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Earlier this year as part of our investigation into sexual misconduct in public schools, we detailed how a Westview High School teacher sent sexually suggestive text messages to a student but was allowed to continue teaching. The incident has continued to plague the school.
Now, as Kayla Jimenez reports, newly released documents show that incident was not the first time in Westview’s recent history that a teacher was given a warning for inappropriate texts to female students.
In 2016, a year before the other incident, a student reported to school officials that a teacher and coach sent her texts in which he admitted to having an “inappropriate” dream about her and urging her to keep their conversations secret.
That teacher was removed from his coaching position but allowed to stay in the classroom. The men in both incidents remain teachers at Westview.
The SB 50 Debate Is Still Going
The leader of the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County is holding out hope that Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins will intervene to save SB 50, the state bill that would allow more homes to be built near transit stations that was put on ice last week.
Atkins announced after the bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee that she would not to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
In an open letter to Atkins, Maya Rosas urges her to reconsider that decision.
“Bringing SB 50 to a vote next year, during the 2020 election cycle, all but ensures further delay. If the bill can continue this year, [Sen. Scott] Wiener can continue to do the right thing by listening to stakeholders and making amendments that will result in a stronger SB 50,” Rosas writes.
Everyone in the Legislature, of course, seems to agree on the need to build more housing. The San Francisco Chronicle has a rundown of the bills and plans to address the housing crisis that are still alive. Just because they’re alive now, though, doesn’t mean they’ll become law.
“But with the all-consuming attention off Wiener’s SB 50, other measures may run into the same headwinds that stopped that bill, such as the intense opposition of local governments worried about losing control over how their communities grow,” reports the Chronicle.
• If you prefer to listen to how all this happened and what it means, our old friend Liam Dillon, now with the LA Times, has a housing podcast called Gimme Shelter with Matt Levin at CalMatters. Their emergency episode explaining the icing of SB 50 is good.
Legacy Dem Scolds New Dem Leader
Democrats in San Diego may be ascendant but, like with SB 50, there are some big rifts still.
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, the chairman of the Democratic Party in San Diego, was no fan of the San Diego City Council’s recent decision to prohibit sleeping in your car in San Diego streets, except for in some special, limited areas. And he had some harsh words for the three Democrats on the Council who supported the new rules. “I couldn’t sleep last night. I am deeply disappointed in the cruelty of Council Members Jen Campbell, Barbara Bry, and Vivian Moreno,” he wrote.
Christine Kehoe, the former legislator and City Council member herself, did not like that. Kehoe is a prominent voice still in the party.
“I respectfully ask you as our County Party Chair to think about how we can support our Democratic elected officials even when we disagree,” she replied. “A strong party — a winning party — is a united party.”
Rodriguez-Kennedy shot back: “Laws like this are cruel & address symptoms but not the disease.” And, he said, none of the Democrats he called out faced any real challenge for their seats in coming months.
“That means we lose nothing by leading with our values,” he wrote.
The State of Plastics Bans
California banned plastic bags in 2016, but the fight over them and other plastic products is still going strong.
In this week’s Environment Report, Ry Rivard details some of the ways those fights are playing out locally, including in Imperial Beach, which recently passed one of the strictest plastics bans in the country.
Elsewhere in the Environment Report, Rivard provides an update on the permitting situation at the desalination plant in Carlsbad.
In Other News
- The San Diego City Council voted unanimously to approve a vast reconstruction of Horton Plaza downtown. The new development will be called the Campus at Horton. It will be a $275 million office park. (Union-Tribune)
- La Mesa officers who shot and killed a man in 2017 did so after the man fired a gun into the air, and both said they feared for their lives, newly released documents show. (KPBS)
- Another local school district has made the switch to by-district voting in order to avoid a Voting Rights Act lawsuit. San Diego Unified is currently facing such a suit, as well as attempts from the state Legislature to change the way it conducts elections. (Union-Tribune)
- An asylum-seeker from Somalia who presented himself to U.S. officials in San Diego in 2016 and was detained for more than two years without bond has been released. (Associated Press)
- San Diego Police Department officers use the controversial sleeper hold move disproportionately on black people. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.