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Omar Passons is a candidate for a County Supervisor seat. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

One of the biggest political races this year in San diego is the contest to replace county Supervisor Ron Roberts. We’ve begun our look into each candidate for that job, starting with Omar Passons.

This isn’t the North Park attorney’s first foray into the public sphere. As our Lisa Halverstadt explains, Passons has been a community activist and he’s found both both struggles and successes in his efforts.

He’s long had an interest in public-private partnerships to help solve problems – a recurring theme in his campaign proposals.

For instance, Passons rallied his neighbors to start a graffiti abatement program, taking an effective, private citizen-powered approach to a problem the government is typically expected to tackle.

Passons also joined The Jacobs Center, a nonprofit that works to improve southeastern San Diego by attracting businesses and housing. The nonprofit relies heavily on public-private partnerships, which is part of what he liked about the gig. But after only about a year on the job, Passons left and it’s unclear how much he accomplished.

Sacramento Report: Airport Bill Scaled Back

A bill to make the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority a part of the Port of San Diego instead of an independent agency has lost its teeth.

In the latest Sacramento Report, Andrew Keatts makes an appearance to explain exactly how and why Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has changed the scope of her airport proposal, AB 3119.

Also in the weekly roundup of news from Sacramento: Lisa Halverstadt explains Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s efforts to force counties statewide to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to help Californians with mental illnesses, Sara Libby describes two San Diego legislators’ plans to advance women in the workplace and more.

Update: La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Puts Professor on Leave

Patrick Walders won’t be working with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus for the time-being.

Walders is the San Diego State University choir professor I wrote about this week who’s on paid administrative leave from the school pending an investigation related to a sexual relationship he had with one of his students, according to a Title IX investigation obtained by VOSD. I talked to past students and coworkers who shared their stories of how they say Walders bullied them and wielded his influence in inappropriate ways.

“In light of information contained in the Voice of San Diego, Dr. Walders has been placed on administrative leave until further notice,” Diane Salisbury, the executive Director of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, said via email.

Podcast: The County’s Trump Vote

In this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts break down what the county’s decision to join the Trump administration lawsuit challenging three California laws really means, and clear up some of the confusion around it.

The supes’ vote was propelled into the national news cycle this week, getting even more coverage after President Donald Trump thanked the board for their support in a Tweet.

The VOSD Podcast episode pulls in several clips from political leaders like County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Kristin Gaspar, and explains the lack of its actual, real-world impact.

Also in the pod: Libby, Keatts and Lewis explain the big philosophical divide the district attorney candidates have when it comes to sex work. Chula Vista native Des Linden is our hero and more.

Union-Tribune columnist Michael Smolens wonders aloud in print if Gaspar, who spearheaded the effort to support the federal lawsuit challenging California’s sanctuary laws, “has turned this into a breakout moment in her bid for Congress.”

A Powerful Push for Suicide Barriers on the Coronado Bridge

Bertha Loaiza was just 3-years-old when her mom jumped off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge with her in her arms. Loaiza survived that 246-foot-plunge. Her mother, who suffered from mental illness, didn’t.

Loaiza is now sharing her story in an effort to get suicide barriers mounted on the Coronado Bridge. (Union-Tribune)

VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga has written about the ongoing effort of suicide-prevention advocates to get a safety barrier installed on the bridge before money is spent on a big public art lighting project. He’s also covered the unexplained increase in jumps from the bridge in the last six years.

In Other News

San Diego County’s campaign finance data is hard to search, so inewsource built a tool that makes it easier. People can use it to search through money raised and spent by local campaigns since January 2017.

President Donald Trump said he wasn’t going to foot the bill for the California National Guard deployment that Gov. Jerry Brown announced. Yet the Guard said it has written confirmation of federal funding. (KPBS)

The San Diego County Employees’ Retirement Association has refused to implement a lower tier of benefits for future members. Now San Diego County supervisors are going to court to force the pension board to do it. (Union-Tribune)

Students at several local schools participated in a second round of nationwide walkouts to call for tighter gun laws. (NBC7)

Border Patrol agents want to remove a mural depicting an upside-down United States flag that a group of deported veterans painted on the border fence. There’s a long history of protest art like this on and around the border fence. (CNN)

A teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School has been arrested for allegedly distributing pornographic images of young girls. (City News Service)

  San Diego County is generally safe when compared to other cities, but elder abuse and several types of violent crime are on the rise, according to a report released Friday by the San Diego Association of Governments. (KUSI)

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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