San Diego water officials were once some of the most ardent supporters of a plan to build two tunnels underneath the Sacramento Delta. But now,  they’re not nearly as excited, though they are not outright opposing the plan either.

As water agencies inch closer to deciding if we all should pay a bit more each month for the tunnels, Ry Rivard points out that we don’t know two things: First, we don’t know how much the tunnels will cost. Second, we don’t know how much water they will guarantee us.

Those are kind of important questions.

Unlike other projects, the tunnels will likely not bring Southern California more water. They’ll just make what we get from the north more reliable and less threatened by regulation and natural disaster.

Supes OK Public Health Emergency for Hepatitis A

The County Board of Supervisors unanimously OK’d a public health emergency declaration on Wednesday, a move intended to bring in more funds and resources to address a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak.

Homeless advocate Michael McConnell tweeted from the meeting that community members who’ve contracted the virus – including those who are not homeless – spoke about the impact the disease is having on the community. The county’s public health officer said during the meeting about two-thirds of those affected have been homeless and/or illicit drug users, according to Patch California.

Things might get worse before they get better: “County health officials said the number of those sickened by the outbreak is likely to grow because the disease has a long incubation period. Another 44 cases — including an August death — are suspected of being hepatitis A, but haven’t been confirmed by laboratory testing,” reports Patch.

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez, who plans to run for supervisor in 2020, tweeted his dissatisfaction with officials’ response: “The City of San Diego first heard of the #HepatitisA outbreak in May, and then again in August. Why was there no action to prevent deaths?”

If you really want to get a good rundown of the outbreak, who it’s affecting and how it has spread, you can watch the informative presentation at the meeting by Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. It’s only about 20 minutes or so.

How a Soapbox Launched a Multimillion-Dollar Soap Company

Dr. Bronner’s, the multimillion-dollar soap company famous for its strange, rambling labels, started with some strange, rambling lectures from atop a soapbox by the company’s founder, Emanuel “Emil” Bronner.

Now, Bronner’s grandson runs the company, which is based in Vista.

David Bronner sat down with VOSD’s Kinsee Morlan for the latest episode of “I Made it in San Diego,” our podcast focused on local entrepreneurs.

Bronner said the political messages that helped launch the whole effort still play a big role in the company, and that its customers expect it will fight for causes it believes in.

District Elections (Maybe) Coming for Encinitas

Yet another domino seems like it’s about to fall in the push to move cities across Southern California to district elections, instead of at-large elections that advocates say dilute minority voting power.

The latest city likely to take the plunge – after an attorney who’s threatened to sue localities across San Diego County and beyond – is Encinitas, writes Ruarri Serpa in this week’s North County Report.

But one city councilman says the city should pump the brakes because two – yes two ­­– Latinos have been elected in the last 31 years, so the system must be working fine.

Two Cities, Two Takes on Pot Regulations

Councilman Chris Ward tells KPBS that taking steps to regulate the supply side of the marijuana industry – growing, manufacturing and testing – would help address public safety concerns. The City Council is set to consider whether to allow those businesses next week.

Meanwhile, in Poway, the City Council voted to make its temporary ban on marijuana dispensaries permanent.

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

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