The Morning Report
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A view of downtown San Diego / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Every reporter seeks to do a few things each time they write a story: Hold people accountable, highlight diverse voices, tell a good story. And there’s something else: They want people to feel so compelled by the story that they go out and do something.

In 2019, a lot of people did a lot of somethings as a result of Voice of San Diego’s reporting.

In an end-of-year reflection, we rounded up some of our biggest moments of impact

SDPD’s crime lab is under new leadership as a result of our reporting on the department’s handling of rape kits. Three new state laws were passed that were kickstarted by VOSD investigations. The state revoked the teaching credential of a former La Jolla High School teacher we’ve been reporting on for years as he racked up complaints of groping and inappropriate behavior. 

The Paradox of Designing a Border Crossing

Officials working on the massive, 10-year, $741 Million effort to revamp the San Ysidro Port of Entry had two big but competing goals: Keep out the people and goods who shouldn’t be crossing the border, and make things welcoming and efficient for the many students, workers and tourists who are crossing legitimately.

In this week’s Border Report, Maya Srikrishnan spoke with Arun Kaiwar, the project’s architect, about the many challenges involved.

“It wasn’t overtly designed to look safe,” Kaiwar said. “It’s airy. There’s a lot of daylight. If you look at where pedestrians come in, there is a wide canopy, that was intentionally kept wide and airy. As you come up to the building, you have this beautiful entry way with three monumental doors to give people a sense of entry and welcome to the country.”

SDPD Officer Arrested for Domestic Abuse

A 22-year SDPD veteran was arrested for domestic violence this weekend, NBC San Diego reports.

In a press release SDPD Chief David Nisleit said the SDPD “does not tolerate this type of criminal conduct.”

That’s not exactly true, though.

A six-month investigation by VOSD and news outlets across the state revealed that police officers are sometimes allowed to keep their badges even after being convicted of crimes. We created a searchable database of officers who’ve been convicted of crimes. Domestic violence was one of the most common charges.

In San Diego, one SDPD officer who knocked his wife unconscious wasn’t just allowed to keep his job – SDPD confirmed to us he likely continued responding to domestic violence calls after that incident.

City Is Ahead of Schedule on Climate Goals

A city report says San Diego is hitting its 2020 climate goals ahead of schedule.

The city is cutting its greenhouse gas emissions and is ahead on water conservation efforts. “But despite the overall progress, some of the goals in the climate plan remain elusive. Other areas have so little reliable data that short-term progress cannot be accurately measured,” writes KPBS’s Andrew Bowen.

One city official said many of the efforts the city is undertaking now are long-term strategies that will take time to pay off.

When it comes to the city’s “zero waste” goals, though, things aren’t as rosy. The city is actually getting worse at diverting its waste from landfills.

As we’ve noted, though, the “zero waste” goals don’t really mean the city won’t be producing any waste

What the city is trying to do is reduce the true tons of trash to the lowest levels possible. And a ‘zero waste’ plan probably sounds better than a ‘to the maximum extent feasible, no material will be deposited in a landfill’ plan,” Ry Rivard wrote in 2015.

Also disrupting things is China’s decision to stop accepting most U.S. recycling products. We detailed how that’s been impacting San Diego last year. The city still sends a percentage of the recycling it collects to the dump.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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