Mayor Kevin Faulconer made headlines last week when he detailed plans to push a hotel-tax hike to bankroll a Convention Center expansion and create an annual flow of cash for street repairs and homeless services.
A few City Council Democrats are already asking the mayor to up the amount he’d direct toward homelessness solutions.
Most vocal is City Councilman Chris Ward, who represents downtown neighborhoods, which have seen a major uptick in street homelessness since 2015.
Ward’s talking to the mayor’s office and tourism leaders about whether it’d be possible to increase hotel taxes more than the 1 to 3 percent increase the mayor’s pitched.
In a new story, I detailed Ward’s push for more cash and broke down potential routes to more homelessness cash in the mayor’s proposal.
I also checked in with a pollster to get a window into how the homelessness might play with San Diego voters who will need to rally for a two-thirds majority to make Faulconer’s pitch a reality.
A Coming Border Wall Bonanza
Otay Mesa’s about to get many more border fences – at least temporarily.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Monday that 20 contractors vying to build President Donald Trump’s border wall will be building large prototypes – 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high – in Otay later this year.
The Union-Tribune was first to report the news and noted that some of the companies that submitted bids last week have already raised security concerns. Police and border officials are promising they’ll be watching.
• As Trump proceeds with the wall, the Los Angeles Times reports that illegal border crossings dropped to their lowest level in at least 17 years last month. Experts who spoke to the Times suggest Trump’s strong immigration stance as well as recent raids and increased border security could all be contributing to the decline. A UCSD economy grad student recently detailed for Voice of San Diego why border crossings are likely to plummet, with or without a wall.
Tragedy in San Bernardino
A teacher and an 8-year-old student were shot and killed Monday morning at a San Bernardino elementary school after authorities said the teacher’s husband stormed into her special needs classroom and began firing. He then turned the gun on himself.
The Los Angeles Times has a rundown of the details on the latest school shooting tragedy. KTLA reported a third victim of the shooting, a 9-year-old student, was in stable condition Monday night. The Washington Post reported the attack was the 12th school shooting so far this year and the second this week.
In Other News
• Longtime San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher is retiring and “head coach in waiting” Brian Dutcher is set to take over. (Union-Tribune)
• Hundreds of San Diego Unified employees protested expected district layoffs at a Monday rally. (10News)
• The city’s set to pay a $225,000 settlement to a deputy city attorney who claims a now-retired assistant city attorney sent her inappropriate text messages and touched her without consent. (Union-Tribune)
• The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, San Diego-based strike group, is sailing to the Korean peninsula amid growing tensions with North Korea. (ABC News)
• Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to the statewide drought emergency but it’s not yet clear what that means for beach showers shut off the past couple years. (NBC 7)