Downtown San Diego / Photo by Sam Hodgson

San Diego has long had a reputation for being a city of transplants. And indeed, data backs that up.

In our latest People’s Reporter post, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt finds that more than half of San Diegans were born elsewhere.

Only about 46 percent of people living in San Diego were born in San Diego, according to 2017 Census data. That’s a bit lower than the 55 percent in California as a whole who’ve remained in their home state, or the 58 percent who’ve remained in their home states nationwide.

This might change in the future, though. California’s high cost of living and housing prices have contributed to reduced migration into the state. More people are now leaving San Diego than moving here, Halverstadt reports.

Have a question you think Voice of San Diego should investigate? Suggest a future People’s Reporter question here and stay tuned for future voting rounds to help us decide what to dig into next.

New Arts Commission Director Talks Budgets, Funding Formulas and Housing

After a months-long vacancy, Mayor Kevin Faulconer appointed a new director for the city’s Commission on Arts and Culture last month.

In this week’s Culture Report, VOSD contributor Julia Dixon Evans spoke with the new director, Jonathon Glus. Some of the key issues discussed were housing costs that are impacting the arts and culture community, the way the commission distributes funding, which has faced some criticism, and city budget cuts.

Glus admitted that when it comes to the commission’s controversial formula for doling out funds, “As far as the algorithm, I have to feign a little bit of learning curve and ignorance,” he said.

A new book about the fall of Rome, a comic workshop and El Dorado’s 10-year anniversary are also in this week’s roundup of arts and culture news.

Harris Presses CBP on San Diego Border Closure

At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, Sen. Kamala Harris grilled U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan about last month’s five-hour closure of the San Ysidro Port of Entry and its economic impact on San Diego. The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in San Diego’s neighborhood along the U.S.-Mexico border, reported local businesses there lost $5.3 million from the closure.

“You can appreciate that there’s a lot of concern in that part of our state from business owners, especially when the president has threatened to ‘permanently close the border,’ that there would be real economic harm to that region,” Harris said. “Have you met with the San Diego-area elected officials and the Chamber of Commerce leaders to get feedback from them of their assessment of the economic impact of these policies? And if not, will you commit to doing so?”

McAleenan said he would commit to meeting with San Diego’s elected officials and Chamber of Commerce leaders to get their feedback about the economic impacts of closing the border. He said he spoke with Mayor Kevin Faulconer after the closure and is in touch with SANDAG and the local Chamber of Commerce almost daily through the local CBP director of field operations in San Diego.

“I’m very concerned about the impact, and will definitely continue that dialogue,” he said.

The entire exchange can be watched here.

  • In a combative Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders, President Trump said he’d be proud to shut down the government later this month unless Congress provides taxpayer money to build his long-promised border wall with Mexico. (Los Angeles Times)

Another TJ Sewage Spill, and It’s a Big One

From Ry Rivard: A major sewer line in Mexico broke, sending millions of gallons of sewage into the United States through the Tijuana River.

Six miles from the border, the pipe known as the Poniente Collector ruptured on Monday night, Mexican officials told American officials, said Lori Kuczmanski, the American spokeswoman for the International Boundary and Water Commission. The commission is a binational agency made up of diplomats and engineers from both sides of the border.

In February 2017, following a series of hard rains, a pipe that flows into the Poniente pipe failed and a sinkhole opened up beneath a sidewalk and bus stop.

This time, Kuczmanski said, a sinkhole opened up beneath a junkyard. That has complicated efforts to fix the broken pipeline.

The current broken pipe is spilling six to seven million gallons per day. That water flows into the Tijuana River, which snakes across the border then dumps into the ocean near Imperial Beach.

For Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, this was deja vu. Dedina is suing the commission for not doing enough to control spills and runoff that close his town’s beaches many times a year.

“It reaffirms why we’re in court,” he said.

Dedina also called for an investigation of the spill. He suspects the spill has been going on for a bit longer than Mexican officials let on. The most recent rains happened last week.

Because cross-border communications can be vague, misleading or circumspect, it was never officially clear how large the February 2017 spill really was. The commission’s own report – written, it must be remembered, by a binational agency staffed by diplomats – was inconclusive. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at one point estimated 230 million gallons spilled across the border. The IBWC’s own numbers ranged from 28 to 143 million gallons.

Whatever the number, that spill reignited long-standing frustration on the American side. Tijuana’s sewer system has for decades been unable to keep up with the region’s explosive growth – growth, driven in part, by the city’s proximity to the border and American business.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

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.