Norall Moore, who has lived in the Sherman Heights neighborhood since 1964, wheels in a new food waste bin into her front yard on Jan. 11, 2023.
Norall Moore, who has lived in the Sherman Heights neighborhood since 1964, wheels in a new food waste bin into her front yard on Jan. 11, 2023. / Photo by Kristian Carreon for Voice of San Diego

The first green bins devoted to collecting food waste hit city of San Diego streets Wednesday in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights. By August, the city anticipates everyone receiving public trash and recycling collection will be separating and placing all organic matter in these new carts. The city will empty these particular green bins up weekly.

All Californians are expected to do this under a new state law aimed at eliminating food waste from landfills, a huge source of methane gas which contributes to the rapid warming of the planet. 

The roll out will happen first for homes with Wednesday trash days. Once the city has completed those homes, expected to take a few months, San Diego will move onto Thursday homes followed by Friday.

Read more here. 

What the Mayor Had to Say 

Mayor Todd Gloria delivers his 2023 State of the City address at the Civic Theatre on Jan. 10, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

San Diego’s mayor positioned himself as a man of law and order Wednesday night.

As he stood before a crowded Civic Theater for his State of the City Speech Todd Gloria made one thing clear: Lawlessness has no place in San Diego. 

He wants stronger laws to address a growing fentanyl crisis. He plans to push the state to get more done to overhaul its mental health services, in part to make sure more people are compelled into care. And he made it clear that issues of health and safety must be addressed. 

“It’s not OK for children to have to walk in the middle of the street past encampments just to get to their schools,” he said, “and we cannot expect people whose homes and businesses are surrounded by encampments to just put up with it.”

That’s why he ordered the take down of tents during the daytime, he said, to keep sidewalks passable and discourage loitering. 

More from the mayor: He listed many things he was doing about homelessness, including the exact tonnage of stuff city employees had thrown away in cleanups and how many shelter beds his efforts had helped create. But he acknowledged homelessness is only getting worse.

Also: He plans to make it easier for people to repair the sidewalks by the properties and make it harder for contractors and utilities to tear up city streets without agreeing to restore them to a certain quality.

There really was a lot of discussion about police officers and law enforcement: He highlighted a young officer and her honoring fallen officers. He talked about officer child care the city was organizing and the police department budget’s strength and crime rates.

North County Report: A New Safe Parking Lot for North County

The city of Vista is moving forward with a safe parking lot, the second of its kind in North County.

The safe parking program will allow homeless people living in their cars to safely park in a secure lot overnight. It will also provide access to bathrooms, hygiene supplies, food and case management.

The only other safe parking program in North County is in Encinitas, meaning if homeless individuals in Vista needed a safe parking lot, they would have to commute to Encinitas or take their chances parking around the city.

Jewish Family Service operates the Encinitas lot and is on deck to operate the new Vista program. 

Its leaders say they expect there to be high demand for the new Vista program, especially because of a countywide increase in new homelessness.

Read the North County Report here. 

Foundation Pushes Large Balboa Park Homeless Shelter

A homeless man’s shoes at an encampment near the Zoo on Park Blvd on Sept. 15, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A prominent nonprofit foundation on Wednesday publicly urged the city to set up two large shelter tents to accommodate about 500 unhoused seniors and youth in a largely empty parking lot in Balboa Park.

The Union-Tribune reports representatives of the Lucky Duck Foundation, which previously supplied the city and county with three shelter tents, sat before cameras in a mostly empty Inspiration Point parking lot to announce the proposal and call for the city to crack down on crimes committed by homeless residents. The group also suggested paying unhoused people to pick up trash in Balboa Park.

Mayor Todd Gloria’s office did not comment Wednesday, but downtown City Councilman Stephen Whitburn, who represents the park and is eyeing Inspiration Point and other spaces as potential safe campground sites for unhoused people, told Voice of San Diego he was caught off guard by the announcement.

“It was disappointing to see the Lucky Duck Foundation hold a news conference like this without reaching out to my office,” Whitburn said. “We’ve been actively engaged with community members, service providers and other stakeholders to identify possible locations of safe camping and shelter.”

Housing Commission Chairman Mitch Mitchell told Voice he thinks the city should consider the proposal. He said Housing Commission staff would be prepared to assist if city decision makers decide to proceed.

In Other News 

  • Glen Googins, Chula Vista’s recently termed-out city attorney, looks poised to be appointed the city attorney of Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara. (Union-Tribune)
  • Changes could be coming to the Del Mar Fairgrounds as the state board that controls the institution hired a real estate consulting firm to study how to best make money from the fair’s 324 acres. (Union-Tribune)
  • County supervisors unanimously approved a redesign of a section of Campo Road in unincorporated Casa De Oro that proponents say will revitalize the area. (Times of San Diego)
  • The city amended and refiled lawsuits against former city real estate adviser Jason Hughes alleging he defrauded the city in his work on the leases to Civic Center Plaza and 101 Ash St. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Scott Lewis, Tigist Layne, Lisa Halverstadt and Jakob McWhinney. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Scott Lewis. 

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