An aerial view of downtown San Diego / Image via Shutterstock

Through our People’s Reporter tool, anyone can submit questions about how San Diego works or local policy or cultural mysteries they just can’t unravel. So far, we’ve tracked down answers to whether the pool at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel is really open to the public, how many San Diegans were born here and more.

But three questions seem to come up constantly, both through the People’s Reporter tool and when we encounter readers at events or on social media.

So Lisa Halverstadt rounded them up and put the answers in one place. Though the questions tackle separate issues – why the trolley doesn’t go to the airport, why some San Diego residents get free trash pick-up and others don’t and how much California lottery money really flows to local schools – what they have in common is that they deal with systems that everyone uses.

Another Legal Setback for the San Diego County Water Authority

The San Diego County Water Authority has spent the past decade locked in a legal fight with its archrival, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – a battle it’s largely lost.

But recently the Water Authority was dealt another legal setback in a separate case, one in which an arbitrator excoriated the agency for “illegal actions and illogical arguments,” Ry Rivard reports.

The Water Authority sued five Indian tribes after the tribes regained water rights taken from them, and spend decades in court trying to get them back.

“In response, the San Diego County Water Authority this spring blamed the tribes for cutting into its bottom line and sued them for $2 million,” Rivard writes.

The case was decided in arbitration, a private legal system separate from the courts. The private arbitrator who heard the case sided with the tribes, and “said the agency ignored the ‘undisputed and unambiguous purpose’ of a law Congress passed to ensure the tribes could receive and use their water.”

State Leaders Struggling to Find Shelter Solutions at the Border

Members of San Diego’s state delegation are still speaking out about federal officials’ treatment of migrant families and the border, and still struggling to step in with answers.

“I’m frustrated because, first of all, this is a problem created by and in the purview of the federal government,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said of federal officials dropping off asylum-seeking families in San Ysidro with no resources, or even food and necessities. “That being said, we know the federal government just doesn’t give a shit.”

Also in this week’s Sacramento Report: A study into whether the state could create its own banking system to help marijuana business owners who don’t have access to federal banks had depressing results – it essentially found that three options to create a state-backed system weren’t likely to work.

Looking Forward, and Back

As we continue looking back at the big stories and events that shaped 2018, Randy Dotinga rounded up the most telling quotes of the past year.

They range from the amusing, like when Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina recalled of campaigning in 2014 – “Everyone I talked to was either high or wanted to get high” – to the disturbing, like when then-Sen. Joel Anderson told a female lobbyist, “You better shut up before I bitch slap you.” (Anderson was reprimanded by a Senate committee.)

Many of the quotes are unintentionally hilarious, like when then-Councilwoman Myrtle Cole’s chief of staff had to remind her that she didn’t have a position on a high-profile issue, or when a school board member couldn’t remember the name of his opponent.

Over on the podcast, Scott Lewis, Andy Keatts, Sara Libby and Culture Report author Julia Dixon Evans looked ahead to 2019, and offered up the New Year’s resolutions they hope San Diego will adopt for the coming year. They’re pretty wide-ranging, and tackle everything from a new guidebook for the Coast to Crest Trail to clarifying state public records laws.

Speaking of the podcast, in case you’ve got some extra listening time on your hands over the New Year’s holiday, we also compiled our favorite episodes and podcast moments of the year.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby.

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