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Roundtable: Homelessness And Hep A, Fire Season Looms, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlement

Emergency Measures Downtown, Fire Season Looms, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlement


Lisa Halverstadt, reporter, Voice of San Diego

J. Harry Jones, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune

Susan Murphy, reporter, KPBS News

Peter Rowe, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune



The Story

San Diego took emergency steps this week to ease the homeless crisis. City officials announced a return to a program they ended in 2015: the temporary tent shelters. They also started power-washing the sidewalks downtown, an area the county has referred to as a "fecally contaminated environment."

These measures come the same week a 16th person has died in the region from Hepatitis A. The outbreak started last November, and has hit the homeless population particularly hard.

The Conversation

-Are the measures the city is now taking going to be enough?

-Has the city lagged in dealing with this crisis?

RELATED: Death Toll Rises In San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak

RELATED: After Months of Stagnation on Shelter Plan, Faulconer Pledges Action


The Story

Fire season is here, but thanks to a wet winter and summer showers, San Diego is not as dry as last year.

But the rest of the West has had a brutal summer. Some 47,000 wildfires have scorched 8 million acres across the nation, with much of the destruction in Oregon, Montana and California. That means fire personnel normally stationed locally are helping up north, and the region could be competing for resources.

Fire officials have also noted that in the last decade, fires are bigger and more destructive than ever before. And, the traditional fire season is now basically year-round.

The Conversation

-How has San Diego's traditional "fire season" changed in the last decade?

-What areas of the county are most vulnerable?

RELATED: Cautious local officials warily approaching wildfire season


The Story

Ten years ago, the San Diego Catholic Diocese agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle lawsuits with 144 adults, who were sexually abused as children by church leaders.

The Diocese has implemented safeguards to protect kids. Employees now undergo background checks, and students and parents are taught how to recognize predators.

But even the Bishop, who took over in 2015, has said the problem is not completely solved. He told San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Peter Rowe "It will never go away, it is part of human nature."

The Conversation

-What changes has the church made, and are they effective?

-Are victims satisfied with the outcome?

RELATED: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout

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