Morning Report: Officials Don't Want the Homeless Getting Comfortable
There’s been a lot of focus, rightly, over the last week on the city and county’s sluggish efforts to address a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak.
But another agency’s response to the crisis that got less attention in Lisa Halverstadt’s initial coverage is also revealing. MTS officials were wary of putting a hand-washing station on their property because it might encourage the homeless to … well, use them.
“My only thoughts are that this would probably become a magnet for homeless people to come onto our property just to use the sink (take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their dishes, etc.),” MTS security director Manuel Guaderrama wrote in an Aug. 15 email.
It’s a tension that’s been playing out for years, Halverstadt writes in a new story: Officials have taken numerous steps to ensure the homeless who set up camps downtown don’t get so comfortable that staying permanently is a viable option. They’ve installed jagged rocks to deter the homeless from sleeping under an overpass, they’ve used a law intended to target trash bins to ticket the homeless and they’ve stepped up patrols on Fiesta Island and around Mission Bay Park.
“Faulconer and other city leaders have said homeless camps aren’t ideal,” Halverstadt writes. But the city is learning the hard way that not addressing the basic needs of those living in them can come with side effects too.”
Politics Roundup: Dumanis Makes it Official
Former DA Bonnie Dumanis said when she stepped down as the county’s head prosecutor that she was exploring a run for county supervisor, and she made it official Tuesday by filing the paperwork.
“She joins former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, attorney Omar Passons, retired San Diego Fire and Rescue Department Deputy Chief Ken Malbrough and real estate adviser Marcia Nordstrom in the race to replace Ron Roberts, who has served since 1994 but is leaving office because of term limits,” reports the Union-Tribune.
• If you thought there weren’t any shady uses of campaign money from Rep. Duncan Hunter left to find, think again! The Union-Tribune is still uncovering questionable expenses, some of which go back to 2012 and were never repaid.
• It’s looking more and more like a key bill from Sen. Toni Atkins to fund affordable housing is in trouble. (Sacramento Bee)
Artists Who Worked in Glashaus Throw Stones at Owner
In the Culture Report, Kinsee Morlan has more on the story behind the shuttering of The Glashaus, an arts venue in Barrio Logan.
Even though the property had been on fire officials’ radar since it opened in 2009, Fire Marshal Doug Perry told Morlan inspectors tried to work with the building’s master lease holder to fix permitting and safety issues that had plagued the space.
Many of the artists who were forced to vacate the space on short notice are angry they were never made aware of the long-running issues.
Also in this week’s report: The showdown between Chicano Park residents and an anti-immigrant group, a group wants the city to reconsider how it doles out arts funding and more.
• CBS 8 reports the city of San Diego is ripping out several of the DecoBike rental stations.
SD Officials Pan DACA Announcement
San Diego elected officials have struggled to take action on challenges impacting the city, like the Hepatitis A outbreak specifically and homelessness generally, along with vacation rentals, to name a few.
But virtually every San Diego politician and official was eager to speak out Tuesday on an issue over which they have little to no control: President Donald Trump’s decision to end the DACA program.
Members of the City Council, as well as San Diego Unified’s superintendent and school board president, joined a press conference condemning the move. Mayor Kevin Faulconer released a statement urging Congress to protect young immigrants.
The only notable exception I could find came from state Sen. Pat Bates, the leader of state Senate Republicans who represents Orange County and portions of North County. Her statement condemned President Barack Obama for issuing an “unconstitutional” order in the first place.
• KPBS talked with an immigration attorney who is also a DACA recipient.
Quick News Hits
• San Diego is set to get a new NASL soccer club (this is separate from an MLS/SoccerCity team), but that league is in trouble. (NBC Sports)
• Three companies, so far unnamed by the county, have put in bids to redevelop the old courthouse downtown. Meanwhile, two new nine-story hotels could be coming to Little Italy. (U-T, Reader)
• San Diego scientists may have found a serious silver lining to the Zika crisis: UC San Diego researchers say the virus could be used to treat brain cancer. (City News Service)
• A jury cleared a San Diego police officer who shot an unarmed man three times in the back and back of the head. (Union-Tribune)