The Morning Report
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Randy Dotinga is pretending like he knows how to brood during a “film noir” festival in San Francisco. So you’re stuck with Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue writing the Morning Report over the next couple of days.

In the fall, we put in motion a lot and much of it is coming together. Next time I set a lot of things in motion, I’m going to make sure they come to fruition at different times. But no matter, it’s exciting.

Of course, this week’s big news was the launch of the San Diego Fact Check. And we have a new post up there now along with video from Fact Check TV, which runs every Friday during the 6 p.m. newscast on NBC 7/39.

  • The newest Fact Check explores Councilman Todd Gloria’s proclamation to a newspaper that most of the suggestions he gets from residents about how to fix San Diego’s chronic budget crisis had already been implemented. He said he and his colleagues had had switched employees to a defined contribution pension (like a 401k) and they had “gotten rid” of retiree health care. See if his claims held up in the Fact Check.
  • Each week we do a Q&A with an interesting San Diegan. This week we feature “Dr. Aftermath” — Dr. Irving “Jake” Jacoby — a UCSD physician who runs one of the 50 emergency response teams the federal government calls on after a major disaster hits. He hasn’t yet been called to Haiti. Among other anecdotes, he describes sleeping in baggage carousels at the New Orleans airport after Katrina.
  • Yesterday this short story about San Diego schools asking their teachers to start thinking about a pay cut soared in page views when it was put up. The details are still vague as is the teachers union response.
  • I also posted the latest in my e-mail Q&A series with local thinkers. This one was with Murtaza Baxamusa, the director of research at the Center on Policy Initiatives. I don’t always agree with Murtaza, but I think he is one of the smartest people in town. (Remember, to catch up on what I’m doing, you can read the intro here along with the interviews with: Marco Li Mandri, Marco Gonzalez, Lorena Gonzalez, Dianne Jacob, Gil Cabrera, Tom Shepard, Carl DeMaio, Kathy Keehan and Walt Ekard.)
  • Our photo of the day captures one of the billion interesting scenes yesterday. We San Diegans aren’t accustomed to seeing this much water fall from the sky, let alone ice.

Elsewhere:

  • The Union-Tribune’s Greg Moran is reporting that the state Supreme Court is getting ready to release its decision Monday about whether six former San Diego pension officials should stand trial for violating conflict of interest laws when they supported the infamous Manager’s Proposal II deal, which boosted their and all workers’ pension benefits at the same time it allowed the city to underfund the pension system.
  • Moran was the one who also broke the news several weeks ago that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis was boycotting a judge — refusing to let cases go to him — even though he was well respected and ended up being named Judge of the Year. We later explained how she even has the right to do that. Dumanis has now quietly decided to end the protest. And the district attorney in Santa Clara has decided to boycott a judge she doesn’t like.

Each week, Dotinga writes the Coffee Collection — those stories from the week you can catch up on over a cup of java. I don’t want to discriminate against non-coffee drinkers so I’m going to call it the Carrot Juice Collection this week.

Do well on this test, and you’ll be happy you did: In East County, teachers and administrators, uncomfortable with being judged by test scores when students don’t care about the tests, have started incentivizing students. If they perform well on state standardized tests, their grades will get a boost. If they perform poorly, nothing happens. The tactic has provoked quite a discussion.

Learn Spanish and work hard (lose your sanity occasionally too): Somehow the “crusty curmudgeon” Bob Filner has been able to stay in his position as the congressman representing South Bay. In an in-depth profile, we tried to explain how.

San Diego Explained: The latest edition of San Diego Explained came out on NBC 7/39 and our site. You can watch me and NBC’s Catherine Garcia explain medical marijuana and why it’s in the news so much in San Diego these days. I absolutely love this effort. You can see San Diego Explained tackle the Chargers stadium search here and the strong mayor form of government here.

In brief: Point Loma schools are trying to band together to get a little more power over their fates. Those fates are often set by one guy at San Diego Unified School District: Phil Stover. The colorful “shadowy superintendent” was the subject of an interesting profile Monday. Armed robberies spiked in San Diego in October and we profiled one of the perps from jail as he explains why he, every three days that month, walked into a small business and demanded cash.

Quote of the Week: “We are, after all, both thirty-something journalists. There are only so many places for guys like us to get work clothes.” This was my colleague Andrew Donohue introducing the first of our weekly Fact Check TV on NBC 7/39 (Fridays, 6 p.m.) and explaining why we sometimes dress alike.

Have a good weekend. If you’re reading this on the site, remember you can have the Morning and Weekend Report sent to your e-mail. Sign up here.

— SCOTT LEWIS

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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