The San Diego Association of Governments is so far behind that, to make good on promises it made to voters in 2004 when they agreed to a sales tax extension, California lawmakers will have to raise the gas tax twice more in 13 years.

At least, that’s the view of staff of the agency. Board members, led by Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey, were having none of it. In a surgical deconstruction of staff’s argument, Bailey revealed that they were merely identifying how far behind the agency was on its promises and then assuming that they would make up the difference.

The gas tax increases were part of that.

The state Legislature raised the gas tax this summer. But it was controversial enough to provoke an ongoing recall attempt against one of the lawmakers who cast a crucial vote for it. And the whole repeal could face a voter referendum.

SANDAG staff not only assumed that the gas tax hike would stick but that two more would come. San Diego, staff said, could get up to $100 million a year from the gas tax hike.

Hepatitis A Update: Another Shelter Emergency Declared

The city has declared a homeless shelter emergency, something it also did last year. (City News Service)

Three homeless people have been attacked and killed in just the past few weeks in San Diego, the U-T reports. “Two of the victims were fatally stabbed and one was hit in the head with a skateboard.”

Last year, a man allegedly killed four homeless people and attacked eight more. “Some had railroad spikes driven into the head or chest, and some were set on fire,” the U-T notes. But no one knows if attacks on the homeless are up because they’re not tracked.

The U-T looks into whether the city or county could be successfully sued over the botched response to the outbreak. The answer: Maybe. But winning a suit is no slam-dunk.

Trump’s Bonkers Border Claim Not So Nutty

The president thinks we need a see-thru border wall because the existing one is, well, vulnerable in a unique way: “So now they take drugs, literally, and they throw it, a hundred pounds of drugs. They throw it over the wall, they have catapults, but they throw it over the wall, and it lands and it hits somebody on the head.”

Sounds like a Trumpian fib. The reality: Not quite, although there seems to be a bit of collusion with creativity. According to the fact checkers at PolitiFact, “Trump was largely accurate about drugs being catapulted. Immigration officials have seized marijuana launched across the border, and in some cases, found catapults. Whether people have been hit on the head by these sacks is uncertain.”

Border Report: Do What You’re Told and Get Deported

This week’s VOSD Border Report leads with the story of an undocumented immigrant in Carlsbad who’d been allowed to stay as long as he checked in with immigration officials. Then came the Trump administration.

His family pleaded for him to be allowed to remain here; he’s married with two kids and was the family breadwinner. But he was deported last week. We talked to his attorney about the case; she says “the ever-changing policies… keep getting worse and worse and more punitive as time goes on.”

Also in the Border Report: Border sewage may not be responsible for the hepatitis A outbreak, massive immigration arrests in L.A. and state money to help students affected by DACA renew their status.

Quick News Hits: Happy Hippo Times 12

• Jennifer Irvine, a San Diego attorney, was one of those killed in the deadliest mass shooting in United States history in Las Vegas Sunday night.

“The Chula Vista City Council has voted to adopt a 2017 climate action plan to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city in an effort to achieve total clean energy by 2035,” the U-T reports. One council member opposed the vote, saying the plan — with grand goals like reducing waste to zero — will hurt the poor.

The city, the second-largest in the county and one of the top 100 in the nation, is home to 260,000 people.

The city is poised to pay out $250,000 to another victim of a sexual predator cop whose misdeeds have cost taxpayers more than $2 million in settlements, the U-T reports. “The case prompted the department to establish a new policy requiring two officers to accompany any female in custody.”

A hippo at the San Diego Zoo has given birth to her 12th calf, a healthy baby… something. Its gender doesn’t seem to yet be available, although the calf is clearly adorable. You can look at pictures here, and you can drop by and say hello too.

Mother’s Day brunch is going to be crowded. Hopefully the kids will spring for unlimited mimosas for Mama Hippo. She sure deserves a drink or 12.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors ( Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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