“It’s a curfew sweep,” a cop explained to a 16 year old who was arrested the other night in City Heights. “Tonight’s your lucky night.”

There will be more nights like these: after some legal snarls, San Diego is back in the business of enforcing curfews for minors, and cops rounded up a whopping 57 kids during a recent sweep.

“The sweeps are organized efforts by police to arrest as many teenagers during the prohibited hours as possible,” our story reports. “It’s meant to catch lawbreakers, but even more fundamentally, keep kids away from crime too.”

In other news:

  • Midge Costanza, “once the top woman in Jimmy Carter’s White House and a fixture in San Diego Democratic politics for 20 years,” died Tuesday, the U-T reports.

    An advocate for rights for gays and women, she’d mostly recently worked as a public affairs officer for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

    The U-T story says “Ms. Costanza joined the Carter administration as assistant to the president for public liaison. Her sharp tongue and irreverent sense of humor made the 5-foot-tall Ms. Costanza a popular speaker and a favorite of White House reporters and columnists.”

    You can read here about Costanza and the historic first meeting in 1977 between White House officials and the gay and lesbian community. Anti-gay activist “Anita Bryant back then wanted my resignation, as did many of the right-wing groups,” Costanza said. “More mail was generated from that meeting than from any other issue during Jimmy Carter’s administration.”

  • In San Diego high schools, freshmen — ninth graders — face unique challenges. Our analysis of district figures show that 11 percent of them have a D average or lower, a much higher rate than for sophomores and juniors. Our story looks at this crucial year for academic success and the obstacles facing kids and teachers.

    “San Diego Unified has stepped up its efforts to bail out students who failed lots of classes, adding in online classes, graduation coaches and mentoring for struggling students. But critics say that help for failing students is still haphazard and comes too late. And as budget cuts menace San Diego Unified, whether teens will even be able to make up classes in summertime is up in the air.”

  • Did the San Diego school district really lose 25 percent of its revenue over the past three years? USA Today quoted a spokesman as saying so. We ran this claim through the Fact Check Blog truth-o-meter and the verdict is . . . here.
  • Now here’s an idea: Force San Diego residents to pay fees for collection of trash and storm water. Then watch the dollars roll in, solving the city’s budget problems. Voila! We get library hours back and it stops taking weeks to get broken streetlights fixed.

    Easy, right? Well, no, and not just because voters would have to be involved. There are time obstacles, a city report says, and “that means new money isn’t coming in time for the $30 million to $45 million the city needs by April 15, or the $77 million to $100 million deficit the city faces for 2012.”

    But, the report says, there are other ways to raise money. The city could levy charges on parking garages, like other big cities do, and make $31 million a year. Or a cool $100 million by taxing things like cable TV and telephones.

    But doesn’t the city already tax cable TV? I asked our reporter Liam Dillon, who asked the city. (We’re a well-oiled machine around here.) It turns out the city does indeed make cable companies pay a franchise fee, but the one in question here would be another fee, this one directly on consumers. Oh goodie.

  • The DA’s office would like to charge us $1,354 to provide some public records. We think that’s inappropriate.

    Why should you care? A new post explains the situation, and why it shouldn’t cost $1,079 — 80 percent of the fee — to push a button. “We have never been charged this type of fee before and are not agreeing to pay it, because open government advocates say it falls outside the law.”

  • Like our photos? Maybe you’d like to put them on your wall, in your company brochure or on your website. Now you’re in luck: The voiceofsandiego.org Photo Store is open.

    As our post explains, the store “allows us to spread our service to wider audiences while recovering just part of the cost of capturing and archiving these quality images and stories you’ve come to expect from VOSD.”

  • Speaking of pictures, the Photo of the Day catches pigeons doing their pigeon thing.


  • The much-criticized county supervisor slush fund — er, grant program — has been cut in half, from $10 million to $5 million. “Four of the five supervisors said falling revenues that will lead to more reductions in county services this year left them no choice but to slash their pet program in half,” the NCT reports.
  • For better or worse, tragedies often end up helping the careers of politicians. Sheriff Bill Gore, who’s running to stay in office, was almost certainly boosted by his appearances on local television news regarding Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. And now local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is raising his profile by pushing for new legislation, which the U-T says “will focus on a one-strike provision for violent sexual predators, parole reform and better GPS tracking.”

    Fletcher held a press conference with King’s family yesterday.

  • CityBeat asks City Council candidates about gay marriage and hears a very weird story from a council candidate regarding his encounter with a (literally) flashy octogenarian transgendered man. Also, CityBeat questions whether city wastewater spill statistics are as improved as the mayor makes them out to be. The paper also delves into South Bay politics and the sacking of a state assembly candidate.
  • State park rangers are no longer looking the other way (ahem) at nudity at San Onofre State Beach near the northern stretches of the county. Now, those who go au naturel might need to find pockets for the tickets they’re getting. (NCT)
  • Finally, a new survey led by a San Diego State psychologist reports that college students have become more narcissistic. “The results suggest that the United States is poised to experience social problems as younger narcissists age and move into positions of power,” reports Discovery News.

Sheesh. So the kids these days are all full of themselves. That’s terrible.

In other news, I got off the couch yesterday. Where’s my parade, people?


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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