There’s talk of revising San Diego’s city charter to change how school board members are elected. Sounds simple enough. But there’s a wrinkle: not everyone who lives in the city is served by the San Diego school district.

If you live in Rancho Bernardo or San Ysidro, for example, your kids are in other districts. Even children in the tiny northern tentacles of the city in the San Pasqual area, up by Escondido, have an elementary school district of their own and go to an Escondido high school. Our post explains why this inconvenient fact could spell trouble for attempts at reform.


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In Other News:

• A developer who’s currently seeking the city’s approval to help his company secure $15 million in tax-free loans is married to a councilman’s chief of staff. Should the councilman still vote on the matter? He says the city Ethics Commission told him he could.

• A left-leaning think tank is lauding San Diego schools for its work to tackle poverty. Some schools serve as food stamp enrollment centers.

• When you hear about vacant places in San Diego, it’s often in regard to people’s heads. (Maybe the sun gets to us?) But a news story suggests that we may have a reputation as a city with lots of empty lots. Is that true? We’re looking for your perspective.

• No junk in this trunk: The Photo of the Day is an unusual shot of an elephant at the zoo who would really like some celery right now. Yes, now.

• The latest issue of San Diego Fact Check looks at city budget cuts and test scores. Is it just me or does it look like the hosts got some snazzy new suits?

Elsewhere:

• So much for that idea: It looks like County Supervisor Bill Horn will fail in his bid to redirect a taxpayer-funded grant that fell under scrutiny when it was revealed to be going to a group with ties to religion.

Horn wanted to still send $20,000 to the group but use it to support a book that says it offers guidance to those who have had abortions and their loved ones. The book says it’s “set apart from politics” but views abortion as an emotionally painful experience and a source of “tragic” change.

CityBeat says three county supervisors won’t support Horn, meaning the money won’t still go to the group. The NCT quotes the county’s lead attorney as saying the grant to support the book would be legal because it’s not religious; the ACLU says it’s not legal. The NCT also notes that the group’s website says a fundraiser will help support its “life-affirming educational programs.”

• Under California law, students don’t have to say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school. Now, there’s a fuss in Poway over whether students should be told that they have that right: a high-profile conservative parent says the school should stop letting kids know each day that they can avoid saying it. (U-T)

• The City Council took a step toward making medical marijuana stores legal. (U-T)

• The trouble-plagued San Onofre nuclear plant has a new chief boss, and the NCT says he has experience fixing problems like the ones identified there.

• Who needs cops when you have alert citizens willing to tattle to the media? 10News heard from a viewer who snapped a photo of a city worker in a city truck doing something against the law: talking on a handheld phone. The city is not amused, and the worker will get a talking-to, presumably not by phone.

• Finally, a local company wants to buy La Jolla’s historic La Valencia Hotel, which became a hot spot for Hollywood types after it opened in 1926. Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Gish are said to have been guests.

According to legend, Groucho Marx would hide behind pillars at the hotel and leer at passersby. Wow. Still an inspiration, that guy.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at rdotinga@aol.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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