Morning Report: Inside the Fight to Save San Pasqual Academy | Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Inside the Fight to Save San Pasqual Academy

San Pasqual Academy / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

There’s good news and bad news for San Pasqual Academy in Escondido, a boarding school for foster youth. It’s been granted another extension to stave off closing for good, assuming the county agrees to demands being made by the state. 

But its ultimate fate is still unclear, since state and federal law changes mean funding is no longer flowing to facilities like San Pasqual, because officials believe foster children should be moved into home settings with families whenever possible.

San Pasqual’s advocates and some county leaders argue, however, that the facility is both unique and crucial because it provides a refuge for kids who’ve been rejected from foster homes or otherwise have nowhere else to go. Kayla Jimenez lays out the tensions at work in the effort to keep the school open, and why students and alumni are mobilizing to save the facility.

“About 48 percent of the young people who attend school there are Black and about 41 percent are Latino, and many come from southeastern San Diego and other low-income neighborhoods where fewer people are able to take in foster children,” one official told VOSD. 

A Brief, Fiery Investigation

Our environmental reporter MacKenzie Elmer’s beach bonfire was deemed against the rules and snuffed out by lifeguards this weekend, and thus, this brief investigation into what’s actually permitted when it comes to beach bonfires was born

Elmer found the language in the municipal code and other city communications isn’t entirely clear when it comes to what type of “fire pits” or “fire containers” are allowed.

Council members Joe LaCava and Jen Campbell, who represent beach communities, said they’re working to address isolated concerns and educate members of the public but don’t believe beach bonfires are, or should be, banned altogether.

The County’s Big Turnaround on Delivering Benefits

In 2010, Voice of San Diego pulled off a major, months-long project examining why San Diego County delivered proportionally so much less aid to poor people compared with other counties. San Diego’s denial rates for social welfare programs were the highest and its enrollment rates are at or near the bottom when compared to California’s largest counties or other major metro areas.

One thing that became clear was San Diego County’s supervisors hated many of the mandates they had to deliver food assistance and other aid. And they had imposed rigorous impediments to delivering them. One of the things we revealed they did was force recipients of aid to submit to random searches of their property. 

Now, the Union-Tribune reports that the program – called Project 100% – is done. Supervisors, with a still-new 3-2 Democratic majority, have shut it down. “For nearly 25 years, from 1997 when the program was inaugurated under dubious circumstances, the act of applying for public benefits in the state’s second-most populous county triggered the unannounced home search,” the paper wrote. 

Supervisors also now support a slew of state bills that could make it easier to access benefits for student aid, Medi-Cal and food assistance, even for non-citizens. 

In Other News

  • It may be Cindy Marten’s day: From Politico: “THE SENATE will meet at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., they will vote on the confirmation of ANDREA PALM to be deputy HHS secretary and a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of CYNTHIA MARTEN to be deputy Education secretary. If cloture is invoked, they will vote on Marten’s confirmation at 2:30 p.m.” That’s 11:30 a.m. in real time. 
  • Building more bike paths hasn’t significantly increased the number of San Diegans who bike to work, but offering rebates and incentives for e-bike purchases might, Paul Krueger argues in a new op-ed.
  • Three San Diego City Councilmembers want a deep study into how to re-imagine the police department. (U-T)
  • Sharp Healthcare is offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccines at Kearny High School on Tuesday and Clairemont High School on Wednesday for anyone 16 or over. (City News Service)
  • A judge awarded $60,000 to a Sheriff’s Department employee who sued the department over sexual harassment allegations. (NBC San Diego)

Corrections

  • The Saturday Politics Report incorrectly stated that Carol Kim, the political director of the Building and Construction Trades Council had endorsed Kent Lee for District 6 on the San Diego City Council. She has not officially endorsed him and will support the candidate the Building Trades support. 
  • In Monday’s story on outdoor dining structures, restaurant owner Chelsea Coleman misstated the estimated cost of her business’s structure. It cost about $4,000 to build.

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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