Well, it was nice while it lasted.

San Diego County public schools got a nice chunk of change — about $360 million — from the feds to help them survive three school years. After the next school year, the money goes bye-bye.

As we report, “Schools were supposed to save jobs. But they were also cautioned that since the money would run out, they should try to invest it in sustainable and innovative programs that would last beyond the funds.”

That last part proved to be difficult if not impossible for districts that chose to spend money on jobs instead.

We analyze how many jobs were saved locally and take a look at what happens next.

In other news:

• D.A. Bonnie Dumanis has made frequent appearances in our Fact Check section. This time, we give her a verdict of “true” for saying that “we’re seeing more and more teenagers using OxyContin and dying from OxyContin.”

She made the remark at a panel discussion with other law enforcement types who made plenty of bold statements of their own.

• Economics and real-estate guru Rich Toscano broke his crystal ball during an unfortunate reenactment of yesterday’s World Cup game, but he’s still obsessed with the past and the near-future. In his latest column, he examines whether the state of the local employment world is actually improving or just appears to be getting better because lots of people are getting paid to knock on doors and ask nosy Census questions.  

• It’s time for the San Diego People Project. We check in with the exhibits director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park who talks about getting into minds of the young and the appeal of the ultimate exhibit for kids (about baby dinosaur poop).

• Who are we and why are we here? No, not humanity as a whole. (I’m paid to write about things like ancient doo-doo, as in the last paragraph, but existental questions are above my pay scale.) No, I’m talking about voiceofsandiego.org.

To explain how we work and what we do, the leaders of voiceofsandiego.org have posted an FAQ that answers many questions about our approach to journalism, to innovation and to finances.

We’re different in many ways from traditional news organizations, but we believe in a traditional commitment to ethical and accountable journalism. I’m proud to have helped the newsroom leaders create an ethics policy that clearly explains how we handle everything from conflicts of interest to corrections.

You can read the ethics policy yourself. Do us a favor and hold us to it.


• In the U-T: “The proposed San Diego City Hall that will likely go before voters in November is much smaller and less expensive than the version first contemplated three years ago.”

The new proposal, to be unveiled today, costs $294 million instead of $432 million. Even so, the mayor will have a hard time convincing voters that it will need to spend that much money to save more money. (That’s his argument.)

• As we told you last December, the San Diego Natural History Museum’s bond rating got downgraded because of concern that it wouldn’t be able to pay back $12.4 million in debt. The museum had been struggling with a major dip in attendance and owed the money to pay back a loan that helped fund a $35 million expansion.

Now, the U-T says the museum is raising admission prices and slashing its educational programs.

• NASA says the Easter Sunday quake shifted the region around Calexico, in Imperial County, by 31 inches. (It shifted me by quite a lot more than that.) Also on the quake front, check this remarkable video comparing film footage of San Francisco’s Market Street (that’s the Ferry Building in the background) before and after the 1906 quake.

• Sandra Dijkstra, the most well known literary agent in the San Diego area, is calling for a boycott of the U-T if it doesn’t rehire laid-off arts and books writer Robert Pincus, the LAT’s James Rainey reports.

The local book world has been upset with the U-T for years since it dumped its weekly stand-alone book section. (Many other papers across the nation have done the same thing.)

KPBS and CityBeat have also bemoaned the involuntary departure of Pincus, a longtime U-Ter.

By the way, we talked to Dijkstra last year about San Diego’s reputation in the literary world, the art of negotiation and the changing market for books.

• You might think the words “La Jolla” (or perhaps “Rancho Santa Fe”) represent luxury and decadence more than any others in this county. Think again. When the creators of Indonesia’s most luxurious cemetery got around to thinking of a name, they came up with “San Diego Hills Memorial Park.”

Inspired by the ultra-posh Forest Lawn cemeteries in the U.S., the park goes one step beyond, Bloomberg News reports: It has a man-made lake, a running track, a pool and an Italian restaurant, all for those who aren’t quite ready for their eternal rest.

Indonesians can even hold weddings there. Just don’t make any jokes about how marriage boosts the odds of a quick return visit.


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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