California’s on a mission to bat back President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement crackdown and starting this week, there’s a new tool in its arsenal.
The California Values Act, also known as SB 54, limits who state and local law enforcement agencies can detain following requests from federal immigration officials.
And as Maya Srikrishnan writes , the new law will be particularly impactful in San Diego County where a patchwork of federal law enforcement agencies have a significant presence and regularly partner with local law enforcement on special operations and task forces targeting border-related crimes.
Sheriff Bill Gore acknowledged he’s grappling with what the new law and the politics surrounding it mean in practice. He worries the law could “get in the way of public safety” but also doesn’t want his deputies enforcing immigration laws.
• Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan sounded off  about the law in Tuesday interview with Fox News.
“California better hold on tight – they’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation orders in the state of California,” Homan said, according to The Blaze.
• The next Golden State fight to watch for: The San Jose Mercury News reports state lawmakers are mulling a scheme  to help Californians work around new federal cap on state and local tax deductions.
New Year, Lingering Crisis
In late 2017, San Diego leaders rushed to offer a series of short-term solutions  to an exploding homeless population.
The success of those efforts will rely heavily on what they can achieve in 2018 .
The hundreds of homeless San Diegans moving into the city’s temporary shelters – and the thousands more who remain on the streets – need permanent homes and the conversation about how to provide is already taking shape.
In a new post, I detailed discussions  under way about multiple ballot measures that could translate into more cash into homeless services and housing. I also explained the (mostly under-the-radar) plans local officials have to address its homelessness crisis and potential bills San Diego state representatives are eyeing for the new year.
• County supervisors on Tuesday voted to extend  the county’s hepatitis A public health emergency for another two weeks. County health officials confirmed just seven new cases  last month and they’re now preparing to wind down that emergency declaration at the end of the month. Now, the Union-Tribune reports, the county’s talking more  about its response to a fast-spreading flu that’s left 11 dead.
• That hepatitis A outbreak put the spotlight on San Diego’s longstanding failure to provide adequate restrooms for homeless San Diegans. In a new op-ed, lifelong San Diegan and former hotel manager Tom Cartwright calls on businesses and nonprofits  to step up and do more to address the dearth of restrooms in 2018.
“What if there was a 25-cent charge to use them?” Cartwright writes. “What if churches or other organizations or even the city sponsored a new porta-potty?”
The Day in Pot
Unsurprisingly, legal pot sales remain steady  in San Diego. The Union-Tribune reported that some stores still had long lines they expected would only grow as San Diegans hit the stores after work Tuesday night.
But the store openings haven’t been without hiccups. The Associated Press reports that businesses are being forced to manually document  sales amid a delay in a computer tracking system that was supposed to track weed and prevent it from falling into the black market. And it could be months before that state system launches.
Culture Report: San Diego’s Food History Buff
Was Caesar salad really created at a restaurant in Tijuana? How did margaritas pop up in San Diego? And what’s the story behind El Indio Mexican Restaurant’s rolled tacos?
Illustrator and designer Martin S. Lindsay is on a quest to get the story behind these urban legends.
In this week’s Culture Report, Kinsee Morlan checks in  with Lindsay at Tobey’s 19th Hole Café overlooking the Balboa Park Golf Course, where the two talked about his website and a forthcoming book featuring fun facts on San Diego’s culinary history.
Also in this week’s Culture Report: Morlan’s latest CultureCast on the history of border art and many more arts and culture updates, and of course, cultural cannabis updates.
Quick News Hits
• A vendor at two city airports has avoided paying  for water for about a decade, bypassing charges that should have totaled more than $40,000. (Union-Tribune)
• Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited San Diego  on Tuesday to look at border wall prototypes. (10 News)
• Not-so-breaking news: Chargers’ TV ratings in San Diego have tanked  since the team moved to Los Angeles. (Union-Tribune)
• A judge has dismissed  El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho’s countersuit against pageant contestants he said level unsubstantiated allegations against him. (Union-Tribune)