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By the year 2030, San Diego is supposed to have nearly double its tree canopy coverage – these are the leaves and branches that provide coverage of the ground, as well as much-needed shade.
In 2015, San Diego committed to expanding its tree canopy from 13 percent to 15 percent by 2020. It’s been seven years, and tree canopy coverage is still at 13 percent, and people are feeling the heat.
Health officials continue to raise concerns about skin cancer and heat strokes caused by the lack of shade across the city, and sustainability experts say we need more trees to reach our emissions reduction goals.
Now, city leaders are hoping to expand tree canopy coverage by more than double – from 13 percent to 28 percent – by 2035. That’s roughly 100,000 new trees, or 8,300 trees per year.
But the city’s ambitious goal is not the only thing climate action leaders are worried about – limited water resources, lack of green spaces and lack of long-term maintenance plans for the trees are also factors that could impact San Diego’s tree-planting goals.
Major Vote-Count Update Monday
Some key races are a lot more interesting after the county registrar of voters updated the latest count of ballots.
National City: Ron Morrison, the former mayor, is ahead by only 128 votes with about 9,000 counted so far. The city will represent only a small fraction of the 80,000 votes the county says are left to count but the trend is definitely in the direction of Jose Rodriguez, the City Councilman.
Measure B: The city of San Diego’s initiative that would allow it to study and implement a special fee for trash collection could very well succeed. The measure was down in all early vote totals but now “yes” is down only 1,030 votes out of more than 370,000 cast.
Measure C: The exemption to the 30-foot building height limit for the Midway area of the city of San Diego continues to increase the margin of “yes” votes over no votes. It is now up more than 8,000 votes.
Assessor/Recorder/Clerk: Jordan Marks maintains a nearly 30,000 vote lead over Barbara Bry in the heated battle for this race. Marks’ percentage of the total vote is eroding slightly but his vote margin remains healthy.
Gloria’s Pitch Is Ready for Homeless Funding Meeting with Newsom
Mayor Todd Gloria and other local government leaders statewide are set to meet with Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday to discuss next steps following Newsom’s decision to hold back hundreds of millions of dollars in state homelessness funds.
Gloria’s team said Monday he’ll be walking into the Sacramento meeting with a pitch to unleash state Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program funds that cities and counties have already been promised in exchange for bolder goals in the initiative’s upcoming funding round.
Newsom announced earlier this month that he’d reject HHAP spending plans submitted by governments across the state because he didn’t think they were ambitious enough. Gloria’s team says he’s since been urging the governor to unleash the money.
Meanwhile, city officials have been waiting on more than $20 million in so-called HHAP funds they planned to use to back shelters and other services.
Our Lisa Halverstadt got the details on the mayor’s planned pitch to Newsom and the Gloria administration’s prediction at a Monday City Council meeting that it can work things out with the governor.
Environment Report: These Researchers are Tracking Poo in Real Time
As everyone waited for the San Diego County registrar to release election results Tuesday night, something else was getting released across the border and into San Diego: billions of gallons of water and muck.
Nobody really knows what was in the water — but this video here captured how gross it looked.
Now, a team of researchers out of San Diego State University are trying to change how sewage contamination and bacteria in water is measured, so results can be produced in real time. The goal of having access to such information would be to have an early-warning system when poor water quality heads toward San Diego beaches.
“We have these apps where you can look up what the air quality is like today. In the long term, we’d like to have something similar where you can check the water quality,” said one researcher.
In Other News
- In South County, an area with a Democratic stronghold and a predominantly Latino population, voters in Chula Vista and National City elected to replace two Democratic, Latina mayors with White men – a Republican and an Independent. The Union-Tribune reports that growing concerns about the economy and a desire for experienced leaders contributed to the unexpected shift in the region. (Union-Tribune)
- The San Diego City Council will vote Tuesday on a controversial ban on Styrofoam food containers, coolers, pool toys and other products. The ban was first introduced to the council in 2019, but was delayed for years in litigation brought forward by local restaurant groups and manufacturers. (KPBS)
- Researchers and student employees at 10 University of California campuses across the state went on strike Monday morning seeking improved pay and working conditions. UC officials are in contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers who claim some of the employees make as little as $24,000 a year. (KPBS)
- A public fight with the boss: A San Diego employee of Twitter had an extremely public falling out with his boss, the richest man in the world, Elon Musk Monday and it ended with his firing. Early Monday, Musk tweeted an apology for how slow the application worked on Android devices along with a reason why. Eric Frohnhoefer, a San Diego-based software developer for Twitter wrote that Musk was wrong. They had an exchange where Musk asked him to explain himself and it ended with Musk telling another user that Frohnhoefer was fired. Frohnhoefer himself didn’t know that was certain until later he tweeted a picture of how he’d been locked out of his computer.
The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Scott Lewis and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.