Signs warn of dangerous sewage contamination on a hiking trail near the Tijuana River. / Image via Shutterstock

Local leaders at virtually every level of government have been getting more vocal and acting with increased urgency to address the cross-border sewage spills that have been happening for decades.

But the candidates vying for the District 1 seat on the County Board of Supervisors are split on whether county government should be doing things differently to combat the spills, Maya Srikrishnan writes in a new story on the race.

Two of the candidates, Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos and state Sen. Ben Hueso, say the county should make an emergency declaration and take other proactive steps to address the pollution.

Nora Vargas, a Southwestern Community College trustee, and Sophia Rodriguez, an employee at the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, “said that, for the most part, they support and would continue Cox’s approach, which involves nurturing relationships with federal and Mexican government officials and continuing to identify federal funding, though they both have ideas for additional steps they would support if elected,” Srikrishnan reports.

All of the candidates seem to agree on a few things, though: that the county could do a better job of conducting outreach and posting notices about the pollution.

Competing Perspectives on Measure A

Stakeholders on both sides of the debate over Measure A, a countywide ballot measure that would require certain developments seeking an exemption to the county general plan to get a countywide vote of the people, say they’re looking to protect minority and low-income communities.

In an op-ed urging a yes vote on Measure A, City Council President Georgette Gómez writes that the measure seeks to rein in sprawl, which can cause harmful environmental effects that hit vulnerable communities hardest.

“Sprawl development on the fringes of San Diego increases carbon emissions, adds cars to the road and worsens traffic congestion,” Gómez writes. “And the more we develop outside San Diego’s urban core, the harder it is to invest in a comprehensive public transit system and reduce pollution countywide.”

Meanwhile, two members of the San Diego County Democratic Party write that San Diego is already segregated and Measure A could exacerbate the problem.

“Simply put, measures like this one have been used for the better part of a century to keep low-income people and people of color out of white communities,” write Melinda Vasquez and Bernadette Butkiewicz.

Complaints Details Abuse Allegations Against Asylum-Seekers

In the latest Border Report, Maya Srikrishnan details a series of complaints made by the ACLU of San Diego and ACLU Border Rights Center to federal officials on behalf of asylum-seekers who say they were abused while in U.S. custody.

Several of the complaints involve women who were pregnant and said they were denied proper medical care and treatment, including one pregnant woman who lost 22 pounds in custody and another who experienced heavy bleeding and suffered a miscarriage. Other complaints allege the mistreatment of children.

The Union-Tribune, meanwhile, kicked off a series on the U.S. asylum system by delving into one Nicaraguan woman’s case.

Judge Sides With Coastal Commission Over Del Mar’s Short-Term Rental Rules

Del Mar’s feud with the California Coastal Commission over short-term vacation rentals is over, at least for now.

The state agency is responsible for maintaining public access to beaches and in 2018, it rejected Del Mar’s proposed rules governing short-term vacation rentals as too severe. The city wanted to limit the total number of days that property owners could open their homes to 28 days annually. The commission countered with 100.

The city then took the commission to court, questioning its authority and jurisdiction within residential zones. But a judge recently took the commission’s side — in part because the commission’s recommendation on short-term vacation rental rules had expired. 

The commission argued, in other words, that the whole case was moot because the city will need to resubmit short-term vacation rental rules to the state for approval. 

The Superior Court order was published Monday by a group called Moving Del Mar Forward. 

In Other News

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

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