It’s something public officials and advocates like to say a lot: Homelessness is not a crime.

But that doesn’t mean homeless folks in San Diego don’t get punished for certain things directly related to being homeless.

Over the last five years, arrests and citations for “encroachment” – when a person encroaches on a public space, like a sidewalk – have soared, Kelly Davis reports in a new story.

That’s in spite of a 2007 legal settlement that made it so homeless folks in San Diego can sleep in certain public spaces from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. without being ticketed for illegal lodging.

One of the lawyers who helped secure that settlement said he believes police are using encroachment tickets to get around the settlement.

“They’re treating people like trash cans and ignoring the types of encroachment the law was designed to address,” he said.

• We write about homelessness issues fairly consistently, but expect to see an even bigger push this week. VOSD and other news outlets across San Diego are taking part in San Diego Homeless Awareness Day. You can scope this Twitter account for updates, and check our site and a Medium site that will collect several outlets’ homelessness coverage.

• Earlier this year, Lisa Halverstadt detailed the struggle many local providers are having making the switch to so-called “permanent housing,” the preferred strategy for addressing homelessness. It means getting folks into, yes, permanent housing – instead of putting them in temporary digs while providing services like mental health counseling or drug addiction treatment.

The struggle is happening around the country as providers make the switch, including in Los Angeles: “The problem for the thousands of homeless people who need both housing and services is that the permanent housing that will replace transitional beds doesn’t exist today and won’t for years,” the L.A. Times reports.

Hot Like Fire

It’s hot and it’s August, which means fire danger is high.

Check out the scary adjectives being used to describe what could be in store: “Cal Fire Captain Kendal Bortisser says the extreme conditions can lead to unpredictable fire intensity and fast-moving flames,” reports KPBS.

Ferocious fires are already raging in Northern California, including one that “ripped through the post office, a winery, a Habitat for Humanity office and several other businesses,” notes the Los Angeles Times.

And though heat and fires roll around every year, things are getting objectively worse: NASA reported Monday that July 2016 was the hottest month in recorded history.

Hugs Not Thugs

If you need a reminder of how disconnected some of the rhetoric in this presidential election has been from reality, look no further than the latest Border Report.

The rhetoric: We need a border wall to keep out criminals! The reality: Advocates who actually work on the border are hoping to allow more separated families time to embrace one another.

“Members of Friends of Friendship Park have begun the Let Them Hug campaign, in order to allow people to embrace loved ones who are currently separated by an international border. Currently (except on Children’s Day) individuals and families can go up to the fence at Friendship Park during set times and speak to one another through closely woven chicken wire that allows ‘pinky kisses’ — the touch of fingertips through the wall’s holes,” Brooke Binkowski writes.

Tronc-ifying the News

One of the biggest targets in John Oliver’s epic recent rant on the state of journalism was Tronc, the company formerly known as Tribune Publishing, which owns the L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

Tronc’s marketing videos announcing the company and its approach to news, sorry — content! — have amused and terrified journalists.

Now, we’re seeing some of that approach play out. On Monday, Sandy Coronilla, a web editor at the Union-Tribune (and former VOSD intern) announced on Twitter and Facebook that she has been laid off along with other Union-Tribune web editors. Those jobs will be handled out of L.A., Coronilla wrote.

Quick News Hits

• Sometimes conventional wisdom is right: inewsource crunched the numbers and found that yes, changing San Diego’s primary system would benefit Democrats.

• Nearly a quarter of San Diego County teachers miss 10 or more school days per year, enough to be labeled “chronically absent.” (Union-Tribune)

• If you’re like me and are overcome with a wave of panic when you hear the nightly SeaWorld fireworks, be warned: The Navy will be making some loud noises of its own during training exercises happening now until Sept. 2.

• Renaissance San Diego Downtown Hotel and San Diego Marriott La Jolla were among the hotels hit in a big recent data breach. (AP)

• Sempra moved into a new digs last year, and the owner of its old building is soliciting ideas for what he should do with the property now. The ideas are… ambitious. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

• The trial of José Susumo Azano Matsura, a wealthy Mexican national accused of illegally contributing to San Diego political races, continued Monday with Azano’s lawyer asking the judge for a mistrial. He said the contents of tapes secretly recorded by former Mayor Bob Filner’s campaign manager, cooperating with investigators at the time, hadn’t been properly disclosed before the trial. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

• County Supervisor Dave Roberts has outraised his challenger, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, in his re-election bid, but that advantage is more than matched by an independent political committee supporting Gaspar that’s received funding from the regional Chamber of Commerce and the conservative Lincoln Club. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Sara Libby

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

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