The Morning Report
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In San Diego, all roads lead to the Chargers.
Therefore, fittingly, a discussion about the housing, homelessness and hepatitis A crisis in San Diego has also ended up as a discussion about the NFL team.
After Nathan Fletcher and a coalition of Democrats criticized the county for offering up $150 million for a Chargers stadium two years ago, but being unwilling to spend money on the homeless and public health, County Supervisor Ron Roberts confirmed what VOSD’s Scott Lewis tried to nail down two years ago: that the county never actually intended to help finance the stadium.
“Roberts’ statement to the NFL that the county of San Diego had committed to $150 million for a stadium is going to haunt him and his colleagues,” Lewis writes. “You could not possibly come up with more obvious evidence that the county had money to burn as the region faces a severe housing shortage and homelessness crisis.”
If the county supervisors don’t want to spend money – they have $2 billion in reserves – on housing or public health, they should probably just say that, writes Lewis.
Sacramento Report: Plan to Reform SANDAG Is Now Official
Earlier this week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 805, the bill that will reshape the San Diego Association of Governments – a reform effort spurred by a scandal at the planning agency exposed by Voice of San Diego.
In this week’s Sacramento Report, Andrew Keatts talks to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher about how she managed to persuade the governor – who has long expressed his opposition that the state should meddle in local affairs to bills addressing local issues – to sign the bill and what we can expect now that it’s been signed.
VOSD’s Sara Libby also looks at the bill to reform the troubled CalGang database, and gives us the final exhaustive rundown of the year of bills from local lawmakers that were signed into law this week.
VOSD Podcast: San Diego Squabbles
In this week’s podcast, Keatts, Lewis and Libby give a rundown of all the beefs brewing in San Diego.
City and county officials have been arguing over who should foot the bill for the efforts to address the region’s hepatitis A outbreak.
City Attorney Mara Elliot and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman disagree over testing rape kits.
Local leaders of rural cities and larger urban ones don’t agree on the shift in power happening at SANDAG.
And last, but not least, the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority continue to fight.
Opinion: Same ‘Ol Homeless Interventions, Same ‘Ol Problems
In attempt to quell the hepatitis A outbreak, the city opened a city-sanctioned homeless encampment this week. Local homeless advocate Michael McConnell writes that the city has found itself in the same place it was two years ago – warehousing the homeless in tents.
McConnell implores the city to create more permanent solutions and enact more effective homeless policies, rather than digging their heels in and continuing the same old-school practices that have failed to permanently solve the city’s homelessness problem for years.
Quick News Hits
• No one is monitoring San Diego’s waterways for hepatitis A. (Union-Tribune)
• In rough times for U.S.-Mexico relations, the Centro Cultural de Tijuana opened its first exhibition with an American artist in more than a decade. (KPBS)
• San Diego restaurants launched a campaign to go strawless to cut down on plastic waste. (Union Tribune)
Top Stories of the Week
These were the five most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Oct. 6-12. To view the full top 10 list, click here.
San Diego Superior Court is no longer providing court reporters for family law proceedings, which means there is no verbatim, written record of the what happens in court. People involved in disputes can elect to pay for one themselves, which attorneys worry creates a two-tiered system. (Jonah Valdez)
In a video explainer, we lay out how the hepatitis A outbreak unfolded, local officials’ initially slow reaction to the spread of the virus and what they’re doing now to address the crisis. (Adriana Heldiz)
Parents and students in the San Diego Unified School District have until Nov. 13 to apply to schools within the district other than their neighborhood school. To help parents navigate their options, we’ve created a map of San Diego County schools, with crucial data about each, along with a quick and easy guide to San Diego Unified’s school choice system. (Scott Lewis)
The bill, inspired in part by VOSD’s investigation into SANDAG’s sales tax measures, shifts power at the agency toward San Diego and Chula Vista and away from smaller cities. (Andrew Keatts)
County public health officials have released only simple maps revealing clusters of a hepatitis A outbreak that’s sickened more than 480 people, citing privacy laws and other challenges. Without more specific location data from the county, cities are basing sanitation efforts on public complaints and areas where their homeless populations cluster. (Lisa Halverstadt)