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You might have noticed an unfamiliar wet substance falling from the skies lately. You might also have noticed a flood of headlines such as “With the Rain Comes Hope That California’s 6-Year Drought Is Ending” and “Call it the Southern California drought. Rain and snow end Northern California water woes.”

So is the drought actually over?

That depends on what, exactly, you mean when you say drought, writes Ry Rivard in a new explainer. “We can’t say the drought is over, in part because we can’t agree on what is meant by ‘drought.’ President-elect Donald Trump, the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Drought Monitor and some top climate scientists all have different definitions.”

One definition is simple: Has it been snowing and raining? But other types of droughts that impact Southern California, such as regulatory droughts and droughts related to infrastructure, are more complex.

Another complicating factor: It can take a lot more than a few weeks of rain to decipher whether a drought is over. “Droughts aren’t absolute end-to-end events – they come sprinkled with mirages,” Rivard writes.

How the Mayor Wants to Tackle Homelessness

Pressure has ramped up big time on Mayor Kevin Faulconer in recent months to take decisive steps to address San Diego’s homelessness crisis.

Faulconer acknowledged that pressure by making homelessness a major theme in his recent State of the City address, in which he brought up many ideas and proposals to help those on the streets.

One piece of Faulconer’s plan is an effort to raise the hotel tax in order to pay for an expanded convention center, as well as efforts to fight homelessness and to repair roads.

Faulconer also seized on the longstanding idea among nonprofits and advocates to create a so-called central intake hub for the homeless, “where homeless San Diegans could have their needs assessed and be connected with services,” Lisa Halverstadt writes.

Halverstadt lays out exactly what Faulconer’s plans are for the proposed tax, intake center and emergency shelter beds and describes which elements of his proposals have homeless service providers nervous.

Food Bank Merger Debate Heats Back Up

San Diego has two major food banks, Feeding San Diego and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

One of them, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, thinks the two groups should merge and that doing so would enable them to streamline efforts and serve more citizens.

But Feeding America has continually rebuffed those advances. Now, Feeding America’s latest CEO has resigned, reports Lisa Halverstadt. The departure has reignited the debate about whether two food banks is better than one. Halverstadt also reports that Feeding America has been relying heavily on a single donor, something that experts say can be dangerous because “such reliance on one funding source can leave a nonprofit financially vulnerable.”

The Chargers’ Brutal Weekend

The Chargers didn’t appear to have a very relaxing three-day weekend as the fallout over the team’s decision to move to Los Angeles continued. A sampling:

• The team acknowledged that the initial LA logo the team unveiled, the one that looked mighty similar to the existing Dodgers logo, was a mistake: “Clearly, we miscalculated how the logo would be received, and we’ve taken it out of the rotation,” A.G. Spanos wrote in a statement. (NBC Sports)

 The team was booed “mercilessly” when it appeared on the jumbotron at the Clippers-Lakers game. (CBS Sports)

• The U-T’s Nick Canepa is not impressed with the idea of replacing the Chargers with an MLS franchise: “To even begin to compare it with an NFL franchise would be ludicrous to an idiot.” OK then.

Quick News Hits

• Protests against Mexico’s surging gas prices continued this weekend, once again causing havoc at the U.S. border crossing at San Ysidro. (Union-Tribune)

• The Daily Beast visited the Mexican side of the border wall and found many residents who are worried that their government won’t stand up to President-elect Donald Trump and his promise to make Mexico pay for a border wall.

• inewsource examines Imperial Beach’s efforts to attract new development and its struggles collecting sales tax revenues from residents.

Sara Libby

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

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