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Week in Review: Homeless Shelter Delays And Drugs That Don’t Work

Sandra Samuels and her 17-year-old daughter Andrea are two of the 1,700 homeless people in North County. They can spend two weeks staying in a Lutheran Church in Oceanside, where the pastor has set up a temporary shelter.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Sandra Samuels and her daughter Andrea

It would be nice if North County had a permanent shelter. One is being built in Vista, but as we report, it won’t be open until January. That means homeless people in North County will have to find other shelter options for part of the coldest time of the year.

The city of San Diego is experiencing similar delays in its permanent homeless shelter. In the meantime, an organization is trying to give homeless people a place to store their belongings during the day.

“Imagine the hassle of having to carry around all of your possessions at all times,” our story says.

Other Stories this Week

KPBS broke the news that City Councilman Todd Gloria will likely be the next president of the San Diego City Council. Current Council President Tony Young, who is leaving for a job in the private sector, told our Katie Orr exclusively that he will be voting for Gloria.

One of the few cycle tracks in San Diego is found on this stretch of Friars Road, where a short concrete barrier separates car and bike traffic.

Bike advocates are working to implement an idea they say would make bicycling safer in San Diego. They’re called “cycle tracks,” and they act as barriers between bike lanes and cars. The idea was discussed by the College Area Community Council, and groups like Bike San Diego are trying to spread them across the whole city. Check out the feisty debate over the idea in the story’s comments section.

A group of refugee students from places like Burma and Kenya receive extra tutoring from an after school program in City Heights. Fourth grader Paw Leh, a refugee from Burma, says aside from the help with homework, she looks forward to tutoring because it’s more comfortable than her normal classroom. Now this program is expanding thanks to an extra grant.

Antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed to older adults to treat behavioral problems from dementia. The problem? They don’t work, according to a new UC San Diego study. The head of the study talked to KPBS and said in addition to being ineffective, the four drugs he studied also cause side effects.

This week, the City Council voted to re-authorize San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District, allowing hoteliers to collect a 2 percent tax on hotel room rates. Although some have expressed concern about allowing hoteliers to impose taxes without a public vote—something that could go against California law—the CEO of ConVis told us "it's not a vote of the people issue."

While Mayor-elect Bob Filner had hoped to use half of the tourism tax on public safety, ConVis’ CEO had choice words about that idea.

“With all due respect, our new mayor really doesn't understand the issue," he said.

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