Don’t like a judge? The district attorney’s solution has been simple: Just say no.

Bonnie Dumanis made the news by boycotting a Superior Court judge last fall, refusing to allow her prosecutors to pursue new cases in his courtroom. She eventually lifted the boycott but launched another one against a second judge. Now, as we report, a third judge says the district attorney’s office has threatened to boycott her too.

Is this justice? “That’s not how our system is supposed to work,” says a defense attorney who’s playing a role in this drama.

But a court official tells us there’s more to the story in this specific case, where a DA supervisor complained about the judge to her supervising judge: “It’s not a big conspiracy, it’s not ‘We’re going to try to control the bench.’ It’s not nefarious, it’s not bad, it’s actually a way to educate certain judges.”

Last month, by the way, we explored why attorneys on both sides are allowed to boycott judges in the first place.

In other news:

  • The day’s big political news is a stunner: Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña isn’t running to kick County Supervisor Ron Roberts out of office. (CityBeat) Now all eyes are on San Diego Councilwoman Donna Frye. If she doesn’t run, will a district dominated by Democratic voters go GOP once again without a contest?
  • Not sure what’s going on with all this talk about the “schoobrary” — the proposed downtown library/school? Check the latest episode of our San Diego Explained video series with partner NBC 7/39.
  • The San Diego Fact Check Blog is busy today. First up, a check of whether transgender and intersex people can serve in the military. A local congressman brought up this issue last week.

    We also examine a claim by San Diego’s fire chief that firefighters only respond to calls within five minutes about half the time.

  • Last week, officials notified hundreds of San Diego municipal employees that they may lose their jobs due to budget cutbacks. But it’s far from clear how many will actually be laid off because some may retire, quit voluntarily or take a vacant position.
  • The San Diego school district is in a pickle: As we report, “builders’ bids for the first project to fall under the controversial labor agreement on school renovations and construction in San Diego Unified have come in far above the estimated cost.” However, school officials say it’s too early to blame it on the labor agreement.
  • A correction: Last Friday’s story detailing figures from an audit of the San Diego school district was incorrect. The figures weren’t from San Diego and it’s audit has yet to be done. We explain how we made the mistake and apologize.
  • The Photo of the Day is a great shot of one of the subjects of yesterday’s story about the demise of free and inexpensive lunches for seniors in Linda Vista. Jim Turner, 90, clearly still enjoys a good laugh and, thanks to our photographer, so will you.

    Want to help those seniors keep their lunches? We’ve got details.

Elsewhere:

  • Pam Slater-Price, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors, hit the usual chords during her State of the County speech and was promptly bashed online for not mentioning the county’s record on helping the poor, as chronicled in our recent Out of Reach series.

    On that front, the county’s top financial honcho said, as the U-T puts it, that “lower-than-expected use of its health and social services programs” will help the county end the year with a big surplus.

  • The NCT reports that “Six groups for and against the proposed 2,630-home Merriam Mountains development north of Escondido have received generous financial support from well-heeled backers who stand to lose millions of dollars if the vote on the project doesn’t go their way.”
  • Finally, today’s editorial cartoon takes a look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which we’ve written about because Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers went there to give it a look-see.

    By the way, there is indeed some junk in the garbage patch, but not as much as you might think. As Slate explains, you might not even notice the ocean is different: it’s a “thin, soupy area of litter, mostly in the form of tiny flecks of plastic.”

    Well, gosh. Let’s clean it up! But how? Slate says it’s much harder than you might think.

  • Among other challenges: nobody makes an ocean-sized Roomba (or, for that matter, a Woomba).

— RANDY DOTINGA

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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