A meeting of the Chula Vista City Council / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Nearly a year and a half ago, a prominent foundation provided a homeless shelter tent worth $800,000 to the city of Chula Vista. It’s remained in storage ever since.

Lisa Halverstadt reports that the city of Chula Vista quietly informed the Lucky Duck Foundation in mid-July that it wouldn’t be using the shelter tent months after holding a press conference announcing the plan to allow Chula Vista to use the tent to shelter homeless residents.

City officials say the Foundation had too many demands. The Foundation’s leaders say they just wanted to make sure it got used and people got shelter. 

The city now expects to present a new proposed shelter concept to the City Council on Oct. 26 that does not rely on Lucky Duck’s tent.

And the Lucky Duck Foundation said it’s engaging other cities to see if they might be interested in using the tent that previously housed homeless veterans in San Diego’s Midway District.

Click here to read the full story.

County to Pay $3 Million to Family of Vista Jail Suicide Victim

San Diego County officials have agreed to pay nearly $3 million to the family of Heron Moriarty, who killed himself in a Vista jail in May 2016. Moriarty’s wife reportedly called the jail at least 30 times warning that her husband was suicidal, but he was never placed on suicide watch or treated for his mental illness, according to the lawsuit.

The Union-Tribune reports that the settlement pushes the total paid by taxpayers to resolve injury and wrongful-death lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department to more than $20 million in recent years.

VOSD contributor Kelly Davis previously reported that a medical records clerk at the jail claimed she was threatened with retaliation if she told anyone that she’d confronted a jail sergeant who’d refused to put Moriarty on suicide watch.

Related: Suicides in U.S. jails rose sharply over the past two decades according to new federal research. (Union-Tribune)

Southwestern College Forgives $1.5 Million in Tuition Debt

Southwestern College announced Thursday that it is forgiving $1.5 million in outstanding tuition for more than 4,200 students using federal COVID-19 relief funds. 

Students with outstanding debt from the spring and summer will have all tuition and related fees forgiven, allowing them to re-register for classes, according to a press release from the college.

Superintendent Mark Sanchez, who became head of the South Bay college in December 2020, said the investment will directly support students financially impacted by the pandemic.

Photo of the Week

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber speaks at a press conference at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA celebrating the groundbreaking of construction of a new pool. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

From Adriana Heldiz: The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA is getting a new pool. On Wednesday, community members and local leaders celebrated the beginning of Phase 2 in the massive rebuilding of the facility that started in 2017.

For some, this news doesn’t warrant much attention — and, frankly, press conferences aren’t exactly my favorite thing to photograph. But for those who live in Southeast San Diego and know what an important role the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA plays in the community, the news was huge as evidenced by the array of elected officials present for the groundbreaking. A new pool means more than just adding another amenity to the center. It means providing access to a recreational activity that has for decades been denied to marginalized communities, especially the Black community.

“Learning how to swim is life-saving and the fact that we don’t have many opportunities here in this community is actually criminal,” said Assemblywoman Akilah Weber.

Related: Earlier this year, former VOSD intern Sofía Mejías Pascoe wrote about some of the challenges the YMCA of San Diego County faced as the region headed towards reopening. You can check it out here. Since then, the large nonprofit has welcomed a new CEO for the region, Todd Tibbits. The nationwide network of YMCAs is undergoing a major strategic planning process to revamp its business model after the pandemic ravaged its finances. Several local branches remain closed with uncertain futures.

In Other News

  • Construction on the expansion of Terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport could start as early as next month, following a vote on two key contracts Thursday. (Union-Tribune)
  • Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county could declare a local state of emergency to better access state and federal fund after tar balls possibly related to the Southern California oil spill were spotted on beaches in North County. (NBC 7)
  • Amazon is building a second warehouse in Otay Mesa. (Union-Tribune)

This Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Maya Srikrishnan and Adriana Heldiz. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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