The Morning Report
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Nearly 30 projects are planned or under construction in East Village. Some of them are part of a district that developers imagined as a home for innovation, design, education and arts — the IDEA District.
Yet many of the projects are displacing the elements it’s meant to embody. Kinsee Morlan describes how the art scene that’s survived for years in the neighborhood’s affordable warehouses is on its way out.
Homeless Intake Center Moves Forward
Mayor Kevin Faulconer just took a step closer to following through on one of his many State of the City pledges.
The city on Monday put a out a call to homeless-serving nonprofits to share ideas and qualifications to operate intake facilities where homeless folks could be assessed and connected with services.
In the weeks before the city’s request, some homeless advocates questioned whether the mayor’s plans might contradict regional policies and even complicate efforts to reduce homelessness locally.
The document released Monday emphasized the city’s goal is to leverage regional work and estimated the city had $12.5 million to offer for so-called support service assessment centers the next three years.
Advocates almost immediately reiterated their concerns.
Nonprofits are expected to offer feedback and respond to the city’s request by mid-April.
• The city’s increasing sweeps of downtown homeless camps have drawn criticism from advocates and homeless folks who say their tents and other belongings are sometimes thrown away when city crews show up to clear the area. Now an attorney who helped negotiate a 2011 settlement that requires the city to hold onto homeless folks’ property so they can reclaim it is asking City Attorney Mara Elliott to respond to concerns the city’s not following those rules.
A city attorney’s office spokesman said Elliott’s team looks forward to working with the attorney to resolve any issues while a city spokesman defended the city’s process for conducting encampment clean-ups.
School District Spooks Itself with Plan to Invite DeVos
Over the weekend, San Diego Unified School District generated headlines when, persuaded by a prominent critic of education reform, trustees planned to invite Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to tour schools and see “what has been accomplished” here.
DeVos was notoriously blocked from entering a D.C. school last week.
The Board of Education was scheduled to vote on the resolution inviting DeVos today. The teacher’s union – the San Diego Education Association – did not, however, like the idea at all. In a Facebook post Sunday, the union lambasted it.
Monday, Board President Richard Barrera announced he changed his mind. He said, in a written statement, he had planned to challenge DeVos, when she came. “Given the polarizing nature of the DeVos nomination and confirmation vote, however, it is clear this would be the wrong time to engage the Secretary in dialogue,” he said.
Another SANDAG Response
The executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments, Gary Gallegos, has responded to a recent U-T editorial about our revelations that economists in the agency knew revenues were coming in low from a previous sales tax increase and the same faulty assumptions were built into projections and promises for last year’s ballot measure.
In a letter to the U-T, Gallegos lists everything the agency is doing in response to our reporting. But Gallegos is still maintaining he did not mislead voters or the board after staff alerted him to the problem.
“The eye-catching emails quoted by the press, and attributed to our new chief economist, Ray Major, pertained to income growth, one of numerous factors used to estimate taxable retail sales in the agency’s forecast model. Those emails were not related to Measure A,” he wrote.
Income growth, however, was the basis of the sales assumptions, which were the basis of the projection that Measure A would raise $18 billion. SANDAG officials have since acknowledged it was all based on an error that they only rooted out after our reporting – not the presentation they got from their own economists who discovered it a year earlier. And that presentation explicitly identified that the income growth error had serious repercussions on tax revenues.
As we and many others have been trying to explain recently, there’s no simple definition of a “sanctuary city.” In general, it refers to cities whose police and jail authorities do not go out of their way to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Border Patrol nab people who are eligible for removal from the country.
But ICE can still access records of who is in custody and arrests and deportations happen in these cities.
President Trump has directed the federal government to withhold funds from cities that don’t cooperate as expected, as per the determination of the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security. When the secretary of homeland security was in town recently, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman asked him what the definition of a sanctuary city was.”I don’t have a clue,” he said.
That nugget from the Associated Press and other bits of confusion are in this week’s Border Report, by Brooke Binkowski.
• There’s another lawsuit following the death of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man shot and killed by El Cajon police. (Union-Tribune)
• The City Council unanimously voted to roll back plans to increase the city’s reserve fund in an effort to help close a widening budget gap. (Times of San Diego)
• A city councilman and a community leader are questioning why San Diegans didn’t learn more about SDPD’s ShotSpotter before the department started using it to track shootings. (NBC 7)
• High-powered union leader Mickey Kasparian faces continuing calls to resign following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. (KPBS)