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I did a double take when I read the SDNN article about Gompers Charter Middle School’s protest yesterday over San Diego Unified building plans on their fields, which mentioned a bulldozer clearing the site. Stuart Markey, who oversees the bond program, had told me Tuesday that despite the rumors, no bulldozers would be headed to the school site this week to start the work.

Yet SDNN reported seeing a bulldozer “removing weeds and clearing the path for the new project,” and even had a picture. So I contacted Markey again. He repeated that no work had been ordered on the site yet and said that neither he nor the project manager who oversees building and renovations at the site knew of any bulldozers clearing the way for the project.

So what happened? After some e-mails and phone calls, Markey told me that a landscape crew had been clearing weeds from the site using “ride-on” equipment — which to you and me could look a lot like a bulldozer. Ted Doughty, a senior zone manager in physical plant operations at the school district, said it was “just routine items getting caught up while kids are gone over the summer,” such as clearing an overgrown fire access road.

I’ll talk with Gompers folks about it soon. Check back for more on bulldozer-gate as events warrant.

EMILY ALPERT

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