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When kids stay home from school for whatever reason — the sniffles, a vacation with the ‘rents, an adult-style “mental health day” — school districts get dinged financially. And the more absences, the more dings.

As our analysis shows, attendance rates at San Diego schools have slumped this school year, and the district’s budget will pay the price.

As we report, the school district has cut back on clerical workers who call home to check on truants. “And it didn’t follow through on its own recommendations to boost attendance and keep the funds flowing.”

  • Strict building codes in Chile apparently helped the country avoid a Haiti-style death toll from its huge earthquake. We talk to a UCSD structural engineering professor who’s advised Chilean officials. He tells us about how Chile’s education system boosted its safety profile and warns about hazards facing California. 
  • The guy the SEC put in place to babysit City Hall after the pension underfunding and disclosure scandals has given an almost clean bill of health to San Diego’s financial practices.  That means the city may be badly out of whack still, but it tracks how bad a little better.
  • Earlier this week, we told you that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis would be on KPBS-FM to discuss her boycotts of judges. So what’d she say? Well, first of all, she says her office was not boycotting Judge John Einhorn.

    Perhaps she uses a different dictionary than the rest of us. She acknowledges that her office challenged Einhorn twice.

    When her office challenges a judge, she added, “it’s not a reflection of the judge, which is why we don’t want to say the reasons or enumerate the reasons.” Also: “it doesn’t say anything negative in terms of the judge.”

    Huh?

  • He comes bearing charts: our real-estate columnist Rich Toscano has graphics (in color!) explaining why higher-priced homes have been sitting out the housing rebound.
  • The Photo of the Day might make you think: “Dude, you’re doing it wrong.”
  • We have a winner!

    In yesterday’s Morning Report, I asked if any readers could identify the downtown building ding seen in the Photo of the Day. It’s the YWCA building at the corner of 10th and C streets. (You can look at the building by clicking here.)

    Bob Broms, news director at City College jazz station KSDS-FM, was the first to correctly name it. He must have an eagle eye: the photo only captured a few windows in an upper story.

    Other guesses included the downtown post office, the former Home Fed building and the big SDG&E power-generation building near the downtown train station).

Elsewhere:

  • As you have probably heard, searchers discovered a body near Lake Hodges yesterday, and it appears to be that of missing high-school student Chelsea King.

    The U-T talks to a woman who says her daughter’s first kiss was with the suspect when she was 14 and he was nearly 21.

  • The NCT has some major news: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission put Southern California Edison on notice Tuesday, issuing a rare ‘chilling effect’ letter that gives the utility six months to fix a perception among some workers at San Onofre Generating Station that voicing safety concerns could get them in trouble.”
  • County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price tells the NCT that a snafu explains why she didn’t report free Old Globe Theatre and San Diego Opera tickets, and she’s paying the venues back. “A San Diego newspaper” — that would be the U-T, if you’re scoring at home — reported on the tickets earlier this week, noting that she has steered county money to the opera and theater.
  • Keeping track of mileage for work can be a giant pain. Guess who won’t have to do it thanks to a legal snarl involving San Diego? Local elected officials across the state. California’s attorney general has ruled that cities can give flat-rate auto allowances to them instead of making them put in for specific mileage reimbursement. However, San Diego no longer does this. (U-T)
  • Yesterday’s Morning Report mentioned La Jolla’s effort to detach from the city of San Diego and referred to the wealthy seaside enclave as a “town.” A regular reader (and regular complainer) wrote to differ, saying it’s not a town at all, but just a neighborhood.

    Well, it has a Town Council. And La Jollans do like to call their home a “town” (or “village”). On the other hand, it would sound weird to refer to the “town” of Hillcrest, Serra Mesa or San Ysidro.

What do you think? Is “town” the wrong word for our pearl-with-a-Pearl-Street by the sea? Drop me a line.

Just don’t pronounce it La Jah-la. They hate that.

La Jah-la, La Jah-la, La Jah-la. Oops, sorry.

 — 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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