Mayor presents 2019 budget
On April 12, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer revealed the city of San Diego’s Fiscal Year 2019 proposed budget of $553 million, which is the city’s largest infrastructure investment to date.
“We’re continuing to put neighborhoods first by maintaining the key services we’ve restored in recent years and making the largest infrastructure investment in San Diego history,” Mayor Faulconer said.
The increased funding will be supporting 390 miles of street repair, increased library and recreation center operating hours, the Climate Action Plan, Pure Water San Diego, Vision Zero safety measures, Clean SD, and programs to combat homelessness.
“This balanced budget will keep our foot on the pedal when it comes to fixing more roads, helping people into stable housing, keeping libraries and rec centers open for children, creating more housing affordability for working families, and putting more police officers on the street to protect our communities,” Faulconer continued.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, the city projects improving revenue from property (5.5 percent), sales (3 percent) and hotel taxes (5.3 percent). View the entire proposed budget at sandiego.gov/fm/proposed.
Uptown physician launches new program
In response to the growing national opioid crisis, Mission Hills resident and Scripps Mercy physician Valerie Norton, M.D., has launched a program aiming to reduce opioid usage.
“Our goal is to return patients to healthy function as soon as possible without putting them at risk for opioid dependency or the side effects of opioid usage,” Dr. Norton said. “This means taking advantage of all other pain management options before considering opioids.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of opioid-related deaths involve a prescription opioid, including drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone.
The initiative emphasizes educating patients about opioids, maximizing other types of pain management solutions, disposing of unused opioids safely, educating medical staff on opioid prescription and postoperative opioid management.
“We can and must do everything possible to reverse this dangerous trend, starting by limiting and monitoring post-discharge opioid usage, and using other proven and effective methods to manage pain,” said Jonathan Worsey, M.D., co-chair of the surgery care line at Scripps Health and one of several physicians leading the Scripps Opioid Stewardship Program (OSP).
For more information about the program, visit scripps.org.
City offers new water meter testing
On April 2, the city of San Diego unveiled new water meter testing equipment at a demonstration for media to show its features and how it works.
The new water meter calibration equipment is an upgrade that more accurately determines water flow and allows for adjustments for multiple meters and different sizes. The new $400,000 equipment was purchased and installed following concerns by customers about water meter readings.
Recently, San Diego admitted to overcharging around 300 customers for water. The new equipment will allow customers who think they have a problem with their bill to perform a “controversy test” for a small fee and whether their water meter was working properly or not, they will receive a new smart meter. The city has been replacing old water meters with new smart meters for its customers and hopes to have the approximately 270,000 customers it serves on smart meters by 2020.
To report a problem with your water meter or to request a test, call San Diego Public Utilities water department at 619-515-3525.
Earth Day event focuses on science and religion
First UU Church of SD presents “Intergenerational Weekend Celebration: A Reunion of Science and Religion, Head and Heart” on April 21 at 4190 Front St. The event will feature two speakers: Scripps climate scientist Dr. Ramanathan and theologian Dr. John B. Cobb Jr.. The program includes interactive music with the MLK community choir, giant rod puppets and ritual.
Suggested donation is $10. Child care is available from 1:30–4:30 p.m. Attendees must register number and ages of children online.
The Sikh community, representing “the equality and oneness of all humankind,” will provide a Indian vegetarian dinner. Please RSVP for the 5:30 p.m. free dinner and dancing at earthdayreunion.eventbrite.com.
Earth justice organizations will be available for a popcorn reception at 4:30 p.m. with music including co-sponsors SanDiego350.org and Church for Our Common Home, among others.
On the following day, Dr. John B. Cobb Jr. preaches on Earth Day at Church for Our Common Home at 10 a.m. in Rancho Penasquitos, 13014 Calle De Las Rosas. The April 22 event is sponsored by First UU Climate Justice Ministry, UU Christian Study Group, and First UU Adult Religious Education, and Church For our Common Home.
Creek to Bay Cleanup seeks volunteers
I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) is now accepting volunteers to register for its countywide Creek to Bay Cleanup.
This year will be the organization’s 16th one-day cleanup event that gives residents the opportunity to donate their time to create a cleaner, healthier San Diego County. ILACSD anticipates over 6,000 volunteers will participate in this year’s cleanup, held April 21, from 9 a.m.–noon.
There are 114 cleanup locations in neighborhoods, parks, beaches and open spaces throughout San Diego County for volunteers to get involved. A complete list of cleanup sites is available at CreekToBay.org.
With a tagline of “Your Neighborhood, Our Environment,” Creek to Bay highlights the importance of acting locally to contribute regionally. Volunteers can get involved at a site in or nearby their neighborhood and make a difference for the overall health and beauty of the entire county. In 2017, more than 6,500 volunteers removed over 190,000 pounds of litter and debris during the three-hour event.
While trash removal is a large focus of the event, volunteers will also enhance their communities through beautification projects such as native planting and graffiti removal. These beautification projects restore local outdoor areas and evoke a strong sense of community pride.
Citing a commitment to zero waste practices, ILACSD encourages volunteers to bring their own reusable water bottles, gardening or work gloves, and buckets to this year’s cleanup. By choosing reusable options, volunteers will reduce the amount of plastic waste produced at the cleanup, keeping thousands of single-use bags and disposable gloves out of San Diego’s crowded landfills.
There will also be a “Bling Your Bucket” contest that encourages creativity and conservation. Kids and adults can submit a photo of their decorated reusable trash collection bucket for the chance to win fun prizes.
The Creek to Bay Photo Contest, sponsored by Sony, will also be returning for another year. The photo contest allows volunteers to celebrate their volunteerism and commitment to reducing waste through reusable items.