Board of Education in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022.
San Diego Unified offices in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

San Diego Unified’s workforce has largely returned to in-person instruction since the pandemic forced the district to go remote, with the exception of some employees.

Now, it’s their turn to return to the office, and they are not stoked.

Our Jakob McWhinney reports that district leaders informed staff members last month that they need to return to the office. This change affects staff in the district’s technical and professional services departments.

The news came as a shock to many who thought a remote and hybrid work policy was in the works. 

Staff sent the district a letter cosigned by nearly 300 employees asking the district to reconsider the decision. The union that represents some of them has sent its own letter requesting changes to the policy. But the district has held firm, arguing that remote work is not conducive to the kind of work it does.

Read the whole story here.

One Woman’s Long Road Off the Street

Rachel Hayes sits in her new apartment and is overcome with emotion in San Ysidro on June 20, 2023. Hayes has not lived in a home since 2012.
Rachel Hayes sits in her new apartment in San Ysidro on June 20, 2023. Hayes has not lived in a home since 2012. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Back in April, multimedia journalist Ariana Drehsler set out to profile some of San Diego’s homeless residents. Her resulting photo essay is a stunning, humanizing and deeply troubling peek into the lives of nine people trying to get back onto their feet.

One of those individuals was Rachel Hayes. She’d been homeless for more than a decade. After years of struggling with substance abuse, she’d gotten clean and after years of waiting for housing, she was told she would be able to move into an apartment that May.  

Hayes’ new life: Photojournalist Peggy Peattie recently interviewed and photographed Hayes for her Tales of the Street blog, where Peattie’s profiled folks struggling with homelessness for over six years. It turns out Hayes did get into permanent housing back in June. But the transition indoors wasn’t easy. She ended up sleeping in her tent a couple of nights a week to ease into her new life.

Since moving into her own place, she’s begun to build a new life as an activist. She’s joined multiple advocacy groups, volunteers passing out food and water in her old East Village stomping ground and still visits her old street family. And one day, she even says she plans to run for city council.

The Story Behind a Deadly Car Chase

border patrol san diego
File photo by Adriana Heldiz

One San Diego family is no closer to knowing what led to Jesús Manuel Saldaña Rocha’s death on April 23, 2022. United States Border Patrol officers were chasing the 19-year-old U.S. citizen when he swerved into a freeway embankment and crashed into several trees. He died on the scene

In a new story, inewsource reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees Border Patrol, has refused to say why officers were chasing Saldaña Rocha in the first place. Border Patrol also claims to have terminated the chase before the crash. 

But inewsource obtained documents from other responding agencies that reveal there’s more to the story. And nearly a year later, the family is no closer to knowing why Border Patrol gave chase. 

When Border Patrol can pull you over: A few years ago we set out to answer this common question. Border Patrol’s jurisdiction stretches 100 miles from the border, and the coastlines, which pretty much includes all of San Diego County and other parts of the state. 

Song of the Week 

Delahcruz, “WHERE IS THE BLISS?”: Delahcruz’s most recent release, 2020’s “Choking Hazard,” is her most slickly produced. It’s also her most subtly experimental, bursting with environmental flourishes and sly hooks. The whole release is an immersive listen, but “WHERE IS THE BLISS?” is a perfect encapsulation of the air-conditioned feel. It melds a minimal and slowly morphing beat with vocals that are at times wispy and at others tuned down an octave. The result feels a bit like cruising through South Bay but in a dream. 

Like what you hear? Catch Delahcruz at Soda Bar tonight. 

Do you have a “Song of the Week” suggestion? Shoot us an email and a sentence or two about why you’ve been bumping this song lately. Friendly reminder: all songs should be by local artists. 

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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