A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development documents San County’s homeless population as the third largest and among the fastest growing in the United States.
While the number of homeless fell by nearly 6% nationally, San Diego’s increased by 6.1% over the past year. The report indicated that there were 10,013 homeless people living in our region. Only New York and Los Angeles had more people living on the streets. And LA showed the largest decrease nationally.
The statistics in the HUD study are calculated using an annual “point in time” census where volunteers and homeless advocates canvass shelters and streets in metropolitan areas.
Last year’s calculations indicated that there were 633,782 homeless people nationally, with nearly 20% of those counted living in California. One in five homeless people in San Diego is a military veteran. One in four of those accounted for locally were classified as chronically homeless.
Hillcrest Mardi Gras Falls Victim to Political Dispute
Long standing tensions between community groups and organizers have led to a standoff that will most likely result in the cancellation of Hillcrest Mardi Gras 2013. The 12th annual street party was scheduled for Fat Tuesday, February 12th on University Avenue between First and Fourth Avenues. Traditionally thousands of costumed revelers take to the streets for the evening in the 21+ event, paying a $15 (and up) admission fee.
The event has been sponsored by the GSDBA Charitable Foundation and the Hillcrest Business Association in past years. Proceeds from the street party benefited causes sponsored by both organizations, including $160,000 for LGBT youth scholarships from the business association.
Yesterday San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (SDGLN) published a story announcing that the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) board of directors voted to not produce Hillcrest Mardi Gras 2013 at their December meeting.
Over the past few years, the HBA has taken on the majority of the work to produce the event while the GSDBAF’s contribution has shrunk. Members of the Hillcrest business community have conducted all major activities for the production of the event including handling all permitting, finances, logistics and coordinating promotions.
Over the past several months, the relationship between the HBA and GSDBAF has soured.
“Rather than continue to partner with an organization whose members are hostile to the business association and who contribute very little to the event, we have decided to step back and look at other options,” said Benjamin Nicholls, HBA executive director. “If the GSDBAF is interested in producing the event on their own, we welcome it. Obviously, if the event were produced, we would vigorously defend our ownership share.”
The non-bylined article failed to mention that SDGLN’s publisher Johnathan Hale is a Vice President with the business association. It did mention, via a ‘source who requested anonymity’, that:
The negotiations were of a ‘my way or the highway’ nature and threats were made concerning publishing negative articles about the HBA in LGBT Weekly, lawsuits, and even having his contacts at City Hall undermine the HBA’s relationship with the city,”
The LGBT Weekly is a competing publication with SDGLN and there is a history of enmity between the two organizations. This hostility reached new heights this past year during San Diego’s mayoral contest, with the LGBT Weekly being openly critical of Carl DeMaio, who just happens to be the significant other of SDGLN publisher Hale.
The War on Wimpy Christians on Fox
It wouldn’t be that ‘time of year’ without Fox news dragging out the War on Christmas and taking it for a spin through its ‘news’ cycle. Their motley commentariat dutifully reports every real or imagined slight for the Christian holiday, hoping to get the conspiratorial juices flowing among the faithful.
The folks at Mediate.com posted up a classic episode of this bile, featuring Bill O’Reilly:
On his show tonight, O’Reilly asked pastor Robert Jeffress why Christian leaders have not been more outraged over the attack on Christian values. Jeffress laid the blame squarely on “wimpy pastors” and the “wimpy Christians” their congregations create.
O’Reilly was surprised to read that Newsweek declared his side victorious in the War on Christmas™, pointing to important issues like Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee renaming the tree as a “holiday tree.” O’Reilly wondered why so many Christian leaders have stayed silent on the issue. Jeffress said it is because many of them “have the wrong idea about Jesus”; namely, that he was a peaceful, non-confrontational man. Jeffress said more preachers should stop “caving in prematurely to the threats of the ACLU” and fight for their religious liberties.
O’Reilly said he has been consistently surprised by the lack of vocal outrage from Christian leaders. Jeffress laid out his main theory for why they are not speaking out more.
“Wimpy pastors produce wimpy Christians, and that is why we are losing this culture war and I believe it’s time for pastors to say, you know, ‘I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church, I’m going to stand for truth regardless of what happens.’”
Gay Student Group Denied Charter at Point Loma Nazarene University
Senior Sean Lewis wanted to start a discussion group focusing on gay themes at Point Loma Nazarene University. He told Channel10Newsthat he was motivated to take this step because he and other openly gay students often felt unwelcome on campus, telling reporter Michael Chen, “I’ve gotten messages on Facebook … warning me that I’m going to hell”.
University Vice President Caye Smith called Lewis into a meeting and informed him that a charter for the group could not be granted:
“It would be problematic for us to charter any group that would be contrary to the positions of the Church of the Nazarene,” said Smith.
“We’re not asking you to violate a belief system; we’re asking you to treat students … like people,” said Lewis.
Supporters of the group have started a petition drive that’s drawn the support of national gay groups, including the Gay & LesbianAlliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Ski Season Getting Ever-Shorter as Climate Heats Up
Today’s New York Times has a piece up about the challenges being faced by ski-slope operators around the country as global temperatures steadily increase. Last year’s ‘season’ for skiers was lousy as the fourth warmest winter on record meant that half the nation’s ski areas opened late and almost half were forced to close early.
That’s not good news for an industry that seen a meager .06% compounded growth since the industry started keeping records in 1979. The Times cites a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Protect Our Winters warning that continued warming “spells economic devastation for a winter sports industry deeply dependent upon predictable, heavy snowfall.”
Under certain warming forecasts, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a 100-day season by 2039, according to a study to be published next year by Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
By then, no ski area in Connecticut or Massachusetts is likely to be economically viable, Mr. Scott said. Only 7 of 18 resorts in New Hampshire and 8 of 14 in Maine will be. New York’s 36 ski areas, most of them in the western part of the state, will have shrunk to 9.
In the Rockies, where early conditions have also been spotty, average winter temperatures are expected to rise as much as 7 degrees by the end of the century. Park City, Utah, could lose all of its snowpack by then. In Aspen, Colo., the snowpack could be confined to the top quarter of the mountain.
On This Day: 1913 – The Federal Reserve System was established. 1966 – Jimi Hendrix recorded “Foxy Lady.” 2000 – Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount was unconstitutional.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.
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I am surprised San Diego increased by 6% and Los Angeles actually went down. I would be more interested in more details about LA and if their decrease occurred organically or if LA was making additional effort.
Doug Porter says
Click on the link in the first sentence of the article and you will be taken to the HUD Report.
Christine Schanes says
Thanks for highlighting the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report recently issued by HUD. With your help, more people will be aware of the issues of homelessness. And after awareness comes the compassionate motivation to house people in need.
It is sad to see our veterans being homeless after what they have done to keep us all safe. Thank you Doug for posting such an insightful blog