San Diego officials from the city and county have stepped up their efforts to address the hepatitis A crisis in the aftermath of a VOSD story detailing behind-the-scenes foot-dragging. They’ve also stepped up PR efforts to assure citizens that they’re taking action.
But Lisa Halverstadt used emails released plus accounts from city and county officials, to give us more details on the bureaucratic mess that prevented a swift initial response to the crisis.
Even seemingly small actions required several weeks, or months, of exchanges before anything got done. Here’s a little preview: When city leaders decided to provide guidance to downtown businesses about sanitation, it took them a full two months to actually do it. And when the city and county decided that distributing posters encouraging hepatitis A vaccinations to recreation centers and libraries was a good idea, it took two months of back-and-forth emails to make it happen.
• City officials announced further efforts to curb the hepatitis A outbreak by expanding sidewalk-washing to more neighborhoods, including Uptown and Mid-City. (Union-Tribune)
Supreme Court Deals Water Authority a Loss
The San Diego County Water Authority’s long-running legal case against its nemesis, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, ended on Wednesday with a win for Metropolitan.
“For years, San Diego water officials argued the region’s major supplier of water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, charges too much to deliver water to San Diego from the Colorado River,” Ry Rivard reports. The state Supreme Court declined to hear the case Wednesday, leaving in place a lower court ruling that sided with Metropolitan.
The idea that Metropolitan charges San Diego too much for water has been the centerpiece of a PR campaign by the Water Authority. Wednesday’s move by the state high court deflates that argument, but it’s not likely that it will put an end to the feud between the two agencies, which is as strong as ever and constantly takes weird turns.
How New Village Arts Flew the Coop
From an old chicken coop that just 25 people could cram into to a big city-owned building in the heart of Carlsbad Village, New Village Arts has definitely upgraded its digs since it first launched in 2001.
In the latest episode of “I Made it in San Diego,” our podcast focused on the personal stories behind the region’s businesses, Kristianne Kurner talks to VOSD contributor Dallas McLaughlin about the ups and downs of building a successful theater company.
Kurner talks about her divorce from her cofounding husband, a nightmare bookkeeper who nearly ended the company and much more in the entertaining 45-minute episode.
Remember: We Already Have a Border Wall
Construction of border wall prototypes are officially under way – not far away from the border wall that already exists.
• According to its own rules, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents shouldn’t detain pregnant women unless there’s a very compelling reason to do so. “Despite this, the agency acknowledges detaining hundreds of pregnant women annually. Three of them miscarried in ICE custody so far this year,” reports HuffPost. At least one of the disturbing instances took place at the Otay Mesa detention facility.
• I’ve been seeing several photos of local bigwigs in Washington D.C. on social media lately. That’s because it’s the annual San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce lobbying trip, and the delegation of local business leaders and elected officials were there to talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Union-Tribune)
• Rep. Duncan Hunter wants President Donald Trump to pardon two former Border Patrol agents who were convicted in the shooting of an unarmed marijuana smuggler, and for trying to cover up their crime. President George W. Bush commuted their sentences back in 2009, but Hunter said the former agents deserve a full pardon. (Union-Tribune)
NCTD’s Slow Response to Problems Pointed Out by Grand Jury
If you ride public transit in the North County, you might already know about the Sprinter’s temperamental ticketing machines.
The problems were pointed out in one of two recent Grand Jury reports focused on the North County Transit District. The other Grand Jury report found that the agency provides only limited space for disabled riders.
In his latest North County Report, VOSD contributor Ruarri Serpa reports that the transportation agency wants more proof that there’s actually a systemic problem for disabled riders, and while NCTD is slowly working to fix the ticketing machines, officials have said they don’t think they’re all that bad.
Also in Serpa’s roundup: North County faces its own battle with hepatitis A, Oceanside residents still don’t know if they have a mayor and more.
Quick News Hits
• CNN uses the weekly protests outside Rep. Darrell Issa’s office to set the stage for its think piece on the California’s GOP’s dwindling supporters.
• Union-Tribune reporter Gary Warth tweeted that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has plans to open a city-sanctioned homeless campsite in Golden Hill.
• The San Diego Police Department isn’t the only local police agency dealing with a staffing shortage, Chula Vista police say their department is severely understaffed. (NBC San Diego)
• KPBS profiled the nonprofit Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, or PERT, and the work it does to help officers and deputies respond to calls about people with mental illnesses.
• Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the death of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by El Cajon Police officers. KPBS talked to members of Olango’s family who’ve renewed calls for police reform, and a CityBeat editorial calls on El Cajon residents to urge the City Council to create a police citizen review board.
• In its ongoing quest to boost attendance in the post-“Blackfish” world, SeaWorld announced a cheap new annual pass.
• Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill moving California’s primary elections to early March, when primary elections actually matter.
Kinsee Morlan is engagement editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. Contact her directly at email@example.com.