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In the latest episode of San Diego Actually Has More Water Than It Needs (and Has for a While), the San Diego County Water Authority is trying to come up with incentives to get more of its clients — which include water departments across the region — to use more water.
Demand for water is so low that it could end up sitting in the main pipeline. If it sits there too long, it will become undrinkable.
Water officials are eager for a short-term solution while they try to figure out what to do. They need to do something quickly.
“That’s because the Water Authority has been flushing treated water through its pipeline to keep things clear and drinkable. That flushed water then spills into the Lower Otay Reservoir, a lake near Chula Vista,” writes our Ry Rivard.
Once you dump treated water into a reservoir, well, you have to treat it again. It’s a waste.
If water departments do buy more water from the Water Authority, it doesn’t mean we necessarily have to wash our cars more or get out the Slip ‘N Slides. Various agencies could help out simply by leaving their reservoirs alone and buying water from the pipes for us to drink.
Intense Response to Lackluster Hep A Response
Lisa Halverstadt’s story about the county and city’s response to the Hepatitis A outbreak and struggles to put in hand-washing stations has struck a chord.
San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez was incensed. He issued a memo asking the mayor to declare a state of emergency for the homeless crisis and virus threat. There have now been 15 deaths.
Here’s what a state of emergency would mean.
On Twitter, he kept up the pressure: “BTW, this doesn’t mean the county is off the hook on this. They are the biggest problem, but in absence of them giving a shit, we should,” he wrote. Alvarez wasn’t alone. Nathan Fletcher, running for county supervisor also jumped on it.
“This is absurd–we put a man on the moon 50 years (ago) but can’t set up hand washing stations downtown. People are dying,” he wrote.
Assemblyman Todd Gloria has expressed his anger as well.
Just How Much Is Spent on Homeless Needs?
A lot. But working with NBC 7 San Diego for a special edition of San Diego Explained, Halverstadt produced some visualizations of how much the county and city of San Diego and several other agencies spent serving the homeless.
It was $634 million for the last two fiscal years combined.
Stephen Puetz, the Exit Interview
I interviewed Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s former chief of staff, Stephen Puetz, for a special podcast episode. In it, he talks about his whole career as a political consultant with Faulconer, former City Councilman Carl DeMaio and what it’s like to be a Republican with President Trump in the White House.
Weber Doesn’t Flinch
Inside the California Capitol, she’s an education reformer who doesn’t flinch when taking on the powerful teachers union, shrugs off setbacks and “just won’t die” on the issues she cares about.
“I don’t fear that I’m going to get lynched at night or that someone is going to bomb my house. I don’t fear that,” Weber said. “What my predecessors stood for and fought for was a whole lot harder than what I’m fighting for today.”
• A bill pushed by Weber and Assemblyman Todd Gloria that would allow voters locally to amend the charter of the county of San Diego to force a runoff has been sent to the governor for his signature. Right now, county candidates, like those running for district attorney, can win outright in a primary election if they get more than 50 percent of the vote. The bill wouldn’t change that but the Board of Supervisors or a county citizens could put up an initiative to change it and require runoffs, much as Measure K did for the city in 2016.
If Two-Thirds Threshold Is Gone, Infrastructure Boon?
Our Sara Libby wrote for CityLab about the potential impact of a new Supreme Court ruling on transportation funding. The court declared that the state Constitution’s section about taxes and what it takes to approve them only apply to governments and “governments” do not include citizens acting on their own with initiatives.
Ostensibly that means special taxes would not require two-thirds of voters to approve them.
“In particular, a lowered bar to passing voter initiatives could be a boon when it comes to funding transit and infrastructure projects,” she writes.
Whoa, Rams Seat Prices, Whoa
The L.A. Times has gotten a hold of details of plans the Los Angeles Rams have to sell fans personal seat licenses — essentially the right to buy tickets at the new stadium owner Stan Kroenke is building in Inglewood.
The team is pioneering a new nonprofit club approach to the seat license concept. And the price tags for membership mentioned in the article are eye-popping — up to $225,000 just for the right to buy Rams tickets. The Chargers will apparently try to sell similar licenses with proceeds going to pay for the stadium.
• We learned which companies will get to build prototypes of the big wall President Trump wants to see built on the border. The prototypes will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet long and will be put up right here in San Diego. (NBC San Diego)
• The U-T learned that three hospitals were fined for patient harm incidents.