Let’s do the numbers.

The approximate percentage of adult residents living in East County’s Grossmont high school district who are minorities: 33 percent.

The exact percentage of members of the Grossmont school board who are minorities: zero.

Is there something legally flawed about this kind of disparity, which is hardly unique to the Grossmont district?

Well, someone made a case out of a situation in Northern California with at least some similarities. Now, local school districts are wondering if they should take steps to make sure that minorities are better represented on their boards.

As we report, one way to do this is to divide school districts into regions and have each one elect a school board member. But there’s plenty of debate over whether this is a good idea or will simply make school boards even more divisive than they already are.

In other news:

  • We have our liveliest San Diego Explained yet: We breakdown where the earthquake faults are in San Diego and what our biggest earthquake risks are. We also get shaken around a bit ourselves. Check it out.
  • Another pension-related prosecution has crumbled.

    As we report, the D.A. dropped conflict of interest charges “against former firefighter union president and retirement board member Ron Saathoff for his role in the city’s pension underfunding scandal, ending one of the two criminal prosecutions related to the 2002 actions.”

    The D.A. says a January state Supreme Court ruling, which struck down charges against the other five defendants in the case, damaged the case against Saathoff.

  • Does San Diego County have more than 70,000 outstanding warrants? A sheriff candidate says so. The San Diego Fact Check Blog runs the numbers to see if he’s right and explains why the number is relevant.
  • Have you heard a local notable say something that sounds suspiciously untrue or misleading? How about someone in the press? Or us here at voiceofsandiego.org? (The cattle prods help keep our staff in line on the accuracy front, but mistakes do make it through on occasion.)

    Submit the best idea for a Fact Check by May 12 and win a free Harbor Cruise for two.

    You’ll take me along with you if you win, right?

  • The Photo of the Day is another installment of the San Diego People Project. We profile a UCSD art history professor who seems to like to think he’s ageless. That’s the spirit.

    The aim of the project is to track how connected we are in San Diego. We started with the barista that serves our photographer coffee in the morning. She led us to the art professor, and now we’ll see where he takes us in the next installment. Follow along and let us know if you have any connections to the people photographed.


  • There’s yet another report of a possible missed opportunity to prevent the murders of two North County teens. The U-T reports: “An Escondido police officer contacted John Albert Gardner III in April 2009 after a young woman complained that he had been following her in a car all day, but it was unclear whether police gave the registered sex offender a closer look.”
  • The homeless people looking into your recycling bins for cans and bottles have good reason to do so: they make money by taking them to recycling centers.

    So do people who gather cans and bottles in other states and bring them here. But they’re not supposed to do that because the people who bought those drinks elsewhere didn’t pay a California deposit.

    State officials allege that rings of recycling thieves, including one run by the owner of a local recycling company, did just that — brought cans and bottles across the state border — and made a bundle. “We’re talking truckloads of this stuff,” an official tells the LA Times.

  • At 9 and 10 p.m. tonight, KPBS-TV will air “Return to Dwight and Nile,” a new documentary about the 1978 PSA plane crash in North Park. At the time, it was the deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history.

    The disaster is, of course, seared in the memories of any locals who were here, including many who were children at the time. The filmmaker says many people who were traumatized then found relief by speaking to him about their experiences.

    In 2008, the U-T ran an online gallery of some of the remarkable photos from the mid-air collision (the PSA plane was captured on film just seconds after it happened) and the aftermath. The Evening Tribune, a precursor of the U-T, won a Pulitzer for its news coverage.

  • Aw, suds. County health officials closed down tasting rooms at three local breweries last week, saying they were operating without required permits. Now, as the NCT reports, the county admits that it screwed up.

    One brewery owner is being a remarkably nice guy, saying he won’t sue over losses due to the closure. I’ll have what he’s having.

  • The U-T notes that opponents of Councilman Carl DeMaio planned to hold a Sink-O-DeMaio event yesterday to protest the councilman’s opposition to the City Council’s opposition to the Arizona immigration law. Ooo, clever!

    Too bad there’s nobody on the council accused of being a Communist: there could be a Pinko de Mayo rally. Or if there was a celebration of the former host of Tic-Tac-Dough, it’d be the Wink-O-de-Mayo.

  • An unhappy sea lion pup hid beneath a police car for four hours in Ocean Beach yesterday until a rescuer managed to pull it to safety. (AP)

    There seems to be a minor — or as L.A. station ABC 7 puts it, “alarming” — rash of this kind of thing going on. “Last month,” the station says, “a pup climbed four flights of stairs to the rooftop of a Newport Beach condominium.”

    Go west, young pup! Not up!

  • Finally, the La Jolla Light says a local ensemble called Orchestra Nova is getting ready to put on “CSI: Beethoven — Inside Ludwig’s Head,” featuring a performance of the composer’s music and an examination, courtesy of an SDPD criminalist, of what may have killed the guy.

    “There is no disdain here to making classical music fun,” declares Jung-Ho Pak, Orchestra Nova’s artistic director and maestro, of San Diego’s willingness to host this sort of thing.

    Well, OK, as long as they remember that the Fifth Symphony begins “Dun-dun-dun-DUNNN,” not “Where’s the fingerprint kit, Scully?”


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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