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Roundtable: Hepatitis Spread, Tiny Home Hurdles, Legal Battle Freezes Foundation Donations

City workers wash down streets and sidewalks in an effort to control Hepatiti...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: City workers wash down streets and sidewalks in an effort to control Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego, Sept. 11, 2017.

Hepatits Spread, Tiny Home Hurdles, Legal Battle Freezes Foundation Donations


James DeHaven, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune

Alison St John, reporter, KPBS News

Lori Weisberg, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune

John Wilkens, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune



The Story

With national and international attention on the city's hepatitis A outbreak, are tourists staying away? Lori Weisberg from the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on one convention that has pulled out. And even as tourism officials deny that the pullout had anything to do with the outbreak, the sales staff at the Convention Center Corp. has been armed with bullet points to educate potential customers on the virus. Their take is similar to the city and the county's: most healthy people in the non-homeless, non-illicit drug user population are not at risk.

But, as James DeHaven from the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, city officials have been aware that a lack of downtown restrooms could become a problem. Four grand jury reports since 2000 have identified the issue, and warned of potential consequences, which include liability in the case of an outbreak due to unsanitary conditions. Each report called on the city to improve sanitation, either by making public restrooms more available or cleaning the streets more regularly. 17 years later, the city has started taking these steps.

The Conversation

-Will assertions from civic leaders be enough to convince visitors to keep coming to America's finest city?

-What are tourism officials doing to offset the hepatitis scare?'

-Why didn't the city take the actions outlined in the grand jury reports?

RELATED: Cookie Con blames hepatitis outbreak for backing out of San Diego convention

RELATED: San Diego officials were warned about restroom shortage repeatedly before hepatitis outbreak


The Story

They could be an environmentally friendly solution to the housing crisis. Instead, KPBS reporter Alison St John finds San Diego tiny house dwellers are living in legal-limbo, in undisclosed locations. At least one attempt to build a tiny home community here will likely end in bankruptcy.

The Conversation

-Why is it so hard to get tiny homes built in San Diego?

-Why aren't elected officials supporting the idea?

-Could tiny homes help with the housing and homeless crisis?

RELATED: Tiny Homes In San Diego Face Big Hurdles


The Story

His name is on buildings across San Diego, but a legal battle within the Conrad Prebys Foundation highlights a seemingly uncharitable act: the late philanthropist disinherited his son.

The San Diego Union-Tribune's John Wilkens reports now, Prebys' long-time partner and the other directors of the foundation's board are fighting over whether to settle with the son. He has contested the will and contends his father was not in his right mind when he made that decision.

Meanwhile, charities that rely on donations from the foundation are getting IOUs.

The Conversation

-Why can't the board agree on a way forward?

-What happening to the charities lined up to receive funds from the foundation?

RELATE: Prebys Foundation board members in legal fight over settlement with late philanthropist's disinherited son

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