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Morning Report: Faulconer, Trump Have Very Different Accounts of Their Meeting

Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his 2019 State of the City address. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

During a lengthy appearance on Fox News Wednesday night, President Donald Trump told Sean Hannity that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer praised Trump’s border policies during his visit to the White House this week.

“We just finished San Diego, as you know, San Diego, in California,” Trump said. “They’re so happy. The mayor was just up in my office, great guy. He came up to thank me for having done the wall because it’s made such a difference. He said, it’s like day and night. He said people were flowing across and now nobody can come in.”

A Faulconer spokesman told VOSD the conversation did not happen like that, as Scott Lewis reports.

“That’s not what Mayor Faulconer said. We all know that the President uses his own terminology. But that wasn’t the focus of their conversation,” Craig Gustafson, a mayoral spokesman, said in a written statement.

Instead, Gustafson said they spoke about pollution from Mexico in the Tijuana River Valley and about the USMCA trade agreement.

No One Knows Why Violent Crime Is Climbing in El Cajon

Violent crime is surging in El Cajon and local leaders aren’t sure why.

The number of reported homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults spiked 20 percent from 2017 to 2018 and more than 50 percent between 2014 and 2018, Jesse Marx reports.

The first of those two statistics was highlighted in a recent Union-Tribune analysis of increasing crime in some neighborhoods across the region.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has a couple theories based on anecdotal observations: increased aggravated assaults in the city’s homeless population and improved relations with the city’s immigrant and refugee groups that could make those communities more comfortable reporting crimes to police.

Unsurprisingly, Marx reports, some members of the Chaldean community dispute the mayor’s hypotheses.  

Education as the Great Equalizer – Or Not

A good education has long been considered a panacea to poverty and inequality, but a billionaire venture capitalist is challenging that paradigm.

In this week’s Learning Curve, VOSD’s Will Huntsberry focuses on a viral essay by a billionaire entrepreneur that suggests that assumption is a myth.

Of efforts to level the playing field with education by replicating the Harlem Children’s Zone, Huntsberry writes: “We had a vision of education as the great equalizer, we laughably underfunded it and then we went about our business.”

  • VOSD’s Kayla Jimenez and NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia teamed up to explain how teachers and school officials “groom” underage students, setting the stage for sexual abuse. Jimenez has reported on cases where educators have groomed students by complimenting them, offering them rides and taking other steps that aren’t illegal but can pave the way for inappropriate contact.

News Roundup

  • A new report concludes San Diego could be forced to spend more than $350 million by 2040 to address the side effects of sea-level rise. (KPBS)
  • It doesn’t pay (as well) to work in tech in San Diego as it does elsewhere, according to a recent study of 10 major technology hubs. (Union-Tribune)
  • In blockbuster testimony on Thursday, a key witness in the Navy SEAL court-martial trial said he – not Edward Gallagher – killed a wounded Iraqi teen two years ago, contradicting prosecutors’ central claim. (Union-Tribune)
  • A state audit released Thursday found the California State University system held $1.5 billion in reserves as it raised tuition at its 23 campuses across the state. (Associated Press)
  • Mayor Kevin Faulconer has signed a $4.3 billion budget that is set to ramp up efforts to clear debris and increases investments in addressing homelessness and tree-trimming needs, among other initiatives. (10News)
  • County officials this week unveiled a plan to bolster psychiatric care countywide, including a network of regional crisis stabilization centers that can provide immediate care to patients. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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