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At the San Diego school board, it’s getting so you can’t tell the players even with a program.

“It’s almost surreal,” says a union rep.

Two board members that have traditionally been pro-labor are seeking deeper concessions from the teachers union as the San Diego district faces a giant budget squeeze. Meanwhile, another board member who’s not often an ally of teachers is taking a stand against big salary cuts.

“It’s like it flipped,” the union director tells us.

So which faction is in charge? Good question, and we analyze it our story. And what’s at stake? Salaries and jobs and, of course, the education of students.

In other news:

  • Speaking of students, take a moment to watch this story (text version here) that ran yesterday about the Voices of Lincoln — a new online news operation that students at Lincoln High School launched two weeks ago. Our staff is very proud to have helped with the effort that the San Diego Foundation supported with a perfectly leveraged grant (the foundation is also a supporter of voiceofsandiego.org).

    Lincoln students, faced with all kinds of budget shortages, are seeing how technology can help them get around obstacles to getting their stories heard.

  • “San Diego’s pilot program to recycle sewage into drinking water received a new convert this week in Mayor Jerry Sanders,” we report. He vetoed the idea two years ago.

    First things first, says Sanders: he tells us that he won’t talk about tackling next year’s $77 million budget deficit until he finishes dealing with a $15 million gap this year. He also provides details about targeted areas for cuts. Among them: city contracts.

  • Dwayne Crenshaw, the former San Diego City Council candidate and local political figure, is claiming in a lawsuit that he was sacked from a job as executive director of a southeastern San Diego community organization because he’s gay. A flurry of allegations have been flying in recent months.
  • At the U-T, the new boss is not the same as the old boss: the newspaper’s newly hired editor is more web-savvy than the previous one.
  • Jeff Light, who’s leaving the Orange County Register to become the U-T newsroom’s top boss, is said to have boosted that paper’s online and investigative journalism operations. One blogger has already lauded the U-T’s vision in hiring a “digital journalist.”

    Why not convert the U-T to an online-only publication and save on newsprint and distribution? The problem is that print editions still account for as much as 90 percent of the revenue of major newspapers. For editors like Light, the challenge will be embracing the online future without scuttling the profits from print.

  • OC Weekly, by the way, reports that Light is said to have masterminded “the paper’s transition to ‘web-first’ publishing — and the resulting thirst for page views — in the past few years.”
  • The U-T’s next editor might want to take a look at this story: a new investigative journalism website has popped up, this one funded, in part, by wagers that corporations targeted by its investigations will tank.

    The money is coming from the Fraud Discovery Institute, created by San Diego scamster-turned-fraud-detective-and-pastor Barry Minkow. We interviewed him last year.

Elsewhere:

  • In the U-T: “A $28.6 million plan to overhaul the downtown San Diego waterfront was delayed again as port and city officials clashed with state planners Thursday night over park space within the project.”  And three county supervisors are miffed at the county’s treasurer-tax collector over an audit that turned up taxpayer-refund problems.
  • Finally, a San Diego therapist says she’s seen “a huge increase in patients — spanning all age groups — struggling with money issues.”

    In particular, foreclosures are straining couples: “When you lose your home, it’s not just a financial loss, it’s a loss of stability and memories and often involves uprooting the kids.”

Sounds like strained spouses will have a lot to talk about in therapists’ offices. Too bad the hours there only last 50 minutes.

— 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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