Chalkboards gave way to dry-erase boards in classrooms a while back, and now web-accessible, digital whiteboards are all the rage. They’re appearing across the San Diego school district along with other fancy devices.

Kids, of course, love gadgets. But, as we report, “the tools have also inspired a backlash from some teachers and parents who don’t see the point in computerizing classrooms while more mundane fixes have to wait, such as repairing roofs, replacing fire alarms or upgrading buildings for earthquake safety or disabled access.”

One PTA leader goes as far as to say she’s “disgusted with this whole technology thing.” But, says one teacher, “it’s the 21st century. You can be a part of it — or you can go to another district.”

In other news:

  • The San Diego school board is making advocates of gifted students happy by veering away from certain cutbacks, but back on the chopping block are other options: “closing elementary schools with low enrollment and reconsolidating schools-within-a-school on its high school campuses.”
  • Point Loma’s Walter Bailey Jr. ran a mile a day into his 90s, volunteered for search-and-rescue teams (until he was ordered to beat it at the age of 75), and donated tens of thousands of hours to hospitals, charities and schools after retirement.

    Bailey passed away last month at the age of 95. In an obituary, we remember a man who never seemed to meet a moment that he couldn’t give to the world.

  • Could the city of San Diego ever run out of money, as a councilwoman suggested it’s close to doing? We find out.
  • And as long as we’re following through on what people say, here is the latest edition of San Diego Fact Check TV if you missed it Friday. This week, we found some true, false, misleading and barely true facts.
  • “San Diego City Council heard an offer to settle a five-year-old civil lawsuit filed by the city’s retirement system [yesterday], which could cost the city more than $100 million if it loses.”
  • A local prosecutors union won’t endorse in the race for sheriff, at least for the time being. Some prosecutors felt pressured by D.A. Bonnie Dumanis, who’s made her preference more than plain but wanted her deputies to stay neutral. The primary is in June.
  • You know what they say: there’s never a botanist around when you need one. This is where you come in. If you happen to know your way around native plants, help us identify some.
  • Step right up! The circus is in town. (No, we’re not talking about the one at City Hall.) Our photographer dropped by the big top to capture the Photos of the Day, taken with a photo filter that gives them an unworldly tint. A commenter says a ticket-taker looks “Elvira-esque.” She looks more like a mannequin to me. Creepy!

Elsewhere:

  • 10News says a leaked report based on an employee focus group meeting found that “twenty-five percent of those interviewed expressed fear of retaliation for raising concerns to the NRC. Fifty percent indicated procedures are confusing and that some managers created a chilled environment.”
  • We examined “mistakes and management problems” at the power plant in an extensive story about a year ago.
  • In the U-T: a party that mocked Black History Month is drawing outrage at UCSD, where fewer than two percent of students are black. Public transportation officials are mulling a crackdown on monthly passes for disabled people, which are apparently being abused by the non-disabled. And the federal government is being sued by the family of the eight-year-old boy who was killed in a Coast Guard boat crash last December.
  • Thanks to a unanimous vote, “city voters will have the option on the June 8 ballot to continue San Diego’s strong-mayor form of government or revert back to the days when a bureaucrat managed the city’s daily affairs.” (U-T) For a more visual explanation of what would happen and the way things were, remember to check out the San Diego Explained version.
  • Finally, an as-yet-unnamed male elephant was born on Valentine’s Day at the Wild Animal Park. “Visitors camping overnight at the zoo could hear the herd trumpeting in the early morning,” says the LAT. That’s apparently common when elephants are born. (They don’t have celebratory cigars, you see.)

    You can catch this not-so-little guy on the park’s elephant cam.

Some advice for this 224-pound baby: It’s never too early for a shake for lunch and a sensible dinner.

— 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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