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Forest Grove playing Til-Two / Photo by Cari Veach

San Diego and the rest of the state keeps inching closer to a gradual reopening. Beaches and parks recently reopened and Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday some retail businesses can soon reopen for curbside pickup.

But it still seems like we’re a long way from resuming life as we once knew it – and that includes cramming together in throngs for live music performances at venues large and small.

In a new story, VOSD contributor Ryan Bradford spoke to several small music venue operators about how this new reality has set in and how they’re planning to move forward in a radically altered landscape.

One business owner hilariously notes that hosting shows by the Insane Clown Posse, which douses the room with Faygo soda during performances, might have inadvertently prepared her staff for a post-coronavirus world: “Maybe we can incorporate some of the ICP model into our reopening,” she said. “We just cover the whole place with this plastic stuff. [Faygo] just goes freaking everywhere so we have to basically build a shield inside the bar so that nothing can penetrate. Our bartenders wear ponchos for that.”

‘Tijuana Is Experiencing Immense Challenges’

Though the South Bay is struggling with a disproportionate share of San Diego’s coronavirus cases, the U.S. side of the border remains in much better shape than Tijuana, which is getting battered by the virus.

In the latest Border Report, Maya Srikrishnan spoke with Justine Kozo, chief of San Diego County’s Office of Border Health, about how the two regions are working together to address the crisis.

“While San Diego is reviewing its various indicators and metrics to possibly dial down restrictions, just a few miles south of us, Tijuana is experiencing immense challenges, including shortages of personal protective equipment and ventilators, tests, health care personnel and a lack of hospital beds and staff to care for sick patients,” Kozo said. “Their hospitals are at or near capacity.”

Homeless San Diegans Take Court Action to Halt Enforcement

Homeless San Diegans with disabilities are engaged in an ongoing class action against the city over vehicle habitation and RV parking ordinances they argue are unconstitutional. Now, they have filed a request for an emergency restraining order in U.S. District Court in hopes of halting that enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic.

The plaintiffs’ goal is to stop both ticketing and impoundments affecting those who live in their cars during the pandemic. VOSD reported last month police were continuing to hand out vehicle habitation citations through March. 

The court motion filed late last week also urges the court to allow homeless San Diegans to again park their vehicles in park lots that offer easy access to restrooms and showers. Advocates estimate about 200 people who had parked in Mission Bay, Mission Beach and other beach parking lots were forced to move on following late March closures.

A spokeswoman for City Attorney Mara Elliott declined to comment on the filing.

“The city has and continues to review the requests it receives,” Ashley Bailey, a spokeswoman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, wrote in an email to VOSD. “The city has made many adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic to make services and resources accessible for individuals experiencing homelessness.”

Ann Menasche of Disability Rights California, one of the attorneys representing the homeless San Diegans, said the court has ordered the city to respond by Thursday. It’s unclear what steps might follow.

Last week’s filing follows separate demand letters from Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance and Disability Rights California urging lessened police enforcement affecting homeless San Diegans during the pandemic. Representatives for both organizations say the city has yet to formally respond to their requests.

In Other News

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

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