Morning Report: Food Stamp Users Who Aren't Living Large - Voice of San Diego

Morning Report

Morning Report: Food Stamp Users Who Aren't Living Large

Kevin Faulconer’s new plan to keep cops on the job, why “sociopath” keeps popping up in civic discourse and more.

A young La Jolla surfer has made big news in conservative circles by proclaiming that he uses food stamps to buy lobster. His story is now part of the lore surrounding food stamps as Congress tries to figure out what to do about funding.

But he’s not typical of the 266,845 county residents who rely on food stamps, writes VOSD food politics blogger Clare Leschin-Hoar. Not typical at all.

She profiles four local food stamp recipients, including Sergio, who lives in San Ysidro. Government assistance kept food on his family’s table while he recovered from intestinal surgery. Renee, a senior who works as a hairdresser, uses food stamps to buy healthy food like produce and, occasionally, meat or chicken.

The Political Insult Du Jour

If you don’t like a local politician, call him a sociopath in public. Rude? Inappropriate? Not to judge by San Diego’s political leaders, who keep throwing this claim at one another.

Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and now Tony Krvaric, the chairman of the county Republican Party, have all used some form of the slur lately. Goldsmith even sent us an email Monday explaining when it’s OK to hurtle the accusation (like when he did) and when it’s not (when other people have done so.)

“I don’t call people names,” Goldsmith told us. “Nor, do I throw terms around without verification from a qualified source.”

The Real Story Behind Faulconer’s Cop Claim

Councilman Kevin Faulconer, a Republican and one of the leading candidates for mayor, unveiled a plan Monday to fix the ailing police department through hiring and persuading cops to not quit. “But some of the measures he’s backed as a councilman contributed to the problems he now aims to solve,” reports Lisa Halverstadt.

As the story explains, “What’s not mentioned in that Monday plan is Faulconer supported three city changes that have contributed to a less competitive hiring climate for local police.”

Deadliest Flu Season Ever? Not by Long Shot

Flu shots are here, and that means flu season will soon be upon us.

Last week, county health officials tried to put the focus on the threat of the flu and noted last year’s “record” death toll of 65 people. It’s an “all-time high,” reported City News Service, and CBS8 heralded the “deadliest flu season ever.”

In fact, the claim is false. A flu season almost a century ago was much, much deadlier here. It actually took the lives of one in 200 San Diegans, many of them young and fit. San Diego Fact Check goes back in history to tell the tale.

The Marine’s Close Call

Orange Coast magazine has published a stunning story by a writer who suspects that he had a close encounter with murder back in 1980, when he was a Marine sniper at Camp Pendleton. The writer believes the serial killer Randy Kraft targeted him and may have come close to trying to kill him. The magazine has more on Kraft, who may have killed dozens of young men in Southern California but has yet to be executed.

Quick News Hits

• KPBS explores a top priority for new schools chief Cindy Marten — supporting principals.

• Local maritime companies have hired a lobbyist to push for a redo of the blueprint for Barrio Logan. (SD Reader)

• U-T columnist Logan Jenkins checks in with an Escondido grandmother who got sacked — rudely, Jenkins says — from her volunteer position at North County’s new Palomar Medical Center because her hair is dyed hot pink. The hospital’s dress code, it turns out, says “hair should be clean, neatly styled and of a ‘natural’ hair color (i.e., not colors unnatural to human hair).”

• A big discussion has broken out about local cyclists on the San Diego section of the popular website Reddit. At issue: Cyclists who ignore traffic laws and blow through stoplights and stop signs.

• Freelance journalist Hailey Persinger is spending time at the new Central Library, and she’s noticed that people like to talk on their cell phones while moving through the stacks.

First of all: Rude! Second of all: So what are these chowderheads saying? Persinger is keep tracking via a new blog called Overheard in the New Central Library.

Here’s one excerpt of a conversation: “They shot us up with anthrax and something else.” Another: “I’m sorry. How many potatoes do you have?”

Potato, poe-ta-toe, let’s call the whole thing … SHHHH!

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said Kevin Faulconer is a Democrat. The councilman is a Republican.

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