Voice of San Diego Podcast
Summary: This is Voice of San Diego’s weekly spitfire roundup of news. We cover local and regional politics, the environment, education, the border and more. This show features our investigative reporting and interviews with lawmakers and other special guests.
This is our last podcast before the recall election on Sept. 14. So let's review the candidate we know most about: former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. On the show, Scott and Andy review Faulconer's trajectory over the last few months and how that squares with his mayoral tenure. Also, we discuss his weird ballot title. Plus: The city and county struggle with COVID-19 testing for homeless residents. Check out our recap of the Faulconer Administration here: voiceofsandiego.org/faulconer Register for our upcoming event about cannabis equity here: voiceofsandiego.org/cannabis See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week, San Diego Unified — the largest school district in the region — opened up for in-person classes. Also back this week is our Parent's Guide to San Diego Schools. It's a tool we furnish every year to help parents make informed decisions for their kids' education. In this episode we preview an uncertain school year and highlight the biggest stories from the guide. Check out the guide at vosd.org/schools And the drama keeps coming for the county Board of Supervisors. This week, there was tension involving the locally beloved Bitchin' Sauce and a vote to declare misinformation a public health crisis. See our podcast on the local company here: voiceofsandiego.org/topics/economy/i-made-it-in-san-diego-the-battle-behind-a-familys-secret-sauce Support the Parent's Guide and all our work at vosd.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A couple years ago, then-Assemblyman Todd Gloria wrote an op-ed for VOSD. In it, he coined the term "San Diego Special." We immediately became obsessed. Its definition is rough but essentially aims to label a persistent problem in local government that should be solvable but has stuck around due to lack of vision or leadership. Think vacation rentals, the Convention Center expansion or scooters. Now, as mayor, Gloria joins the podcast to discuss these very regionally-specific obstacles. He came prepped with a list of his top-five San Diego Specials to compare to our own. Read all about San Diego Specials at vosd.org/specials Thank you to everyone who's joined our fundraising campaign this week! If you haven't donated yet, now's your chance. Support this show and all our reporting at vosd.org/give See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week, we're giving you a comprehensive look at the years-long case of Fridoon Nehad, the man who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2015. Since the start, this case has been marked by secrecy and misinformation. Now, we think we have the full story. Plus: Public comments got wild at a Board of Supervisors meeting and schools are already scrambling to keep up with COVID-19 cases. Scott wrote something about Sara this week. Here it is. Find all our newsletters at vosd.org/newsletters See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It has been quite a week for the San Diego County sheriff. Sheriff Bill Gore and his team are getting backlash from across the country after they shared a video of a deputy they claimed overdosed from fentanyl simply by encountering it. The thing is, toxicologists say that’s impossible. That's not the only reason the agency is experiencing blowback. The sheriff told San Diego police last month they could resume booking people accused of misdemeanors into local jails, but they wouldn’t tell us what crimes can get you booked into jail. And finally, this all comes out after the sheriff announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election and a bunch of prominent Democrats pounced on the chance to endorse his chosen successor. Hosts Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts explain why that happened and more on this week's VOSD Podcast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Not long ago, we were all obsessing over the state-mandated tier system. If were were still in the days of tiers, San Diego would be in the most restrictive purple tier, which mainly allowed only outdoor activities. Oh, how far we've come. And also kind of not. This week, we discuss the state of COVID in the region, our case for county data and new mandates for vaccines. Plus: San Diego Housing Commission Cliffs Notes and a ballot measure for parks and libraries. Follow all our stories and takes on local news with The Morning Report: vosd.org/newsletters See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Standardized testing has long been derided as an imperfect way to measure a school’s performance. But it’s a metric that’s easy to access and easy to understand. This week, education reporter Will Huntsberry explains a new metric for understanding and evaluating test scores. It takes into account poverty levels, a crucial factor that heavily influences a school’s test scores. Plus: Climate change, local vaccination requirements and city real estate problems can't stop, won't stop. Find Will's newsletter, The Learning Curve at vosd.org/newsletters See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It’s been a devastating month for San Diego cyclists — four have lost their lives after being hit by drivers. The most recent was this week, when a driver hit and killed a bicyclist on Pershing Drive. KPBS's Andrew Bowen (@acbowen) joins the show this week to talk about the state of bike safety in the region, where and why safety plans are failing and the sacrifices needed to achieve the city’s “Vision Zero” goal, which is to have zero traffic-related deaths by 2025. Plus: The deal with former mayor Kevin Faulconer's recall ballot title and the San Diego city attorney's hands-off approach to infractions. Keep up with all of our stories and investigations with The Morning Report: Get it at vosd.org/newsletters See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The city is coming for all those fancy outdoor dining