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I thought I’d sworn it off, but I’m firing up the ol’ Millennial Defense Machine.

First, a piece by an Australian mogul launched a million eye rolls this week when he suggested millennials could afford to buy homes if only they’d give up luxuries like daily avocado toast.

Closer to home, I hear frequently people in San Diego who complain about millennial coworkers or potential employees, and their supposedly outrageous demands for things like flexible time.

At the heart of most complaints about millennials is that they’re lazy or spoiled – that they feel entitled to things they haven’t earned through hard work.

Nowhere is that less true than in California, where all the hard work in the world will get you less than it ever has.

Basic adulthood milestones like homeownership are increasingly out of reach for young Californians, even those with good jobs. A report on the housing crisis from the state Department of Housing and Community Development warns: “Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding growing inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for younger Californians.”

A young housing advocate testifying for a housing bill before the California Assembly earlier this year told lawmakers: “We know that our housing struggles are not the result of impersonal economic forces or lack of individual effort, but derive from bad policy and bad laws that have restricted housing growth for decades.”

Traffic coming into San Diego on I-15 is getting worse – in no small part because families are being forced farther and farther out.

My husband and I don’t just have good jobs, we each have side gigs – me with a small but steady stream of freelance work; he is a reserve officer in the U.S. Army. Yet the only way we could afford a home in San Diego was through a VA loan that allowed us to forgo a down payment. Even then, it took a year and a half of searching for something we could afford.

A single-story home, under 2,000 square feet, in my unremarkable middle-class neighborhood sold this month for over $1 million. One. Million. Dollars.

There’s no amount of avocado toast abstention – hell, throw in chia pudding, acai bowls and green juice – that could get me a $1 million home.

What VOSD Learned This Week

The national media this week dropped explosive story after explosive story about President Donald Trump.

If there’s anything close to a local equivalent, it’s San Diego schools. Both San Diego Unified and local charters were the subject of endless attention this week, as they continue to deal with ongoing crises.

Mario Koran got a shocking inside look at how easy it is to cheat on online credit recovery classes. San Diego Unified has credited those very classes as a major reason it achieved a historically high graduation rate.

At Lincoln High, parents, students and community members are fed up by the absurdly long search for a new principal to helm the school. Over at nearby Gompers, a charter school that has taken in many kids who’ve fled Lincoln, inewsource reports that grade inflation is rampant, leaving some kids unprepared for college.

Then there are pesky problems like that big budget hole and crumbling infrastructure. It’s still not clear how much the district’s early retirement offers will cost, or save.

Finally, a strange story as the district continues to test water in schools for lead: Late last year, the district found lead in the water at Sunset View Elementary – and it only told one parent.

♦♦♦

It’s been raining a lot this year, but San Diego’s reservoirs and dams aren’t even close to full. Ry Rivard explained why. Some local dams aren’t even allowed to be full, even if we had enough water to fill them – because of safety concerns that the city is still exploring.

♦♦♦

California may have legalized pot in November, but there could still be more pot-related decisions coming to a 2018 ballot near you. Speaking of ballot decisions, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s convention center expansion measure has a steep road ahead.

What I’m Reading

• You know a story is incredible when it managed to capture everyone’s attention this week despite being devoid of Trump news: A journalist recounts the life of his family’s slave. (The Atlantic)

• One woman’s quest to learn more about her identity ultimately led police to ID a serial killer. (Boston Globe)

• Are refugees really wreaking havoc on an Idaho town? No. And after this beautiful story captured the reality of Twin Falls, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones retracted his lies and settled a lawsuit over the remarks. (L.A. Times)

• Many of the valedictorians graduating at the top of high schools across Houston used to be English-learners. (Houston Chronicle)

• Get yo read on (sorry not sorry): How Missy Elliot became an icon. (Elle)

• Cities have always been designed around men’s lives. Will the cities of the future take women’s needs and safety into account? (Vice)

Line of the Week

“Political turmoil rocked the nation’s capital again on Tuesday evening as politicians from both parties responded to President Trump’s — you know what, never mind. This is a story about ducks.” – The delightful lede to a New York Times story about a tiny ramp built for ducklings to make their way into the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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