The Morning Report
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Saddled with a mammoth deficit, the San Diego school district is considering all kinds of drastic cuts. One of the biggest and most crucial: Summer school.

The district is thinking about eliminating summer school for all but a handful of students. As our story explains, the cuts would “weaken a lifeline for struggling teens.”

“Summer school is the great leveler,” a professor tells us. But, as we report, there’s much more to the story.

In other news:

  • Last month, we brought attention to the county pension fund’s plan to outsource its investment team, possibly to the company of the man who came up with the idea an is already the fund’s top investment consultant.

    The fund’s attorney signed off on a bid by the consultant, but our coverage raised questions about the legality of the arrangement if they pulled it off.

    Yesterday, the fund’s directors got a verdict: “What it wanted to do is illegal. . . As a result, the board is scrapping its immediate effort to outsource the county’s investment team.”

  • It’s a common practice when you don’t like the way a group of officials is handling things: Make the group bigger so people who think like you have more influence.

    FDR tried it with a recalcitrant Supreme Court during the New Deal, and his “court-packing” scheme didn’t work out too well. Now, a group of business leaders, educators and others is polling San Diegans to see if they like the idea of adding four appointed members to the San Diego school board.

    What are the pros of doing this? It would insulate the board from the vagaries of voters. What are the cons of doing this? It would insulate the board from the vagaries of voters.

  • It’s going to be a very busy April at City Hall, and we’ve got a guide to the major decisions on tap.
  • It’s time for another Photo of the Day caption contest, this time with a prize. (Woo!) We’re looking for a caption that best expresses what Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is gesturing about on the field.
  • This post also mentions some of the best entries in our last contest, in which we asked you to provide a caption for a photo of a lady on a horse in water. (Mine’s included: I suggested our photographer had his eye on a hottie. But which one?)

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T is reporting that the port has agreed to a crucial land-deal needed to expand the Convention Center.
  • There’s a good chance your power went out early Thursday morning just after midnight: SDG&E cut the electricity for some 250,000 customers for 30-40 minutes.

    What happened? The U-T says state electricity operators wanted SDG&E to cut back “rather than risk an uncontrolled blackout that could spread up the Pacific coast.”

  • The reasons behind the blackout appear to be a bit murky (doesn’t that make you feel confident?). Spokepersons for SDG&E and the state power agency can’t seem to even agree over whether there was a transmission emergency.

    One thing does appear to be clear: Two San Diego County power plants were down and San Onofre nuclear power station was operating on limited service.

  • (There’s more in a U-T story posted early this morning.)
  • Myspace.com has removed the profile of John Albert Gardner II, the man accused of murdering Chelsea King. (AP)
  • The nation’s largest gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, just hired Mayor Jerry Sanders’ former communications chief to lead the organization’s media strategy. Fred Sainz, who has been in Denver working at the Gill Foundation for the last two years, will be on a much bigger stage.
  • Now here’s something you don’t see every day: a gay newspaper is slamming two lesbian Democrats for supporting a gay Democrat in a race against a straight Republican.

    I’ll pause while you read that again.

    One more time, with names attached: The Gay & Lesbian Times is mad at Toni Atkins and Christine Kehoe for supporting Stephen Whitburn for county supervisor against incumbent Ron Roberts. The paper says Roberts helped the careers of both women, and they’re not being properly grateful.

  • CityBeat accuses the U-T of continuing to carelessly cover the sex offender issue.
  • Finally, the La Jolla Light checks in with the bartender of the La Valencia Hotel’s Whaling Bar. He’s been on the job for 50 years, serving everyone from Ida Lupino and Raymond Burr to a drunken Lee Marvin. (Maybe that’s redundant.)

I interviewed this very same bartender back when I worked at the La Jolla Light as a rookie reporter. He was celebrating an earlier anniversary on the job and told me that one of the most unusual drinks he’d been asked to make was a “screaming orgasm.” A p.r. woman sitting in on the interview just about turned white.

It’s not polite for a Morning Report writer to reveal his age, so I won’t tell when the story was published, except to say it was a while ago. (Editor’s note: During the Coolidge Administration?)

 — 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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