structures. Or is it? We'll discuss what's really going on with those structures that happen to have a wonderful name in local political circles. Plus, a sudden local political resignation fits into a larger trend. From various local school boards, the failed effort to recall San Diego City Council President Jen Campbell and even the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, tensions over how and when to reopen seem to be driving conflict. Keep up with all our local news coverage with the Morning Report: vosd.org/newsletters +++++++++ Are you involved in local government as an elected official or passionate citizen? Then we want to hear your origin story! Tell us how you got started as part of a new special project from VOSD. voiceofsandiego.org/originstory See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Carlos Turner Cortez was on the job for one day when VOSD education reporter Will Huntsberry called him up for an interview. Cortez's new gig is chancellor for the San Diego Community College District — overseeing roughly 100,000 students and 8,000 employees. This week on the VOSD Podcast, Cortez lays out the state of the district at the tail end of a pandemic and some big ideas he has for serving the most vulnerable San Diegans through community college. Plus: The latest on 101 Ash St. and police oversight. +++++++++ Are you involved in local government as an elected official or passionate citizen? Then we want to hear your origin story! Tell us how you got started as part of a new special project from VOSD. voiceofsandiego.org/originstory See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week, we explain the 101 Ash Street saga from the beginning and why it matters. ***** In January, VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt wrote a long piece on the role Jason Hughes, a commercial real estate broker, had in the mess the city has faced related to 101 Ash St., the building it was never able to move employees into. Hughes had been an unpaid volunteer advising mayors going back to Bob Filner and helping the city renegotiate leases. But he also helped the city lease two large towers, 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza. This week, we learned Hughes had, at some point, stopped being a volunteer and had instead gotten one of the most lucrative commercial real estate gigs in the city: representing the city itself. He revealed it himself. The company that bought the two buildings so that the city could lease them from it paid him $9.4 million. He revealed it because the city attorney was about to make public the results of its subpoenas and new lawsuits meant to unravel the two deals based on the theory that Hughes had violated state conflict-of-interest laws and thus the lease-to-own arrangements were void. It’s all very complex. We have two important pieces on it: Why what then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer knew matters and how we wouldn’t know any of this without asbestos. And now, we now have this podcast. Read more at voiceofsandiego.org/101ash See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Housing dominates California politics. It will shape big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco this year and in the future. Josh Stephens is the author of a book dedicated to this issue, "The Urban Mystique," which focuses on the potential of such cities — what they are and what they could be — through the lens of housing and development. Host Andy Keatts interviewed Stephens at an event put on by the San Diego-Tijuana Urban Land Institute. The folks at ULI were kind enough to lend us the audio of that discussion for this bonus ep. Keep up with all our housing stories with The Morning Report: vosd.org/morning See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Homelessness in San Diego is officially “near crisis level.” We’ve been calling it a "crisis" for a while now, but new reporting lays out how big the problem really is — and how much money local leaders are ready to throw at it. Plus: The debate over how to implement police oversight and another local defection from the GOP. Send Scott your receipts! He wants to see whatever "pandemic surcharges" restaurants are pushing these days. Send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @vosdscott. Thank you to all who gave during our most recent campaign! We appreciate you all. If you missed your chance, become a member anytime at vosd.org/donate (plus you'll get access to Scott and Andy's Politics Report). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Now that the state has officially reopened, it’s time to look forward. On this week’s VOSD Podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Sara Libby go through several questions looming for the second half of the year. Schools will be open in the fall, but how many students will choose to stay home, and why? Every elected government agency is redrawing the lines for voters, which will have big impacts for upcoming local races. Speaking of upcoming races, how will the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom ultimately shake out? Finally, the mayor says homelessness may get more visible soon. How long are we talking? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We need more housing. A lot, lot more. This week, the San Diego City Council approved changes to a housing plan it submitted to comply with a state housing law. San Diego was the first city to go through the process this cycle, which attracted interest across the state. On the show, we review what happened the last time the city went through this process, how those numbers actually shook out (spoiler: not great) and some glaring issues with the plan. Plus: The latest at Lincoln High, what's up with redistricting and three reasons to party on June 15. Watch our video that breaks down redistricting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoZ5xFkdW8g&ab_channel=VoiceofSanDiego And here's our panel about what it could mean for communities: https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/politifest-2020/redistricting-for-our-community/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.