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During our months-long investigation into sexual abuse and misconduct in schools, Voice of San Diego has uncovered multiple stories about teachers who had reason to suspect child abuse, but didn’t report it.
Most school workers are “mandated reporters,” meaning they are legally required to report suspected abuse. That sounds great. But, in practice, the state’s mandated reporter law isn’t working, Voice’s Kayla Jimenez discovered.
Since at least 2002, neither the San Diego District Attorney nor the City Attorney have prosecuted a single case – or even received a complaint – for failure to report, District Attorney Summer Stephan said. Other counties around the state have also pursued few or no prosecutions.
Jimenez put together an FAQ on exactly who is a mandated reporter, who they have to report to and what is supposed to happen when they don’t.
Stephan said the law has several loopholes and her team is exploring whether it needs to be strengthened.
Tracking Hate in the Digital Age
White supremacist groups have evolved into leaderless, decentralized movements — making them harder to detect — but they still communicate through social networks, where they can influence and radicalize one another.
Jesse Marx writes in the North County Report that the recent shooting at a Poway synagogue should be seen as a world-connected event, stemming from a coherent, though vile, political ideology. To say that the perpetrators of mass violence are “acting alone,” one expert on global terrorism explained, is misleading.
Marx surveyed local law enforcement agencies to get a sense of how they’re coming to grips with the reality of domestic terrorism in the digital age. The various programs and initiatives to counter extremism, though useful, also seem reactive.
Meanwhile, the cost of combating and protecting oneself against these threats is growing. Since 2012, more than $3.7 million in federal funding had made its way to local nonprofits, many of them Jewish organizations, for security purposes.
That figure is likely to increase. The governor’s office this week acknowledged that the demand for security funding has been outpacing the supply and agreed to provide an extra $15 million in funding next year.
YIMBY Mayor Says He’s Neutral on SB 50
Bigger cities have come out against California’s efforts to build more densely around transit corridors — particularly SB 50, the controversial state bill that would allow taller and more dense construction near transit stops — but San Diego is not among them.
City Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, chair of the Land Use and Housing Committee, has no plans to take up a resolution on whether to support or oppose SB 50, which would allow developers to add stories to multifamily housing buildings within a half mile of major transit stations. The legislation, U-T columnist Michael Smolens writes, could undermine a similar proposal here — unveiled by Mayor Kevin Faulconer — to dramatically increase the number of allowable homes.
For instance, Faulconer’s draft proposal would also increase height limits in certain parts of the city, but it provides more protection for single-family-home neighborhoods. He, too, is neutral on SB 50, but he’s watching it as it moves through the political process and gets amended.
In Other News
- National City’s draft spending plan shows a deficit for the seventh consecutive year. Included in the budget is money for a consultant who can study the economic impacts of legalizing marijuana businesses there. (Union-Tribune)
- In a VOSD op-ed, Cary Lowe, a land use attorney, suggests that the Plaza de Panama project may not have died if the private negotiations had continued. He served as mediator, and argues that it can help settle other major conflicts over development.
- A San Diego family has lost its bid to reclaim a valuable painting they say was stolen by Nazis 80 years ago. (Los Angeles Times)
- CityBeat paid a visit to some of San Diego’s overnight parking lots and found that they’re safe places for people living in vehicles. Critics say the lots are a short-term solution to a larger problem: a lack of affordable housing.
- CityBeat also reports that expungement clinics are helping San Diegans with marijuana-related convictions get a clean slate.
- The County Board of Supervisors is looking at land purchases that would increase a Ramona preserve by 123 acres and a North County park by 8 acres. (City News Service)
- California’s population growth is the slowest in recorded history. (Los Angeles Times)
- San Diego Gas & Electric is still fighting to be able to charge customers for 2007 wildfire costs. The move has been blocked by lower courts, but now SDG&E is taking its case to the US Supreme Court. (Union-Tribune)
Tuesday’s People’s Reporter post detailing how much of the material from people’s blue recycling bins actually gets recycled improperly referred to recycling facility workers as city employees. The city contracts with private companies to sort its recycling.
The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.