Palomar Health in Escondido on Oct. 25, 2022.
Palomar Health in Escondido on Oct. 25, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Palomar Health’s board chair is facing accusations of a conflict of interest in a recent contract vote.

The hospital district’s board of directors recently extended the contract with its medical group, Emergent Medical Associates, but some board members say Board Chair Linda Greer should have recused herself from the vote because of a conflict of interest.

Emergent Medical Associates provides Palomar Health with physicians and other staff for its hospitals in Escondido and Poway.

During the last election season, Greer received large campaign contributions from Palomar Hospital Partners, Inc., as well as contributions from top executives at Palomar Health. (Palomar Hospital Partners, Inc. and Emergent Medical Associates are the same thing, according to board documents.) 

After winning her re-election campaign, Greer took part in last month’s board vote to extend the medical group’s contract, and it was approved.

Palomar first started contracting with Emergent Medical Associates in 2021, a decision that garnered backlash from doctors and nurses who have said the new medical group has caused a decline in the hospital’s quality of care.

Read the full story here. 

Readers’ Questions about San Diego’s New Green Food Waste Bins

Vivian Largo was one of many residents who received a food waste bin and kitchen pail in the Sherman Heights neighborhood on Jan. 11, 2023. / Photo by Kristian Carreon for Voice of San Diego

    San Diegans in the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhoods received new green bins the city began rolling out Wednesday, our MacKenzie Elmer reported. These bins are for residents to recycle food waste. But, some of our readers had questions about how to use them. 

    Here are some answers to their questions, edited for clarity.

    Q. How big are the kitchen pails? (These are pails provided by the city along with the regular, larger rolling bin.) 

    A. The city-provided kitchen pails are 11.5 inches long and 9.25 inches high. 

    Q. Can we throw cooking grease in these food waste bins? 

    1. No fats, oils or grease should go into the bin. 
    Contract workers assemble and deliver food waste bins in the Sherman Heights neighborhood on Jan. 11, 2023. / Photo by Kristian Carreon for Voice of San Diego

    Q. A user on Twitter asked, we already use green bins for plant based garbage and food from the gardeners and such. It gets picked up every two weeks. Is this the same thing, just giving us trash cans vs using our own and kicking it up every week? 

    A. If residents already have a green bin that they’re using for yard and other green waste, continue to do so until the city has brought you a new bin for food waste. The city’s website indicates a kitchen pail will be delivered to you with information on when you can start adding food scraps to that same green bin. But yes, food and yard waste bin collection will eventually be every week for your residence. 

    Q. Hugo Lillo on Facebook asked when restaurants will be required to roll out food waste recycling. 

    A. Restaurants with 250 seats or more or with a footprint of 5,000 square feet or more will have to begin recovering food that is otherwise edible beginning Jan. 1, 2024, according to the city’s website.  

    The city also has a list of frequently asked questions and answers on its website. 

    Keep up with Elmer’s reporting on the city’s new green bins, and other news, with her biweekly newsletter, The Environment Report. Subscribe here.

    In Other News 

    • The city of San Diego selected a new poet laureate, its second ever. It’s Jason Magabo Perez, who will serve as an ambassador for literary arts. 
    • You didn’t imagine it: the flu hit San Diego especially hard last year. A five week period in 2022 recorded more flu cases than in all of 2021, and 2022 had the most flu cases of any year in the past decade, KPBS reports.
    • Assemblyman David Alvarez has introduced a bill that would extend in-state college tuition to Tijuana students who cross the border for school, CBS 8 reports.
    • Another round of storms heads toward San Diego beginning Saturday evening with a half to a full inch of rain coming to the coast and inland, respectively. Expect higher surfs than normal as well with waves five to 12 feet Friday and Saturday. (Union-Tribune)

    The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, MacKenzie Elmer and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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