Andrew Keatts got a scoop.

A group of movers and shakers in San Diego has been meeting to come up with a plan for either one or two tax hikes for next year’s ballot to fund the Convention Center expansion, affordable housing and homeless services.

The group includes homeless advocate Michael McConnell, Michael McDowell, from the Lodging Industry Association and Kris Michell, the CEO of the Downtown Partnership. The group is looking to take advantage of a new ruling that seems to indicate citizens initiatives can impose new taxes for special projects with only a simple majority approval from voters.

A staffer for Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been attending though she was careful to make clear she’s on leave from city employment.

“These are first discussions, but I am always hopeful when a lot of people are sitting around a table,” Michell said.

Border Sewage Is a Problem, But Not Likely Culprit in Hep A Outbreak

Here and there, people have tossed around various theories — with no evidence — about what caused the outbreak of hepatitis A in San Diego.

We asked our Ry Rivard to look into one of the theories: that it came from sewage spilling across the border.

Rivard found that no, the outbreak didn’t likely come from border issues. Border sewage is a big problem and it does sometimes lead to hepatitis A scares for surfers. But the virus found sometimes in the ocean and in Mexico is a different strain than what we’re seeing downtown and in El Cajon.

“I think we can say as of right now we see no compelling reason to connect the two,” said David Gibson, the head of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.

But if we’re worried about waterways, the San Diego River is one we should think about. Hundreds of homeless people have been living their in extreme poverty and using it for bathing and as a toilet.

VOSD Podcast: Maienschein Talks About Tough Vote

Sen. Toni Atkins introduced SB 2, a bill that would raise funds for affordable housing by adding a $75 fee on certain real estate documents.

The bill just barely passed the state Legislature with only one Democrat opposed and only one Republican for it. That Republican was San Diego’s Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.

He came on this week’s podcast to discuss it, some of his other priorities and the future of the GOP in California with hosts Keatts, Scott Lewis and Sara Libby.

“I went up there to represent my constituents and do what was right.” Maienschein said.

Keatts, Libby and Lewis also discussed the Chargers meltdown in Los Angeles, new vacation rental regulations being considered and the revival of the effort to fix Barrio Logan’s zoning.

Sac Report: Maienschein Making the Rounds

Libby wrote up some of the highlights of Maienschein’s chat on the podcast to lead this week’s Sacramento Report. Reporter Ashly McGlone also contributed new findings in a study commissioned by California’s attorney general showing that San Diego Law Enforcement stopped people of color disproportionately.

Maienschein voted for Akins bill that helps fund affordable housing citing the crucial issue comes down to working one on one with the homeless in San Diego. Listen to Maienschein’s full interview on this week’s VOSD Podcast.

 Maienschein also appeared on Gimme Shelter, a California housing-focused podcast hosted by Liam Dillon.

Opinion: No One Knows What To Do About Short Term Rentals, But We Can Start Here

San Diego City Councilman, Chris Ward lays out the challenges he has faced dealing with what to do about short term rentals. Many people in his district rely on the rentals to make ends meet, while others don’t want them in their neighborhoods at all.

Ward bullet points a memo that he and fellow Councilmembers David Alvarez, Scott Sherman, and Mark Kersey developed to regulate short-term vacation rentals.

• Mayor Faulconer has been relatively silent on short-term rentals.

• A new op-ed in U-T explains Airbnb’s crucial position in this debate.

From the VOSD Podcast Network:

The Kept Faith invited Lewis into the studio to break down the utter debacle that is the Los Angeles Chargers, and their pathetic #FightForLA

SD Beer Talk discusses the sale of Helm Brewing, and announce their own beer collaboration with Longship for San Diego Beer Week!

News From The Outside:

Apparently people still think the Chargers might come back to San Diego, despite every single thing proving the opposite. Will Reeve, Jr of USA Today hints that the NFL might force them back. Lewis reminds you that it won’t.

And just in case you thought the ideas couldn’t get more ridiculous, The Big Lead is here to help.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the crackdown on marijuana delivery services rages on. I’d read it, but I’ve reached my monthly limit on free online articles.

For reader supported backstory and coverage on the continued highs and lows of local marijuana legislation and regulation start with Adriana Heldiz’s breakdown of the delivery services that are legal. Here’s Lewis’ FAQ on the state of cannabis legality.

It may feel like things never get done in California’s capitol, causing several of the State’s lawmakers to get fed up with inaction, as the Sacramento Bee points out, this frustration is spurring change.

Dallas McLaughlin is a freelance contributor for Voice of San Diego, as well as a writer and co-host for The Kept Faith and their weekly podcast. 

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