The specter of federal immigration agents hovering around school campuses is the kind of stuff that gives undocumented immigrants nightmares. Under President Trump’s new policies, there is no “safe” undocumented immigrant, and stories of Immigration and Customs Enforcement taking parents into custody at or around school campuses has a chilling effect on some parents’ willingness to appear at school with their child. Mario Koran and Adriana Heldiz look into what happens when disaster strikes and parents are deported, leaving their children behind.

Some families have a plan for who will take care of children if their parents are deported. But for those families whose plans fail, the last stop is a messy foster care system. “The county would file a petition on behalf of the child in juvenile dependency court,” and the child would be taken into custody, Koran and Heldiz report. The child would probably end up in a temporary emergency shelter while a more permanent home is located.

Eventually the child could be reunited with their parents, sometimes via permanent relocation to Mexico. “Roughly half a million children enrolled in Mexican schools are U.S. citizens,” Koran and Heldiz write.

The Resurrection of Lilac Hills

You may remember Lilac Hills Ranch by its duck-and-weave antics while trying to get approval to build a new community out in the hills of Valley Center, or perhaps you remember voting against the project last November like 63 percent of San Diegans did. Some narratives keep on giving, though, and Lilac Hills’ developer Accretive is quietly trudging along, hitting targets required to keep the project on track to be reviewed by the County Board of Supervisors. “Even when it sent the project to voters, Accretive never withdrew Lilac Hills from consideration by the county,” Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts report.

Accretive recently submitted an updated plan for how it will manage stormwater at the proposed development, but otherwise they have kept quiet. It’s a requirement to keep the project alive. Accretive isn’t talking though, and “the county hasn’t received anything else from the developers about the project or their plans moving forward,” Srikrishnan and Keatts write.

Poorest Hurt Most in School Layoffs: San Diego Explained

We know that 1,500 employees might face layoffs under the most recent budget cuts proposed by San Diego Unified School District. What we also know is that the least tenured teachers, who will be the first to lose their jobs, tend to be found in higher numbers at the poorest schools. In our most recent San Diego Explained, Mario Koran and NBC 7’s Monica Dean go over how that mixture of poor schools with new teachers means those schools will be the hardest hit by layoffs.

Opinion: Schools Are East Village Jewels

We recently pointed out that despite a building boom, there’s very little office space going into East Village, despite a “live, work, play” vision for the neighborhood. Michael Stepner, a professor at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, writes in to express a piece of the puzzle he thinks is being overlooked.

“The area is one of our region’s major educational clusters. You can go from preschool to post-graduate without ever leaving the neighborhood,” Stepner writes. He points to a number of colleges located in that area as well as charter schools like the one housed inside the Central Library. UCSD is coming the the neighborhood, too, Stepner points out. “While there may not be a lot of office buildings planned, I believe the neighborhood will continue to grow and blossom into even more of an innovation hub,” he writes.

Kept Faith on Petco Park

Your favorite local sports podcast produced out of downtown San Diego and mine, The Kept Faith, is back with another riveting episodeThis week the guys talk about the current state of the Petco Park experience. With the team struggling, going downtown to a game is still a fun time, but there are things that could be better. With guests Andy Keatts (an Orioles fan) and Nate Abaurrea from Soccer Nation (a Giants fan), they examine the complexities of in-game stadium operations.

So-Called Gang Members Fight Back

For years we’ve been chronicling California’s law enforcement efforts to classify individuals as gang members using guilt-by-association methods that produced inaccurate results, such as infants being added to the list.

Now, KPBS’s Claire Trageser reports on a local nonprofit organization that is using a law set to take effect in 2018 to take the fight back to police by using lawyers to challenge gang member designations in court. “The San Diego nonprofit Pillars of the Community is preparing a legal team to help people who believe they have been mistakenly identified as gang members,” Trageser writes.

Encinitas Sued Again Over Housing

Encinitas, try as it might, just hasn’t been able to get it together when it comes to addressing growth plans and affordable housing requirements laid out by the state. The residents there are in a constant struggle over who controls the future of the city. KPBS’s Alison St. John reports on how the city is now being sued again over its lack of growth planning, this time by a nonprofit called SD Tenants United. The group is “advocating for lower income renters and lobbying for rent control,” St. John reports. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear says the city is working on a new ballot measure it hopes will earn approval, unlike the last one voters shot down.

Lightning Round

Beach closures in the neighborhood of Imperial Beach happen a lot, due to sewage spewing out of the Tijuana River unchecked. In total, over a 10-year period, Imperial Beach has cumulatively been closed for nearly four and a half of those years. (Union-Tribune)

 An inmate at Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa lay dead in his cell for an estimated two to three days before being discovered. (Times of San Diego)

 KPBS checks in on what the exploding homeless population looks like from the eyes of a cop who works on the homeless team.

 A court told the California Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its refusal to turn over emails that would shed light on a deal that put ratepayers on the hook for $3.3 billion in connection with the shutdown of the power station at San Onofre. The CPUC reconsidered and came back with the same refusal. (KPBS)

 Calexico is settling cases related to its police department’s 2014 corruption scandal. (Courthouse News)

 The Union-Tribune looks into the murky business of beer journalism at local alt-weekly CityBeat, which is both critical of and in business with Anheuser-Busch.

Correction: An earlier version of this incorrectly said the developers of Lilac Hills Ranch received a stormwater permit. They only submitted an updated plan to manage stormwater for the project. 

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

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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