Morning Report: The Costs to Enforce Higher Minimum Wage - Voice of San Diego

Minimum Wage

Morning Report: The Costs to Enforce Higher Minimum Wage

Cop killer may get parole in test of new state law, fatal cop shootings aren’t properly documented, San Diegans up their water consumption, and wayward kittens to get homes.

Some local businesses will need to pay their employees more if the city boosts its minimum wage past the level set by the state. But there are others who will have to pay out too: Taxpayers.

The city will need to enforce the law and make sure no one’s getting away with ignoring the minimum wage. In a new story, we explore what that may mean.

The city previously spent $1.1 million to hire eight enforcers to monitor wages for construction workers. But two other large California cities make do with smaller staffs devoted to minimum wage enforcement. San Jose, which isn’t much smaller than San Diego, has just one employee in charge of monitoring things and taking complaints.

S.D. Cop Killer May Go Free

• The killer of a San Diego police officer in 1978 — “an Army veteran of Vietnam, an African American pledged to helping the community where he grew up” — is set to be paroled soon, the LA Times reports, unless the governor intervenes. “The case is an early test of a new state law meant to make parole easier to attain for inmates given lengthy sentences for crimes committed before they were 18.”

• The South Bay corruption scandal continues: Jesus Gandara, the former superintendent of the Sweetwater school district, is heading to jail after getting a seven-month sentence. The sprawling district, one of the biggest in the state, runs middle schools and high schools.

• The Orange County Register digs into police statistics and finds that “at least one in every five fatal shootings across Southern California isn’t counted in official statewide and national homicide reports.”

Law enforcement “blamed clerical slips, lacking oversight and jurisdictional disputes,” the Register says. A San Diego police official complained that “it gets confusing as to who’s going to do the notification. It’s not like we’re trying to hide it. The reporting mechanism that is set up is kind of weak.”

Drought? Hmm. Rings a Bell…

• San Diegans are using more water after a stunning drop in consumption from 2007-2013, the LA Times reports. In the big picture, the state is failing to meet a voluntary 20 percent cut in water use as the drought continues.

• Put the word “pee” in a headline and it’s sure to draw a crowd. Case in point: This story last week topped the list of the 10 most popular stories on our site last week.

Roadside Artworks Get a Tune-Up

If you pay really close attention on Park Boulevard near the zoo, you might notice odd little signs along the street. They’re pieces of art that were expected to disappear by 1998, 10 years after their installation, but are still around. In a new story, we look at how they’ve been restored at last.

Quick News Hits

• The VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast features guest Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and an advocate against plans to allow more development on the backcountry land that makes up a huge chunk of the county.

• We should hear this morning whether the U.S. Supreme Court will wade into the endless debate over the cross at the top of La Jolla’s Mt. Soledad. (U-T)

• Ocean Beach is poised to be the next ground zero for the debate over the wisdom of allowing more people and more homes into existing neighborhoods. (U-T)

• The ACLU is not pleased that Escondido told the federal government to get lost when it tried to open a shelter in the North County city for the kids of undocumented immigrants. Hundreds of residents gathered at a planning commission meeting last week and bashed the plans. The ACLU is investigating the commission’s decision-making, the U-T reports, but it’s not clear what it could do if it finds evidence of motivation “by hostility and bias.”

• Taxable properties in the county are worth $433 billion. (Times of San Diego)

• A pair of newborn kittens are up for adoption after somehow getting shipped from L.A. to San Diego in boxes of fiberglass equipment destined for Cox Cable. How did that happen? “What we think happened was the mom had the babies and she put them in a safe spot … and she left. Then they got boxed up and they got shipped,” a Humane Society official says.

One of the cats is now named Mouse and the other is Wifi. OK, how did that happen? Dunno, but it sounds like the making of a couple identity disorders. Either that or one’s going to live in the wall, and the other will be a hotspot.

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

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