Morning Report: The Stormwater Deficit Is a Big Deal
It’s no secret that San Diego has a backlog of infrastructure projects. The latest projections show that the city is gonna need upward of $5 billion to fix things like streets, sidewalks and parks.
But when officials talk about an infrastructure deficit what they’re primarily referencing is a stormwater deficit. The busted system leads to flooding, sinkholes and toxic and bacteria-laden material flowing into the region’s coastal waters.
These issues aren’t unique to San Diego. But Andrew Keatts explains the daunting state of affairs in a new story.
At the same time California increased the requirements on how effective the city’s stormwater system needs to be, the city’s system became obsolete, its population grew and the impacts of climate change grew more severe. The city’s stormwater woes are felt most acutely in the same neighborhoods that have been historically left behind when it comes to infrastructure investments.
An auditor’s report in 2018 laid out some of the failures of city leaders and a City Council committee last month took the first step toward raising additional funds through a 2022 ballot measure.
School Re-do Bill Is Still Alive for Now
There’s evidence to suggest more students are failing classes this year compared to last year. Yet there’s also resistance to giving students the option of doing the school year over again, or setting aside more resources for English-learners, homeless students and others.
Even before the pandemic, the concept of learning loss was taken as a given in education circles — kids inevitably shed some of the skills and knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom. But that same concept is suddenly controversial because it’s happening in the middle of the school year, Sara Libby writes in the Sacramento Report.
Although no one has officially registered any opposition to a new bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, not everyone agrees that giving students a re-do is a good idea.
The bill is still alive but it’s yet to face a committee hearing.
- We nerded out on municipal finance. The podcast crew cracked open the city’s books to explain why Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council have a rough year ahead.
- In the Politics Report, Scott Lewis broke down former Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s first press conference as an official candidate for governor, as well as what Faulconer actually did to open schools on his watch (hint: not a lot!).
In Other News
- More great accountability journalism from Jeff McDonald and Kelly Davis on deaths of those in custody in San Diego jails: A new outside report concludes a young woman was left alone to die after hitting her head against a wall. (Union-Tribune)
- Mel Katz argues in an op-ed that San Diego Unified’s superintendent has succeeded where many others have failed in closing the achievement gap. Cindy Marten was nominated to be the U.S. deputy secretary of education.
- Cal Fire is planning more vaccination clinics for rural communities in San Diego County. (Fox 5)
- Migrants who’ve crossed the border in recent days are being housed in a downtown high-rise hotel, where they’ll quarantine before joining family or friends elsewhere. (New York Times)
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.