Despite promises from a project manager and the Army Corps of Engineers, a company in charge of dredging up sand from the ocean was not preventing potentially dangerous debris from being dumped on one of San Diego’s beaches when we checked Wednesday night.

We went to Mission Beach and watched as the company pumped sand onto the beach. A man was supposed to be there to look for debris — like rebar, wire and rubber — and throw it away. But there was no man. And no lights illuminating the pipe, either.

A company field supervisor insisted that a monitor was stationed by the pipe 24 hours a day. This wasn’t the case. “That’s not acceptable,” a city councilman’s spokesman said.

Our reporter went back out Thursday night and saw lights shining down on the area where sand was being deposited. A man sat in a chair on top of the pipe as it gushed onto the beach.

In Other News:

• When the San Diego school district leaves a board member out of the loop, it really leaves him out of the loop.


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The board held a meeting about a trust that provides employee medical benefits and didn’t even bother to invite board member John de Beck or, for that matter, to tell him about it at all. The reason: he had a supposed conflict of interest.

But does he? He’s voted on issues involving the trust under discussion and says there’s no conflict. We check in with ethics experts to get their perspective.

• The fundraising race in the battle for the county supervisor seat that serves much of San Diego is turning out to be a rout.

• Over at San Diego Fact Check, we examine a claim that most of Balboa Park’s visitors are from out of town.

• Our readers are continuing to debate the value of public art that’s funded by taxpayers.

Says one: “What’s most lacking right now is strong leadership … explaining how priorities such as public art are actually part of something much more fundamental and important.” But a critic of the funding fought back with this zinger: “Art-subsidy seekers are simply Charger/Padre subsidy people, writ smaller and in a more effete hand.”

“Effete”? Now that isn’t very nice. True, perhaps. But a bit rude. (I’m ducking now.)

• Also in arts, the actor who played the Grinch in last year’s Old Globe production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is back in town to take on the role again, and he’ll be blogging for us. We check in with him to see how things are going.

And our arts editor continues her tour of local arts blogs with a bunch that are worth visiting, including some from the U-T, former U-Ters, UCSD, KPBS and more.

Elsewhere:

• The AP profiles the head of the 19,000-member Log Cabin Republicans gay organization, which brought the lawsuit that ended — if only temporarily — the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays. A San Diego federal judge told the Pentagon to stop enforcing the policy, but her order has been frozen for the time being.

• The budget knife is threatening a community-policing program in City Heights that helps refugees and others deal more effectively with local cops through officers who are refugees themselves — “liaisons, diplomats even, who understand what it’s like to navigate the murky world of new laws and new cultural norms,” CityBeat reports.

• In the NCT: Hundreds of people weighed in “on plans by the California Fish and Game Commission to protect marine life by expanding coastal areas that limit fishing and other activities.” It’s the last hearing before a vote next month.

• The Registrar of Voters is under fire again. As the U-T reports, the registrar has dumped a controversial “policy that directs poll workers to call voters’ attention to a list of write-in candidates before they fill out their ballots on Election Day.” The registrar, whose top official earlier defended the action, also got flak in an angry CityBeat editorial and a story earlier this week over another alleged flub.

• Earlier this week, we told you about a nifty little film of Balboa Park taken way back in 1915. We’ve found two more clips to enjoy: they show Teddy Roosevelt visiting the fair.

One shows his arrival. (The title card says “Nex’ President (?)” because there was talk that TR would run in 1916 after serving from 1901-1909 and losing his 1912 bid.)

The other clip shows Roosevelt with his wife Edith on his right. The identity of the other woman is unknown. But one thing is clear: that’s one unfortunate hat.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.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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