Barrio Logan NASSCO
Power lines along an alley in the Barrio Logan neighborhood on Nov. 2, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Energy from San Diego’s brand new public power companies – set up to provide more affordable and cleaner energy than San Diego Gas and Electric – is actually more expensive than its once-monopolistic competitor. At least, for now. And customers will soon get a piece of mail alerting them of that.

But the region’s new public power companies argue SDG&E’s lower rates are all smoke and mirrors. 

San Diego Community Power and Clean Energy Alliance fought what they feel is a deceptive price drop by SDG&E at the state utility regulator. While SDG&E lowered its prices for now, those customers will get hit with a price hike come 2023, community power attorneys argued. And, the utility already announced a 9 percent rate hike come 2024. 

SDG&E says it’s just doing what the state told it to do. 

Click here to

Local Charity Forced to Give Treatment Center to County

A local charity that scammed taxpayers is being forced to hand over a 120-bed treatment facility to San Diego County. 

Under a new proposed settlement, Volunteers of America Southwest will transfer the facility, which is in National City, to the county for $227,770. The facility is worth millions. 

In May 2021, Voice of San Diego revealed potential fraud and other financial misdeeds at VOASW. County auditors who dug into the books could not account for millions in spending. The nonprofit’s chief executive and its board of directors were forced to resign and it lost millions in funding

Since then, county officials and VOASW leaders have been wrangling over how much the charity has to repay the county. If the county Board of Supervisors approves the settlement, VOASW will no longer be in the county’s debt. 

The National City facility is already licensed to be a substance use disorder treatment center. County officials expect to do roughly $1 million in renovations and hope to have the facility online again soon. 

Read more here. 

Politics Report: Peters Gets a Win

The big Build Back Better bill flopped. But now, it has re-emerged as a new (different) bill that’s given Rep. Scott Peters a win.

Let’s recap: Back in October, Peters was standing in the way of the Democrats’ long-sought effort to punish pharmaceutical companies with a massive tax on their profits if they tried to charge Medicare significantly more than other countries pay for their products.

He faced a deluge of criticism for it. Then he helped negotiate a compromise but the bill ended up flopping and so did his deal.

That is, until just a couple weeks ago: It re-emerged without billions in spending for things like childcare and child tax credits. The new bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, was suddenly alive, more focused on climate change and it did still include the prescription drug deal for which Peters had fought.

Read more about the new bill and what this means for Peters in the Politics Report. 

Pod World: This week on the VOSD podcast, host Scott Lewis was joined by education reporter Jakob McWhinney and intern Catherine Allen. They discussed the hollow promise of SB 2, big old theater news and pickleball revolution.

Click here to listen to their conversation. 

In Other News

  • The Union-Tribune reports that Tijuana returned to normalcy Sunday after two days of the city being shut down following a wave of cartel threats and vehicle fires around the city.
  • San Diego’s independent budget analysts is set to unveil Tuesday an estimate of what single-family homeowners could pay monthly for trash pick up if the city were to charge in the future. A law in place now prohibits the city from charging a fee but a proposed ballot measure would give the city the option to do so. (Union-Tribune)
  • Princes Cruises has canceled 11 trips due to staffing issues. (KPBS)
  • KPBS reports that doctors expect that this year the region will surpass the number of patients who fell from the border wall over last year’s record number — 270.

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Will Huntsberry and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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