If you’re an owner of a single-family home, are you willing to spend an extra $98 a year to help out San Diego’s schools? You’ll get a chance to make your views known when the November election comes around.

The San Diego school board last night voted to put a measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to approve a new tax that would affect every homeowner and plenty of renters within the district’s boundaries. (Some parts of the city, such as Rancho Bernardo and San Ysidro, are in other school districts.)

If it’s approved by voters, the temporary tax would raise an estimated $50 million a year over the next five years. Owners of single-family homes would pay $98 a year, while owners of apartments and condos would pay $60. Owners of commercial and industrial buildings would get bills that are $450 higher.

Two-thirds of voters will need to support the measure in order for it to pass. One issue that came up last night: Will the money be used to cancel cost-cutting worker furloughs? Our story has the answer.

• Earlier this week, we told you about how the county had turned down millions of potential dollars in federal stimulus money allocated to help subsidize jobs for unemployed poor people.

A spokeswoman blamed unanswered questions and poor timing for the county’s failure to pursue the grant.

In the big picture, the refusal to go after the funding jibes with the findings of our “Out of Reach” investigation. We discovered that there’s a huge gap between the last-resort social services provided by the county and the people who need them.

We contacted all five county supervisors and got responses to the grant rejection from each of them. Two — Ron Roberts and Pam Slater-Price — appeared to be most disappointed by the actions of county officials, while the others were less aggravated.

• Not so fast: a legal snafu may prevent school board member Katherine Nakamura from launching a write-in campaign to retain her seat. She came in third place in the June primary, failing to make the run-off, but apparently has been mulling another crack at the ballot in November.

A write-in campaign may sound like one heck of a long shot. Then again, those who were here back in 2004 will remember that Donna Frye came very close to becoming mayor thanks to one.


• Back in February, four county supervisors hated the idea of putting a measure on the ballot that would forbid the county from requiring “project work agreements” that labor unions like and some business groups can’t stand. (The county already bans the agreements, which guarantee benefits to workers on construction projects, but a ballot measure would make the rules stick.)

Presto change-o! Yesterday, the board voted 4-1 to approve putting the measure on the ballot at a cost of $100,000.

• It may cost Mary Salas $100,000 to get a recount of the ballots in the Democratic primary race in the 40th state senate district. She’s 22 votes behind Juan Vargas. The winner is virtually guaranteed to grab the seat in November, but the recount is going to be one long and tedious slog. Kind of like high school. (KPBS, LAT)

• Also from KPBS: environmental testing gave an elementary school a clean bill of health in Carlsbad; some residents feared the school was part of a cancer cluster. And the controversial Sunrise Powerlink transmission line project through much of East County got an OK from the U.S. Forest Service. It’s now ready to go: construction will begin in the fall.

• This just in from the Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work Dept.: If you get a grant from the county supervisor slush fund, you’re supposed to document how you spent it. The U-T reports that this didn’t happen for some $550,000 in grants approved by supervisors, including one for ammunition at a gun club and $50,000 for a “big-band bash” at a North County ministries group whose website describes it as a “Christian healing community.”

AP reports that the black sea nettle — a stinging jellyfish (or just “jelly,” as marine biologists prefer to call them) — is showing up again in San Diego Bay. There was also a rise in their numbers in 2007, when this video was captured. The Monterey Bay Aquarium reports that their stinging tentacles can reach 25 feet or more.

• During this year’s Pride Week, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties will host Constance McMillen, the young woman from Mississippi who was not allowed to take her girlfriend to prom. The prom theme continues in these videos featuring gay San Diegans talking about their high school proms, and in Saturday’s march.

• And now to medical news that will give you a headache: How many doctors wouldn’t report a crazy, addicted or just flagrantly incompetent colleague? A new study suggests the number is around a third.

Why? “There’s probably some feelings of empathy — there but for the grace of God go I — and probably a fear of being sued,” UCSD’s Dr. William Norcross tells the WSJ. He estimated that 8,000 practicing doctors in the U.S. suffer from dementia, the condition formerly known as senility.

Huh. Maybe that’s why my doctor treated my ear infection by taking out my gallbladder.


Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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