There is a special telephone service in our State known as the California Lifeline program. It is a discounted price for people who cannot afford to pay the regular full price. Most land line providers participate and it is considered essential by many, especially those who live on fixed income.

For many years the price was $5 per month, measured service. Then it went to $5.99/month. I just read that Cox is raising the Lifeline rate to $7.49/month!!!!!!! That is quite an increase. Of course, I did call and give them my opinion! The economic situation is still in a stagnant downturn, with many unemployed or just struggling to make ends meet. It seems to be bad timing for increasing telephone rates, especially for the poorest sector of the population.

The homeless situation along 9th between F & Broadway has become a problem again. The other night, one young man was screaming, ranting, raving, making a ruckus about his girlfriend (I think). He was being held back by a couple of females while a group of about 8 men stood watching and 'baiting' him. There were some punches thrown. The police responded with 5 cars. As they approached the 'offender' others joined the group & it seemed all had something to say. Some officers cleared the area, while others tried to calm the young man down. When the air cleared, the west side of the 9th St. sidewalk between F & E was empty. As it turned out, that was one of the quietest nights in recent memory.

The San Diego Police, HOT (homeless outreach team), Clean & Safe, & many other organizations do what they can, with limited resources. BUT, the City has done little (except studies) to solve this problem. It is certainly not new & there have been many opportunities over the years to make strides in helping the homeless. With the constant stream of incoming homeless persons, the population continues to grow, with hundreds sleeping, eating, urinating, defecating, littering, all over the City. In areas near the Library & Post Office, the stench is quite awful. Thank goodness for those sidewalk power washers.

By this time, we should have a fully operational permanent shelter. The recently chosen building (World Trade Center) seems to be a good location and the structure can be renovated (if anyone ever gets to work on it). So, get going and "Get er done".

So long

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