Earlier this month, Mayor Kevin Faulconer got national attention – again – for articulating his view of what GOP leadership should look like.

But here at home, he’s taking a backseat– again – on a citywide issue. (Earlier entries in this category include homelessness, the Chargers’ ballot measure, SANDAG and even a statewide campaign he signed up to lead.)

For two years, the mayor has sidestepped the short-term vacation rental debate, Lisa Halverstadt writes in a new story. During those two years, progress has stalled as the City Council holds endless meetings on the issue but still has no clear policies to show for it.

Vacation rentals in San Diego are illegal, according to the city attorney. But the mayor has decided not to enforce that interpretation leaving an uneasy status quo.

A spokesman for the mayor says Faulconer has directed city staffers to draft a range of possible options.

Three City Council members who have taken a lead on the issue say it’s appropriate for the Council to shape the debate and the rules themselves.

But one advocate who wants the city to crack down on short-term rentals said he’s been disappointed by Faulconer’s hands-off approach.

“We’re wasting a lot of time and taxpayer money going around and around with all these subcommittees, coming up with all these proposals,” he said.

 On vacation rentals and other issues, the City Council has run into tensions with the state Coastal Commission, Andy Keatts notes in the latest San Diego Explained video.

Cate Proposes Sweeping Marijuana Regs

City Councilman Chris Cate sent Mayor Kevin Faulconer his proposals for how to regulate several of the non-retail aspects of the pot business, including manufacturing, cultivation and testing.

As the U-T points out, Cate’s regulations would require more of business owners than the state does.

The Council is set to discuss regulations proposed by city staff on Sept. 11.

• In a letter to the editor, the CEO of the San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance urged the Council to also make the rules for pot delivery services clearer, so that they’re not operating in a “legal gray area.” Right now, only eight businesses that are attached to storefronts are explicitly permitted to operate in the city. If that remains the policy, hundreds of operators would be in danger of a police crackdown.

Parent Protests Aren’t the Only Thing Hindering New Sex Ed Rollout

Some San Diego Unified parents are outraged by new sex ed curriculum rules that require info about sexual health and HIV prevention and acceptance of all genders and orientations to be incorporated into lessons.

But, as Maya Srikrishnan explores in the latest Learning Curve, parent protests aren’t the only challenge when it comes to rolling out new curriculum requirements that come from the state or the federal government.

Though there’s a commission to help schools figure out how to implement new curriculum, sometimes it doesn’t offer input until after the new lessons are supposed to be in place.

One school official from Fallbrook said that on occasion, “schools are expected to implement standards before the state has been able to provide guidance.”

‘S’ Word Creeps Into County Labor Negotiations

Things have been tense between the San Diego County government and its employee union for months, as the two sides negotiate a new contract.

Disputes have ranged from the big – like whether the negotiations should also encompass broad policy goals – to the small, like whether workers should get to wear flip-flops.

It looks like things are devolving, and the Times of San Diego reports a strike might not be far off.

Docs Show Salk Leaders Knew About Gender Bias Issues

Salk Institute leaders knew they had a gender bias problem on their hands long before three female professors filed discrimination lawsuits, newly published documents show.

A 2016 report showed the research institute hired almost four times as many men than women and awarded men endowed chairs more quickly, even though “compared to their male peers, senior women faculty members raised more than double the amount of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health per each of their lab members,” KPBS reports.

Earlier this month, Anita Hill, the longtime advocate for equal treatment of women in the workplace, invoked the Salk lawsuit in a piece about unequal treatment of women in STEM careers: “More inclusion makes for better science,” she wrote. “To get there, female scientists like the Salk cell biologists will and should continue to sue to enforce their right to equal pay and bias-free work environments.”

Quick News Hits

 Sounds like a “Law & Order” opening scene, but it really happened: An 18-year-old driving a Camaro tried to cross into the United States from Mexico on Wednesday with a tiger cub. (Customs & Border Protection)

 Qualcomm, the company, makes a lot of its money licensing technology it patented. The man in charge of that, company President Derek Aberle, is stepping down amid a major battle with Apple.

 Del Mar fired its chief lifeguard and two other employees “after a city investigation revealed mismanagement of approximately $220,000 of tax money.” (NBC San Diego)

 The U-T has crowned “the most delicious block in San Diego.”

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

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