If you want to take extra precautions against contracting hepatitis A, it might be nice to know what parts of San Diego are most affected by the outbreak. Discovering where the outbreak is raging the hardest may seem like a simple task, but Lisa Halverstadt reports the answer it is not.
First of all, even if the county knew exactly where the outbreak was raging, they wouldn’t tell the public. The county fears releasing too much information about people who got sick. “County officials blame state and federal health privacy laws and challenges tracking the homeless,” Halverstadt writes. She also found, though, that Santa Cruz County has released a handful of zip codes where their outbreak is worst.
The other problem is uncertainty about where the disease was contracted. The disease incubates over a period of weeks, so the location someone started feeling sick may not have any relation to where they were exposed to the virus. “What you’d have to do is put a big blob on the map of where somebody’s been for the last seven weeks and it’s not helpful,” Halverstadt writes.
• Here’s what Santa Cruz was able to produce when asked for a breakdown of zip codes where the outbreak has been reported.
• Halverstadt noticed District 3 Councilman Chris Ward is also trying to find out where the outbreak cases are in the city.
• Sacramento, Arizona, Utah. San Diego’s hepatitis A strain is on a road trip that is only getting started. (Pulse)
• Dig in; experts warn the outbreak could last months or even years. (LA Times) And more national coverage, this time from the health-focused online magazine, STAT.
• City leaders are moving to address the homeless issue with a new homeless center which they hope will open in July… 2019. (U-T San Diego)
Nature Has a Way, This Time It Was Hep A
Scott Lewis looks back over the recent history of San Diego’s homeless issues to trace the path from fringe political nuisance to national crisis. “Sometimes we get complacent,” Lewis writes. “Biology has a way of waking us up when that happens.” The homeless have always been with us, but the encampments they started creating over the last decade were a major shift. San Diego’s reticence to building and maintaining public toilets was a key ingredient for creating a virus that spreads mostly through contact with human waste.
Where did we think the feces was going? He asked.
No matter what we in the media did to draw attention to what was happening, only nature could mobilize the city and county governments as has happened now.
The Learning Curve: After-School Options Few
As the school day ends for students in San Diego Unified, another question arises: where will the kids go? Most parents work jobs that hold them down for hours after a child has finished the school day between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Many families depend on after-school programs to make the schedule work. But not everyone can afford after-school care, and even for those who can afford it, Maya Srikrishnan reports space is extremely limited.
An abundance of paid and subsidized programs exist, although some of those subsidized programs are under threat as Congress ponders whether to cut or eliminate funding for them. San Diego Unified has Primetime, which serves 15,000 kids who qualify for it. Chula Vista has a similar program, and Poway has a program that costs $250 per month. Other schools have self-run programs that cost hundreds of dollars per month, too, but they have waiting lists. “At all three of the districts, many families face the same problems… there isn’t enough space for everyone, even if families are willing to pay,” Srikrishnan writes.
Opinion: Short-Term Rentals Hurt Neighbors
Joe Flynn, former deputy planning director for the city of San Diego, has looked into the latest proposal by four councilmembers to allow short-term rentals and finds it fatally flawed. Flynn worries about the effect of short-term rentals on home values. “Long-term losses will be realized in the reduced sale prices of single-family homes in proximity to short-term rentals,” he writes. He also worries about the quality of life neighbors will have once homes begin to host care-free guests. “Loss of quiet enjoyment will be borne by neighbors without compensation,” Flynn argues.
California Opts Out of Immigration Enforcement
Under new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, California will prohibit police from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement activities. Jail workers will also be prohibited from transferring detainees to immigration officials unless they have one of a list of 800 crimes on their criminal record, NBC 7 reports. Brown pointed out the new law does not prohibit immigration officials from “using their considerable resources” to do their normal work in California.
One major effect of the law on San Diego that we’ve been tracking: Immigration enforcement agents that work permanently inside three San Diego jails will no longer be allowed to have space there.
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.
• More speculation abounds over potential buyers who could help save SeaWorld from spiraling into financial failure. (Union-Tribune)
• A 700-gallon oil spill from a military ship was feared to come ashore on Thursday, but it may not come ashore at all. (KPBS)
• If you want the City Council to put your proposed law on the 2018 ballot, the city would like you to get that proposal in earlier so they can review it thoroughly and let the public see it too. (Times of San Diego)
• The city of San Diego has announced it will use a recruitment firm to search for the city’s next police chief after it has completed its current public outreach effort. (KPBS)
• LA Times sports writer Sam Farmer warned the Chargers to think twice about moving last year. His review of how it’s going so far is ruthless.
“The Chargers arrived uninvited into a market still skeptical about embracing one team. For Los Angeles, it was like getting a second bread-making machine as a housewarming gift,” he wrote.
The Chargers are a team with an identity crisis, but referring to them as the Southern California Chargers isn’t going to cut it.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.