Morning Report: A Soft Estimate on the Hard Issue of Homelessness

Morning Report

Morning Report: A Soft Estimate on the Hard Issue of Homelessness

Filner’s report card, Padres’ scandal, Aztecs’ mystery, next round in medical marijuana.

 

Volunteers fanned out across the county in January with one goal in mind: to get a “point-in-time” snapshot of how many homeless sleep on the streets of San Diego. Kelly Bennett reports on the numbers from that count, released Thursday, and explains why they’re “fraught with caveats.”

For one, it was raining on the morning of the count, which may have pushed some homeless into structures or canyons where they couldn’t be counted. 

Filner’s Report Card

Mayor Bob Filner’s first budget is in, and Lisa Halverstadt has been poring over the details to determine what campaign promises Filner has kept via providing funding for them in his budget. You can check out her full progress report. Halverstadt reports that among many promises kept, such as increased funding for community plans and the arts, some promises were left out. “Filner’s proposed budget doesn’t include plans for a skate park he promised, but there is funding for another area park with a small skateboarding space,” she wrote.

Padres’ Scandal, Aztecs’ Mystery

Our Active Voice blogger John Gennaro cracks open the recent story about Tom Garfinkel, the CEO of the Padres, who was recorded comparing the Los Angeles Dodger’s recently injured pitcher Zack Greinke to “Rain Man.”

Garfinkel was recorded during an intimate talk with season ticket holders, and Gennaro introduces us to the man who made and released the recording. “I thought Tom [Garfinkel] said some interesting things about the way the team spends money,” the man told Gennaro.

Off the baseball field, blogger Beau Lynott notes the sudden and mysterious retirement of San Diego State University’s women’s basketball head coach Beth Burns.

And in a separate post, Lynott also notes fans “geeking out” over yesterday’s release of the San Diego Chargers’ 2013 schedule

How Important Is ‘Going Green’ to You?

Christopher Abdullah, writing as a member of The Center for Ethics in Science and Technology, wrote in to ask how far environmentally conscious people are willing to go. “We all know that we need to contribute what we can to protect our planet’s health,” he wrote. “However, there are thresholds that exist for every person, where the benefit of bettering the planet is overcome by other influences.” Where do you draw the line?

Medical Marijuana in San Diego, Round 2

The issue of medical marijuana is coming back to San Diego’s City Council for another round of debate. We’ve been covering the saga of medical marijuana; most recently Scott Lewis wondered how a proposed “tax” on medical marijuana would work, and the mayor sort of answered.

KPBS reports that the issue is coming back to council for another attempt at making a deal with local law enforcement. This time, the proposal has the backing of medical marijuana advocates and the mayor. “None of this would be possible without the mayor stepping in,” said Ken Cole, president of the United Patients’ Alliance, the trade association of medical cannabis distributors.

Judge Tentatively Rejects County’s Climate Plan

We recently profiled a heavyweight player in San Diego politics who isn’t a politician, but a judge. We called Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor “the man shaping San Diego’s future,” because of the impact that his decisions have had recently.

Taylor has handed down another important tentative ruling against San Diego County’s “Climate Action Plan,” a plan that would allegedly “address the issues of growth and climate change and… safeguard the environment for residents and visitors,“ writes KPBS

News Nibbles

• Construction companies will sue San Diego in order to get details of an agreement made with labor unions on the convention center expansion project.

• The San Diego County Taxpayers Association, an influential political group, named Felipe Monroig as its new leader.

• California motorists can elect to order special license plates at the DMV benefiting one of 11 causes. But with little oversight, that program is in shambles and may not be fixable, reports the Sacramento Bee.

• San Jose politicians want California governments to be open, just not that open.

• Checks went out to 4.2 million borrowers affected by the foreclosure crisis as part of a deal between banks and the Federal Reserve. But some of the checks are bouncing, U-T San Diego reported.

Assistant Auditor ‘Relieved to Be Out of San Diego’

One of the men at the center of a recent investigation into the San Diego city auditor’s office said “he is relieved to be out of San Diego.” Chris Constantin attented his first City Council meeting as the city of Chico’s new finance director on Tuesday. “I wasn’t really happy [in San Diego] because I wasn’t feeling appreciated,” he said.

Stop the Planet, I Want to Get Off

It’s been an undeniably rough week for many people. If you’ve ever dreamed about getting away from it all, I’ve got good news.

Two of the most “earth-like” planets ever discovered were announced Thursday, thanks to the help of some SDSU astronomers. “The two planets were found with three others that are located outside the habitable zone, a collection of five worlds that are about 1,200 light years from Earth,” U-T San Diego reported. That means you could drive there at 85 miles per hour, if you had a couple hundred billion years to spare. Now that’s a “long weekend.”

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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