The Morning Report
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It’s become quite the familiar pattern: A court weight in on San Diego’s Prop. B, the measure that reformed pensions for future city workers, and yet the city still doesn’t have a clear sense of what will happen moving forward.
The latest chapter happened Monday, when the Court of Appeal – which was tasked by the state Supreme Court with sorting out the mess after the high court determined the measure was illegally pushed onto the ballot – declined to invalidate the measure altogether.
The court modified a previous pension board ruling and found the city must make whole employees who began working for the city since Prop. B was implemented, and kick in 7 percent interest.
It’s not clear how much it will cost to move forward with that.
Faulconer Wants to Re-Ban Vehicle Habitation
After weeks of neighborhood complaints and political pressure, Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Monday announced plans to propose a new city law barring living in vehicles a month after the City Council voted to rescind a longstanding ban.
But Faulconer didn’t elaborate on that proposal.
The details matter. The city stopped enforcing its previous ban months ago after a federal judge declared it too vague. Faulconer said the city attorney’s office is working on specifics.
The city is still facing a lawsuit brought by Disability Rights California and other advocates challenging the city’s now rescinded ordinance.
Faulconer said his team will discuss his proposal at a City Council committee meeting next month. He also city officials are finalizing plans to open three additional safe parking lots for people living in cars and RVs.
• County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher on Monday unveiled his vision to build a behavioral health facility in Hillcrest on county-owned property now being eyed for high-end condos. Fletcher is urging fellow supervisors to vote Wednesday to nix those plans and direct county officials to study whether it could instead house crisis and inpatient treatment services or recuperative care beds for homeless San Diegans, among other options, according to the Union-Tribune.
VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt recently spotlighted the region’s dearth of care options for homeless San Diegans being discharged and a new state law that’s forced more conversations about that gap.
What the Super Bloom Tells Us About Backcountry Development
The crowds flocking to remote areas of San Diego and Riverside counties to see the so-called Super Bloom provide a good reminder of just how much of San Diego County is undeveloped, Ry Rivard notes in this week’s Environment Report.
That’s due in part to the fact that the state and federal governments, and several tribes, own a big share of the undeveloped land.
There are other factors keeping the land undeveloped, too: “The desert areas on the other side of the eastern mountains don’t have a reliable supply of water,” Rivard writes. “One community, Borrego Springs, near where thousands have flocked to see flowers, is trying to conserve the groundwater it depends on because it doesn’t have access to either of the two major water sources San Diego depends on: water from Northern California and the Colorado River.”
In Other News
- The San Diego Reader has found another man with a story of sexual misconduct by San Diego Unified School District Trustee Kevin Beiser. Reporter Eric Bartl spoke with Jonathan Goetz, who worked on Beiser’s 2010 school board campaign, and Goetz told him that Beiser’s constantly affectionate behavior finally crossed the line when Beiser touched him inappropriately in “the infamous hot tub” when the two were alone. This was after Beiser would often hit on him, Goetz said. “I suspected something like this might come out one day,” Goetz told the Reader. “I feel guilty for not having a come-to-Jesus moment with Kevin and telling him not to do it again.”
- The Union-Tribune reveals that San Diego Unified looks to have reached a tentative deal with special education teachers struggling with overwhelming student caseloads. VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan shed light on the numerous problems and student safety concerns fueled by the special ed staffing ratios.
- The Oceanside City Council is poised to vote Wednesday on whether it should appoint its city clerk and treasurer or have voters continue to select them. (10News)
- Three people in San Diego County are battling serious superbug infections after surgeries at a Tijuana hospital, KPBS reports.
Bear With Me
Monday’s news that the San Diego Zoo will soon be giant panda-less was compounded by the shocking revelation that at least one VOSD employee is anti-panda.
The zoo announced that as part of its longstanding agreement with China, “27-year-old Bai Yun and her son, 6-year-old Xiao Liwu, will leave the San Diego Zoo in April & will be repatriated to their ancestral homeland.”
A VOSD staffer who I’m declining to name for his or her protection offered this hot take: “pandas are useless and simply get by on their looks … I just think other animals are more worthy of human time and effort to stop extinction.”
At least we won’t be accused of blatant panda bias anytime soon.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby.