The Vista Detention Facility / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Before there was the so-called sanctuary state legislation, there was the Truth Act.

The state law, which went into effect in 2017, requires immigrants in local jails to be notified that they can refuse an interview with ICE at no penalty to themselves. Yet the proportion of people who consent to an interview without a lawyer present appears to be growing, according to data released at a county forum Tuesday.

Maya Srikrishnan reports that immigrants rights advocates were surprised about the data. “Most people should be outright denying the ICE interview,” if protocol is being appropriately followed, said Felicia Gomez, policy coordinator of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Gomez also worried that law enforcement officials might be applying some coercion behind closed doors to get detainees to agree to an interview.

“Those are the things that are hard for us as advocates to track since we’re not in the jails to see it happen,” she said.

According to other data presented at the legally mandated forum, the number of immigrant detainees released to ICE by the County Sheriff’s Department has gone down overall, because of the California Values Act.

Council OK’s Plan to Turn Skydiving Building Into Homeless Services Center

The San Diego City Council voted 5-4 on Tuesday to approve a controversial plan to turn a former indoor skydiving facility into a service hub for homeless San Diegans.

City Council President Myrtle Cole was the sole City Council Democrat to support the East Village project, which a mayor’s office spokesman estimated could open in three to four months.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who advocated for the project at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, has said he believes the center will more quickly connect homeless San Diegans often overwhelmed by a confusing web of services to housing and other help.

Fellow City Council Democrats Chris Ward and Georgette Gómez and many community groups assailed the navigation center proposal, arguing that it doesn’t address the one thing that homeless San Diegans need most: housing.

“When a good friend is intoxicated, you don’t let them drive,” said Gómez, who argued other programs could better aid homeless San Diegans.“You take away the keys and I think this is what we need to do at this moment.”

Tuesday’s City Council vote to approve $1.9 million in spending on a contract with operator Family Health Centers of San Diego and building upgrades comes nearly a year after the city rushed to buy the shuttered skydiving facility for $7 million, a price some real-estate experts have dubbed excessive.

That Wasn’t the Only Fiery Fighting Among City Hall Types …

Conservative talk radio host Carl DeMaio tweeted a Union-Tribune story about new ethics rules passed by voters by slamming City Councilman Chris Cate. “I guess we’ll just call this ‘The Chris Cate Rule’ – since his negligent decision led to it.  Sad….,” DeMaio wrote.

Cate had a response: “Remember that one time that KOGO radio host won a November election?  Ya me neither.”

Police Arrest Chula Vista Arson Suspect, Don’t See Political Motive

Chula Vista police have arrested Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins, a 28-year-old homeless man for allegedly setting fire to the offices of the liberal organizing group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE.

Leaders of the group and other liberal community groups gathered Monday to say they would not be intimidated by an attack they suspected was politically motivated, after they had led the local campaign for two rent control ballot measures.

But police said Tuesday the attack wasn’t related to politics. Instead, Lt. Kenny Heinz said Jenkins, who they suspect had been residing on the property without permission, targeted ACCE because of a personal dispute.

Jenkins told police he committed the arson due to ongoing issues with ACCE after they threw away his belongings.

He was booked into county jail for arson and a prior burglary. ACCE had been a victim of two burglaries in the last 10 months.

Write a 50,000 Word Novel in a Month?!

The problem with NaNoWriMo aside from its name is that it doesn’t really have much to do with writing a good novel. National Novel Writing Month, entering its 20th year, challenges people to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. But is that even a good idea?

As Julia Evans Dixon lays out in this week’s Culture Report, many San Diego writers don’t love the premise. Requiring some 1,600 words per day, writing a novel in a month virtually eliminates time for editing. But as one other San Diego writer noted, NaNoWriMo (did an author really come up with this name?!) can at least serve as a good gateway to get people writing.

Also in this week’s roundup of arts and culture news: Go to a star-gazing party, visit some free museums or drink an amazing mezcalito cocktail.

Yes, We’re Still Watching Vote Counts

  • State Sen. Joel Anderson is still leading Mike Schaefer in the race for Board of Equalization but his margin has shrunk to just over 400 votes, according to the secretary of state’s vote count update posted Tuesday.
  • Escondido Mayor Sam Abed increased his lead in Tuesday’s count … by nine votes. He’s now up by 29 votes.
  • Sean Elo is still leading David Alvarez in the race for a San Diego Community College board seat, and Vivian Moreno remains about 700 votes ahead of Antonio Martinez in the race for City Council District 8.
  • Assemblyman Brian Maienschein is still leading Sunday Gover, but his lead has shrunk considerably.

And Still More Election News

  • Prop. 6, the gas tax repeal, failed statewide, but it passed in San Diego County, according to KPBS. The effort to repeal the gas tax began in San Diego with conservative radio host Carl DeMaio. It passed in rural and eastern parts of the county, while city of San Diego voters rejected the measure.
  • The biggest impact of Measure L doubling pay for city council members and the mayor wasn’t mentioned on the ballot, as the Union-Tribune reports. Council members had long agonized over raising their own pay. With the passage of Measure L, they avoided dealing with it altogether by tying their pay to that of state judges.

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, and edited by Sara Libby.

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