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Mission Bay High essentially wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for San Diego Unified’s practice of busing students in and out of different neighborhoods: Nearly 80 percent of its students come from outside the area.

“We really are an inner-city school at the beach,” one parent says.

Everyday life at Mission Bay High revolves around the school bus. Teachers start class late on rainy days to give the buses the extra time they need. School administrators need to know other parts of the city well and have held parent meetings as far away as Sherman Heights. The student body president has made it her mission to improve school spirit in a place where attending afterschool activities is always complicated by transportation.

“The unusual school is one window into the evolution of busing in San Diego Unified,” writes education reporter Emily Alpert, “a longtime fact of school life that is still hotly debated between those who believe busing is a golden ticket to opportunity and those who bemoan a brain drain from disadvantaged neighborhoods.”

So This Is What Disappointment Looks Like

• Photographer Sam Hodgson was on the sidelines to capture the Chargers’ season slipping away from them in a tough loss to the rival Raiders.

• Well, there’s always baseball season, right San Diego sports fans? Maybe not. The Padres traded fan favorite and local-boy-done-good Adrian Gonzalez over the weekend. The Union-Tribune says there’s no way to soften the loss to Padres players. The team, however, had little choice: Because the way baseball is structured, they couldn’t have afforded him after 2011 and it’s bad business to let a star walk away without getting young, promising minor leaguers for him.

If You Think That Stinks …

The city of San Diego-run Miramar Landfill doesn’t keep up with basic operating procedures, with the city and an outside contractor logging more than two dozen environmental violations, the Union-Tribune reports.

The landfill is one of many city functions that are being discussed for outsourcing or privatization. The newspaper notes that Miramar’s violations greatly outnumber those at the region’s other two main landfills, which are privately run.

Shared Border, Shared Problems

• If there’s a place to build a new airport, then San Diego’s probably thought of it. An occupied military base. Floating in the ocean. Filling in the bay.

A new idea (based on an old one) has quickly and relatively quietly gained steam lately: Building a terminal on the U.S. side to connect with Tijuana’s airport. This time, the idea has some big and powerful backers, from the City Council to the “Grave Dancer,” billionaire businessman Sam Zell. (UT)

• The Isreali newspaper Haaretz came a long way to visit our border and couldn’t help but compare and contrast it to those in its homeland:

“To the west, right on the ocean, near the Mexican city of Tijuana, the two fences that stretch into the waves appear to be quite innocent – without any kind of barbed wire, without any lookout towers of the kind we are familiar with from the Qalandiyah separation wall, for example. The fence in the water looks almost overwhelmed – over time, the determined waves have uprooted some of its poles.”

Letters from Prison

This is creepy: A San Diego woman has received letters and a call from man in a state hospital for felons. She’s never met him. He has a history of mental problems and talks about them being reunited and seeing each other soon. And the authorities say they can’t do anything.

She hopes someone will tell her if he’s released. (LA Times)

Checking in on the Fact Check

Our weekend Q&A subject told us that the Sheriff’s Department nearly always resolves a search and rescue. The verdict? True. While the results might be tragic, it does solve the mystery 98 percent of the time.

So You Just Blow It Up?

If you’re like me, you might have been wondering why the plan for disposing of the explosives in the North County “bomb factory” involves lighting them all on fire inside a house.

The North County Times explains why that actually makes sense, saying it causes “explosives break down and vaporize rather than detonate, at least when they’re not confined.”

All that science hasn’t necessarily calmed the nerves of those who live nearby.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow me on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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