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Over the last few years, I’ve cringed as two different East Coast-based publications mistakenly assumed Baja California is part of the United States, as food and travel sites have continually “discovered” utterly knowable and obvious facts like the existence of the Valle de Guadalupe’s thriving food scene or that the Caesar salad was created in Tijuana, and as the New York Times described Alpine – a rural, conservative small town in East County – as “suburban.”

The latest entry in this canon came this week when a stampede of East Coast journalists all rushed to weigh in on AB 5, the law written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that limits when employers can classify workers as independent contractors. They were provoked to weigh in by this Hollywood Reporter piece, which prompted more and more and more takes.

I don’t desire to weigh in on the merits of AB 5 here, partly because this is one issue in which I truly think there are legitimate arguments on both sides but – more importantly – because it was already signed into law earlier this month.

Typically a good time to weigh the merits of a piece of legislation is literally any time up until the moment it’s signed.

The New York Times has gotten a lot of criticism in recent weeks for reporting stories that have already been broken by smaller outlets – with no credit to those outlets – as if a story doesn’t really exist until the Times acknowledges it. But in a broader sense, this sudden rush of input at a time in which it’s not likely to have much impact exemplifies how much of the East Coast media establishment treats news: It’s not worth caring about until they say so.

What VOSD Learned This Week

A few months ago, a new city ordinance went into effect allowing stiff penalties for landlords who discriminate against Section 8 recipients. So far one attorney has filed more than 50 lawsuits under the measure.

Speaking of housing and the law, Encinitas is suing its own residents over a measure that’s prevented the city from complying with state housing requirements.

Lisa Halverstadt laid out the massive to-do list the city must tackle in order to comply with its new homelessness plan.


The state medical board has charged San Diego Dr. Tara Zandvliet with gross and repeated negligence in connection with a medical vaccine exemption she approved. We revealed earlier this year that Zandvliet was responsible for doling out one-third of the medical vaccine exemptions in San Diego Unified.


A City Council vote this week unearthed the revelation that the Yes! For a Better San Diego campaign had received a $50,000 donation from a private prison company. When Maya Srikrishnan asked the campaign about the money, they announced they’d donate it to charity.


The average charter school teacher in San Diego Unified has about half as much experience as the average traditional school teacher.

Over on our education podcast, Will Huntsberry, Ashly McGlone and Kayla Jimenez do a great job breaking down our sexual misconduct series and the case that started it all.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“He lit $10 billion of SoftBank’s money on fire and then went back to them and demanded a 10% commission. What an absolute legend.” – Y’all know I love a blistering takedown.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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