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 week, VOSD's Adriana Heldiz saw a large-scale operation by the city of San Diego to clean a homeless camp that had been growing for months in the Midway District; it recently grew so large it was spilling into the street, according to the city. Staff loaded tents and tons of belongings into a trash truck to try and sort out the area. Officers offered shelter to the people living there and cited those who rejected the offers. It put a spotlight on a lot of the issues at play for one of the region's biggest problems: homelessness. This week, we talk with Heldiz and VOSD's Lisa Halverstadt about what's going on with homelessness right now. Plus: The video that got Mayor Todd Gloria in trouble this week. Subscribe to our new San Diego 101 podcast! The trailer is out now. Subscribe to "San Diego 101" wherever you listen. And tell your friends. vosd.org/101podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It's expensive to live in San Diego. You know this already. But it's about to get worse. As housing prices balloon, another basic need is getting costly: water. This week, we reported that the San Diego County Water Authority predicts the cost of water could swell up to 10 percent starting in 2023. Scott and Andy review everything you need to know about San Diego water and these rate hikes. And in the second half of the show, the latest San Diego Housing Commission drama and why it matters for the local housing crisis. Sign up our upcoming events (Cannabis Equity and Politifest) at vosd.org/events Check out San Diego 101: How We Get Our Water vosd.org/sd101 Support VOSD and our future at vosd.org/give See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Buckle up, folks. There's another major revelation in the 101 Ash St. saga this week. (That segment starts around minute 30 in the episode if you're antsy.) It turns out the city's real estate adviser, Jason Hughes, got paid about $9.5 million dollars (as a volunteer) for the deals he facilitated. The scoop this week by VOSD's Lisa Halverstadt was that Hughes made an agreement with Cisterra Development (the city's eventual landlord) to earn a profit off the deals or be held financially accountable if they fell apart. Also this week: Some cops refuse to get vaccinated. A vaccine expert gets real about the Delta variant. And a local hotelier makes a splash at the Elizabeth Holmes trial. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Shane Crotty and his team at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology have been studying viruses for a long time. We wanted to talk to him again. He first joined our podcast in March when vaccines were first becoming available and we knew a lot less. Now, after a few months and a few major variants of the virus, we have new questions. Like, why is Delta so much worse? Is it OK to go to concerts and ball games? What’s the deal with booster shots? Crotty and host Scott Lewis get into it. The post from March: voiceofsandiego.org/topics/news/bonus-podcast-its-all-a-race-interview-with-an-immunologist Keep up with the region's most important news at vosd.org/newsletters See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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.