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Michael Taylor, a black member of The Old Globe theater’s board, is trying to learn why the San Diego theater crowd isn’t more diverse.

Is it the productions? The ticket prices? The actors on the stage?

“If you were to go to almost any play there at The Old Globe, the audience doesn’t necessarily reflect the full San Diego community,” Taylor told our Kinsee Morlan.“Each time you go into the theater, you look around at the audience and you see just a handful of people who look like me.”

There’s also the Theatre Diversity Think Tank, a new group of local theater industry insiders like Jaime Castañeda of La Jolla Playhouse and others who get together to talk about involving more people of color in San Diego theater.

Photo Gallery: Protests at the Border

Photographer David Maung gives us all a look at protests in Mexico over gas prices, particularly the protest that took over Tijuana’s El Chaparral port of entry Sunday afternoon.

Public Transit Ridership Down

In San Diego, low gas prices, a good economy, urban sprawl and inexpensive taxi-by-phone companies like Uber and Lyft all contributed to 4 percent decline in the number of trips on public transit last year. In recent years, ridership has generally trended upward, according to KPBS, “But while many cities are losing public transit riders, few have committed to such ambitious goals of public transit expansion as San Diego.” In other words, while public transit and easier bike access are supposed to help combat climate change, it looks like California car culture will not die an easy death.

Issa and Hunter: Why is San Diego VA in Decline?

Reps. Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter wrote a letter to the head of Veterans Affairs of San Diego, Dr. Robert Smith, to ask him why patient care there has been in decline. In the letter, they called patient complications, readmissions and other measures that indicate problems “unacceptable.”

In Other News

 Nationwide, the number of homeless people is declining, but camps have become a problem out here in the West, the New York Times reports in a story that notes that crackdowns on homeless camps are seen as tantamount to punishing people for being poor.” Likewise, in San Diego, the city has been using a local law to address trash dumpsters against the homeless.

•  The public is starting to weigh in on whether they think it’s fair that they’ll be asked to pay $379 million to San Diego Gas & Electric to help the company recover the cost of damage done by 2007 wildfires the company’s equipment aided. The utility began in 2015 to try to get back this money, which it’s already paid out to help settle 2,500 lawsuits related to the wildfires.

• Civic leaders are asking commercial property owners in North Park to OK a special tax to help pay for additional garbage pickup and street cleaning, among other services, according to the Union-Tribune. Critics of these sorts of taxes point out they wouldn’t be necessary if the city did its job right the first time. And, of course, if you’re not in North Park, should your street be dirtier?

• The newest member of the Board of Supervisors, Kristin Gaspar, was sworn in Monday to replace Dave Roberts.

The board will today consider giving itself a raise. The Union-Tribune’s editorial page wonders if the veteran members will “torch their hard-earned reputations” by voting for such a raise.

Ry Rivard

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

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