A quick personal note: Last week was the most eventful and tumultuous seven days in San Diego politics since the dark years of 2004 and 2005. Thanks to voiceofsandiego.org, you got the information you needed to understand what was at stake.
We provided breaking news and analysis. We offered coverage via TV, radio and Twitter. One of our reporters dominated this story like no one else in San Diego. And even the Morning Report worked its little fanny off to summarize all the happenings. (Fact Check alert: The aforementioned fanny is not actually so little. But that’s not important right now.)
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And now to the news:
San Diego’s immigrant children from countries like the Philippines and Vietnam don’t have to be in school during this unusually cool summer. But here a bunch of them are at Mira Mesa High, learning English and creating poetry in a way that draws upon their shared experience as people new to this country.
They read about the Lost Boys of Sudan and Vietnamese boat people. They discuss the specific problems facing immigrants and how they could be solved. And they write poems about topics they understand well — dreams and their hearts.
Join us as we spend time with these kids and their teachers.
In other news:
• Nancy Graham, the head of downtown’s redevelopment agency, resigned two years ago. We’d revealed that she was involved in a previous deal with a developer who became involved in a proposed $1.5 billion ballpark-area project for downtown.
She’d denied the ties, but had actually made $3.5 million from a deal with the developer and another firm.
So what’s the proper punishment? The maximum city ethics fine is $170,000. A city ethics commission proposed $25,000. Now, its president says $60,500 is a good number.
• In education: After deadlocking earlier this week, a divided San Diego school board voted to cut non-teacher jobs by $900,000.
Also: A San Diego State-based educational center that helps schools around the country is casting its gaze closer to home: it may start to play a role in helping local schools.
• County pension fund trustees “rejected a proposal Thursday to hire 17 more staffers, including an executive secretary for up to $97,000 a year, more than double some salaries, and pay the head of investments as much as $886,000 annually.” (NCT)
• Who’s sorry now? Mayor Jerry Sanders. He had this to say this week to the local gay community about comments he made before switching to favor gay marriage: “I was new to politics and I was trying to dance the dance, and I came to the wrong conclusion on that dance and I want to apologize to each of you.” (GLTnewsnow.com)
No word on whether the “dance” was disco.
• In the U-T: the ACLU is “calling on San Diego schools to refund a host of school fees, ranging from $3 to $1,097, that it says are unconstitutional — charges for students to take exams, play sports or even just to take classes.”
• Finally, you read this week about the insistent homeless person at a Starbucks who got $2 and then an extra $1 out of me for the bus. (Which is $2.25 a ride. But I digress.)
A reader writes that once, “being young, naïve and good-hearted,” he told transients in downtown about a psychology study he’d read. “It found that if you ask people if they have any change, it’s pretty easy for them to dismiss the request. But if you ask for a specific amount — I always used the example of 75 cents — it engages their brain enough to where they actually consider the request, and once they’ve started thinking about it, it’s much harder for them to say no.”
He soon noticed that the homeless started asking for 75 cents specifically. That was a while ago, he said, and rates have clearly gone up. Yes, clearly.