Morning Report: UCSD Students Want Out of La Jolla (Politics)

Morning Report

Morning Report: UCSD Students Want Out of La Jolla (Politics)

UC San Diego graduate students rally against rent hikes to offset the university’s ongoing debts. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

As the San Diego Redistricting Commission considers new lines for the city’s political boundaries, current and former UC San Diego students see an opportunity to cut their political ties to San Diego City Council District 1 — and specifically, La Jolla.

Maya Srikrishnan reports students have argued they have more in common with the communities to the university’s north and east. They’d prefer to be in District 6, which currently includes Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa and the Convoy District.

The students highlighted several issues they believe should separate them from La Jolla including transportation, demographics and where they spend their time.

The biggest issue, though: housing. They think La Jolla and other communities in District 1 are too committed to their single-family zoning.

Earlier this year, UC San Diego graduate students held a protest against rent hikes. Those costs are becoming even more acute now that students are returning to classrooms after a year spent largely online.

Read the full story here. 

Sort of related: The Union-Tribune reports that San Diego County homebuilding is up nearly 25 percent in the first six months, on pace to produce more units than it has in 15 years. Meanwhile, state and federal proposals are seeking to level the playing field for people trying to purchase homes. One report shows that corporations have bought up 17 percent of the housing stock in California. 

County’s Chief Medical Officer Sues After Firing

San Diego County’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Yphantides speaks at the unveiling of a federal medical station at Palomar Medical Center on April 23, 2020. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Dr. Nick Yphantides, a highly-visible public figure during the pandemic and San Diego’s Hepatitis A outbreak, is suing his former employer San Diego County

Yphantides — commonly known as Dr. Nick — served as the county’s chief medical officer for 11 years, but was recently terminated, according to a lawsuit he filed against the county. 

Yphantides frequently appeared on television and at press conferences during the pandemic and Hepatitis A outbreak to explain and defend the county’s public health response. 

During his own press conference Wednesday over Zoom, Yphantides explained that he developed severe anxiety and depression related to the demands of his job managing the pandemic. He took a leave of absence starting in October 2020. 

When he returned to work he was viewed as “damaged goods,” he said. County leaders ultimately fired him. 

A county spokesman declined to provide comment on the litigation to NBC 7

Back in April 2020, we explored the special powers given to local decision-makers, including Yphantides, during an official state of emergency, like the pandemic. 

Meanwhile the Pandemic Is … Slowing?

The slowdown in COVID-19 cases may be real. The county’s weekly reports came out and showed improvement with case numbers going down and hospitalizations stabilizing.

Here’s the cases chart:

Here’s the hospitalizations chart.

All smooth sailing from here. Definitely going to be over this soon for good.

Side note: The county has counted 2,055 San Diegans who have gone to the hospital fighting COVID-19 since March 1. And 1,984 of them were not vaccinated.

In Other News 

  • San Diego County leaders are planning to set aside $25 million for the health of people incarcerated in county facilities. It includes more money to hire staff and for addiction treatment and medication. (10News) 
  • San Diego officials say the unemployment rate for people between 16 and 24 spiked to 24 percent between spring 2019 and spring 2020. The city is aiming to reverse that by contributing $1 million to a new workforce development program focused on Black people, immigrants, the homeless and youth with criminal records. (Union-Tribune) 
  • A small group of parents wants to replace a newly-appointed member of the Chula Vista School Board, arguing that he was selected before officials conducted interviews for the seat. (Union-Tribune) 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Will Huntsberry, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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