In 2013, 26-year-old Robert Lubsen killed himself in a Vista jail. This month, the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board, an independent body tasked with investigating deaths at county detention facility, got around to reviewing whether sheriff’s deputies were at fault for failing to place Lubsenon suicide watch.

Despite ligature marks on his neck from a previous suicide attempt, CLERB determined they weren’t at fault.

The suicide was the second oldest cast in CLERB’s backlog of inmate deaths requiring independent review. As Kelly Davis recounts in a new story, that backlog has grown substantially in recent years, and there are now 46 open death investigations. That’s the most in CLERB’s 25-year history.

Lubsen’s family sued the county and settled in 2014, receiving assurances from Sheriff Bill Gore that it was changing protocol to make sure signs like Lubsen’s weren’t missed again. But then Jason Nishimoto hung himself in a Vista jail in 2015 despite being previously diagnosed as schizophrenic with a history of suicide attempts.

CLERB likewise found no evidence of fault for sheriff’s deputies in his case either.

SDSU: Scratch That; We Need Land Soon, Not in 30 Years

During a panel discussion last week, an SDSU vice president made a noteworthy statement: the university needs the land at the site of Qualcomm Stadium for expansion, but not for 30 to 50 years. The university would build on the land at first with a for-profit developer. The push now for some of the land is more about securing the university’s long-term needs, he said.

Developers behind the SoccerCity proposal seized on it as a major admission.

As our Scott Lewis writes in a new post, Schulz followed up this weekend with a statement that the university actually does need the land in the more immediate future.

San Diego Grapples With Trump’s Mexico Fight

President Donald Trump’s promise to build a bigger and better border wall, pass a border tax and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement has introduced a bit of turmoil to San Diego and Tijuana’s cozy relationship.

Leaders of the border cities, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer flew to Mexico City Monday to tout their efforts at cross-border collaboration, as KPBS reported.

“Obviously, there’s a conversation at the national level – it’s important for us as local leaders to talk about what’s working on the local level and the fact that we have such strong ties,” Faulconer told KPBS.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that federal grant money wouldn’t be available to jurisdictions that don’t follow a specific provision of federal immigration law.

It’s aimed at discouraging so-called sanctuary cities, an oft-used term that doesn’t actually have a very clear meaning at all, as we covered last month. A representative of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that agency has a very good relationship with local law enforcement.

The Union-Tribune dug into Sessions’ pronouncement, finding that officials for both the city and county of San Diego say both jurisdictions would continue to be eligible for federal funds, despite the fact that they both appear on lists of sanctuary cities. Overall, jurisdictions within San Diego County received some $10.6 million from the Department of Justice last year.

• And in Mexico, increased hostility from the Trump administration is making leaders wary about how much they’ve come to rely on natural gas from the United States, according to a new story from inewsource.

Natural gas exports to Mexico have increased 300 percent since 2010, and the country now gets 60 percent of all its natural gas from this country. Now, officials in Mexico are considered what alternatives they have to being so dependent on a country that has adopted an especially harsh tone of late.

We Feel Your Pain, Oakland

For the third time in 15 months, the NFL owners have approved the relocation of one of the league’s 32 franchises.

This time it’s the Oakland Raiders, who in 2020 will call Las Vegas their home.

USA Today used the relocation to take a look at what’s next for St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland. In recent decades, cities that lost NFL teams inevitably got a new one, after they ponied up more public money to the league than they offered before the relocation.

Now, though, it’s unclear cities will take that route, with both St Louis and San Diego looking to soccer and the MLS to fill the gap.

The move provoked San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey to ask congressional representatives to introduce a bill challenging the NFL’s anti-trust exemption. The NFL is allowed to act as a monopoly, which is very beneficial when it negotiates broadcast rights.

Oakland’s mayor defiantly championed her decision not to support public investment in a new football stadium.

In Other News

• The New York Times reports that two little fault zones underneath San Diego are actually one big one that could produce an until-now unimagined, catastrophic earthquake. However: “Over all, the fault moves and accumulates stress at less than one-tenth the rate of the nearby San Andreas fault, meaning it is not likely to rupture,” said one of the researchers who made the finding.

• Doug Applegate narrowly lost a challenge to longtime Vista-based Rep. Darrell Issa last year. He’s now facing questions over his campaign spending and just submitted a series of amendments that account for $370,000 in newly reported spending and other adjustments. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

• These bros have a righteous cause. If city leaders in San Clemente don’t accommodate them, those leaders should provide a full accounting to the public of what it is they have against a 12-foot Paul Walker statue. (USA Today)

Andrew Keatts

I'm Andrew Keatts, a managing editor for projects and investigations at Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at

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