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Plenty of restaurants around the county are defying state stay-at-home orders. But Carlsbad is notable for having such a high concentration of restaurants that openly flout the public health rules.
As Kayla Jimenez and Sara Libby report in a new story, many of those small businesses insist they’re engaging in constitutionally protected speech and therefore doing nothing wrong.
They’ve been cheered on by Supervisor Jim Desmond and other conservative politicians. And at the advice of a local attorney, they’ve begun posting signs in their windows alerting the public to a “peaceful protest.”
Their legal argument is thin. But as one law professor specializing in the First Amendment observed, the casting of small businesses as freedom fighters is more of a PR strategy meant to persuade the public that its actions are noble.
In fact, some of the businesses claiming to be engaged in civil disobedience have made clear that their decision to stay open is a financial one, not a political one. The owner of an Italian restaurant posted another sign saying, “Takeout business alone is not sustainable for our employees…”
Meanwhile, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has agreed to step up enforcement against businesses and other entities that are not complying with coronavirus-related public health orders.
Cindy Marten Leaving for Job in Biden Admin
San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten was a shock of a choice to lead the district when she was tapped for the role in 2013. She had generated lots of positive press leading Central Elementary in City Heights, but had never had a job more senior than principal.
Now, pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate, she’ll have a much more senior role: deputy secretary of education. The district tapped area superintendent Lamont Jackson to serve as interim superintendent, the Union-Tribune reported.
It’s one more big disruption to the school district as it faces perhaps the biggest disruption in its history.
Marten is a gifted and eternally optimistic orator who can spellbound audiences talking about the promise of education. But her tenure at the district has had its share of controversies and scandals.
Early last year, VOSD’s Will Huntsberry assessed her signature effort, called Vision2020, meant to deliver a quality school in every neighborhood. Though the district passed more rigorous course requirements and the percentage of Black and Latino students who graduate with a higher GPA has gone up, “the achievement gap remains stubbornly unmoved by several key indicators. Many underserved student groups are still under-performing — across a wider range of more complex metrics.”
Nowhere are the district’s problems on starker display than at its schools in southeastern San Diego. Perhaps that’s why the school board trustee who represents that swath of town cast the lone vote against extending Marten’s contract in 2019.
Here’s What You Should Know About the Vaccine Rollout
Vaccines are starting to arrive in San Diego but it’s gonna be a long time before we’re all good to go. California’s vaccination rate is lagging behind other states, in part, because of its confusing and complicated system prioritizing who gets inoculated.
Insert a deep, existential sigh.
Keeping in mind the dysfunction of this moment and of our system generally, MacKenzie Elmer attempted to answer some of the big outstanding questions on vaccine distribution.
Starting with: When can I get vaccinated? The short answer: Your health care provider is supposed to let you know when that time comes. In the meantime, officials have been asking people to stop calling their providers.
Elmer also explains how eligibility is determined, what’s up with the second dose and what’s up with those allergic reactions you might have heard about.
KPBS is tracking the rollout of vaccines on its website.
- Mayor Todd Gloria was one of many city leaders from across the country who wrote a letter to President-elect Joe Biden urging his administration to allow cities to relieve vaccine shipments directly in order to speed vaccination efforts.
- The adverse reactions experienced at the Petco Park superstation led state officials to pause use of that batch of the Moderna vaccine statewide, the Los Angeles Times reports.
- Last week alone, there were two big legal developments in the ongoing battle between apps and the drivers they contract with. That includes a petition to invalidate Proposition 22, the new state law allowing select companies to exempt themselves AB 5, another law that limits the classification of workers as independent contractors.
- On the podcast, Scott Lewis and Sara Libby highlighted some of the key points in Mayor Todd Gloria’s first state of the city address and talked about the major budget deficit he’s inherited because of the pandemic. Gloria’s speech was a departure from the Always Sunny in San Diego tone we’re accustomed to hearing. The crew also chatted with Jesse Marx about how the City Council has been approving anti-terrorism funds for years without knowing where the money was actually going.
- Lewis broke down Council members’ funding priorities and the impending budget realities in this week’s Politics Report.
- And finally: The conspiracy theory known as QAnon led to the death of a San Diego resident as she stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. To make sense of what it is and where it came from, Lewis put together a special episode of the podcast — an interview with Travis View, an expert on conspiracy theories who hosts a podcast dedicated to following and debunking this one. You can find their conversation here.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.