When the founders of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation started the organization in southeastern San Diego many years ago, the vision was to develop dozens of acres of land into community assets and to create a nonprofit to boost other community efforts. There was another piece of the mission that was more unique: Eventually, the leaders of the Jacobs Center would hand the whole thing off, and the community would take over.
It’s not working out as planned: Development has lagged, the nonprofit is facing deep cuts and debt. And, as Lisa Halverstadt reports in a new story, there’s no real plan in place to hand off the efforts to the community as planned.
At one point, the Jacobs family planned to bankroll efforts through 2020. That got pushed back until 2030. Now, the Jacobs Center says it’s still committed to eventually letting the community take the reins, but how and when it’ll get there is uncertain.
“(CEO Reginald) Jones, and Andrew Hapke, a Jacobs family member who serves on the nonprofit’s board, said they’re committed to handing all of the assets over to the community,” Halverstadt writes. “They plan to work with residents to lay out a definitive timeline and next steps in coming months. For now, they say the timeline for the Jacobs’ sunset rests heavily on when the Jacobs Center can push forward more development.”
Students at Poor Schools Are Taking it From All Sides
As Mario Koran has reported over the last couple weeks, the poorest schools in the district are on track to absorb most of the blow from the district’s multimillion-dollar budget cuts.
Disparate news stories that have trickled out over the last few days tell quite a story of what it’s like to go to school in a disadvantaged area.
A man’s body was found outside of Gompers Preparatory Academy on Friday, the second death in that area in just hours. Last year, parents told Koran that they send their kids to charters like Gompers in southeastern San Diego precisely because they think they’ll be more safe there than at traditional district schools. Schools in southeastern San Diego have been put on lockdown numerous times in the last few months over violent incidents nearby.
On top of violence and teacher layoffs, students in southeastern San Diego also face environmental issues. Officials discovered lead in the water at the shared campus of Emerson-Bandini and the San Diego Co-operative Charter School. Lead testing across San Diego Unified schools will begin “at the southeast corner of the district where some of the oldest district schools are located,” reports the Union-Tribune.
The Heat Turns Up on Hunter, Issa
Rep. Duncan Hunter is in trouble over his misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses, something he has attributed to mistakes and mix-ups.
Though he’s been facing heat from the Union-Tribune’s relentless reporting on the issue, Hunter is now also the subject of two different investigations over his spending. One is from the House Committee on Ethics, the other is from the Justice Department. The Justice Department last week told the House committee to stand down until its probe is complete. That move, reports, the Union-Tribune, indicates things are serious.
“Political law experts say it’s rare for the Justice Department to ask the Ethics Committee to hold off on its own investigation. In recent instances, some lawmakers have ended up behind bars,” according to the paper.
• Since Rep. Darrell Issa narrowly eked out a victory in November, he’s been striking a much more moderate tone. Still, an ad that ran this weekend might have showed the congressman’s hand: It thanked Issa for his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though House Republicans pulled their repeal bill on Friday without a vote.
Attorney Mike Levin, a Democrat who is challenging Issa in 2018, appeared on MSNBC on Saturday, where he said that Issa’s softened tone hasn’t come with a change in actual votes or outlook on policies: “When you look at how he actually votes, he has been in lockstep with Trump every step of the way. … There isn’t a single piece of legislation where he has not supported the Trump position.”
Quick News Hits
• Taner Halicioglu, a UCSD alum who was instrumental in helping Facebook take off, will donate $75 million to the school for data science efforts. (Union-Tribune)
• County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other officials are headed to Mexico City for an annual trip meant to boost ties between Mexico and San Diego. The trip happens every year, but this time it has international tension humming in the background. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders said the trip is “more important than ever.” (City News Service)
• Rocky De La Fuente, a San Diego developer, ran for president in 2016 as a Democrat. At the same time, he was running for Senate in Florida. Now, he’s considering running for mayor of New York — as a Republican. (New York Times)
• State Sen. Joel Anderson, who represents East County, is one of the lawmakers behind a proposal to let bars stay open until 4 a.m. (L.A. Times)
This Is Why You Can’t Have Nice Things, San Diego
In a supremely lame showing, San Diego internet users have made Footy McFooty Face their top choice for an MLS team name, should one move here. To be clear, this is not only a stupid name, IT’S NOT EVEN AN ORIGINAL JOKE.