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Homelessness is surging in Oceanside. The North County city has the second-largest transient population in the region.

By one count, street homelessness has more than doubled there in the last year.

The city’s has a dearth of housing and a tiny vacancy rate that’s complicating efforts to help the homeless and keep others off the streets.

VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt and Maya Srikrishnan write about Oceanside’s efforts to combat the problem and other likely factors behind the city’s spike in homelessness.

And they also tackle another issue: Oceanside officials are disputing just how much street homelessness is on the rise. Indeed, they suggest there was a mistake during the annual point-in-time census – a criticism Halverstadt and Srikrishnan concluded sheds light on some of the challenges with one of the most prominent ways of tracking the region’s homeless population.

• Media outlets in San Francisco are zeroing in on that city’s homeless issue today, writing about potential solutions and context surrounding that city’s homeless population.

Voice of San Diego is joining KPBS and CityBeat in a collective effort soon. But we’ve been highlighting potential solutions to San Diego’s booming homeless crisis already. Last week, we teamed with Citizens for Century 3 to host a panel where key leaders were asked about solutions to the problem. We’ve also asked experts to help dispel myths and offer advice on what the region can do to reduce homelessness.

Inside Tijuana’s Migrant Waiting Game

The endless steam of migrants come to Tijuana looking to cross legally into the United States. Then they wait. And wait.

Mexicans? Other Latin Americans? No, not all of them. As VOSD contributing writer Brooke Binkowski and contributing photographer David Maung show us, many of those pleading to overwhelmed U.S. customs officials come from far away.

One man, for example, flew from Ghana to Brazil and then traveled through through 9 other countries to get to Tijuana.

He wants to live in the U.S. as a refugee, but he found himself in one of many migrant shelters in Tijuana, which are “seeing an unprecedented surge in people stranded from all over the world as they await an answer from the United States.” There could be more on the way from places like Eastern Europe.

Read the story and see the photos here

• Want a visa into the U.S.? You may have to fess up about your social media accounts to customs. The idea is to help ferret out “nefarious activity,” language that raises the prospect of villainous evildoers twirling their mustaches. (The Guardian)

Politics Roundup: Mayor Vs. Building

Mayor Faulconer and Councilwoman Lori Zapf are taking a stand against a Point Loma building under construction that’s said to be above the coastal 30-foot height limit. (Via Facebook) Though it’s not clear whether they’ll actually move to force the builders to cut it down.

• One-time city attorney candidate Gil Cabrera has endorsed the remaining Democratic candidate, Mara Elliott.

Anti-Growth Icon Navarro Advises Trump

If you’re a long-time San Diegan, you may remember the heyday of the slow-growth/anti-Los Angelization movement of the 1980s and 1990s. “San Diego Eyes Its Big Bad Neighbor,” proclaims a 1989 N.Y. Times story that the city is filled with fear of “being consumed by its relentlessly hip neighbor to the north, Los Angeles.” (“Relentlessly hip”? Hmm.)

An economist named Peter Navarro was one of the spearheads of the slow-growth movement. He ran for mayor and failed, and has been much less of a public presence here. But he’s still in Southern California, and now he’s advising the Trump campaign and bashing an independent analysis by the Moody’s Analytics firm.

The Washington Post’s story about his rebuttal has a snarky headline — “Trump economic plan is the best and everybody should love it, Trump adviser says” — and a reality check: Navarro’s report “offers no new projections or modeling of the effects of Trump’s proposals.”

Ahem! Sex Trafficking’s Bad

Sex trafficking is a very bad thing. That’s the message of a new county ad campaign that will spread that message through billboards, bus shelter and radio ads, and more. (U-T)

Quick News Hits: Gotta Go, but Why?

• Last week on the Good Schools for All podcast, we talked about AB 934, the teacher performance and evaluation bill that would have put in place several provisions including a system to lay off teachers with poor performance reviews before those with less seniority, a new system of multiple ratings for teacher evaluations instead of just pass/fail and removal of other dismissal protections. It has been dramatically changed. It would, however, still add a third year before teachers earned “permanent” status or tenure as it’s often called. Check our story here for background about two other bills that aim to promote accountability in schools.

• Gov. Brown has approved the $171 billion state budget, which “increases funding for state-subsidized child care and removes a limit on welfare payments for families who have additional children while receiving benefits,” the L.A. Times reports. “It also boosts the state’s reserves, depositing an extra $2 billion into a rainy-day fund intended as a cushion against any future economic downturns.”

• Surprise! The state may have a lot more water underground than it thought, although getting it out of there will probably be a major undertaking since it’s quite deep. (L.A. Times)

Meanwhile, Nevada’s Lake Mead reservoir, a crucial link to our water, is at its lowest level ever. We just told you about secret negotiations over the river’s water supply.

• Some family drama brought me up to North County yesterday, and I spotted a business called Gotta Go near Tri-City Medical Center.

What kind of business is Gotta Go? I asked my online followers via a Twitter poll and got these answers in order of popularity: Portapotties (the overwhelming favorite), bail bonds and moving services (tied) and (with no votes) funeral planning.

What’s the correct answer? What does this company actually do? I’ll tell you tomorrow. For now, I’ve gotta.. Um… You know.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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