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The San Ysidro Port of Entry / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

One essential worker who has to cross the border for work has stopped even trying to go to a San Diego yard where he works. Another spends the night in San Ysidro on work nights.

Maya Srikrishnan reports that essential workers who live in Mexico have faced excruciating border waits since last month, when Customs and Border Protection began to modify operations.

For example, late Monday border waits in San Ysidro were about four hours according to Customs and Border Protection estimates and even at 2 a.m. Thursday, crossers faced a two-hour wait – far longer than the average 25-minute wait for that time.

Meanwhile, those who cross regularly say they are also concerned that border agents aren’t always wearing personal protective equipment and that pedestrian crossing lines rarely follow social distancing standards.

  • The Trump administration is pressing forward with border wall construction despite the pandemic, KPBS reports.

Some Retail Businesses Can Reopen Today

Some San Diego County retailers can reopen Friday per Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest order. 

Effective Friday morning, stores that sell products including clothes, flowers, music and books can open if they provide curbside service or delivery. Manufacturers that serve them can also open.

But county officials emphasized Thursday that businesses will need to complete and publicly post a reopening plan first.

Other changes may not be coming as quickly as county officials would like.

State officials announced requirements for counties that want to re-open more quickly than the state but San Diego County falls short of those metrics, which include not recording a COVID-19 death for a two-week stretch.

County health officials reported seven new coronavirus deaths on Thursday.

School Accountability Bill Goes Down Early

A bill meant to ensure that funding reserved for the state’s most vulnerable students actually goes to those vulnerable students died this week.

School districts receive a special pot of money each year based on the number of students they serve who are in poverty, learning english or in the foster system. San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber has introduced two bills dealing with that money. One of them, AB 1835, would close a loophole that lets school districts roll that money into their general budget if it goes unspent for a year. That passed an Assembly committee this week. 

But her other bill, AB 1834, would force districts to outline in clear language how they spent the money in any given year, so state officials could be sure it’s actually being spent on the vulnerable students for whom it’s intended. That bill never even got a hearing; now it’s done for the year.

Without (AB 1834), it’s unclear how much closing the loophole will matter,” writes WIll Huntsberry, in this week’s installment of The Learning Curve.

Chula Vista May Get a Bridge Shelter

One of San Diego’s homeless shelter tents is likely headed to Chula Vista.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas announced Thursday that the nonprofit Lucky Duck Foundation, which donated the Midway tent that has housed homeless veterans the past few years, could soon move to the South Bay city.

The Chula Vista City Council is set to vote next Tuesday on whether to accept the donated tent, which has sat dormant since homeless veterans moved to the Convention Center last month.

Faulconer said nonprofit Veterans Village of San Diego plans to accommodate homeless veterans typically served by the shelter at its Midway campus.

The new Chula Vista shelter won’t open immediately if the City Council votes to accept the tent and allocate funding to support shelter operations. Salas said the city will need to settle on the site it is considering and install necessary sewer infrastructure to support showers and restrooms.

“The city of Chula Vista is working to identify funding, services and the infrastructure to be able to operate this facility,” Salas said.

The plan, Salas said, is to try to expedite that process.

News Roundup

  • KPBS broke the news that the county Sheriff’s Department began enforcing evictions again Thursday. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher later urged the department to suspend those actions and tweeted that Sheriff Bill Gore informed him that evictions would be halted – for now.
  • The Union-Tribune reports that a federal judge granted the federal government and former Rep. Duncan Hunter’s request to postpone his prison sentence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Inewsource talked to mayoral candidates Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria about what they’d do to tackle the city’s infrastructure backlog.
  • The Union-Tribune zeroed in on the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on San Diego’s Latino population.
  • A Sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a mentally ill man who investigators say was running away has resigned, NBC San Diego reports.
  • Chula Vista is set to reopen parks and some businesses today, the Union-Tribune reports.
  • KPBS reports that passenger traffic at the San Diego International Airport is down 95 percent.

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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