We’ve launched our end-of-the-year campaign for donations. If you value the Morning Report or our investigative work or podcasts or anything else Voice of San Diego keeps an eye on for you, please consider a contribution. A big chunk of the money we use to operate for the year comes in during this period and it’s mighty stressful so any little bit helps.


Weddings are going to pot in more ways than you could possibly imagine. As our Kinsee Morlan reports in a new story, “San Diego artist Leslie Monroy gets hired for lots of weddings, and she doesn’t stop at fancy bud bouquets. She also makes weed-filled boutonnieres — called ‘budineers’ — and hooks up brides with hair stylists who twist marijuana buds into updos, photographers comfortable shooting cannabis weddings, knowledgeable ‘budtenders’ who work open weed bars and food vendors that include pot in their fare.”

She’s pretty busy too. But Monroy is careful about the law and only works for people with medical marijuana cards.

Not surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s legal and what isn’t when it comes to weed and weddings.

It will be legal to purchase cannabis products in licensed stores starting in January. In the city of San Diego, only those stores will be allowed to deliver by then.

Airbnb Debate Nears End

Not too long ago, the City Council nixed plans to figure out what to do about Airbnb-style rentals after a bombshell memo from the city attorney’s office.

Now, the issue is coming back before the council on Dec. 12, and four council members have slightly revised their pitch for a resolution, possibly in an attempt to avoid last-minute issues. Proposed regulations are normally released just a few days before a vote.

For a roundup of what’s going on, check our story here.

San Diego Stuck with Lagging Bike Rentals?

As CityBeat columnist John R. Lamb reports, the troubled rent-a-bike program operated by DecoBike in San Diego isn’t the only game in town (or, at least, the county). A rival is offering hundreds of bikes at much cheaper prices in tiny Imperial Beach. As Lamb puts it, “competitors are knocking on the door offering two things DecoBike apparently can’t: cheaper rental rates and broader availability, particularly in low-income neighborhoods.”

This all raises a big question: Can San Diego jilt DecoBike or at least allow competition? It’s complicated.

For background, check our story on how bike-rentals got screwed up in the city.

Border Report: End of the Line for Haitian Refugees

This week’s VOSD Border Report checks on Haitian refugees who have gotten the word from the Trump administration that their time here will soon come to an end unless they find a way to stay. “Everybody is just scared,” says a minister with a local Haitian church. “We all love our country, but how we gonna go back? There’s no infrastructure, no electricity, no security, nothing. Nothing.”

Also in the Border Report: An unusual bid to delay the border wall, an L.A. Times investigation of an affordable housing boondoggle in Mexico, a major shortage of women in the Border Patrol, and more.

Earlier this year, passengers on a flight from San Francisco to New York City were pulled aside after they landed at JFK Airport and told to show their ID by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

“This was strange: It was a domestic flight, and JFK is more than 250 air miles from the nearest international border crossing,” reports the magazine VQR. What was the Border Patrol doing in NYC? The answer: Its job, as allowed within the “100-mile zone” — “a massive swath of the United States in which Customs and Border Protection in general and Border Patrol agents in particular are empowered by federal law and Supreme Court precedent to operate far beyond the bounds of typical law enforcement.”

UC San Diego Hits the Big(ger) Time

UC San Diego is joining the Division I-level Big West Conference where its teams will play against universities with similarly underpowered athletic reputations like UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge.

“UC San Diego is the nation’s fifth largest research school. But it isn’t well known beyond Southern California, partly because campus life is very low key,” the U-T reports. “The school newspaper once carried a blotter item that said someone had thrown a pine cone through an open window.”

UCSD’s chancellor declared that “I want us to be University of California for the Socially Dynamic!” Pro-tip: the socially dynamic do not describe themselves as socially dynamic.

Another newcomer to the Big West Conference: Cal State Bakersfield. Go, um, fightin’ Sunstrokes?

SDSU Renderings Coming

San Diego State University announced that Wednesday it would reveal more details about what it would do with the Mission Valley land under and around SDCCU Stadium, once home to the Chargers. It can’t officially promote the initiative the Friends of SDSU are circulating to help the university get the land. The university also revealed it was working with JMI Realty on the vision. JMI is developing Ballpark Village downtown, owns the Omni Hotel and is affiliated with John Moores, the former owner of the Padres.

A current owner of the Padres, Peter Seidler, is one of the partners behind the competing initiative, SoccerCity.

In the local sports community, there’s an ongoing joke about how many renderings of new stadiums San Diego has seen. One regular SDSU sports pundit joked “The National Weather Service has issued RENDERINGS ADVISORY for San Diego and parts of Riverside, Orange and Imperial Counties, expiring at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29.”

Opinion: Don’t Deny Drug Abuse in Homeless

In a letter to the editor, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells responds to a recent VOSD Fact Check that reviewed the data available on how many homeless men and women struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.

“I stand by the words I used to describe the nexus of homelessness to drug and alcohol abuse,” he says in response.

He writes: “I have spent my adult life working with people who are mentally ill, and by extension, people who are homeless. The prevalence of substance abuse among the homeless population is beyond dispute.”

• The first of three new large, emergency tents for the homeless is scheduled to open on Friday, KPBS reports. One tent will hold families, “including the nearly 50 children currently living at the city’s homeless campground in Golden Hill.”

Meanwhile, the county’s hepatitis A state of emergency continues, even though the outbreak is still dwindling. (City News Service)

Quick News Hits: Thar She Blows!

• A battle over Southern California vs. Northern California burritos has broken out on Reddit, with one commenter colorfully suggesting you can’t get a good burrito north of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. I wrote about the rise of Mexican food for VOSD a while back and discovered why there are so many variations on Roberto’s taco joints around here.

Local traffic congestion is getting worse. Weirdly, none of the county’s top 10 bottlenecks are along North County’s I-15 or its notoriously ugly and congested Highway 78. (U-T)

• On Thanksgiving day, a drone captured video of a young gray whale exploring the kelp forest bed off La Jolla. The nifty video via YouTube is here.

It’s nice knowing at least someone can visit La Jolla without getting stuck behind a slowpoke on Torrey Pines Road.

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 (asja.org). Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.