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It’s hard to see where the newly rebuilt Lincoln High in southeastern San Diego fits into the school district’s grand new plan for reform.

The foundation of San Diego Unified’s reform push: Elementary, middle and high schools that feed into each other should work together closely to create unique, community-level curriculum and strategies.

That’s conceivable at just about every high school in the district except Lincoln. The school has no feeder middle school — the local ones turned into charter schools — and many middle school students leave the neighborhood altogether to participate in integration programs.


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Emily Alpert explains why this longstanding problem now looms larger with the district’s new agenda being put into place.

What else:

• Here’s what downtown looked like yesterday, compliments of photographer Sam Hodgson, who is back on the streets.

• How well do local cities do at solving murders? Escondido: Pretty well. Not so much: National City and Chula Vista. We take a look at how the cities stack up against each other. But the story is still live. Tell our reporter why you think some cities so much better than others at solving murders.

• The NFL season begins in a week, and the Chargers are set to start it off without two of their biggest names. In the latest edition of San Diego Explained, VOSD and NBC 7/39 break down the story behind the contract disagreements between the team and its stars.

Elsewhere:

• A reminder that fire season is upon us: San Diego spends significantly less on fire and emergency medical services than Orange County and Los Angeles, according to a new study. (City News Service via La Jolla Light)

This would be a good time to mention that San Diego County officials are urging residents to register their cell phones to be receive emergency alerts. (North County Times)

We’re working on a story right now about what has and hasn’t been done in fire protection since 2007. E-mail me if you have any thoughts.

• Just when it seemed this miracle Padres team was for real, it’s gone and lost seven straight, putting its playoff dreams in peril. (AP via ESPN)

• Now that the plastic bag ban has failed in Sacramento, local cities such as Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Solana Beach and Del Mar might consider their own bans.

• I can’t believe I didn’t know this: Sony’s digital book business is based in San Diego. That’s a pretty important crew as Sony’s Reader does battle with the Kindle and the iPad to be the ones who master this tablet phenomenon. (LA Times)

• The San Diego City Council and mayor are going to have to prove to voters that they can save the city a lot of money in reforms if they’re going to succeed on Proposition D, the measure that would raise the sales tax a half-cent if certain reforms are met.

A new study by the city and labor unions shows the biggest savings could come from eliminating the retiree health care benefit for current employees. That would shrink the city’s liability from $1.36 billion to $442 million.

• Gift cards are as good as cash.

And that’s why you probably shouldn’t send them in the mail. A local mail carrier was found guilty yesterday of stealing hundreds of dollars in gift cards meant to be a Christmas gift from a mom to a son. (U-T)

In related news, hundreds of bad sons around San Diego County were immediately given an excuse for why their mothers didn’t receive a birthday gift.

— ANDREW DONOHUE

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