Parents wrote an application. Kids filmed a video. And the message was a simple one: Help!

Point Loma High’s weight room had been banished to the outdoors, where the football team worked out on rusty equipment in old batting cages. The kids hated it, and the parents were appalled.

Then came a rescue, but not courtesy of the school district. A NASCAR racing champion and a home supply store threw down a $90,000 grant, and a new weight room is on its way.

As we report, grants like this aren’t new. But “grants are playing an increasingly important role for schools as traditional funding sources continue to dry up and principals brace for future cuts.”

But grants aren’t a cure-all, and there are reasons to be cautious about their growing popularity.

In other news:

  • Our reporter says the ocean has looked like a Pink Floyd laser light show the past few nights. Keeping with the ’70s theme, there are some moody blues out there: a kind of plankton that causes “red tides” is turning the water neon blue when it’s disturbed.

    “It was right out of a dream,” a Scripps student told us.

    Our story explains why the ocean is so unusually blue-ish (and green-ish) and says this doesn’t happen very often.

  • Our commenters are busy commenting: They’ve got lots of opinions about two stories, one about a local weatherman’s false claims about global warming and another about a proposal to insert San Diego schools into the Arizona immigration debate. 
  • Got questions for San Diego school board candidates? Send them along: We’re getting ready for the candidates forum we’re putting on next week. 
  • The Photo of the Day has more photos of a couple recent subjects: the new editor of the U-T and a UCSD art history professor.

    As you may have noticed our photographer really has a way of using his camera to capture the character of people through their facial wrinkles.

    In a related story, he’s not coming anywhere near me with that thing.

Elsewhere:

  • 10News reports that there are 10 county probation officers assigned to track 480 sex offenders. County budget cuts are taking aim at support staff for these officers.

    “Now they’re gonna be spending more time in offices doing casework, doing the reports, filing forms,” says a union representative.

  • A new report, clocking in at more than 200 pages, says the county needs 14 new fire stations. (NCT)
  • San Diego’s beach fire pits, described as “iconic gemstones,” have been saved once again, courtesy of donors. They’ll be maintained for another year. (U-T)
  • Also in the U-T: “Three power plants on the San Diego County coastline face major changes — from shuttering operations to building new cooling towers — in the wake of a landmark ruling by California’s water-quality officials to protect sea life.”

    The story looks at the San Onofre, Encina and South Bay power plants.

  • Oh, Rubio’s. For a quarter century, you and your fish tacos were all ours. Even though you opened restaurants across the West, we knew we could always count on you to be a homegrown operation, a “classic San Diego success story,” as the NCT puts it.

    Not anymore. Rubio’s is being sold.

    Maybe it’s for the best. As the NCT story reports, Rubio’s has had a rough road financially. Its stock price has been stuck at low levels, and it’s even lost money at times, despite my countless purchases of Pesky combos.

  • Former Rep. Duncan Hunter — father of current Rep. Duncan D. Hunter — is miffed at elected officials who are busy bashing Arizona’s new immigration law.

    “I thought that those other politicians raised their right hands and swore an oath to uphold the law of the United States. So they’re saying that that’s one they don’t like so they’re going to ignore it? That’s kinda strange, I think,” he told our news partner NBC 7/39.

    Our editorial cartoonist made an eerily similar observation about Hunter’s son’s own beef with the 14th Amendment. 

  • Finally, Entertainment Weekly says that despite previous reports that a sequel to “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” which was set in San Diego, is dead, star Will Farrell still has hope.

    One of the problems facing the sequel: the original film was a hit in the United States, but a dud abroad, where “Stay classy, San Diego” doesn’t appear to have much mojo among foreign types.

    Fine. Let’s just rewrite that line: “Ello, what’s all this then? Stay posh, govnuh!”

— 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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