Tijuana and Los Angeles are renowned for their active arts and culture scene, but couched between the two is the often overlooked, and eternally frustrated, San Diego visual arts community. Kinsee Morlan has been writing about culture in San Diego for years and has heard all the reasons people list when explaining why San Diego’s art scene languishes so. She heard them again recently at an event she moderated on the health of San Diego’s art community.

The most obvious reason people point out is that it’s very expensive to live in San Diego, which pushes artists out and strangles the culture right out of the city. Those artists who do stay here worry there aren’t enough art buyers in our town, nor institutions that help connect individuals to artists’ work. “The lack of … collaboration between San Diego arts groups is often cited as one of the scene’s biggest problems,” Morlan writes.

Some in the community look to big institutions like colleges or city government to lead the way on fixing these problems. “Aiding artists in finding affordable spaces to live and work, though, might be the most important role elected leaders could play,” Morlan writes.

The Learning Curve: ICE in Schools

For unauthorized immigrants in San Diego, the act of sending their children to school can be scary. Parents wonder if their children will be taken from school by immigration enforcement, or worry their children will never make it to school like what happened to three teenagers in 2009. Mario Koran reports on San Diego Unified’s efforts to ease the fears of parents by sending them a letter this week explaining the district’s policy on immigration enforcement on campuses. “The district will not permit immigration raids or other activities on campus that disturb the school setting,” Superintendent Cindy Marten wrote.

Meanwhile, the district is still wrestling with how to close a $124 million gap in its budget. There’s no official plan yet, but some parents are reporting dwindling supplies inside classrooms and fears are mounting that pinches could be coming to special education resources and to English-learning programs. “Further cuts, as in … cutting all those positions,” Koran writes.

Rep. Juan Vargas was among the members of Congress barred from entering a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on Thursday, Salon reports. “Today my colleagues in the Hispanic Caucus and I were excluded from a meeting with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and that is completely unacceptable,” Vargas wrote in a statement.

Craft Coffee: San Diego Explained

If you’re sipping a warm cup of coffee or a creamy latte while you’re reading, chances are higher than ever that are you drinking coffee made from beans roasted by or served from one of San Diego’s many craft coffee establishments. Move over craft beer, there’s new competition for the title of San Diego’s best craft brew. Craft coffee makers around town source their beans from carefully selected locations around the globe and bring them home for custom roasting. Kinsee Morlan and NBC 7’s Monica Dean explain how the industry is hoping to grow its renown over and above San Diego craft beer in our most recent San Diego Explained.

Haters, and Where They Hate

The Southern Poverty Law Group has updated its tracking of hate groups operating in America and finds that California is home to the largest number of hate groups at a count of 79, mostly grouped around Los Angeles and San Diego. It’s a lot of black separatism and Holocaust denial groups around San Diego County, sprinkled with anti-LGBT groups and groups who engage in “general hate.”

Weekend Plans

On Thursday, the New York Times shined the light of its well-known “36 Hours” series on San Diego. Among the experiences recommended are visits to Balboa Park, Mission Bay, Liberty Station and San Diego’s famous craft beer and coffee breweries. You can’t not recommend a stop at a Mexican food joint in a write-up like this, and this time it’s Lucha Libre that gets the nod for its tacos and unique atmosphere.

Lightning Round

Rather than hear the rigorous feedback of engaged voters, Rep. Darrel Issa would just prefer to not hold in-person town hall meetings at all. (Union-Tribune)

SeaWorld is showing off the concepts for its re-imagined San Diego park, including a revised orca show. (L.A. Times)

“A defendant who went to trial last year on felony charges in San Diego County was found guilty of a felony 64 percent of the time.” (Union-Tribune)

Politico’s story about the foot bridge connecting San Diego to Tijuana’s airport demonstrates how San Diego’s role as a border city is increasingly making us a political football.

The Guardian takes a look at the process we use to count the homeless in America and in California in particular, where one in five of America’s homeless sleep.

California wants to create a state-run retirement plan for people who can’t get one from their employers, but Congress is on its way to blocking that effort. (SF Chronicle)

 Once the venue in Chula Vista was dubbed Coors Amphitheater. Then, it was Cricket Wireless Amphitheater. Finally, it became Sleep Train Amphitheater, and it rested, until that company was acquired and now you will go see exciting concerts at the newly renamed and equally exciting Mattress Firm Amphitheater. (NBC 7)

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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