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Union-Tribune Columnist Who Delved Into Homelessness Retires

Former San Diego Union-Tribune business columnist Dan McSwain on KPBS Roundta...

Photo by KPBS

Above: Former San Diego Union-Tribune business columnist Dan McSwain on KPBS Roundtable on July 28, 2017.

Union-Tribune Columnist Who Delved Into Homelessness Retires

GUEST:

Dan McSwain, former business columnist, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Transcript

In the midst of the county's hepatitis A outbreak, The San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Dan McSwain did not hesitate to take city of San Diego leaders to task. The city, he wrote, faces "full-blown crises of public safety and public health, the twin imperatives of any functioning government."

But even though officials have said they are redoubling their efforts downtown, McSwain will not be covering their responses. He announced his retirement Sunday, after noticing a mental decline, though his doctors said it appears to be part of the normal aging process.

McSwain has been on the business beat for years, covering the county's pension investments and the 2000 California power crisis. For the past year he has written column after column on the region's homelessness crisis which is not actually off-topic, he wrote in one of his first pieces in the series.

"The public has delegated the job of dealing with street people to government, which mostly relies on nonprofits to do the actual work — and nonprofits are businesses," he wrote. "So I’m naturally interested in whether anybody is measuring results or otherwise making sure all our tax dollars are being spent wisely."

RELATED: Q&A With New CEO Of San Diego County Homeless Task Force

Homelessness is also personal for McSwain. He was briefly homeless about 20 years ago, when he was struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction.

McSwain joined KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday with more on his decision to retire and his fervent hope that other reporters keep up coverage of San Diego homelessness.

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