Our reporting relies on your support. Contribute today! 

Help us reach our goal of $250,000. The countdown is on!

San Diego voters will consider a dozen local ballot measures this fall, but none of those measures will address the growing number of people living on the city’s streets.

Voters in other parts of California — the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco and the counties of Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara — will consider whether to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more to try to house their homeless. In those places, a sense of urgency prompted a public outcry to address housing crises that could otherwise mushroom, reports Lisa Halverstadt.

But San Diego looks on from afar, despite a 19 percent year-over-year spike in street homelessness.  Key San Diego leaders also aren’t convinced a ballot initiative would be the right move, or are skeptical of tax increases for affordable housing in the first place.

Even if that weren’t the caase, no group has rallied behind a ballot measure effort here and advocates who would likely join one admit they haven’t established the metrics they’d need to pursue a ballot measure.

How to Read the Polls

Whoever you want to win, you want to rest easy on Election Day, so you turn to polls and a prayer that they’re right. But what does it take to read a poll? In the most recent episode of the San Diego Decides podcast, Sara Libby and I run down some of the many things to consider: Who was paying for it, who was surveyed and how (did the interviewers use cell phones? Did they have Spanish-speakers available?) and what questions were actually asked. We also talk about the rise of online polling – a method that was considered kind of a joke as recently as a few years ago but is growing more sophisticated.

We also talked with John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge, who’s been polling San Diegans for decades, about lessons he’s learned over the years.

In Other News

• Tijuana’s public transit system– regarded as “the least efficient and most expensive” in Mexico –is getting a $61 million makeover, according to Next City, which breaks down the reasons for the current bad experiences and the goals of a new system.

Someday, perhaps, Americans will be able to more easily enjoy the system, thanks to the vision of planners like Mexican architect Fernando Romero, who envisions a grand transitional city on the U.S.-Mexico border. The vision, of course, presumes there is not a giant wall between our countries.

Here’s a look by inewsource at who is funding the for and against campaigns over several city ballot measures.

• The San Diego City Council voted on Monday to spend up to $1 million to firm up construction plans for getting cars out of the middle of Balboa Park. Actually making such a plan a reality could cost as much as $75 million, though philanthropists are likely to chip in  bunch of that money. Basketball great Bill Walton spoke to the City Council and called the project the “second biggest no-brainer in the history of the world.” (The biggest no-brainer of all time? “Solar energy!” Walton said.)

• SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. cut the amount of money it pays to its shareholders and, not surprisingly, the value of its stock declined significantly, according to Bloomberg. The company says its decision to cut the returns it pays out will help it invest in its operations. The company continues to struggleswith the fallout from the documentary “Blackfish,” a struggle which we detailed in a series of 2014 articles.

The Weather

When most of us run out of things to talk about, we talk about the weather. But early Monday morning, the weather was all I could think about after a bright flash and a boom swept me out of bed. I went to bed reading about the bombings in New York and New Jersey, so I sadly assumed we were under attack here in San Diego. Enough other people on Twitter made me worried enough to be later embarrassed when I realized this was all lightning and thunder. Nature sent more than a dozen bolts of lightening into San Diego, knocking out electricity and starting some small fires.

I grew up back East, so this shouldn’t have bothered me, but I didn’t know it was coming — I live in San Diego, why would I check the weather? It’s 75 and it’s sunny or it’s 71 and it’s partly cloudy.

I spent the rest of my day thankful it was not a bomb but knowing how murky and uncertain the world can quickly become and how many people passing through Coronado and Pendleton are not so lucky to have only the weather to worry about.

Ry Rivard

Ry Rivard was formerly a reporter for Voice of San Diego. He wrote about water and power.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.