hallelujah, it’s about time!” he writes in an op-ed. “These rocks impacted one small segment of this larger population,” Mireles notes. We found out that the rocks had been installed specifically to hide the homeless from people traveling to Petco Park for the upcoming All-Star Game. Mireles feels the conditions tolerated by the homeless are a “homegrown humanitarian disaster.”

“We need some attempt at solutions that don’t just push the people to where they can be ignored,” Mireles writes.

During our panel discussion with community leaders, Councilman Todd Gloria addressed the homeless rocks: “The rocks are a disaster. It’s a disgrace. We’re better than this as a city.” He said he understands there were concerns but believes that $50,000 could have been better used to help people rather than displace them.

Another Stadium Proposal

If you want a downtown stadium to exist in San Diego, you’ve had a couple of options to mull over. As of Thursday, you may have yet another one. Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, currently a radio talk show host, is back in the news with his proposal to fund a football stadium without raising taxes or spending from the city’s general fund. DeMaio says the money would come from a coalition of hoteliers, developers, the Chargers and the Port of San Diego. “The plan also proposes $25 million from an ‘enhanced infrastructure financing district’ — something DeMaio described as a ‘dedication of tax revenues from the hotel, retail and property that the stadium sits on,’” KPBS reports.

News Nibbles

San Diego is thinking about making water restrictions voluntary again instead of mandatory. (CBS 8)

Water rates are going up. So are electricity rates. (KPBS)

With over 7,000 acres consumed by flame, we enter day six of the Border Fire. (NBC 7)

 The San Andreas fault is showing some movement, which is kinda scary. (L.A. Times)

The much-sought-after internet provider Google Fiber has agreed to purchase local provider Webpass. (WIRED)

Speaking of Google, it is opening a location in San Diego. (Union-Tribune)

 San Diego may be known widely for fish tacos, or craft beer. Add to that list: Sriracha Big Macs.

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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